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Pou Tradiksyon Kreyòl Ayisyen KLIKE ISIT
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July 31, 2020
Dear Medford Public Schools community,
Since the last update, our task force has continued work to develop Medford’s school reopening plan. On Wednesday, Superintendent Edouard-Vincent shared this video update with our community. Click here to watch.
You may have heard about changes to the start of school this week. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) reached an agreement with the statewide teacher’s unions to reduce the school year from 180 days to 170 days to allow additional planning time before students return. All changes to the school calendar are subject to review and approval by the School Committee. In partnership with the Medford Teachers Association, we will be proposing an adjustment of the start of school to no earlier than September 14. The School Committee will vote on this recommendation next week. The close of school in June is unaffected by this proposed change.
The Medford Public Schools Re-Opening Task Force will be sharing a DRAFT of our district’s reopening plan in a separate email this evening. You’ll see that the plan is quite detailed and answers so many of the questions that we have heard from the community. Even with all the answers provided, it is still very much a work in progress. Due to multiple variables and concerns involving COVID, our plan may change, and we will need to remain flexible. We’ll be asking for community input and holding a School Committee meeting on Thursday, August 6th at 6 pm. Until that meeting happens and the committee votes on the plan and any adjustments, this plan is subject to change.
Please do read the full plan when you have a moment. Here are the highlights of the plan:
- All families will have the option to choose a full remote option for their students. Standard schedules and a focus on consistency drove planning for Medford’s Remote Learning Academy.
- While all families can select a remote option for their students, the plan outlines hybrid and in-person models of learning. The district hopes to provide a choice for families in selecting a model, contingent on several factors, including guidance from DESE, the Medford Department of Health, and the Medford School Committee.
- Bus transportation will be a significant challenge. Families who live closer than 2 miles to school should begin to explore alternatives. We will not know whether we can increase bus transportation access until we know how many students will return to the building.
- Transportation for students on IEPs, or who require special programming will continue to be available. We will be reaching out to families to understand whether families have accessible alternatives to alleviate our capacity issue.
- We will observe 6 ft of social distance in all our classrooms, students in Grades 2-12 must wear masks during school. Pre-K – Grade 1 students are encouraged to wear masks.
- MPS is well stocked with adequate Personal Protective Equipment for staff. We will also have PPE on hand for students who may forget masks at home or need a replacement during the school day.
- Students will eat meals in classrooms.
- We will provide additional updates regarding extracurricular activities, sports, and our Before/After School Program in the coming weeks.
So what comes next? Here’s what you can expect over the next few weeks.
- We are seeking community input between now and Wednesday, August 5th, at 8 am. You can do this in a few different ways.
- Provide your feedback in writing (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Join one of two public sessions for questions and answers related to the plan. Please share your feedback and questions by using the “comments” function during the forums.
- We will continue to monitor new updates and guidelines from the state while working closely with union leadership, school, and city officials to fine-tune our plan. Representative school-based working teams will spring into action to interpret the Medford Public Schools Reopening Plan and develop an implementation plan for each school.
- We will publish an updated plan before the School Committee meeting on Thursday, August 6th, at 6 pm.
- We will be sending out a family survey on Friday, August 7th. This survey is critical, and we need every family to respond, as we will use this information to start to plan out the logistics for the start of school. Stay tuned for our next Friday communication for details on how to access the survey and for opportunities to receive assistance in completing it. All answers are due by Friday, August 14th at 5 pm.
Thank you, The Communication/Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup
Source: Medford Public Schools, http://www.mps02155.org/2020/07/31/july-31-2020-reopening-task-force-communication-workgroup-update/