Gov. Baker Announced Extended Statewide Closure of Schools Until May 4
MEDWAY — Superintendent Armand Pires announces that, in accordance with an order from Governor Charlie Baker, Medway Public Schools will remain closed through the end of April as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statewide closure of schools, originally set to end on April 7, has been extended to end Monday, May 4.
The closure of schools is an unprecedented step by the state that is seen as vital to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and to continue the practice of social distancing as more positive cases and deaths are announced in the state each day.
COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has moved the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global pandemic. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and Governor Charlie Baker earlier this month declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts.
According to Gov. Baker, the extension will allow school administrators and educators added planning time to ensure students can complete course requirements, as well as provide teachers with time to expand remote learning opportunities.
Educators will continue to develop alternative enrichment learning and support experiences while the district collaboratively explores a more “remote learning” model due to the extended closure.
All athletics programs, events and after school activities will also remain suspended and fields, playgrounds and play areas will be closed until further notice.
The district is offering families the opportunity to have continued access to school meals through daily “grab and go” breakfast and lunch options. Pick up is at the Medway Middle School main entrance from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Additionally, families may pick up a week’s worth of food at the Medway Village Church Food Pantry on Saturday mornings from 9 to 10 a.m. or by scheduling an appointment time with the Food Pantry Director. Questions about food resources can be directed to Director of Wellness Ryan Sherman at [email protected] or 508-321-4714.
During the closure, custodians and maintenance staff will complete thorough disinfecting and sanitizing of all school and administrative buildings to ensure a healthy environment once classes resume.
Superintendent Pires and district leaders will continue to monitor the guidance and regulations of local, state and federal health experts as the situation evolves. The health and safety of students, parents, teachers and staff is the district’s number one priority.
Due to the evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Gov. Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory. This means all residents are advised to stay home during this time in order to curb the spread of this virus, with the exception of going grocery shopping or picking up medication.
Please continue to practice social distancing – maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from other people — and appropriate personal hygiene – with your children and explain to them the importance of doing so.
Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.
Children and COVID-19
Proper hygiene and prevention methods and social distancing efforts should continue until further guidelines are provided by state officials about the status of the virus.
Parents should not hold “play dates.” Clean and sanitize toys, video game controllers and all touch surfaces regularly.
As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings are viewed by public health officials as safer than gathering indoors with others, but social distancing techniques should still be followed.
Organized activities like basketball and tennis are prohibited. Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as safer alternatives to gathering indoors.
Local, state and federal health officials are encouraging residents to take the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases, such as the flu and COVID-19, from spreading:
- For a minimum of 20 seconds, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with those who are sick
- Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
- If you are an essential employee who is continuing to go into work, stay home if you have a fever or are ill
COVID-19 Information Resources
Residents are encouraged to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:
- Town of Medway Official Website: https://www.townofmedway.org/
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/covid-19
- Massachusetts 2-1-1 general COVID-19 information: Click here or dial 2-1-1 (24/7)
- Sign up for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Text Message Notification System to receive important updates: text “COVIDMA” to 888-777
- United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.