COVID UPDATES

COVID UPDATES
Posted on 12/02/2020

COVID updates

The following information regarding COVID-19 cases in Middletown Area School District has been communicated to parents/guardians via email based on the email addresses that parents/guardians have entered in SchoolMessenger and also by phone call and text when deemed necessary. This page will host a running list of all COVID communications during the 2020-21 school year.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Dear MASD Parent/Guardian:

This communication is sent to notify you of the status of the District relative to identified cases of COVID-19 in our schools and to provide some additional explanations in light of further guidance that school districts have received from the PA Department of Education after the PA Department of Health released its new/updated orders. I apologize in advance for the length of this letter but hope you find this information to be helpful as we continue to work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community.

As stated in last week’s email, MASD filed its attestation form with the PA Department of Education on November 30, which allows the District to continue its current instructional delivery model of in-person learning, provided that we continue to follow the universal face covering order and the recommendations for K-12 schools upon identification of a case of COVID-19.

What is the process used in MASD when a case of COVID-19 is identified?
When a case of COVID-19 is identified, the District consults with public health staff at the PA Department of Health who review the facts of each case and advise the District related to quarantine recommendations, contact tracing, and cleaning/disinfection. It is important to note that every situation is unique, and therefore, every decision is based on the facts of that particular case. A large part of the mitigation effort is contact tracing. This takes time to determine as quickly as possible who may need to quarantine. To help everyone gain a better understanding of what is involved, I am going to utilize four actual MASD situations that we have learned of over the past couple of days to illustrate how these matters are addressed. The first is a situation we were apprised of on Monday that impacts athletics. The second is the identification of a positive COVID case at Kunkel, the third is a positive COVID case at MAMS, and the fourth is a positive COVID case at Reid. The most challenging part of handling COVID has been the need to balance my desire for transparent communication with the need to protect the privacy of students and employees. A level of trust is necessary since the District is not at liberty to disclose the names of infected individuals. However, what we can and will continue to do is to provide you updates when new information becomes available.

Situation #1 - Athletics
The District was notified on Monday of a positive COVID-19 case involving a student athlete who tried out for an athletics team in MASD the weekend of November 20-21. Through contact tracing, the District was able to determine a list of student athletes who were within 6 feet of this positive case for 15+ minutes 48 hours before the student athlete tested positive (Note: The date the test is taken is the date used to contact-trace back 48 hours). According to the PA Department of Health, it is necessary that those student athletes quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure to the infected party as they are considered to be “close contacts.” Athletic Director Rich Reed notified the parents of those student athletes whose names were provided to him by the coach. On Monday evening, as word traveled, legitimate questions were raised as to why it would be necessary for one student athlete to quarantine, yet a sibling of that student athlete residing in the same home was not on the list to quarantine. The reason is that if the sibling was not in direct contact with the positive case (defined as within 6 feet for 15 or more minutes), then s/he is considered to be a “contact of a contact”, and thus, not required to quarantine unless the quarantined individual were to become symptomatic and/or receive a positive test result for COVID-19.

I heard on the news last night that the CDC is changing its guidelines to reduce the length of quarantine from 14 days to 7 – 10 days. Why must my student athlete continue to quarantine for 14 days?
This is another great question! We were told that the PA Department of Health would be reviewing the latest updated guidance from the CDC. Until new requirements are released by PA DOH, we are required to continue to enforce the 14-day quarantine for close contacts. Should the PA DOH decide to adopt the CDC’s latest guidance, we will be sure to let you know.

Situation #2 – Kunkel
The District was notified on Monday of a positive COVID-19 test result involving a student and employee within the same family. In conversations with the PA Department of Health, who referred this case directly to an epidemiologist with whom I directly spoke yesterday, this case is considered to be one case (not two) because of the family linkage. The epidemiologist who reviewed the facts in this case determined that there was no risk of exposure to students or staff based on the timing of the positive test result in relation to the Thanksgiving holiday break and the fact that the individuals were not within 6 feet of anyone in the school for 15+ minutes. Therefore, I was advised that no one at Kunkel needed to quarantine and there was no need to close the school.

Situation #3 – MAMS
This afternoon the District was notified of a positive COVID-19 test result involving an employee at MAMS who has not been physically in the building since November 23. Employees and a student who were within 6 feet of this individual on November 23 for 15+ minutes were isolated and sent home to quarantine. Due to a lack of staffing in that particular classroom, parents of those students impacted were notified this afternoon by Director of Special Education Krystal Palmer that they will be 100% remote through December 7.

Situation #4 – Reid
The District learned that a student’s parent tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend. The student was required to quarantine for 14 days from the date the parent took the test. Two days later, the parent notified the District that the student also tested positive for COVID-19. The 14-day quarantine now becomes a 10-day isolation for the infected student. Since the student was not in school for 48 hours prior to taking the test, there is no risk of exposure to anyone at Reid and no need for anyone to quarantine. However, the District must count this student’s case toward its overall case count as part of the new 14-day rolling window that began on November 30.

So when will it be necessary to close a school and how many positive cases are required for that to happen?
As stated in my email last week, I will not hesitate to close a classroom, school building or the entire District if the case counts warrant such action. Moreover, the new recommendations for K-12 schools following identification of cases of COVID-19 must be followed per the attestation that I signed on November 30. While Dauphin County remains in the substantial level of community transmission of COVID-19, this means that any number of cases exceeding one (1) per building will trigger a recommended closure for small schools (population of 500 or less students). Due to the cohort/hybrid model, all MASD schools are defined as “small schools” for purposes of this guidance. The guidance utilizes a 14-day rolling window in determining the total case count per building. The 14-day rolling window begins when the first confirmed case becomes symptomatic. Here is the real-time data for today:
November 18 – December 2, 2020 (14-day window)
14 day data



One (1) case in a building does not require a school to close. However, 2 – 4 cases of COVID-19 among staff or students in a building within a rolling 14-day period will result in me closing the school for 3 – 7 days. Case counts of 5+ in a building will cause me to close a school for 14 days. The purpose of the closure is to thoroughly clean and sanitize the areas where the cases spent time in the building, and to allow the District and the PA Department of Health to direct close contacts to quarantine. The length of closure may be shortened if those tasks can be completed in a faster time period. The decision to close the schools rests with the Superintendent of Schools; however, by signing the attestation, I have agreed to follow these recommendations and fully intend to do so. If/when it becomes necessary to close a school, students and teachers will pivot to remote learning for the period of the closure. When school reopens, the 14-day rolling window is reset to zero (0) and the tracking begins anew.

Hopefully, these explanations are helpful in developing a greater understanding of the complexities surrounding the management of COVID-19 in a school district. Please know that we are doing our very best to provide a safe environment for your children and our employees. The School Board and Administration feel strongly that students benefit the most from in-person instruction; therefore, we have signed the attestation form stating that we will comply with these recommendations listed above, along with the continued expectation that face coverings be worn at all times except during lunch and during scheduled mask breaks.

With the holiday season upon us, it is natural that everyone will want to visit with relatives, go out with friends, and enjoy the many wonderful traditions that we all look forward to annually. Please be mindful of the fact that choices made to attend events and/or travel out of the state do have unintended consequences, and as case counts continue to climb around us, we may have no choice but to close schools per the directives above. Please also remember that anyone who is not comfortable sending their child to school during this recent surge in cases may take advantage of the 100% full remote learning opportunity K-12 or the asynchronous cyber program available through Raider Academy. We will continue to work hard to mitigate the virus in our schools to allow in-person instruction to continue in its existing model(s).

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at lsuski@raiderweb.org. I will be happy to address your specific questions or concerns as soon as possible.

Have a pleasant evening,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Dear MASD Parent/Guardian:

The intent of this communication is to update you on three (3) items associated with our MASD Health & Safety Plan:

1.  This week we were notified of a positive COVID-19 test result for an employee at the High School. The PA Department of Health (DOH) confirmed that there is no exposure risk for students or employees since the infected person was not in school 48 hours before becoming symptomatic and has not been in school at all since the week before last. However, per our Health & Safety Plan, the classroom was cleaned and sanitized accordingly.

2.  As you are aware from my communication on Friday, November 20, PA Secretary of Health Levine issued an updated order regarding universal face coverings last week. As stated in my prior email, the School District was awaiting further guidance from the PA Department of Education (PDE) relative to this order, which was received yesterday. After thorough review of both the updated order and the PDE guidance, the following changes will take effect on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 when we return to school following the Thanksgiving holiday recess:

  •  All students and employees will continue to wear face coverings. “Face covering” has now been defined in the new order as “covering of the nose and mouth with material that is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears or is wrapped around the lower face. A face covering can be made of a variety of synthetic or natural fabrics, including cotton, silk or linen. A face covering can be factory-made, sewn by hand.” 
  • Face shields, although a popular alternative to a face mask, will no longer be considered an acceptable face covering in school unless a student or employee meets one of the following exceptions under Section 3 in the amended order: If wearing a face mask would either cause a medical condition, or exacerbate an existing one, including respiratory issues that impede breathing; a mental health condition; or a disability.
  • Face shields will no longer be accepted in MASD schools as an alternative face covering without medical documentation that is provided, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA, of such medical or mental health condition or disability. The District has been very accommodating in allowing any student to choose to wear a shield as an alternative to a mask since August; however, the updated order is now very specific about exceptions to wearing a mask. If your child meets the criteria above, please submit the appropriate documentation to your child’s building principal next week. Please note that all alternatives to wearing a face covering, including the use of a face shield for those who meet the criteria above, should be exhausted before an individual is exempted from the order.

3.  You may have heard on the news last evening that the PA Secretary of Health issued another order on November 23, 2020, directing public schools in counties with substantial levels of community transmission of COVID-19 to attest to health and safety protocols. As a result of this order, by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 30, the School Board President and Superintendent must sign the attestation to affirm that the District is complying with the updated universal face covering order and agrees to follow the updated guidance released from PDE yesterday whenever a case of COVID-19 among students or employees is identified OR the District must transition to full remote learning until such time that Dauphin County returns to moderate levels of community transmission of COVID-19 for two consecutive weeks. After consultation with the District solicitor and members of the School Board this morning, Board President Linda Mehaffie and I will be signing the attestation stating that MASD will comply with the health and safety orders as issued by the PA Department of Health. This decision is based on data that shows MASD has had very few positive cases of COVID-19 in our schools, our employees and students continue to do an outstanding job following the rules for mask wearing and social distancing, and I will not hesitate to close a classroom, school building or the entire District if the case counts warrant such action. 

In closing, we need everyone’s assistance to keep our schools open. Our students benefit from in-person teaching and learning, interaction with peers and the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities that promote positive mental health and well-being. As we begin the Thanksgiving holiday recess, we respectfully ask that everyone do their best to comply with the new orders that have been put into place by the Commonwealth so that we can continue to keep our schools open upon return next week. We recognize that we have no control over COVID-19, but we all have control over our decisions to take the necessary measures to keep one another safe and healthy. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and continued support. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly at lsuski@raiderweb.org

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


Friday, November 20, 2020

Dear MASD Parent/Guardian:

As we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I want to thank you and your children for your continued efforts during this time of great uncertainty. MASD is blessed to have supportive parents, great students, and outstanding educators who work together to provide the best possible education for our students in the midst of a global pandemic.

Some parents may not support my recommendation to the School Board to keep our schools open at this time, but I feel strongly that our students need to be in school as much as possible. I want to assure you that we will continue to do everything possible to ensure the health and safety of our employees and students. Part of that commitment has been and continues to be transparency about the status of our COVID-19 cases in MASD. At Tuesday’s School Board meeting, I reported to the Board that we had zero cases among students or employees since the closing of MAMS a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, in the past two days the District has been informed of two positive cases ~ an employee at the Administration Building and a student at Fink Elementary School. In both cases, the infected parties had not been at work or school for several days prior to the positive test result; therefore, there was no risk of exposure to staff or students. However, in keeping with our Health & Safety Plan, that office and classroom were thoroughly cleaned and sanitized with fogging equipment.

The second reason for this communication is to inform you of two specific orders (list below) that were released from the PA Department of Health (DOH). Over the past two days, school districts have worked with their solicitors in the interpretation of these orders. As of this afternoon, the PA Department of Education has still not released its guidance or interpretation of these orders as they apply to K-12 schools. Therefore, it is possible that some things may still change next week. However, I did not want to delay any longer in getting this information out to our families, especially in anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

Below is a link for you to read very specific questions and answers related to the Updated Universal Face Covering Order that is in effect as of November 17, 2020. Please click on this link and take a few minutes to read through these explanations that provide helpful information for both in and out of school time:

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Guidance/Universal-Masking-FAQ.aspx

How does this impact our schools and what is different than what we have been doing?

The new DOH Order expands the previous requirement for individuals to wear face coverings both indoors and outdoors. In most instances, the DOH Order requires face coverings to be worn indoors when you are with other people, regardless of whether social distancing is possible. Although face coverings are generally required to be worn outdoors only when physical distancing cannot occur, the DOH Order requires face coverings in certain outdoor situations even with physical distancing. In addition, the DOH Order still permits limited exceptions to the face covering requirements, including an exemption for individuals with medical issues or disabilities. However, the DOH Order provides that alternatives to face coverings (such as the use of “face shields” or other accommodations) should be exhausted before an individual does not use any covering.

Under what circumstances are students permitted to remove their face coverings?

Nothing has changed! School entities may continue to allow students to remove face coverings when students are:
• Eating or drinking when spaced at least six feet apart; or
• When wearing a face covering creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task; or
• At least six feet apart during "mask breaks" to last no longer than 10 minutes.

The following link contains useful information related to the Travel Mitigation Order released by the PA Department of Health which went into effect today:

https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Pages/Travelers.aspx

What does this mean for students and employees of MASD?

According to the District solicitor, the District is not tasked with the responsibility to enforce the Travel Mitigation Order. However, it is with the District’s best interests in mind that we strongly discourage travel out of state or we may not be able to keep schools open due to the potential large number of employees who may have to quarantine for 14 days upon return to PA. We respectfully encourage everyone to do their part to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 by abiding by the Travel Mitigation Order and remaining in the state of Pennsylvania until the Order is lifted. With that said, the District has no jurisdiction over employees’ or parents’ decisions to travel on non-school days.

May students who have to quarantine for 14 days engage in full remote learning?

Yes. Students who return from out of state are strongly encouraged to remain at home for 14 days unless they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. While at home, students should engage in full remote learning by following their scheduled classes on Zoom.

We understand that these new orders may result in many questions. Please feel free to contact me for any clarifications that may be needed.

On behalf of the Board and Administration, I wish all of you a happy, safe and healthy Thanksgiving holiday break (November 25 – 30).

Sincerely,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools

2020.11.17 Universal Face Coverings Order
2020.11.17 Travel Mitigation Order


October 23, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This message is a follow-up to yesterday’s notification that the Middle School will be closed through Friday, October 30, due to positive COVID-19 cases.

The District has received a few questions asking when parents would be notified by the PA Department of Health if their child may need to quarantine. When the Department of Health (DOH) notifies MASD that a student has tested positive for COVID-19, DOH requests that the District provide names of students who may have been in close contact with the student who tested positive. Student names and parent contact information is placed in a spreadsheet and sent to the Department of Health for contact tracing calls to be made. The timing of those calls is outside the control of the School District; therefore, we made the decision to personally reach out via telephone today to the parents of students who may have attended class, eaten lunch, or sat on the school bus with/near the infected student on Monday, October 19. We felt it was important that parents be notified as soon as possible once the list of students was determined since it may take a few days until the Department of Health contacts parents. If you have not received a personal call or voice mail message from MASD personnel today, then it is safe to presume that your child did not have classes, eat lunch or ride the bus on Monday with/near the student who tested positive for COVID-19.

Only parents who have received the personal phone call today are strongly encouraged to quarantine their child for 14 days from the date of exposure (October 19 – November 2). All other members of the household (including siblings) would not be recommended to quarantine since they would not have had close contact with the confirmed positive case.

With many students involved in both school and community activities, it is advisable to take seriously the need to keep close contacts away from others during the 14-day period to prevent possible further spread of the virus. This week it became necessary to shut down both Blue Raider varsity and junior high cheerleading programs for 14 days due to exposure to a confirmed positive case at last week’s practice and football game. Parents of those student athletes were notified in separate communications.

The District is relying heavily upon honest communication from parents, community and employees if exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. We recognize that in some cases people are not aware that they have been exposed or that they are infected (if asymptomatic) or they would not have come to school or participated in extra-curricular activities. In order to avoid unknowingly exposing people to the virus, please be reminded of the following:

  1. If your child is exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, please keep them at home until symptoms have resolved.
  2. If someone in your household is being tested for COVID-19, please consider self-quarantining those in your household until a negative test result is received. This is a precautionary measure that truly helps prevent potential exposure to the virus.
  3. If someone in your household receives a positive test result, then it is highly recommended that everyone in the household quarantine for 14 days from the date the person first became symptomatic or, if unknown, the date the test was taken.

If any of the above are applicable to your household, please notify your child’s building principal. If parents do not notify the District, then we are not aware of the situation and potential risk of exposure until we receive a call from the Department of Health. Parents contacting the District when they become aware of situations listed above helps us expedite potential quarantines which aids in mitigating the spread of the virus. By following these steps you will assist us in keeping COVID-19 out of our schools and prevent schools and/or programs from having to be shut down. As cold and flu season is now upon us, coupled with COVID-19, it is imperative that we all do our part to remain home when not feeling well to mitigate the spread of any illness.

As we conclude this 8th week of school, I want to express my sincere appreciation to everyone for their cooperation and patience as we navigate this uncharted territory together. Our teachers, coaches and administrators are working very hard to serve the needs of our students during this unique fall season while keeping them safe and healthy. Many thanks to all of you who have supported us in our efforts to protect our teachers, students, administrators, the community, and our families.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


October 22, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This communication is sent per the MASD Health & Safety Plan.

The District has received notification of another confirmed positive case of COVID-19 involving a student at the Middle School. The student was last in school on Monday, October 19. The PA Department of Health will be contacting the parents of any students who should quarantine for 14 days due to direct contact with this positive case.

Due to the fact that there are now two (2) students in the same school building who have tested positive within a 14-day period, and Dauphin County is in the “moderate” level of community transmission, the decision matrix from the PA Department of Education and PA Department of Health recommends that the school be closed for 5 – 7 days. In consultation with the District Physician and in following the protocols of the MASD Health & Safety Plan, please be advised that the Middletown Area Middle School will be closed on Friday, October 23 through Friday, October 30. All students will be 100% remote, and teachers will teach from home. This closure will allow the building to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. It also allows the public health staff the necessary time to complete case investigation and contact tracing.

Please note that today’s junior high field hockey game vs. Camp Hill has been cancelled. Additional scheduled junior high practices and games will also be cancelled.

Middle school students will return to the building on Monday, November 2 which is a Cohort A Day. All other MASD schools will remain open tomorrow and next week. If the situation changes, parents will receive additional notifications.


Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to keep our students and staff healthy and safe.

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


October 20, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This communication is sent for informational purposes only. Please note that all MASD schools remain open at this time.

The District has received notification of two (2) confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 involving a student at the Middle School and a student at the High School. Neither student was in school since last week. The PA Department of Health has begun the process of contact tracing and is advising the District administration of any other students or employees who may also need to quarantine due to direct contact with either positive case. Those individuals impacted will be notified personally by MASD administrators or the PA Department of Health regarding the dates of quarantine.

Please note that today’s volleyball games will be postponed. The games will be rescheduled at a later date.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


Sunday, October 18, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This communication is sent for informational purposes only. Please note that all MASD schools remain open at this time.

Over the past few days, the District has received notification of two (2) confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 involving MASD employees – one at Reid Elementary School and the other who travels between Kunkel Elementary School, MAMS and the HS. The PA Department of Health was notified of both situations and provided direction to me this afternoon. By contact tracing, the District administration was able to pinpoint those who had direct contact with the infected employees. In both cases, no students need to quarantine; however, there are five staff members among those four buildings who will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure to these individuals. Those five (5) employees are not exhibiting any symptoms at this time and will work from home during their quarantine period.

The District is also seeing an increase in situations in which teachers and students are needing to quarantine due to confirmed positive cases among family members living in their households. We appreciate everyone’s diligence in contacting their building principal if their child or a member of their household has tested positive or has been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive. That information is critical in assisting the District with vetting who may be required to quarantine, depending on the facts of the potential exposure. With your continued assistance and support, we will continue to be vigilant in keeping MASD healthy and safe during a time where positive cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across the Commonwealth.

Be well,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


Friday, September 25, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This communication is being sent to all K-12 parents for informational purposes only due to a COVID-19 related matter. The parents of the affected students in one classroom at Reid Elementary School have already been notified via telephone by the office staff to request that they pick up their child from school today. If you have not been notified, then your child is not impacted by the details below:

The PA Department of Health notified the District today that a substitute teacher who taught at Reid Elementary School on Monday, September 21 has since tested positive for COVID-19. Although the substitute teacher wore a mask all day and was socially distanced from the students, out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Health has advised that only the students in that particular classroom be sent home to quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure to the substitute teacher (Monday, September 21 – Monday, October 5). Those students may return to school on Tuesday, October 6. Their classroom teacher will teach them remotely during the quarantine period.

This notification also presents an opportunity to review with all K-12 parents how to notify the District of a pending test for COVID-19 or exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19:

· If your child has been experiencing two or more symptoms of COVID-19, they should not come to school. Please remember to conduct the pre-screening with your child each morning before sending them to school.
· Contact your primary care physician if you believe your child should be tested for COVID-19 due to symptoms or possible exposure to a confirmed case.
· Please keep your child at home until the results of any COVID-19 test are received. Contact the building principal to make them aware that a test is pending. The principal will then notify the superintendent. All information is kept confidential and only shared with staff members who need to know.
· Please note that a negative test result does not necessarily mean that the child is cleared to return to school the next day. That decision is dependent on several factors and is vetted by the superintendent with the District physician and Department of Health. Every case is fact-specific.
· Just a reminder that any student who has a fever (due to any illness, not just COVID-19) may not return to school until fever-free for 24 full hours without the assistance of fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol™ or Advil.™

Your cooperation and support is appreciated as we continue to do our very best to keep our students and employees safe!

Sincerely,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


Monday, September 14, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This notification is sent in accordance with the MASD Phased School Reopening Health & Safety Plan.

This morning the District was notified that a High School support staff employee who is asymptomatic has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was sent home immediately to self-isolate. The employee works in an office and has had no direct contact with students or other staff members.

Direct contact is defined by the CDC as “someone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic individuals, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the person is isolated.”

Per the guidance received from the PA Department of Health, the school will remain open, and the area where the confirmed case has spent time has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

Thank you,

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


Monday, August 24, 2020

Dear Parent/Guardian:

This notification is sent to inform you that the District has been apprised of two confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Middletown Area School District.

A support staff employee at the High School received a positive COVID-19 test result on Sunday. The employee was last at the High School on Monday, August 17, and had no contact with students and very limited contact with other employees; most importantly, not within 6 feet of the infected individual, thus they do not need to be quarantined.

This morning the District was apprised that a student athlete has tested positive for COVID-19. Therefore, certain members of the football team who may have been in close contact with this player on Thursday, August 21 will need to quarantine for 14 days out of an abundance of caution. Phone calls are being made to those student athletes who will need to be quarantined. If the athletic director or coach does not call you, then that means that your child was not in close contact with the infected individual and will not need to quarantine. According to our District physician, it is not necessary for your child to be tested for COVID-19 at this time. You should monitor your child for any COVID-19 symptoms, and if symptomatic, consult with your child’s personal care physician for his/her recommendation regarding the need to get tested. Please note that even if your child were to be tested and the result be negative, they must still quarantine for the full 14 day period which ends on September 4, 2020.

Since school begins next week, our District physician has indicated that those quarantined student athletes must remain at home and do full remote learning until the quarantine period ends. Those students will be able to return to their regularly assigned high school cohort effective Tuesday, September 8, 2020. They will be able to return to football practice on Friday, September 4, which is the end of the quarantine period. (*Note there is no school on September 4 or 7 due to the Labor Day holiday weekend.) 

On an unrelated note, the District was advised this morning that Power School sent out automated messages informing parents of their child’s progress reports and class assignments. The IT department is working to resolve this glitch in the system. We apologize for any confusion that these emails created for parents this morning.

Thank you for your continued vigilance as we work together to reopen school and athletics/extra-curricular activities with safety as our first priority.

Dr. Lori A. Suski
Superintendent of Schools


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