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March 23, 2020 // Superintendent's Update

Dear SPS Families,

I want to take a moment to acknowledge the efforts of the community and the SPS staff to respond to the shifting landscape as the COVID-19 crisis evolves.  As a district, we have been staying current with guidance from state agencies including the Department of Health, DESE, and the Office of the Governor. There is a lot of information coming out every day and we are staying abreast of ever-changing conditions.

The purpose of this communication is to provide several timely updates.

Stay-at-Home Advisory

Governor Charlie Baker has issued a stay-at-home advisory and suspended non-essential business operations beginning Tuesday, March 24th at noon through Tuesday, April 7th at noon.  Non-essential SPS staff are working remotely and our buildings and playgrounds are closed to the public. Regrettably, we have been notified by the Special Olympics Committee that the Unified Games scheduled for May 1st has been canceled.  Also, canceled is the Quebec World Language trip. Students registered for the Quebec trip will be notified directly regarding the next steps.

Technology

When social distancing, technology is understandably the tool of choice.  Last week, SPS pushed out resources to families through sudburystudents.org and Schoology.  Educators and administrators also reached out using a variety of platforms. SPS staff will continue to share resources and connect remotely with students and families.  In order to help us do so, we are making a number of loaner devices available for families who have no other access to a device. The next distribution date is Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m.-12 noon.  Families requiring a device are asked to complete the linked request form by the end of the “school” day on Tuesday. 

The district has issued specific guidelines for educators wishing to use video conferencing tools such as GoogleMeet or Zoom.  Students whose parent/guardian has not given publication permission via the Back-to-School Packet form for photos or records will not be invited to participate in real-time video conferencing.  Should you wish to change the status of your publication permission, please contact your building’s administrative staff. Educators will, however, make content available asynchronously. This access might take the form of a blog post, summary email, flipped video message from the educator, or other types of one-way communication.   We recognize that real-time video conferencing in an educational setting is new for SPS students and share the following guidelines to help keep conferences safe and supportive.   Whether your student’s educator utilizes video conferencing or not, be assured that all are committed to maintaining strong connections with students and families.

Nutrition

Whitson’s School Nutrition is offering essential services for students to have access to breakfast and lunch during school closure.  Please indicate choices by 7 a.m. on Mondays. Pick up Monday-Wednesday breakfast meals on Mondays. Pick up Wednesday lunch-Friday lunch meals on Wednesdays.  The pick-up window is from 11 a.m-12 noon on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Curtis Middle School loading dock behind the building. Please fill out one form per child.  Regular meal pricing applies.  

We anticipate that there will be new information to share with families in the coming days as state and federal agencies respond to the COVID-crisis and as we learn more about how best to interface with students and families.  We are all transforming our daily lives to respond to this challenge. Together we will learn, adapt, and support each other through these days.

Sincerely,

Brad Crozier

Superintendent