August 27, 2020
It was such a pleasure to welcome the faculty back to a new school year today!
As we continue to prepare for the return of students, a busy week is ahead that includes multiple virtual parent opportunities. A complete list of dates and events is found at the bottom of this email.
We are thrilled to partner with Open Table as we suspend food provisions for now at CCHS to prepare for the school reopening. Open Table is available on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and anyone is welcome to collect the same grocery items in their Maynard Fresh Air Pantry. Details are available here.
Finally, everyone will be required to complete a daily electronic screener indicating their lack of COVID symptoms prior to coming to school. We are building the process in Aspen. In preparation for this process, please locate your Aspen login and password.
If you do not remember your Aspen account credentials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. If you do not remember your password and have set up password auto-recovery, you can reset your password automatically by clicking I forgot my password at the bottom of the Aspen the login screen. To set up password recovery once logged into Aspen, navigate to Set Preferences > Security. Select a security question, enter your security answer and save. You will now be able to use the auto-recovery feature if you forget your password in the future.
Have a great weekend.
Sunday, August 30 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Event: CCHS Intersections Club X Massachusetts Event
Who: High school activist from 10 schools in MA (South Hadley, Newton North, Newton South, Boston Latin Academy, Boston Latin School, Bromfield, Arlington, Westford, Brookline, and Concord-Carlisle).
What: Share the issues that are occurring in their school community, their response to the current social issues and movements, and the clubs/initiatives they are leading.
When: Sunday, August 30th from 7:00-9:00pm.
– The first section of the conference attendees will hear from our student presenters.
– Following our last high school presenters, we will hold a discussion with audience members to address all the ideas that they found interesting in the conference and further serve as an opportunity for them to share their own experiences.
Everyone interested in attending should RSVP by THIS Saturday using our website:
Monday, August 31 6:30 p.m.
How to Support Children in a Hybrid/Remote Learning Environment PreK-5
Tuesday, September 1 7 p.m.
Emerson Hospital Hosts Virtually:
Connected Youth: Loneliness in Children and Adolescents
Wednesday, September 2 7 p.m.
How to Support Children in a Hybrid/Remote Learning Environment Grades 6-12
August 22, 2020
I wanted to share updates and information about reopening the schools.
CMS and CCHS Alphabetical Hybrid Split
Planning for the 2020-2021 school year had many challenges. Among the greatest was the method to arrive at the split of the middle and high school students in order to achieve the hybrid model. Splitting the grade levels alphabetically ensured that class size was reduced by 50% approximately allowing for the needed 6 feet of physical distancing in the classrooms. It also ensured transportation and a multitude of other factors were possible. We did not come to this decision quickly or lightly. We fully recognize that, for some students, this creates a social issue if their friends are in the other half of the alphabet. After concerns were shared with us earlier this summer, we revisited the decision and looked again to see if another approach would work, especially in dividing the school by grade level instead. Since that approach does not address class size directly, we found insurmountable challenges. We consulted all of the districts around us and found all of them using the same alphabetical approach. As a result of our efforts and research, the alphabetical assignments are final and no exceptions will be considered as we open school. It is important to remember that, as difficult as this is, it is the only means to open the schools. Please let us know if your child needs individual support.
The HVAC consultant completed his review and report. All of the elementary schools and CCHS met the criteria without needing remediation. Both middle school buildings and Ripley will have air purifiers throughout the buildings. The entire report is found on the district website under HVAC Report.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education aligned their illness protocols. As a result, the district revised its protocols as well. Our protocols result from extensive conversations with the local health officials and review of not only the DPH and DESE documents but also the CDC and WHO. The revised protocol document is found on the district website under COVID District Response Protocols.
COVID Data Metrics
Concord’s Health Director, Susan Rask and Public Health Nurse, Tricia McGean hosted a webinar to review the current state and local virus data. The session was recorded and can be found here: Health Data Recording. The slides are posted on the district webpage under COVID Metric Report. A weekly data dashboard will be published every Friday as we open school.
We are excited for teachers to return for the school year on Thursday, August 27.
For students, the school year begins on September 8.
Tuesday, September 8 Remote learning day for all students
Wednesday, September 9 Remote learning day for CMS and CCHS
In-person morning for all elementary students
Thursday, September 10 In-person morning and remote afternoon all elementary students
In-person: CMS and CCHS Group 1 A-K
Remote: CMS and CCHS Group 2 L-Z
Friday, September 11 In-person morning and remote afternoon all elementary students
In-person: CMS and CCHS Group 2 A-K
Remote: CMS and CCHS Group 1 L-Z
Daily Symptom Screener
PreK-8 parents will complete a daily symptom screener in Aspen due one hour before school begins. CCHS students will complete the same symptom screener. An overview will be forthcoming before September 8.
Elementary 1:1 Technology
This year, we will provide individual technology devices for all students in K-5 (as well as grades 6-12 as usual). The devices are on order and may not be immediately available as school opens. As soon as possible, we will distribute the technology in order to minimize the demand for computers in your home and ensure remote learning is easily accessible.
We will continue to provide ongoing information over the coming weeks. It is a labor of love as we busily prepare the schools for students again. Please let us know if you have any questions.
August 19, 2020
As noted previously, we are offering an option for families who prefer to have their children learn remotely this fall. The deadline to notify us was August 12. We have continued to accept requests this week. Please notify us by Friday, August 21 as it is difficult to plan if the numbers keep changing. Information about remote learning and whom to contact is found in the Remote Learning Plan document.
August 18, 2020
Tonight, the Joint School Committees unanimously voted to reopen the schools for in-person learning as proposed in the Roadmap to Reopening.
The elementary schools will host all students in the morning. The middle and high schools will operate on a hybrid schedule. We will share many more details including COVID Handbooks developed at each school.
We will approach this opening with confidence in our planning, ongoing review of its effectiveness and a conservative approach to ensure safety is the top priority.
August 8, 2020
As you know, current safety measures limit the capacity of school buses to one child per seat (siblings excepted). Given this limitation, we are gathering information as to families who can assist with transportation.
If you are able to transport your child, please complete this form to formally release the seat from September through the December break. This form releases the seat in both the morning and afternoon. We may put out a second request splitting those in the future.
The hybrid models at Concord Middle School and Concord-Carlisle High School have already improved the transportation situation. We are more challenged at the elementary schools as a result of the schedule where all students attend daily.
Transportation Waiver: September-December 2020
We are very appreciative of the collaboration during these difficult times.
August 5, 2020
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.
August 5, 2020
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.