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11/25/20 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Update

11/25/20 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Update
Posted on 11/25/2020
November 25, 2020
Dear Natick Families,
I know I have written a great deal on holiday travel and virus woes, but I am very worried and want school to say open as long as possible.
I will not have an update from the state on virus trends until Saturday at the earliest, so the local dashboards will not be ready. But I can update you on the change in infections that involve school-aged children since last Friday (mind you this is the change in the past FOUR days. I share it so it may inform your decision-making and family exposure in the coming days and weeks.
Natick was still considered in "green" status as of last week, and Infections are not spreading within schools, but the virus is caught in exposures in the community and then affects our students. We may move to "yellow" soon and this still allows us weeks of hybrid learning and the hope that we can contain the worsening of the spread. I write to ask for your assistance in this time of "quiet" before anyone panics since it is in our control as a community to stop the spread.
All the cases below have been documented with state, DESE, DPH and with our local Board of Health. Parents and staff have been contacted and any children or staff needing to be quarantined will have been directly notified by the nursing staff and building administration by 1pm today. If you have not been contacted, as with any case in your child's school, then your child or child's teacher has not been exposed or near the situation. Our approach continues to be very conservative and I hope to be in school through December break--but that status has much to do with how the community works together on this in the coming weeks.
I will be back in touch Sunday evening if I have to close any schools due to Thanksgiving travel. Please be sure to fill out your Ruvna COVID attestation form truthfully. It keeps us all safe.  
School closures will occur on a school by school basis. Please follow the procedures for submitting negative testing results to school nurses on Sunday as repeated below. Your patience is requested as we sort through it all.
(click on image to enlarge)
On another note, I have talked to many parents this week who are struggling to understand how to make meaning and joy during this weird holiday.
 As a working parent of two, and a once-perfectionist-Celebrity Chef-wannabe, I hope that like me, you will practice the art of giving yourself grace and permission to construct joy and memories differently this holiday season. So much is upon your shoulders this year as parents and adults. You have taken on educator roles in new ways as parents and that may mean a reframing of the holidays and your capacity. Children need structure and love; dinner together and reading together remain the highest leverage activities parents can do with their children. I loved my grandmother because she could make eating peanut butter and saltines seem like dinner at the Ritz. "Special" and "magical" is a state of mind. The treats, decorations, outings and other will still be possible in other years. 
We all have a shot to make memories of our deep family connections this year, perhaps less distracted by the glitz and pressure of typical holidays. Perhaps it will be the greatest gift we never knew we needed.
Happy Thanksgiving,
Anna Nolin
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