Virtual Winter Fest on Thursday, Safety Information Regarding February Vacation, and Travel Clearance Policy Reminder

February 9, 2021

Dear families,

Thank you again for your flexibility today regarding our weather-related scheduling change.  Today we have two reminders to share.  First, all families are invited to join us for our virtual Winter Fest talent showcase this Thursday afternoon!  In addition, we are re-circulating important health and safety information as we prepare for February vacation.

1) Virtual Winter Fest: Thursday, 2/11/21 at 12:30pm:  We hope that many families will be able to join us on Thursday at 12:30pm for our virtual Winter Fest talent show!  Each year Winter Fest is one of our staff and families’ favorite events, as it’s an opportunity to see participating students shine in their areas of interest!

  • Program and Login Information: Attached you will find a virtual program for the event (2 images: a cover page and a list of performances). Tomorrow we will email all families with login information to view the performances.
  • Shout-Outs: We wish to recognize the creativity and dedication of our talented Music Specialist, Emily Desmond, for ensuring that this tradition could continue through a modified virtual platform. And we are proud of our students for their enthusiasm, courage, and flexibility surrounding our COVID-friendly performance!

2) Safety During February Vacation and Milestones’ Requirements for Clearance to Return to Campus After Travel: 

  • Safety Information from DESE: Yesterday, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requested that schools remind families and staff about the importance of continuing to follow best practice safety guidelines established by the Department of Public Health during February School vacation to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.  Beyond continuing to practice mask use, strong hand hygiene, and social distancing, DESE specifically encouraged limiting the size of gatherings, limiting get togethers to only household members/small circle of those with whom you are in regular contact, and avoiding travel.
  • Milestones Policy Reminder Regarding Travel (Effective 1/20/21):  Milestones issued an updated travel clearance policy on 1/20/21 in collaboration with the Waltham Board of Health.  Consistent with DESE, Milestones does not recommend discretionary travel at this time.  However, if your student travels outside of a currently identified lower risk state (i.e., this applies to international and domestic travel) your student must either complete a 10+ day quarantine outside of school once you return to Massachusetts (consistent with the Massachusetts Travel Order) or obtain and provide to Milestones a negative PCR test result taken 3+ days after your student’s return to Massachusetts. This must occur prior to returning to campus.  We are no longer accepting a negative PCR test result taken before reentry to Massachusetts or taken sooner than 3 days after returning to Massachusetts.  This follows the CDC’s current safety guideline of recommending testing 3-5 days after returning from travel.  Please continue to monitor the Massachusetts Travel Order for a list of all areas that require testing or quarantining:  If you have any related questions, please outreach to our School Nurse.
  • Notifying Milestones Regarding Travel:  If your family intends to travel during February vacation or anytime while this policy remains in effect at Milestones, please notify both our School Nurse (Lyn Ross: and your case manager in advance so that we can plan for your student’s onsite safe return.  Helpful information to share includes: (1) the dates of your travel and (2) whether your student will complete a 10+ day quarantine or PCR testing 3+ days after returning to Massachusetts prior to your student’s clearance to return onsite.  PCR test results should be sent directly to our School Nurse for review.  Because we are relying on our community to work together to ensure safety, please anticipate that members of our faculty may outreach to families directly if we have questions regarding travel.   Remote learning will remain available for all students, as needed. Thank you for your transparency and cooperation!
  • Continuing to Update our School Nurse Regarding Illness, COVID-19 Test Results, or Potential Exposures During School Vacations:  Families and faculty are continuing to do an excellent job following our daily health attestation guidelines and notifying our School Nurse regarding all illness, COVID-19 test results, and/or potential exposures of students, faculty, and household members.  Your conscientious and diligent collaboration has been instrumental with insulating the safety of our students and staff.

Thank you for your attention, and we hope that you have an opportunity to enjoy our Winter Fest on Thursday!