March 16 update

Update to Parents,Students and Faculty March 16

Good evening, I am providing parents, students, faculty, and staff with this update on matters related to the school district and our present school closure.


First, on Friday night I issued information on the planned two week school closure. On Sunday night Governor Baker issued his statement closing all schools in Massachusetts for three weeks beginning on March 17 and ending on April 6 with a planned reopening of school on April 7, 2020. This extends the original announced school  closure by an additional week. It also creates a myriad of other concerns that will need to be responded to by everyone.


Next, our teachers and support staff are planning to present students with resources and learning opportunities that will endeavor to provide some continuity of student engagement during this unprecedented time in education. We know that this effort will not replace face-to-face learning opportunities that occur daily in our classrooms. We hope that it will be a viable alternative given the three week closure of the schools. We appreciate the efforts and the commitment of our teachers and support staff in this endeavor. We know that this is a trying time for everyone and it is hoped that collectively we can continue to support student learning.


Next the scheduled school committee meeting for Wednesday night has been moved from the high school to the town hall community room for 7 o’clock on Wednesday evening. With the recent restriction from President Trump, restricting gatherings to no more than 10 people this will make an active audience attending this meeting virtually impossible. At this time we are working on a plan to either record and post this meeting as soon as possible to the town websites. We are also exploring the possibility of arranging for a teleconference type of meeting but at this moment we  do not have concrete plans on making this happen.We will continue to work to make this happen if possible. If and when I have additional information on this I will share it with all parties.


Next building principals at the Primary, Elementary and Middle school have made plans for parents who are looking to pick up either learning packets at Primary and Elementary schools, or in the case of the Middle School, a one to one chrome book will be able to do so tomorrow. Access will be restricted to the main office in each of these three buildings. At this time, the Elementary and Primary  school’s will be open from 8 to 12 tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th. The Middle School will be open tomorrow as well from 8 to 4 but only for the purpose of picking up the students 1 to 1 chrome book, while the Elementary and Primary school’s will only be open for the purpose of picking up student learning packets that were not able to be picked up on Friday.


There are some parents and students who will need to access all four of our school buildings to pick up individual student medications. All four buildings will be available for this purpose between 8 and 12 on Tuesday, March 17. Again, access will be limited to the main office. If you are unable to meet at this scheduled time please email your building principal and school nurse and we will endeavor to make other arrangements to get the medications back to you. 


At this time, beyond Tuesday, March 17, our School offices will be closed and not staffed. Please use email to contact building principals, teachers, or secretaries and we will get back to you to address your question or concern.


If parents or students have questions with regards to learning packets or assignments please use email to contact your teacher or support staff for assistance. We have asked these educators to be available from 9 to 12 each day to be checking their emails and trying to be timely in their  responses to parents and students. Again, we know this is not ideal but given the circumstances we hope it will be effective in meeting the needs of our students.


As of today the school district has issued a 30 day moratorium on all activities and programs that use our school buildings, including such groups as the Boy Scouts, town athletic programs, etc. This will be revisited as to the date these activities can resume in our school buildings. It will be predicated on when the District is able to once again access our buildings. We appreciate everyone’s understanding with the need to keep our schools closed so they can be cleaned and sanitized for our impending reopening. As such, we cannot make them available to outside groups until we are back in school. Please make your plans with regards to this closure restriction for activities outside the scope of the school that utilize our school buildings.



Please know that starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 or custodial staff will begin deep cleaning and sanitizing each of our four buildings. The goal is to have all 4 buildings and their classrooms, common areas and spaces cleaned, sanitized and prepared for our return to school following this medical alert.


Today we have made tentative plans for the district to provide “grab and go” meals available to those students who qualify under federal guidelines. These “grab and go”meals will be available to these students and their families and they can be picked up at the Elementary School starting this Wednesday, March 18 between 10 and 12. The plan is to include on Wednesday,  three breakfasts and three lunches for our students. That will cover Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We will also have the same process in place on Monday from 10 to 12 with grab and go meals containing two breakfasts and two lunches to cover Monday and Tuesday. These meals will be picked up at the back entrance of the elementary school near the basketball court. Staff members will be ready to receive you and to distribute these meals to you. Again These meals are being provided to those families who meet and are covered through these federal guidelines. A recommendation would be that families bring a reusable bag or a large brown bag to be used to transport these meals. If a family is unable to get transportation to the school, please call the food service office at the Elementary School at 508-476-4200 extension 1115 or 1132 and a member of the food service staff will take your information and we will find an alternative way to get these meals to you.


During this challenging time, if families and community members are able to make donations to the local food pantries, it would be greatly appreciated given the circumstances of schools being closed for a prolonged period of time.


Lastly, as was mentioned earlier, these are uncharted times that we are confronted with. As a school district we endeavor to be as supportive of our students faculty and staff as we can be during this difficult time. Please know the decisions are being made to ensure everyone’s personal safety and well-being. We ask for your continued understanding and support with the unprecedented challenges this medical alert has created for us as a town, school community and as a nation. Please be safe during this time.


Sincerely,


Kevin Maines, Superintendent Update to parents, student , faculty and staff March 16,2020.pdf


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