Good afternoon Springfield School District students, families, and staff,
This is Dr. McLaughlin, the Superintendent of Schools.
After a busy day and help from a lot of you, we can announce that we will be opening all schools and programs tomorrow. Now, while all schools are open, there are still classrooms at Union Street and Elm Hill that will be closed. We also still have sets of students who will be quarantining. At this point, we have 4 classrooms at Union Street that have had a positive case and 5 classrooms with a positive case at Elm Hill. As a result, most of the students in those classes are quarantining. In some situations, a few students from these classrooms are able to return tomorrow. Please note, that if that is the case, you will have been specifically contacted to let you know.
Just to give you an idea of the development of cases, we did have three new cases over the weekend and three more today.
Earlier today, I asked for your help with getting student testing results. As we move forward through this wave and, more generally, the rest of the year, I would ask that you keep us informed whenever you get testing results for our students. Under state rules, any day where we have less than 50% of the student body physically present doesn’t count as an official day. Things could get complicated in a variety of ways if we open schools but have less than 50% attendance due to COVID-related concerns. So, if you have a student who needed to quarantine due to being a close contact, please get us your testing result as soon as you can.
In addition to testing notifications, please let your school know if you are asked to quarantine as a result of an out-of-school exposure. While we are eventually informed by the Department of Health, there are sometimes significant delays. Please be sure to let us know rather than waiting on the Department.
Another issue we are trying to get our arms around is the percentage of our eligible students who are vaccinated. We had previously requested families to provide us proof of student vaccination when possible. Based on the information we have received, the following are the percentages of confirmed vaccinated students. In the 7th grade, 30.4% of students have provided proof of vaccination. In the 8th grade, 26.8% of students have provided proof of vaccination. In the high school grades, 20.3% of students have provided proof of vaccination.
Now, our assumption is that these numbers are probably lower than the reality due to a lack of reporting, but it is hard for us to act based on numbers we don’t have. If your student ages 12 or older is vaccinated, please help us out by providing your school with that information. Having this information is important for our planning and can help accelerate the speed of our contact tracing process.
I also want to report that we anticipate that we will be making some adjustments to some of our protocols over the coming days.
Thanks for your help today. While another case or two could put us back into some school closures, we are looking forward to having students return.
Let’s hope that this is our last COVID closure for the year.
Have a good rest of your day.