Good afternoon Springfield School District families, students, and staff,
This is Zach McLaughlin, the Superintendent of Schools. I am calling today with some very important updates for Monday. This morning we awoke to notification of multiple more positive cases within the school community.
After conversations with our building leaders, I am announcing that Springfield School District Schools and Programs--including All-4-One--will be closed on Monday.
Now let me explain why we are closed. At this point, we have approximately a quarter of our student body in some form of quarantine. A large number of those students have recently been tested and are awaiting results. We anticipate that we could have several more positive cases out of that wave of testing. Our existing cases, new ones today, and these probable new cases from testing, are overwhelming our ability to adequately contact trace, communicate with families, and work to provide for shifting educational needs.
Our plan is to use Monday as an opportunity to reset the table. For most students and staff this will work like a September snow day. Calendar year staff will report to work as usual, but school year staff will not. Meanwhile, we will have our administrators, nurses, and some additional contact tracing team members work on several tasks.
First, we will need to catch up on the new cases since Friday. We anticipate that those will continue to roll in over the course of the weekend and into Monday.
Second, we will be using the opportunity to strategize on the best path forward over the next few weeks. The current wave of cases is severely impeding our ability to carry out our mission. We have to consider the possibility that we may be stuck in this case wave for a while. If so, we may need to have an alternative path forward. That may include some important conversations with our partners both here in Springfield and in state government.
Our goal will be to issue new information on Monday afternoon or evening.
I am sorry that we are in this spot. I know that this will put a strain on families to figure out arrangements for Monday. That is why we are making the decision right now. We want to give you as much time as we can to prepare.
Everyone also needs to know that these dialogues may lead to new and more restrictive protocols being announced. We will need your help in following through on these.
Thanks for your collective strength during this period of time and your support of our students. I know that it is a challenging period for us all.
I do hope that you have a good rest of your weekend.