COVID-19 Announcement

October 27, 2020

Dear parents, guardians, and faculty:

1. COVID-19 Announcement: I am writing to inform you that we were notified today, during the school day, that a staff in our school community has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first instance of a COVID positive case within the Milestones community since we reopened in July. Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. We want to assure you that we have been planning for this potential scenario during our reopening process and have a comprehensive plan in place to continue to sanitize the school each night (Monday-Friday), inform staff and families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected person as they navigate this stressful experience. Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including: mask wearing, practicing strong hand hygiene, and physical distancing. We are also grateful to our families and staff for their continued efforts to conduct daily health attestation screenings and to keep students and staff home at the first sign of symptoms. These diligent measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of transmission and have proven to be highly effective since we first reopened onsite in July.

2. No Close Contacts in the Milestones Community: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) protocols, developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), contemplate this situation. Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, we have already been in communication with the required regulatory agencies and they have completed their contact tracing process with Milestones. There were no staff or students found to be close contacts of the school member [i.e., defined by DESE/DPH in a school setting as being within (less than) 6 feet of the person for at least a total of 15 minutes or longer while the person was infectious]. In consultation with the Waltham Board of Health and DESE, the timelines and action steps in the protocol were applied and it was determined that the affected individual was not determined to be in close contact with any staff or students during the infectious period. All classrooms school wide will continue to remain open for onsite instruction. As always, staff should please continue to monitor themselves and families should continue to monitor their children for symptoms according to our daily health attestations, and individuals should stay home if they show any symptoms or are not feeling well.

3. Next Steps at Milestones: To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we want to assure you that the building has been disinfected since the individual was last at school and will continue to be done each night Monday-Friday, as a matter of our standard practice. 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. This situation is again a reminder that our protocols have been working effectively and have served their intended purpose: the individual has not been in the building since developing symptoms and other school members were not found to be in close contact according to DESE/DPH guidelines. In addition, our Milestones leadership team was able to call a meeting with faculty after school today to answer questions and ensure their understanding of the situation.

4. For More Information Regarding COVID-19:

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-

You can also find a map of testing sites at:
https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13

 

We are committed to continuous communication with and support for our families and staff. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our school nurse and COVID Response Team Leader Lyn Ross at: 781-895-3200 ext.137 Monday-Friday from 7:30-3:00pm or by email at: lross@advancingmilestones.com or myself at: krockers@advancingmilestones.com or 781-895-3200 ext. 121. If there are any new developments as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support. We wish this member of our community a speedy recovery, and we know that, as a school community, we will continue to support each other.

 

Sincerely,

Kim