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Superintendent Update: A Time to Give Thanks! 11.02.2020
Superintendent Update: A Time to Give Thanks! 11.02.2020
Paul Haughey
Monday, November 02, 2020

Good Morning,

I hope this message finds you and your family well.  Thank you for your continued patience as we have continued to reopen our school district.  To date, we have successfully reopened grades PreK-8 to a hybrid model of learning (A Week / B Week) and have returned all off our high needs students to Cohort C (Grades K-12) as well as identified our "Remote Only" students and assigned them to Cohort D. 

Our next phase of reopening is planned for Grades 9-12 and David Prouty High School.  It is our plan to reopen David Prouty High School to Cohort A students on Monday, November 16th, 2020.  We remain vigilant in maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for all staff and students so our school nurses and members of the Department of Student Services have asked that I share the following information regarding how you can support us in keeping all of our school house doors open. 

Family Responsibilities for Health and Safety Reminder:

Families play a critical role in supporting the culture of health and safety in our schools. As an important reminder, please keep your child home if they have been identified as a close contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. If you or someone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19, please notify your child’s school nurse or principal, who can help guide you with this process. 

Parents should perform daily Covid-19 symptom checks before leaving home. Students should stay home if they are having any one symptom of Covid-19, as indicated below. The following symptoms were taken from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website.

  • Fever (100.0 Degrees Fahrenheit or above)
  • Cough (not due to other known cause)
  • Lower respiratory symptoms (difficulty breathing, shortness of breath)
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue/weakness, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when combined with other symptoms/ If your child has chronic allergies, please request a note from your child’s physician indicating such.

Attendance: If your child presents at home or in school with any symptoms listed above, please contact your child’s physician for COVID testing. If the physician determines that there is an alternative diagnosis, you MUST provide the school nurse with a written doctor’s note stating the diagnosis and signed by the physician, prior to returning to school.

*Please notify your child’s school principal or school nurse if you have any difficulties following any of these guidelines.  

Flu Vaccine Mandate.  As you know, come January 1st, 2020, the Governor is asking all students who attend schools in Massachusetts to get a flu shot and provide proof of vaccination to the school your child attends. You still have time to get this important vaccination completed – so that we may mitigate the risk of flu and Covid-19 in our schools.  As flu season begins, we ask that all student’s families provide proof of vaccination, or a doctor note/religious affidavit to document the meeting of this state mandate.

Recently, the district offered all children of Spencer and East Brookfield, MA FREE Flu shots through our continued partnership and support with the Spencer, MA Board of Health and the School Nurses of our district.  Additionally, CVS pharmacy and other local pediatricians are preparing to provide free shots to children between now and the new year, so please do not let this important proactive measure aimed at keeping our students healthy slip away.

Election Day 2020 is upon us.  With Election Day less than twenty four hours away, it is important to remind the entire community that the law prohibits any form of campaigning in schools or on school grounds. Furthermore, public employees are prohibited from engaging in any political advocacy on school grounds, during the school day, or using any school property or resources to campaign or raise funds for any candidate or referendum. This includes a prohibition on hanging signs endorsing a particular candidate or position on a ballot question. It is also not permissible for teachers or other staff members to advocate for any political candidate in class. When engaging students in discussion about politics, each of us must remain neutral about our own views, while creating a constructive forum for students to explore and discuss the issues. Verbal or symbolic speech which results in disruption, disorder, or interference with instruction or professional activities is prohibited.

 We recognize that in this political environment, the stakes are high, and many of us are deeply passionate about the issues at hand. In a community comprised of people with different viewpoints, we will undoubtedly encounter neighbors and colleagues whose opinions may not only be different from ours, but may even seem offensive, prejudicial, and out of step with the values of our school community. As objectionable as these viewpoints may be, they do not negate our responsibility to maintain safe, civil learning environments focused on students’ academic growth and social-emotional well-being.  If you have questions or concerns about these matters, please contact us. 

SEBRSD Launches Mobile App! We are thrilled to announce that in addition to our new website, the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District now has a mobile app for on-the-go access to the latest news and events, live media posts, and our online file directory. Everything you need can now be accessed from the palm of your hand and notifications can be set up to ensure that you never miss important information!

The app is available for download now in the App Store for Apple users and the Google Play store for Android users.

Finally, this month we have so many exciting activities taking place throughout our learning community. 

  • Event: Half Day of School (Fri, Nov 6, 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM)
  • Event: School Committee Meeting (Tue, Nov 10, 6:00 PM)
  • Event: School Closed - Holiday: Veterans Day/Armistice Day (Wed, Nov 11)
  • Event: American Education Week, (Mon, Nov 16 – Fri, Nov 20)!
  • Event: Virtual Parents' Night - Wire Village (Thu, Nov 19)
  • Event: Half Day of School (Wed, Nov 25, 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM)
  • Event: School Closed - Holiday: Thanksgiving Break (Thu, Nov 26 - Fri, Nov 27)

With so much happening in our learning community, it is so easy to lose sight of all of the wonderful things happening around us.  With that said, from our family to yours, please take time to recognize and celebrate our Veterans this month as well as time with family and friends - safely - this Thanksgiving!   I, for one, am truly grateful to the members of this community for demonstrating kindness, compassion, and decency during these incredibly challenging times.  Your support and partnership with the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District is deeply appreciated.  #Progress #Unity #Knowledge

Sincerely,

Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District