Good Afternoon Beverly Parents and Families,
I am writing to you with another update on the Coronavirus. As you know this is a quickly evolving situation and here in Beverly we continue to monitor all guidance as it emerges. Today, we participated in a local Board of Health conference call, as well as a conference call with four local Superintendents and Mayors as we continue to stay current and communicate with neighbors.
I want to share with you our current status in regards to International trips and trips out of the continental United States, out-of-state trips, and in-state and local field trips that have been planned for our students. In light of the Governor’s announcement that Massachusetts is declaring a State of Emergency, we have cancelled all spring travel out of the continental U.S. (Spain, Quebec City, Puerto Rico). We continue to consider rescheduling the German trip planned for this summer. Additionally, as of yesterday, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has urged districts “to cancel any out-of-state travel that they have planned” and so we will be in communication soon about upcoming travel and trips. The Commissioner of Education will hold a conference call tomorrow and we expect updated guidance on in-state overnight travel and day field trips. In addition, we are reviewing all school activities, especially as they involve large gatherings. The current guidance on these activities states that we review field trips and events the district has planned and evaluate the risks in light of the growing number of coronavirus cases. We will be addressing each situation on a case by case basis unless we receive further restrictions. Many organizations are cancelling planned events (DECA, Destination Imagination, SAT testing, Best Buddies Prom) and others are waiting until Friday to make the decision (Drama Fest at Danvers High School). We thank you for your patience as the situation continues to change daily.
The MIAA is still holding events, including the Boys Basketball Championship game scheduled for tonight, Wednesday, March 11th. At this time I will remind everyone of the Governor’s recommendation that is shared by the MIAA:
“The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) is moving forward to conduct the Basketball and Hockey Championship games scheduled on March 10-15. In accordance with the recommendations from Governor Baker to mitigate COVID-19, we encourage participants, spectators, workers and community members to practice good personal hygiene. We support the recommendation for -those over the age of 60- and those with underlying health issues to stay away from large crowds”.We understand that all of these decisions will have a number of impacts on many members of our school community. Our administrative team will be reviewing the specifics, clarifying and communicating this information through the principals and other leaders as the dates for these meetings and events approach.
Please remember this situation is fluid. We want to assure you that we are continuing with all preventative cleaning and maintenance and to remind you to continue emphasizing best practices such as hand washing, use of hand sanitizer and maintaining a safe distance from others. I will send another update on Friday afternoon unless there are significant changes to the current situation. I thank you all for your support and understanding at this time as we act in the best interest and safety for all of our staff and students.
Sue Charochak, Ed.D.