Superintendent's Letter Regarding MA DPH Update on Quarantine Guidelines

January 19, 2021

Dear Millis Public School Families and Staff,

In December the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) shortened their quarantine guidelines for close contacts from a 10-day quarantine with testing on Day 8, to testing on Day 5 with a 7-day quarantine.

Since this change we have learned that individuals in other school districts, who were initially identified as close contacts and completed their 7 day quarantine, then returned to school/work on Day 8, have subsequently developed symptoms and then tested positive. It has been reported that these individuals typically developed their symptoms between Day 8 and Day 11; but as a result of the change in quarantine guidance, were back at school and in close contact with other students and staff while contagious. Although the state has shortened the quarantine time based on the evidence that the majority of individuals who are close contacts will test positive by day 5, it is important to remember that once exposed to the virus an individual can develop symptoms up until day 14.

Currently our community is experiencing an increase in the number of positive COVID cases, and the Millis Board of Health is recommending that they revert back to the previous quarantine guidance issued by the MA DPH when working with the Millis Public Schools community. It is believed that with the extra days of quarantine we can avoid an increase in the number of potential close contacts and the number of positive cases in our community. As a result, beginning January 19, 2021 the following quarantine guidelines will be used for all students and staff in the Millis Public Schools:

All individuals who are identified as close contacts must either:

  1. Quarantine for at least 14 days from the date of the last exposure or; or

  2. Quarantine at least 10 days, provided all of the following are satisfied:

  • The individual has not had any symptoms;

  • The individual has been tested on day 8 of their quarantine or later using a molecular diagnostic test (also known as a PCR) to detect the presence of the virus:

  • The individual has received confirmation of a negative test result; and

  • The individual continues to monitor for symptoms for the full fourteen days. If the individual develops symptoms they must quarantine again and be re-tested for the COVID virus.

Thank you very much for your continued support of our efforts to minimize the spread of the virus and to remain in our hybrid model of education.


Bob Mullaney, Superintendent

October 2020 School Committee Safety Walkthrough Video

Hybrid Teaching and Learning Examples

Copy of Hybrid Presentation 10-6-20
Copy of Hybrid and Long Term Remote summary

DESE Information and Guidance

For all DESE information and guidance, the Commissioner of Education's Weekly Updates and more please see:

For DESE guidance that the district has received, please see the DESE Guidance menu at the top of this site.

Part II DESE District Fall Reopening Plan

(2)Part II DESE - August 14 2020 (1).pdf
August 4th Fall Re-opening update

July 21, 2020

Preliminary DRAFT Reopening Plan.pdf
Fall Re-opening Planning Outline Presentation

Dear Millis Families and Community,

June 26, 2020

Yesterday, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. We appreciate the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance, and share its goal of the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. The guidance relies on medical research and I have included attachments from two of those experts.

Our administrative team has been staying abreast of and discussing information from the CDC, the Department of Public Health and on what is happening as other countries re-open schools Over the coming days, we will be reviewing the DESE guidance to begin to understand how it impacts what we can do in the Millis Public Schools. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming throughout the summer. The full document can be found attached but here are some key components:

  • Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school - with an array of preventive measures in place - as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults.

  • Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, hand-washing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces

  • Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below

  • Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established

Districts will need to develop three separate plans - one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation today is that students will return to full in-person instruction in September; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops.

We acknowledge that there are likely to be more questions than answers at this time, and we will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months. We also encourage you to read the full document attached.

We will be sending out more information as we receive it. Watch for a parent survey that we will send out soon to gain information from families regarding Fall plans. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Best regards,

Nancy L. Gustafson

DESE Initial Fall Reopening Guidance

Elizabeth Goodman, MD, MBA and LLoyd Fisher, MD - American Academy of Pediatrics

Joseph G Allen - Washington Post 6/24/2020