District Email Update: May 31, 2021
May 31, 2021
During this rain soaked weekend, I hope all of you were able to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country is an important annual remembrance and allows us all the opportunity to appreciate the dedication of those that have contributed so much so that we are able to enjoy the freedoms we experience today.
On Friday last week the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education again posted new updated COVID-19 guidance and updated Graduation/Year End Ceremony Guidance to their website. There are a few areas to highlight in this newest guidance:
For the rest of the 2020-21 school year and throughout the summer (for all summer programs) all indoor guidelines INSIDE schools will remain the same. Mask wearing is still required at all times indoors in schools by all faculty, staff, and students except when eating or drinking at least six feet apart.
For the 2021-22 fall school reopening, all districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days per week, and all DESE health and safety requirements will be lifted, including physical distancing requirements. Districts will no longer be able to offer remote learning as a standard learning model this fall.
The updated DESE K-12 Graduation/Year End Ceremony Guidance released Friday became effective May 29, 2021. Indoor ceremonies will still require masking and six feet of distancing for all participants. If ceremonies are held outdoors, attendees and staff should follow the state masking advisory; those who are fully vaccinated are not required to wear masks and are encouraged to distance themselves from individuals not in their household as feasible. Those who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks.
COVID-19 TESTING AND STUDENT COVID-19 VACCINES
Last week there were two students in the Dedham Public Schools who tested newly positive for COVID-19. It is clear that the virus has not fully disappeared from our community. Dedham Public Schools will continue to conduct COVID Pooled Testing through the end of the school year in all our schools. If your child is not currently participating in testing, they can still register to participate. More information is available at www.dedham.k12.ma.us/covid.
Last Thursday, May 27 over 100 middle and high school students received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in school during the school day after their parents completed consent forms. These students will receive the second dose on Thursday, June 17 just before the last day of school. Many thanks to the Dedham Health Department and Board of Health for their assistance with this effort!
As of Wednesday, May 12th, the Pfizer COVID vaccine has been approved for use by everyone ages 12 and above. We urge all parents to review the DESE and MA DPH Student COVID Vaccine memo and get your child(ren) vaccinated as soon as possible.
On Tuesday, June 1 at 7:00 PM the Town of Dedham will be marking the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month with a ceremonial flag raising at Dedham Town Hall. There will be speeches from Rep. Paul McMurtry and a Dedham Select Board Member as well as words from Dedham clergy representing First Church & Parish, Church of the Good Shepherd, Allin Congregational Church, and St. Susanna’s Church. All are welcome to attend. You can view the press release here.
Thank you for your continued support of the Dedham Public Schools.
All my best,