Information via Milford Public Schools:
January 1, 2022
Dear Milford Public School Staff and Parents / Guardians,
Good year! It is our hope for a year ahead of health and joy as we continue to work together in partnership with you.
While there is a lot of speculation about the school opening on Monday, at the time of writing, we plan to return to in-person learning as planned on Monday, January 3, 2022. As we Moving forward, we will continue to balance what we believe is best for our students – in-person learning while ensuring the implementation of mitigation measures that will keep students and staff safe during this pandemic virus.
This week, we received updated guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Education regarding distance learning. As you will recall, last year the decision to switch to district (or school) distance learning was left to school district officials. At present, distance learning can only be instituted by declaration of emergency in accordance with the legislative or governor’s authority. There are limited and very specific cases where distance learning can be approved locally, including for individual students who need to be isolated due to confirmed COVID-19 infection or close contact.
Given the current incidence of COVID-19 cases, both in Milford and statewide, we are monitoring two key factors that will impact our ability to open school doors: staff absences and the availability of bus drivers. So a staff shortage will influence our ability to organize in-person learning on Monday. I’ll keep you up-to-date.
As we prepare for our return to school, we count on you to take these crucial steps to ensure the safety and health of everyone while allowing us to keep our students and staff in school.
- Stay home if you are sick! Complete the COVID-19 Daily Self-Check List at home before sending your child to school. If your child has symptoms, no matter how sweet they seem, don’t send them to school. Notify your school of the absence using the MPS student absence report procedure and your school nurse will follow up on the next steps.
- Quarantine and isolation updates. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently updated their quarantine and isolation guidelines. The CT State Department of Education (CSDE) and CT’s Department of Public Health (DPH) provided an update to these guidelines late last night. The CSDE and CT DPH will meet with school district and local health officials statewide on Tuesday, January 4, 2022. We will update our local guidelines at the end of this meeting, in consultation. with the Milford Health Department. A letter outlining the changes and any new protocols will be sent to you in a separate communication later in the coming week.
- Confirmed case of COVID-19. Several people in the Milford public school community were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the holidays. The Milford Department of Health has been in contact with those whose diagnoses have been reported until Thursday, December 30. If you or a member of your household have tested positive for COVID-19 using a test (home test kit, rapid test, or PCR test) and have not received a specific return to school date from staff from the Milford Health Department and / or your school administrator, do not show up for school on Monday January 3, 2022. Stay home, isolate the positive case from other household members if possible and notify your building administrator and / or the school nurse for the positive COVID-19 case. The school nurse will follow up with you regarding your return to school dates.
- Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Due to the increase in cases locally, several people in our community have been in close contact with people who have tested positive for COVID-19. If your child has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not fully immunized, he / she should stay home until you receive instructions regarding the return date. appropriate school. If you have spoken with Milford Health Service and have been given a return to school date, your child may return as long as they are free of symptoms. If your child is fully immunized and feels well, he or she can return to school as long as you provide the child’s immunization schedule to the school nurse.
- Practice all mitigation strategies to protect each other! While we may all feel fatigued as we approach 2022 with this pandemic still very much in our lives, it is more important than ever that we stay committed to the mitigation strategies that work as we navigate this current wave. Please join us and do your part to help us protect each other by doing the following:
- Get tested if you have symptoms and / or have been exposed to COVID-19. Please note that if you have symptoms or have been exposed and test negative using a home test or rapid test, you must get a follow-up PCR test to confirm the result. negative. Additionally, as you may be aware, CT DPH has ordered COVID-19 rapid home test kits for distribution to public and private schools. Milford Public Schools are working closely with the City of Milford Emergency Management officials to be able to distribute these school specific kits to families once they are delivered locally. We will provide additional updates on this initiative as we receive more information.
- Wear a properly fitted mask or face covering, especially when you and your family are in indoor public places with people outside your household.
- Maintain a social distance of at least six (6) feet when around people outside your home, especially indoors.
- Wash your hands frequently and / or use hand sanitizer if you are in an area where you do not have access to hand washing facilities.
Information related to COVID-19 is constantly evolving and we will continue to share important information with you that impacts the health and safety of students and staff at Milford Public Schools. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or contact the Milford Health Department.
We wish everyone a Happy New Year!
Anna M. Cutaia, Ed.D.