Back to School Newsletter
A Note to our Families
When our school board gave us the green light in early August to move forward and design a school year based on a hybrid and remote model, the custodians, food service, secretarial staff, IT team, and administrators kicked it into high gear to put all the logistical pieces into place.
This past week, the teachers joined us to add in the academic pieces.
We are excited to welcome back our remote and in-person students as we work together to make this school year one of engagement, exploration, and growth.
I hope you find this newsletter useful as your student plans to return to MHS. In many ways, we are building a "new school". We've had little time to put it together, and we are all working hard to cover all the important details. While your patience is valued by all, we'd also like to make sure that we answer your questions. Be sure to reach out to us if we haven't covered everything in the letter. We'll answer if we can, or let you know we are still figuring it out.
Thank you for your continued kindness and support,
The First Day(s) of School
September 10th - First day of school for "A" day students.
September 11th - First day of school for "B" day students.
Last week, you should have received an email from Principal Davis with your student's A day or B day designation. Please contact your student's school counselor or the student services dept. if you have not received that information.
Please follow the link below to obtain a calendar for the school year, which lays out all of the A and B days.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th 7:30 am - 2:00 pm
For our hybrid students, we will run a freshman orientation. The purpose of the orientation is for students to learn their way around the building and learn the new protocols around safety and sanitation.
Freshman Orientation will take place in two sessions:
A Day Students 7:30-10:00
B Day Students 11:30-2:00
Before freshmen come: Students and their parents should self-assess for symptoms of Covid-19 before coming to the orientation. If symptomatic, a student should not attend school, and the parent should notify the main office of their child's absence.
What to expect upon arrival: When students arrive, they will be asked to pause at one of our temperature takers. Masks are required at all times while on school property (other than when eating or taking a designated mask break); we will provide one to students who do not have one.
Our remote students are an important part of our high school, and we will set a date in the near future for an orientation to high school that will let them know in detail all the ways they can stay connected!
Parents were notified last week of their student's "A" or "B" day assignment.
Due to the importance of balancing classes and the limitation of classroom capacity, we will not be able to entertain schedule change requests except in the most exceptional circumstances (i.e. accidental reschedule of a class, a class cancelled due to low enrollment).
Please know that we have spent DAYS hand scheduling students in order to balance classes and follow physical distancing protocols. Our decision to not change student schedules or days except in the most extreme situations is based on our inability to manage schedule change requests due to the time intensive nature of the task and the domino effect that each change creates.
PHASE TWO RETURN TO SCHOOL: September 10th - September 25th
- providing teachers, students, and families an opportunity to meet one another
- developing relationships and rapport
- checking-in on technological resources needed
- focusing on social-emotional-mental health
- meeting basic needs
- teaching safety measures and health protocols
- and sharing routines and expectations for new classes
During this time, we will be launching the SEL program, Choose Love, to address the social-emotional-mental health needs of both our faculty/staff and student body as we transition into a new way of doing school. We will follow this program over a 6 week period.
During this time we will also kick off our academic year, making sure to get a strong start in covering the curriculum.
Remote & Hybrid Models
Our REMOTE STUDENTS will be learning in a variety of ways:
~homeschooling or an alternative online school
~taking a synchronous or asynchronous class taught by an MHS teacher
~a combination of the above
Our HYBRID STUDENTS will attend in-person classes two days per week. The other two days they will be working from home.
A day students will attend in person on Mondays and Thursdays.
A day students will learn remotely on Tuesdays and Fridays.
B day students will attend in person on Tuesdays and Fridays.
B day students will learn remotely on Mondays and Thursdays.
WIN "What I Need" Wednesdays are a remote day; teachers are available to offer extra help, in person or remotely from 8:00 am -11:00 am. WIN days offer the opportunity for:
-students to receive extra help
-students to serve an academic or discipline detention
-teachers, parents, and students to meet
-school counselors to meet with students
While students are welcome to meet with their teachers in person, there is no district transportation on WIN Wednesdays.
Our remote model will look very different from what students experienced in the spring. In the spring, we were responding to an emergency situation. Now, we are planning for this new teaching and learning model. Expectations will be high for students to be productive on their in-home days. Teachers will be providing engaging remote lessons, and students should expect a full school day's worth of work.
If students are attending in the hybrid model, they should not be working shifts on their remote days. Teachers may ask them to join their in person class or ask them to participate in group assignments with other remote day students.
If a student comes for their in-person day, and it is evident that he/she did not do the remote work, teachers will enter an "NP" - not prepared into that prior day's attendance. This is a signal to parents that their student has not followed through on the academic expectations for the remote day. A second "NP" will result in students being assigned an academic detention on a Wednesday. Please keep an eye on your student's attendance to make sure he/she is arriving prepared for the in-person days.
*please check the calendar linked above for slight adjustments to the calendar necessitated by holidays, etc. For example, see the week of Oct. 12th and Nov. 2nd.
MEET OUR NEW TEACHERS!
Mrs. Emerson is a Milford resident. Coming to us from Hollis-Brookline, Mrs. Emerson joins us in her 18th year of teaching Chemistry!
Mr. Bonnett is our new band director. A native of NH, Mr. Bonnett has spent the last 7 years teaching in Kuwait and Lebanon.
Caitlin (Christo) Farnham
We are excited to welcome back Mrs. Farnham! Returning to us as a social studies teacher, this native of NH is returning from teaching in Ohio.
Mr. Kaufold is a graduate of Milford High School. He has just recently finished his Masters in History at UNH, and he is here as a long term sub for Mrs. Parker. We are so glad you are here, Mr. Kaufold!
Mr. Philbrook is our new Intro to Culinary Arts teacher. He is a NH native, and most recently worked as a culinary arts teacher in Massachusetts. This is his 6th year of teaching.
Mr. Lundstedt is also returning to the social studies department after teaching middle school English for a year. He is a graduate of Milford High School, and we are happy to welcome him back!
days of school.
If remote students do not have a device available for their work at home, please fill out this form to request a Chromebook.
The district is working on getting the paperwork together for families; insurance will be available at a nominal cost. You will be updated as we receive additional guidance and information.
We understand that some students may not have access to a Chromebook at home for the first remote day on Sept. 10 or 11. Please fill out THIS FORM if we need to assign your student a Chromebook earlier due to him/her not having access to a computer/laptop at home. They will likely be handed out on Wednesday, Sept. 9th.
SCHOOL BREAKFASTS & LUNCHES
Lunch will be served in the cafeteria. Students will eat at desks 6 feet apart both in the cafeteria and half of the gymnasium. Students must use their ID to buy lunches; no cash will be taken at the registers. A drop box will be provided in the cafeteria for deposits into student lunch accounts.
SPORTS & EXTRA CURRICULARS
The opportunity to participate in sports and other extra curricular activities is an essential part of a vibrant school program.
Many of our club advisors still plan to meet with their clubs. Clubs will be able to come together via Zoom or Hangouts, or they can meet outside after school. Once the school year gets going, we will be sharing more information with our students regarding these activities.
Many of the MHS sports teams have had the opportunity to participate in group conditioning this summer.
Athletics: Beginning September 8th, the Milford School District will allow NHIAA approved sports to be played. In order to offer our varsity athletes a competitive season while balancing team and school safety, a small league of southern schools has created a joint plan. The Southern Cluster of schools includes: Campbell, Hollis-Brookline, Milford, Pelham, Sanborn, and Souhegan.
Varsity level competitions will occur with a revised local game schedule utilizing strategies to reduce potential risks to participants and communities. The recommendations and directives of the NHIAA, CDC, and the NH DHHS were carefully followed throughout the development of this regional plan.
Sub-Varsity level teams will be allowed to practice, train, and compete intra-squad through October 1st. At that time, the Southern Cluster of schools will consider adding inter-scholastic sub-Varsity competitions into the plan.
Coaches will reach out to their athletes to coordinate their return to play. Many teams have been already conditioning; other teams will begin now that they have been cleared to move forward and prepare for a season.
Grading, Reporting, & Deadlines in the Hybrid~Remote Model
KEEPING STUDENTS & ADULTS SAFE: Safety Protocols
- Masks are to be worn while on the school premises. Masks may be removed when eating and during a designated mask break.
- Families will be asked to assess their student(s) daily for symptoms of Covid-19. If a student is symptomatic, then the parent is asked to call in the absence and the reason for the absence. Unsure of symptoms? CHECK HERE.
- Temperatures will be taken daily upon student and staff arrival.
- Classrooms are set up to maximize physical distancing. Desks are placed a minimum of 6 feet apart.
- Group work will be allowed for shorter periods of time; students are then allowed to be 3 feet apart.
- Wiping down individual desks at the end of each class period will be a team effort by students and teachers.
- Transition times will be closely monitored and structured to ensure safe traveling between classes.
- Bathrooms will be cleaned every two hours and throughout the day, custodians will constantly be wiping down door knobs, entrance doors and push plates, and flat surfaces.
A Look at our Physically Distanced Classrooms
Suspected Covid-19 Protocol
DAILY ARRIVALS and DISMISSALS
Students will be entering the building at different times.
Bus students will be dropped off and enter the building first, between 7:00 AM and 7:25. Bus students will enter through the side of the building (Door #6). Upon entering the building, students will have their temperature taken and proceed to the cafeteria or gym, where they will sit at socially distant desks. At 7:23 bus students will be dismissed to their A Block classrooms.
Walkers/drivers and parent drop offs will enter the building at 7:25, have their temperature taken and proceed to their A Block classrooms.
Senior drivers who park in the senior lot will enter the building through ATC Entrance (Door # 13)
Drivers who park on West Street, walkers and parent drop offs will enter the building through the front entrance (Door # 1)
Dismissal protocols are being developed and will be updated soon.