COVID 19 Update – May 16, 2020

Dear Georgetown Friends,

We are almost one month from the end of the school year which will end on June 19, 2020 unless you are a member of the senior class whose last day will be Friday May 29, 2020. I know you join me in congratulating them on completing their formal education in this unprecedented and uncertain time. When they began their senior year, there was no discussion about a global pandemic and they were enjoying their year of “lasts” until we hit March and then everything changed. I am so proud of this group of seniors. The word that comes to mind when I think about these wonderful young people is resilient. They have had to endure quarantining at home and separation from their friends, missing out on their senior activities, finishing their year learning remotely and missing the special connections with the staff that have been a part of their lives for the past six years. Through it all, they have remained close and relied on social media to stay connected. They have continued to finish strong and make us proud! In coordination with the senior class advisors and officers, we planned a graduation that will be unique, safe and addresses the two priorities they expressed (1) a live graduation and (2) one that their families can witness. We have been told that Governor Baker will issue guidance on graduation ceremonies on Monday, May 18th so we can either move forward with our plan or revise it. Principal Richards and I will be sharing the plan at the School Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 20th at 6:30 PM. We are Royally Proud of our Class of 2020 they will forever and for always be Georgetown Strong!

1. Camp Invention

Many of you asked me about Camp Invention so I want you to know that the program WILL run but they will not be operating the program at Penn Brook. The week long program will be offered completely online during the week of June 29- July 3. Heidi Begin has been in contact with the company and here are the details,

a. Camp Invention will be reaching out to anyone who signed up with a letter explaining how camp is going to run this year.

b. Campers are being sent a kit with 4 modules and how it will run online- for the week.

c. It will be offered at a reduced price, so there will be options for the parents or a total
refund if they do not wish to participate.

d. Three members of our staff will run the program. Jill Valli will be the leader and Liz Marchetti and Kevin Ford will be coaches. Three other coaches from Camp Invention will work with our staff.

e. Each coach will have a group of 20 kids. They will hold a morning meeting online at 9:00, an office hour at noon and a 3:00 wrap-up with their group.

2. Bus Registrations
This is usually the time when qualifying families are sent an online registration form to register their child/ren to ride the bus. This week, our district transportation staff had a meeting with representatives from the bus company. Due to the uncertainty about the fall and the opening of schools, we are delaying the registration process until further guidance is available.

3. Preschool Clarification
I have received a few comments about the decision not to refund one month of tuition to preschool families who pay monthly. The reason for our decision is two fold. One is that our preschool program is funded primarily from the revenue we receive from tuition. During this time of closure beginning in mid March, we have continued to pay our staff to work in accordance with our district guidelines for remote learning. This is a service we are providing to preschool families for three months in order to maintain important connections and to keep students engaged in fun learning activities. Just as in the case with all students in the district, the number of hours and the way remote learning works is not the same as it would be if students were in
school. It simply can not be. Realizing this, we made the decision that all preschool families would only pay for 8 out of 10 months and no additional money would be requested beyond what has already been paid. The district is absorbing the cost for the end of the year but we need the support of our families to absorb the cost of one month. I am not dismissing the concerns people have expressed about this affecting their finances and/or their expectations for a full reimbursement. I am hoping by providing this clarification, people will understand that we are asking parents to work with us since none of us expected the situation in which we find ourselves to happen. In exchange, we are delighted to provide three months of remote learning in exchange for two months of free tuition. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

4. Big Thank You to the PTA
A huge shout out to the PTA for recognizing all of our staff with a lovely Georgetown Strong pin and note of appreciation. This is such a lovely gesture and so welcome especially in these challenging times. It is an important and welcome reminder that we ARE all in this together and we are ALL Georgetown Strong. Thanks for the shot of motivation and encouragement to push through to the end of the year and as always we are so grateful for your partnership! We got this!

5. Our District Family is Growing
Please join us in congratulating Food services Director Sean Riley and his wife Heather on the birth of their second child, a son Grayson John Riley. Grayson is a beautiful reminder of the many positive things that continue to happen even during a global pandemic. Grayson joins big brother Griffin and we are all so excited for Sean and his family! Welcome to the world, precious Grayson John!

I hope you have a wonderful week! Stay strong, healthy and positive. One month to go! We got this!