Latest School Messenger Message

01/06/2022 6 pm

ALERT – School Closing – All Enfield Public Schools and offices, Stowe Early Learning Center, Parochial Schools, Head Start, and ERfC School Age Centers will be closed tomorrow, January 7th.  All after school activities, Park & Recreation and Enfield Adult Education Classes have been cancelled.  There will be no out-of-town buses.  This message can also be found on our website @ www.enfieldschools.org

Vaccine/Booster clinic week in Enfield! 

https://www.enfield-ct.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=657

 

ALERTA - Cierre de escuelas - Todas las escuelas y oficinas de Enfield, el Centro de Aprendizaje Temprano Stowe, las Escuelas Parroquiales, Head Start y los Centros de Edad Escolar ERfC estarán cerrados mañana, 7 de enero. Todas las actividades después de la escuela, Park & Recreation y las clases de educación para adultos de Enfield han sido canceladas. No habrá autobuses fuera de la ciudad. Este mensaje también se puede encontrar en nuestro sitio web @ www.enfieldschools.org

¡Semana de la clínica de vacunación / refuerzo en Enfield!

https://www.enfield-ct.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=657


01/05/2022 4 pm

Dear Parents, Staff, and Students of the Enfield Public Schools,

I don’t need to remind you that we live in uncertain times, and there are two issues I need to share with you that confirm the unpredictability of the times we are living in. First are the weather conditions that caused a hardship for many of you this morning. I won’t bore you with all the specifics that go into making a weather-related decision; however, I think it may be helpful to understand the process. Before a decision is made to delay or cancel schools for weather, there are several people who I consult with, including an area superintendents meteorologist, DPW, Buildings and Groundsand our bus company. 

 

At 3:30 this morning, weather reports from our meteorologist indicated no widespread freezing rain, drizzle, or ice were expected for our area. This information remained until shortly after 7:00 am, when our meteorologist informed us that conditions had changed, and widespread icing could be occurring. Unfortunately, by this time, our busses were already enroute, and it was too late to reverse the decision to start school on time. As some of you experienced, conditions didn’t deteriorate until close to 8:00 am, at which time we began experiencing delays with busses arriving on time. We are extremely grateful for our dedicated bus drivers who took their time to safely get our kids to school. We tried to get the message out to families as quickly as we could to inform you of possible delays, but I understand that some of you were already waiting at bus stops. For this, I sincerely apologize, but please understand that in a situation like this morning, we try to get information out as quickly as we can, but at times, it’s not as fast as we’d like it to be.  

 

Now for the second issue I need to update you on. I realize in my last communication I shared with you that school or district closures would be possible due to staffing issues caused by COVID-19. I certainly wish I didn’t have to say this, but the possibility should now be considered a certainty. I must be clear—I am not announcing any school closures at the moment, but do not be surprised if your child’s school gets closed on any given day. The number of staff we have out with COVID-19 right now has reached an alarming level, and we are doing everything we can to keep our schools open. I mentioned on Sunday that we are operating day-to-day. Unfortunately, we have now shifted to hour-by-hour. From consolidating classes to safely condense coverage to sending central office employees to cover classes, we are being as creative as we can, butwe are running out of solutions. It is still my hope we can avoid any school closures because of staffing, but I promised I would give you as much notice as I can, so here it is. 

 

You are as sick of reading these messages as I am of writing them, but I still have hope this public health crisis will be over soon. Until it ishowever, we all need to remain flexible in the midst of the circumstances we face, but we will never change our mission—providing the best and safest opportunities for our students. 

 

Thank you - and stay well, 

 

 

Christopher J. Drezek 

Superintendent of Schools


01/03/2022 5 pm

January 3, 2022; 5 pm

Good evening,

Thank you so much for your patience during these trying times. All schools will open tomorrow with the exception of JFK. As previously planned, all JFK students will remain home while the staff is required to report. We understand the inconvenience that this morning's cancellation caused and are hopeful that that was a one-time occurrence. However, as the Superintendent stated, "we are operating day to day and circumstances change overnight (or early in the morning). Additionally we ask parents, please be aware that buses may be behind their "normal schedules". Even more so, I thank you so much for your time as we are trying to keep us all safe and in school. Be well and stay safe!

Buenas noches,

Muchas gracias por su paciencia durante estos tiempos difíciles. Todas las escuelas abrirán mañana con la excepción de JFK. Como se planeó previamente, todos los estudiantes de JFK permanecerán en casa mientras el personal debe reportarse. Entendemos los inconvenientes que causó la cancelación de esta mañana y tenemos la esperanza de que haya ocurrido una sola vez. Sin embargo, como dijo el Superintendente, "estamos operando día a día y las circunstancias cambian durante la noche (o temprano en la mañana). Además, les pedimos a los padres que tengan en cuenta que los autobuses pueden estar retrasados en sus" horarios normales ". Aún más, yo muchas gracias por su tiempo ya que estamos tratando de mantenernos a todos seguros y en la escuela. ¡Esté bien y manténgase a salvo!


01/03/2022
Due to transportation and COVID-19 related issues – All Enfield Public Schools and offices, Stowe Early Learning Center, Parochial Schools, Head Start, and ERfC School Age Centers will be closed today, January 3rd.  All after school activities,  and Enfield Adult Education Classes have been cancelled.  There will be no out-of-town buses.

Lo siento por la notificación tardía......

Debido a problemas de transporte y relacionados con COVID-19, todas las escuelas y oficinas públicas de Enfield, el Centro de Aprendizaje Temprano Stowe, las Escuelas Parroquiales, Head Start y los Centros de Edad Escolar ERfC estarán cerrados hoy, 3 de enero. Todas las actividades después de la escuela y las clases de educación para adultos de Enfield han sido canceladas. No habrá autobuses fuera de la ciudad.



01/02/2022

To the Parents, Students, and Staff of the Enfield Public Schools:

I realize that many of you have questions and concerns regarding our plans to reopen on January 3rd (January 4th for JFK). I’ve held off on sending this communication because the guidance I’ve received throughout the week has changed multiple times, and I didn’t want to cause more confusion by sending an update, only to retract it later. We finally received guidance on reopening from the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut State Department of Public Health late on New Year’s Eve. As of this moment, the Enfield Public Schools will reopen as planned on Monday, January 3rd for all students, with the exception of JFK Middle School. JFK will be returning on Tuesday, January 4th. Based on the recommendations from the CSDE and CSDPH, we will be reopening as follows: 

-All Enfield Public Schools will reopen for full, in-person learning. 

-In the event that an individual school or the district is forced to close because of staffing issues due to COVID, that day or days will be treated as a traditional snow day and will be made up prior to the end of the school year. 

-All students are expected to attend school in person. 

-Students who are unable to attend school because they are COVID positive or are required to quarantine will have assignments posted daily from their teachers, just as we have done prior to winter break. 

-Per recommendations from the CDC, CSDE, and CSDPH, quarantine time for positive COVID cases can be reduced from ten days to five days in certain situations. If a positive person is asymptomatic five days after a positive test (not the beginning of symptoms), that person can return to school or work if they remain masked at all times. If a positive person still has the slightest symptoms on day five, they must complete the ten day isolation period. This is a point I need to emphasize to everyone. I realize we all want our kids back in school as quickly as possible – and staff want to return as well – but I have to implore all of you—if you or your child still has even the slightest symptom, please keep them home. I fully understand the inconvenience of having a child in quarantine, as I have had with my own children, but please think of those who are still vulnerable before sending a symptomatic person back into our schools. 

-To clarify, if you developed symptoms on December 30th and tested positive on January 1st, your clock will start on January 1st, the day you tested positive. You would then be required to isolate for five days. On January 6th, if you are asymptomatic, you or your child would be permitted to return to school, but will be required to be masked at all times, even at home. If you or your child are still exhibiting symptoms on January 6th, you or your child would be required to complete the ten-day isolation period, and you could return to school or work on January 11th. 

-We will no longer require proof of a negative test to return to school. This is not something I take lightly, but because testing is so scarce, it is something that we have no choice in implementing. The fact that we are two years into this pandemic and the testing situation is so bad is an argument for another day. For now, we have to continue to do the best we can with the resources we have. 

-In the past, we were unable to accept at-home tests to return to school. This has changed. Because of the testing shortage I mentioned above, we can now accept at-home test results for positive cases, but again, we no longer will require negative tests to return to school/work. 

-Due to the decrease in quarantine times, we have to implement stronger mitigation strategies during the school day. The biggest area of concern is when our students eat lunch. Because our students remove masks to eat, we will be enhancing the distance between students while they eat and will also try to limit the amount of time students are unmasked during lunch. 

-I have also been advised by the CSDE, CSDPH, and our local health department that in times of high community spread (which is what we are experiencing at the moment), contact tracing for in-school transmission is less effective. It’s also been shared that since in-school transmission rates are low due to masking, that contact tracing is not imperative at this time. Because our nursing staff spends so much time contact tracing during and after the school day (typically well into the evening), it is recommended that we suspend contact tracing for in-school transmissions for the time being to allow our medical staff to focus on symptomatic students and those with existing medical needs. I understand this will not be popular; however, it is advised that we use our medical resources more effectively during this time, treating students who are sick. What this change means for parents is that if there is a positive case in your child’s class, you will no longer be contacted by phone that your child was a close contact; instead, you will receive a notification from the school that a student in your child’s class or school has tested positive. This change goes into effect Monday and will apply to all school sponsored events, including sports and extracurricular activities.

Lastly, I wish I could be more specific on this one, but unfortunately, I cannot. I have no idea what our staffing levels will be on a daily basis. I take no pride in saying this, but for the next few weeks, it will be a day-to-day decision on whether one or all of our schools can open. The level of infection in the state right now is the highest it has been since the beginning of this pandemic, and I have no tool to predict who is going to test positive next. Because of this, if I receive notification that we don’t have enough staff to safely open a school, I will close for that day. Regardless of how many days we have to make-up or whether I agree with this policy, I will not send students to school in an environment where we don’t have adequate adult supervision to keep them safe. I realize this causes a hardship on parents, so I will try to give you as much notice as I can, but please understand it is possible I won’t be notified of insufficient staffing levels until the morning of school, so if there is a cancelation, I apologize in advance.  I realize these changes may contradict what I said earlier about infection rates in the state right now, but I would never institute these changes if they weren’t advised from our medical experts. 

I understand there’s a lot of information in this message, but I wanted you to have as many facts as I do. If I’ve learned anything these past two years, it is to expect the unexpected and anticipate things changing without much notice, so I apologize in advance if everything I just shared gets changed shortly, but please remember we’re all doing everything we can to keep our kids in school and as safe as possible. This wasn’t the New Year’s message I was hoping to send, but I still remain optimistic that better days are ahead. 

Hang in there, 

Christopher J. Drezek 

Superintendent of Schools