New year- a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story?
Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.
It was so nice to welcome back all of our Superstars this week! I hope you all had a nice break. This month, Walnut Square will be creating a Peace and Kindness Chain to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. A letter and paper strips were sent home with families on Thursday. You may send in the white and blue strips of paper as soon as they are filled out. The final collection for the paper pieces will be on Thursday, January 13th.
Monday continues to be pool testing day at Walnut Square. Here is the link for staff or families to sign up for testing: https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=null. Individuals can choose to complete link in a variety of languages. For more options about testing, here is the link: Free COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Options January 2022.
The PTO’s Dollar Drive fundraiser ended Thursday, January 7th. Please send in any envelopes as soon as possible. We are collecting recipes for a cookbook fundraiser. We hope that all families will share a recipe! Thank you for your consideration and support for our school community!
Please go to https://walnutsquare.haverhill-ps.org/ for resources and information about Walnut Square. In addition to the Walnut Square School website, you can also “like” our Facebook page, Walnut Square Elementary School, and follow us on Instragram @walnutsquaresuperstars to get updates and see all of the fun and learning that happens at Walnut Square.
Jen Rubera, Principal
Here are the updates for this week:
Mark Your Calendar!
- Thursday, December 23rd: Early Release (Dismissal is 11:35 am)
- Friday, December 24th: Christmas Eve- NO SCHOOL
- Friday, January 14th: Early Release (Dismissal is 11:35 am)
- Monday, January 17th: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day- NO SCHOOL
- Please click here to view the revised school calendar that was approved.
PTO Dollar Fundraiser: Our PTO is sponsoring a Dollar Drive Fundraiser. Envelopes with the fundraiser went home with students on Friday, December 3rd. The goal is for each student to collect $25. This fundraiser is open until January 7, 2021. Please send in any envelopes ASAP.
PTO Recipe Request: Do you have a favorite family recipe? Share it with the Walnut Square Community! Last year the Walnut Square School published a cookbook with favorite family recipes that our students brought to school. It was such a big hit, that we have decided to do it again. This is a school wide project where every family can participate. All we need are one or two of your favorite recipes. Please take the time to write your recipe on the sheet that was sent home on Friday, December 3rd and send them back to school with your child. If you would like to send a picture of your child or a picture of the recipe, we will add that to our cookbook as well. We will compile all the recipes and photos over the next month or so and publish a cookbook full of appetizers, entrees and desserts!
Please send your child to school with the following supplies:
- Water bottle (to refill at our water bottle station)
- Extra masks (can be kept in a plastic bag in backpack)
- Extra change of clothes (can be kept in backpack)
COVID-19 Safety Checks
Pool Testing is scheduled every Monday at Walnut Square School.
The COVID Safety Check (pool testing) this year is 1 swab. One goes in the pool. If the pool is positive then the pool will retest.
Here is the link for staff or families to sign up for testing: https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=null. Individuals can choose to complete link in a variety of languages
For the 2021-22 school year, we are offering an extra layer of protection to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our COVID-19 testing program at school. This program has three components: symptomatic testing for students/staff who show symptoms of COVID-19 at school, routine COVID safety checks to prevent the spread of the virus undetected among students who are not showing symptoms, and test and stay for students/staff who may have been exposed while in school but are not showing symptoms. Each of these is a quick, non-invasive nasal swab that is collected under the supervision of a school nurse or trained health provider. Unlike COVID-19 tests of the past, these are not uncomfortable and easy for students/staff to do themselves.
Students/staff only participate with permission from a parent or guardian/self for staff. It is important to Haverhill Public Schools that you are fully informed regarding the process and that we can answer any questions that you might have in advance of asking you to sign the electronic consent form (https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=null). Below we describe each of the three parts of our testing program, how they are conducted, and what they are used for.
Symptomatic testing is used when a student/staff is showing symptoms of COVID-19 during school; students/staff should not come to school if they are feeling sick while at home. Some symptoms of the virus look identical to other illnesses like the cold or flu, and this test tells us whether a symptomatic student/staff member has COVID-19 or not. This is a rapid test, and we receive the results of this test within 15 minutes. If a student/staff member has minimal symptoms and tests negative, they can remain in school.
Routine COVID safety checks minimize disruption to learning by helping us catch potential spread of the virus before it starts. Each student/staff administers the safety check on a weekly basis. Samples are collected at school in groups of 5-10 individuals. The samples are group together at school OR in the lab. Once the samples get to the lab, all the samples in the group are tested for COVID-19 together. In almost all cases, it will take less than 24 hours to receive safety check results. Students/staff can continue to come to school while awaiting safety check results; they do not need to quarantine while awaiting results. If a safety check test is positive, the students/staff in the group will take individual tests to determine which student(s) in the group produced the positive test//the lab will automatically process each individual sample to determine which student(s) in the group produced the positive test.
Test and stay allows students/staff who have had close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 while at school to stay in school if the student/staff is not showing symptoms. Instead of needing to quarantine and miss school, these individuals will take a daily rapid test while they remain in school as long as they are not symptomatic. Students/staff participate in test and stay for at least five days after they may have been exposed.
If a student/staff tests positive for COVID-19, they must quarantine at home for the CDC-recommended ten days since symptoms appeared or ten days since the positive test before returning to school. The student/staff member must also be without a fever for 24 hours.
Although students/staff who are vaccinated are much less likely to spread or contract the virus, it is important for us to create an inclusive environment for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.