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Superintendent's Message

Concord Middle School

School Calendar 2020-2021

August 5, 2020

Dear Families:
The Calendar Committee and Joint School Committees met to discuss the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education’s communication reducing the required number of school days from 180 to 170 for the 2020-2021 school year.  Given the unpredictability of the year, the Committee elected to focus on September and October expecting that we will need to continually revisit the calendar during the year.  The schedule below assumes a hybrid model which will be dependent on the health data as the summer progresses.

August 27 – September 3 Professional Days for Staff

Tuesday, September 8:  Teachers In-Person/Virtual Student Day K-12

Wednesday, September 9:  K-5  In-Person/ Grades 6-12 Virtual

Thursday, September 10:  K-12 All In-Person

Tuesday, October 13:  Professional Day/No School for Students

All school vacations are expected to stay the same.

The last day of school will be no later than June 16.   In good news, snow days will now be remote learning days.  

Wednesdays will be an early release (half-day) at the middle and high school where students will work remotely in the afternoon.  

Elementary schools are now following a half-day schedule five days per week. 

Our hope is to provide you information as we have it and continue to offer updates should things change.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Best,
Laurie

 

Individual Remote Learning Plans

August 5, 2020

Dear Families:

I am providing information for families who are planning to opt for a remote learning plan for their child(ren).

Individual Remote Learning Plan

Further details are found within the document as well as whom to contact if you have additional questions.

For planning purposes, we ask that you complete the enclosed form by August 12, 2020.

Best,

Laurie

 

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

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