As school reopening dates approach, Westborough teachers celebrate vaccine access

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Westborough Public Schools logoBy Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer

Westborough – Seventy three percent of Westborough Schools faculty and staff had either completed vaccinations or scheduled appointments as of March 24, Superintendent Amber Bock told the School Committee that night.

As the district and the rest of the state rapidly approach a return to full-time, in-person schooling, Bock celebrated that news.

“(I) feel very good about where we are now,” she said.

Bock noted that the vaccinations have given the school community a “much needed emotional lift,” adding that faculty and staff have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic while still fearing for their own health as well as that of their families.

At urging of the state, schools move forward with reopening plans

Westborough schools are indeed on track to bring a majority of students back for in-person learning five days per week in the near future.

Children in grades two through four already returned on Monday, March 29 while fifth and sixth graders start on Monday, April 5. 

Monday, April 12 is the start date for grades seven and eight. High school students return on Monday, April 26.

A remote learning option is still in place for families who choose to have their children finish out the year using that model.

Bock said at that March 24 School Committee meeting that the return dates are on similar tracks with those in neighboring communities.

Bock gave a secondary shout out to the custodial and maintenance staff of her district for their hard work in preparing buildings for this transition. 

“They are a dynamic and amazing group who stand up and get work done to ensure our buildings are well cared for,” she said.

Administrators talk scheduling changes

In other scheduling news, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Meyer discussed changing the date for the last day of school from a half day on Monday, June 21 to a full day on Friday, June 18.

The school committee will address that proposal at its next meeting.

Meyer also noted that traditionally, there is one early release day in May used to talk about placements for the following year. He suggested that take place on Friday, May 7.

Students who travel during, this spring, to face quarantines

Speaking, March 24, Bock also talked about protocols for students who may travel for longer than a 24-hour period. For any time beyond that duration, the person must take a PCR test for the virus and quarantine until they get a clear result. 

These steps are in line with Gov. Charlie Baker’s restrictions.

People who are vaccinated do not have to test or quarantine.

Children under the age of 10 would follow the practice of their family.

Through this all, School Committee Chair Kristen Vincent cautioned everyone that the return to school does not mean everything is “back to normal.” 

“But it is back to something really great,” she said.

She urged the community to be vigilant outside of school to keep themselves and others safe in light of the ongoing pandemic.