Friday, June 02, 2023


Second CES Staffer Tested Positive for COVID-19

A second staff member at Westport’s Coleytown Elementary School (CES) has tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Thomas Scarice told parents today in an email.

As a result of contact tracing, two additional staff members have been notified they will be excluded from school and recommended to quarantine for 14 days, he said.

The new disclosure has prompted a decision to begin remote learning for two additional first grade classrooms, Scarice said.

No additional students require quarantine, he said.

Disclosure of the initial CES staffer found positive for COVD-19 forced closure of the school on Friday.

Here is the text of the latest Scarice email:

Dear Westport Families and Staff:

As an update to my letter yesterday afternoon, we have since become aware of one additional staff member that has tested positive for COVID-19 at Coleytown Elementary School. Again, we worked closely with the Westport/Weston Health District, and our medical advisor, to support the appropriate contact tracing. 

As a result of this contact tracing, two additional staff members have been identified as “close contacts” and notified that they will be excluded from school and recommended to quarantine for 14 days.  There are no additional students that require quarantine at this time. 

Without question, the absence of these staff members in our building significantly impacts our ability to appropriately staff our classrooms and provide the quality of instruction that we expect.  The quarantine addresses the health and safety of our students and staff, but we are also committed to addressing the quality of instruction. 

Therefore, to provide instructional continuity for our students so that each student continues to receive daily instruction from his/her classroom teacher, we have decided to implement remote learning for these two additional Grade 1 classrooms at Coleytown Elementary School.  This measure will allow all students in those two classrooms to remain connected with their classroom teacher and to continue to receive meaningful instruction on a daily basis, albeit remotely.  Again, these students do not require quarantine.  However, the decision to move to remote instruction for these two classrooms is intended to provide the best instructional experience possible during the time of the classroom teachers’ quarantine. 

Mrs. Sirowich will contact each family that will participate in remote learning in these two classrooms today via email. 

Some parents have questioned whether or not families and siblings of those in quarantine should also isolate themselves for the same period of time.  We have been told multiple times by public health officials at the local and state level that only those defined as a “close contact” should quarantine.  Siblings and family members are not considered close contacts unless they themselves have had direct contact with a positive case within the criteria set forth by the state Department of Public Health.  This may sound counterintuitive, but this is the consistent direction that we have been provided by those we count on for public health guidance. 

The challenges of educating our students amidst this global pandemic are very real, and we are doing our best to maintain the health and safety of all members of our school community while also focusing on providing high quality instruction.  We will continue to keep you updated and thank you for your flexibility and cooperation.

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