COVID 19 Update – March 25, 2020

Good evening all!
1. Extended School Closure
Well the word is in. Schools will be closed until May 4th. I am expecting guidance from the Commissioner tomorrow and more on the conference call we have schedule with him on Friday morning at 8:30 am. As schools are closed for another 5 weeks , I expect that he will be clarifying some of the items we have all been wondering about such as will new curriculum be taught rather than enrichment and reinforcing previously taught skills, will completing assignments be optional for students, how will grading work if it is expected, what services for special education are expected ( Jack just sent something out about this) and will there be a schedule of time for students to do work and for teachers to connect with students ? We have been discussing if we are ready to transition to an on line system and we believe we are with some support to those who need some help. I have asked  the tech integration specialists , Collin and Barry Belanger to help put together a plan that we can begin  in April . More information will be forth coming as we learn more. No worries. You got this  but I wanted to let you know we have been trying to figure out the simplest and easiest way to make on line learning work if we are expected to go there. We are also trying to find a way to conference with each grade level and department once we find out more so you can share your ideas, question and plans. We will do this through Zoom when we set these meetings up.
2. Responsibilities of other staff during the extended closure
I want to reinforce that full and part time employees will be paid during this closure but we are asking that you work with us about ways that you can work from home and / or continue with your professional learning. Amy and Kim have been in contact with me and Has reached out to the GESA union with some ideas. You can definitely continue completing courses on Para Educator or sign up for free courses offered through the Middlesex Partnership for Youth ( Collin sent out a list). You do have to register for these classes. In addition, some paras work directly with students during the school day. We ask that you connect with special education teachers and coordinators before you contact your students directly. This contact could definitely be a great thing for students but we just want it to be coordinated. Secretaries may be able to work on tasks on their computers , set up virtual meetings , respond to emails but are encouraged to work with your principals or administrators on any other ideas you might have or they might need done during this closure. Collin is going to reach out to Barry and Mary to see if there is any work to be done to help with the data bases.  Custodial / maintenance will be working on a  staggered schedule once they have completed the deep cleaning inside of the schools and they may also be working on the grounds.  I look forward to working through this process with you all!
3. Rolling Rally
Now that we know the school closure is extended, I imagine that your students are missing you. Maybe you have seen some towns who are connecting with their students by holding teacher parades. Joe Pittella and I spoke about this and think it would be a great idea to do in Georgetown to let our students know how much we miss them.  The way it would work is any staff member who wants to be part of our Rolling Rally would come to the PB Parking lot on Wednesday April 1 at 9:45 am in your car which you can decorate it not and get in line behind the fire and or police escort. This caravan of cars will drive around the route that is published and families can stand outside and wave to you as you drive by honking and beeping your horns. It should be a lot of fun and I hope that many people regardless of your job will join in the fun. You can bring your own kids if they want to come and help cheer along the way. Who is in?  I am looking for a 1 or 2 people who can help Joe and I coordinate this. Just let me know if you are interested.
4. Reducing Staff Isolation
We are also working on planning some staff google hangouts. We would post times and any staff members who want to join the hangout can do so to stay connected and reduce feelings of isolation. More information to come about this.
5. Thanks to Sean Riley and the food  services staff for distributing breakfast and lunches to students. They are serving around 25 meals per day.
6. Upcoming Meetings For Your Information
3/26. Conference call with Russell Johnson at DESE regarding special education guidance
3/26 Written  guidelines expected from the Commissioner
3/26 School Committee meeting on Zoom. The public can join the meeting. The meeting call in information is on the posting if interested
3/27 Conference call with the Commissioner
3/27 Conference call with all of the superintendents on the North Shore
3/31 Administrative team meeting
I will keep you posted as these meeting are held and the information is available.
Stay well everyone!
Carol