Please find below a message from Hamilton Wenham School District Superintendent Mary Beth Banios:
Good Morning Hamilton-Weham Community Member,
I hope you and your families are holding up through all of the uncertainty that is built into our current reality.
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on where we are regarding our model of instruction. Over the past several weeks, we have seen an increase in positive COVID infection rates in Hamilton-Wenham and our surrounding communities. We have also had four positive COVID cases in our schools.
At a meeting of the COVID Response Team on Friday, there was an in-depth discussion on the challenges of operating due to changing metrics at the state level and the increased COVID infection rates at the local level. The COVID Response Team currently recommends that we continue in the hybrid model but will be meeting regularly to more closely monitor the COVID data.
While we have had four positive COVID cases in our schools over the last two weeks, it has been determined that in all four cases, the transmission of the disease did not occur within the school building. It occurred outside of the school setting.
We know the vast majority of parents and students want us to continue with in-person learning, which is our goal as well. In light of the rising positive COVID numbers both locally and throughout the state, this is a good time for a reminder that what happens in the community can impact our ability to do that.
Everyone can play a role in helping us stay the course.
- Please, wear a mask and observe 6-ft social distancing.
- Follow the state guidelines for indoor gatherings, which allow a maximum of 10 people. That is critically important with Thanksgiving on the horizon and the cold weather looming.
- Follow the state guidelines for quarantining and testing when traveling out of state.
- Be cognizant of the directive to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., unless it is essential to travel.
We will continue to monitor COVID rates in our communities. We understand that if infection rates continue unchecked, we could be forced to pivot to full remote instruction, and while we would be prepared for that, we hope to avoid it.
Thank you for your efforts and cooperation as we navigate these challenging times together.
Mary Beth Banios
Superintendent of Schools