District Email Update: November 6, 2020
Friday, November 6, 2020
Below are some important District-wide updates that we wanted to share with our families.
The District continues to carefully monitor COVID trends and we are in constant communications with the Dedham Board of Health. Please take a moment to review the information below, including answers to commonly asked questions regarding COVID in school.
As always, we continue to be committed to doing everything possible to keep our staff and students safe in school buildings. We implore our families – especially as the holiday season approaches – to continue wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and parties, and practicing safe COVID social distancing and hygiene. And please stay home (or keep your child home) if sick!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RE: COVID IN OUR SCHOOLS
When it comes to notifying parents regarding students in classrooms or schools who have tested positive, our school nurses are following a strict set of protocols. There are often questions – especially around who was impacted, how family members ought to respond, and if school will need to shift back to fully remote learning.
In this document, which is also available on all school websites, we have answered five of the most commonly asked questions regarding COVID in our school district. We encourage parents to reach out to your school nurses with any additional questions or concerns.
If you still have questions, The Dedham Board of Health and the Dedham School Committee will be holding a COVID-19 Community Zoom Forum on Tuesday, November 10 from 7-8:30 PM. You can submit questions using this form, and these questions will be reviewed and answered live during this forum. Tune in to this COVID-19 forum using this link.
DPS ALL- STAFF COVID TESTING THIS WEEK
On Tuesday, November 4 a total of 422 DPS employees completed a non-invasive, saliva-based PCR test at our 7 schools. On Wednesday, another 63 employees completed the test.
After accounting for previous tests already taken by employees (and other reasons) we can confidently say that over 97% of our employees who enter the schools every day participated in this testing program!
As with all health information, individual results of this testing will be kept confidential to respect the privacy of all DPS employees. Any impacted close contacts will be notified following all protocols in place and any cautions or adjustments that need to take place with classrooms will be made working together with employees and principals.
DPS NEW CHROMEBOOK DISTRIBUTION
Thanks to the hard work of our Technology team, Dedham Public School began the process of swapping out over 1850 Chromebooks for students this week, as the District works to ensure that all Dedham Public Schools students have the latest model of Dell Chromebook available.
The technology upgrade was made possible through a collaborative effort working with the Town of Dedham to utilize CARES Act funding.
The new Chromebooks will not solve all technical issues that students have encountered, but will help address some of the ongoing challenges of using applications such as Zoom, while students continue in a Hybrid learning model working remotely from home some days each week.
Please note: All Dedham students – even if you just got a new Chromebook – are being asked to update their system. A recent Google Operating System change caused issues with Zoom and other applications. Ensuring your system is using the latest Google OS will help prevent issues. To learn how to do this, a tutorial document is available here.
FLU SHOT REMINDER
School nurses would like to remind all families that all Dedham Public School students MUST have a Flu Shot before December 31, 2020. This is a NEW state mandate that we are required to follow.
Students who have received their flu shots can submit documentation to school nurses on paper, or via the SNAP Portal.
Students who participated in the Drive-Up flu clinic - Confirmation of the vaccine will be given to the school nurses from the Board of Health.
Students who received the Flu Shot at the DMS community walk-in event were given a piece of paper - documentation of the flu shot - which parents should send to the school nurse.
Visit the Health Offices webpage to learn more.
FOOD DISTRIBUTION UPDATES
Some changes in Food Distribution through December – to accommodate Veterans Day, the day prior to Thanksgiving and the first day of Winter Holiday Break which all fall on Wednesdays.
Meals will still be available on these Wednesdays – ONLY at Avery School – with adjusted timing: 9am - 12pm
A full copy of the Distribution Schedule through December can be found here.
UPCOMING EVENTS OF NOTE:
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 7:00PM Via Zoom: Dedham Board of Health – School Committee Joint Community Forum re: COVID
Wednesday, November 11, 2020: NO SCHOOL – Veterans Day
Wednesday, November 11, 2020: At 11:11am Dedham Band Students are invited to participate in Taps Across Dedham to honor our US Military Veterans. Learn more at: www.dedham.k12.ma.us/
All my best,