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