COVID-19 Update 3/13

COVID-19 Update 3/13
Posted on 03/13/2020

Dear Millis Families and Caregivers, 

 

We have made the decision to close all of the Millis Public Schools for the period March 16- 20, 2020.  Schools will remain closed through Friday, March 20, 2020. It is important for families to understand that this is an initial determination, and as we monitor the outbreak next week, it is likely that this may lead to a longer closure.  This closure applies to all schools, extra-curricular activities, athletics, clubs, and building use. Our custodial staff will be cleaning and disinfecting all schools.

This decision was made after consultation with local and state officials and the 25 school districts in the Tri-County area, taking into consideration the recommendations for public health even though there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Millis at this time. Closing our schools is only a part of a broader solution to prevent community spread of this virus.  It is recommended that students and families refrain from meeting in large groups and practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC.

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and follow the guidance of our local Boards of Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  We will make a decision about whether we need to extend the closure for a longer period of time no later than Friday, March 20, and we will communicate that to families as soon as possible. Regardless of the length of our district closure, DESE guidance indicates that the last day of school for all schools will not go beyond June 23, 2020 as originally outlined in the additional 5 snow days embedded in the 2019-2020 calendar.

Please contact your school office in the event a family member needs to pick up materials from school to schedule a time.  Please contact the school office prior to coming to the school building to let them know you are coming.  Please do not come if you are sick.

We recognize that this is unprecedented and that this closure will be a significant burden for a number of our families. Should you or your family need support during this period, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and/or the school Principal via email.

Resources you might find useful:  How to Talk to Children about the Coronavirus: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-coronavirus-2020030719111  

 

Talking to Teen/Tweens about Coronavirus: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/well/family/coronavirus-teenagers-anxiety.html 

**Here is a pamphlet from the article:  https://www.hemot.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Pamphlet_HEMOT_english.pdf

 

A Comic created from NPR based on interviews with experts:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus 

 

The NASP released a resource for parents:

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource

 

Interim Guidance: Get Your Mass Gatherings or Large Community Events Ready for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities including guidance for homes, schools, and workplaces

Geographic Risk Assessment for COVID-19 Transmission

https://www.mass.gov/news/governor-baker-declares-state-of-emergency-to-support- commonwealths-response-to-coronavirus

https://mass211.org/ Call in for updated information For the most current information about COVID-19, please follow CDC on social media and sign up for the newsletter to receive weekly emails about the COVID-19 outbreak.  Also, Town of Millis: https://www.millis.org/

 

Your questions and concerns are important to us and the more you know regarding the facts of COVID -19, the more you can help your children avoid unnecessary anxiety. The Millis Board of Health and I will endeavor to keep you informed of any local changes. Thank you for your patience with this quickly evolving situation.

 

My best,

 

 

Nancy Gustafson

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