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Littleton schools requiring families to swear they’re following coronavirus guidelines in order to return to in-person

Superintendent of Schools Kelly Clenchy
Superintendent of Schools Kelly Clenchy

LITTLETON — The Littleton School District is making families swear they are following the state’s coronavirus guidelines over Thanksgiving break. If not, their kids won’t be able to return to school for in-person learning for two weeks.

Superintendent of Schools Kelly Clenchy and School Committee Chairman Mike Fontanella made the announcement in a letter to parents sent out Nov. 16. According to the letter, families would be required to fill out a survey swearing that they wouldn’t travel to locations other than low-risk states or participate in any social gatherings that violate Massachusetts’ guidelines.

“Unfortunately, we are not in a typical year and as of late we have seen dramatic increases in the transmission of COVID-19,” the letter read. “During the past month, Littleton has had a higher rate of confirmed cases than any of our surrounding communities. We need to work harder individually and as a community to model good behaviors in an effort to protect the health of our community and to help keep our schools open for in-person learning.”

Children in families that failed to complete the form before Thanksgiving break will not only be required to attend school remotely for two weeks — or until they provide a negative COVID-19 test taken on or after Dec. 3 — but they’ll also be ineligible to participate in extracurricular activities, including sports.

“The School Committee is asking for this so that we can give Littleton the best chance to continue to have students attending school in person,” Fontanella said on Littleton Community Television. “We are hopeful that if our school community does that, we will be able to keep our school buildings open and help minimize the negative impact the pandemic is having on all of us.”

Families with kids who are learning remotely were not required to complete the form, only those with children enrolled in the hybrid model, or who participate in athletics or in-person extracurricular activities.