Monthly Archives: March 2020

Educational Resources For Students And Families

Supplemental Educational Resources 3.19.20

Updated Information For Families

Dear Georgetown Community Members,

I understand that the recent public health mandated district closures have been extremely challenging for all families, and particularly complex for families of students with disabilities. I appreciate your collaboration and support as we all navigate this difficult time as a school community. Consistent with federal and state guidelines, while our school district is closed during this ongoing public health emergency, we are not providing any educational services, including special education services, to any students during this period of school closure. Georgetown Public Schools has carefully weighed the significant safety and equity concerns and has decided that all services including home services, evaluations, and tutoring must remain closed.

I appreciate everyone understanding that we are in unprecedented times, and everyone is doing the best they can under the circumstances to ensure students have equal access to enrichment resources. Georgetown Public Schools is providing optional enrichment activities for all students that can be found on the district website, in additon to resources provided individually by teachers.  I appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this process. The resources sent home to students are for enrichment only and not intended to replicate learning or modifications in a school day. They are not required, and will not be counted or graded by the district. Teachers are doing their best to help families keep students engaged in practice of previously learned skills, and providing materials to make them as accessible as possible under the circumstances.   The combination of modified materials and alternative enrichment resources that special educators have been adding ensure that all students have equal access to enrichment activities during this difficult time.  Special education staff are happy to connect with you on ideas about how to make the activities more accessible for your individual child. Teachers and providers are also available for check-ins and may answer questions about the materials and resources provided, but will not be providing any direction instruction.

At present, I am not holding IEP meetings during the school closure.  However, I have asked Kris Oldoni and Katelin Kennedy to start reaching out to families to determine comfort levels with virtual meetings. I will be reassessing this possibility as we move through the school closure period.  Currently we do not have the necessary technology, procedures, and protocols in place to do this equitably and maintain our compliance and confidentiality requirements. We will reach out to reschedule your meeting when we have a better sense of our return date.

All My Best To My Georgetown Family,

Jack

Thinking Of My Georgetown Family

Greetings Georgetown Community,

I hope you are all safe, healthy, and enjoying time with family, friends, and loved ones.

This pandemic is unprecedented. Massachusetts is in a state of emergency, and the Governor has closed our schools. All kids, but particularly the students for which I am responsible, depend on our schools for safety, kindness, social relations, and support. It has been such a chore for me to explain to my own children why they are not in school, as it just so difficult for their young minds to fully comprehend the issues at hand. Heck, I am having a hard time understanding it all myself.

Of course, I worry about all students, but more so those with significant health issues, autism, and social emotional challenges. For various reasons, these students often do not fully understand the circumstances we all face, and can be confused, uncomfortable, and upset about the sudden change in routines.

As I work to take care of my family, please know that the Georgetown families are always on my mind as well. I want to ensure that I am available and accessible to all of you during this time of challenge and uncertainty. I have asked special education staff to reach out to all of you to make sure that all is well, and that your children are able to access the enrichment opportunities sent home by our teachers.

I have been involved in numerous conference calls with both the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and the Associate Commissioner for Special Education. Through their guidance, the support of my colleagues both internally and from other organizations, and the leadership of Superintendent Jacobs, I firmly believe that we will be in a positive position to ensure a successful re-entry back into our schools when that time comes.

For your information, Georgetown Public Schools is not planning to hold any virtual IEP meetings or looking to conduct any evaluations during the school closure. The MADESE has provided information that districts will be held harmless of timelines. Please know that if your child’s IEP expires during the school closure, it will remain in “Stay Put” until we are able to catch up on all of the missed meetings. I am expecting to have an abundance of meetings once we return to school, and so much appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we being to re-schedule.

I know how challenging this time is for everyone, and I hope I can help maintain any sense of normalcy for our students throughout. Please know that you and your families are all in my thoughts. I have been in the office this week, so please feel free to contact me by phone or email with any questions or concerns.

Land Line:      (978) 352 – 5777 x. 101

Email:             tianoj@georgetown.k12.ma.us

All My Best,

Jack

Information & Guidance From MADESE

DESE FAQ Document_3172020 FINAL