DPS Email Update: April 27, 2021
Welcome back from April vacation! We are now in the sprint toward June. Remember, the last day of school (a half day) is currently scheduled for Monday, June 21. Please take a moment to review the many updates below as district, state, and national (CDC) COVID-19 guidance continues to shift daily.
DPS COVID-19 Precautions Still In Place - STAY VIGILANT!
As more and more people become fully vaccinated and with the Governor’s announced continuing reopening guidelines today, there is a growing tendency to let our guard down regarding routine COVID-19 precautions. PLEASE CONTINUE TO BE VIGILANT!!! DPS urges you to continue to socially distance, wash your hands and WEAR YOUR MASK as we will all be doing every day inside our school buildings. In the past two weeks, we have had five students from three different schools test positive due to exposures outside of school. COVID-19 pooled testing in DPS schools continues for students and staff every week, and as more students return, it is more important than ever to take advantage of this free service. Please make sure you have completed the consent form to have your children participate. You will need to enter the code “dendrite-dedham”. This form only takes about 2 minutes to fill out so please do it right now if you have not already!
DESE Modifies COVID-19 Close Contact Quarantine Requirements
Last Tuesday, April 20 DESE modified the quarantine requirements for COVID-19 close contacts in schools. The criteria now states “Close contacts who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom or on the bus while both individuals were masked do not have to quarantine unless they were within 3 feet of distance of the COVID-19 positive individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. This does not apply if someone was identified as a close contact outside of the classroom or bus (e.g., in sports, extra-curriculars, lunch, etc.) or if masks are not worn by both persons at the time of the exposure. All other close contacts must follow the standard protocol for when a close contact may return to school.”
DPS Return To Full In-Person Learning
Yesterday, (Monday, April 26) all Dedham Middle School students were welcomed back to DMS in person, full time. Just over 89% of DMS students are in person this week. All Dedham High School students will be welcomed back next Monday, May 3. As of this writing, over 85% of DHS students have indicated they will be returning to in person learning. Just this afternoon DESE announced that high schools across the state must make in person learning their learning model as remote learning hours will no longer count toward state “time on learning” requirements. Dedham will achieve this milestone two weeks early.
MCAS Graduation Requirement Eliminated For Current Juniors
At the Tuesday, April 20 state Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the Commissioner’s recommendation to eliminate the MCAS testing graduation requirements for students in the Class of 2022 (current high school juniors). Juniors who still want to take the MCAS tests may choose to participate in the currently scheduled spring administration, or in the fall 2021 administration, to qualify for scholarship programs. So, current juniors will NOT be required to take or pass the ELA, Math, or Science MCAS exams in order to earn a diploma. More specific information about this issue was recently sent directly to DHS students and parents.
SCREENAGERS Next Chapter
All Dedham Public School PTOs are co-sponsoring and funding a virtual community screening of the documentary “SCREENAGERS: Uncovering Skills for Stress Resilience,” on Wednesday May 12, 2021, at 7:00 PM. The film is about an hour long followed immediately by a Q&A Session with Dr. Don Langenhorst, DPS Director of Technology, Dr. Ashley Dube, DPS Director of Counseling Services and Dr. Melissa Perrow, Dedham School Committee member. Participants must register in advance. Click here for more information and to register online.
Courageous Conversations About Race In Dedham
On Monday, May 3 the Town of Dedham, the Select Board, and the Human Rights Commission (HRC) will be co-hosting “Courageous Conversations About Race in Dedham”, a community event about race and ethnicity. This virtual event will begin at 7:00 p.m. All are welcome to participate! If interested, please register using this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/
I am happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your continued support of the Dedham Public Schools.
All my best,