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Superintendent Update

February 10, 2022

Dear Staff and Families,

As you may know, Governor Baker made an announcement this week about the State Mask Mandate. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has lifted the State mandate effective February 28, 2022. The District is in discussions at this time and will make an announcement concerning FPS when a decision has been made.

COVID Update. You may still sign up for the at-home testing program. Just use the link that was emailed home to register your child. Staff and students should test Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. If your child tests positive, please notify the COVID team using this link and keep your child at home.

Just a reminder, there were a few updates to the latest DESE guidance. One particular change is in regards to symptomatic individuals. There is now one list of symptoms that applies to all staff and students experiencing symptoms, regardless of vaccination status.

COVID-19 Symptoms

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

Protocol for symptomatic individuals applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who experience the COVID-19 symptoms listed above and who have not tested positive for COVID-19.

Return to school post-symptoms with optional test:

  • Duration: Dependent on symptom resolution
  • Return to School: Individuals may return to school after they:
    • Have improvement in symptoms
    • Have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • It is also recommended that individuals receive a negative PCR or antigen test result for COVID-19. An antigen test may be self-administered and does not need to be proctored or performed by a healthcare professional. Note: So long as the individual is not a close contact, if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may use this recommendation (e.g., for influenza or strep pharyngitis) in lieu of a PCR test or antigen test.

National School Counseling Week. This week we celebrated our Guidance Counselors and School Adjustment Counselors. FPS signed on to the National School Counselor’s Proclamation recognizing counselors for helping students reach their full potential; helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents; supporting parents on ways to further the educational, personal, and social growth of their children; working with educators to help students explore their potential and set realistic goals; identifying and utilizing community resources that help students become productive members of society; and providing comprehensive developmental school counseling program.

We have the most fantastic counselors in Falmouth and we are so appreciative of everything they do every single day!

VIPS. Have you been following this week’s “I Love VIPS” campaign? Each day leading up to Valentine’s Day has featured a story about the many programs VIPS brings to our students, including mentoring, CAST, Pathways, college mentoring, and book discussion groups, to name a few. All of the posts can be viewed on their website, You can support VIPS by volunteering, donating, or both.

Enjoy the next couple of days of sunshine. With the birds chirping every morning, it almost feels like spring!


Lori S. Duerr, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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