June 1, 2021 Updates

Remarkably, the end of this never-ending school year is rapidly approaching. The last day of school for all PK-11th grade students is Wednesday, June 16th.

By working together our educators, our staff, families, students and school leaders have created a remarkably safe and consistent school year for Gloucester’s students. We have a lot to be proud of.

Please read below for some very important updates about what to expect when school opens in the fall and the health and safety protocols that we will follow until the end of this school year.

Department of Education Announces a Full, In-Person Return to School for Fall 2021

Perhaps the best news we have heard recently came late last week when the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education announced that for the fall, “All districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full- time, five days a week and all DESE health and safety requirements will be lifted. This includes all physical distancing requirements.”

The Gloucester Public Schools, the Gloucester Department of Health, and state authorities will continue to monitor the COVID situation as we move through the summer. As of now, we are planning for a full, in-person opening and the regular school day and year for all students for the upcoming school year.

Getting Family and Parent Input as We Continue Planning for Next Year

In the coming weeks, we will distribute three separate surveys related to planning for and opening school next year. These short surveys will be on

  1. Transportation needs for the new school year

  2. Getting parent input on what we did well this year and what we should do less of

  3. Virtual learning needs for students with documented medical conditions

Please be on the lookout for these short surveys as we depend on your input to help us understand and better serve family needs.

COVID Restrictions Still in Place for Schools Until the End of This School Year

Over the weekend, the state withdrew most COVID protocols. However, PK-12 schools are one of the areas that still must follow safety protocols that are different from the ones we follow outside of school. PK-12 protocols are different because of the length of time we are with each other during a school day and the number of people in our classes, hallways, and schools.

We have all done a fantastic job following our school safety rules. We all need to continue to follow these protocols until the end of the school year:

  1. Continue to monitor for symptoms and stay home when sick - Perhaps the most important thing our families did this year was to keep children home when they had symptoms or when they had been exposed to COVID. Please continue to monitor your children for any symptoms and keep them out of school if they are feeling sick. All staff should do the same.

  1. Wearing masks when indoors - Students, staff, and all other adults must continue to wear masks or face coverings when inside school or school buildings.

  1. Masks not required outdoors for students and vaccinated staff

    • Students do not have to wear masks or face coverings when they are outside.

    • As of May 29, adults on school grounds do not have to wear masks when outdoors.

    • However, any adults who are not vaccinated are encouraged to wear masks at all times, even when they are outdoors in alignment with the state masking advisory.

  1. Maintain regular hand hygiene - Washing and sanitizing hands remains incredibly important in lowering the transmission of any illness including COVID-19. Staff and students must continue to practice healthy hand hygiene by washing or using hand sanitizer throughout the day and always before and after eating.

  1. Maintain physical distance - When inside, students and staff should continue to maintain a minimum of three feet of distance from each other. When outdoors, individuals should distance as feasible and should be at least six feet apart when eating.

Facilities Updates - September 2020
The Department of Public Works continues to upgrade and improve the ventilation systems by making repairs to improve airflow and adding ionization filters. See the October report on the Indoor Environmental Quality assessment and recent updates from Superintendent Lummis to the School Committee on the ongoing improvements below:

For transportation information and bus routes, please click here

GHS Opening Plan Revised to Remote Plan
The School Committee revised the opening plan for Gloucester High School at its meeting on August 26. The high school will start on September 16 with a fully remote model that includes in-person learning for students on a rotating basis. For a full update please review the presentation made at School Committee on August 26th and August 21st. The high school will communicate with students and families with more details in the coming days with more.

Superintendent Lummis appears on Cape Ann Today - View the superintendent's interview about returning to school on 1623 Studios' Cape Ann Today.

Possible change to Gloucester High School Opening Plan - On August 21, Superintendent Lummis and Principal Cook presented to the School Committee about potentially shifting the high school to a fully remote opening temporarily because of staffing and scheduling challenges.

Gloucester's Safety and Operations Plan for school reopening - We have made the GPS safety measures available here. To view the latest updates on Gloucester and state COVID-19 data, please click here.

Gloucester Teachers Association proposal for Hybrid Learning - Click here to read the negotiations proposal submitted by the Gloucester Teachers Association.

School Starts on September 16th. School Committee Decides on Hybrid Models that Prioritize In-School Learning - The School Committee voted to begin school on Wednesday, September 16. The School Committee also voted to begin K-12 with hybrid models that prioritize having students in school four or five days per week. Pre-school will begin with full in-person learning. Click here to read Superintendent Lummis's update to the school community about the School Committee's decision on opening schools.

Gloucester's Plan for a Safe Return to School - Click here to read our complete plan that was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.

DESE Protocols on Responding to Positive Cases in Schools - These step-by-step state protocols show how schools and communities should respond if a student or staff member have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test. These detailed protocols will be shared with families and staff in parent friendly language later this month.

Virtual Family Forums - You may view recordings of our our Family Forums. Click here to see a list of all eight of the forums and select the ones you want to watch.

Family Surveys - we received more than 2,100 responses to our Family Survey. Click here to view the results.

School will Start the Week of September 14th - To allow teachers and staff to fully prepare for a school opening like no other, Massachusetts is requiring schools to open 10 days later than originally scheduled. The School Committee will decide on the new start date on August 5.

Superintendent Updates to the School Committees

Coming Soon...

Parent Communication

Coming Soon...