St. Mary's School

Friday, July 3, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,


I hope you are all doing well. As I'm sure you are all aware, last week the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Schools (DESE) and Governor Baker announced that schools will reopen in the fall. As part of the draft announcement, DESE released initial guidance and requirements with a priority of safely returning students back to school in person in the fall. Though we expect some of the details of the guidance to change throughout the summer, we are pleased to have a clearer picture of what will be recommended and required for schools to safely reopen in the fall.


In conjunction with the Archdiocese of Boston, we have been and will continue planning for a safe opening in the fall. Following the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance , we are in the process of modifying our classrooms, facilities, health/safety protocols, and general procedures to successfully comply with requirements and recommendations released by DESE. As DESE continues to revise their initial guidance and release new guidance, we will adjust our plans to ensure compliance and the safety of our community.


At the school level, we have assembled a Reopening Planning Team to assist in the planning and preparations needed for a safe reopening in the fall. Father Shawn and I would like to extend our thanks to the team members for engaging in this important work. As we continue to develop our reopening plan, our top priorities are the following:


  • ensuring the health and safety of our students, families, and faculty/staff
  • fostering the social and emotional well being of our students, families, and faculty/staff
  • providing a comprehensive, rigorous learning experience with individualized support for all students


As we plan for a return to school in the fall, we invite you to complete an initial survey regarding the return to school. This survey will be used to inform our initial planning. We understand that your thoughts and decisions as a family may change throughout the summer. We will be in contact with you throughout the summer at various points to ask for your feedback and input in this process. Please feel comfortable being open and honest. The collective feedback of our school community members will be vital in shaping and reshaping our reopening plan. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.


Sincerely,

Mr. Beza

Reopening Planning Team

  • Mr. Christopher Beza - Principal
  • Mrs. Terry Pedicini, RN - School Nurse
  • Mrs. Rachel Barys - Kindergarten Teacher
  • Mrs. Bridget Easler - Grade 5 Teacher
  • Mrs. Lorraine Brady - Academic Coach
  • Mrs. Leea Regan - Parent
  • Mrs. Suzanne Silva, RN - Parent

Learning Models of the Reopening Plan


As part of the initial guidance, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has asked all schools to prepare a reopening plan that addresses three possible learning models for this fall:


1) In-person learning with new safety requirements - This model is our first priority. We are planning to reopen in person in the fall with increased health and safety protocols based on guidance from the state.


2) Hybrid of in-person and remote learning - Should there be a change to the guidelines that requires a reduction of capacity, we will be prepared to shift to a blended model of in-person and remote learning.


3) Remote learning - In the event health metrics do not permit an in-person return to school in September, we will use the successes and best practices of our spring remote learning experience, as well as the critical feedback provided by parents and teachers, to implement a comprehensive remote learning plan.

Tentative Start Date


In conjunction with Melrose Public Schools, our tentative plan is for students to return to school on Wednesday, September 2. Of course these plans will ultimately depend on health metrics and guidance from the state, but our opening days of school are currently scheduled as follows:

Monday, August 31: Faculty Professional Development Day

Tuesday, September 1: Faculty Professional Development Day

Wednesday, September 2: Half day for PreK and K (dismissal at 11:00 am)

Wednesday, September 2: Full day for Grades 1-8

Thursday, September 3: Half day for PreK and K (dismissal at 11:00 am)

Thursday, September 3: Full day for Grades 1-8

Friday, September 4: NO SCHOOL

Monday, September 7: NO SCHOOL - Labor Day

Tuesday, September 8: Full day for all students

Finalizing Enrollment


This year St. Mary's School adopted the FACTS/Renweb student information system platform. In response to the circumstances of the past few months, we have transitioned our enrollment/re-registration process to our new system. To finalize your child's enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year, we are asking families to please log in to the FACTS SIS and complete the enrollment packet. Your username and password was emailed to you by Ms. Mobilia last week, along with instructions for accessing and completing the online enrollment packet. If you did not receive an email from Ms. Mobilia with the subject line Enrollment - St. Mary's School or if you require assistance with the process, please contact Ms. Mobilia (mrs.mobilia@stmaryschoolmelrose.org).

Student Summer Work


Time away from school during the summer months is still an opportunity for your child to retain his or her academic skills. It can also be a chance to prepare for the upcoming year by sharpening reading and math readiness. Please encourage your child to read for 15-20 minutes daily. The book selection should be one at their current reading level and be of their interest. Younger readers, of course, will require the support of a parent or caregiver to read to them. Some resources that can be used to expand reading skills are Raz-Kids and Lexia, and Readworks. Practicing math facts daily at home is a simple, practical way to maintain and improve the math skills of your student. This can be accomplished through using flashcards, practicing skip counting, and studying patterns at home. Websites that can assist with this task are XtraMath and iXL. While we are not mandating formal summer work this year after a long period of remote learning, we ask you to please encourage your child to continue learning during this time away from structured classes. The Melrose Public Library provides a website with many digital resources for all ages.

Please see the link below:

https://www.melrosepubliclibrary.org