Monday, 1/4/2021 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

Hello 2021! It sure does feel good to be out of 2020 even with the uncertainties that lie ahead for us in 2021. I hope that everyone had an enjoyable holiday break and you were able to relax and unwind a little while continuing to stay safe.

There is a lot to report on today, so I’ll do my best to keep it as brief as possible, but also being mindful of being transparent. Before I get started though, a big thank you to those that have responded to the “Everyone Challenge” as described below. It’s not too late to send in your shout outs as we’ll keep this one open throughout most of January. Please consider recognizing and celebrating members of our staff that have positively influenced your student and family throughout this pandemic.

As announced last week, we are continuing with remote learning through January 15th with the intent of returning to onsite learning on January 19th.  Most of our schools have worked through what that will mean exactly and preliminary indications in most cases are that they will return to the pre-Thanksgiving model prior to shifting to remote. A more site specific communication will come out as this becomes finalized and ready for implementation.

We have been unable to extract the survey results and continue to work on resolving that particular issue. I promised that if we were not able to do so, then we would retype the results ourselves so that you could at least see what the outcomes of that survey was.  To be clear, this was not a majority rule vote, but a measure to inform us of where people were with regard to the following four specific prompts:

  1. Level of concern with community transmission.
  2. Level of concern with school environment transmission.
  3. Acceptable standard of distancing in our schools.
  4. Preferred model after the holiday break.

You’ll see in the results, which are aggregated and include responses from all seven districts, that there is a broad opinion for each of the prompts mentioned above.  What is suitable for some is not for others which clearly indicates that there are wide expectations to be considered.  The charts with the Survey Results are linked here for your review.  Extracting the 800+ comments will take a little longer, but I’ll be sure to share those as well when we have them ready.

I am including a different look at the COVID-19 data that we have been analyzing and offers a ray of hope for us to look forward to.  Please understand that this is not a declaration that we are in the clear, but more of an indicator that helps us with making informed decisions.  While the slides are included below in the COVID-19 Data portion of the update, I’m including this Trend Data video that will hopefully be of some value to you so you can see what we’re also looking at here.  

Next I need to reiterate guidance that has been previously provided as we approach our return to onsite learning.  Please note that we simply DO NOT have the capacity to add to our already full remote only option.  Our remote only option numbers are high and we can not add to those totals when we return to onsite teaching and learning.  

Finally, as we gear up to returning to some level of onsite learning, it will be extremely helpful if you are able to once again complete the screening assessment that we have used since the opening of the school year.  I realize that some people may be opposed to completing the screener, but it really does help our building level staff in monitoring what is happening with our school specific populations.  We have been seeing varying levels of completion at individual school sites and would like to see a majority of student screening being completed.  Please consider completing the screener on the days that your student(s) are participating in remote learning.  Our principals and nurses thank you in advance for this consideration.

Now that we are back into the swing of things, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s), counselor(s) and principal(s) with any questions or concerns.  They are truly here to assist you.  As always, I thank you for all of your efforts and support as we inch our way closer toward the end of the unusual circumstances that have been thrown our way.  Stay safe everyone!

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.

  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.  COVD 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:   Free Meal Distribution:  Every student in SAU 29 and all children 18 and under are eligible for free meals through June 2021. While SAU 29 districts are fully remote there are two pick-up days each week representing 7 days’ worth of meals.


The program has resumed following the winter break.  The order form is now open to sign up for meal pick-up for Tuesday, January 12th and Friday, January 15th.  Please see the link below.

Order forms must be completed no later than 7:00 AM, Friday, January 8, 2021. Families have 10 locations to choose from with a variety of times covering most of the day. You will receive an email confirmation after placing your order.  

Click here for the LINK for Remote Meals Order Form


Please mark your calendars to remember to pick up your meals on Tuesday and Friday. 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 15th.  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.

Technology: 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