SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In-person classes at Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield have been put on hold after additional students tested positive for COVID-19.
In a letter addressed to the school community Monday, Dr. Paul Harrington, Head of School, said test results for two students came back positive and several others were negative after one student tested positive for coronavirus last week. This brings the total number of COVID-19 positive cases at the catholic school, which opened less than three weeks ago, to three.
The students who were tested participated in a club sport and self-identified as being in close contact with the initial student who tested positive.
As of Monday night, the catholic school’s opening status has been changed to red, which means students will learn remotely to ensure the entire school community is safe. The red status period will last a minimum of two weeks with a tentative reentry date of September 29, which may begin under a hybrid plan.
I am grateful for the time we have had with in-person learning and I am very disappointed that we find ourselves shifting gears at this time. For the benefit of our entire school community, I ask that you continue to do your part, both on and especially off-campus, to stay healthy by following the same protocols we use at school from mask-wearing to hand washing to social distancing. I strongly urge students and families to limit their out-of-school contact with others during this time. There are many exciting opportunities, activities, and sports on the horizon at Pope Francis Prep. Remaining vigilant now, and throughout the next two weeks, is the only way we will be able to safely return and maintain in-person instruction.Dr. Harrington, Pope Francis Preparatory School
Dr. Harrington said there is no indication or evidence that the first student’s contraction of COVID-19 occurred at school or at a school-sponsored event, adding that, Pope Francis will continue to follow DESE and the state Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 protocols.
Academic Expectations for learning remotely have been made available to students along with a daily schedule.