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ASHLAND – Superintendent of Schools Jim Adams said the Ashland Public Schools has seen a “quick and significant uptick in cases in the community and our schools.”

Supt. Adams said “Ashland as a town has the same amount of cases this week (33) as last year. Additionally, there have been 70 cases in the past two weeks, compared to 69 last year. As we look further at the data, we suspect a spike in cases will occur in the next two weeks if the data continues to follow this trajectory.”

Due to the new uptick in cases, Supt Adams said to parents tonight it “would not be prudent to remove face coverings at this time” at Ashland High School.

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In mid-November, Supt. Adams had said that he had intended to move to optional masking for vaccinated individuals at Ashland High starting Monday, December 12.

“Unfortunately, based on the current data and ongoing consultation with trusted local health professionals, we cannot move forward with our plan at this time,” said Supt. Adams. “No one has advocated for the removal of face coverings more than I.  However, as I have mentioned in previous emails, and consistent with my decision-making process for the past 21 months, we will utilize the most updated data to drive our decision outcomes. As always, our goal is to keep our students, faculty, staff, and community healthy and safe while ensuring we have in-person learning.”

“While only a few of these cases directly impact AHS at this time, it would not be prudent to remove face coverings at this time,” wrote Supt. Adams.

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“I recognize that some members of our school community will be unhappy with this decision, as we were all anticipating getting back to some sort of normalcy,” wrote Supt. Adams.

“Over the course of the next few weeks I will continue to evaluate the data and consult with our health care officials to ensure everyone is safe. I am confident that by taking this approach we will keep everyone safe and maximize in-person learning for the remaining nine days of learning before the break,” said Supt. Adams. “If the data has a similar trend to last year, I fully anticipate that we will be able to remove the face coverings come January 18, 2022. Believe me, there is nothing more I want than to see our students’ smiling faces.”

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.