I wanted to update the community on the work of the Superintendent’s Taskforce for Reopening Schools and new DESE guidance documents.
On Friday, July 10th, the School Committee received a presentation from the Taskforce updating the School Committee on the progress of the working groups, as well as to answer questions posed by the School Committee members. The clear consensus from the School Committee, in the name of protecting the health and safety of students, staff members, and their families, is that the district should focus on practicing the CDC recommendation for social distancing, which is 6 feet. As the Taskforce continues to plan for the fall, it will focus on reopening in a hybrid model wherein students will be both physically attending school and learning remotely on a basis that is still being determined. The Taskforce will also continue to develop a plan for all students being in a distance learning model. It is our goal to have robust learning opportunities for students, such that they will meet grade-level goals in June of 2021.
Late last week DESE released three documents to districts: “Comprehensive Special Education Guidance,” “Frequently Asked Questions,” and “Additional Guidance on Fall Reopening Plans.” The Special Education Guidance and the Frequently Asked Questions documents contain helpful information and are valuable resources as we work together to create a safe and successful fall reopening.
We will continue to update the School Committee and Community with the plans for reopening in the fall. While there are still a lot of unknowns--the specifics of the hybrid, how long we will be in hybrid, the course of the pandemic, and the guidance on transportation--know that we are working hard to address how students and staff can safely return to in-person learning. Thank you for your continued support throughout this process.