Superintendent's Update - 4/3/2020

Superintendent's Update - 4/3/2020
Superintendent's Update - 4/3/2020

April 3, 2020

Dear Medway families,

We hope that your families are well.  The current health crisis continues to evolve and puts all of us in a situation that we could not have imagined.  As communicated last week, Governor Baker extended the school closure period to May 4. As we watch the news and learn more about the trajectory of this crisis, re-opening on May 4 may be unrealistic.  As a result, we have been hard at work engaging in planning that will further support student learning during this potential extended time period.

Throughout this crisis, we have relied on guidance from local and state partners.  As I communicated last week, Commissioner Riley, of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, provided additional guidance to Massachusetts schools.  The new guidance imagines a Remote Learning environment for our students.  The full guidelines from the DESE can be found here: DESE Remote Learning Guidance.  Given the shift that these guidelines will require, and our intention to plan for the likelihood that we will experience a longer closure, we are planning to implement a shift to Remote Learning beginning Monday, April 13.  The additional time we take during this planning phase will improve the clarity and rollout of expectations that will be published in the Medway Public Schools Remote Learning Plan.  The Remote Learning Plan will highlight three important shifts:

  1. Student work can now be required, provided that we take into consideration equity issues and do not penalize students who are unable to gain access.  Students will not be graded traditionally, but may receive credit/no credit for the completed work.
  2. Students who qualify for specialized services will receive a form of  service during this closure related to the Free and Public Education (FAPE) requirement.  Services will NOT be the same as they would if schools were open, but instead services are intended to provide access to the general education curriculum, and provide direct and/or indirect support/service to students and/or their caregiver, using their current environment as a learning opportunity.
  3. Students should be engaged in meaningful and productive learning for approximately half the length of a regular school day.

Also, please know that our work has been to set the stage for a meaningful and valuable remote learning experience.  It is not, however, intended to replicate the typical school experience and should not be compared to the typical experience.  We expect that there will be challenges as we implement this plan and know that we will not be great out of the gate, but will continue to refine and modify the plans to ensure that our students benefit from this experience.  We are committed to on-going reflection and feedback and hope that, as we forge this path together, you will continue to feel comfortable reaching out to our building leaders to offer insights and share experiences. We anticipate sharing specifics of the Remote Learning Plan with families early to the middle of next week, so that everyone can prepare for the shift to remote learning on Monday, April 13.

Due to the extended school closures and the uncertainty about its clear end day (right now it’s May 4), many families have asked logical questions related to milestone events for students (e.g. prom, graduation, moving up ceremonies, etc.).  We are heartbroken at the thought that our students may miss some of these events. The leadership team has been working to develop contingency plans that will continue to be adjusted based on school closure decisions. We will ensure that our communications continue to include updates pertaining to these important events. 

During this time of transition to remote learning, please continue to access our MPS School Closure Website for up to date information from the district, town, and state.  There are resources here for additional learning and enrichment, food security, and access to technology.  

Lastly, we have been asked to include information about the 2020 Census.  We hope that all families will access this link and participate.  

On behalf of the entire leadership, I extend continued gratitude for your support and encouragement through this challenging time.  

 

Sincerely,

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

Upcoming Events

April 8, 2020

SEPAC Meeting, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Click here for the SEPAC website to find the agenda and Zoom meeting link and meeting id.

April 10, 2020

Good Friday, No School

April 16, 2020

School Committee Meeting, via ZOOM, 7:00 p.m.

April 20-24, 2020

April Vacation, No School

May 4, 2020

Return to School

May 7, 2020

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 7:00 p.m.

 


 

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