Superintendent Wood's Update

 

Superintendent Communications, January 12, 2022

Interim Superintendent of Schools, Michael L. Wood

 

Operations and Management

We are weathering the brutal New England cold!  For the most part the interior buildings are holding up with heat in most areas.  Both buildings have had some thermostat breakage and HES has had boiler issues.  The latter has been addressed by using the parts of  one boiler to fix the second one. We have an early estimate of $9240 to make repairs.  

 

I would encourage all students and staff to wear proper attire during these very cold days.  Please wear layers and always have a winter hat and gloves.  People lose 40% of their body heat through their head and fingers can get frostbite within 30 minutes if exposed at these temperatures.  

 

The Select Board met last night to review ARPA fund expenditures.  We will be receiving over $9,000 for expenses related to COVID that were made this school year.  We very much appreciate this effort so that the funds we did expend can now go to other educational expenses.

 

COVID Update

Our COVID numbers have remained low for both staff and students, but it’s enough to be noticeable.  The Commissioner of Education has continued the mask requirement through until February 28th.  

 

Please note the following HPS Covid Management update with the latest DESE DPH Guidance:

 

  • The guidance has been reviewed and implemented with extra tracking methods, safety, and family communications protocols added to current school protocols.  Families who had active cases have been informed of the new 5 day isolation and quarantine protocols.

  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who develop Covid-like Symptoms will need to quarantine at home and seek testing.  Those who have symptom improvement, a negative test, and who have no fever for 24 hours without the aid of medication may then return to school per DESE.

  • The DESE DPH Routine Pooled PCR Testing Program continues to be urged for all eligible students and staff.  Here at HPS, we’re pleased to have staffing support to collect nasal swabs on most Tuesdays and Fridays.  Followup Rapid Antigen tests are scheduled as needed for positive pools.  “Test & Stay” is included with enrollment in Pooled Testing.  The Nov/Dec District Pooled PCR test results were as follows:

  327 - pooled tubes collected.  7 - presumed positive.  3 - other*

*(Other: “ test not performed, inconclusive, or invalid”)

Based on these, school-based followup testing had 7 positive results.  Additional positive results 

were noted from outside vendors.  We strongly encourage all families to enroll in routine 

pooled testing (currently offered twice each week) by completing the CIC Health Consent 

Form.  Note that individuals who have tested positive need to postpone Covid testing for at least 

90 days due to viral fragments triggering positive test results long after an individual is no longer 

infectious.

 

Please note the following resources:

 

MA Vaccine Locator Site

 

Private Insurance:  Home Test Coverage

 

Test Site & Kit Info

 

We have also taken the added precaution of only allowing Hatfield spectators for our basketball games.  Many of our league teams are doing this as well.  We are doing it on a week to week basis.  

 

Personnel

We have 13 principal candidates for the HES Principal Search.  We are putting together the interview committee, right now scheduled for January 18th.  We will have a school day visit, parents meeting and staff meeting on Thursday, January 20th.  We will have Google Meets participation for these events. I met with school staff on Monday.  Ms. Maloney from the school committee will be joining the interview process, too.

 

We thought we had a per diem nurse, but after further consideration our candidate chose not to accept the position. If anyone in the community is available we would love to hear from you. 

 

We also need teacher and paraprofessional support.  If you have an interest and any amount of availability we would love to talk with you.  

 

January 17th is Martin Luther King Day and the District is closed. 

 

The second quarter at Smith Academy is ending on January 21st.

1/13/2022