Uxbridge Public Schools -Current Update on COVID -19
March 13, 2020
To All in the UPS Community:
I am writing to share the most current update with regard to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis. The national response to this pandemic has been very rapid and ever-changing by every hour. As superintendent, in real time I have been listening to the counsel of our local Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) for their expertise to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
This afternoon, the Uxbridge Board of Health has directed the school administration to close our school district for two weeks. Therefore, effective Monday, March 16, the Uxbridge Public School District will be closed for a period of two weeks (through Friday, March 27). All classes as well as extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports, are suspended. Before March 27th, we will work with local and state officials to assess the status and efficacy of this closing. While there is still officially only one presumptive case in Worcester County, there are many instances of imposed and self-quarantines. Because of the scarcity of readily available testing for the virus, there is a degree of uncertainty regarding the quantity of cases. The Board of Health’s decision is intended to be a “proportional mitigation,” i.e. a response to avoid a sustainable community spread.
Please realize that this two-week closure is being done on a regional basis, as all of the superintendents in the Blackstone Valley have been in close consultation. Potential infection does not discriminate among borders and we are all in agreement that a regional response is the most effective one. With consensus of health professionals, we agree that the two week window will enable us to reassess the depth and breadth of the current COVID-19 threat.
I will be addressing more of the specifics with you with regarding possible provisions for continuity of learning for our students. For right now, I wanted to get this information out to you. Please know that the Commission of Elementary & Secondary Education has relaxed the requirement on make-up days, and we will be required to attend only through the 185th day built into our school calendar.
I am sorry for the disruptions to your usual routine and the inconvenience that this has or may cause. I also regret the heightened anxiety that this unprecedented crisis is causing for many. However, these are extraordinary times and they call for aggressive, proactive measures.
Dr. Frank A. Tiano
Superintendent of Schools