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COVID-19

Overview
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The Newburyport Public Schools (NPS) has works closely with the Newburyport Board of Health and our Medical Advisory Team to implement recommendations and guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and CDC.
 
Decisions about NPS safety protocols are made with consideration of our local metrics (e.g. student and staff vaccination rates, City of Newburyport positivity rates, District positivity rates) and in line with local, state, and federal guidance. The NPS Medical Advisory Team meets regularly to review local data and respond to any changing regulations. We will continue to monitor local health data and respond with changes in protocols when needed.

mask policies
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Effective February 28, 2022, the following guidelines will apply in the school setting:
SETTING MASK POLICY
Unvaccinated People Strongly Recommended
Buses Optional/Encouraged
Days 5-10 after quarantine or isolation Required
Classrooms Optional/Encouraged
Cafeteria Optional/Encouraged
Health Office Required
Outdoors Optional

Vaccination Information
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We encourage all eligible students and staff to get vaccinated and get a booster when eligible. According to the CDC, “Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccinations can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.”
 
The COVID-19 vaccination is free and available for all people age 5 and older. The booster is available for everyone ages 12 and older. For information on local vaccination options, see the Mass.gov vaccination site.

Other In-School Mitigation Strategies
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The CDC, Mass Department of Public Health and DESE continue to recognize the importance of using a number of prevention strategies. In addition to masking and providing in-district testing options, our schools will implement the following strategies:
 
  • Hand Hygiene: Our students and staff will continue to have access to hand sanitizer throughout the buildings. Students will also be provided opportunities for frequent handwashing.
  • Distancing: Because students will be masked, we will be able to use all our spaces and furniture. We will follow DESE guidance and provide distance for students when possible. We will maximize our space in all eating areas and limit mask-off time as recommended by DESE.
  • Ventilation and air circulation: All our buildings and classrooms meet ventilation and air quality recommendations from both DESE and the CDC.
  • Cleaning: NPS uses hypochlorous acid (HOCL), one of the top 5 EPA coronavirus disinfectants. HOCL is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and non-corrosive. All schools in Newburyport use sprayers/foggers in open areas and large spaces. Additionally, teachers, instructional assistants, and office staff are provided with a spray version of HOCL disinfectant (Force of Nature) to easily disinfect high touch surfaces and areas in their immediate vicinity. Restrooms are cleaned and disinfected once during the day while the building is occupied and again in the evening. Classrooms, offices, common areas and other spaces are cleaned daily. Essentially, we are “deep cleaning” every day.

Newburyport public schools Medical Advisory group
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  • Sean Gallagher, Superintendent of Schools
  • Frank Giacalone, Director of Public Health, City of Newburyport
  • Pam Palombo, Public Health Nurse, City of Newburyport
  • Jessica Lasky-Su, DSc, MS, NPS parent, epidemiologist, professor and statistician at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Mike Allard, NPS parent, Chief Operating Officer for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Foundation
  • Lars Lundgren, MD, FAAP, Newburyport Public Schools consulting pediatrician, Children's HealthCare of Newburyport
  • Lauren McDonald, Director of Health Services, Newburyport Public Schools
  • Brian Callahan, Vice-chair, Newburyport School Committee
  • Joan Sheehan, President, Newburyport Teachers Association
  • Steve Bergholm, Director of Buildings and Grounds, Newburyport Public Schools
  • Pam Kealey, Director of Food Services, Newburyport Public Schools
  • NPS Extended Leadership Team (including all principals and assistant principals)
 

Newburyport School Committee COVID-19 ForumTop of Page