The Southborough Library announced that it is now closed until further notice out of caution over the Covid-19 pandemic. The Town House is also announced as closed to outside visitors except by appointment. It also updated the public on the virus in Southborough. In addition, the public schools shared that following an announcement by the Governor, they will be closed for three weeks.
Recreation also updated its status, with more program cancellations and restrictions. Finally, the Southborough Food Pantry confirmed that it will remain open during regular hours.
Below are more details on each announcement.
Food Pantry Open
While the organizers of the Southborough Food Pantry are taking precautions, they are remaining open during regular hours:
Out of an abundance of caution, as the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve day by day, the Southborough Food Pantry is taking the necessary precautions to help ensure the health and safety of all our clients and volunteers. The Pantry will remain open at the regular times.
A message with more details was sent to clients with instructions to follow in order to protect them and volunteers.
Town Update – resident quarantined & Town House restrictions
The Town’s latest update, posted at noon yesterday, included a status on reported infections.
As of March 15, 2020, at 10:00 AM, there are no positive cases and one (1) reported quarantine of COVID-19 for residents of Southborough
While on Friday, the Town asked the community to limit its visits to the Town House, the new announcement went further. Staff will be working, but the building will only be accessible to non-employees by appointment:
Effective Monday, March 16th, the Southborough Town House is closed to the public, though staff continues to work internally. Please call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-485-0710 if you have business with the following town departments, or to be directed to the proper personnel to answer any inquiries:
- Selectmen’s Office
- Town Accountant
- Town Clerk
- Economic Development
The Cordaville Hall wasn’t mentioned, but a Friday communication indicated that all Town House rules would apply. So, if you have business with the Board of Health or the Building Department, I would also call ahead rather than showing up. Out of courtesy, I’d do the same for Public Works, Recreation, and Family Services, which are in different buildings.
[Editor’s Note: I initially referred to “Senior Center/Cordaville Hall” above. That may have been confusing. I was thinking of how people reference the building where the departments I mention are housed. As I have previously posted, the Senior Center section of the building is closed to the public. Council on Aging staff will still be working and available by phone and email.]
Southborough Library closed
The announcement was made early this morning that the Library will be closed. No reopening date is posted yet. Starting on Friday, the Library began touting on its website several online resources available to patrons. I’ll post separately about that later today. For now, you can visit southboroughlib.org.
Public Schools – 3 week closure
The School announcement specified a new presumed start date of April 7th.* It also came with news that on Wednesday it will be launching “optional” online education:
I want to emphasize that NSBORO-CONNECT does not replicate, or replace day-to-day educational services and interactions among faculty, staff, and students. NSBORO-CONNECT is designed to help students stay connected to their teachers and provide optional learning opportunities to help students maintain their skills and stay engaged in learning. NSBORO-CONNECT will begin for students on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. The program will stop the day prior to school reopening. Principals will launch NSBORO-CONNECT with an introductory email.
The types of access and learning tools will vary by grade:
Educators will be in touch with students/families each school day via their typical mode of communication (email, Google Classroom, Seesaw, Bloomz, or CANVAS) to provide learning experiences for school days.
Grade spans will primarily rely on the following mechanisms to deliver learning experiences:
- PreK-2: Combination of packets and digital learning tools
- 3-5: Combination of Google Classroom and learning packets
- 6-12: CANVAS
The school’s FAQs included other important details:
What if students need access to belongings that are located at school?
On Wednesday, March 18, 2020, our schools will be open from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM for students to retrieve belongings.
What if a student/family does not have access to technology at home?
Parents/guardians will be able to request devices, if needed. The procedure will be communicated to families via One Call Now. The District is developing a pick-up procedure for families.
How will students be assessed for report cards/grades?
None of the work from NSBORO-CONNECT will be used to inform grades/reports cards because it is optional. Grades will be based on what happened before school closed and after it reopens.
Will the days school is canceled need to be made up?
No, regardless of how many days we are closed, the last day of school for the 2019-2020 academic year will be June 23, 2020.
You can read the full letter here.
Expect an update later this morning from the schools with more info for those who rely on food services and/or getting access to online devices.
As of Thursday, Recreation had still planned to hold some off-school grounds Recreation After School Programs and youth league decisions were still being determined. That was before the schools announced they would be closing beyond just last Friday. This morning I checked in for anu update:
All programs are cancelled currently until school is back in session on site and off site. Field Permits and Organized usage of outdoor facilities will be barred as well until school is re-instated. The Recreation building/Arts Center will be closed to the public as aligned with the Town house, Senior Center, and Library.
Update (3/16/20 9:00 am): I initially referred to “Senior Center/Cordaville Hall” above. That may have been confusing. I was thinking of how people reference the building where the departments I mention are housed. As I have previously posted, the Senior Center section of the building is closed to the public. Council on Aging staff will still be working and available by phone and email.]
Update (3/16/2020 10:14 am): I inserted the update from the Rec Dept.
Update (3/16/2020 1:13 pm): I inserted the update from the Food Pantry.
Update (3/18/2020 4:40 pm): I initially wrote that the Trottier Track and Field program wasn’t being cancelled at this time, since it is set to begin in mid-April, after the scheduled return to school. That has since changed. An email today alerted that the program is cancelled and refunds being issued.
Update (3/19/20 12:54 pm): I initially mistook the schools closure “to April 6th” as that being the resume date. (Probably, because that’s a Monday.) Schools aren’t actually set to resume until Tuesday, April 7th.