Southwick Regional district requires face coverings for all students

SOUTHWICK – All students in Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional Schools must wear face coverings when they return to school in-person.

Masks were previously required for students in grade two and up, however, the Regional School Committee this past week accepted a new policy on face coverings.

Superintendent Jennifer Willard presented the policy which now requires all students in all grades to cover their nose and mouth while in school.

“If your child attends Woodland School and this new policy affects your enrollment selection, please reach out to the school by the end of the day on Monday, Aug. 24, 2020,” Willard said.

“Mask breaks” are incorporated throughout the day according to the sample schedules presented to the committee two weeks ago. Teachers will also provide lessons outdoors whenever possible, which would present additional opportunities to remove masks for a short time.

Willard also provided a district update based on the enrollment data recently submitted by families. Information was provided about new metrics from the state, protocols for COVID-19 scenarios and extra-curricular activities for the fall.

Willard said she and Southwick Health Director Tammy Spencer are in constant communication and the district communities have continued to be very low when it comes to positive COVID-19 cases. Currently, Southwick has one positive resident while Granville and Tolland have no residents currently positive for the coronavirus.

Willard said weekly meetings with Spencer, the School Committee chair, Southwick Education Association union president, lead nurse and director of curriculum and instruction will continue. She said they would look for trends, patterns or spikes in the district towns as well as surrounding communities.

She said in the case of an uptick in cases, the group would consult with the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education before making a decision to stay open or move to all remote learning.

“In the case of significant municipal outbreak, as determined by the local board of health or DPH, the superintendent and school leaders must consult with the local board of health to determine whether it is appropriate to close a specific school, schools, or an entire district. Before a final decision is made on a school or district closure, the superintendent must consult with DESE for further guidance,” Willard said in her presentation.

Willard presented current enrollment numbers and said at Woodland Elementary School, there is a mix of hybrid and fully remote, with a higher percentage of hybrid. At Powder Mill School, the majority of students will be attending the hybrid model, and at Southwick Regional School, the overwhelming majority of students will return to hybrid teaching.

In grades pre-K – 4, students selecting hybrid will attend in-person 4-and-a-half days a week, with Wednesdays being a half-day across the district. Students in grades 5-12 attending the hybrid model will attend in-person two days per week and learn remotely three days a week. Students with high needs will return fully in-person unless families opt for the fully remote option.

The full presentation is available at

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