Superintendent's Update - Dated August 5, 2020

Superintendent's Update - Dated August 5, 2020
Posted on 08/05/2020
Superintendent's Update - Dated August 5, 2020

Dear Medway families, 

It continues to be a busy summer!  I am so proud of the hard work that has taken place within the district this summer to support students.  Recently, I was able to visit our students in the Extended Year and Welcome to Kindergarten “Camp” Programs.  I was also able to attend the in-person Medway High School Graduation that took place on Sunday, August 2 in celebration of the Class of 2020.  Each of these events/programs felt like a small return to what we know as “normal.”  Seeing our students learning together, engaging safely together, and being a part of our school community after several months of absence, was terrific. Thank you to all who made these experiences happen for our students and staff!

The focus of this summer has been the planning connected with Medway Public Schools Fall 2020 School Return. During our July 23 webinar, we presented the Fall 2020 Full Return to School Feasibility Study and shared that a full return to school would support the DESE’s 3 foot physical distancing requirements.  We also provided insight into other health and safety protocols that we would be employing in full or hybrid return to school models.  Community and faculty/staff surveys seeking to understand the current sentiment around a full school return, hybrid, and/or remote only option were then distributed.  275 faculty and staff responded to the faculty/staff survey and there were 1,585 respondents on the student survey.  While non-binding at this time, the analysis of these results has provided us with additional information to inform our Medway Public Schools Fall 2020 School Return Recommendation which will be presented to the School Committee during their August 13 meeting.  

Please know that while we continue planning, there are many challenges that we must overcome to ensure a return to school this fall.  We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.  What is clear is that, regardless of our student learning return model this fall, families will need to be prepared for a continually changing situation.  As shared during the last Community Webinar, we anticipate that we will migrate among and between each of the student learning models (full in-person, hybrid, and remote) during the 2020-2021 school year.  

2020-2021 School Calendar

As you may be aware, the Commissioner of Education has reduced the 2020-2021 school year requirement for all districts across the Commonwealth to 170 days “to provide sufficient training and preparation time for educators and staff prior to the start of the new school year.”  The Commissioner further indicated that all districts would need to begin school with students “no later than September 16.”  This additional time will provide us with the opportunity to conduct necessary training, and engage in professional development to support our educators in their work to transform their instructional practices to best serve students in these models of learning (in person, hybrid, remote).  We are working on a new 2020-2021 school year calendar and will include the proposed calendar in our Medway Public Schools Fall 2020 School Return Recommendation for School Committee approval.  The partnership with the Medway Federation of Teachers continues to be a strength in our work and planning in support of a rich educational experience for our students.

Medway Public Schools Fall 2020 School Return Recommendation 

Broadly, the Medway Public Schools Fall 2020 School Return Recommendation will include the following:

  • Necessary information on health and safety metrics, practices, and protocols 
  • Background information and data that led to the recommendation for Fall 2020 School Return
  • A proposed FY21 school calendar that accounts for the reduction in school year requirement 
  • Guiding Planning Principles that anchored the development of our thinking regarding each student learning model
  • A breakdown of the recommended model of learning for students at each grade level for Fall 2020
  • An acknowledgment and detail around what the full remote student experience will entail should families opt for that model
  • An overview of what the student’s experience will entail in our recommended student learning model(s)

We invite the community to join us for a Return to School webinar on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 5:00PM.  We will again use a webinar format to share our presentation.  The event will also be recorded and shared with our community.  Attendance requires registration.  If you would like to attend, please Register here 

In addition, the following timeline highlights the next important steps of decision-making and planning for our return to school.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

5:00 p.m:  Review of Fall 2020 School Return recommendation with the Medway Public Schools School Committee (for approval) - This will be a live streamed meeting

Friday, August 14, 2020

Final “commitment” surveys sent to families regarding their plans for the Fall 2020 school return  

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Family Survey Final Fall 2020 School Return surveys due 

In preparation for this recommendation, many remain hard at work in discussion, planning, collaboration, and exploration.  Partnerships across the region and Commonwealth with other school districts have been a point of pride in this work as we work to ensure equity and access for ALL learners.  Most importantly, we have continued our commitment to remain nimble and responsive to the health metrics as they evolve.

We will continue to keep you apprised of this work as insights are sought and plans are further developed.  We have included a couple of other updates below, for your information.  

We hope that you continue to be well!

 

Sincerely,

  

Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent

 

Fall 2020 Full School Return Feasibility Study:  School Based Office Hour Webinar Recordings

Below, please find the recordings of each of the school based meetings that followed the presentation of the Fall 2020 Full School Return Feasibility Study.  

McGovern School 

Burke-Memorial School

Medway Middle School

Medway High School

 

Grant Opportunity:  Community Youth Substance Use and Prevention Coalition

As outlined in our Strategic Plan and underscored in our core values, the Medway Public Schools greatly values the health and wellness of our students.  One area of student health that we would like to support more holistically is substance use prevention.  In order to do this, we plan to apply for federal funding that would support the development of a Community Youth Substance Use and Prevention Coalition in Medway.

 

One of the involved in the grant application process is to name our coalition.  In order to come up with a name that speaks to our students and parents, we are looking for your opinion.  We ask that you please advise us by completing this short survey, ideally with the help of your student, by August 7: Coalition Name Survey 

 

Medway in the News

Medway Discusses Reopening Plan 

Photos: Medway High’s Class of 2020 Graduates at Hanlon Field.

 

Upcoming Events

August 13, 2020

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 5:00 p.m.

August 20, 2020

School Committee Meeting, Presentation Room, Medway Middle School, 5:00 p.m.


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