Superintendent's Update - August 21, 2020

Superintendent's Update - August 21, 2020
Posted on 08/21/2020
Superintendent's Update - August 21, 2020

Dear Medway families, 

I would like to again thank the Medway community for your continued support and partnership during this unique time.  We recognize that these uncertain times have created challenges for families around their decision-making.  We are appreciative that most families have completed the Student Commitment Survey and Transportation Commitment Survey.  Please know that the survey is now closed.  If you would like to share your choice, please email reopening@medwayschools.org.  Also, please know that if we do not hear from you, a Medway staff member will be reaching out to determine your choice for Hybrid or Virtual Learning for your child(ren).  Our planning requires a response from all family members.

I hope that you and your family have some time to unplug and relax this weekend.  

Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools
 

School Committee Meeting, August 20, 2020

At the August 20, 2020, School Committee meeting, the committee approved the following:.  

Reopening Updates

As we communicated in the August 14 Community Update, the School Committee approved the leadership team’s recommended Fall 2020 Medway Public Schools Reopening Plan.  The plan highlights a great number of details associated with our reopening plans.

Community Webinars

Over the last few weeks, we have hosted webinars with details of our Reopening Plans in support of clarity and understanding.  The most recent webinar information can be found below.

Each of our schools hosted family webinars where they shared details about the Hybrid Student Learning Model.  These webinar links can be found here:

Elementary Hybrid Student Learning Model

Middle School Hybrid Student Learning Model

High School Hybrid Student Learning Model

On Monday, August 17, the leadership team hosted a webinar specifically geared to the families exploring The Virtual School Learning Model. You can view a recording here, and the slideshow can be viewed here.   We also shared with families responses to unanswered questions from this webinar and these can be accessed here.

We continue to welcome questions from our community as they surface.  Please email reopening@medwayschools.org

Identification of Cohort C Students

Building leaders, in collaboration with their teams, have identified and communicated with the families of students for whom 4 day in person attendance has been determined as essential for success.  As a reminder, students identified for this opportunity have one or more of the following vulnerabilities:

  • Significant and complex students who are often multiply disabled
  • Students who cannot engage in remote learning due to their disability-related needs, such as hearing impairment or visual impairment.
  • Students who receive their primary instruction in Math and/or ELA in a Learning Center
  • Students who are members of the LINKS program and whose behavior often interferes with their learning.
  • Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder whose need for routine and predictability, social skills, as well as weekly BCBA consultation is a requirement for their learning.
  • Students who significantly struggled engaging with remote learning in the spring, as characterized by attendance and work completion.
  • Students whose expressive communication is met primarily using aided and augmentative communication.
  • Students who are homeless, in foster care or congregate care.
  • Students from low socioeconomic environments.
  • Students who are dually identified as English Learners.

Building principals followed up with these families again on Wednesday, August 19 and included a required Commitment Survey response so that we can overlay this information with the information that was collected through the Student Learning Model Commitment Survey.  

Reopening Upcoming Events

  • August 28, 2020:  Communication with families from building principals regarding student cohort placement
  • August 31, 2020:  Communication with families of students participating in the HYBRID STUDENT LEARNING MODEL from building principals including student schedules and teacher names (where finalized)
  • September 4, 2020:  Communication with families of students participating in the VIRTUAL SCHOOL STUDENT LEARNING MODEL from building principals including student schedules and teacher names (where finalized)
  • September 4, 2020:  Initial Bus Lists published at www.medwayschools.org 
  • September 14, 2020:  final Bus Lists published at www.medwayschools.org
  • Early to mid-September:  Student Learning Model Orientation sessions at each school, Grade 2, 5, and 9 and new student tours and meet ups - as communicated by building principals.

Transformation Together:  Supporting Teaching and Learning, Safety, Wellness, and Connection

We are in the throes of planning the essential professional experiences that will be taking place during the opening 10 days for faculty and staff and also for the year ahead.  As we have shared with our faculty, staff, and our greater community, the educational space that we are about to enter will be different.  The mere fact that most students will not be with us in the classroom everyday of the week prompts our needs to transform our procedures and practices.  

Some of the resources that we are using to frame and support these conversations include the following:

Technology Update

Due to the uncertainty of our current environment, the Medway Public Schools Technology Department is pushing towards a 1:1 chromebook environment for all students. Our 8th through 12th grade students have benefited from a 1:1 environment for the past several years and expanding this to all grades will ensure we are prepared for any educational scenario moving forward. Unfortunately, in-house supplies are limited and supply chains are strained due to high demand. Our deployment plans for all grades can be found below.

 

Deployment Priorities - We apologize that we will not be able to immediately accommodate devices for all students. We encourage families to utilize existing devices to help support all learners. Our deployment priorities will be as follows:

  • All 9th through 12th grade students will continue to utilize their existing devices, provided by MPS.
  • 7th and 8th grade students will be required to return any loaned device and charger in exchange for new Acer Spin 311 R721T chromebooks. These devices will be utilized for the next three to five years for these grade levels.
  • 3rd through 6th grade students who have not already received a device from MPS will have an existing device prepared for delivery. See delivery methods below.
  • PK through 2nd grade students will receive devices as soon as possible.  Families of PK-2 students who do not have a device in their homes for student use should contact us, see deployment method information below, to request a device.  Distribution of devices to all other PK-2 students will take place mid-late October.   

Delivery Methods - In order to effectively manage deployment of devices to all students, we are implementing the following procedure. 

  • ALL STUDENTS will need a device capable of connecting to video conferencing software (similar to the spring) on September 16, the first day of At Home Learning.
  • Any Student in need of a device for the first day of school, should complete the 20-21 Device Request Form.   A device will be prepared for pickup as described below.
  • ALL STUDENTS AND FAMILIES are required to complete the MPS 1:1 Consent Form, detailing the expectations, care, use, and family responsibilities of the device.
  • Cohorts A, B, and C in Grades 3-7:  Those students receiving two to four days of in school learning will receive devices on their first scheduled day of in-school learning, delivered to their homeroom.
  • Virtual School Student Learning Model:  Those students participating in the Virtual School Student Learning Model, are required to complete the 20-21 Device Request Form.   A device will be prepared for pickup as described below.

Device Insurance:  All Families are encouraged to purchase insurance for the school owned device to cover any repair costs that may be incurred. Please note that accidental and malicious damage is covered under this policy. Lost or stolen devices are not covered. Care of the device is the responsibility of the family up to the full replacement value of $310.00. MPS has secured insurance through Worth Ave for $22 per year for all devices and offers multi year plans based on grade level. Please visit the payment portal for more information. Please note that anyone receiving free or reduced lunch will receive one year of insurance free with the device deployment.

Device Pickup:  For families of students participating in the MPS Virtual School Student Learning Model and those in need of a device for the first day of school, September 16th, please complete the 20-21 Device Request Form and the MPS 1:1 Consent Form. A device will be prepared for your student(s) with a pickup window of September 14th and 15th, 8:30 to 4:30. The location will be Medway Middle School, Door 8, IT Office. Devices will be brought to your car based on the plate number. We encourage all families to purchase insurance for the school owned device to cover any repair costs that may be incurred. Please note that anyone receiving free or reduced lunch will receive one year of insurance free with the device deployment.

 

Repair Services and Supports:   

Anyone in need of technical assistance or device repair is encouraged to visit our Technical Support site.  Medway Technical Support can be reached via email at support@medwayschools.org or by phone at (508) 321-4799. Requests will be managed as quickly as possible.

Medway in the News

Medway High School celebrates 2020 Graduates 

Upcoming Events

Early-mid September, TBD

Student and Family Orientations

August 31- September 15, 2020

Faculty and Staff return for orientations, trainings and planning; 8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

September 10, 2020

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

September 14-15, 2020

Student Device Pickup, Middle School, Door 8, IT Office, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

September 16, 2020

First day of school for all students

September 24, 2020

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m.

September 28, 2020

No School: Yom Kippur


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