Superintendent Email Update: May 11
Late last Friday (May 8) the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released correspondence for parents and families regarding the Department’s ongoing guidance. This document provides many links for additional information and support for parents as they work to support their children at home during this ongoing closure sequence. Please take a moment to review these resources. We all know this is a challenging situation for everyone, and we are all doing our best to support students and families' varying needs. This certainly applies to parents who are suddenly forced into this home-schooling mandate without consent. Perhaps this DESE document will have a nugget of wisdom that resonates with you in your particular situation. Thank you for all you are doing and for your best efforts at maintaining sanity for everyone involved.
Later this week information will be forwarded via email from our Business and Finance office with specific instructions on how to obtain refunds for unused fees paid through our district’s online payment system during the school year. For most students, these fees take the form of unused bus fees and spring sports athletic fees. For some families with students in Grade 9, 10, and 11, these fees may be carried forward as credits for next year, if desired. For all seniors and families who do not wish to carry these fees forward as credits for next year, simply fill out the emailed form and we hope to get refunds in your hands by the end of this month. Please keep your eye out for this email later this week.
A Class of 2020 Steering Committee met last week to discuss plans for how to appropriately acknowledge the many years of effort and achievement of this year’s senior class. All districts in Massachusetts are currently wrestling with how to celebrate the graduation of this year’s seniors with a ceremony that is inclusive and available for all students, families and friends, while still maintaining social distancing regulations and public health requirements. This is no easy feat, and there is no consensus across the state on how to accomplish this challenging set of criteria. The most recent guidance from the Department of Education contains the following information:
“The Department will share further guidance, including public health advisories for graduation ceremonies, as more information becomes available about the public health situation. Many districts are considering virtual ceremonies, “drive-in” or “drive-by” celebrations, other community-wide celebrations with appropriate physical distancing, and postponing celebrations of achievement until a time when it is safer to participate in large scale activities.”
This Steering Committee will work to develop the best possible outcome for our seniors, who deserve everything we can provide for them as so many memories and events for their class have been taken away during this closure sequence. I would like to thank members of the Committee for their efforts. The group will meet again this week to work toward consensus on these goals. Thank you to all the other parents and community members who have reached out to support our Class of 2020 Seniors and offered pledges of assistance in whatever form necessary to appropriately recognize these students!