The Coronovirus related cancellations in town have spiked. The big news this afternoon is that the Senior Center will be indefinitely closed for programs and visitors and the public schools will get a previously unscheduled long weekend. Plus more announcements of event cancellations were made by the Schools, Library, Recreation, Family Services, and other organizations.
The surprise school announcement stresses that the temporary closing for cleaning is “out of an abundance of caution” and there are no presumptive cases of Covid-19 in our school system.
The announcement also shares that even if there are more closures, the Dept. of Education won’t make the school year extend beyond June 23rd. (To me, that was the biggest shock given past years’ explanations that June 30th is the last allowable day of school.)
Here are the updates:
Southborough Senior Center – closed “Until Further Notice”
Today, Senior Center staff asked me to share this announcement:
The Southborough Senior Center will be closed. There will be no classes, programs or Saturday Morning Unstructured Activities. The staff will be working in the building and available by phone. If you need to speak to a Staff Member, Staff Nurse or Outreach Coordinator, please call 508-229-4453.
Earlier this week, the Senior Center had announced that larger programs were cancelled/postponed for this month. At Tuesday night’s Board of Selectmen Meeting, the Public Health Nurse explained that they cancelled programs where people were forced to be closer together due to the size of the event or the room it was held in. They also moved around furniture to avoid to many commonly touched surfaces, and to make easier to continually sanitize.
There is no announcement of why the status changed today. But given that seniors are considered more susceptible to serious impacts of the virus, the announcement isn’t that surprising.
Northborough and Southborough Public Schools – Closed Friday, March 13th
After 3:00 pm today, parents began receiving “One Call” emails and phone calls. The email announced:
The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough will be closed tomorrow, Friday, March 13, 2020. It is essential to share that there are no COVID-19 presumptive positive cases in The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough and that the closure is out of an abundance of caution and to provide the custodial staff time once again to clean the buildings. The current plan is to re-open on Monday morning, March 16, 2020. I will send out a communication if this plan changes.
We will continue to closely monitor this situation and follow the guidance of our local Boards of Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
Lastly, I want to communicate that DESE has determined that the last day of school for the Northborough Public Schools, Southborough Public Schools and Algonquin Regional High School this year will be Tuesday, June 23, 2020, the 185th day scheduled on the 2019-2020 Student Calendar.
Gregory L. Martineau
Superintendent of Schools
Given the last paragraph, it makes sense to clarify that tomorrow’s closure is just the 3rd this school year. That means the last day of school is currently scheduled as Friday, June 19th.
School event cancellations – all trips and events through April 1st
As I’ve previously shared, the school has been cancelling some activities and trips. The cancellation messages are being sent out by emails from individual schools. As a Trottier parent, I received a message this morning stating that “as of now” the district was cancelling all events and field trips through Wednesday, April 1st.
It seems that the schools haven’t been consistently updating that information on the website calendars and social media. Since I don’t have kids in all of the schools, I can’t provide a definitive list of all cancelled events. Instead, I’ll advise that if you have reason to believe that there is a school event that is still happening next week – double check before heading there.
Library Events – tomorrow through at least next week
Tonight’s Southborough Cultural Arts Council Meeting and Exhibit opening is still on. But starting tomorrow, all events will be cancelled at the Library through next week. (Events later in the month may also be cancelled, but the Library is waiting to see the situation and talk to event organizers. So stay tuned for news on that.)
The Library will remain open for regular hours. So, you can still stop by and check out materials.
Recreation Programs – varies by location held
Recreation organized programs that are held on school grounds (both weekdays and weekends) are being cancelled until further notice.
Some Rec/RAP programs will continue to be held that take place at outside facilities. Events held at Sew Studio, Code Ninjas, and the Arts Center (21 Highland Street) are scheduled to continue for now. (Recreation will continue to transport registered students from school to the events.)
As for spring sports and practices, those decisions have yet to be made. Rec is referring participants to their town youth sports associations for decisions. Updates will be posted online at www.SouthboroughRec.com when available.
For Rec programs that have been cancelled, registrants will receive an email explaining:
Refunds will be issued for remaining classes this session. If you paid by check, a household credit will be applied to your account. Please allow the recreation department 5-10 days to process all refunds.
Youth and Family Services – until further notice
This afternoon, SYFS announced that all “all current and future SYFS programs, events, and workshops” are cancelled until further notice.
AVM Concert – new date TBD
That leaves one more event that was still on my calendar for this weekend. Assabet Valley Mastersingers finally announced that they are postponing this weekend’s concert. The new date and location is TBD. They will be contacting ticket holders.