BYFIELD — Students at Triton Regional Middle and High Schools reverted to a fully remote learning model for an 11-day period beginning today, Dec. 1.
Students in the district, which includes Rowley, Newbury and Salisbury, started the school year in a remote learning model in mid September but returned to their classrooms in a hybrid learning model in late October.
Superintendent Brian Forget posted a message to Triton parents on the district's website late Monday afternoon stating that COVID-19 cases have been on the rise in the community for several weeks, so he has made the decision to move the middle and high schools back into a remote learning model from Tuesday, Dec. 1 through Friday, Dec. 11.
Forget said his decision to move those schools back into remote learning was made in response to a "considerable increase in student and staff COVID positive cases and associated close contacts" over the Thanksgiving weekend and into Monday.
The shift into remote learning will also include high-priority learners who have been attending class at the Byfield campus since September.
According to state numbers published on Friday, Nov. 27, Newbury currently has 65 positive cases of COVID-19, (up 23 over the past two weeks), Rowley has 102 cases, (up 10), and Salisbury has 150 (up 40.)
Forget stressed that the shift to remote for the middle and high schools does not affect the Newbury, Pine Grove or Salisbury elementary schools.
"This does not mean that all students and staff at the middle and high schools are being placed into quarantine," Forget said in the letter. "This is a proactive shift to fully remote learning given the unknown extent of the risk associated with these newly identified positive cases."
Anyone who has been deemed to be a close contact with any of the recently identified cases has been contacted directly with details and instructions on their required quarantine protocols, according to Forget.
"For all families, please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they show any symptoms or are not feeling well," Forget wrote. "For middle and high school families, please give added attention to monitoring for symptoms over the next two weeks, and please contact your child's school nurse if symptoms develop."
Forget also stated that he is asking any parents whose child has been tested for COVID-19 to report their results to the school nurses as soon as they are received.
"We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle," he said.
The Triton Regional School District School Committee is also scheduled to meet to review the impacts of the current change at the middle and high schools before determining next steps on Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m.
Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.