Reading, MA — In his most recent Pathways blog post, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. John Doherty, announced the results of a recent staff survey in which RPS teachers and staff were asked where they were in the process of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The survey results, which were conducted last week, found that 19.6% of staff have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
28.1% of staff responded that they have had one dose of the vaccine and have a second appointment scheduled, while 33.2% of staff responded that they have not received any doses yet nor do they have an appointment scheduled. The remaining 19.1% responded that while they have not received any doses, they have an appointment scheduled to be vaccinated.
The survey came in the wake of Governor Baker’s recent announcement that schools should be planning to phase out hybrid and remote learning models by the beginning of April.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Doherty also announced that he will be holding two community forums about the transition to in-person learning within the Reading Public Schools. The forums will cover RPS’s plan for the transition to in-person learning and answer any community questions regarding the plans.
As RPS begins to plan for the eventual move away from remote and hybrid models of learning, Doherty asked that students and staff participate in the pooled-testing program.
“As we transition to full in-person learning, we are asking all staff and students to participate in the pool testing program. This is an additional mitigation step that is critical to maintain a safe and healthy classroom environment,” stated Doherty.
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) recently voted to approve sport-specific modifications for Baseball, Golf, Lacrosse, Tennis, Rugby, Softball, Track and Field, Unified Track and Field, and Boys Volleyball.
“Wrestling awaits approval from the EEA for competition status, thus modifications were not presented. Sport modifications will continue to be reviewed as they relate to current regulations surrounding COVID-19 and, if necessary, may be modified. Additional modifications or the decision to participate in MIAA recognized spring sports is determined by local school districts and/or their local Boards of Health,” stated Doherty in the blog post.
The modifications focused on best practices in terms of social distancing during practices, equipment separation, and mask requirements for matches. The complete list of sport-specific changes can be found here.
The MIAA also recently voted to approve an MIAA sponsored post-season sectional tournament for the Spring 2021 season and plans to send out a survey to member schools to gain feedback regarding potential tournament expansion to state semi-final and final rounds.
Doherty announced that RPS will continue to offer their food distribution program for the remainder of the school year to all children, regardless of which model of learning they are participating in.
“Food Distribution happens under the bridge at Reading Memorial High School on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30 p.m. and Fridays from 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. Each child receives seven lunches and seven breakfasts per distribution,” stated Doherty in the blog post.
This previous week, there were 164 pooled-tests conducted, which all came back negative. There is one new case of COVID-19 affecting a student at RMHS who was learning in-person, leading to the quarantine of two staff and two students at the school.