11/20/20 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Updates

11/20/20 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Updates
Posted on 11/19/2020
Dear Natick Families,
Thanksgiving and Travel Guidance
As we approach Thanksgiving next week, is important for families and staff to understand their obligations during the holiday. Here is Governor Baker’s travel order, as a reminder. This notice will also be sent via Blackboard and Robocall reminder will come from me tonight and from the town on Sunday about our collective obligations.
NOTE: Effective 11/21/20, New Hampshire and Maine have been added as a restricted travel area for MA residents.
Almost all states are now restricted for travel with more anticipated to turn to "red" this evening. Your students and our staff will be held accountable for travel to any restricted area, even if it "turns" red mid visit. The state and local board of health does not allow us to pull away from the public health expectations in this regard--it is a public health emergency with life and death implications. Not traveling to restricted areas is part of our community compact with each other to keep our community safe.
While we hope you and your family will stay put during Thanksgiving break, we cannot control those decisions. Here are some important considerations for you as we head into this week of traditional travel.
Hybrid Cohort B will be expected to attend school on 11/30 as scheduled. The Ruvna COVID attestation will ask you directly about your travel/your student's travel during Thanksgiving.
Your student will be denied Monday access to school if they have traveled to any state other than Hawaii and VT per state mandates, unless you have documentation of test results in compliance with the state travel timelines. Fines will be levied by the BOH and the state for non-compliance or for false attestation. 
Documentation of test results must be emailed to your school's nurse and will be read Monday morning as soon as possible. If you have traveled, do not send your child to school Monday until you have had a phone call from your school's nurse indicating they have received your electronic test results, and they are cleared to attend. Do not call the nurses until you have sent these results; we will use the COVID Ruvna attestation list to determine who to call.
Hybrid Cohort A students and families must also obey the state's travel orders and will be asked the same testing and traveling questions on December 7th because this group will also not have had a 14-day quarantine period if they have traveled. Like Cohort A, you will need to submit electronic documentation to your school's nurse in compliance with MA travel dictates. On 12/7 if you have traveled, your child will not be cleared to attend school until the nurse has called you to indicate that they have received your documentation. Do not call the nurses, they will call you. 
Remote learning families proceed with home instruction per your normal routines.
The average wait time in line for testing in our county is beyond 4 hours at local clinics AND the results come 5-7 days (up from 3-5 days a few weeks ago). You may not be able to be tested prior to Monday's return to school or even within the first few days of the week back. I will have to close schools if staff is not available for work. This week, our largest school already had 30 staff out for various reasons. Please consider that your decision affects your colleagues, who have to cover for you if you are out or will require us to move to remote or closed status. School is a lifeline for our kids. Let's keep open as long as possible.
Please know we will be trying to determine staffing status on the weekend prior to return to school. There is the possibility that if too many staff members are quarantined or do not have test results and have traveled that I will have to cancel or call remote learning days. Please have contingency plans ready for the week after Thanksgiving in case the district has to learn remotely. 
If you must travel:  
If you must travel, once you return from travel:
check the state's travel requirements (linked above, they change every two days these days). Follow them. Here are some testing resources for you: Local Testing Resources.
Here is where you should email proof of negative PCR tests that are required in order to gain admittance to school next week.
Please know that I tried to keep this email on just this important topic and I know the tone is very law and order--it has to be. 
This is what care looks like in this COVID environment, but from my family to yours, I also wish you a happy rest, time outside, and the making of memories and new traditions. I always take stock of the positive during Thanksgiving and our Natick community is chief among the parts of my life for which I am grateful and by which I am enriched.
Have a safe weekend.
Anna Nolin

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