Monday, 1/25/2021 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy the weekend to some level or another.  The sunshine was nice, but the wind wasn’t all that kind.  Nonetheless, it was a little break from the regular routines of the week as we wrap up the various marking periods and continue to prepare for the return to onsite learning next week on February 1st. Site specific details will be communicated by school administrators on what that will look like exactly for your child(ren)’s school.

The letter that I shared last week went out to our Governor on Friday as planned.  Actually, I was 10 minutes late from my 12 noon target, but it was sent along with the more than 700 people’s responses as well (both in support and not in support).  I’m sure there were others that would have liked to weigh in one way or another, but I felt it was important to get that out before heading into the weekend.  If you wish to share your thoughts on the matter, you can always do so directly by sending your thoughts directly to the Governor by emailing to

The “Everyone Challenge” below in the update closes this week on Friday.  Thank you to the many folks (students, parents/guardians, staff and community members) that have been turning in your shout outs.  I’m sure there are more and I encourage you to get those in before the week comes to a close.  You can see the details below for those that are interested.

There has been some updated guidance from health officials that we are working through to provide greater understanding for our school communities. Most of that guidance is in relation to vaccination and quarantining.  As soon as we complete our review and analysis, we will share any modifications to our Comprehensive Opening Plan as we have been doing throughout the school year in the weekly update.  

With that being said, I am imploring everyone to “Be the Reason” we are able to facilitate onsite learning. While there will undoubtedly be competing views with regard to onsite learning, (those in support of and those that are opposed to) it has and continues to be a Core Belief of our professional staff in that “onsite learning is the ideal/preferred method of providing instruction.” We know that when our students' social, emotional and psychological well-being needs are being addressed, they are more successful.  Conversely, when they are not, it leads to additional struggles. And for that, I am enlisting all of our efforts - students, staff, families and everyone that is a part of our school communities to “Be the Reason” we are able to be onsite. 

What does that mean exactly?  Well, simply put, it will be most effective if we all can Be the Reason to minimize the risk of transmission happening in our school(s).  This can be done by reinforcing compliance with the Big Four (Screening, Masking, Distancing, and Hand Hygiene) as we get set to return :

  1. Fill out the screening assessment honestly. When you have a symptom of COVID-19, do not go into the buildings.  Thinking that a symptom is probably nothing may be true, but it also may not be.  Masking and ignoring symptoms only puts additional people at risk that can be avoided.
  2. Adherence to face covering protocols.  As a reminder, on September 18th, we issued guidance that gaiters, face shields (alone) and face coverings with valves and vents are NOT an acceptable form of face covering for students and staff unless an accommodation supported by medical documentation has been filed and approved by the building administrator.  Additionally, face coverings are designed and intended to cover both the mouth and the nose when worn properly.  Schools have, and will continue to provide face covering breaks throughout the day and obviously can not be worn while eating or drinking.
  3. Maintaining distancing guidelines.  Particularly with people that are not wearing a face covering.
  4. Maintain hand hygiene.  Regular and frequent cleaning of the hands through washing with soap and water or if unavailable, sanitizer, has been determined to help minimize the risk of spread.

Lastly, I know that it is difficult to fully understand, but the switching from being onsite to remote is not an accommodation that can be made at this time.  This is not uncommon when capacity issues prevent choices from happening - even outside of a pandemic.  For example, if a particular course/subject, or a particular grade level is at full capacity, we have to find a different solution than what may have been requested.  We simply do not employ an endless amount of staff to cover all of the individual requests that have or may come into our buildings.  Please know that we are committed to continually evaluating our programs and we will communicate any updates.

If you have any questions or concerns as it relates to your child(ren) please reach out to your principals, counselors and teachers.  They stand ready to assist and welcome the opportunity to clarify any confusion that may exist.  In the meantime, continue to stay safe, stay warm (as the forecast suggests we’ll need to later this week), and know that we will all get through this together!

Be Well, 


Everyone Challenge:  Now that 2020 has ended and we’re up and running with 2021, please join me in recognizing and celebrating teachers and staff members for all of the hard work they do on behalf of our children each and every day!


If there is a teacher, bus driver, school counselor, school secretary, administrator or other staff member you'd like to recognize, please email by January 29, 2021. Tell us why you're giving a shout out to them - you may even have a little story you’d like to share. We will share your comments anonymously.


Our staff have been doing such an awesome job during this difficult year, and your support and words of encouragement really matter!


Keeping these short videos in the update until next week for those that may have missed them previously.  Enjoy!

What I Look Forward to in 2021 (Part 1)

What I Look Forward to in 2021 (Part 2)

What I Look Forward to in 2021 (Part 3)

What I Learned in 2020 - Part 1

What I Learned in 2020 - Part 2

COVID-19 Data:  Providing all of the COVID-19 data that we have been tracking since the onset of the pandemic back in March, 2020.

2021 Data

  1. NH COVID-19 2021
  2. Cheshire County COVID-19 2021
  3. SAU 29 Towns Cumulative COVID-19 2021
  4. SAU 29 Towns Current COVID-19 Positives 2021
  5. Community Transmission Slides

2020 Data

  1. NH COVID-19 2020
  2. Cheshire County COVID-19 2020
  3. SAU29 Towns Cumulative COVID-19 Data 2020
  4. SAU29 Towns Current COVID-19 Positives 2020
  5. Community Transmission Slides
  6.  COVID Trends Slides

E-Flyer Distribution Program:  As a reminder, there are many flyers that our schools are asked to send home throughout the school year.  We also post these flyers on our website and it can be found by going to this E-Flyer Distribution Program embedded link.

Mental Health & Cultural AwarenessBelow are some resources that may be helpful. 


Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  

Additional Resources:

Meals: Every student in SAU 29 and all children 18 and under are eligible for free meals through June 2021. Meals for all students in SAU 29 are free at this time. Students are eligible for up to 7 days’ worth of meals per week, remote meals and/or in-school dining depending on the modality of their instruction.


This form is to order meals for remote pick up on Tuesday, February 2nd and Friday, February 5th.


Please read carefully for the schedule of remote meals that best fit your student’s situation as schools have a variety of instructional plans.  


- All hybrid students attending school in person 2 days a week (remote 3 days) may receive a total of 5 days’ worth of remote meals each week: 3 days’ worth of meals on Tuesday and 2 days’ worth of meals on Friday.


- Fully remote students may receive a total of 7 days’ worth of remote meals each week, 3 days’ worth of meals on Tuesday and 4 days’ worth of meals on Friday.


- Nelson and Westmoreland students that are in school in person 4 days per week and remote 1 day per week may receive 3 days’ worth of remote meals on Friday.


- Marlborough School students that are in person 5 days per week may receive 2 days’ worth of remote meals on Friday representing meals for Saturday and Sunday.


Please note that some of the pick-up times and locations have changed now that we are back in school in person.


Please do not sign up under a parent name, use your student name only. 


ONLY SUBMIT 1 ORDER FORM PER STUDENT.  If you are not sure if you signed up, please call Keene Food Services to confirm.


Please submit your order for the following week's meals no later than 7:00am Friday January 29th. You will receive an email confirmation after placing your order.  


Click here for the LINK for Remote Meals Order Form


Please contact Keene Food Services with any questions. 603-357-9011

Screening Assessment:  We are requesting that the screening assessment continue to be submitted during this extension of remote learning through January 29th.  It will allow our school nurses to continue to monitor and provide support with regard to the health of the school community.  Please note that we are not requesting that this be done on the weekends, holidays or breaks, only on days that school would typically be in session.

COVID19 Daily self screening Convenient MD : You can find the links to your students schools here along with videos to help walk you through using the page.

Special Education: Special Education continues to work very closely with building leaders to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met.  As always, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher or building principal with questions.  You can also contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email if you have any questions.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.  We want to hear from you, Thank you!   

Stay At Home:  Here is the updated Stay-At-Home guidance in alignment with health official guidance.


Stay-At-Home Until

Have symptoms of COVID-19 (New or Unexplained)

  • Fever (temperature of 100.4 or higher) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  1. You can provide written documentation of negative PCR or antigen test result (in accordance with NH DPHS guidance) AND 
    1. You have been  fever-free, without fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours AND 
    2. All other symptoms have improved 



  1. 10 consecutive days have passed if symptoms are new and testing is not conducted (treat the individual as a suspected COVID-19 infection) AND 
    1. All symptoms have improved AND 
    2. You have been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.

Close contact with a person confirmed with COVID-19 (within 6 feet for at least 10 minutes)

  • 10 consecutive days have passed AFTER close contact.

Recommended to 

  • Seek a PCR-based COVID-19 test 5-7 days from last exposure date (sooner if symptoms develop) 
  • Self-quarantine at home
  • keep others safe by wearing a face covering.

Travel outside of New England within the last 14 days.

  • 10 consecutive days have passed AFTER travel.

Additional Recommendations

  • If symptoms develop, seek a PCR-based COVID-19 test. 
  • Self-quarantine at home. *Can be reduced from 10 to 7 days, IF a negative PCR-based test has been received on days 6-7 AFTER travel.
  • Keep others safe by wearing a face covering.

Test Positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms.

  • 10 consecutive days have passed since symptoms first appeared, AND
  • You have been  fever-free, without fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours AND 
  • All other symptoms have improved

Additional Recommendations

  • Self-isolate in home
  • Self-quarantine at home
  • Keep others safe by wearing a face covering.

Test Positive for COVID-19 and DO NOT have symptoms.

  • 10 consecutive days have passed since the date of your positive COVID-19 diagnostic test.

Additional Recommendations

  • Self-isolate in home
  • Self-quarantine at home
  • Keep others safe by wearing a face covering.

**If symptoms develop, please refer to guidance above.**

Self-Isolation:  You must stay at your home and avoid other people, including those you live with. You may not go out in public places - not even to the grocery store or to run errands. You may not visit with other people outside of your home, and you may not invite others into your house to visit.  See Public Health Self-Isolation Guidance for additional information.  Please note that the quarantine guidance on this document issued on 11/12/2020 was updated on 12/3/2020 and reflected in the linked document below.

Self-Quarantine:  You must stay at your home and avoid other people for 10 days after you were last exposed to a person with COVID-19. You may not go out in public places - not even to the grocery store or to run errands. Do not visit with other people outside of your home, and do not invite others into your house to visit. If you must have visitors, tell them that you are under quarantine.  See Public Health Self-Quarantine Guidance for additional information.  

Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at

Governor Sununu has also activated a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.


Please be aware of unsolicited email and advertisements. There are a lot of scams going on right now and it is important to be aware of email phishing efforts. Things to look out for are: 

  • Emails from unknown senders. 
  • Emails that look like it is someone you know but the address is not the correct address. 
  • Ad links in social media advertisements that ask to send cookies. 

All of the listed above are common email scams. To better protect your school email it is also recommended not to use your school email for online shopping or social media. 

Teachers, we have installed some software for remote teaching. Currently we have Kami which integrates with Google classroom. Screencastify will let you record your computer screen to share with the class. You can also have your image in the corner of the screen as you record the lesson. EquatIO  Easily add equations, formulas, graphs  to G Suite for Education. It has a scientific calculator, and periodic table charts.

Parents and Students, Chromebooks should be used for your school work only. Please do not eat while using your school issued Chromebook. We are experiencing high volumes of damaged Chromebooks due to spills.  Please make sure you fill in the online registration for your students. It is important to have all the correct information in place.

Technology support during COVID19: Please see the update.


Power School update:

Power school online registration help can be found here

Please remember to fill out the youtube permission form. For KHS and KMS 

Help desk number: (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here