August 19, 2022
Dear Newmarket parents, teachers, students, and community members,
At last night’s meeting the Newmarket School Board was presented with and approved our school reentry plan for fall 2022. In the coming days you will be hearing from Principal Pine and Principal Korman as to how this plan impacts operations at the individual schools, but I wanted to give you an overview and share with you my memo to the board explaining the plan.
Like schools across the country, we are entering the fourth school year impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Newmarket schools have been managing COVID related disruptions since the spring of 2020. As circumstances have changed Newmarket schools have adapted. The goal has always been and will continue to be maintaining the health and safety of our students and staff.
At the close of the 2021-22 school year all students and staff were operating in a fully in-person instructional model with a variety of COVID protocols in place. As of mid-August, a high percentage of the Newmarket Community is fully vaccinated, local COVID case counts remain low and the rate of severe COVID infections across the state and region are at a very low level. It is time for the Newmarket schools to adapt again.
As we enter the 2022-2023 school year, we are shifting the paradigm on how Newmarket schools manage COVID. We are moving from an operational model driven by school policies and procedures to a model that promotes individual responsibility. Our goal as a system is to operate as close to pre-pandemic normal as possible. We will continue to promote awareness of community health and safety but will place the onus of responsibility on individuals to make the right health choices for kids, families, and staff. When individual COVID issues come up we will follow current CDC guidance and ask school community members to do the same.
We will continue to monitor and address COVID cases as needed by following current CDC guidance. Our school nurses will continue to support students and staff by providing the best guidance available and by providing access to testing where needed. Our intention is to make protocols as simple as possible so that we can keep everyone healthy and fully participating in learning.
At the writing of this email the CDC recommends that a person who tests positive for COVID should isolate for 5 days. If symptom free for 24 or more hours on day 6 you may return to school but should wear a well-fitted mask through day 10. If a person is exposed to a positive COVID case immediately start wearing a well-fitted mask and begin self-monitoring for symptoms for 10 days. If a person is exposed to a positive case but doesn’t develop symptoms it is recommended to wait to test until day 6 for the most accurate results.
Below are the links to the CDC guidance:
The attached memo outlines the plan. If you have questions about how this will impact your individual child or a particular program or school, please reach out to school principals or other administrators.
The leadership of Newmarket Schools are looking forward to the start of the 2022-2023 school year. Our hope is that we will be able to operate as close to pre-pandemic normal as possible. Please help us keep schools running normally this year by doing the following.
As recommended by the CDC, stay up to date on vaccinations.
Self-monitor for COVID symptoms every day. Stay home if you have symptoms.
If you have new or unexplained symptoms, reach out to the school nurse or your healthcare provider for guidance.
If out due to a positive case or exposure wear a well-fitted mask through day 10.
In closing, Newmarket schools are in a good place for the start of school this fall. Let’s all work together to have a great 2022-2023 school year.