Tuesday, December 07, 2021

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Superintendent: Another COVID-19 Case at Long Lots

Superintendent Thomas Scarce sent the following email to parents today:

Earlier today Dr. Debra Dunn, Principal of Long Lots Elementary School, learned of another positive COVID-19 test in the school. The affected individual was already under quarantine at home and will continue to be excluded from the school environment. 

Upon learning of the positive COVID-19 case, the administration began immediate contact tracing. Those determined to be “close contacts,” including some staff members, and another fourth grade class of students, separate from the one I shared on October 15, 2020, have been notified. These individuals spent a significant amount of time in the presence of the positive case, and as a result, were informed that they will be excluded from the school environment and recommended to quarantine for 14 days and may return to school on October 30. They were also asked to reach out to their health care provider should they develop any symptoms consistent with COVID-19. To be clear, siblings and other family members of these children and staff do not need to quarantine.

As I have shared in prior communications of a similar nature, working closely with the Westport/Weston Health District and our medical advisor, it has been confirmed that the staff and students have implemented our mitigating measures by maintaining distance to the maximum extent possible, and by wearing masks. However, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE)/Department of Public Health (DPH) guidance (Addendum 5 and Addendum 9) indicates that decisions for exclusion from school and quarantine will be based on the individual circumstances of each case, including those who have spent a significant amount of time (i.e. more than 15 minutes) in the presence of a positive case, regardless of mask wearing.

The school district administration is required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding student and employee confidentiality and privacy. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) precludes sharing the identity of an individual, with the exception of sharing the individual’s identity with a public health agency (e.g., Westport/Weston Health District). In addition, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the school district from publicly sharing personally identifiable information derived from student education records.

In light of these confidentiality and privacy protections and our related legal obligations, as well as the need to protect the health and safety of the school community, we will continue to adhere to the appropriate means of notifying the school community of possible exposure to COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis. Judgement will be used and each case might look a little different from another.

Our administrators and staff involved with contact tracing remain diligent with their work. While the idea of quarantining can be unnerving, our experience with these cases is continued evidence that our mitigating measures have helped prevent or minimize additional spread in our schools from positive cases. I am confident our approach to addressing the safety of students and staff during the pandemic will continue to serve the entire community well.

Ellery Lane Home’s Spine-Chilling Transformation

Halloween House at 3 Ellery Lane, Westport, CT
Spooky Halloween lawn decorations are an annual attraction on the lawn at 3 Ellery Lane, off Prospect Road. Homeowner Dena Guggenheim said, “this is our family’s third Halloween in Westport—we moved here from New York—and our family loves working together to make our Halloween decorations more elaborate each year. We’re actually not even finished yet.” Guggenheim, the mother of three children ages 10, 8 and 4,  said she grew up in Dallas “where Halloween decorations were ‘hugely extreme’ and that had an influence on making Halloween one of our favorite times of the year.” Guggenheim added, “no one is really scared by the decorations, just our dog is.” Guggenheim said the family registered for the Halloween House Decorating contest sponsored by Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department (click here for more information). (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020


Westport Senior Center & Library are closed.
Noon – 4 p.m. – MoCA Westport – “World Peace” exhibit
4 p.m. – Virtual Westport Library – Westport League of Women Voters 4th Congressional District Debate (register here)

Westport Senior Center YouTube Channel
Westport Library Event Calendar
Westport Library YouTube Page
Earthplace YouTube Channel
Virtual Westport Museum for History & Culture
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar

Pop-Up Art Show Opens

Melissa Newman, curator, 2020 People Politics Planet Pop-Up Art Show, Westport, CT
A new show, curated by Jahmane, Rene Soto, and Amy Kaplan, opened today at the gallery at 23 Jesup Road. The show, called “2020 People, Politics, Planet,” will run until Nov. 30. Gallery hours are Thursday, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from noon until 6 p.m. It features different area artists’ perspectives on the strange state of things in the year 2020. Pictured above is artist Melissa Newman. www.2020pppwestport.com (CLICK TO ENLARGE) J.C. Martin for WestportNow.com

David J. Nachman, 65

David Jeffrey Nachman died Oct. 8 at home in Westport, He was 65. Born in Augusta, GA, he was a resident of Westport for 55 years. 

He was employed by Penske Automotive (Audi) of Fairfield for 25 years as a sales specialist. He graduated Staples High School in 1974 and went on to Drew University in Madison, NJ, where he earned a BS in economics. He was a member of the Drew Soccer team. David was an avid musician and enjoyed playing his guitar and writing original songs which he often recorded in his home studio. He was also fond of bicycling and jogging.

He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Martha Welsh Nachman of Westport, his mother Patricia Hooper of Westport, his father Herbert Nachman of Townsend, TN, and two sisters, Dorothy Claire Brooks of South Lake Tahoe, CA and Serene Nachman White of Oak Ridge, TN. He has three children, Kiera Nachman Kent of Ridgefield Park, NJ; William (Billy) Nachman of Chicago, IL, and Victoria Nachman of New Orleans, LA. He is also survived by two grandsons, Liam and Ezra.

Friends may leave messages for the family at www.hardingfuneral.com. Burial arrangements will be announced at a later date.

Encouraging Voter Registration

Westport League of Women Voters encourage voter registration
Westport League of Women Voters (LWV) volunteers were present on Church Lane to encourage passers-by to register to vote and provide printed candidate information in support of the ongoing major election that culminates on Election Day, November 3. Celeste LaCroix (center), Westport LWV president said, “according to the Registrar’s office, as of October 14 approximately 8,000 absentee ballots have been requested and about 40% have already voted.” Pictured with LaCroix are Eleanor Lowenstein (l) and Cheryl McKenna. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com