COVID-19 Information & Updates

Updates

As we continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation, this page will provide you district updates and links to helpful information and resources. Please be sure to check back regularly!

To view the full dashboard, use the scroll bar at the bottom to scroll over and view all schools.

MTRSD S'Update

Save the Date - VaxBus to return to MTRS!

The VaxBus will roll into Mohawk Trail Regional School on Thursday, February 3 from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. For those who still need to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine or booster, please consider scheduling your appointment and visiting our convenient location.

January 2022 Return to School

At this point in time, we intend to return to school as planned on Monday, January 3. As we have been doing since the beginning of the pandemic, we continue to track positive cases of COVID-19 amongst our entire staff and school community. We have no plan to preemptively close school at this time, however, if we are unable to adequately staff our school buildings due to staff absences, we may have to close schools. There is always a concern that we will simply not have enough staff to safely open our schools. If you are a substitute or have been considering becoming one, now is a great time to reach out to your building principal! As with any potential school closure, please listen for our all call or watch the local news outlets and social media streams and website.

Please continue to layer your mitigation strategies. The most important thing we can do is get vaccinated. In all our schools, we will continue to practice our fab five ... get vaccinated, wear your mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands often, and stay home if you’re not feeling well! In addition to these strategies, we are distributing KN95 masks and providing rapid test kits to all staff. While the original distribution of kits was meant for Sunday, January 2, we are awaiting final notification of availability. These test kits are not intended as a universal screen of all staff and will not alter our plan to open school on Monday, January 3.

Please take a moment to read Superintendent Sheryl L. Stanton's complete letter regarding the January 3 return to school

Athletics Update

December 22, 2021

Dear MTRS Community and Sports Fans!

COVID-19 caseloads have drastically increased in Franklin County over the past month. With the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant, we will not allow spectators at our sporting events for the remainder of this week starting on Wednesday, December 22 and during vacation week. Over the next few weeks, we will continue to monitor regional and district caseloads and reassess the need for continuing with closed athletic events after the break.

We want to remain vigilant in mitigating COVID-19 in our schools while still providing our students with the opportunity to play sports this season. While spectators bring wonderful energy and excitement to our sporting events, we need to be mindful of the impact outside spectators have on our entire community.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Sheryl Stanton
Superintendent 
Mohawk Trail/Hawlemont Regional School Districts

VaxBus Clinics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have unanimously approved and recommended the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children ages five through eighteen. This followed on the heels of the FDA approval.

A vaccine bus clinic (VaxBus) is returning to Buckland-Shelburne Elementary School on Thursday, December 23 providing free vaccines and boosters for those who are eligible. You must pre-register for the clinic. Please sign up online.

Registration is now open! If you have any questions about the VaxBus or COVID-19 vaccine, please reach out to COVID-19 Nurse Donna Weber.

For more information, please see the VaxBus flyer.

Abbott-BinaxNOW & Surveillance "Pool" Testing Program

With the arrival of the more highly contagious Delta variant, the Mohawk Trail Regional School District’s position on pool testing has changed since last spring. This is due to the significant increase in transmissibility of the Delta variant, as well as the likelihood of vaccinated individuals being asymptomatic should they get COVID-19. In order to keep our school community healthy and safe, the COVID-19 School Planning Task Force and Administration determined pool testing would be another mitigation strategy to complement the FAB FIVE: vaccination; mask wearing; washing hands frequently; physical distancing; and staying home when unwell. MTRSD has been accepted into the state’s COVID-19 testing program including BinaxNOW and weekly surveillance “pool” testing program. The program is funded by the state at no cost to the district.

The testing program will begin in late September once the district receives all necessary supplies. To implement the testing program, the following protocols were discussed and approved by the Mohawk Trail School Committee on September 8, 2021. Under the pool testing program:

  • Any MTRSD student or staff member may voluntarily elect to be tested weekly for COVID-19 using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pooled testing procedures outlined below. A PCR test is a diagnostic test that determines if you are infected with COVID-19 by analyzing a sample to see if it contains genetic material from the virus.
  • Any MTRSD student or adult involved with district before- and after school programs, athletics, or extracurricular programming will be required to participate in the weekly testing program.

Pool testing will be administered in school buildings. Under the surveillance pool testing protocol, MTRSD school nurses will administer the tests, which involve collecting anterior (shallow) nasal swab samples from a group (or “pool”) of six to ten individuals. These samples will be combined and sent to Cambridge Innovations Center Health (CIC), a Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) contractor, to conduct the lab analysis. The PCR test results will be available for review by the District Nurse Leader within 24-48 hours.

The Results: What Happens Next?

If a pooled sample generates a positive result, each individual in the pool will have a second anterior nasal swab and a BinaxNOW test performed at the school.

  • If results from the second individual test are negative, the individual will continue to attend class or regular duties without any limitations.
  • If results from the second test are positive and the individual is a student, the student’s caregiver will be notified of the need for immediate pick-up.
  • If results from the second test are positive and the individual is a member of our district staff, the employee will be notified immediately and asked to leave the school building.

The District Nurse Leader/COVID-19 nurse and/or the local Board of Health will contact the caregiver/individual to review isolation requirements for the positive person per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and DESE policies.

When a positive case is identified, contact tracing begins immediately to determine those deemed a “close contact.” Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within six-feet of a COVID-19 positive person while indoors for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

All close contacts who were exposed within the school community (at school, on a bus, etc.) are able to participate in the “TEST and STAY” protocols.

What is “Test and Stay?”

The Test and Stay program allows those who are identified as a “close contact” and exposed within the school community (students, staff, coaches) to test immediately for COVID-19 using the BinaxNOW antigen test. Testing is conducted by the school nurse upon their arrival at school each day for one week (seven consecutive days). BinaxNOW test results are available within 15 minutes.

If the person deemed as a close contact remains asymptomatic and continues to test negative daily, they may continue performing and participating in regular school activities. This allows for a safe way to monitor close contacts and increase time in the classroom.

If you have any questions surrounding the process, procedure, or need additional information, please reach out to our district Nurse Leader Donna Weber or Superintendent Sheryl Stanton.

Sign Up Online

Select: Consent Now - Mohawk Trail - (select your school)

For staff, coaches, or anyone over 18 years of age, please select “Sign consent form for yourself.”

For caregivers who need to give consent for their child/ren, please select “Sign consent form for a minor.”

If you are unable to complete the online sign-up/consent, please contact Donna Weber for a paper copy to complete.

Virtual Town Hall

The Mohawk Trail Regional School District's COVID-19 School Planning Task Force hosted a virtual town hall on Tuesday, August 17 via Vimeo to share updates and information regarding COVID-19 as we gear up for the 2021–2022 school year. During the meeting, Superintendent Stanton shared proposed updates to the district's mask policy and preparing for back to school. The MTRSD School Committee will host a special meeting this week to vote on proposed updates to the mask policy. Visit the SC Meeting page for the list of upcoming meeting dates, and see Superintendent Stanton's virtual town hall presentation slides for more information.

If you missed the broadcast, you can watch below.

August 17, 2021, Virtual Town Hall

2021–2022 Draft Reopening Plan