COVID-19 Pooled Testing for K- 8 Students

Dear MPS Families,

 

We will begin weekly SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Pooled testing for K- 8 students beginning Monday May 3, 2021. Pooled testing is an additional mitigation strategy beyond staying home when sick, wearing masks, hand hygiene and physical distancing. 

  • The Pooled test is quick, easy and does not hurt.  It is a gentle nasal swab to the lower inner nostril.   Students if able, will self administer.
  • The testing is free!  You do not need to pay for the test or have insurance to get the test.

 

Why should I be part of the COVID-19 testing?
Being tested weekly can give staff, students, and parents some reassurance that active COVID-19 isn’t running rampant in the school.  This is an act of selflessness to help our school community feel safe about coming to school.  The weekly COVID-19 testing program is just another way we are striving to keep our school environment safe for everyone.  

 

How do I sign my student up for testing?

To participate in the testing program and to keep the process as smooth as possible – you will need to complete the following THREE STEPS:

 

1. Create an account for your student on Project Beacon using this link by school: 

Beebe: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=JJAQGZ

Ferryway: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=ICWMJE

Forestdale: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=JUOTUH

Linden: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=ZVANLZ

Salemwood: https://app.beacontesting.com/register/with-code?code=GHFBFZ

 

2. Create an account for your student on Concentric by Ginkgo using this link

https://testcenter.concentricbyginkgo.com/minor-consent   

ALL schools Access code (you will need on the second screen): mutating-malden

 

3. Complete this google form: using this link

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPKg2NTOhjAwDQLnpRLtTwddYwRG36erpH6M4FpZmDwd8EEA/viewform?usp=sf_link

 

In order to participate in Pooled testing – Students MUST be signed up by Friday at 12 noon to take part in the following Monday testing.    Please be sure your child is aware you have signed them up.

**Registration is only required one time.

 

How the Pooled testing works

  • Participating individuals are tested individually once a week (Monday) with a nasal swab test. Each person does a shallow swab of their own nose by rotating four (4) times inside each nostril.  A maximum of 10 swabs are mixed together into a group called a “pool” and sent out to a lab for a molecular PCR test and tested for COVID-19 at one time.
  • Results of testing takes 48 hours – should receive results on Wednesday.
  • If the pool test comes back negative, all students in the pool are COVID-negative. In this case, you will not hear from us.   
  • If the pool test comes back positive, it means that at least one person in the pool is COVID-positive. In this case, all students of that pool will be notified as soon as possible for an individual follow-up test.  
  • Individual follow-up tests using BinaxNOW antigen tests produce results in 15 mins. If the individual follow-up test comes back negative, the person may return to school as normal. If the individual follow-up test comes back positive, we will work with the person to isolate and get connected to care. The local Board of Health will be contacted and we will reach out to start the contact tracing process.  

 

ATTENTION:

Concentric by Ginkgo is hosting an information session for families, on Thursday April 29th at 7PM.

Registration link https://ginkgobioworks.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0kf–przwqGNKTalsna-S2xShg2sY3iZoo   

Please contact our Director of Nursing, Patti Tramondozziwith any questions:
ptramondozzi@maldenps.org

 

Download (PDF, 198KB)

Ferryway School Principal Announces Resignation

Please direct inquiries to:
joteri@maldenps.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2021

Ferryway School Principal Announces Resignation

MALDEN, MA — Ferryway School Principal Abdel Sepulveda has announced that he will resign from his role effective immediately.

Mr. Sepulveda has served as principal of the school since July 2017. He began his career in the Malden Public Schools in 2007, first serving as a Spanish teacher before becoming assistant principal at the Salemwood School.

Mr. Sepulveda is stepping down from his role for personal reasons.

Current Assistant Principal Michael Ciampa will assume the role of acting principal for the remainder of the school year. Technical Education Teacher Earl Fitzpatrick will become acting assistant principal.

The district will immediately begin the process of finding the next permanent principal of the Ferryway School.

“It has been a privilege to serve the Ferryway School community as principal over the past four years,” said Sepulveda. “In that time, I have gotten to know so many of our families, students, staff and community members. Stepping down has been a difficult decision for me. I will always be grateful for the time I have spent here and take great pride in everything we have accomplished together.”

Ferryway School’s staff and administrators will continue to focus on welcoming more students back to in-person learning, including the return of students in grades 6-8 full time starting Wednesday, April 28.

Superintendent’s Message to Families

Dear MPS Families and Staff,

Over the past week, there has been a small increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases among our school population.

Whenever there is a positive case, our Director of Nursing and our school nurses, in conjunction with the Malden Board of Heath, work collaboratively to conduct contact tracing. This ensures that all close contacts of the individual who tested positive have been identified to either quarantine or isolate. It also establishes an appropriate timeline to return to school.

It is important to note that during the entire year, our contact tracing indicates that there has been zero in-school transmission of the virus. Due to our need to protect student and staff confidentiality and meet HIPAA requirements, we cannot publicly share details about specific cases.

I would like to especially thank Patti Tramondozzi, MPS Director of Nursing, for her exceptional leadership and integrity as she and her team work to keep our students, staff, and families safe. I also want to thank the Malden Public Health Department for assisting with our contact tracing protocols.

We ask that our students and staff continue to keep up the good work when it comes to wearing masks, social distancing, and following all our other health and safety measures. It is through these important efforts that we will be able to continue in-person learning this school year.

As always, thank you for your support and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s principal.

Sincerely,

John Oteri, Superintendent
Malden Public Schools

Superintendent’s Letter to Families

Dear MPS Families,

On Monday, April 5, the Malden Public Schools is excited to begin providing in-person instruction, five days per week, for students in grades K-5. 

We will continue to closely follow strict safety protocols to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, staff, and families. We are confident that our school buildings are very safe and that the measures we have in place will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In fact, we have had much success with these measures over the past several weeks and are pleased to report that MPS meets all health and safety guidelines as confirmed by a recent Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) site visit to Malden schools.

Please note that families of K-5 students will now have two options: fully in person (5 days/week) or fully remote. There will no longer be a hybrid model offered at these grade levels. Additionally, students in grades 6-8 will begin in-person learning five days per week on Wednesday, April 28. 

We have done everything we can to keep students with their current teachers. However, in some rare cases, such as when a classroom is at capacity and a family opts to shift from remote to in-person learning, we may need to make a change. We will look to avoid this situation whenever possible, but it remains a possibility. 

We are working with our educators’ union to find ways to help make this transition to in-person learning as smooth as possible.  We are in the process of hiring multiple Learning Support Assistants. These positions are temporary, flexible, part-time positions (up to 19 hours per week). Please see the link for more information. Link to interest form: Interest Form – Learning Support Specialists.

Processes & Procedures
Before students leave their home in the morning, families should conduct a self-check to make sure their child is free of any COVID-19 symptoms. If they do have symptoms, they should stay home and consult a healthcare provider. 

When arriving at school, students should only be dropped off at the time indicated by the building principal. This ensures we remain in compliance with DESE guidance related to social distancing and other safety precautions.

At lunch, students will report to a large space, such as the gym or cafeteria. There, they will be spaced 6 feet apart as they eat. Once they finish eating, students will put their masks back on and stay within their 6-foot area until the lunch period is over.

At dismissal at the end of the day, we ask that families pick up students and exit the common areas as quickly as possible. 

Meal Service Update
With the return to full-time in-person learning, we are making some changes to our meal services. Starting Monday, food distribution will take place at Salemwood School and Malden High School only. Families whose students are engaged in fully remote learning can pick up meals Monday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

As always, thank you for your support and flexibility throughout this pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s principal. 

 

Sincerely,

John Oteri, Superintendent
Malden Public Schools

Attachments:
1) COVID-19 Guidelines
2) Meal Service Update
3) Return to School Timeline

 

 

Superintendent’s Update on School Reopening – Virtual Town Hall Forum on March 30, 2021

March 24, 2021

Dear Malden School Community,

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) announced a requirement that all K-5 students must return to full-time in-person learning by April 5.

On Monday, March 15, the Malden School Committee voted unanimously to direct the Malden Public Schools to seek a waiver to delay the return of K-5 students for full in-person instruction. This waiver has been denied by DESE officials in a letter sent to the district today.

The positive experience MPS has had in providing hybrid instruction to PK-4 students over the past several weeks was a factor in DESE’s decision. Our principals, educators, and staff have done an incredible job preparing our buildings for in-person learning. We remain extremely grateful for their efforts.

As a result of the state’s decision, MPS will begin in-person instruction, five days per week, for grades K-5 on Monday, April 5. Additionally, students in grades 6-8 will begin in-person learning five days per week on Wednesday, April 28.

To learn more, I invite you to attend our virtual town hall forum on Tuesday, March 30, at 6:00 p.m. During the forum, we will explain the impact of the waiver denial and provide additional information related to the return of students to our buildings.

You can attend the forum through the following Zoom link:
https://cityofmalden.zoom.us/j/94724675068?pwd=Y0NoSG90bGtsQ2NMeDhYcG9sT3RKdz09
Passcode: 297405
Or One tap mobile: US: +16465189805,,94724675068# or +19294362866,,94724675068#
Or Telephone: Dial: US: +1 646 518 9805 or +1 929 436 2866
Webinar ID: 947 2467 5068

We will provide further updates in advance of next week’s town hall meeting.

For now, we continue to work to reconfigure classrooms to meet the latest guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and World Health Organization, which calls for maintaining at least 3 feet of distancing between students in schools.

Pool testing is also underway in our schools. This process involves combining test samples from several people and conducting a single laboratory test on the combined pool of samples to detect the virus that causes COVID-19. Pooling is a good way to determine if there is significant spread among our school community while using fewer testing resources.

Finally, we are working with the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents to advocate for prioritized vaccinations for all our educators and staff. We are pleased to share that increasing numbers of our staff already have received their first dose. Giving all staff the opportunity to get vaccinated is a key component to our efforts to reopen our schools safely.

As we have said many times before, we truly appreciate your flexibility and patience as we have managed the effects of the pandemic. If you have any questions about next steps, please contact your child’s school principal.

 

Sincerely,

John Oteri, Superintendent
Malden Public Schools

Superintendent’s Letter to Families

Dear Malden Families,

Late Friday afternoon, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education voted to require all school districts in the Commonwealth to fully reopen for grades K-5 starting Monday, April 5.

At this time, the Malden Public Schools is examining the implications of the state’s action. There are a number of factors to consider, including how we set up our classrooms and schools to accommodate a greater number of students, how we can best meet the needs of students and staff with underlying health conditions, and how we can serve students who may choose to remain in all-virtual learning for the remainder of this school year.

We continue to urge state officials to prioritize opportunities for our teachers and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. We see this as a critical step in reopening our schools safely. As always, the health and safety of our entire school community is our top priority.

In the meantime, we will continue to move forward with the plan the Malden School Committee approved last month. Per the plan, we will have our third- and fourth-grade students return to our buildings to begin learning via a hybrid model on Monday, March 15. Our Principals are setting up the cohorts for our third- and fourth-grade students.   You can read more about our timeline in our previous letter to families.

Additionally, I wanted to remind you of our Family Forum on School Reopening, which will take place on Tuesday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m. This virtual event is an opportunity for families to learn more about our reopening plans and to ask questions.

I hope to be able to share more information with you soon. Once again, thank you for your flexibility and patience now and throughout this school year. If you have any questions about next steps, please contact your child’s school principal.

 

Sincerely,

John Oteri, Superintendent

Video Recording of Parent/Guardian Forum on School Reopening Plan Next Steps held on March 9, 2021

The Superintendent of Schools, John Oteri, held a forum for families on March 9, 2021 to focus on the next steps of the reopening plan for Malden Public Schools.  Interpreters were available during the forum.

If you missed the forum, you can view a recording of it by clicking on the link below:
https://cityofmalden.zoom.us/j/91560064169?pwd=NWJiMXpSWUw0elJqVUlhTmJkZSsrZz09

 

Malden Reads: Door-Decorating Contest Deadline Extended to March 31

Please read the updated flyer below:

Superintendent’s Letter to Families

Dear Families,

I am pleased to share that the Malden Public Schools has reached a tentative agreement with the Malden Education Association regarding a timeline for welcoming back our students in grades 3-12 for in-person learning.

In making this transition, we will use a hybrid model similar to the one we have implemented for grades PreK to 2. Students will spend part of each week learning in person, with the rest spent learning remotely.

Within our buildings, we will implement CDC-recommended protocols and practices designed to keep our students, staff, and families safe. This includes maintaining six feet of distancing, requiring masks or cloth face coverings, and encouraging frequent hand washing.

We will also continue to offer a remote-only learning option for families who request it. Next week, we will send out a link to a survey, asking families to indicate whether their student(s) will move forward with our hybrid model or continue with 100% remote learning.

Below is our tentative timeline for having our students and staff in grades 3-8 return for in-person learning:

  • March 8: Staff for grades 3-4 return to our buildings
  • March 15: Students in grades 3-4 begin hybrid learning
  • March 22: Staff for grades 5 and 8 return (including grades 5-8 exploratory teachers)
  • March 29: Students in grades 5 and 8 begin hybrid learning
  • April 5: Staff for grades 6-7 begin hybrid learning
  • April 12: Students in grades 6-7 begin hybrid learning

Below is the tentative timeline for Malden High School students:

  • March 15: All high school staff return to the building
  • March 22: Students in grades 9 and 12 begin hybrid learning
  • April 5: Students in grades 10 and 11 begin hybrid learning

After each group of students returns, our Joint Labor Management Committee will review COVID-19 data in our schools and community, reevaluate the timeline, and assess how successful each return has been. The committee will then vote on whether or how to move forward with future phases.

We will share more details with families regarding these transitions, student cohorts, health and safety protocols, transportation, meal services, and other important information in the near future.

Again, thank you for your flexibility and patience now and throughout this school year. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s school principal.

 

Sincerely,

John Oteri, Superintendent
Malden Public Schools