Fall 2021 School Opening
August 20, 2021
Dear Uxbridge families and staff:
I hope that you have enjoyed a wonderful summer, and I especially hope that this email finds you and your loved ones happy and healthy. It is hard to believe that we will be starting a new school year in just a few weeks! We look forward to seeing everyone back at school again!
I am writing because, unfortunately, the pandemic is still with us and I want to inform you of precautions we are taking to ensure student and staff safety this fall. After the past 18 months, we were all looking forward to leaving pandemic-related rules and restrictions behind us and returning to pre-pandemic normal. I assure you that we will get there eventually, but it is going to take more time.
There are certainly different approaches to health and safety in different school districts. Most recently, the Uxbridge Board of Health has determined that we will return to indoor mask-wearing. Effective September 7, 2021, all students, staff, and visitors — regardless of vaccination status — must wear masks indoors while in any Uxbridge Public Schools facility and on school transportation vehicles.
In addition, masks or face coverings will not be required for anyone who has a medical, behavioral, or other challenge making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering. A written note from a physician is required for a requested exemption. Parents may not excuse their child from the face mask requirement by signing a waiver. Between now and September 7, we are strongly encouraging the wearing of masks while indoors and will have masks available for students, staff, and visitors, particularly our staff who will be joining us in the building and assembling for our start-of-year professional days.
Face-masks are not required when outside, nor while eating and drinking.
Please see the Uxbridge Back-to-School FAQs document, which is posted to the school district website, to learn more about how we intend to implement the current guidelines. As we learned last year, the guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and our Commissioner, Jeffrey Riley, shifts regularly, and we will be sure to communicate any direction we are provided.
The pandemic will continue to challenge us in many ways, but the health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Safety measures such as masking will help ensure that we educate our children in person and without interruption this year, and we are confident that the coming year will be a marked improvement on the challenges of the past, based on what we have learned. I look forward to welcoming you all back soon, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!
Superintendent of Schools