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PVRSD goes remote through Dec. 7 in response to COVID-19 case

  • Following a notice of a COVID-19 case within the Bernardston Elementary School community earlier this week, the Pioneer Valley Regional School District (PVRSD) announced it would enter into remote learning through Dec. 4. STAFF FILE PHOTO/ZACK DELUCA

Staff Writer
Published: 11/20/2020 3:19:12 PM
Modified: 11/20/2020 3:18:58 PM

NORTHFIELD — In response to current COVID-19 data in the local counties, and following a notice of a COVID-19 case within the Bernardston Elementary School community earlier this week, the Pioneer Valley Regional School District (PVRSD) announced it would enter into remote learning through Dec. 4.

A letter sent Friday to district families states all PVRSD students will participate in remote learning starting Monday, Nov. 23 and continuing through Friday Dec. 4. The current plan is for all students to return to the in-person, hybrid model on Monday, Dec. 7. Superintendent Jonathan Scagel said he will provide an update to families as soon as possible, if this plan changes in any way.

“This decision comes as a result of current COVID-19 data in our counties,” Scagel wrote in Friday’s letter. “We will continue to monitor health trends at the district, regional, and state level and keep the community up to date with any potential changes.”

Bernardston Elementary School students and families were notified Sunday, Nov. 15 that a person in the elementary school community had tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the elementary school was closed without remote learning Monday and Tuesday of this week.

In Sunday’s letter announcing the positive case, Scagel said they cannot provide specific information about the school community member who tested positive, but confirmed the person’s exposure to COVID-19 happened outside of school, and is not associated with any school-sponsored activities. Parents of students who were in close contact, defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes, with the community member were notified privately.

“Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing and physical distancing,” Scagel wrote in the letter. “We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission within our schools.”

He said the district will continue to follow its plan for school sanitization, and maintain communication with families who were at risk of exposure. Both Northfield Elementary School and Pioneer Valley Regional School remained open for hybrid learning, until Friday’s announcement.

Friday’s letter also states PVRSD Distance Learning Meal Kits will be available for pick up during this fully remote learning period. On Wednesday Nov. 25, Meal Kits for five days will be available for pick up at Bernardston Elementary and Northfield Elementary from 12:30 to 1 p.m. Meals will be available for pick at Pioneer Valley Regional School from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Meals will be delivered to Warwick and available between 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Curbside meals will also be available on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and Friday, Dec. 4. On Dec. 1, the district will distribute three days worth of meals, and on Dec. 4, the district will distribute four days worth of meals. The pre-ordering survey will be sent out on Monday, Nov. 30 for the week following Thanksgiving. The curbside availability times will be the same at each school on the days stated above. Families may reach out to the Food Service Director Michael Onorato at onoratom@pvrsdk12.org with Food Service-related questions.

The district will continue to follow Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with local boards of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 are asked to report the results to the district nurse leader, Carla Simpson, at 413-498-2931, ext.136 or via email at simpsonc@pvrsdk12.org, to further understand the impact of the virus on the community.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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