Good Afternoon Everyone,
I hope this Superintendent Update finds you and yours well and enjoying the summer! I wanted to follow up on an earlier communication and provide additional information so you may be as prepared as possible for the coming school year as parents, families, students and staff.
Enrollment: Our enrollment for August 2021 as a regional school district remains the same from July at 1,379 total students.
Retirements: First, I want to acknowledge our dedicated professionals who have dedicated their lives to the regional school district with many, many years of service. Please join me in recognizing the retirements of Susanna Sandusky, Pam Higgins, Nancy Thibaut, May BaronowskI of the Student Services Department; Carol Crozier of the Academic Affairs Department; Katherine Letourneau of the Food Services Department; Lynn Gilbreath of East Brookfield Elementary; and Jim Whittemore of David Prouty High School. Thank you so much to each and every person for helping to make the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District so special. You will be missed!
AP Diplomas Earned! I am pleased to announce that we recently learned that two of our students from the Class of 2021 were notified that they have earned their Advanced Placement (AP) Diplomas. Please join me in extending a heartfelt congratulations to Rhea Negron and Brendon Halloran, both of whom are the first to earn this distinction as graduates of David Prouty High School!
Summer 2021 Academies Taking Place! Accelerated Academies focused upon science, math, reading, writing and SEL skill development as well as Extended School Year programs for students in grades k-12 have been taking place and will continue throughout the summer months. These enrichment and remediation efforts are focused, purposeful, and aim to support students during the summer months in specific social, emotional and academic need areas. Please join me in thanking our dedicated faculty, staff, administration and community leaders in providing these programs throughout the summer months. Without them, none of this would be possible!
As you are already aware, a joint Covid-19 Fall Guidance document was produced by the Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education last week… This document serves as the basis for The Health and Safety Plan for SEBRSD that I am recommending to the School Committee. The Health and Safety Plan for SEBRSD includes the following key elements.
As you can see from this graphic, we take safety, health and wellness seriously in our regional school district but understand that this effort is a partnership and shared commitment amongst everyone within our learning community. Our primary goal is to keep everyone safe, healthy and well. We ask for your continued partnership and support in masking students on the bus, and in our nurses offices, as well as if they are unvaccinated; and strongly recommend everyone mask when in school beginning at the start of our academic year.
Mobile Vaccine Clinic Coming to SEBRSD! As well, our Department of Student Services is coordinating school-community efforts with local boards of health and the Commonwealth on providing a Mobile Vaccine Clinic in the coming weeks ahead. Please be on the lookout for details about the Mobile Vaccine Clinic and consult your primary care physician about the vaccine.
ESSER 3.0 Public Input Survey! As part of the ESSER 3.0 grant application process, the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District is actively seeking your input and feedback on our funding priorities. Generally, our ESSER 3.0 grant application for the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District focuses on:
- WHOLE STUDENT SUPPORTS - including counseling, mental health therapy, behavioral support.
- INVESTING IN STAFF & STUDENTS - including instructional materials and resources, for example, math, science and literacy materials, classroom instructional needs assessment/fulfillment, high-quality professional development. focused upon mitigating learning loss through accelerated academies, tutoring, summer camps, school-based intervention programs.
- INNOVATION & RESPONSIVENESS - including facility improvements aimed at air quality, Heating/AC controls replacements and the like as well as educational technology investments.
- HEALTH & SAFETY - including hand sanitizing stations, increased cleaning, staff training, air purification, temperature checks by parents, and face coverings recommended but not required.
We want and need your input. Summer break isn't the best time to connect with our stakeholders, but this survey must be completed by September 1, 2021, reviewed in full by our leadership team, and submitted with our full application to the state no later than October 1, 2021.
Thank you, in advance, for participating in this short survey.
MSBA Update! Last week, on Thursday evening, August 5th, 2021, the David Prouty High School Building Committee voted unanimously 11-0 in favor of sending the Preliminary Design Plan (PDP) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority in Boston, MA for their review. The PDP contains project options for: (a) Base Repair; (b) Addition/Renovation; and (C) a New Building. Click here to view the Preliminary Design Plan submission for the MSBA.
Before and After-School Update: Last week, the School Committee hosted a workshop on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021 at 6pm with AlphaBest Education, an organization licensed to provide before and after-school care, after-school enrichment, summer and holiday break camps, and full day care with virtual learning support. AlphaBest customizes their programs based upon the unique needs of each community they serve…
AlphaBest’s Extended Day program spans 11 states and reaches 25,000+ students daily. They aim to be true partners with both families and schools, offering much more than just childcare. Designed to complement the regular school day, our Extended Day program fosters engaging, hands-on learning in a safe, familiar environment: your school!
At AlphaBest Extended Day, your child will:
- Be exposed to cutting-edge learning themes (which we call “Zones”)
- Receive daily homework assistance
- Be given unstructured playtime to get extra energy out
- Get a healthy snack
- Be conveniently located right in his or her school building (at Wire Village or East Brookfield Elementary)
- Have FUN!
AphaBest Extended Day Core Zones include: STEM, World Languages & Culture, Fitness & Wellness, Arts & Entertainment, and Maker!
It was my recommendation as the Superintendent of Schools at the 3rd of August School Committee workshop; and it is my recommendation again this week that the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District enter into a partnership with AlphaBest Education - to provide before and after-school programming and services for our students in grades K-6 in Spencer, MA (at the Wire Village School) and in East Brookfield, MA (at our elementary school). I am asking that the School Committee reaffirm their vote 4-0 from the August 3rd Workshop - so we may sign contracts and begin these vital programs/services at the start of the school year sometime around September 1st, 2021.
After-School Sports, Clubs, and Activities starting soon! Please know we are encouraging all of our staff and students to remain active here within our district. As a result, we are promoting our high school and middle athletic programs and fall sports, after-school clubs and activities; and are even adding to the list of opportunities to keep your son or daughter actively engaged in our learning community. In addition to fall sports in grades 5-12, do not be surprised to see me recommend soon to the School Committee that we bring back a revitalized “School Newspaper” at David Prouty HS; a School Choir and even Beginner Instrumental Music at Knox Trail Middle School to name just a few. Please be on the lookout for other opportunities so your son or daughter gets involved; is active and engaged this fall and throughout the school year with us…
School Calendar: By special request, the updated school calendar for the 2021-2022 academic year as voted by our School Committee is listed below.
Please note that the first day of school for students in grades 1 - 12 is Tuesday, August 31st, 2021. Cubs Corner Preschool and kindergarten begin classes on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021. Building Principals and Program Directors will be sending out updates prior to the start of school, which is now only 21 days away, so please keep your eyes and ears open for the latest news from our district and its schools.
Finally, as we prepare to return to school please know that I am honored and privileged to serve as the Superintendent of Schools for the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District! I recognize that these have been extremely challenging times for everyone and cannot thank you enough for your patience, ongoing support and collaboration while we continue to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic. Your support and partnership is deeply appreciated by everyone within the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District! #Innovate #Inspire #Achieve
Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools