Letter from the Superintendent

August 26, 2021

Dear Peabody Public Schools Community,

We are excited to welcome students back to full in-person learning on Monday August 30th. The health
and wellness of our staff and students remains paramount to our success and our focus this year of supporting
staff and students to meet or exceed expectations. On August 24, 2021 the Department of Elementary and
Secondary Education mandated universal mask wearing for all staff and students in all school buildings until
October 1st. As you know, the health and safety protocols continue to change which will require us to be
flexible and adaptive as we progress through the school year.
As we did last year, we will routinely evaluate the guidelines and update them accordingly. Our focus as
we begin the year will be to continue to support our staff and students as we return to school: September is a
month to establish structure and routines that support student growth. Students need time to adapt and become
accustomed to the guidelines, rules, routines, and expectations that arrive with a new school year. Around
October 1st, we can begin to make adjustments as needed.

● Masks are required for all staff and students while indoors (classrooms, hallways, common areas,
etc.). This requirement includes indoor athletic events.
● Masks are required on all school sponsored transportation.
● Masks may be removed in cafeterias while eating lunch or in classrooms during snack.
● Masks are not required outdoors (This includes recess, outdoor lunch, and when lesson plans allow
for outdoor class instruction as weather permits).

Daily Wellness Check
● All students and staff are required to review the symptom checklist on a daily basis.

Social Distancing
● Although there are no social distancing restrictions as we enter the new school year, students and
staff are encouraged to maintain 3ft distancing when feasible.

Cleaning and Hygiene
● We will continue to implement routine cleaning protocols in all schools.
● Hand sanitizing dispensers will be throughout our school buildings.
● Students and staff are reminded to sustain the healthy practice of routinely washing their hands for
at least 20 seconds, especially before eating.

● All food services operations and procedures are in compliance with the requirements of the Peabody
Health Department.
● Students and staff are required to wear masks while moving about cafeterias, including waiting in
line for food or drinks.
● Masks may be removed only while eating.
● We are encouraging assigned seating in cafeterias to assist with contact tracing.
● Distancing in cafeterias will be similar to a traditional cafeteria set up with approximately 3 ft
between students when feasible.
● Students may request additional distancing (up to 6 ft) during lunch.

Contact Tracing
● School nurses will continue to conduct contact tracing in cooperation with the public health
department and quarantine students and staff as needed.
● We strongly encourage all individuals to fully cooperate with contact tracing efforts.

Quarantining and Covid-19 Exposure
● Per current public health guidelines, fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to an individual
with confirmed Covid-19 do not have to quarantine as long as they remain symptom free.
● Individuals wearing masks that have maintained at least 3 ft distancing are also exempt from
quarantine as long as they remain symptom free.
● We are exploring “test and stay” options for close contacts that are not vaccinated. More information
will be provided in the coming weeks.

Covid-19 Vaccinations
● There is no vaccination requirement at this time.
● Vaccination clinics will be available for individuals that wish to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

As always, we’ll keep you updated on important health related developments as the year progresses. If you
have any questions about our protocols and guidelines, please be in touch with our school nurses or the public
health department.

We look forward to supporting students, staff and families as we enter the new school year.

Josh Vadala
Superintendent of Schools

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