Public Schools of Brookline releases new COVID-19 policies for upcoming school year


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Highlighted in new guidelines, the district will utilize masks, distancing and testing in order to facilitate a safe, productive environment for students in the district.

On Aug. 20, newly appointed superintendent Dr. Linus Guillory released critical information regarding safety policies for the 2021-22 school year. Highlighted in these guidelines is the usage of masks, social distancing and testing to facilitate a safe, productive environment for Public Schools of Brookline (PSB).

Taken into effect on Aug. 9, masks are compulsory in the town’s public buildings, thus masks must be worn by students, staff and visitors at all times inside schools, regardless of their vaccination status. It was also noted that at certain points, for example in a large crowd, staff may request masks to be worn outside.

Schools will continue with mask breaks, with at least one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Without a strict ruling on distancing, PSB “will continue to enforce a policy of physical distancing indoors as feasible,” noting that distancing should not impact students’ learning. This differs from last year’s policy, which began with six-foot distancing, and in the spring three-foot distancing.

This year, there will be changes to protocol regarding testing. Individuals named as close contacts may opt into a Test and Stay program, which uses the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test. Certain individuals will be exempt from following testing and quarantine response protocols: asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts, classroom or bus close contacts, and close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days and are recovered and asymptomatic.

For individuals who develop symptoms while at school, schools will also administer a BinaxNOW test.

PSB is encouraging eligible individuals to get vaccinated, as currently 66.2 percent of the district’s 7th-12th graders are fully vaccinated. (Public Domain)

Guillory ended his statement with information about vaccination within PSB, highlighting that 66.2 percent of 7th-12th grade students within the district are fully vaccinated and PSB encourages eligible individuals to receive the vaccine. Information was also provided about an upcoming vaccine clinic at the Lincoln School on Sept. 8.