February 28, 2020
Dear READS Community,
Given the evolving news about the Corona (COVID-19) virus, I'm writing with an update on the steps READS continues to take to promote the wellness of students and staff. Please be assured that READS administration, Program Directors and our Emergency Response Team Leader are closely following updates and recommendations issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). READS is following the guidance from the Massachusetts DPH which has been shared widely through the Massachusetts DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education), the MASS (Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents) and MASC (Massachusetts Association of School Committees) .
While the potential for possible exposure in our state is limited at this time, this guidance is being followed and shared with you to ensure that we are following best practices to prevent illness and plan ahead.
In our public day school locations at East Grove St and School St in Middleborough, READS staff and students will follow protocols established by our school nurse, who is the Emergency Response Team Leader. READS staff and students in locations in school districts will follow READS’ protocols as well as those established in their host schools.
Supporting Health and Wellness through Prevention Practices
We are following, and ask that students and families also follow, all the common-sense procedures typically taken during flu season. Below is an overview of the advice released by CDC and MA DPH:
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water.
- Cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow.
- Keep your hands away from your face (eyes, nose and mouth).
- Refrain from shaking hands with others.
- Be sure not to share water bottles or food with others.
- Utilize hand-sanitizer when available and follow regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.
- Arrange for students exhibiting any signs of respiratory illness to contact the school nurse.
- Stay home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
We recognize the concerns many are facing during this time of uncertainty and encourage you to review the following helpful resources for more detailed information:
- Center for Disease Control
- Center for Disease Control - Fact Sheet
- MA Department of Public Health - includes printable fact sheets in multiple languages.
We have already engaged in preliminary conversations regarding any needs to plan for more assertive action. If additional steps become necessary, we will provide information via email, website, and letters home to families/guardians.
As a reminder: In the event of an emergency, we will contact staff and families through the APNotify system using phone/text/email. Please notify your program secretary if your contact information has changed this school year.
Thank you for your attention to our wellness approach. The wellness and safety of students and staff are always our first priority.
Dr. Theresa A Craig