High School to be Reopened, Athletics to Resume Tuesday, Oct. 13
WEST NEWBURY — Superintendent Justin Bartholomew is pleased to announce that the Pentucket Regional High School will transition back to a hybrid learning model tomorrow after going fully remote at the end of last week due to two positive student COVID-19 cases and approximately 25 identified close contacts among students.
Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13, the high school will go back to hybrid learning and all athletics activities will be able to resume. Other schools in the district will continue with their current normal operating plans.
As of Monday afternoon, the overwhelming majority of test results were back for those close contacts, and the results were negative. There are still some students that are awaiting results, but thus far, there have been no additional positive cases. All close contact students will continue to self-quarantine for the required 14 days.
Last week, the district was made aware of two students with positive COVID-19 cases. One student had last been in school on Friday, Oct. 2 and tested positive that night.The second positive student case had not been in school since Tuesday, Sept. 29 and tested positive last Monday, Oct. 5.
In an effort to allow the local health agents to get the most accurate data on those 25 students, the district made the decision to temporarily switch to a fully remote learning model on Thursday and Friday of last week and postpone all athletics activities.
All close contacts of those two students have been notified by local and/or state health officials of the need to self-quarantine. If you were not contacted by a local or state public health official, you are not considered a close contact.
The district is still urging students to practice social distancing and avoid gathering in large groups, even outdoors.
Out of an abundance of caution, the high school was thoroughly sanitized and disinfected last week. All schools will continue to be cleaned and disinfected daily.
“We want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we work through the many issues that are brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Superintendent Bartholomew said. “We are glad to be able to re-open the high school tomorrow for hybrid learning and continue with our athletics programs. We will continue to keep families updated with the latest news and information as we progress through the school year.”
Students and staff are also urged to continue following state guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 including:
- Stay home if you have a fever or are not feeling well. Students should stay home from school should any new or unexplained illness, no matter how mild, develop. This precaution is meant to keep all staff and students safe. To review COVID-19 symptoms, visit the CDC’s website by clicking here.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid close contact with others. When outside your home, please adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
- Wear a cloth face covering that covers your mouth and nose to protect others when in public areas.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Children may worry about themselves, their family and friends getting sick with COVID-19. Tips for talking to children about COVID-19 can be found here.