Milton Public Schools: parent teacher conferences and most large nonessential gatherings to be cancelled through March 20

COVID-19 coronavirus
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Milton Public Schools: parent teacher conferences and most large nonessential gatherings to be cancelled through March 20

March 10, 2020

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Staff:

We continue to closely monitor the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 and are writing to provide you with an update on our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of all children, staff, parents and visitors to the Milton Public Schools.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to report that for the general American public, the immediate health risk from Coronavirus COVID-19 is considered low. As of March 10th, there have been no reported cases in or related to the Milton Public Schools. Increased testing of Massachusetts residents is beginning, and the expectation is that we will see more positive test results in the region.

As a district, we cannot stop the transmission of Coronavirus COVID-19. Our goal is to be proactive in hopes that we can delay and slow progression of Coronavirus COVID-19 in our schools, while remaining focused on providing your children with an exceptional education every day. We recognize that this is only possible if we are providing a safe and healthy environment, and we are implementing measures to help maintain our safe environment by limiting – not eliminating – contact between people where possible.

Many large, nonessential Milton Public Schools gatherings scheduled through March 20th will be cancelled.\

  • Most immediately, canceled events include our Elementary, Pierce and Milton High School Concerts scheduled through March 20th.
  • This also impacts our scheduled Parent/Teacher Conferences scheduled for March 19th. In person conferences will be cancelled; however, teachers are available to speak by phone at a mutually agreed upon time. Expect a communication from your principal or teacher with details. Additionally, please note that parents and guardians can reach out to their child’s teacher at any time during the school year.
  • Field trips scheduled before March 20th will be reviewed by your principal and Director of Nursing Kim Coughlin and information will be communicated to specific classes and grades.
  • Nonessential, in-school parent gatherings (principal coffees, etc.) will be postponed through March 20th. Important information that would have been shared during these parent gatherings will be shared via email when possible.
  • We will reassess concerts and events scheduled after March 20th as more information about this developing situation becomes available.
  • Along with other school districts we are awaiting guidance from the MIAA about sporting events in the coming weeks.

What will continue as scheduled at the Milton Public Schools?

  • A full and robust school day at each of our six schools
  • The Harlem Wizards event at MPS scheduled for March 10th is on. This is a community event, and we encourage all attendees to use hand sanitizer as needed and to avoid attending if you are feeling sick.
  • Applied Music Lessons and Adult Education classes will continue. All lesson areas will be cleaned after the lesson has ended and will be ready for our students the next day.
  • Healthy community members, parents and guardians are welcome in our schools to continue volunteering in their child’s school
  • The SATs scheduled for March 14th at Milton High School will be held as scheduled.
  • IEP meetings and individual parent/guardian meetings with MPS staff will continue, provided any visitor to the school is healthy.

What other steps are we taking to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus COVID 19 in our
schools?

Students and staff continue to use best health practices to slow the spread of any virus in our schools, including:

  • Increased hand washing throughout the day, especially before lunch and snack.
  • Staying home when sick or unwell
  • Strict enforcement of our wellness policy to attend school. Any student with a temperature over 100.4 is expected to stay out of school until fever free for 24 hours without medication.
  • Covering coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sneezing into a bent elbow
  • Modifying curriculum when appropriate to limit repeat touches of items (microscopes or drums for example)
  • Readying classrooms each afternoon for increased sanitation from our custodians Our custodial staff continues to work each day and on the weekends to ensure additional frequent and deep cleaning of all classroom surfaces, as well as bathrooms, the cafeteria and all “frequent touch” items – door knobs, railings, lockers, technology, etc. Our after school cleaning protocols continue and will utilize products that will help minimize the spread of the virus. Soap, paper towels and hand sanitizer are in stock and available throughout every school.

The Milton Food Service Program has increased the frequency of cleaning of all high touch surfaces and uses a germicidal cleaner on all surfaces and tables. We are cleaning our pin pads and lunch tables, as well as all condiment and dressing bottles in between each meal service. All of our food
service managers are certified in Serve Safe. This is verification from the National Restaurant Association that oversees food safety and sanitation in our schools.

Our transportation provider, First Student, has protocols and resources in place to reduce the spread of illness, including infection control response.

Our Administrative Assistants at each school will be asking all visitors to use hand sanitizer as they enter the school.

We also encourage no handshakes, utilizing the popular phrase “No offense, it just makes sense”.

If you have health questions or feel unwell, please contact our MPS Director of Nursing, Kim Coughlin, via email at [email protected] Currently, in collaboration with the MA Department of Health, Mrs. Coughlin is notified of presumptive or positive COVID -19 cases in Milton.

As of Tuesday, March 10th, there are no reported cases in Milton.

We encourage you to contact Mrs. Coughlin if:

  • You have had any exposure to someone confirmed or being tested for COVID-19
  • You have COVID-19 or are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • You suspect you have been in contact with someone who may have COVID-19

All calls and emails to Mrs. Coughlin will remain confidential. We want to assure our community that MPS will maintain confidentiality when supporting the health of our community.

Under the leadership of Educational Technology Director, AJ Melanson, we are exploring options for remote learning in the event a student is quarantined. Districts across the Commonwealth are awaiting guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

As this situation continues to evolve, we will send you an update each Monday, or more frequently if the situation warrants. We have also consolidated all available resources on our website and invite you to visit miltonps.org and our new Coronavirus COVID-19 page linked at the top. This link includes district communications, community resources, FAQs (including information about travel) and updates.

We appreciate your continued partnership as we navigate this evolving situation.

Sincerely,

Mary C. Gormley Kimberly A. Coughlin
Superintendent Director of Nursing

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