Working Group Will Consist of Health Agents, School District Physician, School Committee Members
WEST NEWBURY — Superintendent Justin Bartholomew is pleased to announce that, in partnership with the towns of Groveland, Merrimac and West Newbury, a working group has been formed of professionals and representatives of the district and its member communities to determine a path forward that results in a return to five-day in-person instruction this spring.
The 100% Pentucket initiative will be an intensive undertaking, establishing a working group that pairs the health agents from all three communities with a school committee representative from each town as well as a local fire chief, the Pentucket Regional School District Physician, Dr. Stephen Beaudoin, a member of the teacher’s union, and PRSD Head Nurse Ann Brady-Lozier, RN.
“The state has notified school districts that it is time to return to the classroom as near to full-time as can be safely achieved. We have gathered a group of professionals and elected leaders who will seek to accomplish this goal and bring our district forward as we begin to see the light at the end of the long COVID-19 tunnel,” Dr. Bartholomew said.
The working group will hold meetings and assign tasks to each member along three stated goals:
- Identify the health and safety criteria that must be met and enforced to ensure a safe return to the classroom, including appropriate social distancing guidelines.
- Reviewing and communicating CDC and DPH guidance on the safe return to school internally to all faculty and staff and standardizing guidelines among all three towns and among all six PRSD schools.
- Uniform, regular communication every step of the way by shared news updates provided to the public and the news media as well as items posted on the district and town social media channels and websites.
“We recognize that there are still many questions about how we are going to move forward, now that Governor Baker and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education are moving toward a return to in-person learning in April,” said Groveland PRSD School Committee representative Dick Hodges, who has agreed to join the working group. “We are committed, through a work-oriented process, to communicating in a single voice so that there is absolutely no confusion about our processes or intentions.”
Further details will be announced in the coming days. The working group plans to meet on Monday, when additional guidance is expected to be released by Governor Baker’s Office.