Message from the Superintendent

 
February 3, 2021

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am writing to provide information about the Abington Public Schools current and ongoing efforts to increase in-person learning for our students.

THE NEED
The goal is to provide a safe return to full in-person learning for students as soon as possible. The need for all students to be back in school full time is indisputable.

FACTORS
Numerous scenarios for increased safe, in-person learning have and will continue to be carefully considered. Massachusetts Public Schools are required to follow all Department of Public Health (DPH) and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) COVID-19 safety and physical distancing requirements. These requirements include physical distancing (in schools this is a minimum of three feet while masked and six feet unmasked), mask wearing, hygiene practices, staying home when ill, contact tracing and quarantining. There are no waivers or exceptions to these requirements.

The most significant challenges to full, in-person learning in Abington (and many schools across the state), are the following:
 
Student desks in each classroom must allow for a minimum 3-foot distance from chair edge to chair edge, with 6-feet of distancing being the goal.

Students must have a minimum of 6-feet of distancing whenever masks are removed; this includes mask breaks, snack breaks, and lunch times. 

School transportation guidelines only allow for 23 individuals per school bus.

The average class size in Abington is 25 students; however, we will need to accommodate 27 or more students per room to simultaneously accommodate the return of some virtual students K-12 and fulfill student schedules at the secondary level. Based on the current distancing requirements, including the need to provide 6-feet of distance when unmasked, our facilities and the average size of our classrooms, cannot accommodate our student population for full in-person learning. 

Beaver Brook Elementary School classroom with desks at 3-feet in distance accommodating 19 desks.





THE FUTURE 
We will continue to try and find ways, in and outside of the box, to bring as many students back to safe full in-person learning as soon as we can. The promise of the vaccine gives great hope that the end of the pandemic is on the horizon. Again, the safe and full in-person learning for students, as soon as possible, is our goal and we will not stop trying until everyone is safely back in our classrooms.

Sincerely,

Peter Schafer
Superintendent of Schools
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            *******************************************************

We have also created a COVID-19 dashboard, updated weekly, that reports out the current and total cases across the district.  

COVID-19 Data Dashboard

 

 

 

 

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