March Edition, 2020

Big picture


This Newsletter is a monthly letter that updates on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.

Important Upcoming Events

District Happenings:

3/17/20 All-School Chorus (at Deer Hill), 7PM

3/18/20 - All School Band, HS Gymnasium, 7PM

Half Day: Educator Half Professional Development Day – March 19

No School: Educator Full Professional Development Day – March 20

Cohasset High School

College Planning Night, 6:30, auditorium, March 10

All-School Chorus (at Deer Hill), 7PM, March 17

All School Band, HS Gymnasium, 7PM, March 18

One Love Workshop for Faculty, March 19

Building-Based Half PD Day, March 19

Full Day District PD (Cultural school), March 20

Spring Sports Meeting, 6:30, Auditorium, March 23

MCAS ELA (Grade 10), March 24 & March 25

One Love Workshop for Seniors, March 26

ADL Conference for Diversity Club Members, March 27

Cohasset Middle School

SEPAC Parent-to-Parent Coffee, March 4

End of Term II, March 13

MCAS Infrastructure Trial - Grades 7/8, March 16

MCAS Infrastructure Trial - Grades 6, March 17

All School Chorus, March 17

All School Band, March 18

Early Release &Building-Based PD, March 19

Term II Report Cards posted on Aspen, March 20

No School: Educator Full Professional Development Day, March 20

Deer Hill Elementary School

PSO Meeting – March 10, 2020, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Trimester Ends - March 12, 2020

Progress Reports Send Home - March 19, 2020

PK-5 Conferences March 25, 2020 -Mar 26, 2020

Grade 5 ELA MCAS - March 30, 2020 - March 31, 2020

Early Dismissal, Staff PD: 4.8.20, 12:40

Full Day PD, No School: 4.9.20

Good Friday, No School: 4.10.20

April Vacation, No School: 4.20 - 4.24

Joseph Osgood Elementary School

Mr. Dykas Dance Party - March 9, 2020 - March 13, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Friday morning I met with several Superintendents from the South Shore to discuss the formation of a Highly Infectious Disease School Preparedness Plan, that we hope to add to our Emergency Response Documents in the coming weeks. We will be collaborating with Town Officials on this important document.

Also, yesterday I joined Superintendents across the state in a conference call with Commissioner Riley from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Health Officials from the Department of Public Health. Here are some of the key points from the conference call:

  • Commissioner Riley updated on the state's current work planning for possibilities as the situation evolves.
  • Commissioner Riley reasserted his urging for school districts to cancel all international trips, including all international spring trips. He made it clear that they do not have such a recommendation for domestic travel and that districts should make their own decisions regarding trips within the country. He did add that it is a possibility that there may in the future be a need to cancel domestic trips, but at this point it remains up to individual districts.
  • He spoke that in terms of mandatory days of school that we are sticking to the 180 day rules, which state that school districts have certain forgiveness built in with the amount of snow days we are allowed.
  • Commissioner Riley and his colleagues asserted that remote learning opportunities for students and educators in lieu of school days (which was being called "Blizzard Bags" in the investigatory stages) is not an option they are considering at this time.
  • Commissioner Riley mentioned that his team would be working together and meeting to discuss the effect possible absences could have on MCAS and School and District Accountability.
  • He stressed that schools work closely with their local health departments when health questions arise.
  • There was a healthy discussion regarding balancing the need to protect the rights of individuals with the need for transparency in communication.
  • There was a discussion regarding the need for and shortage of clearing supplies and equipment. The state is looking into this issue and more information is forthcoming.
  • Finally, the state assured us that they will be putting out information next week regarding the handling of public events where large numbers of people gather.

Thank you, All for your support of each other during this difficult health crisis. Stay tuned for Daily Updates from our School / Town Leadership Team.

School FAQs Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

School Specific Info

The School District is following Center of Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidelines for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools - to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019:

Has anyone with a link to Cohasset Schools been identified as having Coronavirus?

At this time, we are not aware of anyone with a direct link to Cohasset Public Schools having been diagnosed with Coronavirus.

What is Cohasset Public Schools doing to limit the spread of Coronavirus?

· The School District is following guidance prepared by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help limit the spread of Coronavirus.

Specifically, the district is:

    • Focusing cleaning efforts on activities most likely to reduce the spread of the virus. Such as: Hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed at each entrance of every school and on all Cohasset buses. Classrooms will be provided with hand sanitizer Buses and classrooms will be sanitized more regularly. Lunch tables will be wiped before and after lunches.

Recently, school custodians were trained on cleaning procedures in connection with Conovirus, and there are plans in place to train bus drivers who are also cleaning their buses regularly.

    • Providing education to students and staff on steps individuals can take to reduce the spread of the virus, including hand washing and staying home when ill.
    • Working closely with the Town of Cohasset, emergency services and the Department of Health to ensure an appropriate and coordinated response is taken as new information arises.

· The School District is meeting frequently with local public health, town government; and emergency services officials to discuss and coordinate actions to promote safety.

Custodians were also trained in cleaning procedures.

· The School District is working with other districts to develop a Highly Infectious Disease Preparedness Plan. Included in this plan will be:

    • a review, update and, where needed, implementation of, emergency plans regarding infectious diseases.
    • Development of information sharing systems with partners such as local health officials.
    • A plan to monitor and attend to absenteeism.
    • Establishing procedures for addressing staff and students who are sick at school.
    • A review of routines for environmental cleaning.
    • Creation of communication plans for use by the school community.
    • Sharing of resources with the community on how to respond to infectious diseases.

The guide will outline differences between seasonal influenza and pandemic influenza, will articulate roles and responsibilities for authorities, inform the public regarding the efforts to ‘prepare-prevent-protect’ in the case of infectious disease outbreak and outline steps for a response, including recovery efforts, in the event of an infectious disease outbreak.

This plan is being developed with other school districts and should be ready for distribution within the next few weeks.

Is the School District Cancelling School Trips?

All school international trips are cancelled until further notice per. the recommendation of Massachusetts Governor Baker. Domestic trips are being considered on a case- by-case basis. We are working with trip vendors and are proceeding with caution following the guidance of the DPH, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and with other local and state health officials.

Guidance to School Districts from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Resources for Students and Families and Help in talking to your child regarding Coronavirus

Coronavirus Fact Sheet and Guidance:

  • CDC Information on COVID-19 and children
  • CDC information for staff, students, and their families who have recently traveled back to the United States from areas where CDC has identified community spread of coronavirus
  • A list of countries where community spread of COVID-19 is occurring can be found on the CDC webpage: Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel

Guidance on How to Talk to Children regarding Coronavirus:

Town of Cohasset Frequently Asked Questions Document


Community Update for March 4, 2020

Community Update for March 5, 2020

Community Update for March 6, 2020

Community Update for March 7, 2020

Community Update for March 8, 2020

School Start and Ending Times Confirmed for 2020 - 2021 School Year

Big picture
The School Start and Ending Times for the 2020 - 2021 School Year have been confirmed. Below, please find the start and ending times that will be put into place for next year. Please note that the adoption of these start and ending times means that students K-5 will ride the buses together next year.Thank you to everyone who collaborated and provided voice during this process. In the upcoming months, further information will be shared about before and after school offerings, bus routes, bus stops and student drop-off and pick-up.
Big picture

School Department to work with Cohasset Recreation to create before and after school programming for Osgood and Deer Hill and Before School Programming for Cohasset High School and Middle School for the 2020 - 2021 School Year

Big picture
Big picture
Both the Recreation Department and Cohasset School Committee have approved the recreation and school departments' collaborating to run a school-based before and after school program. This program (RISE) will begin during the 2020 - 2021 school year. We are also going to offer breakfast to all students (not just the students in the program) before school next year at all buildings. Dr. Leslie Scollins will run the program from the school side, working with Ted Carrol and his staff at Cohasset Recreation. Over the next few weeks we will be communicating more and specific information. This is an exciting collaboration!


Immigration Panel at Deer Hill

Big picture
The annual Immigration Panel of parents and community members spoke to Deer Hill 4th Grade Students just before break. It was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about new cultures. When someone is different, two things can happen. Sometimes the best of people can come out but sometimes the worst.” Thoughtful words from Mr. Omran (shown below). In the words of Principal Sullivan, "We strive to learn, understand, and connect to be our best."

Authentic Learning Opportunities at Deer Hill

Courtesy of Principal Sullivan:

"Not only do we have smart, talented students, but Deer Hill family members are pretty smart and talented themselves! Many 3rd grade parents and guardians have shared their talents and interests by signing up for Volunteer Enrichment Days in their children's classrooms. Recent visits have included a lesson on aviation (complete with a sail plane), a lesson on entrepreneurialship by the owner of a baking steel business, and yoga instruction. If you're a 3rd grade family member who would like to participate, your classroom teacher may still have time slots available!"

--Principal Sullivan

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Deer Hill Read Your Heart Out Day

Courtesy of Principal Sullivan:

"Just before February Break, Deer Hill celebrated Read Your Heart Out Day, an opportunity to slow down the pace of our curriculum and tap into the joy of reading for reading's sake. It is my hope that beyond this one day, an emphasis on joyful reading permeates our school. It is absolutely, positively true that explicit reading instruction has a critical role in our reading curriculum. However, developing those skills is not mutually exclusive to fostering a love of reading in and of itself. From our yearly Read A Thon, to our weekly Reading Rovers, to promoting choice in student book selection on a daily basis, students at Deer Hill not only read to learn but also read because it is fundamental to how we connect with the world around us (and it's fun!)."

--Principal Sullivan

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Osgood Celebrates 100th Day of School

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

State Champion Boys Cross-Country Team Visits Statehouse

Big picture
Big picture


The following comes Courtesy of Principal Scott and the CHS Newsletter

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Swim and Dive Team Takes Home Second Place at MIAA Division 2 State Championships

Big picture

CMS Faculty discusses Gender Identity with PFLAF

Big picture
This past month, CMS Faculty focused on supporting students' social-emotional learning (SEL) needs through a presentation from the Boston Chapter of PFLAG. The title of the presentation was "Creating a Safer School Community" focusing on supporting transgender students. Thank you, PFLAG and CMS for raising this awareness.

Eighth Grade Students Learning about Cohasset High School

Big picture
Big picture

Middle School Pond Street Press...Click on the Link Below to Access the Latest Edition of the CMS Newspaper

Marionettes Assembly at Deer Hill

Big picture
Big picture


This year, as we have focused on looking at everything we do through the eyes of the student, it has been wonderful seeing all of the kind gestures, activities and initiatives throughout the District. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, here are some of the kindness displays that took place in February.
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Kindness Club in Action at Deer Hill

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Positive Messages at Cohasset Middle School

Courtesy of Principal Mills from the CMS Spinnaker Newsletter

"What is Happening to CMS Student Bathrooms?

As students returned from vacation on Monday, there was a lot of buzz about what was happening to the bathrooms?

Was it vaping? Bullying? Cutting classes?

NO! Thankfully we do not have those problems at CMS. What had happened was that numerous PSO volunteers came in during February vacation to give the bathrooms a makeover. The plain bathrooms went from boring and drab to bright and inspiring during vacation.

PSO middle school liaison Tracy Kearney spearheaded the project in order to bring create a positive and affirming experience for students using the bathroom. Working with parent Ashley Caulfield who designed the color pallete and motifs, Mrs. Kearney coordinated generous donations of paint and supplies from Aubuchon Hardware and Hingham Lumber before putting out a call for volunteers. Parents, school administration and even a few artistic students painted the bathrooms with brights colors and inspiring messages. Town Facilities jumped into the project by updating the lighting of the bathrooms.

"It is a great sight to see everyone come together to do something for our students that sends the message "We are about you and you deserve to have the best possible experience at CMS" shared Dr. Kathryn Salas, CMS Asst.Principal."

--Principal Mills

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Cohasset High School Students Stage Triumphant Performances of Little Women

We are so proud of the cast and crew who represented Cohasset beautifully in the Theater Guild Festival at Marshfield High School last week and who performed so well in the showings for the Community.

A special congratulations to Emma Humphrey, for her role as Marmee, and Phoebe Fusco as Amy for winning acting awards at the festival.

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Black History Month

Throughout the month of February, each school was involved with activities to celebrate Black History Month. One example is Cohasset Middle School, where students making morning announcements will be highlighting black historical figures, pioneers and innovators who made a significant contribution to the world.

Here is another great activity to honor Black History Month:

Learning About Black History and Achievements at Deer Hill

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Click on the link below to access the excellent CHS AV Club Page

Big picture

Click on the link below to access the latest Edition of the CHS Newspaper..."The Spinnaker."


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

One Love to train Faculty and Work with Students in Upcoming Workshops

Big picture

Healthy Relationships

Courtesy of Principal Scott and CHS Newsletter

"Coaches and staff have been invited to help facilitate a program on healthy relationships in college for our current seniors. One Love, the organization that presented to sophomores in the fall, is returning to help lead large and small group discussions around dangerous relationships and control.

Preliminary discussions are in the works about having our seniors then facilitate conversations among younger students.

Faculty and staff training will take place on our in-service day Thursday March 19th and the program itself will run on Thursday March 26th from 10:00- 2:15."

For more information visit the website -


Saturday, May 16th: CEF Skipper Soirée Spring Fundraiser from 7-11pm at the Barn at the Red Lion Inn

Thank you to the Cohasset Education Foundation for all of their amazing contributions to Cohasset Public Schools. Please join us at this wonderful event.

CEF Grants in Action

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

GET READY, OSGOOD FOR THE MR. DYKAS DANCE PARTY!!! Mr. Dykas Dance Party - MARCH 9, 2020 - March 13, 2020

Big picture
Big picture


Big picture

Feel free to contact Ms. Aleisa Gittens-Carle or Ms. Atisha Winslow at (781)383-6117 with any additional questions.

From the Director of Finance and Operations...Michael MacMillan

Big picture

School Committee Approves FY21 School Budget

The Cohasset School Committee voted to approve the FY21 Budget on March 4, 2020. This budget, at $21,027,711, is a 3.4% increase from the FY20 budget. In this budget the district will be able to invest in several key priorities, including:

  • Addition of a new Kindergarten section with a teacher and an educational support professional.
  • Adding a new bus driver to allow the district to change busing from three tiers (1. CMHS, 2. DHS and 3. JOS) to two tiers (1. CMHS and 2. DHS & JOS)
  • Investing in elementary math instruction – purchasing a new curriculum, adding a math support position at Deer Hill and an increase to the existing math resource teacher position at Joseph Osgood.
  • Increasing the Social and Emotional Learning supports provided to students by adding an third adjustment counselor at the Middle / High School. We are also increasing the Occupational Therapist at Joseph Osgood from 0.8 FTE to 1 FTE.
  • Investment in support services including adding a 0.5FTE custodian at CMHS and increasing the salaries for technology staff.

This, and more, is made possible by this budget increase as well as increased state funding for special education costs and savings in utility costs.

Further information can be found on the district’s website, including the presentation that was given at the public hearing on the budget:

Next Steps

The budget amount, voted on by the School Committee, will be included as part of the Town’s overall budget for FY21 to be approved at Town Meeting on May 4, 2020. Before then, the School Committee and School Administration, will be discussing the school budget at a joint meeting with the Cohasset Board of Selectmen and Cohasset Advisory Committee. This meeting will be held on March 17, 2020 in the Willcutt Commons, 91 Sohier Street at 7pm and is open to the public.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Compass: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Big picture
Big picture

Elementary Math Pilot Update

On March 19th, the 1/2 day Professional Day, the elementary staff will have the opportunity to dive deeper into the 2 math programs. Math Specialists, Marcia Campbell and Chrissy Thonet, as well as Principal Farrell and Principal Sullivan, continue to work closely with staff to provide opportunities for collaboration and conversations about math instruction.

Committee Updates

The Digital Learning Committee met in January and February to review the Technology Plan and discuss next steps for a new plan as the current plan expires in 2021. The next meeting is in April.

The Wellness Committee met on March 4th to review the Wellness Policy and look at ways to enhance our current programming. The next meeting is in April.

Professional Development

Friday, March 20th is a full day of PD focused on Cultural Competency. Aleisa Gittens-Carle received a grant from the CEF for a full day of workshops with a variety of presenters from Massachusetts. This is going to be a day full of great conversations and learning.

From the Office of Mary Buchanan, Director of Student Services

Big picture

Office of Student Services

Events and Happenings in March

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Progress Reports will available the same day as Report Cards although will not be visible on the Aspen Portal at this time. Cohasset Middle School student IEP Progress Reports will be mailed home on March 17, 2020. Deer Hill School and Joseph Osgood School student IEP Progress Reports will be mailed on March 18, 2020 for grades 1 through 5. Please note that Preschool and Kindergarten IEP Progress reports are not completed at this time. If you have questions about IEP Progress Reports, please reach out to The Office of Student Services at 781-383-6104.

Peer Preschool Process

Accepted Preschool Peer Enrollment Packets and Deposits are due to the Office of Student Services by March 6th, 2020. Students who are on the waiting list for a Preschool Seat will be notified on Monday, March 9th of openings and screening process. Questions about the preschool process can be directed to Mary Buchanan at 781-383-6104 or

Special Education Parent Advisory Council SEPAC

There will be a General SEPAC Meeting scheduled for April 1st at 9:30am in the Community Use Room located at Central Administrative Offices located at 143 Pond Street. Please join us for this meeting where district updates will be discussed regarding matters of Special Education. It is a great opportunity for parents to connect with each other and Director of Student Services.


Please review, sign and return Individual Education Programs (IEPs) as soon as possible. Feel free to reach out to your special education contact person with any questions. (If you are unsure of who to contact, their information is located on the Contact Person section located on the first page of the IEP.) Also feel free to contact our Elementary Team Chair, Meredith Whalen at or Secondary Team Chair, Michael Stapleton at

For students who are identified for needing Extended Year Services (ESY), parent information will be sent out to you the week of March 23rd. ESY will be located at the Joseph Osgood School and dates are July 6th through August 6th. Michael Stapleton will be the ESY Coordinator again this summer.

Child Find

It is the responsibility of the Cohasset Public Schools to identify any child who may have a disability who is either a resident of Cohasset or who attends a private school within the geographic boundaries of Cohasset even if the student is not a resident of Cohasset. This also includes students who are homeschooled.

Cohasset Public Schools is also responsible for the evaluation of those students to determine if they are eligible for special education or related services under Federal law, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) or, Massachusetts State Law, 603 CMR 28 (Massachusetts Special Education Regulations).

Cohasset Public Schools is also committed to identifying children before their third birthday in order to provide early intervention services for three and four year-olds with disabilities. If you have questions or concerns regarding your child's development and would like to have him/her screened, please call Mary Buchanan at 781-383-6104 to set up an appointment.

If you suspect that your child may need an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education services, you may request an evaluation, at no cost, through the Cohasset Public Schools [Student Services Office]. Please contact us at the following:

Mary Buchanan

143 Pond Street

Cohasset, MA 02025


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

We are excited for Cohasset's 250th Celebration

Big picture

Please follow me on Twitter for daily updates from the Cohasset Public Schools