Updates from the Superintendent

Communication from the Superintendent 03-12-21
Posted on 03/12/2021
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March 12, 2021

Dear CBRSD Families,

Our return dates for K-12 are scheduled and we are excited to see everyone together again! 

April 5, all elementary students will be returning to a full in-person instructional model         
March 29 will be a full remote day for all elementary students-Cohort A and B in order for us to ensure classroom spaces are ready for our full reopening the following week.     
April 27 all middle school students will be returning to a full in-person instructional model.
April 26 will be a full remote day for all middle school students-Cohort A and B in order for us to ensure classroom spaces are ready for our full reopening the following week.  
May 3 is the targeted date for all high school students to return to a full in-person instructional model. This date is pending additional guidance from the MA Commissioner.  
April 30 will be a full remote day for all high school students-Cohort A and B in order for us to ensure classroom spaces are ready for our full reopening the following week.

Safety measures for this full in-person return include:

  • 3-6ft. of social distancing in classrooms. 
  • Masks are required (Mask breaks will be scheduled.) 
  • 6 ft. of social distancing during unmasked times such as lunch and snack.
  • Masks are required on buses.
  • Students will be 2 to a seat on buses.

Additional important information to consider:

  • If your student is currently in a fully remote program you would remain in this program. If you would like your student(s) to return to in-person instruction, please call the building principal.
  • Teachers will not schedule live zoom sessions on the dates (listed above) that we begin our full in-person instructional model. 

Contact your building principal if you have specific questions and/or concerns about your student(s) returning to a full in-person instructional model.

We will keep you informed of busing schedules as they may change due to the reconfiguration of some of our routes.

If you were not able to attend our informational session for k-5, you can access our PowerPoint as well as the recording here.


The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is requiring all students including those that are fully remote, to participate in MCAS testing this year. The dates for administration will be communicated to you by building principals. Additionally, if your student(s) is fully remote, they will be contacting you regarding administration times, procedures, and location.

Pooled Testing

If you have not signed up for Pooled Testing we encourage you to participate. This is a statewide COVID-19 safety measure and we believe it will assist us in maintaining the safest possible educational settings. All permission emails have been sent to CBRSD families. If you missed it, you can go to Project Beacon at https://app.beacontesting.com/login to complete the process. Contact your students' school to obtain the pooled testing code.

 If you have a Project Beacon account: In the Project Beacon website log in---->drop down menu--->create a patient profile---->enter your child's information, enter your student’s school code--->consent. 

If you do not have a Project Beacon account: In the Project Beacon website, go to Register for Account (under log in). Once you register you will be sent an email and/or text message requesting you to Activate your Account---> Activate your account--->Create your students profile using your students information and school code--->consent.

Please see below for important information.

 We are one of several districts across Massachusetts (as well as Berkshire County) to participate in this program. The purpose is to add an additional level of safety as we begin to return our students back to a more typical 5-day a week full in-person instructional model. Pooled Testing is voluntary however, the more individuals we have participating (including staff and students) the more effective this process will be for identifying COVID-19 positive cases within our school communities. 

In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have been working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to implement a free COVID-19 pooled testing program for students and staff at our school. 

Pooled testing involves mixing several individuals’ test samples together into one “pool” and then testing the pooled sample for COVID-19. This approach increases the number of individuals that can be tested at one time and allows us to regularly test our school community for COVID-19.  

Pooled tests will be performed at least once per week with a shallow nasal swab for all participating students and staff members. Schools will receive the pool results within 24-48 hours. If the result of the pool is negative, then all individuals are presumed to not have COVID-19. If the result of the pool is positive, then all individuals in the pool must be retested individually through our BinaxNOW Program. Because pooled testing does not give individual results, you will only be notified if your child requires follow-up testing. Students or staff in a positive pool can be tested as soon as possible and receive individual results in 15 minutes. 

The nasal swab will be administered to our Prek-1 students by a trained individual and self-administered (with a trained observer present) in grades 2-12.  You can learn more about this process by watching a video narrated by a second grader. Additionally, you can read more about Pooled Testing in schools by accessing this presentation

Please remember, Pooled Testing is voluntary; parent/guardian and staff permission is required. However, the higher the participation, the more effective we can be toward keeping our environments virus free.

We will call you if your child is part of a positive pool and requires follow-up testing. The school will also notify you of the individual follow-up test results after administering the BinaxNOW.

Parent Permission for Pooled Testing 

As part of this process, Central Berkshire will use a system called Project Beacon (which is the same system we are using for our BinaxNOW testing) to collect consent for the administration of the Pooled COVID-19 tests. This system reports results to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). In order to initiate this online platform, we will be uploading CBRSD Student and Staff *Directory Information to the online platform adopted by Project Beacon. If you do not wish to have your student's information shared for this purpose, you simply need to indicate this in an email that will be sent to you shortly. The CBRSD policy regarding *Directory Information can be found at the end of this document.

The email you will receive within the next week will look similar to the graphic below:

At Central Berkshire Regional School District, we are extremely grateful to our committed staff and families that continue to show great flexibility and resilience as we navigate through this school year. It takes all of us working together to contain the spread of this virus. CBRSD is excited to add pooled testing as another mitigation strategy for our school community, as we continue to work to work together toward the safe return of all students and staff to school.

If you have questions regarding the COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program please reach out to me, your building Principal, school nurse, or Debbie White, Assistant Superintendent, at dwhite@cbrsd.org or 413-684-0780 extension 2168.

*6430: Public Notice - Directory And Yearbook Information 6430.

6430.11 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN: That Central Berkshire Regional School District, pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) declares the following as "directory information" and that this information relating to students may be made public if said information is within any of the following categories: A. Student's name, address, telephone listing. B. Date and place of birth. C. Major field of study. D. Participation in officially recognized activities and sports. E. Weight and height of members of athletic teams. F. Dates of attendance. G. Degrees and awards received. 

This information may be released to schools and organizations such as: A. Regional vocational schools B. County agricultural schools C. Post-secondary schools, colleges and universities D. Recruiters for the Armed Forces E. School alumni organizations Any parent of any student in the district may notify the principal of the school in which said student attends that none of the above information may be released without the parent's consent, provided that such notification is given within thirty (30) days of this publication notice. 6430.2 

COVID-19 Case Report by School

Please see below for the most recent case report of COVID-19 positive cases in Central Berkshire. These numbers reflect both staff and students and are reported to MA DESE as we receive the information. To date, we have not had any cases of transmission within our school settings.


CBRSD Running Total/COVID-19 Positive Cases

New Cases Reported This Week: 2/15-2/25

Becket Washington


















The New Wahconah!

Health and Safety

COVID-19:  Symptomatic Checklist

Do not send students to school if they are exhibiting any of these symptoms. You can call our school nurses if you have questions regarding.

Inform the School Nurse if your child becomes a close contact of a positive individual, regardless if the exposure occurred in the home or out in the community.

Close contacts should immediately stop all activities, begin quarantining and discuss with the School Nurse and/or Public Health Nurse the optimal time to have your child tested. The timing of the test is crucial when determining release from quarantine.

Communicate all positive test results as soon as possible to your child’s School Nurse or Principal, as well as any part time household members that attend school in our district that may be affected.

Continue to keep your student home if they are experiencing any of the symptoms listed on the Daily Home Screen checklist and inform the School Nurse.

 Winter Weather 


During both remote and hybrid learning, I will contact all families and staff by phone and email to let you know if there will be a delay or cancellation due to weather. 


Lunch Pick-Up

Nessacus 1:00-3:30PM 

Becket/Washington 2:30 - 4:30PM 


All students qualify for free lunch through the end of the school year.


Important Dates

  • March 10:  No School for Students/Professional Development Day for Teachers

  • April 19-23:  Spring Break

Have a great weekend!


Leslie Blake-Davis


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