I hope this message finds you and yours well. Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the various challenges related to the reopening of school district amidst COVID-19 concerns.
First, I wanted to share the most up-to-date schedule we have set for each building for reopening. After consulting with our local Board of Health, we plan to expand our hybrid model of learning (A week/B week) via cohorts to mitigate exposure to Covid-19 as follows:
- Grades 4-8 would be abler to attend either A Week or B Week (Monday-Thursday) beginning Monday, October 26th, 2020. Again, provided the public health data remains low, there is no reason holding us back from hitting this target date. And I have every confidence we can open our school house doors to the students in these grades come the end of this month.
- Grades 9-12 would be able to attend either A Week or B Week (Monday-Thursday) beginning Monday, November 16th, 2020. Again, provided the public health data remain low, there is no reason holding us back from hitting this target date. And I have every confidence we can open our schoolhouse doors to she students in these grades come mid-November.
Phone calls emails, surveys and outreach efforts have already begun earlier this week to contact you As a parent/family to identify the best model of teaching and learning you see as fitting the needs of you and your family. As we progress forward, it is important that everyone realize it is each and every single person’s responsibility to remain vigilant with the safety protocols so that we are able to not only open our school house doors to the students of these grades, but keep them open.
I will ask all principals and directors to communicate directly with you regarding each school’s specific plans as more become known or should you have questions, comments, queries or concerns. Later in the month, please look for Principal Virtual Parent/Family Information Sessions. The first of these Virtual Parent/Family Information Nights took place last night at David Prouty High School and was so well done in providing information while also answering any questions or concerns parents and families had…
Transportation Information: has already begun being setup. AA Transportation continues to do an outstanding job getting our young people to and from school. However, we need you help. Our regional school district only has 16 buses under contract and given the Covid-19 Guidance put forth by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as well as from our medical professionals star wide, we are unable to serve more than 22-25 students per bus. This limits us to having only 400 total seats for the elementary bus run and 400 seats – at best – for the secondary bus run.
We Need Your Help! As a result, I am asking for your help! Specifically, I ask that if you are able to provide your child with transportation to and from school or you opt to transport your child to school, please let us know when our office staff contact you via phone, email and/survey so that we may provide those who truly need the transportation with the transportation needed.
RSVP. Please respond by the end of business of Thursday evening so we may sit with our vendor and organize the ridership for the next steps of our reopening at the end of next week.
As you are aware, there are local communities not more than seven miles from us and in the Southern Worcester County Region, who have experienced difficulties along the way with reopening. Our administration, faculty and staff have done an outstanding job adhering to the safety guidelines and worked diligently to make sure we mitigate the risk of exposure. We ask that you continue to partner with us and support us in this work – together - as we prepare to return to school in a measured and phased manner, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to:
(a) wear face coverings;
(b) wash/sanitize hands frequently; and
(c) keep appropriate social distance. Our learning community remains committed to 6 feet of social distancing in our classrooms and learning spaces.
We want to open our doors and keep them open at all times but can only do that if we remain vigilant in our actions individually and with each other.
As always, thank you for your ongoing support and collaboration while we navigate the pandemic. Your support and partnership is deeply appreciated by everyone within the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District! #Progress #Unity #Knowledge
Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools