Plans to be Released Later This Summer
MEDFIELD — Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden and School Committee Chair Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke wish to inform community members of several updates regarding the school reopening plans for the 2020-21 academic year, which will be modified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the guidance of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released on Thursday, June 25, the district began the process of creating three different plans to get students back into school while prioritizing their health and safety.
The three different plans will focus on: one for learning entirely in-person, one for a hybrid model that includes in-person and remote learning in the event in-person learning is not feasible due to space constraints and other concerns, and one for remote learning only should there be a second spike in COVID-19 cases regionally.
To ensure each plan is tailored to each school in the district, all five buildings have created a building-based committee that meets on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of July to discuss their reopening plans.
Each building-based committee is comprised of the school’s principal, one nurse, one member of the technology department, up to six teachers, two special education staff members, one English Learning staff, two students for the middle school and high school buildings, one union building representative, one custodian, one teaching assistant and the building secretaries.
Once their plans are created, each building-based committee will present their reopening plans to a district advisory committee on Tuesdays. The district advisory committee consists of all district principals, the three district assistant superintendents, two members of technology support, one nurse leader and one nurse, five teachers (one from each school), two student service teachers, three parents from the School Site Council, two union representatives, one facilities manager, one food service member, one school committee member, four central office members, one Board of Health member and one school physician.
The committees began meeting last week and first created a remote learning model. This week the committees will focus on the hybrid model and the following week will focus on the in-person model.
Additionally, the district will be providing opportunities for staff and families to provide feedback throughout the summer through additional surveys.
The district has sent out an initial survey to gather feedback regarding parent/guardian willingness to send their students back to school and their willingness to have their students ride the school bus. Further surveys will be sent out to gauge parent/guardian opinions and feelings regarding the ongoing impact COVID-19 will have on the 2020-21 academic year.
On Thursday, July 16, parent/guardians will also have the opportunity to participate in an open forum during the school committee meeting to discuss any grievances, concerns and feedback.
All three learning plans are expected to be finalized by July 27 and submitted to DESE. Additional guidelines, including those for busing, will be released in July. The final plan for the district will be announced in August.
“As the district continues to develop and evaluate plans for the 2020-21 academic year, we will be actively seeking valuable feedback from our staff and families,” Superintendent Marsden said. “Each and everyone’s feedback will be compiled to create the best possible education plans for our students while ensuring we have the proper precautions in place for everyone’s health and safety. We hope that everyone uses these opportunities to voice any concerns or fears they might have.”