Schools to Close through at Least March 27
WEYMOUTH — Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple reports that Weymouth Public Schools will close their facilities for the next two weeks out of an abundance of caution in an effort to reduce the risk of the ever-changing, unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) to the school community.
District leadership has decided to close schools temporarily after significant consideration, and in an effort to proactively mitigate the risk of exposure to the virus to students and staff. At this time, there have been no positive or presumed positive cases of the virus in the school community.
“This decision was made with our community members’ best interests in mind,” said Superintendent Curtis-Whipple. “The safety and well-being of our students and staff is our main concern at all times. Due to other district closures, we decided to close for two weeks to help mitigate the situation of staff members who are unable to come to work because they have to take care of their own children who go to school in other districts.”
From Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27, Weymouth Public Schools will close all schools. Learning opportunities have been put on the district’s website to provide resources for students and families who wish to access extension activities during this time. No graded work will be assigned.
The decision was made after careful consideration by Weymouth Public Schools in collaboration with town departments and the School Committee after reviewing the facts and circumstances of the rapidly unfolding novel coronavirus crisis, which has been designated a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Weymouth Public Schools are closely following guidelines outlined by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and cancelling all before- and after-school events, including athletic games and practices, for the next two weeks. MIAA winter sports have been postponed until March 30. These precautions are in an effort to limit large gatherings and practice social distancing.
Information about the various supports and services that will be provided to students while facilities are closed will also be shared on the school’s website at https://www.weymouthschools.org/.
At this time, Weymouth Public Schools are working in conjunction with Chartwells and the Weymouth Food Pantry to provide meals for students during this two-week closure. A plan will be shared once details are confirmed.
While students and educators are out of the building, custodial staff will conduct a comprehensive and thorough disinfecting and sanitizing effort throughout school buildings. This effort is in addition to the daily cleaning regimen the district has implemented in recent weeks in light of the virus and as is customary during flu season.
Symptoms of the virus include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and can appear between two and 14 days after exposure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Anyone who experiences symptoms and believes they may have the virus is advised to contact their health care provider. For more information from the CDC for those who may have the virus, click here.
Weymouth Public Schools also wish to encourage students and staff to follow recommended preventative steps from the DPH:
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.