Dear Parents and Guardians:
This week the Branford BOE decided to not extend the face covering mandate. Practically speaking, individuals are no longer required to use face coverings in school buildings as of 12:01 a.m. on Monday, February 28, 2022. As of Monday, there are two exceptions to this practice. The first is school buses. Due to a federal order, which may be lifted shortly, individuals are required to use face coverings on school transportation. The second is BPS health offices, including school-based health clinics. As a locally established mitigation practice, students and staff are required to use a face covering in these health spaces.
Starting on February 28, 2022, in all circumstances other than the exceptions above, individuals in the Branford Public Schools may choose to wear a face covering or not. With this change, parents/guardians should continue to monitor their children for symptoms related to COVID-19, keep symptomatic children at home, and report positive student cases to our BPS COVID Liaisons using the information below.
Grades PK - 4: Cynthia Baez, firstname.lastname@example.org (203) 315-7804
Grades 5-12: Dennis Pozzi, email@example.com (203) 315-6852
Branford Public Schools will no longer engage in any contact tracing. However, we expect and rely upon individuals who are COVID(+) or close contacts to follow the latest state guidance regarding isolation periods and quarantines (see here). The District also encourages you to get your child vaccinated if appropriate. We are in the process of establishing additional vaccination clinics and more information will be released shortly about them.
As we continue this transition, the District will monitor data points to include:
- Daily reported COVID cases in our schools
- Trends in the case data
- Absenteeism of students and staff
- Local public health conditions
While face coverings will no longer be required, it is important for all members of the BPS community to contribute to our culture of safety by respecting the choice of other individuals. We all share the responsibility for creating safe and supportive schools where all children feel welcomed and respected, despite having different viewpoints.
As always, your support in making this transition successful is appreciated. We have been through much together and our commitment to public education and humanity is never diminished by the choice we make for our health and safety.
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do!
Hamlet M. Hernandez
Superintendent of Schools