COVID 19 Update

What a crazy few days it has been and I imagine to all of you , this must be a little overwhelming and worrisome.  I feel the same way but I am writing to let you know that tomorrow I hope to get more definitive guidelines and recommendations about how school districts should respond to the rapidly changing information about COVID 19 beyond what we are already doing. I will be participating in a conference call with the Commissioner of Education, State government officials, leading experts from the MA Department of Public Health and the leadership of the state’s Superintendent’s Association and probably every superintendent in the state.  I am also participating in a town wide meeting of government leaders, department heads and the Board of Health regarding the town’s response to the virus. So far the town has not had a reported case of either a presumptive or reported COVID 19 but that could change any day. I am confident that we all are following the recommendations of the CDC and the Governor. Beginning on Monday March 16, we are taking the following actions to cancel or postpone all non-essential events through April vacation when we will re-evaluate the situation. This includes :

– cancelling all field trips locally and out-of-state. We do not have any international travel plans but they would be cancelled too.

– cancelling or postponing all large gatherings in the schools. This includes such events as concerts, banquets, family and community events etc. This is to address the concern about social distancing

– restricting the  use of the schools by outside  groups

– delaying the beginning of the spring sports  season to reduce potential exposure to the virus per the decision of the MIAA

All of these actions have one goal which is to reduce the exposure of our students and staff to this virus and be able to keep our schools open as long as it is safe to do so. This is a changing and evolving situation and I know if can be scary. The biggest concern about this virus is that there are unknowns which is always disconcerting. This is a unique situation and we are all trying to gain information, implement recommended safety procedures and take advice from experts in real-time while things are changing and evolving faster that we can imagine. We are not taking  this situation lightly and we know it a serious public health issue. We have been lucky that Georgetown has not yet experienced a reported case but we should expect to see one in the future. I am confident in our team and our ability to respond to this if it occurs and I want to thank the staff , students and the parents for following recommended protocols and staying home when you  are sick. This situation could be so much worse without your cooperation!
I will be providing another update after my meetings and please feel free to send me any questions at jacobsc@georgetown.k12.ma.us