May 6, 2020
Dear Maynard families:
Now that the decision has been made to close schools for the remainder of the school year, I wanted to update you on what we have been doing. Although I am saddened that we will not be able to reopen before the school year ends, the health and safety of our students, staff, and families remains our top priority.
Remote Learning Plan Survey
Thank you to those who were able to fill out the remote learning plan survey. This data was shared with our administrative and teacher teams to incorporate into upcoming remote learning plans. As Assistant Superintendent Gaudet indicated in her message to the community last week, the teams are also working on the recommendations found within the updated state guidance. A few areas that we are specifically working to address are the following:
Ensuring families that need materials printed have access to those materials
Ensuring families have sufficient devices to engage with remote learning
Providing additional opportunities for connection and enrichment
We are proud of our administrators, teacher teams, and other staff for their willingness to continuously improve our ability to provide educational programming remotely. We will continue to solicit your feedback throughout this process.
Student Property in Schools
We understand that many students have belongings in our schools, at this time we have been advised by Governor Baker to keep buildings closed until May 18. As soon as we are given the “green light” to open by the Governor we will let you know. At this time our Leadership and Operations Principals are developing a plan that will allow re-entry into the schools for this purpose.
Graduation/Transitioning to Middle School
We know that families and students have many questions, specifically around what this extended closure will look like for students who are commemorating memorable events like graduation, and transitioning to middle school. Administration and staff are currently working on plans to observe these events, and hope to have that information to families out soon,
All Massachusetts Public Schools are awaiting guidance from the Governor and the Commissioner of Education. We are still unsure if we will be allowed to open up our buildings in July and August for extended year programming, however, we are moving forward to create contingency plans to ensure that our students' needs are being met.
Our building principals are currently creating re-entry committees for each of their buildings based on the guiding principles of the CDC. The link can be found here. These committees will be working on three different scenarios for fall re-entry, the scenarios are as follows:
A normal reopening with no conditions.
An opening with social distancing and group size limitations in place.
A continuation of school closures with distance learning in place.
These recommendations will then be forwarded to a District Task force that will include administrators, parents from school councils, educators, health professionals, first responders, town personnel, etc. to create an Opening Plan Guide for 2020 for all schools. Included in this plan will be recommendations for the Department of Education around educational pedagogy. In addition to the aforementioned, the plan will include, putting supports in place for students to engage students academically, reintroducing them into a school setting, and addressing the social emotional needs.
On another note, May 4-8 is teacher appreciation week. Our staff has been working diligently to provide educational opportunities for our students these past seven weeks. In addition to being full time teachers, many of them are parents of school aged children, so they are tasked with teaching their own children as well. As many of you now know, being an educator is not easy, please join me in thanking our educators this week.
Be well and stay safe,
Mary Jane Ricksonc