Dear Families,

The Halloween parade with our beginner through third grade students was as adorable as ever. The older students cheering them on as they walked by in costume warmed my heart and certainly the hearts of our youngest. On the topic of Halloween, with Pine Cobble School drawing from so many towns, if you choose to participate in trick or treat, we strongly encourage you to read your town's trick or treat guidelines. Here is Williamstown's set of guidelines put out by their Board of Health  https://williamstownma.gov/2020/10/21/halloween-trick-or-treat-2/

Thank you all for filling out the survey about the November and December breaks as they relate to travel. For those who have not filled the survey out please do so. We did have a great response and appreciate the careful thought from families and faculty. With a very small number of people planning to travel and an equally small number having people travel to them over the breaks, our current plan is to return to in-person schooling after the November break. We will be sending an email closer to the November break which will detail the next steps if you are traveling or have visitors over the break. It is very important you note what counties have a higher risk index than 6.0. Use this link to follow the risk index. Traveling to those counties or people traveling to you from those counties over the November break will mean your child will need to do remote learning for seven days followed by a negative COVID test or 14 days of remote learning.

In more challenging news, our PCCRI (Pine Cobble COVID-19 Risk Index), which is the weighted average for Berkshire, Bennington, Rensselaer and Washington Counties, has risen significantly in the last week, reaching 4.1 this morning. We have been researching the situations causing the rises, particularly those in Berkshire and Rensselaer Counties. In Rensselaer a significant percentage of the rise was due to a cluster of cases in a nursing home, now contained. The most recent data from all counties indicates a decrease in cases, and makes us hopeful that this peak should subside over the weekend. That said, should this unfortunately not happen and the PCCRI remains over 4.0, I want to remind you that we will need to transition to remote learning. I will keep you posted as things evolve. 

One last note, this weekend, we will be testing our One Call Now system. Today's snow was a good reminder to do a community test of all numbers in the system. Following the call, I will send an email, so if you do not get a call, please respond to the email with the number you wish to have in the One Call Now system.
 
Enjoy your weekend.

Sincerely,
Sue