Good Morning Everyone,
I hope this Superintendent Update for November 2021 finds you and yours well.
Enrollment: Our enrollment as a regional school district has steadied. As of this morning, we have 1429 students enrolled within our district. David Prouty High School has 342 students enrolled; Knox Trail Middle School has 405 students; Wire Village School has 420 students; and East Brookfield Elementary School has 229 students including 88 students enrolled for the "Cubs Corner" Preschool!
Personnel: We continue to post for paraprofessionals to join our district. All other positions have been filled at this time.
Covid-19 Update: As of this morning, we have had a total of 19 confirmed cases of Covid-19 within our schools. We have had 14 students and 5 staff member test positive for Covid-19 and have worked together to maintain our safety protocols throughout the beginning of the new year with frequent hand washing, disinfecting, test and stay as well as masking.
As you are already aware, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has extended the mask mandate for all schools in Massachusetts through January 15th, 2021. None of our schools within the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District are eligible for optional masking due to the fact we are not at the 80% vaccination rate required. As we continue to receive more information from our parents and families about their child’s vaccination status, we will update our percentages accordingly and alert the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education once we reach the 80% threshold at each of our schools.
DPH/DESE Letter to Families: Last week, Acting Commissioner Margaret R. Cooke of the Department of Public Health and Commissioner Riley of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education sent out tot eh following correspondence to parents and families within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts…
“In the coming weeks, we expect the FDA and CDC to recommend COVID-19 vaccinations for children ages 5 to 11 years old. We’d like to provide you with current information and resources on vaccination and, when vaccination is approved for this younger age group, we encourage you to have your child vaccinated to protect themselves, your family, and the school community.
While COVID-19 is generally less serious for school-age children than for older adults, children can become infected, and some may get very sick or suffer serious complications. Children can spread COVID-19 to others. Fortunately, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for individuals ages 12 and up and is currently under review for recommendation for children ages 5 to 11. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective against infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Over 70 percent of Massachusetts youth ages 12-17 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting your child vaccinated will help limit COVID-19 spread in our school and community, and it can help keep your child and their schoolmates in school.
Please speak to your child’s doctor about their plans to administer the vaccine once it is made available and raise any questions or concerns you have about the vaccine and your child.
It is our sincere hope and expectation to continue our work with our local Boards of Health as well as the Rutland Vaccine team - to conduct vaccine clinics wherever and whenever possible. More details to follow in the coming days and weeks ahead.
There are also hundreds of vaccination sites across the state that have indicated their willingness to vaccinate children 5 to 11. Many accept walk-in appointments, including CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, Market Basket and other grocery chains, and community health centers. More information on these sites, as well as safety information and helpful questions and answers, are all available at www.mass.gov/covidvaccine.
As a reminder:
- The COVID vaccine is free for all, and no ID or insurance is needed to be vaccinated;
- You can get vaccinated even if you are undocumented. Getting a vaccine will not impact your or your family’s immigration status. The Public Charge rule does NOT apply to getting the vaccine.
Getting your family vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. We appreciate your help to keep all of our students, faculty, staff, and volunteers, as well as our community, safe and healthy this fall and all year long. “
Food Service Supply Chain Shortages: Recently, Our Food Service Department was informed of continuing supply chain shortages/issues. Please know our food services department continues to work diligently with other personnel to ensure that we have food stuffs in a timely manner for our students. Please know that the menus at our schools, as a result, are subject to change; and that we deeply appreciate your patience, understanding and support while we navigate these supply chain issues.
AlphaBest Education Update: AlphaBest Education has hired a new Regional Director, Mrs. Kim Jennings. Director Jennings will be looking after and coordinating our before and after-school programming for the district. With Mrs. Jennings taking the lead, our most recent licensing walkthrough by Early Education and Care officials with SEBRSD personnel went well. AlphaBest Education anticipates word that our program will be fully licensed shortly. Please be on the lookout for email updates from Mrs. Jennings regarding the reopening of our before and after school programming.
MSBA Update: At a recent meeting of the David Prouty high School Building Committee, the Preferred Schematic Report was selected by unanimous vote to put forward an “Add/Reno” project to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). The decision of an “Add/Reno” project includes grades 9-12 with a preschool included along with a 450-seat auditorium, refreshed outdoors spaces as well as a gymnasium that meets all aspects of health, wellness and physical education. The fields will also be refreshed as part of this “Addition/Renovation.”
Additionally, the School Committee will be voting on Tuesday, November 9th, 2021, to move the preschool into the new building project plan. The goal is simple. Once opened, the high school would house our district’s “Cubs Corner” Preschool program thus alleviating space issues and concerns for the district long term.
The next meeting of the David Prouty High School Building Committee will take place on Thursday, November 18th, 2021 at 6:00pm in person at the Wire Village School. Other informational meetings are in the planning stages but are aimed to take place on:
- Tuesday, December 7th, 2021 at the Wire Village School. Selectmen, Finance Committees, business leaders, and the communities we serve are invited to attend this important informational event on our Preferred Schematic Report (PSR).
SEBRSD Upgrades Website and Launches New App! We’re thrilled to announce Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District’s new app! It’s everything SEBRSD, in your pocket. With the new app, you can access sports scores, cafeteria menus, news updates, weather alerts, and even emergency notifications. Download the app on Android: https://bit.ly/337GvMC or iPhone: https://apple.co/3ifgMYU.
Finally, this month we have so many exciting activities taking place throughout our learning community.
- Event: School Committee Meeting (Tue, Nov 9, 6:00 PM)
- Event: School Closed - Holiday: Veterans Day/Armistice Day (Thurs, Nov 11)
- Event: School Closed – Professional Development (Fri, Nov 12)
- Event: American Education Week, (Mon, Nov 15 – Fri, Nov 19)
- Event: School Building Committee Meeting (Thurs, Nov 18, 6:00 PM)
- Event: Half Day of School (Wed, Nov 24, 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM)
- Event: School Closed - Holiday: Thanksgiving Break (Thu, Nov 25 - Fri, Nov 26)
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 remain truly grateful to the members of this community for demonstrating kindness, compassion, and decency during these challenging times. Your partnership and support of the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District is deeply appreciated. #Innovate #Inspire #Achieve
Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District