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DPS Email Update: 9.9.20

DPS District Update

Wednesday, 9/9/20

9:00 PM


Hi Folks,


Tonight the Dedham Board of Health and the Dedham School Committee held an emergency meeting to consider the rising rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the Dedham community and the potential impact on our phased return to in-person learning for students.  As a result of the increased rate of infections in Dedham, particularly in the under 20 and young adult age groups, the School Committee voted unanimously to delay the start of in-person learning.  Click here to see data released today from DPH regarding COVID-19 rates.  Dedham’s data is on page 7 and the Massachusetts map is on page 24.  This is tremendously disappointing news for all of us in the Dedham Public Schools community.  I regret this action has had to be taken, but we cannot have our students return to our school buildings given the current trajectory of the virus in Dedham.


New timing for moving to the next phase - when Cohort B, C, and D students would begin hybrid in-person learning -  will depend on the trajectory of the virus in the local Dedham community and continued guidance from the Dedham Board of Health.  No dates are set for the start of in-person learning at this time.


We are strongly encouraging families and community members to avoid crowds, help reduce exposure by limiting indoor or group gatherings, and require family members of all ages to remain vigilant in wearing masks when not alone or with family.    Our staff and educators have worked incredibly hard to create the safest school environments possible. We all want to see our students back for in-school learning. But we need your help and the help of the entire Dedham community to make this happen safely.


Preparing for our First Day of Learning on Wednesday, September 16th.


I want to clearly emphasize that school will begin - as planned - 100% virtually next Wednesday, September 16th.  Elementary students should have received a welcome message from teachers today, and secondary students (DMS and DHS) may now access their schedules on PowerSchool.


If families have not received a welcome email from your elementary classroom teacher or have not been able to access your DMS or DHS PowerSchool account for information - please reach out immediately to your school principal. You may also want to check your Junk or Spam email folders.  Please note that due to the highly complex nature of schedules required to manage our planned phased Hybrid approach - we will be unable to accommodate change requests to class assignments.


Coming soon will be a detailed email communication from our schools outlining what to expect and exactly what students will need to do on the first day of learning next Wednesday. Thank you to all our families and students for your patience as our teams work through these final details to ensure we can provide the best possible return to learning experience for our students.


If you have general questions you can submit your questions via the Dedham Fall 2020 site - .  For specific individual questions, please reach out to your school principal via email or phone.  We will do our best to respond to questions and aggregate similar questions into our FAQ.


All my best,


Mike Welch