Click here to view the slides from Alma’s Family Zoom meeting on Jan. 11th
View the recording of the Family Zoom meeting
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Family Letter Posted on January 14, 2022 // Click here to read the letter in Spanish
Dear Alma Families,
We want to reiterate that our priority continues to be keeping our doors open for in person learning to the greatest extent possible so that scholars can do their best learning and receive the individual support they need. We are also committed to keeping our scholars and staff safe as we do this. We are actively working to keep school open in the following ways:
- Prioritizing proper ventilation in all spaces
- Providing dedicated Medical Assistant(s) at each campus
- Running a robust Test & Stay Program at each campus
- Requiring our staff to be fully vaccinated, or test weekly
- Frequently cleaning and sanitizing all high-traffic surface areas
In order to prioritize offering in-person school, we must do everything we can to minimize spread among groups of our school community to the greatest extent possible. This has led us to postpone the start of Afterschool Programming until Monday, Feb. 14th. We will continue to review the data and communicate any possible updates as soon as possible. We have also canceled the basketball season, but look forward to having multiple sports options in the spring!
We have also decided to postpone the Douglass Campus Family Open House that was scheduled for Jan. 27th. We are working on a series of photographs and videos to give families a peek inside, and will schedule a new Open House as soon as it is safe to do so!
Earlier this week, the mask requirement was extended through at least Feb. 28 for all schools in Massachusetts. Masks continue to be required to be worn by all scholars, staff and visitors in our school and while riding on a bus or van to and from school. We continue to provide scholars with mask breaks several times each day.
It is critical that you send your scholar to school in a mask if they ride the bus because they are required to wear a mask on the school bus. Please reach out if you need additional masks for your home and we will do our best to support you. Please send your scholar to school with a mask that:
- Covers their nose, mouth and chin
- Fits snugly against the sides of their face
- Has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
Planning for possible staff shortages
At each of our campuses, we are prepared to use our staff very flexibly to account for coverage challenges related to COVID. Now that our Douglass campus is in one building, we are much better prepared to address staffing shortages there. In the event of a closure related to staff absences, we would let families know as early as possible. We are committed to avoiding this option unless absolutely necessary.
Planning for remote learning as needed for particular classrooms
We are also committed to avoiding this option unless absolutely necessary. In the event that we have confirmed spread within a classroom, in coordination with the Board of Health, we may choose to send home individual cohorts for a short period of remote learning. Our remote learning model would look similar to last year, including several hours of synchronous lessons on Zoom and independent work to complete. All scholars would be provided with a school Chromebook.
Please note that if your scholar is quarantining at home because they have tested positive, they are a close contact of a family member who tested positive, or they are a close contact of a classmate but you have opted out of Test & Stay, teachers will not be providing additional work or remote learning options for your scholar. We understand what a disruption it is for your scholar to miss school and we appreciate your adherence to our protocols. Our teachers must prioritize planning and implementing lessons for scholars who are in person. We will always provide your scholars with whatever support they need to catch up when they return!
Keeping our schools open will take all of us working together to keep our communities safe. We are asking all Alma families to please:
- Get yourself and any eligible members of your household (ages 5 and up) vaccinated against COVID-19. Please get a booster shot if you are eligible!
- Give consent for your scholar to participate in Test & Stay Program (if applicable)
- Monitor your scholar for symptoms and keep them home if they do not feel well.
- Let us know If you are keeping your scholar home from school due to COVID-19, so that we are aware they may be absent for multiple days
- Provide the school with proof of COVID-19 vaccination by contacting your medical assistant with a photo of the vaccination card or other proof of vaccination status.
As always, please reach out to your campus’ Medical Assistant with any questions or concerns related to COVID-19. We greatly appreciate your support and partnership this school year.
Will Gardner, Executive Director
Keila Pires, Ottiwell Campus Medical Assistant, 508-296-0174
Amy Rivera, K-4 Douglass Campus Medical Assistant, 508-216-0271
Itamary Lopez, 6-8 Douglass Campus Medical Assistant, 508-205-9753