Superintendent's Update - Dated 10/15/2020

Superintendent's Update - Dated 10/15/2020
Posted on 10/16/2020
Superintendent's Update - Dated 10/15/2020

Dear Medway families, 

We hope that you enjoyed the wonderful weather last weekend.  On October 7, 2020 an email update was sent to our community to explain the anticipated move of the Town of Medway from a “yellow” to a “red” community on the COVID-19 Community-Level Data Map relative to COVID-19 transmission risk.  This email was sent in anticipation of a move for Medway from being classified as a “yellow” to a “red” community.  When the report was issued late last Wednesday, Medway continued to be classified as a “yellow” community, which was better news than expected.  As a reminder, every Wednesday, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts updates the COVID-19 Community-Level Data Map.  The map was updated yesterday and Medway continues to be listed as a “yellow” community.  We are committed to remaining vigilant in our practices to support a safe learning environment for students and staff.  We are continuing to ask for the support of the greater community to continue to remain vigilant about health and safety practices so that we are able to keep our students, faculty and staff, and families safe, and in school.

 

Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools


Virtual Learning Model Administrator Update

We wanted to share an update regarding a staffing change that will be taking place.  Sonja Metcalf, Medway High School Assistant Principal and Administrator of the Virtual Learning Model, will be leaving Medway at the end of October.  We thank Ms. Metcalf for her dedication and leadership during her time in Medway.

In order to continue to provide effective support for our students, we have identified replacements for Sonja’s responsibilities. We are pleased to share that Jeff Parcells will take over additional administrative responsibilities at Medway High School, to fill any gaps created by Ms. Metcalf’s departure. These responsibilities will be in addition to Mr. Parcells’ responsibilities as Athletic Director.  Prior to serving as an athletic director, Mr. Parcells was a guidance counselor and teacher.  

In addition, we are pleased to share that Mr. Brian Menna, current elementary assistant principal, will support the communication and logistical elements of the Virtual Learning Model.  Mr. Menna’s experience as a teacher, program coordinator, and administrator at the high, middle and elementary levels will serve him well as he takes on these new responsibilities.

As you know this year has been anything but typical.  We are appreciative that our staff have consistently demonstrated flexibility and a willingness to provide support to our students and families throughout our Medway as needed.

Teaching and Learning Update Presented to School Committee

During their October 8 meeting, Gabby Abrams, Assistant Superintendent, presented an update to the School Committee regarding the professional development that educators have and will continue to engage in connected with educating our learners in our current circumstance.  A copy of the presentation that was shared can be found here

As we shared during this presentation, it is taking us time to assimilate to this new model of teaching and learning.  Synchronous time with both our at home and in school cohorts of students is a priority for us to address.  We continue to have an incredibly productive partnership with our Medway Federation for Teachers and have worked with them to support a 2 week pilot with identified educators at each grade level where a minimum of 10 minutes of each instructional block will be synchronous - students who are at home will “zoom in” to the live classroom.  This minimum of 10 minutes of time can be anytime during the instructional block, depending on the goals that the educator has designed.  Following the two week pilot of this practice, it is our hope that we will be able to move to full implementation where all grade 3-12 children will be “zooming in” to each of their classes for a minimum of 10 minutes on the days when they are learning from home.  We believe that this ongoing learning and implementation will be in service to our students, faculty, and staff.

COVID-19 Updates

Positive Case Reporting Hotline

If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please call 508-321-4779 or email covid@medwayschools.org.  Using the hotline helps to ensure an efficient response and protects student privacy.  If you are not reporting a positive COVID-19 test result but have questions about COVID-19 and your child, please contact your school nurse.  

Case Updates

This week (October 7-14), we had 0 Medway students/educators test positive for COVID-19.  As a community, Medway’s average daily incidence rate of individuals with COVID-19 decreased from 7.65 to 6.55 per 100,000 people, causing Medway to remain a“yellow” community.  

COVID-19 Dashboard

To keep families informed of the risk of in-school transmission of COVID-19, we partnered with Boston University’s School of Public Health to create a school dashboard.  The dashboard uses weighted school, community, and state COVID-19 metrics to generate a composite score, which indicates the risk in-school transmission of COVID-19 and informs us of what learning model is considered safe.  This dashboard, paired with COVID-19 Community-Level Data Map provide useful information to more completely understand the relative risk in schools.

This dashboard will soon be displayed on our website and will be updated each Thursday morning after state data is released.  For a preview of the dashboard, please click here

COVID-19 Flow Chart

Late this summer the Department of Secondary and Elementary Education provided schools with the guidance document: Protocols For Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios.  Although helpful, this document proved challenging for school administrators and parents to interpret.  To provide greater clarity, to questions like What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID 19? And: What happens if my child is a “close contact” of someone who tests positive for COVID-19?  We partnered with Boston University’s Public Health Department, which created this flow chart for parents to reference when these types of questions arise:  COVID-19 Guide For Families 

COVID-19 Parent Resources from Medway Schools Health Services

The Medway school nursing team has assembled important information related to COVID-19 for parents and guardians to review including information about student screening, masks, the flu vaccine, and positive cases of COVID-19.  This information can be found here

Survey: Exploring COVID-19 Surveillance Testing

We are asking families to complete a brief survey related to our exploration of COVID-19 Surveillance testing.  The survey will close on Monday, October 19.  We held a webinar at the beginning of the month and are collecting feedback from the community. 

Please complete the survey here:  Brief Two Question Survey

School Meals: Free Throughout 2020/2021 School Year 

Late last week, the USDA announced that school meals would remain free of charge to all students until at least June 30, 2021.  This announcement means that all students, regardless of free and reduced lunch status, can continue to access free meals while in school and pick-up meals free of charge during their at-home learning days.  

Burke-Memorial Plaque Ceremony

On Thursday, October 8, the Medway School Committee recognized three Medway residents for their contributions to the Town of Medway and  the Medway Public Schools.  The recipients of this honor were added to the Memorial School Plaque which is a plaque that hangs proudly within the Burke-Memorial School.  Congratulations and thank you to the following individuals for their service and dedication:   

Nancy Thompson

Nancy Holland

Darlene Doherty Cellucci

Parents at Athletic Programs

We are pleased to share some exciting news for the families of our high school athletes.  With the updated EEA guidelines, the TVL Principals have voted to allow home spectators with the following guidelines:

  • home team spectators only
  • each player can have up to 2 adult spectators
  • spectators must have a mask on upon entering facility and it must remain on for the entire time inside the facility
  • spectators must practice social distancing (6 feet minimum and 14 feet if 'cheering')
  • all spectators must sit in the bleachers and may not stand along the fence.  At no time will spectators be allowed to enter the track/turf area.

Medway Public Schools In the News

COVID-19 Surveillance Testing 

First day of school

Medway Recognizes 2020 Memorial School Plague Honorees 

 

Upcoming Events

October 15, 2020

Virtual Back to School Night, Medway High School, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Register here.

October 20, 2020

Joint Medfield/Millis/Medway Virtual SEPAC Meeting-Parent Rights, 7 p.m., link found here

October 22, 2020

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

October 27, 2020

Virtual Curriculum Night, Burke-Memorial School, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

October 28, 2020

Virtual Open House, Medway Middle School, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

October 29, 2020

Virtual Curriculum Night, McGovern Elementary School, TBD

November 3, 2020

No School: Professional Development Day

November 11, 2020

No School: Veterans Day

November 12, 2020

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

November 19, 2020

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

November 25, 2020

Early Release All Schools

November 26-27, 2020

No School: Thanksgiving Recess


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