WAKEFIELD — Amid nationwide concerns about the surging comeback of the coronavirus and its various strains, local school administrators want families to know their kids will be safe as the holiday break ends.

Following is a memo sent yesterday by Supt. Doug Lyons, Assistant Supt. Kara Mauro and other school leaders:

Happy New Year! We hope that you all had a wonderful break and had some time to relax and recharge. We are reaching out to provide an update on our plans to return to school on Monday, January 3, 2022.

We have been communicating with local superintendent groups, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and our administrative and nursing teams. While the increases in the Omicron variant are all over the news, we feel confident that we can continue our mitigation strategies to keep our students and staff safe in school. We strongly believe that school continues to be a safe environment where our students can get their basic needs met, along with their social, emotional and academic learning needs.

In anticipation of the return, we arranged a walk-in clinic for all of our staff to have the chance to be tested before returning to work on Monday. We have strongly encouraged all staff to take advantage of this opportunity. In addition, the DESE has provided all districts with rapid tests and KN95 masks. We have picked these up and will have them available for all staff at the buildings as needed or requested.

Last, we are linking the newly updated COVID 19 Guidance that was issued by DESE on December 30th. We are working with our nurses to process this guidance. We will be ready to work with families to discuss your needs and how the changes will impact isolation and quarantine timelines. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse or principal.

We want to communicate again that our Test and Stay Program is continuing in all buildings. If you would like to sign your child up and have not done so yet, please click on this link. Test and Stay is ONLY for WPS students who are determined to be a close contact or present with COVID like symptoms at school or at a WPS sponsored event or program (ex. Wakefield Academy, WMHS Band and Sports).

We urge parents to continue to keep their children home if they are symptomatic. If anyone in the home is sick or symptomatic and awaiting a COVID test result, you may choose to keep well students home out of an abundance of caution until the individual receives their test results. When in doubt, please contact your school nurse.

Thank you for your cooperation and support! We look forward to continuing to provide a safe learning environment for our students in the New Year.

Doug, Kara and the Administrative Team