COVID Information Archive

 MARCH 2020 – JULY 2022

New policy goes into effect Monday, March 7

NATICK, Mass. - Natick Public Schools has announced a shift to a flex mask policy, beginning Monday, March 7. The Town of Natick Board of Health rescinded the mandatory masking policy for buses and schools during a meeting on March 4. Moving forward, NPS will follow state guidelines to implement this policy, which incorporates the updated flexibility of choice outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Health, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

“As a values-based district, we will support choices,” said Natick Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anna Nolin. “We fully expect to see flex masking for a wide range of both faculty and students based on individual choices, including the worry and newness of the transition out of masking, back to normal. We’ve encouraged our staff to teach and discuss this change.”

Students and staff continue to have the option to wear a mask at school. Staff and students who have health needs that demand additional support will be given support and accommodations through those means used prior to the pandemic. Other expectations of the policy include requiring masking when in nursing offices, and it is strongly encouraged that preschool students and those collaborating within the preschool remain masked since three- and four-year-olds are not yet eligible for vaccination. Any unvaccinated individuals across the district are also strongly encouraged per DESE/DPH to wear a mask but are no longer required by state, local, or DESE guidelines.

Under this new policy, students returning from COVID isolation must adhere to the five-day masking protocol already in place, and students feeling unwell or displaying COVID symptoms should always remain home.

The district’s weekly at-home antigen testing program continues, and specific guidelines related to sports participation remain in place.

The district’s full guidance and expectations of this policy can be viewed online.


January 26, 2022

As you may be aware, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has provided new guidance for testing for all K-12 schools. We wanted to provide you with an update on how these changes affect your child and how Natick Public Schools plans to conduct COVID-19 testing moving forward.


Natick Public Schools is shifting away from pooled testing (PCR) and toward at-home weekly rapid antigen tests. We expect this change to occur the second week of February and will communicate a specific timeline once the requested testing materials have been received.

 In the meantime, pool testing continues.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing antigen (rapid) COVID-19 tests for students to use at home with the expectation students test at home once a week

  • The tests will be distributed at school every two weeks. Each kit contains two tests. 
  • By opting-in to at-home testing, the tests will be sent home with your child so you can test at home.
  • This testing program is optional. 
  • This testing program is free.
  • Any student, vaccinated or unvaccinated, is eligible for this type of testing.
  • If your child becomes ill at school, the nurse will continue to provide testing at school. 
  • Only positive results need to be reported to the school. Nurses will provide follow-up information to families, including the date for return to school, following a positive test. You can find your school nurse’s contact information on our website.  
  • Staff members should email their supervisor and school nurse with information on a positive antigen test result.

Please see the MA DPH Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for updated guidance on quarantining after exposure.  The schools will not be contact tracing, so all are encouraged to monitor for symptoms and test accordingly in addition to the weekly testing.


2021-2022 School Year | COVID Health + Safety

For weekly COVID updates, please go to the Current News page and view our NPS Engage email posting for your desired date.


2021-2022 School Year | Return to School Safety Handbook

Recently, the Commissioner of Education, the Governor, and the Department of Public Health issued their shared recommendations for Covid-19 protocols for the reopening of schools in the fall. Over the next several weeks the District will review these recommendations and work in collaboration with the Natick Board of Health, the regional Superintendents, the School Committee, and other school-based leadership, to determine what is best for our town. I will be attending the Natick Board of Health on August 9th for an early discussion of draft recommendations.  We will communicate a final reopening update by August 20th.

This plan will change and I will notify the community any time this occurs and the state has placed responsibility on local communities to respond to their town/city needs instead of making state-wide decisions at this time. Given the differences in pandemic conditions town by town, you will see different approaches to reopening across the Commonwealth. There is not a single model for how to reopen.
The state has indicated remote learning will not be possible this year as it was last year. However, for students and families who have documented family medical issues and can gain medical documentation, supports are eligible for remote instruction. Otherwise, DESE has indicated that remote learning will not count for schooling as it did last year. If you have such a need, please reach out to Dr. Nolin ASAP at [email protected]. A doctor must be able to sign an exemption for your child and we must register for remote instruction prior to the first day of school (August 25, 2021 is our internal deadline) to ensure access. 
COVID Infection Data & Tracking Dashboard
The link (above) includes reader-accessible access to the new weekly metric images provided in the tabs below.
The circles below are color-coded based on the MA Dept of Public Health system — the Town of Natick and school department do not have a separate color coding system as this would add too much complexity to understanding thresholds. We appreciate your attention to these metrics.

Updates for March 29-April 3, 2020

Updates (below) for March 22 – 27, 2020
Updates (below) for March 16 – 21, 2020