February 23, 2021 --
I want to provide a quick update on the status of full in-person learning. Today, our first grade students joined our Pre-K and Kindergarteners in a full in-person model. All Memorial students are now fully in-person for the entirety of their program. At our last two Medfield School Committee meetings (January 28, 2021, and February 11, 2021), we discussed plans for a return to full in-person learning for Grades 2-12. Specifically, we have targeted late March/early April to phase-in all students to full in-person learning. The recent change to the transportation guidance eliminated the strict capacity regulations and removed a critical barrier for schools to fully reopen. In addition, our pooled testing initiative will begin this week for all staff and for students in Grades 6-12. This will serve as another important data point for us to monitor as we move closer to more in-person learning for Grades 2-12. Last week, we were able to set up several classrooms at various distances to ensure we were able to accommodate all students at a 3-6 foot physical distance.
Over the next few weeks we will be focused on the following:
- Surveying parents to ascertain if any students will be moving to Cohort D or requiring transportation changes
- Increasing participation with our pooled testing initiative/fundraising to expand beyond the five weeks covered by DESE
- Reconfiguring/adding classroom furniture
- Purchasing additional PPE/safety supplies
- Adjusting staff as needed
- Consulting with the Medfield Board of Health and our district physician
- Reviewing traffic patterns at all schools
- Reworking some bus routes for efficiency
- Meeting with the teachers' union to discuss potential impacts of full in-person learning
As I mentioned in my update on January 15th, the District is committed to bringing all students back to school in a fully in-person model. Please be on the lookout for a survey at the end of this week and I will provide additional updates as we progress.