March 8, 2020 Update

Dear Stoughton Schools Community-

I am writing to give a few updates on our continued monitoring of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and our ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of the SPS community. We have had some excellent questions posed to SPS staff, and hopefully, this update answers many of those. We have been in touch with multiple organizations including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Stoughton Public Health Association, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and numerous Superintendent and Nursing colleagues around the state. As always, we want to keep lines of communication open so our community stays up-to-date and informed. We will keep you informed of updates or changes as we are advised by our local and state departments of public health.

Health Services Supervisor, Danielle Gallan RN, and Director of Facilities, Joyce Husseini, continue to monitor the potential of COVID-19 in the community daily, and are updating the administrative team frequently.

School nurses continue to educate students, families, and staff on proper handwashing, cough/sneeze hygiene, and staying home when sick. Remember, we are still in cold and flu season, and these extra precautions help support healthy schools in general.

In school, students and staff are being reminded to wash hands carefully and frequently, to cover coughs and sneezes, and use hand sanitizer when needed. We use age-appropriate and positive messages like THIS

Students who have a fever AND respiratory symptoms will be given a mask and sent home promptly to a parent/guardian with a recommendation to see a health care professional.

Masks will be permitted on students and staff who are immunocompromised and have orders from their doctor.

No student will be allowed to return to school from illness until they are fever free AND antipyretic free (acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen) for 24 hours.

Students and staff are being surveilled for high risk travel. We ask that any family who has traveled abroad inform the school office, and, if they’ve been to a high-risk area (China, Italy, etc.) to self-quarantine for 14 days.

All planned school trips and large gatherings are being reviewed by administration. Each field trip/event is being examined individually for potential risk to our students either during or after the trip. We may be canceling some trips, and if so, will do our best to support our families in any way we can.

Custodial staff are cleaning surfaces throughout the day with approved products. Night custodians are doing more disinfectant work on high-touch surfaces every day. New electrostatic and disinfectant cleaners were purchased earlier this year and are being put to good use across the district.

Finally, school closures. We are aware of recent closures nearby and are watching our own community carefully. If we need to close a school to keep our staff and students safe, it will be done in consultation with public health officials and with as much communication as possible.

We know this has been a concerning time. Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful Stoughton community! Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions or ideas.

Dr. John Marcus, Superintendent of Schools

*Here is a link to the MA DPH site.