February 11, 2021
Good Morning EPS Community,
With February break only days away, we would like to remind all staff and families of the EPS Travel Guidelines outlined in page 25 in the Return to School Playbook found HERE.
On July 24, 2020, the Governor, issued COVID-19 Order No. 45 adopting a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers arriving in Massachusetts. The effective date of the Order is 8/1/2020.
Families and staff members should be aware of the content of the order and notify school officials of their need to quarantine after returning from out of the country or a higher risk state (the current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states can be found here). We require everyone to follow the guidelines below to protect the health and safety of our entire EPS community.
Students: If a PCR test is taken on day 5 (or more) after return to Massachusetts and is negative AND there are no symptoms, student may exit quarantine on day 8 after return. Continue to watch for symptoms for 14 days from exposure. Students will be able attend all classes remotely during quarantines, but may NOT participate in other in-person school activities, including athletics. PCR testing is required as a rapid antigen test may result in errors/exposures.
Staff: Seek testing ASAP upon return to Massachusetts. PCR testing is required as a rapid antigen test may result in errors/exposures.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and ensuring that our staff and students are safe upon return.
Enjoy the break.
Dr. Lisha Cabral
January 19, 2021
Good Afternoon EPS Community,
I hope everyone had a nice long weekend. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all members of the Easton Public Schools about our EPS Travel Guidelines that can be found in the Return to School Covid 19 Playbook on page 24-25. If any student travels outside Massachusetts to a red state, they must quarantine until a negative PCR test can be produced. A PCR test can be taken on day 5 (or more) after return to Massachusetts. If the PCR test is negative AND there are no symptoms, student may exit quarantine on day 8 after return. Continue to watch for symptoms for 14 days from exposure. Students will be able attend all classes remotely during quarantines, but may NOT participate in other in-person school activities, including athletics. PCR testing is required as a rapid antigen test may result in errors/exposures.
We appreciate your immediate attention to this matter. I am attaching the Playbook to this email. It can also be found HERE on our website on the left hand side.
January 3, 2021
Dear EPS Community,
Happy New Year! We are excited about what 2021 will bring our schools and our community. We also know that all of the progress we will make this year will likely come to fruition after the winter. Therefore, we have only a couple of months of vigilance left. We can do it! With that in mind, we are asking you to review these VERY IMPORTANT reminders for the return to schools in January...
Students should have clean masks ready to go for each day they are in the buildings.
Parents should resume screening their children each morning for COVID symptoms before coming into school.
If students have any COVID symptoms, they MUST stay home, contact their primary care physician, and email the school nurse.
If students have been COVID tested, they MUST remain home until they receive negative results, even if the child exhibits NO symptoms. Test results should be sent to the school nurse.
If a student is identified as a CLOSE CONTACT to someone who is COVID positive, they must follow the recommendations (from the Board of Health or State Contract Tracers) as to when to return to school. Please email the school nurse if you need more information about quarantine periods.
If you have traveled out of Massachusetts or gathered with large groups during the holidays, students MUST remain home until they submit a negative PCR test emailed to the school nurse or the principal.
When in doubt, KEEP CHILDREN HOME! They can learn remotely while we determine the details for their safe return.
We are expecting to be inundated with communications from parents in the first week we return to school. Please understand that the school nurses and administrators will be responding to messages/emails beginning Monday afternoon, to the best of their abilities.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to provide quality learning experiences in facilities that are nurturing and safe for all students and staff. Please continue partnering with us to make this possible. We are grateful for your patience and support during this pandemic, and it is working. We look forward to the days, soon-coming, when we can celebrate together having come through this challenge with determination and cooperation, showing our children the true measure of what it means to be a community.
Please see all of our COVID-related information, including the "Return to School Playbook," on the district website.
Peace and best wishes,
Dr. Lisha Cabral
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November 20, 2020
Dear EPS families and staff:
This week, the Department of Public Health and the Governor's Office released some updated COVID-related information we would like to share. It does change some of their past guidance we have previously forwarded, so we will be working to update all related school and district documents to reflect the changes as soon as possible to reduce any confusion. We will continue to update you about any further changes made as a result of this constantly evolving situation.
1. Maine and New Hampshire have been removed from Governor Baker's Travel Order "lower risk" state list. Please keep this in mind when considering travel to these (and other) higher risk states (only Massachusetts, Vermont, and Hawaii remain "lower risk" at this time). This will require a quarantine upon return for students and PCR testing for staff (please see updated quarantine information below).
2. Anyone identified by a city/town health professional as a "close contact" to a COVID positive person OR any student traveling out of the country or to a higher risk state, must observe a 14-day quarantine. HOWEVER, the DPH now allows a slightly shorter quarantine of 10 days IF all of the following conditions are met:
- They have not had, and do not have, any symptoms of COVID;
- They must be PCR tested on day 8 (or later) of their quarantine period and receive a negative test result; AND
- They must monitor themselves for symptoms for the full 14 days. Any individual that develops symptoms should contact their local health care provider and be re-tested.
3. The above guidelines (#2) will apply to all staff identified as a "close contact" by a city/town health professional. However, staff who travel out of the country or to a higher risk state are asked to take a PCR test upon return to Massachusetts and may return to work with a negative test result.
As always, please contact your child(ren)'s school nurse or principal if you have specific questions regarding this information.
Have a wonderful and safe weekend.
Dr. Lisha Cabral
September 16, 2020
Dear EPS Community,
The time has finally arrived. Whether your child(ren) will be starting in the hybrid model or remotely, tomorrow is a big day for all them and all of us.
You have all had a LOT of info thrown at you. We realize you are not memorizing everything. Please do not feel as though the info you are looking for has not been completed, sent, or shared. It likely has, but since each element was shared with you as it was completed, you may not know how to get at a particular item quickly. We have put together the following resource to be a comprehensive collection of that info and presented it more graphically so that all that you have been given can be accessed from one spot. Please refer to this, but when in doubt, call us. We want to help you find what you need when you need it.
We would also respectfully request that we all keep a few things in mind as we open the most irregular school year we have ever experienced:
1. EVERYONE is doing their best (you, your neighbors, friends, and children, all staff, building administration, central administration, and the School Committee). Please presume good intent. Ask for clarification when needed. We are happy to help you.
2. Perfection is not expected. If you are expecting it of yourself or others, you are setting an unrealistic and unfair expectation of yourself/them. We will start and progress slowly.
4. If you find yourself asking, "Why would they say that??!!" or "What on earth are they thinking??!!" it is likely you or they are the victim of an Amygdala Hijack. In education, we are well aware of this brain research and how it can affect adult or child processing. Please refer to THIS LINK to see how you can identify it and help alleviate it (for yourself and/or to share with others).
5. We are excited to be working with you and your children again. We appreciate the patience, teamwork, and collaboration you have all shown. EPS is a very special district, and Easton is a very special Town. Thank you for allowing us to serve you and your child(ren). We look forward to a GREAT year!
Dr. Lisha Cabral
September 14, 2020
Dear EPS Community,
We have completed the preparations of our Pk-5 schools. This includes the installation of water coolers, system checks and flushes, and air purifiers. The same has been prepared for grades 6-12. However, we were notified late today by the manufacturer that our order of air purifiers for Easton Middle School and Oliver Ames High School only will be delayed to the beginning of next week due to a worldwide supply chain issue. Due to this fact and concerns raised in bargaining, we are delaying the in-person attendance of grades 6-12 ONLY until September 24th. School for grades 6-12 will be FULLY REMOTE September 17th - September 23rd. The in-person hybrid schedule for grades 6-12 will resume on Thursday, September 24th (Cohort B in-person).
**PLEASE NOTE: This has NO effect on the grade Pk-5 re-opening plans. The Pk-5 hybrid schedules remain exactly the same.
We have been assured by our HVAC engineers that ALL six buildings are safe at this time despite the delay of air purifiers to two of the schools. However, we will use this time to consult further with the engineers to ensure that our high standards for safety are met. We understand this is an inconvenience and may cause significant scheduling issues for families. However, we received this information today and wanted to communicate the details as soon as possible for your planning purposes.
Mr. Carroll and Mr. Paul will send further information to families of grades 6-12 students tomorrow.
Dr. Lisha Cabral
June 25, 2020
Dear EPS Community,
Today at noon, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will release their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. We applaud the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance, and we share its goal of the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.
This guidance must be appropriately tailored to meet the circumstances and needs of each community. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be reviewing the guidance to begin to understand how it impacts what we can do in Easton. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming from the state throughout the summer. While some media outlets have released documentation in advance of the Governor’s announcement, I would request that you only use the document we are providing as your source of information. Different iterations may be in circulation, but the one attached is directly from the Commissioner’s Office. The full document can be found HERE, but these are some of the key components:
Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school - with preventive measures in place - as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults.
Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below.
Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established.
This is the “Initial Guidance.” There will be further guidance coming to us in July.
The Commissioner indicates that we need at least level funded budgets along with aid for additional costs to make the plan work. This is not guaranteed funding, but we will work hard to advocate for it.
The district is now required to develop three separate plans for submission to DESE; one for return to full, in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation from DESE today is that students will return to full, in-person instruction in September; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops.
We want to remind you that the district has already convened seven working groups to analyze each area of need in the district in preparation for this directive. This information was provided in the June 15th message sent to all families and staff. It can be accessed for reference via the district website on the Superintendent page.These working groups will now focus on the guidance received as they make plans and create the reports that will detail how we will operate in Easton. We realize the significance of family and staff planning for childcare, work schedules, etc. in the fall. The plans for Easton will be shared as soon as they are available and updated as frequently as needed due to any changes in the health and medical information we receive throughout the summer.
We acknowledge that there are likely to be more questions than answers at this time, and we will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months. Again, we encourage you to read the full guidance document from the Commissioner HERE .
Once again we find ourselves asking for your support and patience as we navigate this new challenge in unprecedented times. We assure you that the safety and wellness of our students and staff will remain our priority. Thank you for understanding this is an important process that will be difficult and time consuming. We are committed to producing the information for Easton as responsibly and as quickly as possible.
Dr. Lisha Cabral
April 8, 2020
Dear EPS families and staff,
Last evening, the School Committee voted to revise the EPS calendar to eliminate what was previously designated as April vacation. This means that April 20th will be observed as a holiday (Patriot's Day). However, the remainder of the week (April 21-24) will be considered school days. This will allow the Remote Learning Plan to continue without significant disruption, and the last day of school will now be June 15th. Please see the calendar below which reflects these changes.
We appreciate all of the feedback we received about this decision and agree that it is in the best interest of our students. We are working hard alongside you to create as much of a connection and routine as possible for our children and young adults, and this will assist all of us with that.
Thank you for your continued support in these trying times. We believe that by working together, we can model perseverance in the face of challenges and help to instill resiliency in our children. We are showing them that we can work through problems together in a spirit of collaboration and patience. This will ultimately be the greatest learning opportunity of all.
With support and gratitude,
Superintendent Lisha Cabral
Thank-You Message from Easton Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lisha Cabral
Blanche A. Ames Elementary School Project Website