Dear Parent/Guardian, Students, and Staff Members,
Each Thursday evening the Department of Public Health releases the city/town and Berkshire County data updates for the previous 14 day period. The key information includes:
The positivity rate for the City of North Adams: Current rate is 1.11%.
The average positivity rate for 15 communities, not including North Adams, calculated from the total positive cases divided by the total number of tests for the last 14 days multiplied by 100: Current rate is 0.985%.
The pool testing results for this week’s students, staff, and student athletes are reported as negative, including the results for the end of last week and beginning of this week.
The report by the school nurse leader of the total number of cases of COVID by school and the status of each case. There are a total of 0 cases in the district.
On Friday, May 21, 2021, the COVID Data Team (a joint labor management team) met to review the data. The vote was unanimous to accept the data report. The schools will continue to operate according to the schedule for full in-person learning in grades preK through 12 effective Monday, May 24, 2021.
The Governor declared a statewide emergency order as of March 20, 2020 due to the coronavirus and this emergency order is expected to be lifted on June 15, 2021. Seniors will graduate on Thursday, June 3,2021. Information regarding commencement activities can be found on the Drury High School website. The last day of school for the 2020-2021 school year will be on Monday, June 14, 2021, and this will be a half day of school for students in kindergarten through 11th grade. The PreK classes will end on Friday, June 11, 2021.
Governor Baker announced changes to the face mask mandate on Monday, May 17, 2021. In line with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, the Baker Administration will rescind the current face covering order and issue a new order effective May 29, 2021.
The guidance includes the following:
Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face mask or physically distance indoors or outdoors except in certain situations.
Face Masks are required for all individuals on public or private transportation, which includes school buses.
Face masks are required in healthcare settings, including providers, congregate care settings, and rehabilitative day service providers.
Face coverings will also be required for staff and students in PreK-12 schools.
Non-vaccinated individuals, which includes children under the age of 12 are advised to continue to wear face masks and physically distance in most settings.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued new guidance that does not require masks be worn for outdoor activities such as recess.
Students will be allowed to share educational class materials with strict adherence to disinfection protocols.
Currently, students 12 years old and older can be vaccinated. If the student is under the age of 18, they must have a parent or guardian present to authorize the vaccination.
Northern Berkshire Pediatrics and the Berkshire Vaccine Collaborative are jointly hosting teen vaccination clinics on the following dates for first doses:
Tuesday May 25 from 3:00 pm-7:00 pm
Thursday May 27th from 3:00 pm-7:00 pm
Second doses will be exactly 3 weeks later at the same time (people can call Northern Berkshire Pediatrics if they need to change the time). All clinics will be at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Center, 70 Marshall St., North Adams (next to the CVS/Big Y shopping center). If parents or guardians haven’t gotten their shot yet, they can get it at the same time as their teen and can just register on site.
Northern Berkshire Pediatrics patients can register for these appointments by calling our office (413-663-8365) or by responding to their portal invitation they received via email. Those who are not Northern Berkshire Pediatrics patients can still be vaccinated, these individuals would just be part of the regular clinic and can sign up the usual way through the vaccine collaborative.
COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program
North Adams Public Schools is going to continue pool testing and respond to any positive case of COVID-19 using contact tracing in collaboration with the Department of Public Health. These efforts will also assist the district in identifying and limiting exposure to students and staff through early isolation. The ability to join the pooled testing program by providing consent will remain an open enrollment process and you can submit your consent form at any time. Please provide an individual consent form for each of your children who attends North Adams Public Schools. The more individuals who participate, the safer our schools will be!
To participate in the testing program, you need to sign a consent form. You only need to sign once to consent for testing each week. The consent form can be found on the new COVID Pool Testing Program webpage on the district webpage located here.
Have Questions? Contact Lauren Gage, District Testing Coordinator and School Nurse Leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and we hope each of you and your families remain healthy!
Dr. Barbara Malkas