November 6, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, Friends and Staff Members of Region 14:
The COVID19 pandemic is beginning to hit our area very hard. The State of Connecticut – Office of the Governor and the Connecticut Department of Education, as well as the Connecticut Department of Public Health and our two local health departments, repeatedly update and increase their recommendations as to what students, faculty and families should do to “ward off” this lethal threat.
With the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays quickly approaching and some families considering traveling, we are writing to inform you of the latest state guidelines for schools. If you are planning to travel over the holidays, we want you to be aware of the state’s expectations, that if you plan to travel to a state that has a high level of COVID19, then you and your family will have to, upon your return, either quarantine for 14 days or find and take a COVID-19/Diagnostic PCR test only, we are not accepting a quick Antigen test. We say “find” because people are now making reservations for the PCR test, (https://www.211ct.org - Instructions for locating a test site) in advance of their travel and they are becoming harder to come by. The state is very quick to remind us that, “if individuals do not get a test or test out of the 14 day quarantine, then the state will fine each person $500” if they were to violate the 14 day quarantine requirement. We, too, have concerns that there is the chance that you or a family member will contract this horrible virus.
We DO NOT want to shift to full remote learning. It is our belief that it is much safer and educationally sound to have everyone in school, however; the new state recommendations may force us into this scenario. If this were to happen, we would need to address countless absences of both children and staff due to required quarantining. The best way to ensure that we avoid these absences and continue with in-person learning, is to take the necessary precautions and plan accordingly. That being said, if you plan to travel out of state, and as a courtesy in attempt to avoid these consequences, we are asking that you share your travel arrangements by completing the attached Pre Travel Form and forwarding it to the administrator of your/your child’s school by November 18th. It is very important that if you do plan to travel, that you act responsibly and upon your return, take the necessary test to avoid the need to quarantine. The cold weather and holiday season also increase the threat from COVID-19 and we want to be certain that everyone enjoys a safe and healthy holiday season and return to school.
Superintendent of Schools