BREAKING: Wilmington Schools Cancel Community Events, Plays & Performances, Europe Field Trip, & Parent-Teacher Conferences

Below is a letter sent to parents and staff on Wednesday afternoon from School Superintendent Dr. Glenn Brand, WPS Coordinator of Nursing Services Doreen Crowe, and Wilmington Health Director Shelly Newhouse:

Dear Members of the Wilmington Community,

We are writing to provide you with an update regarding the Governor’s recent declaration of a State of Emergency in Massachusetts due to the Coronavirus (COVID 19) outbreak and the measures that the District plans to implement as it relates to these concerns.

Over the last week we have been working closely in an effort to plan accordingly and be proactive in trying to ensure that our schools and community remains safe for both students and staff. It is important to note that, at the present time, there are no known or confirmed cases of the virus in Wilmington. Obviously, this could change at any point and the District will work closely in concert with the Board of Health to respond accordingly.

Given the heightened state of concern, we believe it appropriate to implement plans that are responsive and in the best interest of our students and staff. Please find below information regarding measures that will go into effect immediately and remain in place through until the April vacation, unless further guidance from a state level agency suggests otherwise.

ALL PUBLIC & COMMUNITY EVENTS POSTPONED

In an effort to try to minimize the chances that this virus is brought into our schools, and to keep our learning environments as safe as possible, we are cancelling all large‐scale public events in which members of our community would otherwise enter our school facilities. As a result, the decision has been made to postpone all events and activities, plays, performances and the use of our facilities by outside community groups and to
reschedule these to a later date where possible.

Please also note that this decision impacts the scheduled parent‐teacher conferences planned for next week at the elementary level. We realize that this impacts the open communication with and between our families and teachers and we are exploring alternative ideas as to how we can work around this.

We recognize that we need to develop a more detailed up‐to‐date listing of the status of all events and activities and we will be working to get this information on our website in the next few days.

FIELD TRIPS

We are carefully following the most recent direction issued from Governor Baker and the Commissioner of Education; therefore, we have cancelled the overseas trip scheduled to England this April for Wilmington High School students.

Additional guidance has now emerged regarding the elimination at the present time of domestic travel and we are planning on make decisions on all other field trips and excursions on a case‐by‐case basis. Most immediately, field trips planned for later this week will be cancelled.

SCHOOL CLOSURES

Consistent with how other school communities have been responding to a presumptive case, we will evaluate any possible contact of any individual with any of our school facilities and make the appropriate decision to close the facility as necessary for a thorough cleaning and sanitization prior to re‐opening. At the present time, in the absence of any other directive from any state agency, the intention is to keep our schools open for their regular operations during the school day.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Please see the attached Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document that will provide you with additional information about the virus and the steps that you can take to help keep yourself and others safe.

For additional information on COVID‐19 please refer to the:

We realize that the aforementioned steps will impact many and creates unfortunate circumstances that adversely impact our educational programs and the important opportunities that many in our community enjoy as it relates to the use of our facilities. However, we trust that you recognize that these decisions, while difficult, are thought to be prudent in these circumstances and that they underscore our commitment of trying to ensure the health and well‐being of our students and staff.

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