Return to School Committee Update

Return to School Committee Update
Posted on 02/04/2022

The Return to School Committee will be meeting February 24 and the Chester School Board will consider the recommendations in a Board meeting later that evening at 7:30pm.


The Chester Return to School Committee met on Wednesday January 26, 2022 to review the feedback from the Board regarding their proposed revisions (Dec. 2021) to the Plan.

There was considerable discussion and varying perspectives among the group about the thresholds for Adjusting Mask Requirements and the timing of the revisions. The feedback from C-A parents regarded developing a transition plan to "restore normalcy" for students by putting them first in line for the lifting of restrictions, including mask mandates, once the current Omicron wave has subsided.

The Committee recommended that the Board approve the changes in the plan related to the following topics:

  • Monitoring and Responding to COVID Symptoms and Cases;
  • Telepresence Option for Students in Quarantine or Isolation;
  • School Board Meetings;
  • and Facilities Use

The revised plan now also includes a Matrix of key metrics that would allow the Superintendent to revoke the current Universal Mask Mandate when that threshold was met.
However, this recommendation for approval was with the caveat from the Committee that updates to the section on Adjusting Mask Requirements should only be considered as a placeholder at this time as it requires review and further discussion by the Committee.

As a result, after discussion and consideration, on February 2nd the Chester School Board voted to adopt the recommended revised Return to School operational plan. The Board vote was four in favor of adoption with one member abstaining.

The Chester Return to School Committee planned to next meet again on March 30, 2022 at which time they were hopeful to have data from a “Spring trend” in the case data as well as more clear guidance from public health officials to review and consider regarding how to move forward.
On 2/2/2022 the NH Division of Public Health Services Partner (DPHS) call with Dr. Benjamin Chan unveiled their “Covid-19 Surveillance 2.0” strategy. In light of that news and the recent rapid decline in Active Covid-19 cases in the region, Superintendent Locke will convene the Committee on 2/24/2022, after the next DPHS Partner call on 2/23/2022 to finalize a long-term plan.