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Superintendent's Message

Concord-Carlisle High School

A Roadmap to Reopening

July 27, 2020

Dear Families:

Tonight, I shared with the Joint School Committees our plan to reopen the schools in this document entitled,  A Roadmap to Reopening.  We do plan to open in-person with modified schedules that are outlined in the report.  This is the first of additional documents to come.  Parent information sessions are scheduled next week as follow up to tonight’s discussion:

CCHS: 

  • Monday, August 3- CCHS Parents, 1 pm
  • Monday, August 3- CCHS Student, 2 pm

Elementary: 

  • Tuesday, August 4- Elementary Parents, 2 pm

CMS:

  • Wednesday, August 5 –  CMS Parents, 7 pm
  • Thursday, August 6 – CMS Students, 7 pm

 

We apologize that the School Committee meeting hit capacity and not everyone was able to attend. The meeting was recorded and will be available via concordma.gov.  The slides from my presentation will be available attached to tonight’s agenda at concordps.org.

 

We are grateful for the extraordinary levels of engagement throughout the planning process and look forward to working together during this next phases.

Best,

Laurie

 

Reminders and Updates

July 26, 2020


Dear Families:

I hope this finds you enjoying the summer weather!  I have a number of reminders and updates. 

Reopening Plan

Tomorrow at 5 pm, the plan to reopen school will be discussed at the Joint School Committee meeting.  The agenda is found here as well as the zoom information:   https://www.concordps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/CCSC-Joint-Agenda-7.27.20-1.pdf. The draft of the plan will also be available tomorrow and shared directly with you by email.  

School Calendar 2020-2021

The Joint School Committees will also hear possible recommendations to revise the school calendar with a suggestion to open school later than originally planned to allow for more time with staff prior to the return of students.  This is the first discussion with more to follow.  I thought it important to let you know of the likely later start date.  

Massachusetts Travel Order

As I’m sure you heard, Governor Baker issued a travel order on Friday found here:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order.  Any travel prior to the start of school will pertain to these restrictions and have impact on school entrance so we are mentioning it as a reminder in regard to your late summer plans.

Social Distancing and Masks

Reopening school takes a community effort at maintaining the positive direction of the virus levels.  Social distancing and masks are a critical part of that effort.  Recently, we are seeing a trend in young people being diagnosed.  Please remind your students that they also play an important role in helping us all get back into the school buildings.  

Anti-Racist Work

Through a letter-writing effort, a group of METCO alumni has been in touch with us about their demands for improved anti-racist efforts across the schools.  The districts are deeply committed to this work and are holding ongoing activities and developing action steps.  We look forward to a productive discussion with the METCO alumni as to their experiences and desire for change.  

Finally, I offer gratitude for all of the involvement and engagement in the work that has been occurring throughout the summer.  As a result, tomorrow we will share a plan that was built inclusively and collaboratively with stakeholders from all perspectives.  There are no perfect answers.  Together, we will work through the challenges, make individual accommodations, and serve the children of the community.  

Best,

Laurie

Task Force Meeting Wed 9 am and Reopening Plan Timeline

July 21, 2020

Dear Families:

I hope this finds you healthy and enjoying the summer days of July.  We have been very busy developing safety plans and protocols as well as crafting the various models for how we approach the return to school this fall.

I wanted to offer you the timeline and settings for public discussion as we provide updates, discuss the draft plan for reopening, and make recommendations and decisions.  All of the meetings will be recorded.  Reports of the Task Force and Working Groups will also be available via the website.

District Task Force (Zoom login is found below)

Wednesday, July 22 9 am-  Updates

This meeting is open for observers to listen to the committee’s discussion.

 

Joint School Committee Meetings

agenda and login posted to https://www.concordps.org/school-committee/school-committee-meetings/ 

Monday, July 27 5 pm-  Discussion of Draft Reopening Report

Monday, August 3 5 pm- Recommendation for Opening of Schools

Thank you for just over 2500 responses to last week’s survey and for your ongoing engagement and feedback.  Simply put, there are no easy answers and certainly not one plan that will meet everyone’s needs.  Our approach will be to share the big picture plan and then support the individual needs of everyone involved.

Best,

Laurie

Topic: Task Force
Time: Jul 22, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://concordps.zoom.us/j/94461019393?pwd=bHpxMVArWHlNQ0M1WFF6bExSb0VZZz09

Meeting ID: 944 6101 9393
Passcode: 104521
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Meeting ID: 944 6101 9393
Find your local number: https://concordps.zoom.us/u/azxHK4vgM

 

Survey Follow-Up

July 14, 2020

Dear Families:

I wanted to follow-up with clarification about the survey and to ensure that everyone received the link.  Gmail has been dropping emails in cyberspace recently when they come from mass distributions like this so I hope this helps to be certain that everyone receives it.

The survey is found here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BTCZ6VM

I will clarify the dates in this morning’s email.  Apparently, I have completely lost track of what month it is!  This survey deadline is July 20, 2020.

Finally, I had feedback today about the purpose of the transportation question.  The question is to get a sense of who is able to transport their child and not to make final decisions.  If we get to a place where the survey results are the determining factor in selecting a plan, we will be very clear about that.

Thank you to everyone who already responded!

Best,

Laurie

 

Reopening Survey

June 14, 2020

Dear Families:

This week, we continue the planning process by gathering additional input.  An important piece of data for us is your intention to participate in in-person instruction, transportation, and food service.  Please complete the survey enclosed by Monday, June 20.  Please complete the survey for each child in your family.

The survey is found here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BTCZ6VM

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released additional guidance last week.  Links to the documents are found below.

​DESE Document Dates​

FAQ DESE Reopening

Special Education Guidance DESE

The District Task Force met last week.  The recording is posted here if you wish to review it:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vTZaX-7axgJCuavf-D5YM946cu6e9qjjXhRcg7QGRwQ/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you so much for your active engagement in the process.

Best,

Laurie

 

Upcoming Reopening Schools Parent Forums

July 2, 2020

Dear Families:

Happy July!  I wanted to provide updates about our planning process for the fall.  As you know, the District COVID-19 Task Force met three times so far.  All of the work of the Task Force is regularly updated on the Task Force webpage.  In addition, the four Working Groups and Building-Based Task Forces meet regularly.  The work in June has been conceptual as we outline a vision and analyze strengths and needs.  July will move the focus to detailed, concrete plans for three options:  in-person, hybrid, and remote teaching and learning.   These options align with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s initial guidance, which was released on June 24, 2020.  DESE has been clear that the goal is to return all students to school if possible.  We believe in that goal.  We do need to work through the logistics to ensure we have safe environments for students and adults and can comply with all of the required safety protocols.  The local infection rates over the next two months will also determine the preferred option.

In addition to the committee work, we conducted one round of surveys and are now looking for direct input from families.  On Thursday, July 9, we will hold parent forums at 2 and 7 p.m.  A reminder and Zoom information will go out next week.  Additional forums will soon be scheduled for students and teachers as well.

Regarding the overall timeline, we expect to meet our initial deadline for a full report of the Task Forces and development of the three reopening plans by July 31.  The goal is that, by having these plans outlined, it will allow the month of August to focus on the implementation and execution of the plan that best fits the late summer health data.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend!
Best,

Laurie

 

Conversation about Race and Other Updates

June 28, 2020

Dear Families:

I wanted to share an important broadcast on WIQH 88.3, the CCHS radio station, happening this week.  The CCHS Intersections Club is a diverse group of CCHS students from Boston (via the METCO program), and the towns of Concord and Carlisle. Intersections club members highlight diversity and foster inclusion in our school community, and support one another in exploring, understanding and embracing how their social identities, (i.e. gender, sexuality, race, economic status/class, age, linguistic) intersect, and overlap with their classmates, faculty, and staff.  They recorded a discussion focused on:

  • The importance of diversity at CCHS
  • Racism in our community
  • Issues of systemic racism and racial injustice in the world

The show will air on:

  • Sunday at 6 pm
  • Tuesday at noon and 6 pm
  • Thursday at noon and 6 pm

Hearing student voices is critical so we hope you will join them.

In other updates:

The District COVID-19 Task Force met last week prior to the release of the DESE guidance.  The recording is posted here:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vTZaX-7axgJCuavf-D5YM946cu6e9qjjXhRcg7QGRwQ/edit?usp=sharing

The Joint School Committees will meet on Tuesday at 5 pm.  The agenda is posted here:  https://www.concordps.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CCSC-Joint-Agenda-6.30.20-V2.pdf

The Concord Free Public Library continues to offer virtual programs and now also curbside pick-up for some activities and books.  Please keep checking their webpage for updates:  https://concordlibrary.org/kids

Any CCHSS students needing work permits can obtain them remotely by following the directions on this webpage:  https://www.concordcarlisle.org/workpermits

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Best,

Laurie

Initial DESE Reopening Guidance

June 25, 2020

Dear Families:

As you have likely heard, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released initial guidance for reopening schools today.  The document is attached to this email.

Over the coming days, I will send a summary of the document.  We will also be continuing our process via the District Task Force.  Additional opportunities for community participation will also be offered via forums and focus groups.

This document will allow us to start planning options in a concrete, specific way.  While that is a significant task, we look forward to collaboratively moving forward.

Best,

Laurie
File attachments:
DESE guidance6.25.20.docx

Updates and Events

June 22, 2020

Dear Families:

I hope you enjoyed the first weekend of the summer break!  This email is a bit of a catch-all with a few highlights from the end of the school year and reminders of various sorts.

The parent survey remains open through Wednesday.  It asks for identifying information to help inform us about bus ridership but you can simply put “Anonymous” in order to avoid that if that makes you uncomfortable.  The survey is located at: https://forms.gle/6rBimokBMtd3d2PB8

The District COVID-19 Task Force meets on Wednesday at 9 am.  The Zoom information is found at the bottom of this email if you plan to attend.

Musical selections for you to enjoy!  The CMS Virtual Honors Choir is featured here:  https://youtu.be/AV594yeZ41Y. The CMS Band is featured here:  https://youtu.be/hn-aUK9Sgzw

Friday’s Virtual Coffee was recorded and is posted here:  https://concordps.zoom.us/rec/share/950lM5at82dLep3z7mLxaoEjQ5_CT6a82yUYq6FcxEbd477ptL75Ehi339IAhTiI

Florence Roussel’s AP students have spent a great deal of time interviewing CCHS alumni who have lived or traveled extensively in francophone countries after graduation.  Enjoy these!  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f6MM-cMjN1K-Z9Yg3kh3aU-ZY0_JJPRU/view?usp=sharing

Below again is the list of options for summer learning opportunities:

  1. ) Keep the Learning Going: Electronic Resources for Academic Practice
    Summer Resource Letter
  2. ) Summer Reading & Learning: Partnership with Concord Free Public Library
    Summer Learning Program for Kids& Teens.

Titles from the public library list can be accessed using Hoopla and a public library account. If you do not have a public library account, you can register remotely here. All students who participate by reading 6 books/learning experiences will receive two homework passes that can be used during the 2020-2021 school year. To participate, students may reside in any Massachusetts

3. ) Virtual Learning Resources
PreK – 5 Virtual Learning Resources 
6- 8 Virtual Learning Resources
9 – 12 Virtual Learning Resources 

The  Concord Free Public Library invites middle schoolers to read aloud together in a fun, supportive environment. The program will take place every Friday at 11 am – 12 pm, starting June 26. The group will focus on the Concord Middle School’s Big 6 Recommended Reading List.

The first book that the group will read together is Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez. This brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)? A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.

Students can instantly download this title on hoopla with a Minuteman Library Card.

Register each week in advance to receive the Zoom link: https://concordlibrary.org/news-events/events-calendar

For more information about the Summer Learning Program, including where and how kids can sign up to participate, visit:

https://concordlibrary.org/kids/summer-learning-2020

https://concordlibrary.org/teens/summer-reading-program-for-teens

We will continue to provide updates and information as we have them.

Best,

Laurie

 

With Gratitude

June 18, 2020

Dear Families:

As today marks the close of the 2019-2020 school year, I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone in the role they played to transform a school system overnight.  We will long reflect on the successes and challenges.  Tonight, I focus on the successes because they warrant celebration.

The partnership between families and schools has never been more intimate.   The efforts to keep children connected with valued adults and their peers happened because of creative and sometimes extraordinary approaches.  The moments we treasure as traditions still remained through the dedication and efforts of many to reinvent them.  We realized that our work in the emotional wellbeing of students and racial acceptance of all created a strong foundation for opening dialogue as to the conversations that I believe will result in true change.  This community led outreach to those who treat the ill and offered gestures to recognize essential workers.  We provided food to those in need solely as a result of volunteers and the financial generosity of others.  And ..perhaps we realized what was most important in those crazy, hectic, overscheduled lives we all used to lead.

There are many challenges yet to come.  I will continue to provide regular updates both about events in the community and the planning for school in the fall.

In the meantime, let’s all take a few minutes to be grateful for one another and all that we have instead of what we lost.  I expect we will be richer for it in the long run.  Thank you all so much.

Best,

Laurie

 

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