News for the Community from Superintendent/Principal Dobosz – 12/13/2020

Greetings Community,

Hope this message finds you well.  The mild weather this morning brought dense fog for my morning hike with the puppies!   I think the fog created some additional fun for them during our hike!  They raced around the back fields popping in and out of view.  I was just happy to be able to hear them sprinting up and down the fields and in and out of the woods.  

We enjoyed another full week of in-person learning!  The earlier part of the week brought some rain, wind, and cold temperatures, but by mid-week the weather warmed up!  This week I spent time in classrooms and outside observing teaching and learning.   Our kindergarteners shared predictions and observations about what was going to happen to  water when placed outside for a period of time.  Our fifth and sixth graders took their science lesson outdoors and experimented with sledding!  Students predicated which sleds would go the furthest and why.  They will experiment with these concepts more this week when we get some fresh snow!  

This week the PTO will host a holiday craft party for all the students.  We are grateful for their continued support! 

I read a recent article written by a principal colleague who asked her community to share specific adjectives that describe 2020.  I am borrowing her idea and adding a twist.  As we begin to count down the days of 2020, I invite all community members to share YOUR year, in just 6 words.  How would you capture the sadness, exhaustion, resilience of 2020 in 6 words?   I will share these reflections in my last Sunday publication.  This invitation is open to all community members.  I sure hope you join me in this exercise.  You can email me your 6 words at gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org.

School will break for Winter recess on Wednesday, December 23rd.  Everyone is looking forward to this break.  We ask that all families please follow the Governors order for family gatherings during this holiday season.  Please see the highlights below copied from Mass. Gov  website.  You can also find more information by clicking on the link below.  

https://www.mass.gov/news/holidays-during-covid-19

Massachusetts residents plan for the holiday season, we offer the following considerations to help keep our friends, families, and communities safe during COVID-19. If you host a holiday celebration, keep it small. If you are considering travel, be aware of Massachusetts travel orders. If you participate in a celebration, follow public health guidance.  Any time you’re near people you don’t live with: 

  • Wear a mask when not eating or drinking
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Stay at least six feet apart from others 
  • Consider if those around you may be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults or those with certain medical conditions, and take extra precautions
  • If gathering indoors, improve ventilation by opening windows and doors

Lower risk celebrations

  • Limit in-person holiday gatherings to only people you live with or limit to a small group of individuals with whom you are regularly in contact.
  • Gatherings with more people pose more risks. As a reminder, gatherings in Massachusetts are subject to gathering size limits.
  • Keep visits short – gatherings that last longer pose more risk than short gatherings.
    •  Host a virtual holiday dinner with extended family or friends, especially if they are at higher risk for illness from COVID-19. Prepare traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and deliver them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.

Higher risk celebrations

Including people who are not in your household or limited social network increases the risk of contracting or spreading illness. If you plan on celebrating the holidays in person with people you don’t live with:

  • Wear your mask and watch your distance at all times.
  • Do not share food, drink, or any utensils.
  • Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only.
  • Wear a mask while preparing or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.
  • Consider having one person serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.
  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.
  • Avoid any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets or buffet-style potlucks, salad bars, and condiment or drink stations.
  • For 14 days before and after holiday gatherings, minimize  contact with other people, and leave home for essential services like going to work, buying groceries, and appointments with doctors;  OR,
  • Obtain a negative result from a molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test, on a sample obtained within 72 hours of the celebration. Information about where to obtain a test can be found at www.mass.gov/GetTested.
  • Seat people with plenty of space from one another while dining.
  • Consider small seating table arrangements in multiple rooms with plenty of spacing, instead of a large family table.
  • If gathering indoors, improve ventilation by opening windows and doors.

Avoid these activities

  • Avoid sharing food and drinks.
  • Avoid shaking hands and hugging. Wave and verbally greet others instead.  
  • Avoid singing, dancing, and shouting. These activities increase your chances of catching COVID-19 through the air.  
  • Avoid in-person gatherings with people at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with certain medical conditions.

Warmly,
Gretchen 

Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098
413-238-5856
gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org

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