1/29/21 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Update

1/29/21 Superintendent & COVID Tracking Update
Posted on 01/29/2021
Quick Overview of Remote Snow Days
Half of each teaching block should be synchronous in some way. This means that every student on remote days or remote snow days participates in live, synchronous, time with their teachers for at least half the learning block with which they have the associated instructor in live time.
General Agreements (for snow days)
One traditional no-school snow day only for each cohort. The first was held for cohort B on December 17, and it will be made up in June. Should the next storm occur on a Cohort A live day, then Cohort A will have a traditional "no-school" snow day for that cohort which will be made up in June. Otherwise, remote learning days will occur for storm days for those students for the remainder of the year. For cohort A, if we have reason for a closure we would have one additional “snow day” followed by remote learning days for the remainder of the year similarly. 
How will snow days be managed/communicated?
The Superintendent will attempt to call snow days/remote learning storm days (a.k.a. “Alternative Learning Days”) on the day prior by 6pm to teachers and by 8pm to families. This is, however, entirely weather dependent and cannot be guaranteed, but we will make every attempt to send updates as soon as possible.
If widespread power outages occur, Dr. Nolin would be allowed to call a traditional snow day if the risk of power outages means students and teachers could not access remote learning during the outage time period. Every attempt will be made to communicate early and teachers will email parents and students expectations for alternative learning days due to storms. Teachers have trained students while in live school for what to expect and where to go for learning resources. For those in programs where use of computers is not the norm, or youth or needs of students demands otherwise, other materials have been prepared and sent home (blizzard bags, etc.)
Below are the updates for each learning program based on new DESE regulations executed in late December and explained to superintendents on 12/22/20. Look at the individual link for specific updates, if a program is not mentioned (i.e. MS and HS RLA) there are no changes to anything.
REMINDER: Natick Learning Recovery Program Plan
As discussed in previous emails, we are sharing our Natick Recovery Learning Program Plan with you.
To participate in the program, students will be referred by a teacher to school administration and program coordinators. Parents will be notified of the referral by the referring teacher and the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Innovation.
This document is also linked on our Parent Academy page on the website at natickps.org/parents.
Important note: The winter/spring learning recovery program is separate from the learning and enrichment programming that we will offer to students for the summer. Summer programming will have open enrollment.
RedHawk Winter Walk
If you haven't had a chance yet, there are still two days left to visit the family-friendly RedHawk Winter Walk.
This fun winter walk is led by our Technical Theater students at NHS, in collaboration with local businesses and club leadership from across Natick High clubs and activities.
Weekly School Metrics
Weekly school COVID updates.
In conjunction with the Natick Board Of Health, the following overview of Virus Thresholds and COVID Closure and Communications Procedures. This is a guiding framework for use in the coming months as we work to keep schools healthy.
For your ease, we will update the NPS COVID dashboard every week with the Board of Health. The Board of Health will work with Dr. Nolin, the superintendent, to make decisions about virus impact to classroom, school and district closures or openings.
The Board of Health has some latitude within aspects of the framework relative to virus clusters (i.e. high rates of nursing home infections should not dictate the closing of schools but would create higher overall community reflection rates). Each Friday, we will also indicate any schools who have quarantined cohorts and overall confirmed cases. However, a three-week window of data for the community as detailed in the above memo will be the indicators used by the Board of Health to decide our open/closure rates. Classes and individuals who must be quarantined will be notified by both our nurses and the Board of Health. Rigorous contact tracing and COVID notice procedures will then ensue.
All individuals directly affected are contacted personally and in writing. Here are our communication procedures. Cases are tracked by the BOH, NPS nursing staff and the Department of Education Mobile Virus Response Unit.
MA COVID Travel Order advisory.

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