Dear Smithfield Staff and Families,
This 33rd edition of the Return to School report includes our weekly report on COVID cases, getting seniors back to in-person learning 5 days per week, morning tickets, graduation planning, and town data.
A Weekly Report on COVID Cases
This past two weeks, numbers continued to drop, with only 4 new COVID cases reported in our school community over 2 weeks, down from 28 in one week just one month ago. Two cases were from SHS and GMS and no cases were reported in our elementary schools. This brings our total number of cases to 281 since the start of the school year. Thanks to everyone for respecting social distancing as we endeavor to return to more normal conditions.
High school parents should look for updates coming from the high school over the next week. Our administrators, working in collaboration with high school parents and student leaders, are planning new traditions and celebrations through the spring to honor our 2021 graduates. Graduation will be moved to the outdoors and to a new date: June 12th with a raindate of June 13th.
Returning Seniors to In-Person Learning, 5 Days/Week
Beginning on March 8th, high school seniors will return to in-person learning, five days per week. In order to make this happen, we reviewed bus seating charts to determine if we can safely accommodate all seniors’ transportation needs. A few details will need to be worked out, however, we are committed to making this work for our students. Over the next week, SHS administration will review class seating charts and make accommodations for as much social distancing as is possible.
Starting on Monday, March 1st, parents will no longer need to fill out health screening tickets. Instead, by sending a child to school, parents will be implicitly implying that they are not exhibiting COVID-related symptoms. We believe that health screening has become internalized and tickets are now unnecessary.
While the number of new cases of COVID in the state has decreased to its lowest figure since mid-October, the number of new cases in the town of Smithfield has increased to 94 this past week, up from 66 two weeks ago, underlying the need to remain vigilant. This latest figure corresponds to a daily rate of 13.4 new cases per 21,650 residents or 62 per 100,000. This data is available at https://bit.ly/2PxCgDM.
Judy Paolucci, Superintendent