Friday, January 14, 2021
Dear Watertown Public Schools Faculty and Families,
It’s hard to believe that we have already reached the middle of January! On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, two virtual town hall meetings were held for WPS employees with information on the recently updated guidance from CDC/DPH and State Department of Education.
Updated Documents from the State and District Protocols
- Updated Watertown Public Schools Return to School Protocols SUMMARY for Families
- Updated CIAC Guidance on January 10
- Updated Watertown Public Schools Return to School Protocols for Faculty and Staff
- All documents related to returning to school
Here are some updates for all WPS families to review:
Definition of ‘Significantly Improved Symptoms’
With the new guidance stating individuals can return with significantly improved symptoms, WPS has defined further what that exactly means.
"Students/staff may have some residual COVID-19 symptoms, but to be considered “significantly improved,” symptoms must be mild or non-existent. i.e. slight congestion, no active sneezing/coughing and a close to normal energy level. Additionally, students/staff must be able to tolerate full masking and present as well enough to fully attend to learning in a classroom setting in order to return to school".
If You’re Still Feeling Unwell After 5 Days
Students and faculty who still do not feel well after a full 5 day quarantine should stay home to recover until they feel better to return to school. School nurses will contact parents/guardians to pick up students when necessary.
At Home Tests and Attestations
Results from home or self-testing with an FDA approved or authorized COVID-19 test kit is acceptable when accompanied with a completed Attestation Form.
A limited supply of at home tests have been distributed to our district. Based on the State guidance, at-home tests will be distributed to faculty and students in schools that meet one of the following criteria below:
- Symptomatic students and staff at school who will be sent home
- Students and staff who experienced a direct exposure at school
- Students and staff in a setting with multiple positive cases (i.e. one classroom with multiple cases)
- Anyone who is in the 90 day covid window because they've tested positive should not get a test as they will continue to test positive for 90 days.
All schools now have a limited supply of N95 masks. They have been distributed to Faculty and staff.
Large Group Events
All schools will be closely reviewing any large crowd/audience events to ensure the safest way to proceed. If there are any adjustments to upcoming events, families will be notified.
Watertown Resident Covid Home Test Kits and N95 Mask Distribution
On Sunday, January 16, starting at 10AM in the JTPS parking lot, the Watertown Fire Department will be distributing their second shipment of Covid 19 Home Tests and N95 Masks. Watertown residents should monitor the town website and have ID prepared when they go to pick up.
A big shout out to all WPS employees for their continued dedication, commitment, and perseverance in keeping our schools open for our students and families.
I hope you all have a wonderful long MLK weekend,
Happenings and Useful Information
Dates to Remember
January 17 - No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 20 - Early Dismissal for Students, Teachers in PD
February 18 - Early Dismissal for Students, Teachers in PD
February 21-22 - President’s Day Weekend, No School
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day to remember the legacy, history, and work of the civil rights movement in bringing people of all backgrounds together. In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his work during the civil rights movement, many communities across the country use this day to take action on this national day of service by volunteering to make local communities more equitable in various ways. Many organizations make time to volunteer service on MLK day by cleaning up public spaces, mentoring young people, or assisting those in need of basic supplies like food and shelter. Martin Luther King Jr. Day remembers and honors MLK but reminds us that “what you do makes a world of difference”.
- National Geographic for Kids Jr. - MLK Day
- National Geographic - Who is Martin Luther King Jr.?
- PBS Martin Luther King Classroom Resources
- National Education Association - MLK Resources
Health and Safety
- DISTRICT: As we did last year, the Daily Covid 19 Tracker will be updated on the main district website. Click here.
- LOCAL: Our local Torrington Area Health Department continues to provide weekly reports on: Covid-19 positivity and vaccination rates within the Torrington area health district (TAHD) jurisdiction Click here for all weekly updates
- REGIONAL: 01.11.2022 Covid Report | 01.11.2022 Vaccine Rates by Town
Quote of the Week
“We might look different but inside we’re much the same. We all feel happiness, we all feel some pain, but how are we to get along if we refuse to see that it will make a difference if you just pretend you’re me? Come sit by my side and see through my eyes, hear the way I hear and it won’t be a surprise to learn that we might look different but inside we’re much the same”. ~ Elementary Student