Dear Malden Public Schools Families and Caregivers,
Welcome to the 2021-22 school year!
We are thrilled to welcome back our students for full-time, in-person learning. As your new superintendent, I am eager to get to know all of you and your students.
The first day of school for grades PreK, 1-12 is Wednesday, September 1. Our kindergarten students will begin Wednesday, September 8. For further dates and information, please visit https://maldenps.org/calendar.
I want to thank our caregivers for taking our recent district survey. As you expressed to us through the survey and in other forums, some of you are understandably nervous about your students attending school. Please know that we are implementing all possible safety measures and following public health guidance to ensure the health and safety of all of our students and staff.
Through the survey, we also learned that more than 63% of our families were very or somewhat comfortable with returning to in-person learning. Cited as the most important factors were the district following public health guidance, the regular cleaning and sanitizing of spaces, universal mask usage, and sanitizing supplies being available. We have incorporated this feedback into our reopening plans.
Within our buildings, there will be a number of health and safety measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. These measures include:
- Upon approval from the School Committee, information about masking will be communicated to all staff and families.
- Per federal requirements, anyone riding a school bus or public transportation will need to wear a mask at all times.
- All students and staff will be asked to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If they are feeling sick, they should stay home from school. If they are experiencing symptoms of the virus, they should consult a healthcare professional and notify the school office.
- We will continue to stress the importance of proper handwashing. No-touch hand sanitizer units will be available throughout our buildings.
- Recent studies Malden Public Schools Indoor Air Quality Study and Recommendations and Malden Public Schools Indoor Air Quality Study and Recommendations – ELC & Beebe; indicate that air quality in all of our buildings exceeds the required standards.
- School nurses will be on-hand to assist students and families.
- Custodians will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect all buildings after each school day.
- District administration meets weekly with Malden Board of Health Director Chris Webb to ensure we are taking the proper steps to keep our school community safe.
- We hired one (1) additional social worker per school to support students with mental, socio-emotional learning needs.
- We also hired 5 full-time bilingual Family Liaisons and 2 part-time family liaisons to support families, caregivers, and teachers.
In the coming weeks, we will announce more opportunities for eligible students and community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Increasing our local vaccination rates will help us reduce the spread of the virus and keep our schools open.
For the latest news and updates regarding our reopening plan and health and safety protocols, please visit https://maldenps.org/reopening/. You can also direct questions through email to email@example.com.
In other exciting news, a licensed state-of-the-art Student-Based Health Center (SBHC), the “Starr Center” at Malden High School will open this fall! Specifically, American Rescue Plan Act funding will be used to renovate and build out a space adjacent to the Nurse’s Office to accommodate exam rooms, consultation areas and offices that will comply with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health standards. The aim of the SBHC is to provide primary care and behavioral health care to students in an environment that is trusted and immediately accessible.
The center will be free of charge and serve as part of our high school’s health delivery system. Working with Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), the Starr Center will further enhance the existing school health program and work cooperatively within the school community to become an integral part of the setting. The health center will provide easy access to health care while also connecting families to other resources and services in the community.
Thank you for your support, understanding, and flexibility as we continue to navigate the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school office.
I am inviting you to join me for a school opening day zoom meeting scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, 2021, at 6:00pm. Please check the website for access to the link.
I am looking forward to a great and amazing 2021-22 school year!