Monday, 8/31/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,


It sure has cooled off a bit this past weekend. I do hope that folks were able to enjoy some time outdoors and with those that you hold dear.  


I’m including three video links today for your review and consideration.


First, is the August 31st Update video that includes important information on the Stay-At-Home procedural update (also included below).  


Next is the complete 4 minute video that I shared in the update. It shows how powerful it can be when everyone is working together.  A quick note on this video: it was sent to me by a respected and valued colleague in the middle of last week, and I am grateful that it was.


Last, I’m sharing a Dear Students video that I will be sending to students as well, so that you can see what was sent to them. Interesting in this video is the Word Cloud that opens the video is the same Word Cloud from the student challenge that ended on April 6th. That challenge asked students to share what they missed most about school in 15 words or less. That was 3 weeks into the pandemic and we’re now approaching 6 months. Also worth noting, the song that opens the video also was one of the top 10 songs from another student challenge in the spring. I thought it was fitting and appropriate to use in this message as well.


And with that, I am presenting a complete version of the updated Comprehensive Plan for everyone’s convenience. I wish everyone a wonderful week ahead. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the holiday weekend coming up as it will be another opportunity to connect with those that we hold dear in our lives. Stay safe everyone and remember…..


WE GOT THIS!


Be Well, 

Robb


COVID-19 Data: Here is a 7-day look at the data related to COVID-19 that we’ve been tracking since March. Source: NHDHHS COVID-19 Page



Current Positive Cases

Date

Chesterfield

Harrisville

Keene

Marlborough

Marlow

Nelson

Westmoreland

August 24

0

0

<5

<5

0

0

<5

August 25

0

0

<5

<5

0

0

<5

August 26

0

0

<5

0

0

0

<5

August 27

0

0

<5

0

0

0

<5

August 28

0

0

<5

0

0

0

<5

August 29

0

0

<5

<5

0

0

<5

August 30

0

0

<5

<5

0

0

<5

 

Cumulative Positives Cases

Date

Chesterfield

Harrisville

Keene

Marlborough

Marlow

Nelson

Westmoreland

August 24

5

<5

27

<5

0

0

8

August 25

5

<5

27

<5

0

0

8

August 26

5

<5

27

5

0

0

8

August 27

5

<5

28

5

0

0

8

August 28

5

<5

29

5

0

0

8

August 29

5

<5

30

6

0

0

8

August 30

5

<5

30

6

0

0

8

 

State and Cheshire County Data

 

State of NH Data

Cheshire County Data

Date

NH Total

Change From Previous Day

7 Day Average

Rate per 100,000

Cheshire County Total

Change From Previous Day

7 Day Average

Rate per 100,000

August 24

7134

27

18.6

1.4

118

3

1.6

2.1

August 25

7150

16

19.0

1.4

121

3*

2.0

2.6

August 26

7159

9

17.6

1.3

123

2*

2.3

3.0

August 27

7194

35

20.6

1.5

123

0

2.0

2.6

August 28

7216

22

20.7

1.5

125

2

2.3

3.0

August 29

7246

30

22.0

1.6

129

4

2.6

3.4

August 30

7254

8

21.0

1.5

129

0

2.0

2.6

*One additional case for Cheshire County turned up in the cumulative total on 8/25 that was not included in the daily report (which was 2) of new cases.

**Two additional cases for Cheshire County turned up in the cumulative total on 8/26 that was not included in the daily report (which was 0) of new cases.


Note - In consultation with NHDHHS more specifically, the Joint Information Center for NH, it was explained that additional cases come in at various points in time from other states, thus they do not report it as a new case for that specific day. It was articulated to me directly, that there is up to a 2-week lag in information coming in from other states. In erring on the side of caution, I’ve included the additional cases not reported in the daily report as part of our calculation.

 

For ease of understanding, I’m adding in the charts from the Comprehensive Opening Plan so that it is easier to understand how the numbers above may impact our schools.

Decision-Making Model

The following describes how we will make determinations on what model we will be using at any point in time. The first chart demonstrates the risk levels based on positive cases per 100,000 people. The second chart is the tipping points that we will use to move from one model to another. The third chart is the real data for both Cheshire County and the State of New Hampshire.

  1. The Harvard Global Health Institute key metrics for COVID Suppression issued on July 1, 2020.  The rate is calculated using a 7 day rolling average of new cases per 100,000.

COVID Risk Level

Description

Rate

Green

On track for containment – Monitor with viral testing and contact tracing program.

Less than one case per 100,000 people.

Yellow

Community Spread – Rigorous test and trace programs advised.

1-9 cases per 100,000 people.

Orange

Accelerated Spread – Stay-at-home orders and/or rigorous test and trace programs advised.

10-24 cases per 100,000 people.

Red

Tipping Point – Stay-at-home orders necessary.

25+ cases per 100,000


  1. The following chart illustrates the decision tipping metrics that will be used:

Fully Onsite

Blended Hybrid

Fully Remote

7 day rolling average of <1 new cases per 100,00 for a period of more than 14 days

7 day rolling average of 1-9 new cases per 100,000

7 day rolling average of 10+ new cases per 100,000

COVID-19 Risk Level Green

COVID-19 Risk Levels Yellow 

COVID-19 Risk Level Orange and Red

**In our original plan, the tipping point for going from the blended hybrid to fully remote was a seven day rolling average of 25 new cases per 100,000.  In response to concerns voiced during the SAU-wide Board meetings, we lowered that number to a seven day rolling average of 10 new cases per 100,000.  This aligns with the previous risk level chart in that both the orange and red risk levels are combined to go fully remote.** 

  1. The data reported by the NHDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard for our county and our state:

 

Population

7 Day Average of New Positive Cases 

Rate per 100,000

Cheshire County

76,085

2.0

2.6

State of NH

1,359,711

21.0

1.5

                    (as of August 30, 2020)

Additional Sources: US Census Bureau and NH Population Estimates - 2019

The data will be monitored on a daily basis and determinations will be made and communicated no later than the last Friday of every month (September 26, October 30, November 27, and so forth). 

We will use the Rate per 100,000 data across Cheshire County as opposed to using the statewide or town specific data for decision points on any model that we are implementing.  The rationale for using the county data is because it will give us enough time to shift prior to a local outbreak in any one of our communities.  Unless there is an urgent need to immediately shift to a fully remote model, a period of two weeks will be used to give families and staff enough lead time to transition to any change in model.

Meals: Food service during the hybrid model will be offered starting the first day of school.  Students will be able to participate in their lunch programs while they attend school in-person.  Grab-and-go meals will be available weekly for remote only learners and those participating in the hybrid model.


Friday, August 28th was the final day of the Summer Food Service Program offered by Southwestern Community Services, Inc. since June 29. All area students, including those from SAU 29 districts, remain welcome to utilize the lunch program free of charge. SCS is encouraging folks to take advantage of the curb-side pick-up at Keene Middle School, Monday through Friday. For more information please contact Rhonda Hull, SCS Community Food Coordinator at 603.719.4240 or rhull@scshelps.org 


Mental Health & Cultural AwarenessBelow are some resources that may be helpful as we end our summer vacation. 


Resources:



Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  


Additional Resources:


School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.


Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  HSB Meeting Video

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video


School Buildings

In order to facilitate the cleaning of our buildings, we need to ensure that they are not in use for periods of time each day. Beginning August 31st and until further notice, each building will observe the following hours for times the building may be utilized:

Building

Open

Close

Chesterfield School

6:00AM

4:30PM

Franklin Elementary

7:00AM

6:00PM

Fuller Elementary

7:00AM

6:00PM

JD Pre-School

6:45AM

4:00PM

KHS (Including CCC and KCE)

7:30AM

9:00PM

KMS

7:30AM

6:30PM

KSD Buildings/Grounds and Food Services (Barn)

5:30AM

5:30PM

Marlborough School

7:00AM

6:00PM

Nelson School

6:00AM

4:30PM

John Perkins Academy (Marlow)

7:00AM

4:00PM

SAU 29 Central Office

6:00AM (public 7:00AM)

6:00PM (public 4:30PM)

Symonds Elementary

7:00AM

6:00PM

Wells Memorial (Harrisville)

7:15AM

3:30PM

Westmoreland School

7:00AM

5:30PM

Wheelock Elementary

7:00AM

6:00PM



All buildings are closed on the weekend.


School Calendars: The 2020-2021 school year calendars can be found using this link:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  


School GroundsOutdoor facilities were opened on Monday, June 22nd. Playgrounds will remain closed as proper sanitization can not meet recommended guidelines. Organizations and teams wishing to use the facilities must arrange to do so through the facility use process.  Contact your respective school district for further information. Users of the facilities shall continue to practice social distancing while on school grounds.


School Year 2020-2021 Opening: All seven of our districts have adopted an opening plan for the start of SY 20-21.  They are:

  1. Chesterfield:  Beginning fully remote and moving into the blended hybrid with a modified school calendar in that staff now begin on September 1st, students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd.   
  2. Harrisville:  Beginning with the blended hybrid plan and a modified school calendar that staff now begin on September 1st, students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd.  
  3. Keene:  Beginning with the blended hybrid plan and a modified school calendar that staff now begin on August 31st, students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd. 
  4. Marlborough:  Beginning fully onsite and a modified school calendar that staff now begin on August 28th, students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 22nd. 
  5. Marlow:  Beginning with the blended hybrid plan and a modified school calendar that staff now begin on August 31st and students begin on September 10 and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd. 
  6. Nelson:  Beginning with the blended hybrid plan and a modified school calendar that staff now begin on August 31st and students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 24th. 
  7. Westmoreland:  Beginning with the blended hybrid plan and a modified school calendar that staff now begin on September 1st and students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd.  

Screening:  Daily screening and self-reporting SHALL be conducted for each student and staff member prior to leaving for school in the morning.  We are currently working with a recognized medical company to make this process user friendly for all of our families and staff.   The technology solution we are implementing will guide users through a series of prompts that are consistent with the current CDC Screening Guidelines as of July 31, 2020.  The system will ask people to respond to:

Exposure/Close Contact

Presence of Symptoms

  • Close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person confirmed COVID-19.
  • Close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or under quarantine for possible exposure.
  • Any travel to/from areas outside of New England (Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island) within the last 14 days (starting from the last day of their travel outside New England), irrespective of the mode of transportation for travel (public vs. private transportation).**Subject to change as guidance is updated by state officials. See additional guidance below.**

Any new or unexplained symptoms including:

  • Temperature of 100.4 or higher
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
  • Fatigue, body aches, headache
  • Loss of taste or smell

The building administrator will have a dashboard that will generate a report for their specific site, with live results as they are input by both parents/guardians and staff.  Anyone that did not conduct the screening prior to reporting to school will be required to complete the screening upon arrival and sent home if attendance is not approved.

Travel:  The following chart serves as a guide for any travel to/from areas outside of New England (Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island) within the last 14 days (starting from the last day of their travel outside New England), irrespective of the mode of transportation for travel (public vs. private transportation). It is important to note that this information is subject to change as information is updated by state officials.

District

Staff

Students

First Day

Travel Outside of New England Cutoff Point

First Day

Travel Outside of New England Cutoff Point

Chesterfield

August 31

August 17

September 10

August 27

Harrisville

September 1

August 18

September 10

August 27

Keene

August 31

August 17

September 10

August 27

Marlborough

August 28

August 14

September 10

August 27

Marlow

August 31

August 17

September 10

August 27

Nelson

August 31

August 17

September 10

August 27

Westmoreland

September 1

August 18

September 10

August 27


Stay-At-Home Requirements:  Parents/Guardians and staff know the risk of their level of exposure through their daily activities (where they have been, who they have interacted with, what safety measures they had in place).  Nobody wants to be the person who infects another so it is imperative that we all comply with the following chart (consistent with the guidance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services released on August 28, 2020 and linked below chart) that serves to provide clarity:

Scenario

Stay-At-Home

Answered “Yes” to any of the symptoms and “No” to any of the exposure/close contact during screening only.

● Provide written documentation of negative PCR or antigen test result (in accordance with NH DPHS guidance) AND person is fever-free, without fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are improving (per routine school policy), OR 

● person can provide written medical documentation that specific symptoms are chronic (not new) and part of a pre-existing medical condition 

● If symptoms are new and testing is not conducted, treat the individual as a suspected COVID-19 infection and allow return to school after CDC criteria are met for removal from home isolation. Currently requires 10 days since onset of symptoms, and when symptoms improved and fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication, and district return to school protocols are met 

● Provide medical or public health documentation that self isolation requirement has been met.

Answered “No” to any of the symptoms and “Yes” to any of the exposure/close contact during screening.

For 14 consecutive days AFTER exposure.

Answered “Yes” to any of the symptoms and “Yes” to any of the exposure/close contact during screening.

  • Until a minimum of 10 consecutive days have passed since the symptoms first appeared; AND,  
  • 24 hours have passed with no fever without fever reducing medication, AND
  • All symptoms have improved, OR 
  • Cleared by a healthcare provider that may also include possible testing (If you are tested, you can be around others when you have no fever, respiratory symptoms have improved, and you receive two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart).  

***Updated August 28, 2020 with the release of the NHDHHS School Toolkit***

Additional Source:  CDC When You Can be Around Others

Special Education: As we gear up for a new and exciting school year, Special Education is working very closely with building leaders to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met.  As always, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher or building principal with questions.  You can also contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email rmatte@sau29.org if you have any questions.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Thank you!   



Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at rmatte@sau29.org


Governor Sununu has also activated a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.


Technology: Teachers, we have installed some software for remote teaching. Currently we have Kami which integrates with Google classroom. Sreencastify will let you record your computer screen to share with the class. You can also have your image in the corner of the screen as you record the lesson. EquatIO  Easily add equations, formulas, graphs  to G Suite for Education. It has a scientific calculator, and periodic table charts.


Parents, we will be sending out an online registration form for PowerSchool. Please look for the form that will allow your student to use Youtube while we are in remote learning.


Technology support during COVID19: Please see the update.

 

Power School update:

We have upgraded Power School and in doing so we need to make sure we have all the latest data for your contacts and emergency contacts. We will be sending out a link to a video that will show you how to update your emergency contacts. As we get closer to the opening of school we will ask that you make sure all your information is correct for you and your students. We are putting in place an online registration to keep your important information up to date. Once we have it up and running we will send out a notice to all important links.


Help desk number: (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here