Superintendent's Letter 3.13.20

Dear Wakefield Community,

Thank you all for your patience and support during this difficult time. We are working to stay up to speed with on-going guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MassDPH), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and our local Board of Health and Town Leaders. We are taking precautionary measures and have decided to close the Wakefield Public Schools for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16, 2020 to at least Friday, March 27, 2020. We anticipate opening all school buildings on Monday, March 30, 2020.

This decision will support social distancing measures in an effort to slow the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. This initial two-week closure includes all classes, athletics, and activities and may be extended based on the guidance of state and local leaders and public health officials.

We are fortunate in Wakefield to be able to rely on our approved Learn Anywhere Project during this time period. You can expect continued communication regarding student assignments from individual schools. We will keep our school buildings open on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the event that families need to access the buildings to retrieve materials or personal belongings. In the event that you need to retrieve your child’s medication in the nurse’s office, please contact your building administrator directly. Buildings are open only to pick up items that you may need. Please use common sense and, if you are ill, please do not enter the buildings. When you do enter, please make this visit quick and avoid touching surfaces within the building as much as possible.

We made this decision out of an abundance of caution, particularly out of sensitivity to families and staff who have underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to complications should they become infected.  We also do not do this lightly, as we know that this will impose a hardship on families who do not have childcare options. However, given our understanding of the potentially rapid spread of this disease, we believe this closing is important for the safety of our community.

In the coming days we will make every effort to keep you as informed as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out to School or Central Office Administrators if you have needs or concerns specific to your individual families. Again, we can’t thank you enough for your patience, understanding, and support during this challenging and uncertain time.

Sincerely,

Doug Lyons

Please reference the following links for additional information:

Center for Disease Control

Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Wakefield Board of Health

Learn Anywhere Project