5/8/20 Superintendent Update

5/8/20 Superintendent Update
Posted on 05/07/2020
Dear Families,

I am pleased to provide for you, our updated remote learning plans for Phase 3 of the closure learning program. 

All instruction and activity listed here is mandatory and flexible attendance and work options are available if you reach out to your teachers directly.  School is in session M-F according to the below schedules.  We heard your feedback loud and clear and have developed this one place to understand our total program, expectations and time on learning.  There is one website that leads you to every teacher's learning area.  The expectation is for students to attend all sessions directed by their teachers with video cameras on and while avoiding multi-tasking.  Independent work assigned should be completed at times other than during live instruction sessions, recorded sessions, or small group work times unless guided to do so by the teacher.  Treat this work as you would regular school expectations and the independent work as you would regularly assigned work.
Need help? Contact the teacher directly to adjust working groups or independent work.

Our mission, based on your feedback was to allow for alternating schedules to address laptop use, bandwidth needs and your need to do work at times, increase consistency of time on learning, add hours of instruction at the secondary level, and to streamline communication. I am pleased to say we have been able to accommodate the feedback.  Thank you for your feedback and to our teachers and teachers' union leadership for again meeting the needs of families and students in a proactive manner.

Please read through your building's links below for more updates, including upcoming pickup days for student belongings for some grades.  NHS Senior guidance is forthcoming from Mr. Harrigan and fee reimbursement guidance has been emailed to all families through our blackboard database mailer: read refund letter

Please watch the video on Tips for Families below — there's a good quote within it that guides the spirit of teaching and learning at home during this closure:  "the schedule is a goal, not a sacred covenant,"  — that is to say that caring for your family's needs means you may need to make choices to flex off this schedule at times; it may also mean our teachers have to do the same. Let support and flexibility guide us. 

Remote Learning Updates:  Phase 3

Your At-Home Work Space:

 Tips for Families (video)

Schedules and Time on Learning

What can families expect each day of the week?  

School runs Monday-Friday with as consistent a schedule as possible combining whole class instruction and personalized follow up and small group work times.  

Here are the Schedules from now through end of school year:




But here is THE ONE website you need for all your information

 NPS Remote Learning Website

Find your school and teacher--DONE!

Independent Work Time

 will be assigned in a developmentally appropriate fashion designed to sustain student learning until next instructional period.


10-20 minutes for PK-2,  

20-30 minutes per subject for grades 3-5, 

30-45 per subject for grades 6-8, 

1 hour per subject for HS students.  
Times are approximate and students vary in independent work speed and capacity.  Teachers assign homework sensitively in a manner that enhances practice and instruction and are given latitude in this area.  Enrichment options and finish work are available for families and students who desire additional work.  Reach out to individual teachers to make personal adjustments.  

Whole Class

Office Hours/Work Time

General &

Special Education Students



Special Education

Whole Class Instruction

Office Hours/Student Work Time

Instructional Groups/Student Work Time

HS Daily Instruction/Independent Work

Live instruction M, W, F 8:15-noon

MS Daily Instruction/Independent Work

Live instruction M, W, F,  8-11:30 (TIME UPDATED!)

Elementary Daily Instruction/Independent Work

Live whole-class instruction  2-3 times per week, 8:30-11 varying by age  of the students.  On a day when two specials are offered, the schedule continues on until 12 noon. 

HS and MST, Th, time periods vary due to  student requirements and needs and format of meeting.

ES:  Small group instruction 2-3 times per week, with time periods varying by age of student, teacher intent and student needs.

HS and MST, Th, time periods vary due to  student requirements and needs and format of meeting and student service plans.

ES:  Small group instruction 2-3 times per week, with time periods varying by age of student, teacher intent and student needs and student service plans.

Activities that may occur :

  •  Small group Chats
  •  Recorded Lessons
  •  Whole Class Chats
  • Combination of options

Teaching PLC identified curriculum and themes

Teach identified key power standards /curriculum themes as determined by curriculum leaders and PLC teams

Provide students direction on independent learning (estimate: 1 hour per day).

Activities that may occur:

  • Small group instruction
  •  Individual support
  • Could be based on the previous day’s lesson
  • Could be teaching of specific academic skills.
  • Check in on independent learning
  • Teacher Recommended/Student Requested Appointments
  • Special Education  and English Language Services
  • Open check in times with teachers.  Students should strive to do this 1 x per day with one of their teachers.
  • Peer Collaboration Meetings  (older students and may be student facilitated or directed by teachers but student focused)
  • Team time with students, for team meetings and celebrations
  • Use schedule tools like signup genius or direct email to families to build schedules
  •  Communicate via email or phone calls with students and families

Emphasis to families that the expectation is students attend these if invited by a teacher and also encourage students to request a check-in if they need more.  

Some of this time will be used in a manner that is similar to being invited to “stay after school” or “follow up on main instruction” --which happens at desk and work time in classrooms.  Students will be tapped to attend.

We strive for secondary students to interact with at least one teacher in small groups or office hours on these days but realize that students and staff need to be flexible to address student needs.

Activities that may occur:

  •  Grouping and times to be determined by service provider
  • Services provided will be determined by the provider to ensure best practice  for students to progress towards their goals.  (Educator Expertise)
  • Flexibility is key in determining service delivery process
  • To be scheduled in collaboration with Coordinators in order best meet needs for all students
  • English Language learner instruction

Happy Mother's Day to all of our mothers and mother figures.  I hope you have a wonderful day!

Anna P. Nolin, Ed.D.
Superintendent  of Schools
The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new. – Socrates 

Natick Public Schools
Twitter @annapnolin
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