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September 14, 2020
We are so excited to start school with you and your scholars today! It was wonderful seeing all of you at Orientation. In an effort to keep you as up to date as possible on the status of the virus in our community, we will be in touch with regular updates on COVID-19 data and any relevant changes to our reopening plan and health and safety protocols.
As of this past Wednesday, New Bedford has an increased average daily incidence rate per 100,000 (over the last 14 days) of 10.3 cases. This is an increase from last week (9/2/2020: 5.4 cases/100,000) and means that our color designation is now red. This is a concerning increase in daily average cases in our community, and we take this data very seriously. This designation does not necessitate any changes to our current reopening plans at this time.
Alma’s reopening model currently aligns with the DESE recommendation that schools in “red” regions should reopen with remote instruction for most scholars but should continue to serve the highest needs scholars in person. We decided to open with this more conservative reopening model in anticipation of the possibility of such an uptick of cases in the Fall. Please see attached for a chart from DESE linking the color designation with an expected opening model.
We are in frequent contact with the local Department of Health as well as our area colleagues and will be monitoring local transmission rates in the weeks to come. In the event there are any changes to our reopening plans, we will communicate these as soon as we can. We want to assure you that we are making these critical decisions based on reliable data, research and best practices.
We look forward to seeing all of our scholars today (mostly online)! We truly appreciate your support and patience during this difficult time.