Coronavirus [COVID-19]: March 17, 2020

Superintendent-Director Edward A. Bouquillon sent all students, families, and staff the following email on Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

March 17, 2020

Dear Minuteman High School Community,

As you know, Minuteman High School remains closed until at least Monday, April 6. In addition, today, I am writing to provide you additional updates since my last communication with you yesterday.

For the latest information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, visit mass.gov/covid19.

Please be advised:

  • As of Wednesday, March 18, the Minuteman High School building will be closed to all students, staff, and visitors except for a very small number of facilities personnel. We are reversing our earlier announcement that administrative staff would be in the building. Given new information from local, state, and federal authorities, we now believe it’s best to prohibit all students and staff from working in the Minuteman building until further notice. We are making this decision as a precautionary measure.

  • All faculty and staff are continuing to work from home. They can all be contacted by email.

  • Minuteman’s main telephone number (781-861-6500) is working. Administrative staff in the business office, superintendent’s office, and other offices can answer or make calls from our phone lines remotely.

  • As we shared with you on Friday, one Minuteman student is under self-quarantine after possible exposure to coronavirus, but as of last check, did not show any symptoms. If we are notified that any additional students or staff members are under self-quarantine and/or test positive for COVID-19, we will notify all students and staff.

  • Students are expected to continue to participate in online learning activities during the ongoing school closure. Students must continue to check their Minuteman.org email accounts for assignments and to remain in communication with their teachers. Teachers will be assigning a minimum of two online assignments each week per class. Any student or staff member seeking support for technical issues may call 781-243-3802. Students should continue to work on portfolios and senior class projects. Deadlines have not changed.

  • High school students participating in co-op/off-site work opportunities are to report to those job sites unless their employer states otherwise. Parents/guardians can opt not to send their student to a job site and should inform Co-Op Director Joseph Pitta by email.

  • If you or someone you know is in need of food, visit our website to find resources in your community. Our food services department is donating food typically used for school meals to local food access organizations.

  • Our custodians are continuing to engage in deep cleaning practices in our facility.

  • For tips on how to speak with children and teenagers about the outbreak, we have posted information from the National Association of School Psychologists on our website.

To reiterate from our earlier communications:

  • Minuteman High School is closed until at least Monday, April 6, meaning students are scheduled to return on Tuesday, April 7. In the event that school can be opened sooner than April 6, or if the closure needs to be extended beyond April 6, we will notify our community via email, and our website, minuteman.org/coronavirus. We will follow the direction of local, state, and federal officials.

  • All activities at Minuteman are cancelled while the school building is closed. This includes our grade 9-12 high school, along with afternoon and evening programming for community members and adults through Minuteman Technical Institute and Minuteman Community Education. All student-run public services, including the salon, auto shop, plant shop, childcare center, and restaurant, are closed.

Finally, please remember:

  • If you are exhibiting symptoms consistent with the coronavirus (COVID-19), which include cough, fever, or shortness of breath, you should stay at home and contact your primary care physician. Given the highly contagious nature or COVID-19, you should call you doctor before attempting to receive medical care in person.

  • If a physician determines that you have COVID-19, were exposed, or potentially exposed, he/she will contact your local board of health, who would be in contact with Minuteman. Minuteman encourages any student, staff member, or parent who is at risk to share this information with us.

We strongly encourage all of our students, families, and staff to continue to practice social distancing to contain the spread of this highly contagious illness, which disproportionately affects elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. In many cases, young people may have coronavirus and show no symptoms, but could unknowingly spread the illness to someone with a compromised immune system through a lack of social distancing.

We will get through this as a community locally, nationally, and globally. In addition to practicing common sense measures, check on the elderly and people with health issues remotely, and continue to practice kindness and patience with one another.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email me directly.

Sincerely,

Edward A. Bouquillon, PhD
Superintendent-Director
Minuteman High School