Schools Close on COVID-19 Concerns at Wright Middle School

The Chelsea Public Schools (CPS) made a quick move last Friday, March 13, to close schools indefinitely in the face of a presumed positive school community member at the Wright Middle School.

Photo By Seth Daniel
At the St. Rose Meals to Go food site on Monday, March 16, School Department workers and volunteers were ready to hand out meals to students in the public schools that were no longer able to attend school due to the COVID-19 response. Sites are open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Here Mirian Aguilar holds a sign to let people know what’s going on. Behind her are Kimberly Geraci, Keyla Martinez, Enmy Dubon, Nasmarie Martinez, Lisa Santagate, and Sania Garmendia.

Supt. Almi Abeyta announced the closure and the continued closure late last week and the closure is continuing through April 6. On Wednesday, she said she couldn’t confirm the result of the testing done on the person at the Wright Middle due to privacy restrictions. However, the City did announce they have two residents with positive tests for COVID-19.

Abeyta, who just took over fully in January, said it was a situation that few could have ever prepared for in the education world, but at the same time she praised her staff and everyone in the city.

“This is definitely not something you learn about in the Superintendent training programs,” she said. “I have to give a large thank you to the staff of CPS and the way they have just been able to put the website together and the staff that has put together the Meals Distribution program. It’s amazing how this community and this City have come together to serve the children in Chelsea. It’s been a phenomenal effort and I’m so proud to be in Chelsea now.”

With schools closed, Abeyta said they are moving more and more to an online curriculum and already have a tremendous amount of resources available at Chelseaschools.com.

“There are resources there for Pre-K students to 12th grade and there is also suggestions for movement and mindfulness at home,” she said. “We will be updating that website constantly. We also have resources there for activities at home, things parents can do with students while at home.”

She said the first effort is just a beginning, as they do not want students to fall behind while at home.

“This is Phase 1 and we’ll add more to this website as well,” she said. “Our goal is to keep our students up with their academics while they’re at home. We don’t want them to slide back.”

Additionally, in the near future, she said they will begin discussing getting student Chromebooks to them so they can work from home more easily with familiar devices.

Already, several Internet providers are offering free Wi-Fi service to help families with students at home during the extended school closure.

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