What's Happening Online @ LMES?

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Good Morning Long Meadow!

Things have certainly changed since my last newsletter! I am so proud of the work that Region 15 staff, especially from Long Meadow, have been doing to get the Region 15 Online Learning Resources website up and running with lots of learning activities for our students to engage in while learning from home! In the past week and a half, we have been working around the clock with teachers, reading coaches, interventionists, classroom teachers, and many, many more people to make this website even more helpful to you and our students during this time. Starting this morning, when you go to the website and click on your child(ren)'s grade level, you will see new content that outlines suggested schedules and routines, learning opportunities for each week, and links to specific videos and other activities that are tailored by classroom teachers at each grade level. We are so excited to provide these newly expanded and personalized learning opportunities for our students!

Please See The Message Below from Our Superintendent, Mr. Smith

March 24, 2020

Dear Region 15 Families,

A reminder that the Region 15 Distance Learning environment will officially begin tomorrow, March 25th. Students in Grades K-2 can access their learning activities through the Region 15 website while students in Grades 3-12 can access their learning activities through their individual teacher’s Google Classrooms. Our teachers are looking forward to reconnecting with their students and beginning our journey together. We hope that all of our students will try to access their learning tomorrow and will hear from their teachers through age-appropriate methods. We are all starting this journey together, tomorrow is about a beginning, about getting ready to learn, we expect that there will be challenges and things that we will need to work through. This is true whenever we implement new things, but when we make radical structural changes, under a stressed situation, using tools and structures people may be unfamiliar with and try to reach students of all learning abilities and ages, we know some things will not go as planned. We are a district of talented staff and a dedicated community, we will adjust and make improvements.

Devices: If you have used our form to request a device, it will be ready for pick up tomorrow, March 25th at Pomperaug High School from 10am-2pm.

In a desire to keep our staff safe and limit contact, we will work with families who have not yet requested a device, by appointment. If your circumstances change and you need a device, please send an email to technology@region15.org.

Grading: The closing date for the quarter 3 for Middle and High Schools has been extended to Friday, April 3rd. Specific information about 3rd quarter grades and collection of assignments will be communicated to you from your teachers and building administration. For quarter 4, our grading practices will look different since we are working in a digital learning environment. We are working collectively with the State Department of Education for guidance that will align with State reporting expectations prior to making any final decisions.

State Assessments: The Federal Government has waived all required state assessments this spring. Therefore, there will not be summative assessments for Smarter, NGSS, CT SAT, CTAA and CTAS. Since many students in Grade 11 use the Connecticut SAT School Day for college acceptance/placement, the CSDE will work closely with the College Board to determine how best to afford all students the opportunity to take an SAT assessment either this spring or sometime in the future.

AP Exams: For the 2019-20 exam administration only, students can take a 45-minute online exam at home. Educator-led development committees are currently selecting the exam questions that will be administered. For current information and updates please check here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update?SFMC_cid=EM288604-&rid=43382373

Lunch: Tomorrow, March 25th lunch will be served at Pomperaug High School from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Lunch is available for any Region 15 student and will be available for pick up around the back of the building.

April Vacation and the last day of school: Based on the Governor’s closing of schools through at least April 20th, it is now clear that the Region 15 schools will be in Distance Learning mode through the break. Today the Governor also indicated that the state may choose to close schools for the remainder of the year. I expect to be able to communicate more details about April break later this week, but because we are in a Distance Learning environment, a break is defined differently and I expect we can accommodate staff and students regardless. The State Department of Education has also made it clear that our last day of school can be our originally expected one. While we do currently expect June 12th to remain the last day, the fluidity of our current environment may dictate a different course. I will continue to provide updates as information becomes available and decisions can be made with clarity.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to myself, your building administrators, or our teachers for assistance. I expect that these first few days are going to be a little awkward and difficult, but we will find a rhythm within a few days. I am confident our students and teachers are going to do a great job.

I wish you all the best of luck and am happy to have you as a partner in this process.

Joshua Smith
Region 15 Public Schools