July 27, 2020
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:
- Monday, August 3- CCHS Parents, 1 pm
- Monday, August 3- CCHS Student, 2 pm
- Tuesday, August 4- Elementary Parents, 2 pm
- 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.
July 26, 2020
I hope this finds you enjoying the summer weather! I have a number of reminders and updates.
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.
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.
July 21, 2020
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.
Topic: Task Force
Time: Jul 22, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 944 6101 9393
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July 14, 2020
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!
June 14, 2020
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.
July 2, 2020
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!
June 30, 2020
It is with distress that I share an incident that was brought to our attention last night where a CCHS student posted racist and homophobic comments on social media. As we stated previously and will continue to state, this is unacceptable. The family and police were notified immediately. The CCHS administration will investigate and determine the appropriate outcomes for behavior that has no place in the school community.
The response of the faculty, staff, and students since May is important to share. I see a shift in our willingness to name issues as racist and a beginning to provide safe spaces to hear the pain that results. We see students speak out against such acts, address them directly, and report them as happened last night. These are first steps. Make no question that we are as strongly committed to ensuring that those of any sexual orientation and gender identity are also included in our schools and are furthering our work in this area as well. For example, we partnered with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Safe Schools program and strongly support the CCHS Spectrum Club and Concord Middle School LGBTQ+ and Allies groups.
In addition, the CCHS Intersections Club radio broadcast will be played again tonight at 6 pm on WIQH 88.3. This open dialogue from a diverse group of CCHS students is powerful. I would encourage you to listen and to invite older children to listen with you. The Intersections Club also organized a peaceful protest in Concord center earlier in June.
As a result of a meeting with METCO families, several goals are in place for CCHS next year. The goals include a school-wide conversation on racism with a diverse panel of speakers and students of color, roundtable conversations for students, teachers and parents, expansion of truly integrated activities beyond athletics, creation of a Black Student Union at CCHS, and an initiative to create a safe space for brave conversations.
We also added a summer professional development opportunity for staff. The sessions are entitled “How to Have Difficult Conversations about Race with Students.” The courses are available to all staff at no cost. The District Cultural Competency Committee also reconvened last week and will meet throughout the summer. Sixty-six staff members attended last week’s meeting.
I remind you that the recordings of the webinars from earlier in June about how to talk to children about race are posted on the district webpage: https://www.concordps.org/superintendent/cultural-competency-anti-racism/. Additional print and web based resources are also available on this page.
Finally, we will directly educate students on anti-racism. A Kindergarten teacher shared a lesson with me before summer started where our youngest students learned the word, its meaning, and how to treat others equally.
We are grateful for the community discussion of these issues and the clear commitment to change so that all students feel welcome and respected.
June 28, 2020
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!