NEWBURYPORT — Newburyport High School will temporarily move to a fully remote learning model Thursday and Friday after 12 students tested positive for COVID-19.

In an email to families Wednesday night, Superintendent Sean Gallagher said the cases were identified that afternoon through the district pooled testing program.

The testing program has also identified a positive case at Nock Middle School and a positive case at Bresnahan Elementary School. 

Outside of the testing program, there was another positive case at Bresnahan the superintendent said. 

The elementary and middle schools will continue with in-person learning as planned, but the high school will shift to remote learning due to possible COVID-19 clusters, Gallagher explained. 

"This decision is not made lightly," he said. "As has been the process since the fall, our decisions are made in consultation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Newburyport Board of Health and medical professionals.

"Our goal continues to be increased in-person learning for all students," Gallagher added. "However, we must prioritize student and staff safety and act to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the NPS community."

The superintendent reminded families to wear masks, maintain social distancing, monitor possible COVID-19 symptoms, and sign up for the weekly pooled testing program, if not already.

All students are on vacation next week for the April break, and the high school is supposed to return to full in-person learning by April 26. 

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