Nauset PS Community Newsletter
Important Message from Superintendent Brooke Clenchy
Welcome to our February Newsletter!
As I write this the sun is shining, the temperature is warming, and the days are getting longer.
This newsletter is full of information on multiple district-wide happenings. The high school building project continues to move along well, and is on time. The Nauset High School Principal search is close to wrapping up - a note of thanks to the Search Committee. The Governor announced this week that the mandate of masks will revert back to local authority effective February 28, 2022, so I’ve included a section in this newsletter of information specific to that process.
Finally, I would like to extend a deep note of thanks to everyone involved with the Superintendent Search. The search process for a superintendent is lengthy, comprehensive and filled with meetings, site visitations, and much work for our school committee members to complete and accomplish. This particular process included all of that - it was extensive.
I am thrilled to have been selected as the permanent Superintendent for Nauset Public Schools. We have begun excellent work in this school year that we will take to a deeper level of effort. These efforts will continue to help support our students and continue to maintain the excellent reputation of all Nauset schools. We will continue to move the Strategic Plan forward, build upon our efforts with Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, work on policies, and build upon additional efforts district-wide. We will be placing a focus on the Nauset Regional High School building project to help support its movement forward, beginning with the modular campus expected to arrive on our school grounds early this summer.
We live and work in a unique and special place, and I am proud to be a part of this school district.
Thank you to everyone involved in this process.
Mask Mandate Update:
This week Commissioner of Education, Jeff Riley, joined Governor Baker in announcing that the statewide school mask requirement will be lifted on February 28, 2022. In guidance received by Nauset Public Schools it was noted that the decision to mandate masks will revert back to local control effective that Monday.
According to Commissioner Riley, “The decision was made in consultation with infectious disease physicians, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and other medical experts. Vaccinations are the best protection against COVID-19, and Massachusetts has among the highest vaccination rates of young people and is a national leader in overall vaccination.”
With the current school testing programs, the percentage of school-age children that have been vaccinated, Governor Baker noted, “We have all the tools to keep schools safe as we move into dealing with the next phase of managing COVID.”
Our Nauset Public Schools leadership team has already met to discuss this state recision and the potential implications specific to Nauset schools.
Currently, we have a mask mandate policy in place, as determined by the NPS Joint Committee. The Joint Committee has established a meeting time next week on February 15, 2022 at 6:00 pm via zoom to discuss potential direction on this topic moving forward. Currently all of our communities have an indoor mask mandate in effect. It needs to be noted that these local mandates have implications for what the Nauset Joint School Committee will be able to make decisions on.
We are asking our faculty and families to take a quick survey which will be sent out tomorrow via Parent Square to let us know your thoughts on the topic of potentially moving to optional masking for staff and students, and away from mandated masking for everyone.
At this time, all other mitigation strategies are anticipated to remain in place for the foreseeable future. Should changes occur regarding those strategies, we will be sure to let you know.
Masking on buses remains in place, per federal regulations for the foreseeable future.
We appreciate your continued dedication and productive efforts to keep all in our community safe. We are grateful for your support of our schools and for all the members of our school community.
NRHS Building Project Update: Tom Faris & Kathleen Tringale
As the district continues to work toward our upcoming groundbreaking of the planned $138M renovation to the Nauset High School campus, we continue to meet with architects, building professionals, school administration and educational staff as plans are refined for the final submission to the Massachusetts Building Authority in May. In our last update, we walked through what Phase 1 will look like. Phase 1 will involve closing half of the campus including G, E, N and Cafeteria buildings. Modular classrooms will be installed to substitute for these closed buildings as we work to minimize disruption for the entire campus.Recent ongoing conversations have been centered around the transition to Phase 1 of construction. This includes temporary physical education space and cafeteria. We are also working to refine the master schedule to incorporate student and teacher schedules in order to have as smooth a transition as possible into modular classrooms. The modular classrooms will be:
heated and air-conditioned,
have student bathrooms centrally located
have classrooms largely grouped by subject
and be outfitted with internet and educational technology
Teachers are currently planning for the Phase 1 move by inventorying textbooks, educational materials, equipment and beginning the packing process. Our maintenance staff continue to be extremely supportive in these efforts. The entire Nauset learning community continues to work together toward this exciting update of our unique and architecturally important campus.
Nauset Regional High School Principal Search Update: Dr. Robin Millen & Mary Buchanan
Prior to the Holiday Break, Nauset High School Principal, Dr. Chris Elsasser, announced that he would not be returning to his role at the high school next year. We wish Dr. Ellsasser well on his new professional endeavors.
As a result, the NRHS Principal position was posted in early January. Subsequent to the posting, surveys went out to all stakeholders and community members to solicit information on the characteristics, professional experiences, and expectations the community had for the incoming principal. An invitation was also extended to recruit volunteers to serve on the search committee. There were numerous community members interested in serving on the search committee, and as a result, the committee was randomly selected to reflect participation from caregivers, students, educators, administrators, and community members.
Eleven candidates submitted their resumes for consideration of the role of NRHS Principal, and seven individuals were selected as viable candidates. The search committee reviewed all of the applications and selected four candidates to interview. After these interviews, it was decided that one applicant would move forward to the next round of focus group meetings with stakeholders where participants from various groups will be able to ask questions of the candidate. Focus group participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Superintendent to aid in the hiring decision for the future NRHS Principal.
We value your feedback in this important process, and we welcome participants to join the upcoming focus group meetings on February 16, 2022, to meet candidate, Mr. Patrick Clark.
Focus groups will meet with Mr. Clark at the times and locations listed below on Wednesday, February 16, 2022:
NRHS Students- All lunch periods in the cafeteria
NRHS Staff and Faculty- 3:10pm in the NRHS Cafeteria
Parents, Caregivers and Community Members- Join a virtual meeting at 5:00 pm.
Thank you to the NRHS Principal Search Committee for their work throughout the entire search process, and thank you in advance to all joining and providing feedback in this next round of focus group meetings.
Support & Care
Over the last couple of months, our community has been impacted by the untimely passing of both young adults and caregivers. At our schools, we have implemented various layers of short-term and long-term support for our students, faculty, and staff.
For caregivers, it is important to remember that “...grief is not a linear experience, especially in children. Children display emotions differently than adults. Grief for kids is both emotional, intellectual, social, and physical. A child’s level of understanding, reactive behaviors, and needs will all vary depending on their age. Thus we will continue to provide multi-layers of support at our schools.” (Good Grief, advocates for children experiencing loss)
At home, there are a variety of resources, both nationally and locally, available to help support families and children:
Nauset Public Schools
Superintendent of SchoolsNauset Public Schools
78 Eldredge Park Way
Orleans, MA 02653
Phone: (508) 255-8800 ext. 7002
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