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DPS Email Update: March 31, 2021

Wednesday

3-31-21

DPS Update

 

Hi Folks,

 

As the month of March comes to a close today there are a number of updates to relay for the DPS community.

 

First, in order to continue and expand our in person learning, I need to again emphasize the importance of continued vigilance in COVID-19 protection protocols by ALL members of the DPS community.  PLEASE continue to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, and socially distance whenever possible. 

 

Also, if you have not done so already, please enroll in the DPS FREE COVID-19 Pooled Testing Program. Last week alone DPS conducted over 1000 COVID-19 tests, but many more people need to participate. This is another critical layer of protection for our community, but it is only effective if everyone does their part.  Please complete the consent form to have your children participate.  You will need to enter the code “dendrite-dedham”.  This form only takes about 2 minutes to fill out so please do it right now!  This will allow us more confidence that we are keeping COVID-19 out of our schools.  We all share the responsibility to keep our schools open and safe for in person learning.

 

At tonight’s School Committee meeting, the Committee voted to endorse the District’s plan to return all students in Grades K-5 to full time in person learning 5 days per week beginning Monday, April 5, and all Dedham Middle School students beginning Monday, April 26.  As of today 95% of students in Grades K-5 will be returning to full in person learning.  We look forward to welcoming our K-5 students back on Monday!  I have recommended to the Committee that Dedham High School students return to full in-person learning on Monday, May 3.  A final vote on the DHS recommendation will be considered in April.

 

Based on last week’s vote of approval by the Dedham Board of Health, tonight our School Committee also voted to endorse the recently updated state Travel Order advisory for the Dedham School District.  This means that DPS will now be in full alignment with the state’s guidance regarding out of state travel.  Please review these state guidelines to understand the state’s (and now the school district’s) recommendations.

 

Families who want to take advantage of after-care options once students return to school 5 days per week may choose the YMCA Aftercare Program at the Capen School.  DPS will provide transportation from district schools to the Capen site for after school programming each day.  This afterschool program is available for all children ages 5-13.  Please contact Program Administrator Rob Zullo via email at rzullo@ymcaboston.org for more information.

 

The Neponset Valley Transportation Management Association (NVTMA) is trying to reach residents, business-owners, and people who live and/or work in Canton, Dedham, Foxborough, Norfolk, Norwood, Sharon, Walpole, Westwood, and Wrentham to figure out how to improve transportation for commuters. Please take a moment to complete this brief 2-minute survey to provide input to this group.  Questions focus on pre-pandemic transportation challenges, and gauge interest in shuttle connections from public transit to jobs. Potential improvements such as shuttle services to nearby public transit could make it easier for employees to reach workplaces along Routes 1 and 1A.  Thank you for registering your interests and opinions!

 

Finally, please take a moment to view and enjoy this short but incredible performance by Dedham High School Winter Percussion.  It is their final video submission to the New England School Band Association winter finals this weekend.  Congratulations and good luck this weekend to all the DHS students involved: Mannix Esteban, Alexer Esteban, Lily Hyde, Sydney Parke, Zak Jurdan, Olivia Hanley, Will Dwyer, and Joe Iantosca.  I think you will agree they are an amazingly talented group!

 

Thank you for your continued support of the Dedham Public Schools.

 

All my best,

 

Mike Welch

Superintendent