Weekly District Update 10/1/21

Weekly District Update 10/1/21
Posted on 10/01/2021
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.
Please refer to your school calendar for information and planning.
School Committee
Next Meeting:
Email the School Committee with questions, concerns or comments
School Committee Memo
Message about Capital and Space Planning
Dear NPS Families,
As the School Committee and the district discuss several specific space needs in the district over the next several School Committee meetings, we thought it would be useful to provide some background, context, and information prior to those discussions.
Here is a link to a document that describes the work that has occurred over the past two years to study space in the district. to a document that describes the work that has occurred over the past two years to study space in the district. The document contains links to relevant reports and studies. You will also find details on the decisions that are before us as a committee and a district now. Finally, you will find a possible timeline, which will be dictated by budget submissions, committee discussions, and community feedback.
Please also visit the NPS homepage for a direct link to the relevant documents and information. You will see a button on the homepage labeled “Capital and Space Planning.”
We look forward to your participation as we consider these important decisions in our district.
Natick School Committee
Superintendent Memo
Dear Natick Families,
School-based Flu Vaccination Clinic Announcement
Due to unforeseen staffing challenges, NPS Health Services is unable to offer school-based flu vaccination clinics this school year. We realize that many families depend on these clinics, and are sharing suggestions on how to obtain a flu vaccination for your child(ren) this year. 
Pooled Testing Information (grades PreK-6)
Weekly Update:
No infected pools this week.
Testing Schedule:
  • Mondays: Wilson, Lilja (including PreSchool) and BenHem
  • Tuesday: Kennedy, Brown, and Johnson
  • Wednesdays: Memorial (including PreSchool) and Natick PreSchool at NHS
Routine COVID Safety Checks, or pooled testing, will begin on Monday, September 27 for students in PreK through grade 6. (View this kid-friendly video to see how samples are collected.)
A staff member will come to the classroom door. Students who have consent will blow their nose, sanitize their hands and then go out into the hallway. Students will be provided with a swab, which looks like a Q-Tip. Students will be instructed to swab both nostrils by placing the swab slightly into one nostril and rub it in a circle 4 times and then repeat with the other nostril. The swab will then be placed into a tube with other swabs. This is the pool. Students will then return to class. 
If a pool comes back positive, parents will be notified and the students will then be tested with the BinaxNow rapid test. This will allow us to identify the positive case. If the pool comes back negative, no further testing or notification will occur.  
If your child has tested positive for COVID in the past 90 days, please complete the form linked below, as we do not have updated information from the Board of Health. If students have been positive in the past 90 days participate in pooled testing, this will result in a positive pool. We need to ensure that these students are not tested within the 90 day period. This information will remain confidential.
Weekly COVID Case Update
Please see below for the weekly COVID case updates. Click on the image to enlarge.
Chart Terminology:
CC's = Close Contacts
Important to 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.
Middle School Parent Technology Training + Overview
Earlier this week our team of administrators lead a livestream session for parents discussing middle school technology and Chromebooks.
If you were not able to attend, or need a refresher, we are sharing a link to the video for your reference. This video can be accessed on our district YouTube channel anytime.
Annual Form Completion Update
As of Wednesday, September 29th we have 4629 out of 5314 2021-2022 Required Annual Forms submitted successfully.  That's 87% completed! But we need 100% completion by the end of September! 
Why is it important to fill out the Required Annual Form for each student annually?
  • Update important emergency, contact, and medical information for your child.
  • Complete required consent forms for the year including photo release and use of technology tools for the classroom.
  • Complete surveys related to Covid testing this year.
Need help completing the form, contact pssupport@natickps.org or your child's school office.
Join the Natick Team!
We’re looking for people who care about kids and have a passion for education.
Sound like you or someone you know?
Then let’s work together! Check out a few of the district openings below and apply today!
See below for links to your school newsletters and additional updates.
Have a great weekend,
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).
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 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.)
The links below are updated every week and also available on your school website!
Massachusetts School Wellness Website
Earlier this week, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that the School Wellness Initiative for Thriving Community Health (SWITCH) Movement, a collaborative effort dedicated to supporting school wellness efforts statewide, has launched its new website, MassSchoolWellness.org, featuring wellness resources for educators, administrators, and families.
We encourage you to check it out and see what resources are available to you.
Upcoming Events
Kennedy Middle School Ribbon Cutting and Planetarium Dedication
We are pleased to invite you to celebrate the ribbon cutting of this milestone project, where we will also recognize Mr. Ed Jameson with the dedication of the new planetarium in his honor.
Natick 180 Workshop for Parents and Caregivers: Learn a Better Way
LEARN A BETTER WAY is a virtual family communication skills workshop providing hope, learning and support for parents and caregivers facing substance use in their families.
Natick 180 helps to sponsor of this is a workshop series and is intended for parents and caregivers who face substance use in their families. The workshop provides these individuals with communication tools and support that are helpful when a family experiences substance use challenges. 
The first day of the workshop is Thursday, October 7th from 7-8:30PM and the workshop has two 5-part weekly series that families can participate in.

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