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Westport Community Schools Provides Update on District’s COVID-19 Protocols

WESTPORT — Interim Superintendent Thomas F. Aubin would like to provide members of the Westport Community Schools and the general public with an update regarding the district’s COVID-19 protocols and safety measures.

As of Monday, Nov. 30, only one transmission case from student to student or student to staff has occurred in the schools. This is despite students at the Alice A. Macomber Primary School, Westport Elementary School and Westport Junior Senior High School having been learning in a combination of fully in-person and remote models since the start of the school year.

“We have been working closely with the Westport Board of Health to protect the health and safety of all students, families, and staff. It is undoubtedly a credit to our Health and Safety committee, who worked hard all summer to implement a plan that would best protect our school community,” Interim Superintendent Aubin said. “Credit also goes to our entire school staff, who have the tremendous responsibility to implement the COVID-19 protocols with fidelity each day.”

The district has been working diligently to provide a timely and transparent reporting of COVID-19-related information to the entire school community. Staff is notified via email each day of the number of COVID-19-positive cases impacting students and staff. For individual schools with a reported case, the school leadership is responsible for informing “close contacts” directly, including health and educational instructions to provide families and staff with the educational continuity and health guidance they may need.

The district also immediately reports cases to both the Westport Board of Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and COVID information is posted on the school’s Facebook page and website.

“As we advance to improve our communications further, we will be posting more school-specific information on our website and Facebook pages,” Interim Superintendent Aubin said. “To this end, our Nurse Leaders have created a Google sheet that contains weekly case data for all three of our schools, providing even greater detail to help inform our families and community at large.”

Since the start of the school year, there have been 21 positive COVID-19 cases reported in the district (14 among students and 7 among staff).

The district acknowledges that the full in-person learning model at the Macomber School and WES could change at any time, and urge all students and staff to continue to follow the latest guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This includes wearing a mask in indoor and outdoor public spaces at all times, practicing social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and staying home if showing signs of COVID-19. Additionally, those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands.

The district wishes to acknowledge the support of all staff, students and families since the start of the school year.

“We are committed to providing our families with the safest learning environment that we can provide for our children. It is also why we are so grateful to our parents and guardians who have been so understanding when we have had to make the difficult decision to quarantine a class, knowing the hardships this can have on our families,” Interim Superintendent Aubin said. “The understanding and support of the entire school community is deeply appreciated.”

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