School Closure 03.13.20

posted Mar 13, 2020, 10:57 AM by Grant Harris

Dear Parents/Guardians, and Staff

After thorough and careful consideration of the information presented during this morning’s conference call with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Commissioner of Education regarding the serious nature and rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus in Massachusetts, and in conjunction with the Mayor and the Gloucester Health Dept., the Gloucester Public Schools has made the difficult but prudent decision to close down our buildings beginning Monday, March 16, 2020 for a minimum period of two weeks and will not reopen at the earliest until Monday, March 30, 2020.  In addition, no activities will be allowed at the school during the closure and employees who are able to do so will be working from home. The situation will be reviewed periodically during this timeframe to determine if the length of closure will need to be extended any further and you will be updated as appropriate. We realize this decision has a significant impact for our community and understand the frustration and uncertainty that is created. However, we believe these steps are necessary given the current situation. As a result of this emergency closure, the last day of school this year will now be Tuesday, June 23, 2020.  This new date is based on the updated guidelines issued earlier this week by the Commissioner of Education requiring school to be held up until our previously scheduled 185th  student day.

The Gloucester Board of Health and our school nursing staff urgently remind all parents and children that it is imperative to follow proper protocols for personal protection for prevention, as well as to lower risk of transmission of illness to others. Please remember the importance of social and personal distancing and to avoid large gatherings. We appreciate your flexibility, support and understanding as we strive to meet the needs of our entire community at this difficult time.

I will be sending out a series of emails regarding specific information about suggested learning activities, lunch offerings, and field trip and event cancellations.

Best wishes,

Richard Safier