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Staying Safe in Schools

Staying Safe in Schools
Posted on 01/09/2022

Page Updated May 18, 2022

Mask Advisory
for END of the YEAR indoor events

With the end of the school year quickly approaching, please be advised that anyone attending an indoor school-based event is advised to wear a mask.

This advisory comes as we continue to track an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases citywide.

The percentage of COVID-19 spread in the community outpaces school-based increases, however, this advisory is given as a precautionary measure to help protect the health of students and staff and community in the midst of end-of-the-year ceremonies and events.

 STAYING VIGILANT AND KEEPING SAFE AS COVID-19 CASES RISE

 

MASKS OPTIONAL AS OF APRIL 4th
The Springfield Public Schools (SPS) face mask mandate will be lifted beginning Monday, April 4th, although with exceptions and several important recommendations, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick announced today.

The current mandate requiring SPS students, staff, and visitors to wear a mask on school grounds and on school buses will be lifted to allow mask wearing to be optional as of Monday, April 4th. The School Committee rescinded the face mask policy to reflect the lifting of the mandate during a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, March 31st.

However, the new guidelines around mask wearing require that masks remain mandatory for anyone entering a school nurses’ office. The mask rule also remains mandatory for anyone returning to school from a five-day quarantine following a positive COVID test.

“It’s been a very long time since students and teachers have been able to see one another’s smile and since they have been able to enjoy the school day without covering their faces,” said Warwick. “I can’t say enough about our students, staff and families who have weathered these difficult times with the level of perseverance and determination that they have shown.”

The relaxation of the mask mandate is accompanied by a strong recommendation that masks continue to be worn by those who are not vaccinated and by those whose immune system may be compromised. 

Warwick said the recommendation to relax the mask mandate came through the City of Springfield Public Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris.

“The Commissioner has guided us through this pandemic with an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our students and staff,” Warwick said. “This decision was not entered into lightly. It is based on data and science, as every district decision has been since COVID hit in March 2020.”

Warwick stated that the decision to lift the mask mandate was rooted in the steep decline in COVID-19 rates as it relates specifically to the Springfield community and the schools.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated: “I want to thank Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, SPS Director of Nursing Jeanne Clancy, Superintendent Daniel Warwick, Parks, Buildings and Recreational Management Director Patrick Sullivan and everyone for their continued efforts working together to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic.  We have not only made numerous improvements to the physical building of all of our schools but also kept appropriate public health and safety measures in place for the good of all our students and staff.  I want to commend everyone for their patience and cooperation.  We followed all of the proper federal and state public health guidelines and recommendations. The health of our students, teachers and faculty always remained our number one priority.”

Sarno added that the City invested millions of dollars to ventilation upgrades in every school building - and even every classroom - to standards exceeding those required by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Even in the midst of the pandemic, long before schools were reopened, we knew this day would come and we invested time, energy and resources on the front end to ensure that when the day finally came when schools were open and masks were not required, we would have peace of mind  knowing our schools are outfitted with effective, state-of-the art ventilation,” said Sarno.

Warwick said that as mask use becomes optional, schools have been charged to monitor the climate and culture of their building with ongoing hyper vigilance. “There will be zero tolerance for any disparaging, mocking, or negative interactions of any kind because of an individual’s or a family’s decision to wear or not wear masks,” said Warwick. “We know there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue, and we are committed to cultivating an environment of understanding and acceptance. There will be consequences consistent with the Code of Conduct for any behavior to the contrary.”

Warwick emphasized the continuation of other COVID-19 safety practices in schools including daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols, frequent handwashing, social distancing to the greatest extent possible, and staying home when sick. COVID-19 testing, and the availability of masks will remain in place as long as feasible. “And of course, the district continues to encourage vaccination for all who are eligible,” Warwick added.

In addition to the mask mandate being lifted, school buildings will once again be open to parents and visitors as of April 4th.     

Please click the link below for an update on the district's COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention Strategies:
 COVID Strategies and Prevention April 2022 SPS    

SPS and Behavioral Health Network Partner to Offer Vaccination Clinics to All Elementary Schools

Springfield Public Schools (SPS) and Behavioral Health Network (BHN) have partnered to host vaccination clinics at each of the district’s elementary schools, beginning the week of January 3rd. 

BHN will provide the vaccines for the clinics. In addition to the Pfizer vaccine for the elementary students (the only one yet approved for children), BHN will also provide Moderna (1st, 2nd, and boosters), Pfizer (1st, 2nd, boosters), Johnson & Johnson (1st dose), and flu vaccines, allowing SPS to open the elementary school-based clinics up to family members as well as the students themselves. 

The vaccination clinics at elementary schools this winter differ significantly from the clinics provided at every middle and high school this past fall. At the elementary level, parents/guardians are required to hand-in a consent form and accompany their child for the vaccination shot. At the older grade levels, students needed only to report to the clinic with a consent form signed by their parent/guardian.

While the clinics welcome walk-ins, parents/guardians may register in advance. Links to registration forms are available below.  

Vaccination Clinic Registration
COPY AND PASTE LINKS TO REGISTER:

Updated March 18th, 2022

BHN & SPS Vaccination Clinics

 

Springfield Central High School

4/4/2022 & 5/2/2022

8:00 am – 11:00 am

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=785a1f77-24c6-483e-af60-ed855ae91b2f


RISE @ Van Sickle & Rise Prep

4/5/2022 & 5/3/2022

8:00 am-12:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=2ccb23a2-5722-4498-83cc-72bccf9d5327


Van Sickle Academy

4/5/2022 & 5/3/2022

8:00 am-12:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=b3653228-a9f4-459f-93e7-d78db8d29b62


The Springfield Renaissance School

4/5/2022 & 5/3/2022

8:00 am-12:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=5e1a531e-ad7d-454e-b31e-3a775c9d3c57


Springfield Public Day Middle & Springfield Middle School

4/6/2022 & 5/4/2022

8:30 am-10:00 am

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=e816d707-1af9-423a-b9f8-e3a5f04b3f7e


Springfield Public Day Elementary

4/6/2022 & 5/4/2022

12:00 pm-2:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=db90b7c4-530b-43bf-b2a9-cb4072b3a808


Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School

4/6/2022 & 5/4/2022

3:00 pm-5:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=1981140b-685f-41b9-ab10-40a0ac9b2083


Springfield High School Science & Technology

4/7/2022 & 5/5/2022

8:00 am – 1:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=c68e5517-6a15-44b7-9294-e34b0dd15e56


STEM Middle Academy

4/7/2022 & 5/5/2022

8:00 am – 1:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=e34eef36-160d-44d6-a68d-739f71d9ce88


Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical Academy

4/7/2022 & 5/5/2022

8:00 am – 1:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=260153e9-b94b-46d1-95bb-0dffd40b882e


Liberty Preparatory Academy & HSCP

4/8/2022 & 5/6/2022

8:30 am -11:00 am

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=b5452f74-2efc-46c5-b37e-5f0e75f4d804


Springfield High School

4/8/2022 & 5/6/2022

8:30 am -11:00 am


https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=c9ffcab9-4d8e-4953-a146-bde797a33790


Springfield Conservatory of Arts

4/8/2022 & 5/6/2022

12:30 pm -2:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=e49f938c-4cbc-4ca8-a4b1-059456ba9e32


Marcus M. Kiley Middle School

4/11/2022 & 5/9/2022

9:00 am-11:30 am

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=adc44e2a-cbc3-45b9-8552-596ca1944616


John F. Kennedy Middle School

4/12/2022 & 5/10/2022

9:00 am -11:00 am

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=65b3ec08-3122-4d13-8599-906ad21696b5


Springfield Public Day High

4/12/2022 & 5/10/2022

12:30 pm -2:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=506ed818-66cf-45f0-a86b-f5e6b40c72f2


John J Duggan Academy

4/13/2022 & 5/11/2022

8:30-12:00 pm

https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/behavioralhealth?calendar=785a1f77-24c6-483e-af60-ed855ae91b2f

 

ALL STUDENTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR FREE RAPID AT-HOME COVID-19 TEST KITS

Through a program made available by Governor Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, you can ensure that your student receives a free at-home rapid COVID-19 test kit every other week. 

If you want your student to receive the test kits under this program provided by the state, it is required that parents/guardians sign a consent form for their student and return that consent form to their child’s school before the test kits are made available to Springfield Public Schools. Schools sent consent forms home with students on Tuesday, January 25th.
At Home Test Kit Instructional Videos

Please note: Some of the state-provided kits may have different instructions for setup. Additional written instructions for alternate test kits are available at the following links. ENGLISH SPANISH ARABIC CHINESE HAITIAN CREOLE VIETNAMESE

Package Demonstration 

Families who lost or misplaced forms, may contact their school for another form or download a copy below:

English Opt In Form for At Home Kits
Spanish Opt In Form for At Home Kits

 Your 5 -11 years old COVID-19 Vaccination  Questions Answered:









Click on the links below for important information by topic.

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