PUBLIC NOTICE of APPLICATION TO CONTROL MOSQUITOES at GMHS, Penn Brook & Perley fields on 9/21 from 7:15 p.m. to 12 a.m.

The Northeast Massachusetts Mosquito Control and Wetlands Management District is conducting an application to control adult mosquitoes at Perley School, Penn Brook School and the High School fields Georgetown MA in the evening between the hours of _7:15 PM and _12:00 AM on__9-21-21. In case of inclement weather, the Back up date of application would be the__9-22-21_. The areas to be treated are  _all of the playing fields at each school.

 

Click here for the letter from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts STATE RECLAMATION AND MOSQUITO CONTROL BOARD.

Welcome Back message from Superintendent Jacobs.

Good evening Georgetown Community,
I hope you and your families have had a wonderful summer! It was nice to have a little normalcy and time to relax and refresh! Our schools are ready thanks to our amazing staff and we are just waiting for our students in grades 1-12 to come to school for their first full day tomorrow Wednesday, September 1. Our new kindergarten students will have a Meet and Greet and screening on Thursday, September 2, 2021 and their first full day will be Tuesday, September 7. Our Perley preschool program will hold their Meet and Greet on Wed, September 1 and reopen its doors for students on Tuesday, September 7.

The first day of a new school year is always filled with excitement and hope. We are all anticipating the promise of what this new year will bring and I sincerely hope that our students and staff have the best year ever! While we will not be completely back to normal, we are looking forward to a year filled with personal learning, the chance to build and strengthen friendships and the JOY of being back in our schools and classrooms after a very challenging year last year. It is GO TIME and I cannot wait for tomorrow to come! Enjoy the start!

1. Mask Wearing
The Commissioner of Education has mandated that masks will be worn for all staff and students five years of age and older while in our school buildings. Masks are strongly recommended in preschool and our staff will work with students on mask tolerance. Masks do not need to be worn during recess, while eating or on a mask break. The School Committee has directed the schools to follow DESE guidelines and they are reviewing and revising their current policy on face coverings to be consistent with the Commissioner’s mandate. This revised policy will be reviewed and voted on at their September 9th School Committee meeting at 6:30 PM in the third floor conference room at the Town Hall.

The Commissioner has also identified a tentative date of October 1, 2021 when mask restrictions might be lifted if 80% of the staff and students at the Middle High School are vaccinated. They will be providing guidance on how this data will be collected but we are waiting to receive it. It is expected in the next couple of weeks.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the discussion about face masks either by attending the public forum, sending emails and/or completing the survey. I know there are strong feelings about mandating masks on both sides of the issue but I hope we can come together to find common ground and adhere to the policy for the safety of all. Our teachers are mindful of the challenges of wearing masks and they will provide mask breaks and opportunities to be outside when they can. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have an extenuating situation where it is not safe for your child to wear a mask. Last year, when COVID was surrounding us, we had an extremely high rate of compliance among our students even from our students who qualified for an exemption. None of us want to wear masks but right now it seems like the best path to achieving our collective goal of keeping our schools open five days a week for in person learning for the entire school year. I also want to remind you that all visitors, including volunteers, coming into the school must wear a mask.

Here is the link to the Commissioner’s mandate for your information
https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=KDSa366056Y
https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/2021-0825mask-requirement.pdf

2. Test and Stay Program
The state is encouraging districts to participate in one or more of the programs they are offering at no cost to the district. We have submitted an application to participate in the test and stay program and are waiting for approval. In cases where a staff or student is identified as a close contact, this program would allow our nurses to administer the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test with parental permission for students. Using this protocol would not require asymptomatic close contacts to quarantine. Under test and stay, asymptomatic close contacts will have the option to remain in school and be tested daily with BinaxNOW for at least 5 days. Vaccinated staff and students are exempt from quarantine if they are asymptomatic. More information will be coming once we get approved so stay tuned for that.

3. Symptoms of COVID 19
We expect that students may get COVID but we want to reduce the likelihood that it will spread in the schools. In order to help us with this goal, we ask that if your child has any of these symptoms you keep them home and contact your physician.
COVID-19 symptoms list:
” Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
” Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
” New loss of taste or smell
” Muscle aches or body aches
” Cough (not due to other known causes, such as a chronic cough)
” Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
” Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
” Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
” Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
” Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms

DESE has released it revised COVID protocols for dealing with the virus. I have attached them for your information. I am sure that our nurses will be providing more information and will be contacting you if any of these scenarios pertain to your family. It is a lot to remember but it will be a good reference guide if you want to refer to it as the year goes by.
https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/protocols/

4. School Calendar
I would like to direct your attention to our district website to view the latest version of our school calendar. We are still playing with format it and apologies for the print being small. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. FYI

5. The Georgetown Youth Community Center (GYCC) Fall Program- Check It Out
If you have not checked out all of the great things that are happening at the GYCC Youth Center at Perley, I encourage you to do so. Director Erin Duggan and her talented staff are working tirelessly to develop programs for youth of all ages that are interesting to the youth in town. . Their goal is to provide a safe space for youth to gather safely, practice new skills, and have fun together and just be kids. I have included a link to the Fall Program for your information
Included in the brochure, there is information about memberships that prove some financial help so more great programs can be offered. Every little bit helps and the GYCC is really a community treasure for our students!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GiDSMVMEhVRRYwOmDBKtQzYIc05BYt-7/view

6. Pass the Word- Open Positions Needed IMMEDIATELY
We are reaching out to you to solicit interest from our parents or anyone you might know who would like to join our great district by serving in any of the following positions. Previous training is not needed as you will be trained by district staff.

– Cook Manager at the Middle High School
– Paraprofessionals in the Preschool
– Instructional Paraprofessionals ( MHS and Perley)
-Receptionist for the Preschool
– Daily Subs for paraprofessionals and teachers.
– Building Based Substitute to work every day at Penn Brook
– Part Time Custodians
If you or anyone you know might be interested in any of these position, you can either go to schoolspring.com and upload your information or send a letter of interest or apply in person at the Superintendent’s Office at 51 North Street Georgetown, MA or call 978-352-5777 ext. 142 and speak to Tracy Parker. Thank you for your consideration and help spreading the word.

Have a wonderful start to the year!
Carol

International Travel During COVID-19 info provided by the CDC.

Click here for the info.

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
https://youtu.be/-cCQI91fvoE

Irish Blessings:
https://youtu.be/KMvesFT-Tps

 

MHS Spring Art Show:
https://gmhsart.weebly.com/annual-art-show.html

 

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 belangerb@georgetown.k12.ma.us.

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!
Carol

 

COVID 19 Update – May 21, 2021

Hello Georgetown friends and colleagues and Happy Friday!

I hope this update finds you healthy and well as we begin to see more signs of normalcy returning to our world. While this is a welcome sight for sure, we are working hard to keep our schools safe and special for our students for the next four weeks. We have every expectation that when school begins in the fall, we will return to “normal” as we know it but some modifications will remain in place until the end of this year. I continue to appreciate your patience, understanding and partnership as we wind down a school year for the ages and get ready for a relaxing and much needed summer break! We are looking forward to celebrating the end of the year with our students, particularly the members of the Class of 2021, who will graduate on a Saturday, June 5th at 10:00 in the morning outside on the beautiful Perley field weather permitting. The rain date is scheduled for Sunday, June 6th at the same time outside if the weather cooperates.  In the case of rain, regretfully the ceremony will be moved into the GMHS auditorium and will be live streamed for family and friends to view. We will still have to operate according to the Governor’s guidance for events held inside so please pray to the weather Gods for spectacular weather on June 5th. 

 

  1. Changes to State Guidance 

Mask wearing:   Effective this week, the Governor’s office released guidance that is effective this week.  Students will no longer be required to wear masks outside at recess, on school grounds and while playing sports. The requirement for social distancing has also been lifted. Close contacts will not be identified and students will not be required to quarantine if there is a positive COVID case.  This guidance was unexpected; however both the Governor and the Commissioner of Education cite scientific evidence that supports this action.  After much discussion in the district, we decided to implement the guidance but will continue to monitor the situation.  We will use common sense and ensure that all other safety protocols remain in effect while inside of the schools and buildings.   I apologize for not sending a note out earlier this week giving parents a heads up but I was waiting for some additional information that did not come as early as expected. That is completely on me and not the schools and I am sorry for any angst this might have caused anyone.  

 

Masks will continue to be required for everyone inside of the building and we will continue with our no visitor’s policy in the school buildings through the end of the year.  For activities that will be held in the tents, visitors may be allowed but look for updates and opportunities to come through the communications put out by the schools. 

 

Shared Equipment- the Governor has also removed the restrictions on shared use of equipment and supplies however, we will continue to ensure that our sanitizing protocols are still in place every day. 

 

Spectators at outside sporting events do not have to wear masks or face coverings effective immediately. After May 29, face covering and/or masks are not required on school grounds. We still encourage some social distancing 

 

 End of the Year Celebrations

You will be receiving specific information from your school Principals about special events that are planned. I have included a brief summary below for your reference.

 

Penn Brook 

– Celebration of Growth- Week of June 7th, each grade is scheduling separately

– Moving on Ceremony Grade 6 on 6/17 @ 10:00 am (outside either in the tent or on the field)

– Spelling Bee – Grade 3 Monday 6/7, Grade 4 Tuesday 6/8 and 5th Grade Wednesday 6/9.  Times TBD

– Grade 6 Field Trip- 6/4

 

MHS

–  Middle School Awards- 6/11 1:30 p.m.

– Underclassmen Awards – 6/10 at 9:00 am

The students who are receiving awards will be presented with their awards in the auditorium. Families will be able to view these ceremonies via live stream.

– Eighth Grade Moving On Ceremony – 6/17 at 1:30 pm in the auditorium 

 

Class of 2021 Activities 

 

– Senior Prom – May 25th

This year the prom will take place at an outside venue at the Meadow at Red Ridge Farm. We are excited to announce that we will be having our traditional Grand March on the front steps of the MHS at 5:15 PM. The public is invited to come and enjoy seeing the students all dressed up in their finest prom attire! 

– Senior Awards Ceremony – 6/3 Students will be recognized for their academic accomplishments and scholarships will be presented. The students and faculty will gather in the auditorium and the ceremony will be live streamed and recorded for family and friends to watch and enjoy.

– Graduation – Saturday 6/5, rain date 6/6 scheduled on the Perley field at 10:00 AM. Thanks to the removal of restrictions by Governor Baker, the set up for the ceremony will be consistent with what has been done in the past.  There are no limits to the number of people who may attend. We will have 1100 chairs set up.  Graduates and family and friends are not required to have tickets, wear a mask (unless they are not vaccinated) or have reserved seating. We are very excited about this and the timing is perfect!  Now just pray for great weather because the indoor option is not great. 

-Post Graduation Parade

Back by popular demand, the tradition that was started last year will continue for the Class of 2021. We have worked with the Police Department to formulate a route around town (which is available on the Principal’s Blog at GMHS) where the community can line the streets and cheer on our recent GMHS alumni.  We hope the community will come out they did last year as I know that meant a lot to the students and their families. The parade will assemble and cue up at the PB School at 11:45 AM and leave at 12:00 PM led by a police escort. We encourage parade participants to decorate their cars and make this a festive and fun way to send out students off with a bang!

 

Summer Programs 

We will be offering the following in person summer programs 

Penn Brook Adventure Camp 

We are excited to be able to offer this program again this summer.

We know it has been a challenging year without before and after school care programs and our students are looking forward to some summer fun with friends.  If you are interested in learning more, contact Program Director Elizabeth Carroll at carrolle@georgetown.k12.ma.us

 

Special Education Programs

We are running our programs for special education students that have summer services on their educational plan. We are delighted that this year we can offer these services in person. 

 

Early Literacy Reading 

We are applying for grant funds to offer a two week program to provide additional literacy support and instruction to students who have been receiving intervention services during the year. If grant funds are secured, the school will be contacting families who qualify to attend the program. More information will be forthcoming 

 

Honoring our Retiring Teachers

It is always with mixed emotions that we say goodbye to some of our wonderful teachers that are moving on into retirement. These teachers have provided a long and selfless commitment to educating our students for most of their adult life. They have been loving caregivers, talented educators, and amazing role models and “special teachers” who will be remembered for the way they have touched the lives of so many young people over the years. Each teacher is special and unique in their own way but they are all are going to leave big shoes to fill and a legacy that will last for years to come in the hearts and minds of everyone who had the privilege to work and learn from them. I know you join me in wishing the following special people a long, healthy and happy retirement and offering them our sincere thanks for their years of service. They deserve the best because they have been the best! Congratulations to : 

Kindergarten teacher Fee Bongiorni 

Kindergarten teacher Donna Donahoe

MHS Business and Technology teacher Mary Lyon

MHS Science teacher Teresa Leeman 

 

My Deepest Thanks

I feel I must conclude this update by saying that our schools are so fortunate to have the backing of a community that comes together in support of our schools on behalf of our wonderful staff and students in both good and bad times.  I cannot say often enough that we can’t do what we do without this community. It sounds cliché but it really is true that it takes a village and I am glad that you are our village!  For all of the ways, big or small, that you have made this year a success despite the obstacles that came our way, we are so grateful!  To every parent, grandparent or trusted adult who helped our students navigate the unknown world of remote and hybrid learning, we sincerely appreciate it.  To the parents and businesses that have honored our seniors in so many ways to make the end to their educational career so special, you rock! I urge you all to check out the banners at Harry Murch Park featuring each of our seniors and to notice the lawn signs that sit in the yards of seniors thanks to the Royal Sports Boosters. To the PTA who celebrated our educators and staff with a delicious lunch on Teacher Appreciation, National Nurses and National Lunch Professionals Week and for the many events you continue to sponsor to support our schools. THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

 

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy this gorgeous pre summer weather! Take good care!

Carol

 

Video from Georgetown Middle School’s 2021 Incoming 7th Grade Parent Info Night