Good Morning Everyone,
I hope this Superintendent Update for October 2021 finds you and yours well. As you are aware, throughout October we have been working diligently to continue our efforts with full in-person learning for all of our schools within the Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District.
Enrollment: Our enrollment as a regional school district is growing every day, especially at the preschool level As this morning, we have 1438 students enrolled within our district. David Prouty High School has 345 students enrolled; Knox Trail Middle School has 414 students; Wire Village School has 417 students; and East Brookfield Elementary School has 229 students including 86 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. As mentioned last month, we are very fortunate to new personnel joining our faculty and staff this year who are committed to “continuous improvement," remaining positive, and focused upon teaching and learning with purpose – in partnership with our parents/families.
Covid-19 Update: As of this morning, we have had a total of 12 confirmed cases of Covid-19 within our schools. We have had 11 students and 1 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 of this morning, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has extended the mask mandate for all schools in Massachusetts through November 1st, 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 to have masks as optional. 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.
MCAS Update: Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) results from the spring 2021 administration will be mailed home to each parent/family and student shortly for our students. Please be on the lookout for the assessment results for your son /daughter. As a regional school district, Spencer-East Brookfield is making “moderate progress towards targets” for students in grades 3-8 & 10.
Food Service Supply Chain Shortages: Recently, Our Food Service Department was informed of supply chain shortages/issues and shared the following with our learning community...
" Dear Families - Due to national shortages of food and packaging materials, labor shortage and vendor delivery delays and cancellations, our menus are subject to change based on availability. Please know that our team is working hard to provide meals every day, adjust on the fly, and provide updates about menu changes as soon as possible. We may need to make quick menu substitutions based upon what we hand on hand, but we are trying our best to make comparable changes wherever possible. Thank you for your continued support and patience. Please stick with us through this challenging time! - Brianne Pulver, Food and Nutrition Department"
AlphaBest Education Update: Recently, AlphaBest Education sent out the following communication to all parents/families interested in taking part in our Before/After-School programming at East Brookfield Elementary School and the Wire Village School.
"Dear Spencer East Brookfield Families,
Thank you for your continued patience as we work to open our before and after school programs at East Brookfield Elementary and Wire Village School.
We would like to give you an update on where we are in the process of opening:
Great news – we are close to filling all open positions and finalizing the background check process now.
- We are working with state’s licensing department and are doing all we can to expedite the process. This is a requirement before we can open.
- All supplies and materials have been delivered to the sites
- Staff training is scheduled to take place over the next few weeks.
We are providing weekly updates to your district administration to ensure they are aware of the steps in this process. Our estimated opening date, as of today, is no later than October 25th. We will keep you updated on our progress as we get closer to that date."
Middle School Survey Update: Since my communication last week, I wanted to provide you with a brief follow up that all surveys have been destroyed for students in grades 5-8 at Knox Trail MS.
National News about Tik Tok Challenge: As many of our parents and guardians have probably heard, the national media, including USA Today, are running stories about a "Devious Licks" challenge for October to "Smack a Staff Member" at school for TikTok.
The majority of our students understand that participating in such a challenge would change or end their participation in school, and would result in court involvement or worse. Nonetheless, Mrs. York, Mr. Malone and I ask each family to discuss this "challenge" and to make it clear that no one is ever to smack anyone, particularly a staff member, at David Prouty High School or in any of our schools.
I'm sorry to have to send this communication as part of this monthly update. Please know we are looking forward to Spirit Week and Homecoming 2021 next week (October 12 - 16) at David Prouty High School, and we want to focus on the positive things that are happening at our high school and throughout the district.
FAFSA is Open: As of Friday, October 1, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is now open for students who plan to attend college next year. The Department is working with the Executive Office of Education and the Department of Higher Education again this year to encourage prospective college students to complete the FAFSA and keep their options open for fall 2022. Several events and resources are already posted on the FASFA campaign webpage, and it will be updated throughout the year.
MSBA Update: The David Prouty High School Building Committee continues to move forward at speed in its work on Module III, Feasibility Study. Based upon the feedback from the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MBA) on our Preliminary Design Plan, the local School Building Committee is now ready and prepared to not only survey the communities we serve - but also host a Public Community Forum on Thursday, October 14th, 2021 at 6:00pm. We are looking to host the meeting via Zoom. To login and take part in this public forum, you can join us at: https://sebrsd-org.zoom.us/j/86339917562?pwd=NURtWEZSOGgxa0x0N3VZM09YaXVzdz09.
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 throughout the school year. @ChooseSEBRSD #Innovate #Inspire #Achieve
Paul S. Haughey, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Spencer-East Brookfield Regional School District