School Superintendent Judith Kuehn and the school nurses reported at this week’s meeting of the School Committee that the first week of the COVID-19 pooled testing pilot program in grades eight and nine was a success.
“We’ll continue with it next week and then talk about including another grade level,” Kuehn said.
The idea behind pooled testing is for a large number of people to be tested at one time, providing assessment data within a short time frame. Parental permission is required for students to participate.
In a related development, several Hull educators reportedly have received the coronavirus vaccine at CVS or have made appointments to get vaccinated.
Starting on March 11, teachers, early educators, and school staff members were eligible to make vaccine appointments through any of the state’s vaccination sites and other mass-vaccination locations, as announced recently by Gov. Charlie Baker.
“This gives us hope,” Kuehn said. “We’re working with the school principals to provide coverage for anyone who needs to get vaccinated during the school day so they can go and come back without using personal or sick time.”
As for the in-person learning issue, according to Kuehn the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education met last week and supported Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley’s request to set a date for when remote and hybrid learning will no longer count toward structured learning time for students.
So far, April 5 has been set as the deadline for grades kindergarten through five to be engaged in in-person learning five days a week. (Jacobs Elementary School students are currently attending school in-person four days a week). The date(s) for that requirement to take effect for middle and high school students is expected to be decided this week.