COVID UPDATE – June 17, 2021

COVID 19 FINAL COVID Update June 17, 2021

Greetings Georgetown Friends! This is the FINAL COVID update for the 2020-2021 school year and hopefully ever! WE MADE IT! This crazy and unprecedented school year is in the books and I cannot thank you enough for everything you did to make this a year run as smoothly as possible. On the positive side, we learned a lot about what is important and just how strong we can be as a community when we have to be. I am in awe of what we all did this year! Despite some obvious challenges, we were able to continue educating our students through a global pandemic and be “in person” learning (in some version) for almost the entire school year. This is a significant accomplishment of which we can all be very proud.

The maintenance and a custodial team, under the direction of Director of Buildings and Grounds Mike Anderson did an outstanding job of keeping our schools clean, safe and sanitized. They went above and beyond the call of duty at every turn and they were a large part of why we did not have COVID spread in our schools! THANK YOU!

Our administrators were committed 110% to doing whatever was necessary for our staff and students to be able to provide the best education possible given some very trying conditions. They led by example, with compassion and understanding and always kept the faith that we were going to get through this together. Talk about leading under pressure but they were tenacious and never lost sight of what is most important, the academic and social emotional needs of everyone! THANK YOU!

Our teachers, professional and support staff at every school really rose to the occasion especially given the fact that they had to do many things they had never done before in ways that were new to them. They accomplished amazing things with and for their students given the changing guidelines, the escalating panic over the pandemic and the challenges posed by remote and hybrid learning. They came to work every day, whether remote or in person, ready to teach their students and help families navigate this unprecedented new landscape. I cannot be more proud of each and every one of our staff members and I am grateful to have the chance to work with every them! THANK YOU!

I am also grateful to all of the families who stuck with us. While we may not have always agreed, we stuck together! I want to say that we recognize and appreciate the challenges our families had to face that went beyond just supporting our students through remote and hybrid learning for the last 16 months. Our hats are off to you for the way you navigated COVID in your personal and professional lives while supporting our schools and we owe you a big debt of gratitude. THANK YOU!

Most signs indicate that COVID 19 is behind us and I am happy that were are able to end the school year with a greater sense of normalcy. In the fall, we can look forward to our schools operating like pre COVID times and I know we will all be happy to see that! I hope you have a fantastic summer as we really deserve it after the year we have had. Enjoy!

1. Celebrating Success
Wasn’t it nice to be able to enjoy the end of the year celebrations, many of which we were able to do in person? I applaud the schools for figuring out ways to share students’ accomplishments and growth with families, virtually and/or in person, and appreciate all of the people who took the time to enjoy and appreciate the hard work of our students. Graduation for the Class of 2021 was really spectacular and a fitting tribute to a class who was impacted by the pandemic in a significant way. While it was hot outside, the ceremony was special and the parade that followed will be remembered by everyone for years to come! Sincere congratulations to the seniors on a job well done and best wishes to all of them as they move on to the next chapter! The best is yet to come for them!

The moving on ceremonies for the 6th and 8th grades was also held outside on the school grounds in front of friends and families who were there to wish them well. The weather cooperated for us and everyone was so happy to be there to celebrate this important occasion! I would like to thank everyone who made these milestones so special and memorable for these students.

The Celebration of Growth presentations at Penn Brook and the awards ceremonies at the MHS all showcased student learning and you could see the pride in the students’ faces as they saw their hard work appreciated. Also congratulations to all of the students at Penn Brook who participated on the annual Spelling Bee and to the winners. Believe it or not, the 4th graders went over 70 rounds before a winner was crowned. It was really something to see!

I also want to share with you some special end of the year virtual examples of the talents of our Music and Art teachers and their amazingly talented students. I am so proud to share the following links with you. Enjoy!


GMS Chorus and Chorale: A Million Dreams

Irish Blessings:


MHS Spring Art Show:


2. Bus Registration Process
Transportation Coordinator Barry Belanger would like to remind people who qualify for bus transportation to complete their registrations as soon as possible. This information will be used to create bus routes and to fill the seats on the buses for the fall. Buses will run at full capacity but we cannot exceed the legal limit so in order to avoid being on a waiting list, we must have your completed form as soon as possible. Mr. Belanger works limited hours in the summer, so please make this a priority. If you have questions he can be reached at

3. Student Vaccines
There is currently no requirement for students to be vaccinated in order to attend school and we do not expect this to change for the fall. While we respect that it is a personal choice for families, we encourage students to be vaccinated if it becomes available. The Commissioner of Education has said that there will be no mask wearing or social distancing requirements in the fall unless something changes with the virus over the summer but we want to keep students safe while we return to normal. FYI- We had hoped to have a vaccination site in the schools within the last couple of weeks but could not work out the logistics. I am sorry about that as it might have made the process easier.

4. Thanks To Our Amazing Medical Team
We were very fortunate this year to have the advice and medical expertise of a team of medical advisors from our community who volunteered many hours to help us through the pandemic. A big thank you goes out to our school physician Dr. William Medwid, nurse practitioners and parents Shane Murray and Jennifer Pollard and nurses Debra Cook, Mary Beth Doherty ( PB Nurse) , Kathy Hatch ( PB Nurse) and Heather Shupenko (MHS Nurse. All of these wonderful professionals were so generous with their time, always available to answer questions and there to assist us in making decisions as needed. We could not have made it through this year as confidently and safely as we did without their help. We are truly grateful to all of you!

5. Welcome Jeff Carovillano as New MHS Principal
Beginning July 1, 2021, Mr. Jeffrey Carovillano will assume the role as the next Principal at the Georgetown Middle High School. Jeff will be coming to us after more than 13 years in the Ipswich Public Schools as their Assistant Principal. Jeff was the unanimous choice of the 22 member Search Committee who conducted multiple interviews and site visits to GMHS and Ipswich. We are confident that he will be a “hands on”, collaborative leader who believes in high expectations for all and building a culture of acceptance, respect and inclusion. He has a reputation of being a strong advocate for students, a supportive and assessable colleague for staff and a great resource for families. We are all looking forward to working with Jeff and he is excited to be coming to Georgetown. We will be planning opportunities to meet him in the near future.

6. Summary of Mask Wearing Guidance from the Commissioner Riley as of 6/16/2021
” Masks must be worn by students and staff indoors until the end of this school year only
” Summer programs- Not required
” Fall 2021- No Masks

7. Budget Update
I am pleased to let you know that the FY 22 budget that we presented to the Finance and Advisory Board is being included in the town budget that will be voted on at the Town Meeting on Monday, June 21st at 7:00 PM. There are no recommended cuts from our request so hopefully the town will approve it as presented. Fingers Crossed!
I know I am probably forgetting something but I will close by wishing our retirees Donna Donohoe, Fee Bongiorni, Mary Lyons, Terri Leeman and Anne Maciel a long, happy and healthy retirement and wishing all of you a summer filled with fun, family and beautiful memories! Thank you again for everything and I will see you in the fall!