ARLINGTON — Superintendent Kathleen Bodie announces that Peirce Elementary School will pursue a fully remote learning model tomorrow and into next week after a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19.
The Arlington Board of Health facilitated free COVID-19 testing last week for Arlington Public Schools staff on a voluntary basis. Testing took place on Wednesday and Thursday, and this weekend, the district learned that a staff member at Peirce Elementary School has tested positive.
The staff member is isolating in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, and will be eligible to return upon completion of a 10 day isolation period.
Six additional Peirce Elementary School staff members have been identified as close contacts of the individual, and have been contacted by local public health officials with instructions to quarantine for at least two weeks from the date of exposure. The earliest return date for any of those individuals is Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Due to staffing limitations spurred by these events, the Peirce Elementary School will pursue a fully remote learning model beginning tomorrow, the first day of classes for the 2020-2021 school year at Arlington Public Schools, until Wednesday, Sept. 30.
All other district schools will pursue the return to school as planned. Students and staff will pursue a fully remote model at Arlington High School through late January as planned, and all other schools will follow a hybrid learning model. Students who opted to participate in the Remote Academy will also begin tomorrow.
No students have been in the buildings prior to the start of the school year or are believed to have been close contacts of any of these individuals.
In accordance with Arlington Public Schools regular COVID-19 cleaning protocols and procedures, the entire school was sanitized over the weekend by an electrostatic cleaning machine.
“From the start, our goal was to be proactive about reducing the risk of exposure. We prioritized providing testing and were able to do so thanks to a partnership with the Arlington Health Department,” Superintendent Bodie said. “We’re relieved and grateful we identified this case prior to the start of school, although we know this change poses challenges for our Peirce Elementary families and staff. Ultimately this is what our district needs to do and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation and understanding.”
All stakeholders at Peirce Elementary School will be updated as more information becomes available. For the latest updates, visit the district’s website by clicking here.