WPS Talks New COVID Testing Model

On Monday, Jan. 24, the Winthrop School Committee met in the Harvey Hearing Room of Town Hall. It heard updates on COVID-19 testing and student athletics.

COVID

There has been a recent improvement in case counts and attendance in the district. Jan. 6-12, there were 102 student absences and 27 staff absences. Between Jan. 13-19, that number reduced to just 40 students and seven staff.

The district has decided to participate in a new testing option that will send every student and staff member home with two test kits every two weeks. Students and staff will then self-report their findings to the school. The new model will commence the first week in February.

The new testing model will replace the old model of contact tracing and test-and-stay. Schools will still conduct symptomatic testing. There are five nurses, three assistant nurses and one lead nurse available across the district to assist with on-site tests.

An indoor mask order is currently in place until at least Feb. 28.

Athletics

Winthrop student athletes are midway through their winter season, with 208 students participating. After a hiatus of ten years, middle schoolers are competing again in basketball.

Season scores are as follows: boys hockey 4-4; girls hockey 7-0; boys basketball 5-5; girls basketball 6-5; girls gymnastics 3-0; boys track 2-2; girls track 3-1; and swimming 0-7.

Supt. Lisa Howard said she is proud of Winthrop’s student athletes and their cooperation with COVID guidelines.

“Our athletes are following the rules,” she said. “That’s why we’re still playing.”

Recently, there has been some confusion around bussing student athletes. Bus companies have been canceling, leaving parents, coaches and daytime bus drivers to pick up the slack.

General Announcements

Faulty fire alarms at the high school are currently being repaired.

There is an immediate opening for a special education teacher at the Cummings School due to a resignation.

The middle school drama society will present its first performance in over two years, Frozen Jr. on Feb. 4, 5 and 6. The community is invited to enjoy.

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