Welcome Back 2021!

Good Morning Everyone,

Welcome back to the first day of school!  Over the next few weeks, we are going to move slowly, methodically, and purposefully to take the time needed to return in-person teaching and learning safely.  As the Superintendent of Schools, I am asking everyone to please to stay positive, supportive, understanding; and most of all, flexible throughout this fall.

 Shared Core Values: Since my arrival the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District, we have always emphasized the need to be respectful, responsible, and ready to learn!  There are wide ranging views of COVID-19 and the Delta variant; and it is so important to be respectful of everyone’s beliefs.  COVID-19 has been around for more than eighteen months; and everyday there are many conflicting reports in the media as to how dangerous this disease is for different segments of our population. And while there are hundreds of news stories in the media these days that contradict one another; what we do know is that there are simple ways to significantly minimize the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

 Safety First!  According to the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the following actions steps are necessary to mitigate Covid-19 and the Delta variant as we begin the school year:

  • Masks have to be worn through at least October 1st, 2021 - per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. 
  • Handwashing often and sanitizing often is needed.
  • Deep cleaning and disinfecting remains important.

Students, parents/families and staff are asked to remain committed to these safety measures outlined above.  To be clear: everyone is expected to wear your mask on the bus and in school each day and wash your hands often for, at least, 20 seconds.  Finally, and of great importance, please do not come to school if you do not feel well.    

By integrating the best of what we learned from the previous eighteen months, our faculty, staff and administration will move us forward and remain deeply committed to revolutionizing "teaching and learning with purpose" so it is  reflective of what our students need now and into the future...  

The 2021-20221 school year is going to redefine the meaning of "normal," but as I enter my fourth year of service as Superintendent of Schools, I have learned that the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District “learning community” thrives when confronted with a challenge and truly comes together better than most during a time of need.  Our collective goal is to not just get through the school year together, but to "innovate, inspire and achieve" excellence... for our students and their future!  

Mobile Vaccine Clinic Coming to SEBRSD! Appointments available for Spencer and East Brookfield Residents! Thursday, September 9th, 2021 (3:00pm - 6:00pm)David Prouty High School 306 Main Street, Spencer, MA 01562 Registration is open now.  You can register online at: https://tinyurl.com/SEBRSDVAX

 Safety Drills: Please note that we will begin right away this school year with a number of drills to practice safety procedures for all of our administration, faculty, staff and students - to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency… In brief, we plan to hold fire drills in each of our schools over the first few days of school; and soon, we will have bus evacuations, lockdowns and more taking place in partnership with our local and state officials from throughout the region.  

AlphaBest Education:  AlphaBest is in the process of continuing to hire new staff and provide them with high-quality trainings in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year.  The response to having Before/After-School programming return to district has been overwhelming, but safety, health and wellness reamins our first priority, and AlphaBest has that same commitment.  As a result, the AlphaBest BASP will begin on Tuesday, September 7th, 2021.  Should you have any specific questions, comments, queries or concerns, please feel free to reach out to AlphaBest Representatives via email or by phone at the information listed below..  

Enrollment:  Our enrollment as a regional school district is growing everyday.  At this exact moment, we have 1466 students enrolled within our district and climbing.  David Prouty High School has 345 students enrolled; Knox Trail Middle School has 423 students; Wire Village School has 430 students; and East Brookfield Elementary School has 234 students including 83 students enrolled for the "Cubs Corner" Preschool!  These enrollment numbers have not bee seen in the district since the 2015-2016 school year, according to NESDEC.

Personnel: Following an orientation for the 16 new faculty and staff members last week, all faculty and staff returned yesterday, August 30th, 2021, for Convocation Exercises.   We took the opportunity to reflect and reaffirm our commitment to: "continuously improve," remain positive, and focused upon teaching and learning with purpose - in partnership with you, our parents/families.  It was a great first day for everyone in attendance! 

 Get Involved!  David Prouty High School and Knox Trail Middle School offer a variety of extra-curricular opportunities for our young people, and we want them to get involved and become and active part of our traditions in sports, music and the arts to name just a few...  To learn more about the extra-curricular opportunities at Knox Trail Middle School and David Prouty High School, contact the main office of each school.

We also have a number of opportunities for you through our parent organizations that partner and support us more directly in the PAWS and PIE groups of Wire Village and East Brookfield Elementary Schools, respectively.  David Prouty High School also offers Advisory Groups for their Chapter 74 programs, which include: Early Childhood, Business/Marketing, and Criminal Justice. As well, our Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) remains quite active and supportive of our work as a district, and is always looking for parents/families to join them in the many educational events they hold each year through their workshop model.  Please take some time for yourself and come out and join one of our parent organizations/groups this year.

High School Building Project Update:  Our High School Building Committee (SBC) has been hard at work over the past eighteen months and has not missed a beat.  As a result, we recently submitted our Preliminary Design Plan (PDP) to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) for feedback.  There are three type of projects.  Each is required to be studied in detail by the High School Building Committee prior to final submission to the MSBA in October.  The preliminary design plan includes:

  1. Base Repair
  2. Addition/Renovation &
  3. New Building

As you can see, the photos below captures the work of the High School Building Committee over the past six month well; and outlines the pros and cons of each type of project along with an initial timeline.

Survey Coming Soon!  In the coming days, I will be sending out a brief survey that will ask you for your initial thoughts, impressions and feedback.  The survey will be posted on our website and social media feeds throughout the month of September.  This survey is all part of the process and is important for the future of our high school, our regional school district, and our staff and students.  Please take a few moments to provide your input and feedback on this important building project.

On behalf of all of us, I thank you for your continued partnership and support of the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District!  I look forward to learning from, and with, all of you in the new school year ahead.  @ChooseSEBRSD #Innovate #Inspire #Achieve

Sincerely Yours,

Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District