Updates and Info from Superintendent Szymaniak

Updates from the Superintendent
Posted on 06/03/2022
WH logo always towards the greater

The Whitman-Hanson Regional School District will be switching from Microsoft Outlook email and calendar to Google Gmail and calendar effective June 17, 2022.
Google Logo


Watch the Superintendent's Important Video on Full Day Kindergarten

Information on Universal Tuition-Free Full Day Kindergarten

To:           All Whitman-Hanson Regional School District Families and Staff

From:        Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak

Date:       May 31, 2022

Subject:   Important updates from the Superintendent

Dear Whitman-Hanson Community:

The last "Coffee with the Superintendent" will be held tomorrow, June 1st  from 3:00 to 4:00 at the Whitman Middle School at 100 Corthell Avenue in Whitman.  One of my goals this school year was to get out into the community and speak with parents.  Please join me for conversation and coffee tomorrow at Whitman Middle School!

If you are on the list to receive COVID antigen test kits, please pick them up at your child's school building in the main office.

The DESE/DPH has updated its COVID guidance:

On Wednesday, May 25, 2022, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education updated the COVID-19 protocols and quarantine guidance for schools. Effective immediately, WHRSD, will adopt the latest DESE guidance explained below. 

Children in child care, K-12, out-of-school time (OST) and recreational camp settings should follow the below protocols.[1] Staff in these settings should adhere to protocols previously issued by EEC or DESE, depending on the setting.

  • A rapid antigen test, such as a self-test, is preferred to a PCR test in most situations for the purposes of exiting isolation or quarantine.
  • To count days for quarantine and isolation, Day 0 is the date of exposure for close contacts, and for positive cases is the first day of symptoms OR the day the day positive test was taken, whichever is earlier.  
  • Masking is never required in these settings while the individual is eating, drinking, sleeping, or outside.
  • These settings are not required to conduct contact tracing as a standard practice, but must continue to work with their Local Board of Health in the case of outbreaks.
  • While masks are not required in these settings, any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID-19, should be supported in that choice.

Guidance for Students in Child Care, K-12, OST, and Recreational Camp Settings:

  • Quarantine for asymptomatic exposed students, regardless of where the exposure occurred, is no longer required for these settings. Children who are identified as close contacts may continue to attend programming as long as they remain asymptomatic. Those who can mask should do so until Day 10. A test on Days 2 and 5 is recommended, but not required.

  • Children who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever free for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5, provided:
    • If the child is able to mask, they must do so through Day 10.
    • If the child is unable to mask, they must have a negative test on Day 5 or later in order to return to programming prior to day 11.
  • Symptomatic students can remain in their school or program if they are tested immediately onsite, and that test is negative. Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved.
    • If the symptomatic student cannot be tested immediately, they should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school if they test negative, or they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms have resolved, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return if the latter two conditions are met.  


[1] Residential programs should continue to follow EOHHS’s congregate care guidance.




 

The First Day of School for all students PK-12 for the 2022-23 School Year is Wednesday, August 31, 2022.   Teachers report on August 29, 2022.  Calendar information is located on the District website at: Link to WHRSD School Calendar Page

 

 

Thank you.

Jeff

Jeffrey Szymaniak

Superintendent of Schools


CLICK HERE FOR AN IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT 
02/27/22

Effective Monday, February 28th, the DESE mask requirement will be lifted statewide.

Students and staff in the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District will no longer need to wear masks when returning to school from February break.

Masks will still be required in all school clinics.

 

As always, any individual who wishes to continue to mask should be supported in that choice. 


Click Here for Important Updates from Superintendent 2/10/2022

  • Meet with the Superintendent - Reminder! One of my goals this year is to get out into the community and speak with parents.  Here is the schedule for the year. 

    10/20 - Hanson Middle School - 4:30pm-5:30pm 11/9 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am 12/1- Conley Elementary - 4:30pm-5:30pm 1/11 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am 2/9 - Indian Head Elementary - 4:30pm-5:30pm 3/8 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am 4/6 - Duval Elementary - 4:30pm-5:30pm 5/17 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am 6/1 - Whitman Middle - 4:30pm-5:30pm| I look forward to meeting with you! Thank you, Jeff 



School Committee  meeting January 5, 2022 Documents:

Agenda 1/5/2022

Circuit Breaker Questions
A. 
Total SPED Costs
B. 
Circuit Breaker Activity
C. 
Foundation % Enrollment
D. 
Circuit Breaker Revenue
E. 
Circuit Breaker Expenditures
F. Circuit Breaker FY20-FY22
G. Operating Budgets
District Treasurer Job Description
FY 20 Audit Engagement letter
 
FY 21 Audit Engagement letter
 
MASC Circuit Breaker Best Practices
 
Regional School District Budget Process
 
603 CMR 10.00_School Finance- Education and Laws

+++++++++++++++

 

 

To:           All Whitman-Hanson Regional School District Families and Staff

From:        Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak

Date:        January 2, 2022

Subject:   WHRSD updated guidance for COVID-19



Hello Whitman-Hanson Families and Staff:


We hope you had an enjoyable break and are ready to return to school.  We will continue to do our best to maintain a safe environment for all of our students and staff when school is back in session on January 3, 2022.

We look forward to having all of our students and staff back on Monday, January 3rd.

Schools in the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District will continue to remain open barring any unforeseen staffing issues.

On December 28, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shortened the recommended time for isolation for individuals with COVID-19. 

On December 30,2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Department of Public Health (DPH) updated Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios.  A copy of the updated Guidance is attached. DESEDPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22_ 12 30 with highlights.pdf 

The School District will continue to follow the DESE/DPH Guidance. 

Isolation - Updated 

Duration: Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 5 days (reduced from 10 days) after symptom onset or after positive PCR or antigen test, if asymptomatic. 

  • Return to school: After 5 days (return day 6) once they have: 
    • Been without fever for 24 hours (and without taking fever-reducing medications); and
    • Experienced improvement in other symptoms.

Following the 5-day isolation period, individuals must mask for 5 additional days when around others. 


Quarantine Options - Updated

Test and Stay: Students who have been a school-based close contact and are asymptomatic may attend school and school-sponsored activities if they participate in the Test and Stay program.  The duration of the Test and Stay program has changed from 7 to 5 days from the last exposure.

Traditional quarantine: Students and staff with household exposure, close contacts outside of school, and those who do not wish to test and stay still need to self-quarantine at home for 5 days, returning on day 6, as long as the person remains asymptomatic.  Best practices include a negative test on day 5 after exposure.

Those who are fully vaccinated and asymptomatic are exempt from testing and quarantine protocols.  At this time, DESE still considers people with 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna, or 1 dose of Janssen (J&J) plus two weeks, to be fully vaccinated.

Additional information about updates to protocols will be shared as soon as they become available.

If your child has experienced one of the following within 5 days of returning to school, please stay home from school and contact your school nurse via email:

  • Positive COVID-19 test
  • Close contact with a person who has tested positive
  • Symptoms of COVID-19

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.


Thank you.


Jeff


Jeffrey Szymaniak

Superintendent of Schools

 

 
 

  •  
  •  

  • Meet with the Superintendent - Reminder! One of my goals this year is to get out into the community and speak with parents.  Here is the schedule for the year. 

    10/20 - Hanson Middle School - 4:30pm-5:30pm
    11/9 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am
    12/1- Conley Elementary - 4:30pm-5:30pm
    1/11 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am
    2/9 - Indian Head Elementary - 4:30pm-5:30pm
    3/8 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am
    4/6 - Duval Elementary - 4:30pm-5:30pm
    5/17 - High School - 10:30am-11:30am
    6/1 - Whitman Middle - 4:30pm-5:30pm|
    I look forward to meeting with you! Thank you, Jeff 

  •  DESE COVID FAQ's  https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/faq/default.html

  • 10/26/2021 ... The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Jeff Riley announced the mask requirement in schools will be extended until January 15, 2022. 

  • DESE Commissioner Riley has stated that any school that reaches an 80% vaccination rate on or after October 15, 2021 may petition the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to remove the mandate.  The district nurses are collecting either a copy of a vaccination card or the district vaccine attestation form in the hopes we will get to 80%.  These are the numbers that we were able to obtain from the state.   Hanson: 12-15yr olds – 266  16-19yr olds - 396, Whitman: 12-15 yr olds - 441, 16-19yr olds - 521.

  • Superintendent's Message 10/08/2021
  • Superintendent's Message 9/3/2021
    Memo from Superintendent on 1;1 Chromebooks
    FAQ's
    1to 1 Chromebook Initiative
    OPT-Out Form
    Other Important message from Superintendent Szymaniak

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

 

Good afternoon:

At the special meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) on August 24, 2021, the Board voted to declare “exigent circumstances” pursuant to the Student Learning Time (SLT) regulations, 603 CMR 27.08 (1), and authorized the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to require masks for public school students (age 5 and above) and staff in all grades through at least October 1, 2021.

Effective immediately, public school students (age 5 and above) and staff in all grades are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except as noted below. Masks are not required when outdoors. All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings.

 

This includes all orientations, open houses, and any other event in the school buildings, prior to the start of school, including public meetings.

Please see the attached DESE requirement for more detailed information.

Prior to the first day of school, I will follow up with more information.

 

Thank you,

Jeff Szymaniak

Superintendent of Schools

DESE Implementation of Mask Requirement 8.25.21.pdf

------------------------------------------------------------------
August 20, 2021

 

Dear Whitman-Hanson Families and Staff:

 

On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, the WHRSD School Committee voted 6-4 to follow the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education/Department of Public Health (DESE/DPH) COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021 mask and recommendations for the opening of schools.  This guidance document was developed jointly by DESE and DPH and outlines recommendations on masking. COVID-19 testing. and quarantine protocols. It also includes information on back-to-­school vaccine clinics, local vaccine sites, and public awareness materials for families.

 

Today, after a briefing from the DESE, Commissioner Jeff Riley reported his intention to mandate face coverings for all students K-12 until October 1 to the Board of Education on August 24.

https://mailchi.mp/doe.mass.edu/press-releaseeducation-commissioner-to-ask-board-for-authority-to-mandate-masks-in-public-schoolsto-provide-time-to-increase-vaccinations

 

I will update the community and staff on Tuesday, August 24, once additional information is available.

 

As I mentioned at Wednesday’s School Committee meeting, we will follow the direction of The Commissioner, DESE and DPH. 

 

Currently, the guidelines are as follows:

 

             This fall, DESE and DPH strongly recommend that all students in kindergarten through grade 6 wear masks when indoors, except students who cannot do so due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. Masks are not necessary outdoors and may be removed while eating indoors.

             DESE and DPH also strongly recommend that unvaccinated staff in all grades, unvaccinated students in grades 7 and above, and unvaccinated visitors wear masks indoors, in alignment with the statewide advisory on masking.

             DESE and DPH recommend that schools allow vaccinated students to remain unmasked.

             Any individual at higher risk for severe disease from COVID or with a household member who is at high risk is encouraged to mask regardless of vaccination status consistent with the updated DPH Advisory on Face Coverings and Masks.

             Any child or family who prefers to mask at school should be supported in this choice.

             By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time.

             All staff and students must wear masks while in school health offices. Additional guidance for school health professionals is forthcoming from DPH.

 

The full document may be found here https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/protocols/protocols.pdf

 

Again, once more information becomes available on Tuesday August 24, I will update the community.

BESE memo 8.20.2021 final 1136am.pdf
faq-installment fall_8 20 21 FINAL_clean 1207pm.pdf

In closing, I want to reassure the community, families and staff the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District is committee to providing a safe environment for all students and staff.

 

With the anticipated weather approaching, I wish you all a very happy and safe weekend.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff

Jeffrey Szymaniak

Superintendent of Schools



Back to School Information for 2021-22 School Year From Superintendent Jeff Szymaniak

Welcome Back!  The first day of School is Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Dear Families, 

At the upcoming August 18, 2021 WHRSD School Committee meeting, the topic of student masks will be discussed. The District has made an effort to follow the latest guidelines from both the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) as well as the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) throughout the COVID time period. 

Click Here for Public Comment on Face Coverings for 2021-22 SY

2020-21 School Year

Opening of Schools August 2020

 

Re-opening Plan students return April 5, 2021

Superintendent's message 3-1-2021




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


COVID Resources:
COVID-19    Symptoms, Testing, Tracking
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
MA Department of Public Health

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2022 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.