33 Students Quarantined at Parker Middle School

Reading, MA — In his newest Pathways blog post, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty announced that 33 students at Parker Middle School had to be quarantined after three classes of students were possibly exposed to the coronavirus. This past week, four students have tested positive for the virus at the middle school. 

Reading Public Schools saw 13 new cases of coronavirus this week. Three students at RMHS, one Coolidge student, and five Wood End students tested positive in addition to the cases reported at Parker. 

Doherty stated that all of the Wood End cases were unrelated and that “there was one class that was exposed.  Nine students and one staff member were quarantined.”

The blog post also included updates regarding pooled testing, SEPAC, and the opportunity for therapy through Doc Wayne. 

“The Reading Public Schools is planning on moving forward with pooled testing in the near future as an additional mitigation step for all staff and students.  We will be holding staff and community forums this week to present what pooled testing is and also any other winter hybrid updates,” said Doherty.

The first of the two forums will take place on Tuesday, February 2, from 4:30-5:30 pm, and the second will take place from 6-7 pm on Wednesday, February 3. The links to both meetings can be found in the blog post. 

Doherty also stated that, due to the snowstorm that began on Monday afternoon, RPS might be exploring the potential of a snow day on Tuesday, February 2. 

“If school is impacted on Tuesday due to inclement weather, it will be a snow day and not a remote day.  We will keep you updated if conditions change,” stated Doherty. 

The Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) will be hosting their next business meeting on Tuesday, February 9 at 7 pm via Zoom. 

“New business for this meeting includes an update from our reading/literacy subcommittee and a brief presentation by Alice Gomez, School Psychologist, on community resources, followed by a parent discussion regarding the same. Please join us for this presentation and discussion, and feel free to share any additional resources that you think other parents may find helpful. All are welcome!” stated the blog post. The information regarding how to access the Zoom meeting can be found in the Pathways blog post. 

Doherty also provided updates regarding school-aged children’s opportunity to pursue therapy through a partnership between the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support and the non-profit Doc Wayne

“Using a theoretical curriculum, which incorporates social-emotional learning and life skills, Doc Wayne offers innovative mental health programming,” said Doherty.

The program is open to Reading students between the ages of 5 and 18 and allows them to pursue individual or group therapy. The Reading Coalition for Prevention and Support and Doc Wayne will be providing two informational Zoom sessions for parents interested in the program. The first session will take place on Tuesday, February 2, from 7-7:30 pm, and the second will take place from 12-12:30 pm on Thursday, February 4. The Zoom links for both sessions can be found in the Pathways blog post. 

Doherty also provided an informational packet regarding the program and provided the email for Sammy Salkin, the Outreach Coordinator for the Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support. 

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