Combating Covid in Winthrop Public Schools

Christian Buonopane, Editor

It is no secret that COVID-19 is taking its toll on Winthrop High School, its staff, students, as well as the other schools in our district. Countless staff and students have been out over the past 2 weeks since returning from break. I contacted Superintendent of schools Lisa Howard for a specific breakdown of absences, as well as vaccination numbers. Below you will be able to find the absences from the week of January 3rd, 2022, as well as the Monday and Tuesday afterward (1/10 and 1/11). It is important to note that not every single absence is due to COVID for both students and staff, as both could be battling a regular cold, a student may stay home out of precaution, and a staff member may be taking a personal day/day of bereavement. 




MON January 3: 20 staff absences, 446 student absences.

TUES January 4: 25 staff absences, 392 students absences.

WED January 5: 32.5 staff absences, 385 student absences.

THURS January 6: 39 staff absences, 415 student absences.

Friday was a snow day.

MON January 10: 39.5 staff absences, 318 student absences. **very cold day**

TUES January 11: 28 staff absences, 372 student absences. 


It is also important to note that these absences are cumulative across the Gorman Fort Banks, Arthur T. Cummings, and the Winthrop Middle and High Schools. See below for the enrollment information for each school.




GFB: 493 students

ATC: 414 students

WMS: 434 students

WHS: 565 students


Vaccination statistics for both students and staff are available, although they are likely incomplete. Those who are vaccinated are not required to submit their vaccination cards to the school.




GFB: 81 students, 69 staff

ATC: 71 students, 56 staff

WMS: 171 students, 62 staff

WHS: 205 students, 55 staff


For weekly updates, you can visit the Massachusetts Department of Education’s website:


How can we as a school community best combat Covid?  


I asked our Town Nurse, Meredith Hurley, and Winthrop Middle School nurse Tara Beouy about the best ways to combat the spread of COVID-19. Both helped me compile a list of basic safety precautions:


  • wearing a mask helps contain potentially infectious respiratory droplets, all while coughing, breathing, or talking
  • frequent hand washing with soap and water
  • avoid excessively touching your eyes, face, and nose
  • if you’re sick, stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible
  • if someone in your household is sick, stay away from them as much as possible
  • avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
  • and remember: the more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19


If you seek additional help or COVID information, you can check out the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website, the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) website.






Mass DPH: