Alison Villanueva, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Friday, July 30, 2021
Dear Watertown Faculty, Families, and Students,
On Monday, July 26, 2021, The CT State Department of Public Health released Interim Recommendations For Covid 19 Prevention in CT’s PreK-12 Schools.
It is important to note the following:
As the title reads, interim, sections of this guidance may change between now and the start of school.
Governor Lamont’s Executive Orders have been extended until September 30, 2021.
After reviewing the interim guidance, many of the mitigating strategies that were in place when the school year ended remain the same. Based on this document, masks are still required in all school buildings and on school buses (please see slide 4). It does clearly state on the same slide however that, “Updates to mask guidance for the Fall 2021 school year will be finalized in the coming weeks” and we are waiting for that additional guidance.
The two most notable adjustments are as follows:
(please see slide 5) “Though not required, cohorting can still be used as an additional layer of mitigation”. However, when students are without masks and do not have 3 feet between them (this may occur in a lunchroom/cafeteria) then schools are recommended to consider cohorting.
(please see slide 9) “Students seated 3 feet or more from another student diagnosed with COVID-19 do not need to quarantine, as long as they remain asymptomatic and masks were in use in the classroom” We anticipate that this will dramatically decrease the number of students in quarantine at any given time.
As new and more definitive information is provided, we will begin to update our reopening plan.
In addition, on Monday, August 30, 2021, we have invited Watertown’s local health department Torrington Area Health to present at our next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting to discuss COVID related information in relation to the Watertown Public Schools.
We are preparing for a fully in person school year with a positive return to our regular schedules and to begin school strongly for the 2021-2022 academic year.
There will be a free, COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for Students, Faculty, and WPS Families 12 years of age or older with parental consent for 17 and under at:
Watertown High School from 8:30-12:30 PM September 2 and 3 - WHS Vaccination Clinic Flyer (Click)
Swift Middle School from 12:30-4 PM on September 2 and 3 Swift MS Vaccination Clinic Flyer (Click)
These clinics are specifically for our community and there is no appointment necessary. The Connecticut Department of Public Health and local providers are bringing the DPH Vaccination Vans to school districts across the State to make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible for individuals who would like to receive a COVID vaccine.
If you are interested in a vaccine for you, your child or another family member, please feel free to attend one of our Watertown Community clinics on the dates and times listed above.
This is a decision for families to discuss and all students under 18 years of age require signed parental consent. Please see the attached consent form here: DPH Vans COVID Vaccine Consent Form
Quote of the Week
“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success”. ~Henry Ford