Showing posts with label guidelines. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guidelines. Show all posts

Saturday, May 29, 2021

DESE issues guidance for school in Fall

"All coronavirus-related protocols, including social distancing, will be lifted at schools for the start of the 2021-22 academic year, and every school will be required to be back fully in person, state education officials told superintendents on Thursday.

School districts will not be allowed to offer remote learning as a standard learning model, according to the new guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

“Pathways that existed prior to the pandemic for offering virtual learning to individual students in limited cases will remain available to districts and schools,” including single-district virtual schools or home- or hospital-based tutoring programs for documented medical conditions, the state education agency said."
Continue reading the article online  (subscription may be required)

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Reopening Update: State to Lift Most COVID Restrictions May 29

Reopening Update: State to Lift Most COVID Restrictions May 29th, Face Covering Order to be Rescinded & Replaced with CDC Guidance
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that business and capacity restrictions will be lifted effective May 29th. The Commonwealth's face covering order will be also be rescinded on May 29th, and the Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated guidance.

Face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities, and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings. Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.

Governor Baker will end the State of Emergency on June 15th.

Business Restrictions Lifted
  • Effective May 29th, all industries will be permitted to open.
  • With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted.
  • Capacity will increase to 100% for all industries.
  • The gathering limit will be rescinded.
  • All industries are encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
Face Covering Guidance

  • The new advisory will be consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated guidance.
  • Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings. The new advisory will recommend fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations.
  • Face coverings will still be required for all individuals in the following settings:
  • On public and private transportation (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations)
  • In healthcare facilities/ healthcare providers
  • In congregate care settings, including health and rehabilitative day services.
  • Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers
  • Youth and Amateur Sports Face Covering Guidance: Effective May 18th, the youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require face coverings for youth athletes ages 18 and under while playing outdoor sports. Effective May 29th, all youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted. Click here for complete Youth Sports guidance.
  • K-12, Early Education and Summer Camp Guidance: Effective May 18th, guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care will be updated to no longer require masks for outdoor activities like recess and to allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings. This guidance will remain in effect beyond May 29th.
  • Click here for DESE Guidance
  • Click here for EEC Guidance
  • The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps, effective May 29th, which will include no longer requiring masks for outdoor activities.
State of Emergency Order
  • Governor Baker will end the State of Emergency on June 15th, and the Administration will work with legislative and municipal partners during this period in order to manage an orderly transition from emergency measures adopted by executive order and special legislation during the period of the State of Emergency.
Complete reopening information can be found online at

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495 x105

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.
The 495/MetroWest Partnership | 200 Friberg Parkway, Suite 1003, Westborough, MA 01581

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Senator Becca Rausch: Navigating the mask guidelines for Families

Senator Becca Rausch (@BeccaRauschMA) tweeted on Mon, May 17, 2021:
ATTN fellow confused parents! Wondering how to keep our younger, not-yet-#vaccine-eligible children safe? Me too. I've got a team of experts to help give us some answers. Join me, Dr. @bethlinas @DrNataliaLinos + Dr. Lael Yanger. Drop your Qs in the replies!
#MApoli #COVID19  -BR
Senator Becca Rausch: Navigating the mask guidelines for Families
Senator Becca Rausch: Navigating the mask guidelines for Families

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Patience still needed, but there is hope on the horizon after folks are vaccinated


"Americans got their first peek Monday at what life may be like in a post-vaccinated world with new federal guidelines that say people who are fully vaccinated can gather privately indoors without masks and without physical distancing.

The much-anticipated recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, described as a first step toward returning to everyday activities, identify someone as fully vaccinated two weeks after their final shot. The timing of the announcement — just weeks before the beginning of spring — comes as many people are tempted to visit family or interact with friends after months of careful isolation." 

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Direct link to the CDC guidance

Related article on the guidance (subscription may be required)

CDC guidance summary table
CDC guidance summary table

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

M.A.S.S. (@massupt): DESE updates guidance on singing indoors

M.A.S.S. (@massupt) tweeted on Tue, Mar 02, 2021:
"DESE has received approval for schools to allow singing indoors if in-person school is occurring. Singers must wear a mask & be at least 10 feet away from each other plus more.... The updated guidance is here: "

M.A.S.S. (@massupt): DESE updates guidance on singing indoors
M.A.S.S. (@massupt): DESE updates guidance on singing indoors

Sunday, February 21, 2021

CDC: "Essential Elements of Safe K-12 School In-person Instruction"

From the Executive Summary of the CDC guidance on reopening schools released recently: (RED text for my emphasis)

"As communities plan safe delivery of in-person instruction in K-12 schools, it is essential to decide when and under what conditions to help protect students, teachers, and staff and slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is critical for schools to open as safely and as soon as possible, and remain open, to achieve the benefits of in-person learning and key support services. To enable schools to open safely and remain open, it is important to adopt and consistently implement actions to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 both in schools and in the community. This means that all community members, students, families, teachers, and school staff should take actions to protect themselves and others where they live, work, learn, and play. In short, success in preventing the introduction and subsequent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in schools is connected to and facilitated by preventing transmission in the broader community."

There is no easy short list, the essential elements to reopen safely are complex. Take time to read through them to understand them.

Monday, February 15, 2021

The Hill: "Five things to know about new CDC coronavirus guidelines"


"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put out a flurry of new guidance this week, with advice on topics such as mask wearing and quarantining after COVID-19 exposure.

The guidelines are in response to threats from new, more contagious virus strains, but they also indicate what life post-vaccine might look like in the U.S.

Here are five things to know about the agency's advice."

Continue reading the article online

Direct link to the CDC COVID-19 page

Monday, December 28, 2020

The Hill: "CDC issues new guidance about vaccinations for people with underlying health conditions"

From The Hill

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday issued a new guidance stating that people with underlying health conditions can receive a coronavirus vaccine.

The guidance explains that “adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19.”  

Thus, the CDC added that those vaccines that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration “may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.” 

Continue reading the article online


Thursday, December 17, 2020

MMA: "MBLC releases new space planning guide for libraries"

From the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA)

"The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in mid-November released a free, 160-page guide to planning new or reconfigured public library spaces.

“This space planning guide will not only help plan flexible and efficient library buildings that meet a community’s unique needs,” said Library Building Specialist Lauren Stara, “it will also save communities time and money as they begin exploring options for a new or reconfigured library.”

“Library Space: A Planning Resource for Librarians” creates a formal set of best practices for designing library space that may be applied to libraries across the nation, according to the Board of Library Commissioners. The guide empowers librarians, administrators, space planners and architects with tools for the planning and design of public library buildings. It takes the user through the step-by-step process of determining what to consider when designing a new library for their community, and includes illustrations of different room types, adjacencies, shelving and seating that can be considered for a building project."

Continue reading the article online
Visit the MA Board of Library Commissioners at
MMA: "MBLC releases new space planning guide for libraries"
Franklin's Library in the sun after a snow storm

Monday, November 2, 2020

“The holidays need to look and feel very different this year”

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:  

"Holidays will need to look different this year, state officials said as they recommended Thanksgiving celebrations be held virtually or limited to one household to minimize COVID-19 transmission risks.

“The science on this one’s pretty clear — gathering in groups indoors for an extended period of time with family and friends is likely the worst possible scenario for spreading the virus,” Gov. Charlie Baker said during a recent press conference.

Pointing to rising COVID-19 case numbers among Massachusetts residents under age 30, Baker again said people should stop hosting parties and other large social gatherings. He urged younger people, who may not experience severe symptoms of the respiratory disease, to think about the relatives they might infect, the health care workers gearing up for a second surge, and the children whose ability to attend in-person school hinges on the rate of virus spread.

Baker said his own Thanksgiving celebration this year will be “immediate family, and that’s it,” and said all families should “think long and hard about the well-being of your loved ones before you make your plans.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

The DPH guidance for Thanksgiving and the holidays

Thanksgiving during COVID-19
Thanksgiving during COVID-19

Friday, October 30, 2020

Thanksgiving during COVID-19

"Mass DPH has released the following guidance for the upcoming holiday. 
Read the details here @massdph "
Shared from Twitter:

Thanksgiving during COVID-19
Thanksgiving during COVID-19

Monday, September 28, 2020

Town of Franklin, MA: Halloween Activity Guidelines

The State released health and safety standards related to Halloween activities.  

FYI: The Town of Franklin does not manage or schedule trick-or-treat.  

Please follow the state guidelines if you choose to participate. 

Shared from Twitter:

Town of Franklin, MA: Halloween Activity Guidelines
Town of Franklin, MA: Halloween Activity Guidelines

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"We have to look at not just where our students live, but the impact that the surrounding communities have on us”"

From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:  

"MASSACHUSETTS EDUCATION COMMISSIONER Jeff Riley is escalating his push to convince school districts to bring students back in person, asking 16 districts for more information about their plans – and threatening them with a potential audit of their efforts to provide in-person education.

Riley wrote to 16 districts that have consistently ranked green or gray on the state’s color-coded map, which indicate low rates of COVID–19, that chose to start school remotely.

“Given your community’s designation of green or gray, I am concerned that the school committee has voted to keep most students learning remotely for the start of the 2020-21 school year,” Riley wrote, pointing to state guidance that recommends these districts bring students back in person.

“In light of the stark discrepancy between local public health data and your reopening plan, I am requesting a timeline by which you anticipate providing in-person instruction for the majority of your students including in-person instruction for vulnerable populations,” Riley continued. He wrote that their responses “may trigger an audit to assess overall efforts to provide in-person instruction” and to ensure their remote learning program is consistent with state guidelines."

Continue reading the article online
The Franklin Public Schools Reopening website can be found

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Arbor Day, Labor Day - Both are worthwhile celebrations

by Pete Fasciano, Executive Director 09/06/2020

"As a school kid, I recall Arbor Day, and ‘Trees’ by Joyce Kilmer.  The holiday was little more than the starting blocks for another school year. There wasn’t much meaning behind it. No giant festivities, fireworks, parade, big doin’s, junk food – nothin’.  Not even a corn dog.

It was – uhhm, Arbor Day. Then somewhere in those early school years it became Labor Day Again – nothing. At least, nothing for us kids to get jazzed about.

Now, both of these holidays are fine occasions that commemorate deserving causes. As an adult in these times of global warming with record high temps and record high unemployment – ? I get it. These are among the burning issues of our time. Firing up the backyard grill is nice, but – Somehow, we need to jack up the holiday gravitas and cobble together some appropriate Arbor Day/Labor Day traditions, including labors that promote the greening of our planet – and our wallets.

This notion of combining Arbor/Labor Days (or at least the causes they celebrate) is what Democrats are espousing in their Green New Deal.

Now you know.

And – This just in:
Fittingly, the first job that the Green New Deal saved – was that of its author.

There’s another day that we should celebrate – Election Day. Get out the vote. And – as always 

–  Thank you for listening to wfpr●fm. And, thank you for watching. "

Find the weekly Franklin TV and Franklin Public Radio program guide online at

Arbor Day, Labor Day  - Both are worthwhile celebrations
the home page of Franklin.TV features a link to Franklin Matters

Saturday, August 29, 2020

MIAA Sports Rule Modifications for Fall 2020

MIAA (@MIAA033) tweeted at 0:02 PM on Fri, Aug 28, 2020:
Read the #MIAA statement regarding Fall 2020 sport modifications
#OneTeamOneMIAA  @MASchoolsK12 @MassEEA


Go to the MIAA page for the individual sport modification requirements  or follow the links shown here

(Editorial note: In my opinion, a quick review of some of the modifications change the nature of the game being played. I would also expect that statistics from such a season would be marked with an asterisk as they would not be comparable to prior seasons.)

“You’re right, the soccer purists aren’t going to be happy with all these”

The MIAA released guidelines and modifications Friday, which sent shockwaves across Massachusetts. (Dave Arnold Photography)
The MIAA released guidelines and modifications Friday, which sent shockwaves across Massachusetts. (Dave Arnold Photography)

Monday, August 24, 2020

Franklin Community 2020 Voting Guide - Primary - Sept 1

A worthy set of material to prepare for the Primary election. Get your copy here 

or here


For additional information on voting visit the Town Clerk page

For the Franklin voters "election collection" visit

the Franklin voters "election collection"
the Franklin voters "election collection"

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Hockomock Area YMCA Offers Remote Learning Support Programs and Before & After School Care

Our Hockomock Area YMCA knows this academic year will challenge families and present a unique need in our communities, as families will be balancing their children's remote learning needs with their own work schedules and commitments. We have been preparing to adapt our Y's Before & After School Care program to include both full-day remote learning support as needed, along with traditional before and after school care.  These enhanced programs will be comprehensive, supporting your child's virtual learning needs, while providing enrichment, socialization and physical activity each day. 
At all three of our YMCA full facility branches in Foxboro, Franklin and North Attleboro, we plan to provide onsite full-day remote learning and enrichment programming Monday through Friday as space allows. We are also identifying additional buildings in communities we serve where we may be able to expand our offering and allow more families to register.

Here is where we are in this process and the next steps we must take.
  • All organizations who plan to offer any childcare or school age support program during the school year must be licensed by the state's Department of Early Education and Care (DEEC) in order to operate legally and within the standards that provide quality care and keep children safe.
  • All Hockomock Area YMCA childcare and before and after school care programs are licensed by DEEC and we follow their guidelines strictly.
  • While local school districts have submitted their final plans to the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for approval, and have communicated these plans to families within their community, the DEEC that we depend upon for licensing has not yet issued their revised COVID-19 standards or guidelines. These two state departments coordinate efforts to make sure guidelines are consistent.
  • Until these guidelines are released, no program can operate, and we cannot finalize key elements, including staff to child ratios, the number of children allowed per classroom, and revised cleaning protocols.
According to the DEEC, the state should be providing us with the necessary guidelines by the end of this week or early next week. It has been shared with us that organizations like our Y who already have a license will be first in line to expand their care and be approved for the full day remote learning support program.
We will be moving forward in the next few days on anticipated program guidelines and making registration for families available, with the understanding that the entire program is pending on state approval.

If you would like to receive future updates and registration information once it’s available, please complete our online contact form by CLICKING HERE (

Hockomock Area YMCA
Bernon Family Branch
45 Forge Hill Road, Franklin, MA 02038
Phone: 508-528-8708

Hockomock Area YMCA Offers Remote Learning Support Programs and Before & After School Care
Hockomock Area YMCA 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: state guidelines “confusing and disappointing”

 From CommonWealth Magazine we share articles of interest for Franklin:

"UNDER NEW STATE GUIDELINES issued Tuesday night, Somerville should be preparing to bring students back to school in person next month. It isn’t.

Somerville, a dense urban area outside of Boston, is ranked as “green,” or low-risk, on a new state map measuring COVID-19 rates. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says green communities should have full-time in-person learning, or at least a hybrid model if there are extenuating circumstances. 

Somerville already decided to start with fully remote learning, and Mayor Joe Curtatone called the new guidelines “confusing and disappointing.” “To look at a color-coded map and say that should be a bright line as to whether to bring back students, staff, teachers to school really disregards all the other variables we must analyze…when we make these decisions,” Curtatone said."

Continue reading the article online

"Baker said Trump’s proposal is credible, but it takes money that states are already counting on to cover their COVID-19 costs and uses those funds to pay for the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit.

“That FEMA money, as far as most states are concerned, is what’s there for us to apply to be reimbursed for the costs we incurred in March, April, and May during the original emergency,” Baker said.

The same goes for using CARES Act funds to pay for the state’s share of the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit, Baker said. The governor said the CARES Act funding in most cases has already been designated for other needs. “It’s using most of a pot of money that’s already designated for a very particular purpose,” he said.

Baker said he would prefer that Congress step up and pass a comprehensive stimulus plan. “It’s really important that there be a fourth [stimulus] package,” he said."

Continue reading the article online