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September 24, 2021

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Newsletter

This Newsletter updates on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.
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How Is Everything Going? Upcoming Superintendent's Coffee

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With the school year off and running, it is important for us to discuss and consider how everything is going with our safety measures, operations, and learning environments. As we look forward to our review of school safety measures at the October 6 School Committee Meeting, we are inviting you to share your thoughts and input in our Superintendent's Meetings (traditionally called coffees) to provide any input and feedback regarding the start of school with a particular focus on safety. We very much appreciate everyone who attended this morning's meeting. Your input was wonderful and helpful to us as we work with the entire school community to provide the best academic and social-emotional experience for the students. If you were not able to attend the meeting today, but would still like to provide input, we are hosting a virtual meeting via Zoom (also will be live streamed on Facebook) on Wednesday, September29 (VIRTUAL MEETING) from 6:00PM - 7:00PM via ZOOM . Remember that you will need to join via the below Zoom link to be able to interact and ask questions / provide comments.


Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://zoom.us/j/97681406900?pwd=MmoyM1k3NXBGTkpzRGgxejRaZCtCQT09

Passcode: 649206


In the coming weeks we will also continue to discuss the start of the school year with staff. We appreciate the collaboration from the entire school community to provide the best and safest learning environment possible for our students, staff, and Cohasset families.


Sincerely,


Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Cohasset Public Schools


&


Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent

Cohasset Public Schools

Superintendent's Goals for 2021 - 2022

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The Superintendent's Goals for 2021 - 2022 were approved at the September 22 School Committee Meeting. These goals are part of the evaluation cycle and relate closely to our Strategic Plan. I look forward to collaborating with the entire school community to realize these goals, key actions, and benchmarks.


Sincerely,


Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Cohasset Public Schools

Images from the Week

This week was action-packed, with two wonderful Open Houses (Osgood and Deer Hill), a wonderful coffee from CHS Guidance, training in our new Project Adventure Climbing Wall, our first Leadership Learning Walk, an excellent professional development half day for staff, and fabulous teaching and learning happening throughout the district.

First students to make it to the top of our new climbing wall! Thank you, CEF!

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Great CHS Guidance Coffee with Parents / Guardians

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Great teaching and learning throughout the district!

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Wonderful Open House at Osgood

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Excellent Open House at Deer Hill

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Hispanic Heritage Month

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Thank you, Cohasset High School students / Green Team for today's beach cleanup

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Superintendent's Student Advisory (SSAC) Council First Meeting of 2021 - 2022

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The Superintendent's Student Advisory Council (SSAC) met this past Tuesday for the first meeting of the 2021 - 2022 school year. This group of students, who are selected by building leadership, meets with ​the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent monthly to advise on happenings in the district that impact students, to provide feedback, and to present viable solutions on district obstacles and goals. High school students in their Junior and Senior year on the SSAC are eligible to serve as the Student Liaisons to the School Committee.



SAMPLE TOPICS THE SSAC WILL DISCUSS:

Approaches to increase student voice

Approaches to promote cultural competency, inclusion, and diversity

Approaches to help students cope with stress and pressure

Approaches to promote student wellness

Approaches to increase social opportunities for students

Approaches to increase academic opportunities for students

Approaches to improve transitions between schools Approaches to improve school culture


This year, the SSAC will be focusing on increasing student voice in relation to the strategic initiatives in the Cohasset Strategic Plan. We are so proud of the following students who will be part of the SSAC this year:



High School:

Jenna Giglio * (School Committee Student Liaison)

Jake Squatrito * (School Committee Student Liaison)

Mercedes O’Neill * (School Committee Student Liaison)

Noah McDowal

Charlie Lankow

Grace Shaugnessy

Ella Lynch

Nathan Askjaer


Middle School:

Amara Pierce

Jack Kearney


Deer Hill:

Two Representatives (TBD) that will join us at certain meetings

Cohasset High School Student has Eagle Scout Project Approved by School Committee

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At this past Wednesday evening's Cohasset School Committee Meeting, high school student William Elwell presented his Eagle Scout Project to improve the pathway near Bear Hill Path. This ambitious project, which will create a great resource for students who utilize the path to get to and from school, was approved by the Cohasset School Committee. Please see William's excellent presentation below. Thank you, William for your efforts, and good luck with your project.
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Cohasset Education Foundation (CEF) Happenings

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Cohasset Public Schools is Committed to the Physical and Social-Emotional Safety of Our Students

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Bullying Prevention Processes

The Cohasset Public School District is committed to providing a safe, positive, and productive educational environment where students can achieve the highest academic standards. No student shall be subjected to harassment, intimidation, bullying, or cyber-bullying.


"Bullying" is the repeated use by one or more students or school staff members of a written, verbal, or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a target that:

• causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target's property;

• places the target in reasonable fear of harm to him/herself, or of damage to his/her property;

• creates a hostile environment at school for the target;

• infringes on the rights of the target at school; or

• materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.


"Cyber-bullying" means bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a: • wire • radio • electromagnetic • photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications.


Cyber-bullying shall also include the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or knowingly impersonates another person as author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.


Cyber-bullying shall also include the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in the definition of bullying.


Bullying and cyber-bullying may occur in and out of school, during and after school hours, at home and in locations outside of the home. When bullying and cyber-bullying are alleged, the full cooperation and assistance of parents and families are expected.


Bullying is prohibited:


  • On school grounds;
  • On property immediately adjacent to school grounds;
  • At school-sponsored or school-related activities;
  • At functions or programs whether on or off school grounds;
  • At school bus stops;
  • On school buses or other vehicles owned, leased or used by the school district; or,
  • Through the use of technology or an electronic device owned, leased or used by the school district.



Bullying and cyber-bullying are prohibited at a location, activity, function or program that is not school-related or through the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased or used by the school district if the act or acts in question:



  • create a hostile environment at school for the target;
  • infringe on the rights of the target at school; and/or
  • materially and substantially disrupt the education process or the orderly operation of a school.



Please see the link below for more information regarding bullying prevention and reporting.


We are committed to stopping bullying and working with our students to promote kindness and empathy towards all.

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Safety Training for Staff

Each year all staff participate in trainings for safety including receiving training from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office regarding mandated reporting obligations. These trainings also include:



Civil Rights

  • Overview of Laws and Regulations - State and Federal

  • CPS Procedures for Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Complaints

  • Section 504 Accommodation Plans

  • Safe Schools - MA Anti Bullying Law - CPS Policy

  • Confidentiality of Student Information

  • Confidentiality of Student Records

  • Harassment in the Workplace

  • Chapter 222 of the Acts of 2012 (Student Discipline)

  • McKinney - Vento

  • Foster Care

  • Military Connected Students

  • Physical Restraint Law - CPS Policy

  • Right to Know Law

  • Mandated Reporting of Child abuse or Neglect

  • Faculty Handbook

  • CPS School Committee Policies

Special Education

  • Overview of Laws and Regulations - State and Federal

  • FAPE in the LRE

  • IEP - Accommodations vs. Modifications


Here is a link to some of our trainings.

METCO UPDATE

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The Cohasset METCO Program kicked off its 53rd year in the Cohasset community with a welcome back Ice Cream Social on August 25th in Boston. Reassuring families of the district’s commitment to equity, celebrating diversity, and listening to student voice was on full display as families had an opportunity to not only catch up with each other about their summer experiences, but to also learn about the district’s strategic plan, as Superintendent, Dr. Pat Sullivan shared with parents. Members of the Cohasset Leadership Team, Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, High School Principal Brian Scott, Vice Principal Tara Noyes, and myself, also had an opportunity to check in with Milly Arbaje-Thomas, CEO of METCO Headquarters. Here's to a great beginning for the new school year!


Aleisa Gittens-Carle

METCO Director

Cohasset Public Schools

Cohasset Public Schools Launches Strategic Plan for 2021- 2024

Thank you to everyone who helped to create this collaborative plan. We enjoyed discussing the implementation of this plan at the Cohasset Farmers Market . A big thank you to the Farmers Market for allowing us to visit for these meetings. We will be providing other opportunities during future Superintendent Coffees to talk about the plan and about all matters involving Cohasset Public Schools.
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SAVE THE DATE(S): OPEN HOUSE

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THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED OUR OPEN HOUSES AT OSGOOD AND DEER HILL THIS WEEK. NEXT WEEK, BOTH CHS AND CMS WILL BE HOSTING THEIR OPEN HOUSE EVENTS. MORE INFORMATION IS FORTHCOMING FROM BUILDING PRINCIPALS

Cohasset High School Open House: 9/28 from 6:00PM - 7:30PM


Cohasset Middle School Open House: 9/30 from 6:00PM - 7:30PM

Cohasset School Committee Goals Approved for 2021 - 2022 School Year

At the 9/8/2021 School Committee Meeting, the Cohasset School Committee approved their goals for the 2021 - 2022 school year. These goals directly relate and reference the Cohasset Public Schools Strategic Plan, 2021 - 2024. Thank you to the School Committee for their dedication and work to help the students, staff, and families of Cohasset.

RISE Program

CPS is pleased to continue its partnership with the Cohasset Recreation Department by providing before and after school care for our elementary students. We have an amazing staff that provides wonderful opportunities for our students through the RISE program. Please see this link for more information.

Cohasset Public Schools Vision of Equity

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BE THE CHANGE

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Please visit our website for resources regarding the promotion of diversity.

We will continue to engage students and staff in the meaningful discussions necessary to promote change. We are committed to promoting anti-racism and cultural responsive teaching and learning.

Technology Updates

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A Message from Lisa Radden, Director of Technology and Digital Learning

Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year! In an effort to consolidate information about technology at CPS for you, the Tech For Families page has been updated on the Cohasset Public Schools web site. There you will find a number of links to resources and tutorials for you and your child, including important BYOD information for Grades 6-12 and Clever sign in instructions for our PK-5 families. You may also explore online safety and wellbeing resources for parents that will help your child stay safe online while at home. The site will continue to evolve and thank you for your feedback to help us improve communications about technology at CPS with you.


URL: https://www.cohassetk12.org/Page/4455

Contact our IT Help Desk here for help with your Aspen Parent or Student Portal Account, a forgot/lost Cohasset K12 Google Account password, or for help with a BYOD device.

URL: https://portal.cohassetma.org/Forms/CPS_IT_Support

Sincerely,
Lisa Radden
Director of Digital Learning and Technology
Cohasset Public Schools
lradden@cohassetk12.org

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Cohasset Community Health Update

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Below please find the Cohasset Community Health Update as of September 23, 2021.


Community Report:

As of September 23, 2021 the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID-19 test rate over the past 14 days is 2.75% with 618 tests reported. The town of Cohasset has sixteen (16) positive cases reported over the past two weeks. Currently, 83% of eligible Cohasset residents are fully vaccinated with 8% of eligible residents partially vaccinated (Please note that vaccination rate information was incorrectly reported last update, as I communicated the proportions of town vaccinated, instead of presenting per capita percentages…my apologies). Under the DPH metrics, the town of Cohasset is in the "Yellow" category for communities who have a population of under 10,000 who have less than or equal to 25 positive cases over the last 14 days. Here is the complete report issued on September 23, 2021.


To date, since the start of the pandemic, we have had no know transmission of COVID-19 in our schools. Here is the Confirmed Positive COVID Cases Weekly Update Spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is also found on the district website under COVID-19 information. As always, all close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals will be informed in a separate communication. When a positive case occurs, anyone who is determined to be a close contact is provided with specific instructions regarding testing and quarantining (if there is a need for them to test and quarantine).

School Safety Considerations and Procedures

The following represent the operational and Department of Public Health (DPH) / Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements that are currently in effect in all of our schools:


In-Person Learning: “As noted in the Updates to DESE COVID-19 Guidance released on May 27, 2021, all districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days a week this fall...” (DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021).

All schools in Cohasset will begin the school year in-person, full-time, five days a week:

CHS & CMS: 8:15AM - 2:55PM

Deer Hill: 9:05AM - 3:25PM

Joseph Osgood: 9:10AM - 3:30PM


Masking: Effective immediately, public school students and staff in all grades are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except as noted in the guidance linked below. Masks are not required when outdoors. All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings. Please click on the link to see the full masking / face covering mandates.


Physical Distancing in Schools: All Cohasset schools will begin the year by doing all they can to maintain 3 feet distance (edge of seat to edge of seat) in the classroom and 6 foot of distance when eating indoors. Our classroom and eating space furniture has been arranged to maintain this distance. Maintaining this distance is essential because of close-contact and quarantining guidelines.


Close-Contacts and Quarantines: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following is the definition of a close contact: “Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.”


Exemptions from testing and quarantine response protocols:

“• Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts: Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

• Classroom close contacts: An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

• Bus close contacts: Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements. As such, individuals who are masked on buses when windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

• Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days: An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if:

• The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND the exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 Symptoms” (DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021 - 2022).


Synchronous Provisions for Students during Quarantine: At this time synchronous provisions for students experiencing quarantine are still being bargained with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA). Information will be forthcoming.


Test-and-Stay: At this time, Cohasset Public Schools does not plan on implementing test-and-stay in our school buildings. Families will be informed if Cohasset Public Schools decides to implement this measure.


Ventilation, Hand-Hygiene, and Staying Home When Ill: We will continue the successful practices of using Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) to improve the air changes per hour and ventilation in all buildings. We will continue the successful hand washing and hand sanitizing processes we had in place last year. We encourage students to stay home when sick.


Transportation Guidance: “By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time” (DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021). Windows will remain open on buses. No physical distancing is required on buses, and the DPH / DESE guidance indicates that no quarantines will result from riding on a bus.


Other Safety Considerations:

Cleaning Protocols: We will be sticking with our successful cleaning protocols established last year at all schools.


Sharing of Materials: We will be allowing students to share materials, although we will minimize this sharing when possible.


Locker rooms and lockers: We will be using lockers and locker rooms, but lockers will not be shared. Osgood will continue to use their successful outside of the classroom “hook” system.


Field trips: We will be allowing field trips and club trips...masks will currently be required on all buses and transportation per guidance.


Visitors in buildings: We will be allowing approved visitors into the buildings as we did pre-COVID). Per masking requirements, all visitors are required to wear masks while inside school buildings.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We will continue to have masks available for anyone who wants / needs a mask. We will continue to have hand sanitizer available outside / inside classrooms.


Nurses’ Offices: We will continue to have separate waiting / treatment areas for individuals who exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms. As per. Guidance, all individuals entering a nurse’s office will require a mask.


Music: Music will be as it was at the end of the year, with spacing when playing and singing, and outdoor playing and singing when possible to do so.


Barriers: Plexiglas desk panels for use by classroom teachers when meeting individually with students within the classroom during instructional time will be in place, as they were at the end of the school year.


Heat Index: If masks are required, “heat days” may become necessary if the heat index rises to an uncomfortable and not learning conducive level. We continue to work to improve our air-conditioning in all of our buildings.


Tents and Outdoor Learning: We will resume use of tents and outdoor learning spaces.

Recess: Students will be allowed to unmask at outdoor recess.

Our main objectives remain to keep students, staff, and families safe; to provide the best academic and social-emotional environment and offerings that we can; and for everyone to remain in school.

Pictured below our some of our safety measures including tracking our cleaning and Portable Air Cleaner (PAC) filter replacements, spacing in our classrooms and indoor dining areas, hand sanitizing / hand cleaning, and outdoor learning spaces.

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UPDATED CORONAVIRUS PROCEDURES

Please click on the image below to access our updated page on the Cohasset Website outlining our coronavirus procedures. Thank you to our district nurses for putting this information together.

2021 - 2022 Cohasset School District Calendar

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Food Services

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Continuation of Universal Free School Meals:

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended school meal waivers through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, allowing the continuation of universal free school meals at any school district throughout the state for the rest of this school year, through the summer, and through next school year. Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option, which is typically only available during the summer months and which allows schools to serve free meals to all children. More information is available online.” (Commissioner Riley’s Update, April 20, 2021).

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

MCAS

The State released information regarding MCAS results from last spring. Student reports will be sent to the district at the end of September and families will receive their child's report in early October.

Professional Development

On Friday, September 24 staff participated in professional development. SRO Greg Taylor facilitated a review of building safety protocols with all staff. Elementary and middle school staff were trained in the new benchmark assessment tool for reading and math. The high school continued to collaborate on curriculum alignment as well as training on the use and programming for the new Climbing Wall - Thank you CEF!

Dr. Scollins addresses staff regarding today's professional development agenda

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CEF discusses grant opportunities with CHS & CMS

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CPD speaks to staff about ALICE training and safety

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The Professional Development Committee meets throughout the year to determine the needs of the staff. This year we are focusing on the components of the new CPS District Strategic Plan such as building relationships, early literacy, and building upon the technology strategies that were learned last year. One September 1 and 2 all staff began the Annual Mandatory training, elementary staff participated in dyslexia and early reading workshop, and middle school and high school focused on Social Emotional Learning and relationship building. CHS participated in Challenge Day which is a non-profit organization that works with groups to build "empathy and compassion in our communities" - https://www.challengeday.org. We look forward to all our work together this year.

Office of Student Services

Barbara Cerwonka, Director of Student Services

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MAMA MIA THE MUSICAL IS COMING TO CHS

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Cohasset High School is excited to announce Mamma Mia as our fall musical!

Thank you to everyone who auditioned.

Sports Information

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Wonderful pictures above and article below by William Wassersug from the Cohasset Anchor, capturing our Cross -Country athletes in action this past week.

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Please Click on the Link Below to Access Schedules and Other Sports Information

Thank you to the Cohasset Education Foundation (CEF) and to all who helped make our new Project-Adventure Climbing Wall a reality for the students. Physcical Education Teachers are currently being trained in the use of the wall, and we are excited to open this up to students soon.

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SAFE HARBORS UPDATES

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Back to School Resources from Safe Harbors

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The Important Role Families Play In Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Families play an important role in helping to create a culture that prioritizes health and safety. Families should check their children daily for signs of COVID-19 and should keep them home from school if they are not feeling well or if they have been in close contact with a person who has been recently diagnosed with COVID-19. It is also important that families support students wearing masks in school and on the bus. We are strongest when we work together to stop the spread (Initial Fall School Re-entry Guidance, 2020).


CPS Pledge: Healthy and Responsible Behaviors Regarding COVID-19

By coming into Cohasset Public Schools, I pledge I am following:


  • State expectations for social and physical distancing

  • Regulations regarding the wearing of facial coverings

  • Quarantine directives put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Cohasset Department of Health

  • Guidance that has students and staff stay home from school / work if they are experiencing symptoms of fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, or dry cough or if they have exhibited any symptoms relating to COVID-19

There are many stressors to our day-to-day lives; however, there are many resources available. The District Website has a page dedicated to Social Emotional Learning and Wellness. Below are some additional resources that you or a friend may find helpful. Please remember that our schools are a resource and our adjustment counselors can support you and your child.


Osgood: Dave Vinton dvinton@cohassetk12.org

Deer Hill: Laurie Dolan ldolan@cohassetk12.org

Robyn Costa rcosta@cohassetk12.org


CMS: Emily Manewal emanewal@cohassetk12.org

CHS: Leanne McCarthy lmccarthy@cohassetk12.org

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Take Care of Yourself and Take Care of Each Other

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Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can do anything to help your student or your family during this difficult time. Most important is the physical and mental health of everyone, and we will stay focused on making that a priority. Please take good care.

Please click on the following link to access even more information on the Cohasset Public Schools Web Site.

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