Other Questions

  • Cohorts

    How will the cohorts be decided?

    Cohorts will be built based using the same balancing considerations that educators applied when determining homeroom and team placement. They are not being developed as a form of ability levelling. We will be able to take into consideration siblings when developing which cohorts, which will help support child care and transportation considerations. We will not be able to field friend requests as part of this process.

    Will twin siblings automatically put in the same class and cohort?

    Twins will be placed on the same cohort schedule. If you have twins and want to change your class placement request, please reach out to your school principal.

    When will families be informed of their child's placement and cohort information?

    We are targetting August 19, 2020 as the date to publish placement and cohort information in the Aspen Family Portal.

    How are you coming up with the schedule for which days children attend school? I am very concerned my children won’t be on the same schedule as all my children attend the same school.

    Building administrators encourage families to reach out with specifics regarding cohort assignments. Keeping siblings from the same families together has been identified as a priority based on feedback from families.

    Will both children be able to attend on the same days of the week? What if i have a child at LS?

    Yes, cohort assignment starts at the middle school with elementary schools adjusting assignments to align cohort assignments. Additionally, middle school cohort assignments have been shared with LSRHS.

    Would you consider requests to be on the same schedule with a student at Curtis (not a sibling) who provide childcare for my elementary-age children?

    Specific family needs regarding cohort assignments should be shared with building administrators. It is important to understand, however, that many factors inform cohort assignments, most importantly student needs.

    Will cohorts switch days halfway through the year?

    Cohorts will remain on the same schedule.

    Can the school accommodate preference on in-school learning days? For example, can I put in a request for our in-school learning days to be Tuesday/Friday?

    We are unable to accept family requests of in-school learning days. We are planning to have siblings on the same day unless we hear otherwise. We are planning to share cohorts and class placement on August 19th.

    Is it possible to request a cohort for my child at Curtis so that it better aligns with my other child’s schedule at an out of district school?

    Specific cohort requests will be challenging to accomodate but families are, nonetheless, encouraged to communicate their needs to building administrators.


    Family Back-to-School Preparation

    Do you anticipate revised school supply lists? Chlorox wipes are in short supply and I haven't been able to find any in months.

    Schools will have the required cleaning supplies for each classroom. If you cannot find Clorox wipes, it is not a problem.


    Family Support

    Could our school principal have regular weekly online forums with parents? Specifically, we would like acknowledgment of challenges, empathy, and a list of what has been and will be done to address issues. We'd like to learn more about what is going on and how to support our students and SPS.

    Building administrators will communicate with famiies on a regular basis. If a family has a specific question or concern, they are encouraged to reach out directly to any member of the SPS staff.


    In School Protocols

    How will drop off and pick up procedures be altered to keep students from queuing in the lobby/out front in the morning and in the hallway/gym/lobby at dismissal?

    Each school is working on the arrival and dismissal procedures. More information will be coming out from each school once we have a better sense of how students will be arriving and leaving school each day.

    I don’t think parents really realize how much different school will look this year. Can you please give us some general ideas of the differences we will be seeing for an in school experience?

    School will look different this year. The mental health teams are working on videos, scripts, social stories, and other materials to preview the year for students and to provide families with resources to talk about the differences.



    Would SPS teachers be willing to coordinate with externally hired private tutor/caregiver to share lesson plans?

    In the hybrid model, teachers will prepare students for remote days. They will not be able to also support private tutors.


    Remote/Hybrid/In-person/Academy Modes

    Will there be a full remote option?

    Yes, Sudbury Remote Learning Academy is for K-8 students who will attend school in a fully remote model.

    Is home schooling an option?

    Home schooling is always an option. Families would submit a home school plan to the assistant superintendent's office for approval.

    Will all children be assigned a teacher/class, even if they start remote?

    Students who are in the Sudbury Remote Academy will be assigned to teachers dedicated to that role rather than their previously planned teacher.

    The CDC gave new guidelines late last week underscoring the importance of in-person learning and relaxing the 6' distance requirement. Will Nixon or SPS consider return to 100% in person learning, particularly for younger grades (K-1)?

    The School Committee is charged with evaluating and recommending a learning model. At this time, the 6' distance requirement is the guidance which the district is using to plan instruction.

    Has SPS considered full in person for younger children and full remote for older children to better utilize space and match students' ages with learning styles that may work better?

    Yes, that is a model the district has considered and will continue to prioritize.

    What support or guidance are available for parents who may choose to home school instead? What resources are available to home schoolers?

    Home Schooling families are eligible to access educational services including special education services. The district is exploring avenues to allow homeschooling families to online resources through sudburystudents.org.

    Where can families find resources and requirements reguarding home schooling?

    Families considering homeschooling should reach out to Kim Swain, Assistant Superintendent for guidance with regards to resources and requirements.

    How is remote learning going to work? Can kids start school year at home with remote learning?

    Families have the option to choose a full-remote model, Sudbury Remote Academy, or the hybrid in-person and remote model. In both models students will receive feedback and grades. Attendance will be taken. Families may shift between models but are encourage to coordinated with building personnel to ensure a smooth transition.

    What if parents first sign up for the hybrid option and then decides to go fully remote or homeschool? What waiting period is being considered?

    Families may move their children between the hybrid and remote options with no official waiting period, but decisions should be made with a consideration of the potential disruption caused by shifting to a new teacher, peers, etc.

    If we choose to start the school year doing the in-person option, how flexible would moving to the remote option be if our personal circumstances were to change?

    Families may move their student from the hybrid model to the fully-remote Sudbury Remote Leaning Academy but will be asked to coordinate with building administrators to ensure a smooth transition.

    If I choose the 100% distance learning option, will my children still be assigned to a classroom and be able to participate in the Wednesday virtual class activities?

    Students in the Remote Learning Academy will remain together as a cohort. They will not be assigned to a hybrid cohort and therefore will have Wednesday programming that is their own.

    When will parents decide whether their children will attend in the hybrid or remote model?

    We anticipate that families will decide which model fits their child's safety and learning needs on August 11.

    If schools open back up to a normal environment, can a homeschool student enroll back into the school system?

    Yes, a homeschool student may reenroll at any time.

    For families that don't feel comfortable returning to in person learning yet, is there going to be an option for 100% online?

    Yes, families wll be able to choose the model which is best for their students. There will be a fully remote option, in addition to a hybrid option.



    What are the school hours during the 2020-2021 academic year?

    Starting during the 2020-2021 school year, the Sudbury Public Schools and Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School will have new hours:

    • Elementary Schools, 7:55 AM - 2:25 PM
    • Elementary ILAP Dismissal Time, 11:45 AM
    • Curtis Middle School, 8:30 AM - 3:10 PM
    • Curtis ILAP Dismissal Time, 12:45 PM

    More information: https://www.sudbury.k12.ma.us/domain/305

    Will Wednesdays still be half day for ILAP?

    Adjustments to the school calendar are being considered and will be voted by the School Committee, including increasing the number of ILAP Wednesdays.


    Start Date/Calendar

    How will Monday holidays affect the M/Th hybrid model?

    Schedule adjustments due to Monday holidays:

    • Tuesday, September 29: Red will be in-person and Blue will be remote
    • Tuesday, December 1: Red will be in-person and Blue will be remote

    Does the school plan to delay opening for 10 days as allowed by DESE?

    The school calendar is voted by the School Committee and will be communicated at that point.

    Will you be scheduling professional development days only on Wednesdays so as not to disrupt the in-person teaching?

    Professional development and planning will take place on ILAP days, on before school PD days, and on Monday after Thanksgiving.

    If we have snow storms, will we no longer have snow days since schools can do remote learning instead?

    Yes, DESE recently announced that districts could offer remote learning on a snow day and that learning would count towards time on learning. The district is discussing options and details.



    Will you be hiring more lead teachers to make hybrid learning effective?

    The SPS budget has been voted. At this point, the district will be looking to make adjustments to programming and staffing with the allocation.

    How are we making the hybrid plan sustainable for teachers, who will be teaching in person four days a week and guiding distance learning five days a week?

    Designing a sustainable hybrid model is essential for everyone to be successful. The district will honor all contractual planning period requirements. Additionally, the possibility of having every Wednesday be an early release day is being discussed in order to allow for educator collaboration and planning.



    Is the NEADs dog program on hold?

    Unfortunately, yes. No dogs are being deployed at this time. We look forward to welcoming a furry friend in the future.

    What out of the box ideas have you considered? We are facing extraordinary times, what crazy ideas can we consider to make this work for kids, teachers and families?

    Educators are by nature creative. This summer many educators have engaged in professional learning focused on maximizing student engagement and learning in a remote or hybrid environment. We have also reached out to community partners such as SERF to secure funding for Remote Learning Studios and subscriptions that allow educators to produce higher-quality flipped content. The curriculum products SPS has invested in over the course of the last few years lend themselves to online learning. Educators have been working this sumer to revise curricular units to include increased opportunities for online and personalized learning.