Corona Cancellations

Ronan Lovely and Anushka Patil

(Update 4:00 pm March 16) Principal Jim Antonelli sent out an email around 12 AM updating Westford Academy students and parents that distance learning will not occur. He mentioned teachers can only use Google Classroom in order to update and check-up on students — not to continue their teachings. 

At this time students are not expected to work on any distance learning activities, however, this is an opportunity for students to take part in optional enrichment activities […] Teachers will NOT be using the Google Classroom at this time to continue with teaching and learning over the next two weeks, however, teachers may use Google Classroom to check in with students or provide updates,” Antonelli wrote. 

Here are the events the email mentioned will continue as of now:

  • General
    • April Break
    • Final Exams 
    • Spring sports are expected to begin on Monday, April 6th, 2020
  • Juniors:
    • Junior Job Shadow is expected to take place on May 20th, 2020; Those planning to shadow in a health facility/healthcare industry should make alternative plans
  • Seniors:
    • Capstone Project (with adjusted calendar)

The email also covered events that, for now, will occur as planned but are subject-to-change due to Governor Charlie Baker’s ban on gatherings of over 25 people.

  • Juniors 
    • Cotillion
  • Seniors
    •  Prom
    • Senior Class trip to Disney: As of now, it is scheduled to happen on May 20-24, 2020

Here’s a list of events that the school is still waiting on for more information: 

  • General
    •  Free and reduced lunch (emergency meeting this afternoon)
    • AP Testing Schedule
  • Sophomores 
    • MCAS 
  • Juniors 
    • Conferences with guidance counselors (on Zoom) with more information to be released on Junior’s Google Classroom

(Update 7:06 pm March 15) Governor Charlie Baker has ordered a three-week cancellation of all schools in MA from 3/17 through 4/7. In addition, gatherings of over 25 people have been prohibited in order to prevent further spread of the disease.

“If we take decisive steps now and everyone plays their part by following the best medical guidance, we can slow down the spread,” Baker said.

(Update 2:57 pm March 13) Superintendent Bill Olsen has released a letter to parents and faculty announcing the closing of all Westford Public Schools from 3/16-3/27 as a result of the recent coronavirus outbreaks in Massachusetts. Olsen specified that school will end on June 23, despite the closings.

“Our decision has been informed by conversations with local officials to address the concerns raised. We know we can have a greater and more positive impact on public health and safety if we do this together. We collectively believe that this decision will assist with the ongoing efforts of our communities to mitigate the spread of this virus. It is important to understand that closing schools is only a part of the broader solution to prevent community spread of the virus,” a letter from the Merrimack Valley superintendents said.

(UPDATE 1:33 pm March 12) Olsen sent out an email to parents and faculty to address the administrative decision to close all Westford schools on Friday, March 13.

“Westford schools will be closed on Friday, March 13, to allow the custodial staff to conduct an enhanced level of cleaning and disinfecting throughout the schools. Cleaning is scheduled to take place Friday through the weekend. Therefore, all buildings will be closed to school-sponsored and non-school sponsored events,” Olsen wrote.

Link to Olsen’s full letter: https://www.westfordk12.us/sites/westfordmaps/files/news/covid-19_update_3-12-2020.pdf

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Massachusetts, Westford Public School have taken many actions to prevent the spread of the virus. School administration met on March 10th to discuss precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Following this discussion, it was decided that all non-essential events for the next thirty days would be cancelled. This includes guest speakers, social events, and alumni reunions, which will not be held.

There has been a schedule change for March 24th, as there will no longer be a 2 hour delay for elementary students and instead they will go to school at their regular time.

To stop the risk of infection the school has taken initiative to create a safer and cleaner school. Custodians will now be scrubbing surfaces and wiping down furniture. Buses will also be disinfected daily.

Springs sports are up in the air due to a risk of contact with other people who may be infected. For now, try-outs and practices will continue as planned provided that school is in session. However, for the first two weeks out-of-town scrimmages will not be held because they are considered non-essential.  No major decisions have been made about the regular season; that decision is awaiting the review of the MIAA.

This is a list of events that have been cancelled for precautionary measures:

-WATA METG events are postponed until April 6th, including Semi-Finals

-DECA internationals are cancelled

-Westford recreational basketball is cancelled

-HOSA state event is cancelled

-Speech and Debate states are postponed

-NHS’s Empty Bowls fundraiser is cancelled

-Band Concerts are cancelled

-Spanish Exchange is cancelled

-Japan Trip is cancelled

-NYC trip is cancelled

-Marine Bio Field trip is cancelled

-DECA’s Hypnotist show is cancelled

-Science Team States are cancelled

-WA’s Got talent is cancelled

-Robotics meeting is cancelled

-SATs cancelled for Saturday, March 14

 

Unknowns as of right now:

-Prom

-Cotillion

-Senior class trip to Disney

-German Exchange

-New York art trip

-8th Grade DC trip