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6/12/20 Superintendent Update

6/12/20 Superintendent Update
Posted on 06/12/2020

Dear Parents and Families,

Many of you are writing to implore me to implement one type of learning or another in the fall. I wish I could be more direct with you at this time, but we are still awaiting guidance from the MA Commissioner. He has indicated that 85% of the guidance will be state-wide and mandated and 15% will be more choice oriented. All of it is still up in the air. He also released this statement to superintendents on Tuesday. I welcome you to read the commissioners message to superintendents below.

Superintendents,

As you know, we are moving quickly to take in public health information and produce initial guidance on a number of topics to support you as we prepare for school re-opening this summer and potentially for the fall. In the documents we have sent in recent days, we noted several potential operating conditions for schools based on the public health guidelines in place at this time.  

We know you are very eager to begin planning for the fall and that it is tempting to make inferences about fall requirements whenever a new document is released. However, we urge you not to make any broad-based judgments about what school might look like in the fall based on guidance you have received this past week. 

For instance, the recently-issued supplies guidance should be used for supplies purchasing and ordering planning only. It should not be used to broadly infer what models of learning DESE might endorse for the fall including how frequently students will attend in-person school, class sizes, or student-teacher ratios. Our initial fall guidance memo, which we are working on in earnest and will be released in the next week or two, will have additional information to support you on fall planning. Please wait for this guidance before rushing to any judgments about state requirements for fall re-opening.

We are preparing several return to school models and do ask you to take this first of a few short rolling surveys we will be asking you to take so we can adequately prepare for any eventuality. This survey is not an indication of decisions made about remote or live learning for the fall, we are trying to order, prepare and fund possibilities. Our goal is to return to as much normalcy as we can and stay in compliance with public health and state education dictates. Parent representatives sit on our district reopening committee (3) and we will continue to poll you and reshape learning as the health situation demands.

Parent/Guardian Survey on Reopening School

Because we are adapting to emerging guidance, class lists and teacher assignments may be delayed until we can bring you a solid plan.

Summer school will also evolve as we head ever deeper into summer. New guidance on camps came out recently and we expect more guidance on summer school--prioritizing special education services. Our team will present on all summer services at our meeting on Monday, June 15, 7pm, and if more guidance on return to school is available, we will share it then.

Guidance today from the Commissioner allows us to deepen our summer services for students with special needs. These programs will be described in depth in the summer learning section below and at our committee meeting Monday evening. There are a range of offerings for all families and services that are typically for a fee are free to all. Summer reading expectations are also included.

Finally, please know that teacher assignments for elementary students which are typically given out prior to the end of the school year will be delayed until further guidance about class composition and size are given to us from the State Department of Education and our local budgetary situation is completely ironed out. You will receive teacher assignments in the mail at the start of August. 

Have a wonderful weekend,

Anna Nolin

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