Weekly District Update 12/17/21

Weekly District Update 12/17/21
Posted on 12/17/2021
NPS Engage District News - Weekly Message - Natick Public Schools - Parent Academy Logo - www.natickps.org
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Non-Discrimination Statement:
Natick Public Schools does not discriminate in employment nor in its educational programs, services and activities on the basis of race, creed, color, age, sex, gender identity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, physical and intellectual differences, immigration status, homeless status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Federal and State Legislation Addressing Discrimination in Educational Institutions
You will find links to the contacts for each of the following statutes below.


Dec 17, 2021
District Calendar
December (upcoming week)
Please also refer to your school calendar for school-based activities & information.
School Committee
Next Meeting:
Email the School Committee with questions, concerns or comments:
Superintendent Memo
Hello Natick Families,
Please see below for our weekly information and updates.
Pooled Testing and COVID Stats
Last week's pooled testing description was confusing and we apologize for not clarifying better.
For greater clarity this week, pooled testing results unearthed cases at Preschool, Kennedy, and Johnson. Cases reported in this newsletter include those revealed in pooled testing, Veritas at home testing for the unvaccinated, test and stay and symptomatic testing programs in addition to those reported by local health authorities and by parents.  
Next week, pooled testing will occur except for our Thursday preschool testing as we cannot then follow up on Friday for contact tracing. 
  • Pooled testing, PCR take home testing, and contact tracing for the week of break will not occur on vacation week.
  • Testing will resume when school resumes
  • Unvaccinated MS grade ⅞ students and NHS students who have sports over break will be allowed to participate if they were cleared in their last PCR test at school. No one will be at school during vacation week to talk to parents or make other testing arrangements.
  • Students grade K-6 will begin to be excluded from extra curricular activities unless vaccinated or involved in district testing program after January 15.
  • We are awaiting further guidance from the Natick Board of Health and DESE on next steps in masking and virus management post December break.
  • If eligible for Booster, get them, if eligible for vaccination get them and submit to schools.
  • Over break, nurses will not be able to assist with contact tracing or advising families about their COVID related questions over break. Use your doctor or local health dept. for assistance.
  • School offices and buildings are closed until school resumes.
Obtaining the COVID Vaccine at VCare Pharmacy
If you or your family are interested in obtaining a vaccination, VCare Pharmacy offers daily appointments at their Framingham location.
Please visit their website myvcarepharmacy.com to schedule your vaccine today.
The weeks after break may be difficult with additional cases of COVID. 
We encourage you to mask and test as much as possible if you are exposed to many others during the break. School is a highly regulated environment and cases have been on the rise here; chances are, cases will spike for a couple of weeks after the December break due to lack of regulation.  
Please know that our staff have been directed to stay off email and school and district offices will be closed for the December break. If you have a medical or safety emergency, please contact your doctor, the ER or the police.
We wish those of you celebrating this week a happy celebration and wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Please have a safe and restful weekend.
Happy Holidays - Blessings, love, and peace to you and yours. NPS Central Office
P.S. Don't forget to see below for links to your school newsletters and additional community notices/updates!
Not seeing the School Newsletters or Community Updates section?
At the bottom of this email, click on "View Entire Message" to see the full Engage newsletter.
DAILY COVID Symptom Screening (Checklist)
Students and staff who are SICK should STAY HOME.
Please monitor for symptoms each morning before school by reviewing the COVID Symptom Checklist (link).
Weekly COVID Case Dashboard
As stated above, last week's pooled testing description was confusing and we apologize for not clarifying better.
For greater clarity this week, pooled testing results unearthed cases at Preschool, Kennedy, and Johnson. Cases reported in this newsletter include those revealed in pooled testing, Veritas at home testing for the unvaccinated, test and stay and symptomatic testing programs in addition to those reported by local health authorities and by parents.  
We encourage you to sign your children up for vaccination and continue to be vigilant about COVID protocols. The horizon for the end is near, but many can still become infected. See above for our message about post-holiday cases. 

Chart Terminology:
CC's = Close Contacts
Reading Note:
CC does not mean that these students are in quarantine. Depending on the circumstances, masking and vaccination status, location. As a reminder, direct contact from school nurses and principals occur if a person is a close contact.  We share the close contact information and remind everyone that vaccination helps to avoid needing to quarantine should a close contact occur.
The following close contacts are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols:
  • Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts: Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols. 
  • Classroom close contacts: An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.  
  • Bus close contacts: Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements. As such, individuals who are masked on buses when windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.  
  • Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days: An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if:  
  • The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND
  • The exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID Procedures
Included in this link are all the COVID Return to School Processes and Protocols (link) you need to know about our return to school. If you and your child are eligible to be vaccinated, please do so. It is the most important step to helping our community. Our three-part testing program, which allows students to avoid unnecessary quarantine and allows us to begin routine, weekly pooled COVID testing as we did last year, will begin as soon as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides us the resources (tests and person power) to execute the program.
PLEASE NOTE: Our school nurses are here to serve students and their medical needs. Please do not call school seeking advice if you or your family are sick or quarantined, traveling or testing. If our nurses contact you, it will be about contact tracing within school and outcomes of our testing programs in school.
Our school nurses are NOT contact tracers or advisors for the Natick Department of Public Health like they were last year. If your child is a close contact and eligible for any symptom or test and stay testing you will be notified directly. All other calls should go to your Dr. or department of public health relative to your community based COVID cases.  
COVID Information Website
We have updated our COVID information website to include all the relevant information that we share in this weekly email. We encourage you to save the NPS COVID information page (link) and visit often. (The direct link is: www.natickps.org/covid.)
Please click on the school name below to read the newsletter for this week.
The Morse Institute Library needs to hear from you!
Tell us what we're doing right, and how we can improve. Have a good idea for the future of the library? 
Click here to share and take our survey. It only takes seven minutes to shape the future of the library. 
Print surveys are also available here on the library website and on all three floors in the library in the following languages or ways:
English, large print English, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian
Completed print surveys can be returned to the library by January 8, 2022.
Upcoming Events
METCO Presents '22 season with five Boston theaters
Live theater is returning, and METCO is thrilled to invite your school communities to our new curated season of powerful performances!
The METCO Presents program, sponsored by BASI/Outside the Box Act 2, expands this year to bring you plays, musicals, and dance recitals from new partners Lyric Stage Company, Huntington Theater Company, and SpeakEasy Stage Company, joining ArtsEmerson and Celebrity Series of Boston. 
Each of these productions will spark powerful feelings and thoughtful discussions.
We will share when $10 ticket sales happen, which will be two weeks before each performance.
Based on actor Maurice Emmanuel Parent’s real-life adventures teaching in an urban public school system. Learn more >>
Octavia E. Butler’s Afro-futurist story becomes an opera harnessing two centuries of Black music. Learn more >>
Colombia’s acclaimed dance troupe 
dismantles stereotypes and clichés around 
the Black body with “Accommodating Lie.”
Toni Morrison’s masterpiece novel about a young Black girl who wishes she had blue eyes, adapted for the stage. Learn more >>
An epic musical fable about a fearless peasant girl guided by mighty island gods to follow her heart. Learn more >>
The world-renowned dance company that has moved Boston audiences every year since 1968. Learn more >>
Inspired by Anthony Lukas’ landmark book, this world premiere play re-examines segregation in Boston in the 1960s and 70s. Learn more >>
Natick 180 Event
Addressing Family Stress and Depression
Natick 180 and the First Church Natick are partnering with Families for Depression Awareness to bring a program about family stress to Natick.
This free virtual workshop (for parents and caring adults) will be held on Wednesday, January 19, 2022 from 7pm to 8:15pm.
Natick's 17th Annual MLK Day Celebration
January 17, 2022 from 10AM to 12PM 
At Kennedy Middle School
For community members of all ages
Celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy that inspires and empowers us all. All are welcome to gather for the community welcoming event and service project following the celebration! Co-sponsored by the Greater Natick Interfaith Clergy Association, Natick Is United, the Natick Board of Health, Natick 180, Town of Natick, Natick Public Schools, METCO, and SPARK Kindness.
Wednesday Nights from 6:30PM to 8:30PM
January 19, January 26 & February 2 (Online)
Please join Natick Is United for three evenings of racial justice training. Each session will build on the last, as we work together to create shared language, and forge deeper connections by telling our stories and listening to the experiences of others. By the end of the third evening we will have a better understanding of each other, and be able to utilize what we have learned to move awareness into action in our own lives.

This is a FREE virtual event with limited capacity. In order to attend, you must be able to commit to all three nights. The deadline to register is January 12, 2022.
Register below or by visiting the events page at NatickIsUnited.org.
Questions? Contact us at NatickIsUnited@gmail.com
LGBTQ+ Basics and Beyond
Thursday, February 3, 2022 from 7:00 PM  8:00 PM
Curious about some part of the LGBTQ+ acronym? Want to support transgender people but not sure where to start? This presentation will equip participants with up-to-date vocabulary, answers to frequently asked (and frequently awkward!) questions, and basic tools for effective allyship.
ASL interpretation will be provided at this event.

Hosted by SPARK Kindness
Reminders & Resources
Inclement Weather Procedures for Winter 2021/22
Our most current School Cancellation and Delay procedures that will be used in the event of inclement weather is accessible on our website at https://www.NatickPS.Org/About/Cancellations_Delays.
Language Lessons with Global Child
Your journey into world languages and cultures begins with global child.
Join their fun and academic in-person or virtual classes. Classes are available for one-on-one/private or group sessions. They now offer classes for adults & children in:
  • Arabic
  • ASL
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russia
  • Spanish
Jeff’s Place Program Updates: Counseling and Support
We are so glad to continue offering our virtual Young Adult Support Group for individuals 18-25 years old who have experienced the death of an immediate family member. 
If you or someone you know is interested in joining, click Apply here with this link.
Requests for Individual Counseling services have been increasing throughout the pandemic. They are pleased to announce that they are accepting new clients. Apply here with this link.
Season’s Breathing: Jeff's Place Yoga
This month Jeff’s Place offered its first yoga class as part of the Coping with the Holidays workshop series. Yoga offers many benefits including supporting a grieving heart by helping us loosen the emotional and physical tightness in our bodies caused by grief.
This form of self-care isn’t about physical flexibility, it is a way to find peace and stability during a time when this is missing from our lives. It is a practice that allows you to show up as you are and can be a great companion for your overall health and healing.
For more information about yoga at Jeff’s Place, learn more by clicking this link.
Caring for Our Community
Our current landscape has been challenging, and the holidays can be hard for many on top of it all. To that end, we wanted to remind the community of two resources for counseling and emotional support. Both of these resources are free to you.
The District is in partnership with William James College and shares these resources for your family if you need support.
Provided by Behavioral Health Partners of MetroWest (BHPMW)
Our knowledgeable and compassionate Care Navigators are here to listen and then to match you to the best services for yourself, your family member, or—if you are a health care or other service provider—a person in your care. There is no charge for this service.
The Navigation Line supports the following languages:
Arabic, English, French, Moroccan, Portuguese, Spanish
How to Request Services or Make a Referral
Call our toll- free number Monday-Friday for a free consultation with one of our Care Navigators.
(a Care Navigator will return your call within 24 hours, Monday through Friday)
Make the Right Call this Holiday Season
If you are concerned about yourself or somebody else's substance use, there are available local resources and ways to reduce risk.
Natick 180 is committed to assisting community members who are addicted to opioids, which include commonly prescribed painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin, as well as street drugs like heroin. In order to save the lives of friends and neighbors who experience opioid use disorder, and shares tips to reduce the risk of a fatal overdose in this PDF.
For more information, contact Natick 180 at natick180@natickma.org or (508) 647-6623.

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