GMRSD COVID Information

District COVID Safety Protocols:

COVID-Related Protocols

Please note that these protocols could change based on the recommendation of the local Health Professionals.

  • Masks/face coverings continue to be recommended in indoor settings due to their effectiveness at preventing COVID-19, but are not required.
    • Masks/face coverings continue to be required when entering the nurse’s office.
    • Masks required for days 6-10 of return from COVID infection
  • Students and staff should stay home if they have symptoms of COVID, defined as:
    • Fever (100.0 F or over)
    • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Muscle/body aches
    • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
    • Sore throat
    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies)
    • Headache/fatigue (if combined with other symptoms)
  • The state COVID guidance for this school year does not include any recommendation for physical distancing.
    • While there is no longer a minimum physical distancing requirement, the district is recommending that whole group instructional spaces be set up in ways that encourage more personal space than may have been available to students prior to the pandemic.
    • Small-group instruction, which is a core component of our instructional programming, will continue to be used in all schools, and thus, physical distancing cannot be maintained throughout the day.
  • Visitors will be allowed in buildings (with facemasks recommended) but the district will continue to utilize virtual meetings, when possible and appropriate, to minimize the risk factors for staff and students.
  • The district will follow the state recommendations for isolation after a positive COVID test result for students and staff members.
    • The school nurse should be notified of any positive case and they will monitor and manage the timeline for return.
    • In most instances, the guidance requires individuals to be absent from school for five days from the date of a positive test or the first day of symptoms, whichever is earlier, and to mask (except while eating) on days 6-10.
  • Since the state has ended the pooled testing and rapid testing programs, the district’s in-school testing option will be for symptomatic individuals during the school day (for as long as the District’s supply of rapid tests lasts).
    • Rapid tests are available for individuals, free of charge, via health insurance programs in Massachusetts; general information can be found here.
  • We will continue to employ air purifiers in our classrooms and ask that windows be partially opened, as this continues to be a practice that can help minimize the likelihood of transmission of many communicable diseases.
  • We will continue to use or COVID Exposure Response Team protocols to clean areas in which symptomatic individuals have been.

COVID Resources:

Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG): COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children Ages 6 Months to 4 Years Old

DESE: COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Children in Child Care, K-12, Out-of-School Time (OST) and Recreational Camp/Program Settings (Effective May 25, 2022)

CDC: Self Testing Information

Order Free COVID-19 Tests from the U.S. Government

DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios (Updated March 3, 2022)

CDC: Coronavirus Self-Checker

CDC: Omicron Variant: What You Need to Know

Massachusetts COVID-19 Interactive Data Dashboard

Franklin County COVID-19 Data

COVID Testing Options

Where to find a COVID-19 Vaccine

Video: What is a variant? COVID-19 variants explained

Communicating Concerns about COVID Exposure:

While health information is private and protected, we ask that all families commit to inform your child’s school if you have a positive case or concern for exposure to COVID-19 in your home. The nurse contacts at each district school, to report child or household COVID-19 concerns, are as follows:

Hillcrest Elementary School: Jazmin Wileman 413-863-2638

Sheffield Elementary School: Billie Gammell 413-863-7441

Gill Elementary School: Carol Varner 413-863-7458

Turners Falls High School/Great Falls Middle School: Brittany Tuttle 413-863-7313