Concord, Hopkinton schools announce more positive cases of COVID-19

  • Hopkinton High School was ranked as the number one New Hampshire high school by U.S. News & World Report for the third year in a row, April 21, 2016. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) Elizabeth Frantz

Monitor Staff
Published: 9/28/2020 12:44:56 PM

Hopkinton Middle High School is transitioning to remote learning this week, due to an in-person staff shortage after two students tested positive for COVID-19. There has also been one new case confirmed at Concord High School.

In a letter sent to families Sunday evening, Hopkinton School District superintendent Steve Chamberlin wrote that two students in the district tested positive, one in the middle school and one in the high school. The students are from the same household. They have not attended school since Sept. 21, due to the school day rotation schedule for middle and high school students. The students are quarantining at home under guidance from New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

“The DHHS representative spoke with me and Ms. Cook, the middle and high school nurse,” Chamberlin wrote. “After reviewing the District’s base precautions (six feet of social distancing, mask requirements), DHHS advised the district to inform the community and continue monitoring.”

However, in a follow-up email sent two hours later, Chamberlin announced that so many essential staff members are being asked to quarantine as a result of DHHS contact tracing, that middle and high schools will have to close and switch to remote learning until Oct. 6.

“I am sorry we are at this place,” Chamberlin wrote. “I look forward to continuing in-person learning on the 6th.”

Hopkinton has been in school for two weeks, after a delayed start date on Sept. 14, to allow for extra planning. Staffing has been a concern for Hopkinton since the beginning of the year. The district has been scrambling to make sure in-person classes are covered, as employees opted into teaching remote classes, or have been out of school in quarantine.

At Concord High School, a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email sent to families Monday morning from superintendent Kathleen Murphy.

The last time the employee was in the school building was Sept. 22. Murphy wrote that DHHS is working identify anyone who may have been in contact with the employee, and will direct them to get tested and quarantine for 14 days. 

This is the second case that has been confirmed at Concord High School. The first case, which was announced to the community on Sept. 17, was a student member of the CHS marching band and is now listed as a “recovered case” on the DHHS school data dashboard.

Concord High School is planning to phase to a hybrid learning model starting on Oct. 6, 

The hybrid model divides students into two groups, A and B, that attend on alternating days. Group A will attend school in person on Mondays and Thursdays, and Group B will attend in person on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays are remote for everyone. There is also an option for students to continue learning remotely.

This is the same model that Hopkinton Middle High School had been using, with Team A and Team B attending on alternating days, except instead of having a remote day, it uses Monday as a rotating day where the teams alternate attending every other week.

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