Supply Chain shortage concerning GPS Food and Nutrition Department

The Georgetown Public Schools Food and Nutrition Department is asking for your patience and support as we navigate new challenges. As you may be aware, we are currently faced with unprecedented shortages of food and packaging materials, massive delays or cancellations of deliveries, and department labor shortages. Nationwide shortages and delays have affected availability of certain food items, leading to substitutions of menu items we’ve been able to offer regularly in the past. These supply issues are occurring throughout the country and are especially challenging for school systems, due to the quantity of meals we serve and the nutrition standards we follow.

All of this means that we may need to make quick substitutions to our menus based upon what we are able to acquire and have in house. We know that this affects students, and we are doing our best to provide updates about menu changes when possible as soon as we identify an issue.

Please know that our number one priority continues to be providing healthy, nutritious, and appetizing meals for your children. We love seeing them every day and appreciate your support and patience as we continue to offer meals at no charge for all students. The good news is that free breakfast and lunch will continue throughout the school year, so please stick with us while we face yet another challenge. Your participation helps our program stay strong, and we look forward to serving you!

Warmly,
Sean Riley
Food Service Director
Georgetown Public Schools
51 North Street
Georgetown Ma 01933
978-352-5777 X105

Tiered Focused Monitoring Set For The Week Of December 13th

Georgetown Public Schools To Participate In Tiered Focused Monitoring Review

During the week of December 13, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM) will conduct a Tiered Focused Monitoring Review of Georgetown Public Schools. The Office of Public School Monitoring visits each district and charter school every three years to monitor compliance with federal and state special education and civil rights regulations. Areas of review related to special education include student assessments, determination of eligibility, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process, and IEP development and implementation. Areas of review related to civil rights include bullying, student discipline, physical restraint, and equal access to school programs for all students.

In addition to the onsite visit, parent outreach is an important part of the review process. The review chairperson from the Office of Public School Monitoring, Andrew MacKenzie, will send all parents of students with disabilities an online survey that focuses on key areas of their child’s special education program. Survey results will contribute to the development of a report. During the onsite review, the Office of Public School Monitoring will interview the chairperson(s) of the district’s Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Other onsite activities may include interviews of district staff and administrators, reviews of student records, and onsite observations.

Parents and other individuals may call Andrew MacKenzie, Public School Monitoring Chairperson, at (781) 338-3761 to request a telephone interview. If an individual requires an accommodation, such as translation, to participate in an interview, the Department will make the necessary arrangements.

Within approximately 60 business days after the onsite visit, the review chairperson will provide Georgetown Public Schools with a report containing information about areas in which the Georgetown meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and areas in which Georgetown requires assistance to correct or improve practices. The public will be able to access the report at http://www.doe.mass.edu/psm/tfm/reports/.

Statement from Superintendent Jacobs concerning the September 17th football game.

I am pleased to announce that the Georgetown Public Schools  have agreed with the Roxbury Prep School to retain an independent investigator to look into the unfortunate events during the football game between our two teams on September 17th. We are committed to obtaining all the facts and will work together to do so. We will have a further announcement once an investigator is retained.

Extension of DESE Mask Requirement.

At the special meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) on August 24, 2021, the Board voted to declare “exigent circumstances” pursuant to the Student Learning Time (SLT) regulations, 603 CMR 27.08 (1), and authorized the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to require masks for public school students (age 5 and above) and staff in all grades through at least October 1, 2021. The mask requirement is an important additional measure to keep students safe in school at this time.1

Consistent with the authority provided by the Board, and after consulting with medical experts and state health officials, the Commissioner is extending the mask requirement through at least November 1, 2021. The following requirements remain in effect:2

• Public school students (age 5 and above) and staff in all grades are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except as noted below. Masks are not required when outdoors. All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings.

• The mask requirement will be in place until at least November 1, 2021. The Commissioner will revisit the requirement in the near future to revise it as warranted by public health data.

• Masks should cover an individual’s nose and mouth. For more information about appropriate mask use, please see: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/cloth-face- covering.pdf.

• It is strongly recommended that students younger than age 5 also wear a mask in school.

• Students and staff who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, and students who cannot wear a mask for behavioral reasons, are exempted from the requirement. Face shields may be an option for students with medical or behavioral needs who are unable to wear masks or face coverings. Transparent masks may be the best option for both teachers and students in classes for deaf and hard of hearing students.

• The mask requirement applies when students and staff are indoors at school, except when eating, drinking, or during mask breaks.

• Mask breaks may occur throughout the day. If feasible, breaks should occur when the windows are open or students are outdoors. As a reminder, meals and outdoor recess provide built-in mask breaks for students and staff.

• Masks may also be removed indoors when necessary to participate in elective classes, such as the use of wind instruments in band. When traditional masks cannot be worn, districts should consider additional mitigations, such as the use of instrument masks (masks with a slit or hole cut for the mouthpiece) or bell covers, along with physical distancing or outdoor classes as feasible.

1 The mask requirement is an exercise of the Board’s responsibility to ensure students attend classes in a safe environment. G.L. c. 69, § 1B. It is also an exercise of the Board’s authority to set policies relative to children’s education, including ensuring that students receive the required amount of structured learning time through in- person instruction. G.L. c. 69, §§ 1, 1B, 1G; G.L. c. 71, §§ 1 & 4A; 603 CMR 27.08

2 This requirement applies to all public schools, including charter schools, vocational technical schools, and educational collaboratives. It also applies to approved private special education schools.

• Masks are required for any sports-related activity for student-athletes and coaches when indoors, in alignment with guidance provided by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).

• Masks should be provided by the student/family, but disposable masks should be made available by the school for students who need them.

• By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear a mask on school buses.

• Whether and when a student should be disciplined for failure to wear a mask is a local decision, guided by the district’s student discipline policy and the particular facts. Districts should consult with their legal counsel to address these matters. Districts should provide written notice to students and families about expectations and potential consequences, and are encouraged to use a progressive discipline approach. The mask requirement includes an exemption for students who cannot wear a mask due to medical conditions or behavioral needs. Further, some students with disabilities may need additional supports to wear masks and may need to be accommodated. Districts are encouraged to consider and implement alternatives before resorting to disciplinary exclusion. Keeping students connected with school is especially important this fall, as students return to school after a challenging school year.

As of October 15, 2021, if a school demonstrates a vaccination rate of 80 percent or more of all students and staff in the school through an attestation form submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), then vaccinated individuals in that school would no longer be subject to the mask requirement. (see below) In alignment with statewide guidance, unvaccinated students and staff would be required to continue wearing masks. Additional information about the Vaccination Rate Threshold is available here. DESE will continue to work with medical experts and state health officials to review and consider additional metrics to determine when individuals in schools would no longer be subject to the mask requirement.

**** In the event that a school has already collected proof of vaccination and meet the 80 percent threshold, it may submit its attestation form before October 15 for consideration by the Department.

Statement from Carol Jacobs, Superintendent. Georgetown Public Schools

Statement from Carol Jacobs, Superintendent, Georgetown Public Schools

In light of these serious claims raised by the Roxbury Prep football coaching staff after last Friday night’s football game we have engaged a lawyer experienced in these matters to conduct an investigation, which is ongoing.  I have informed Roxbury Prep that we are taking these allegations very seriously and that an investigation is underway to determine the facts.  We will not comment on the investigation until it is concluded.

The most fundamental mission and duty of our schools is to ensure a safe environment for our students, faculty, staff, families, and visitors. Tonight we welcome a football team from Lynn. We expect an organized and spirited football game this evening.  In order to support those goals we are limiting attendance to parents, keeping benches clear of spectators, and increasing police presence. We are expecting a high level of cooperation from everyone in attendance.

Statement concerning an incident at the September 18th football game.

On Friday night September 18, 2021, there was a physical altercation during the football game between Georgetown and Roxbury Prep Charter High School that involved players from both teams and several coaches.  The cause of this altercation is under investigation. The Georgetown Police assisted in dispersing the crowds when the end of the game was canceled. Allegations of the use of racially charged language are also being investigated. I want to clearly state that the Georgetown Public Schools will not tolerate racism in any form and is working with the Georgetown Police Department to investigate this allegation. The district has reached out to the administration at Roxbury Prep Charter High School in an attempt to gather facts and resolve the issues.  There are clearly strong emotions and many different versions of what happened at this game that is swirling around on social media. I ask for calm and patience as we investigate this situation and arrive at a resolution that considers all of the facts and is satisfactory to all parties involved.