Back to School

Fall 2020

From the Superintendent

Kathleen A. Murphy
Interim Superintendent

December 4, 2020

Good afternoon families and staff,

This afternoon, the District received notice from building administrators and school nurses of 3 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our schools.

There is no evidence of community transmission within the schools.

Contact tracing has been conducted in both schools for these individuals, and that information has been shared with the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS).

  • The CHS staff person was last in school on Friday, December 4.

  • The CHS student, grade 10 and cohort 1, was last in school on Monday, November 23.

  • The BGS student, grade 4 and cohort A, was last in school on Thursday, December 3.

Both Principals have been in touch with every family whose children were in the same cohorts as the children who tested positive, or who may have come in contact with the staff member.

To my knowledge, the cases have not yet been posted on the State dashboard.

The District will respect the confidentiality of these students, staff member, and their families.


Kathleen Murphy
Interim Superintendent

December 4, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,

This week’s update will address several inquiries that the School District has received about school closures, and the various aspects of Covid-19’s impact on our work in the District. In addition, I want to provide information on what to expect over the next few weeks.

The District is experiencing the impact of community transmission of the virus and, as a result of this community impact, I am moving Abbott-Downing School from the hybrid model to the remote model of instruction. This change will begin on Monday December 7, and remain in place until such time as those in quarantine are able to return to their positions at the school.

This decision was based on available staff, as well as the number of students who are home and in quarantine. Instruction will be delivered using the remote model employed in the fall: four days of synchronous teaching per week. Further information will be provided by Principal Anthony Blinn.

Some may ask why the other four elementary schools are not moving to the remote model. The remaining elementary schools – Christa McAuliffe, Mill Brook, Broken Ground and Beaver Meadow – will remain open in the hybrid model. Currently, we have adequate staff and support for students.

The high school and the middle school will continue in the remote model. This model will provide synchronous instruction to students four day per week. Both schools will remain in the remote model through the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday (January 18).

I am sharing a graphic to explain the process of contact tracing when we are informed of a positive case by a family or by the NH Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS). In doing contact tracing, there are several factors to identify, in order to isolate those who may have been exposed.

  • Did students and staff socially distance (6 feet)?

  • Was the exposure and contact beyond ten minutes of cumulative time during the infectious period?

Following the identification of the above-mentioned factors, the necessary steps are taken to provide information to NH DHHS as well as to report to families. Once we have provided this information to designated DHHS staff, they follow through with information to families related to any exposure or quarantining that may be necessary.

Finally, we are pleased with the support given to the District by NH DHHS, but they too have difficulties contacting families and getting timely test results.

As always, I appreciate your feedback and suggestions, and recognize the incredible impact the pandemic has made on the lives of our children. Every single day we look forward to resuming some normalcy for our students, staff, families, and community.

Enjoy the weekend and maybe, just maybe, some snow – to the delight of our students.

Best regards,

Kathleen A. Murphy
Interim Superintendent