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Weekly District Update 11/5/21

Weekly District Update 11/05/21
Posted on 11/05/2021
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.
     
Nov 5, 2021
District Calendar
November (upcoming week)
  • Nov 7: Daylight Savings Time Ends (clocks go back an hour)
  • Nov 11: Veterans Day
Observances
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
Dear Natick Families,
Daylight savings time is upon us! 
October is always a challenging month in schools. The month of the most discipline (competing with March) --the "honeymoon" of the start of the year is over. That coupled with sugary Halloween, family gatherings and holidays in many religions, and increasing dark, the advent of grades and progress reports often means we see behavioral and emotional changes in our students. If you or your child is struggling, please reach out to our staff and we can help. These needs at this time in pandemic living also seem to amplify the needs and everyone's feeling of exhaustion. Reach out: working to support children in partnership is our goal.
Have a great weekend and don't forget to turn your clocks back.
Anna
P.S. Don't forget to see below for links to your school newsletters and additional community notices/updates!
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).
Upcoming Vaccine Clinics
Pfizer's COVID vaccine has been approved for ages 5-11, a clinic for the COVID vaccine will be run on Saturday, November 13, 2021 at the Kennedy Middle School.
This is for ANYONE who needs a vaccine, adult or child, ages 5-100!
Here is a registration link for the clinic: https://natick-1113.youcanbook.me
For those receiving their first dose that day, the second dose will be delivered on December 4th and you'll be told when to return for it at your appointment on November 13.
If, for some reason you cannot make it or cannot get in that day, we are working on other options.  
NEW! Our local partner, VCare, led by Natick Resident Vipul Patel, will also hold a free COVID vaccine clinic for kids 5-11 on Sunday November 14, 9-2pm with sign up link and details of location forthcoming early next week.  
URGENT CHANGES IN ATHLETICS
Mandatory for ALL TOURNAMENT Play this Fall and Moving Forward
NEW THIS YEAR is the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) DECISION to have all of "Round of 16 Games" have digitally ticketing available.  This is why we asked for the Football Announcement to go home and why we called homes as it will require charges for the game and online ticketing. . It is the first of our teams to have a "ROUND OF 16 GAME" and the state MIAA has enacted this rule.\
Field hockey is playing in the first round of the tournament at Arlington HS this evening at 5pm - tickets are $5 for students and $7 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the game.
Girls' soccer is playing in the first round of the tournament at home (Natick HS Memorial Field) v. Attleboro HS - tomorrow Saturday 11/6 at 4pm. There will be no charge for this first round game.
By new MIAA rule, tickets must be purchased online and this will apply to all other teams in tournaments, SOCCER, FIELD HOCKEY, SWIMMING, CROSS COUNTRY.  Tickets will not be sold in hard copy format at these games. Only way to purchase a ticket is online. See link below. Game administration staff will assist patrons as they enter by checking their digital tickets and redeeming the tickets on smartphones at the gate.  
Tickets prices are set by the MIAA and will cost:
Students/Senior Citizens - $5
Adults - $10
By new MIAA rule, no league or local passes will be accepted. Only MIAA passes are accepted at entry. Everyone who enters will have to have a ticket on their phone or enter with someone that has the appropriate number of tickets on their phone.  
To purchase a ticket, please see below. This information can also be found on the Natick Athletics Website.
Having Trouble with GoFan Digital Tickets - See below.
Building Student Athletes
As part of our strategic plan on dismantling system barriers to equity, which includes detecting our own personal biases as we attend school and work, we are obligating our athletes to take the following course on implicit bias. Athletes are leaders and all of our
Natick leaders, adult and kids should receive training in this area.
Want to check out the course? Here is is: Implicit Bias
Course is free you simply have to register for it and click purchase ($0). The course is provided by the same group that does our anti-hazing and bullying courses and coaches certifications.
UPCOMING EVENTS:
Support the Arts and Athletics in Safe, Outdoor Venues
There is a lot happening on campus this weekend and beyond.
´╗┐Please join us and dress warmly. To all of our students, thank you for supporting your classmates! As always, have fun, be respectful and make good choices. We will be checking all students and fully enforcing school rules. We care about you and want you to be safe.
 
Today the curtain opened on Natick High School’s first outdoor theatrical performance. By special arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, we present Story Theatre by Paul Sills. The show is an adaptation of stories and fables from the Brothers Grimm and Aesop. In addition to Story Theatre we offer you a small theatrical appetizer, a short original adaptation, The Frogs Who Wanted a King by Steve Miller.
You are welcome to join us live outside in the Natick High courtyard or watch us from home via live stream. The show runs tomorrow, November 6, 2021 at 7:30 pm. Grab your tickets here!
We are looking forward to a terrific show!
Congratulations to all of the Natick HS Fall 2021 Athletic Teams for a terrific season!
This Fall season was a challenging and rewarding experience. It was so nice for our teams to be back at full strength and competing in a full complement of games. Thanks to all for your support. See below for state tournament details for our teams:
  • Golf competed in the Sectionals on Tuesday, October 19.
  • Cheer competed in the Bay State Conference Cheer Championship on Tuesday, November 2.
  • Girls' Volleyball competed in the Bay State Conference sections on Thursday, November 4.
  • Field Hockey plays at Arlington High School on Friday, November 5 at 5pm. Tickets: $5 for students and $7 for adults.
  • Football hosts North Andover High School on Friday, November 5 at 6pm at Memorial Field. Tickets may be purchased in advance using this link. The MIAA offers electronic ticketing for all games in all sports starting with the Round of 16. Tickets: $6 for students and $11 adults. For additional details, see the Natick Athletics Website
  • Girls' Soccer hosts Attleboro High School on Saturday, November 6 at 4pm at Memorial Field. There will be no charge for admission to this first round game.
  • Girls’ Swim & Dive competes in the Sectionals: Sunday, November 7 at 3pm @ WPI. Due to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Policy, there will be no spectators for this event.
  • Boys' and Girls’ Cross Country competes in the Sectionals on Saturday, November 13 at the Wrentham Developmental Center - Time TBA.
  • Dance competes in the MA Dance Invitational on Sunday, November 14 at Endicott College - Time TBA.
  • Unified Basketball is having a terrific season and will host the 1st Annual Redhawks Roundup on Wednesday, November 17 at 3:45pm. There will be no charge for admission to this game.
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.
COVID UPDATES
11/5/21 UPDATE
Weekly COVID Case Update
This week saw a pretty large uptick in covid infection cases which we attribute to unvaccinated children and Halloween parties and events coupled with many rainy days. Please remember, as we head inside more often, getting vaccinated and keeping distancing and masking is still our best defense against creating surges that quarantine children and keep us from snuffing COVID out of our lives and schools. We are still adhering to COVID ventilation protocols so dress warmly and in layers to allow children to feel warm in classrooms with windows open.
The holidays are upon us, the distancing, masking, handwashing and outdoor gathering practices of the past year need to continue for unvaccinated populations. Our vigilance now will ensure those still awaiting vaccination do not become infected.
COVID CASES
This chart shows that there was 1 student case at Wilson Middle School (no close contacts) and one student case at Ben-Hem with 21 close contacts.
Chart Terminology:
CC's = Close Contacts
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.
11/5/21 UPDATE
Pooled Testing (grades PreK-6)
Weekly Update:
All the infections noted above, except the one at NHS were detected by MS and Elementary pooled testing and one case was picked up in a close contact during the "test and stay" program for close contacts. If you are a parent who does not want to have your child vaccinated, you must sign up for the pooled testing program if you want your child to be involved in any extra-curriculars (field trips, clubs, sports).  It also makes sense from a safety standpoint--it helps us detect infections days earlier than we could without it, thus limiting infectious exposure and creation of close contacts.
Testing Schedule:
  • Mondays: Wilson, Lilja (including PreSchool) and BenHem
  • Tuesdays: 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.
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.)
WEEKLY SCHOOL UPDATES!
The links below are updated every week and also available on your school website!
NATICK HIGH WEEKLY UPDATE
KEEP UP WITH THE LATEST ON WHAT'S HAPPENING AT NHS
ADDITIONAL INFO FOR FAMILIES
Upcoming Events
MONEY FOR FAMILIES
Advanced Child Tax Credit
There is still time for families to get more money through the Advanced Child Tax Credit - up to $1,800 per child this year, plus any missed stimulus payments ($600-$3,200 per person).
Your family can have no income or low income to get this money, and the application process is easier now! Families should sign up by Monday, November 15.
SPARK KINDNESS PRESENTS
How to Have Difficult Conversations (with Kindness)
November 16 @ 7:00 p.m.
Though conflict is part of life, many of us struggle with how to communicate during challenging situations. In this program, Roxy Manning, PhD, psychologist and expert in Nonviolent Communication, will offer strategies to address conflict (and stand up for ourselves and others) with a compassionate approach.
ASL interpretation will be provided at this event.
WE'RE HIRING!
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, visit our Careers site to see the full list and apply today!

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