Dear Staff, Students, and Parents/Guardians,
I am writing to inform you that an individual in our Drury High School community has tested positive for COVID-19 after a positive pool test result was reported to the district on Friday, March 12, 2021. Following the pooled testing report, all students and staff within the pool were given a rapid results test in order to determine who in the pool was positive. The outcome of the rapid results testing identified one individual as positive for COVID-19. This new case does not require any consideration for grade level or school transition to remote learning.
Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. We have been planning for this scenario as part of our COVID-19 surveillance testing program and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform staff and families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience.
Though we cannot provide specific information about the individual who tested positive, North Adams Public Schools has implemented our protocols for notification, disinfection, and quarantine for staff and students who may have been exposed. Staff and students identified through contact tracing were notified by School Nurse Leader Lauren Gage regarding testing. Parents of students who were in close contact with the individual were notified privately. All close contacts were tested. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 at their health care provider’s office or at the Stop the Spread Center located at 97 Church Street, North Adams to please report the results to the school nurse.
For those students in the pooled testing program that have not been notified of a potential exposure, they can assume that their result is negative and continue practicing mitigation strategies, such as mask wearing and physical distancing, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you would like your student to be tested please complete a consent form. To complete a Pooled Testing Consent Form, go to: https://www.napsk12.org/page/pooledcovid19testing. Testing takes about 5-10 minutes, and testing times would be before school at 7:15AM, and at lunch at 11:00 AM. If you have any questions about the pooled testing program, please email the school nurse Lauren Gage at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging.
For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.
Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.
We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.
Barbara Malkas, Ed.D.
Superintendent of North Adams Public Schools