Curley School Stopping In-Person Learning for 10 Days Due to COVID

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Due to a rise in COVID cases, the Curley K-8 School will not hold in-person learning for 10 days starting Wednesday.

The Boston Public Health Commission advised the school to switch from in-person learning, according to an email sent to the Curley community.

As of now, the plan is for the school to reopen Monday, Nov. 22.

Boston Public Schools held a community meeting about the rapid spread of the Coronavirus in the Curley School on Monday evening.

"This is an active effort to immediately stop the spread and provide time to add staffing capacity to fully implement the test and stay and and contact tracing programs," said a slideshow.

With Superintendent Brenda Cassellius on the call, along with Curley School Principal Katie Grassa, they stated there were 46 positive cases across 21 classrooms in the school from October 22 to November 7.

On Nov. 5, a Curley School community message said, "...that 24 members of the Curley K-8 community recently accessed the building and tested positive for COVID-19." The dates of those positive tests were not provided.

The Curley School is not the only Jamaica Plain elementary school with a COVID breakout. The Manning School also reported 16 cases recently. During the Curley School meeting, it was stated that the Manning cases were contained because that school is small in size compared to the Curley.

Understandably, Curley School parents were not happy.

"It is deeply disappointing to be told by the Superintendent tonight that BPS doesn't have the capacity to test and trace cases in order to keep the school open," said Rob Orthman to Jamaica Plain News. "I'd like to know how and why this wasn't anticipated and planned for by BPS. And also why Curley parents weren't informed sooner that the virus had jumped to so many classrooms. I appreciate the teachers and staff pivoting so quickly to enable remote learning once the shutdown was ordered."

In Tuesday night's meeting, BPS officials said they weren't sure if the coming remote learning days will count as actual school days, so they might need to add more days of school to the end of the school year.

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On Monday it was also announced that a vaccine clinic to be held at the Curley for children 5 to 11 had to be postponed because the Boston Medical Center's IT department didn't have a system in order to give vaccines to children 5 to 11. The Boston Public Health Commission is planning on holding a vaccine clinic once the Curley School reopens.

During Tuesday's meeting it was announced that the city is extending hours at the Anna Cole Community Center testing site in Jackson Square to include Fridays from 2 to 7 pm. The city's website lists the site being open on Sundays noon to 3 pm, 3 to 6 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 2 to 7 pm on Thursdays.

There are also vaccine clinics for children 5 and older at the Brookside Community Health Center (3297 Washington St.) on Tuesdays from 8:30-11:45 am; and at the Egleston Square YMCA (3134 Washington St.) on Tuesdays from 4 to 7 pm.

No appointment, no insurance, no IDs are necessary for the testing sites or vaccine clinics.

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