McGovern News!

August 27, 2021

It is truly hard to believe the summer is drawing to a close. Despite the continued challenges and changes related to COVID-19, this has been a great summer for me, both personally and professionally.


We made a number of improvements to our building including fresh, vibrant paint to our open pod areas, a smooth paved walkway around the exterior of our building that provides ADA access, classroom and office moves, and a transformation in our school library and main office. I had the time and space to take a class, read articles and professional books, research and of course, spent time with my girls and husband unwinding. My hope is that you also found time this summer to reconnect with those you love and engage in some of the things we have been missing.


Our faculty and staff have been busy putting the final touches on their classroom and office spaces. It was so great to see so many students and families at our open house yesterday. It is hard to believe that for many of our first grade families, that was your first time in our building!


This edition of the newsletter will provide some important information leading up to school. We cannot wait to welcome our students back next week....but let's enjoy one last summer weekend! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.


Have a wonderful weekend!

Best,


Amy McDonald, Principal

Message from Dr. Pires

It is hard to believe that we will be starting another school year while we continue to manage the ongoing pandemic. I am thankful for the partnership and collaboration that continues to be demonstrated in Medway. Through these collaborative efforts we have continued to work toward ensuring that our schools are safe for students and staff, maximizing in-person learning experiences, while focusing on meeting the needs of our students.


The summer of 2021 presented the leadership team with an opportunity to enhance connection with the values, goals, and aspirations contained within 2019-2024 Excellence for All: A Medway Mindset, the Medway Public Schools Strategic Plan. This document continues to anchor our work. As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also assembled this document to provide greater clarity for our community around our planning for the 2021-2022 School Year. As we have seen, the pandemic requires that we are nimble and flexible. As has been the case since the beginning, our practices and planning will change based on updated information and guidance from our public health partners. When changes are necessary, we will continue to ensure that we communicate them to our community as soon as possible. This work is important and necessary and we remain committed to ensuring that health and safety practices are up to date and support in-person learning for our students.


While the ongoing pandemic impacts our planning for schools, I would like to share that we are very excited to welcome our students back to the 2021-2022 school year. While the pandemic will continue to influence and impact their experience, we are hopeful that our thoughtful planning will minimize this impact and create as close a typical learning experience as possible for our students.


Finally, we will be hosting a webinar on Monday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m. to review COVID-19 related planning and to answer questions. You can register to attend by following this link. We hope that you will join us for an opportunity to learn about the plans outlined in this document.


Please find the 2021-2022 Return to Schools COVID-19 Planning document attached.

2020-2021 School Calendar

The 2021-2022 School calendar was approved at the February 25 School Committee meeting and can be found here.

Mask Update

As Dr. Pires communicated earlier this week, Commissioner Riley has instituted a mask wearing requirement for all students, staff, and visitors of Massachusetts public schools, effective immediately. We will comply with this requirement and masks will be provided for anyone that does not have them.


In addition, here are some important tools and social stories that can help your child:

Returning To School


I can wear a mask Social Story


Wearing a mask

2021-2022 Return to Schools ~ COVID-19 Planning


Please see the communication from Dr. Pires below on school planning and safety practices


Dear Medway Public Schools’ community,

It is hard to believe that we will be starting another school year while we continue to manage the ongoing pandemic. I am thankful for the partnership and collaboration that continues to be demonstrated in Medway. Through these collaborative efforts we have continued to work toward ensuring that our schools are safe for students and staff, maximizing in-person learning experiences, while focusing on meeting the needs of our students.

The summer of 2021 presented the leadership team with an opportunity to enhance connection with the values, goals, and aspirations contained within 2019-2024 Excellence for All: A Medway Mindset, the Medway Public Schools Strategic Plan. This document continues to anchor our work. As we continue to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also assembled this document to provide greater clarity for our community around our planning for the 2021-2022 School Year. As we have seen, the pandemic requires that we are nimble and flexible. As has been the case since the beginning, our practices and planning will change based on updated information and guidance from our public health partners. When changes are necessary, we will continue to ensure that we communicate them to our community as soon as possible. This work is important and necessary and we remain committed to ensuring that health and safety practices are up to date and support in-person learning for our students.

While the ongoing pandemic impacts our planning for schools, I would like to share that we are very excited to welcome our students back to the 2021-2022 school year. While the pandemic will continue to influence and impact their experience, we are hopeful that our thoughtful planning will minimize this impact and create as close a typical learning experience as possible for our students.

Finally, we will be hosting a webinar on Monday, August 30 at 6:00 p.m. to review COVID-19 related planning and to answer questions. You can register to attend by following this link. We hope that you will join us for an opportunity to learn about the plans outlined in this document.

Please find the 2021-2022 Return to Schools COVID-19 Planning document attached.

Sincerely,


Armand Pires, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Preschool and Kindergarten Orientations

Preschool and kindergarten orientation are on September 1st. Due to our students and staff having to be three feet apart we will not be able to accommodate parents/guardians entering the building for orientation. Students get to visit McGovern School, meet the teachers, tour their classroom and the school, and learn more about preschool & kindergarten. It's an exciting start of the school year. Please see the times below:


9:30-10:00 AM: DeCristoforo, Mispilkin, Przybyl, Whitfield, AM and FULL Day PK

10:10-10:40 AM: Biagetti, Cowern, Liberto, Piette

1:15-1:45 PM: PM PK



Teachers will have a sign and gather outside at the start of your orientation time. We will meet at the drop off/pick up loop where families will park and bring their child to the teachers. Please supervise your children closely in the parking lot. Students will be with teachers for 30 minutes and then we will return to the drop off/pick up loop so you can pick up your child/children.

Drop off and pick up

When dropping off your child(ren) enter the McGovern School driveway by staying in the right hand lane. At the top of the driveway, bear right into the faculty parking lot. Proceed

to the end and turn left into the student drop-off and pick-up lane.


Drop off, for all grades, is between 8:35-8:50 AM. Please stay in your car and staff will begin unloading cars at 8:35. This is a live drop off that goes until 8:50 AM. Once teachers have helped your child(ren) out of the car, please proceed immediately to the exit lane to leave the complex. At no time should vehicles pass other cars, be parked, or left unattended in the pick-up and drop-off lane. If you arrive after 8:50 AM, please do not get in the drop off loop, but park in the circle and escort your child to the main office as they will be marked tardy.


Important Notes:

  • Please do not drop-off your child at the school before 8:35 AM. There is no supervision for the children prior to this time.

  • At no time should vehicles be parked or left unattended in the pick-up and drop-off lane.

  • Please respect the handicapped parking policy.

  • It is most helpful if students are able to get into car/booster seats and buckle themselves safely and independently.

  • No vehicles are allowed in the circle area in front of the building during the drop-off and pick-up period.

  • Buses only will be utilizing the middle lane in the driveway. Other vehicles will be restricted to the outside enter and exit lanes.

  • Children should never be dropped off or picked up in the faculty parking area as crossing the parking lot alone poses a safety issue.

  • Pick-up and drop-off is restricted to the designated areas.

  • All students who arrive after the start time of 8:50 should go to the school office. They will be marked tardy.For safety reasons, all students must be accompanied by an adult and be checked in at the office. Please do not bring your child to his/her classroom.Teachers are unable to converse with parents after the arrival of their students.


Bicycles

Children in Grade 1 may ride their bikes to school if an adult accompanies them both to and from school. Helmets must be worn.


Changes to Transportation Routines

If you absolutely need to change your child’s typical dismissal or transportation routine, please send a note into school that morning with your child describing the change. Note that children are not permitted to ride home on another child’s bus for the purpose of play dates.


Pick Up:

We follow the same process as drop off. Please have the school issued name plate in the front passenger side window. This not only allows us to organize students quickly, but is a safety measure to ensure we are putting children into the correct car. Once staff has loaded your student into the car, please pull away and exit the complex. At no time should vehicles pass other cars, be parked, or left unattended in the pick-up and drop-off lane. This is a rolling pick up line, so please pay attention to the driver in front of you.


For the safety of all, please acknowledge a slow speed limit, especially if you are running late, In addition, please do not text or be on your phone during pick up and drop off.

Transportation Updates

Bus routes are now available and can be found online by clicking this link. If you have any questions regarding transportation, please contact Mr. Don Aicardi at daicardi@medwayschools.org.

Elementary Family Handbook

Please read the 2021-2022 Elementary School Handbook prior to the start of the school year. It has important information for both McGovern and Memorial Schools.

Update from our school nurse:


Please feel free to make an appointment with our school nurse, Mrs. McKay if your child/children have any medical needs, allergies, and/or questions. She can be reached at pmckay@medwayschools.org.

TECHNOLOGY - DEVICES, INSURANCE, AND EXPECTATIONS

It is the intent of MPS to continue our 1:1 program for all students in grades k-12. Students in grades k-4 will have a dedicated device for use in the classroom. In the event there is a school closure or special project, the device may be sent home with the student. Students in grades 5 through 12 will have a dedicated device with the expectation the unit travels to and from school daily. The device should be fully charged and kept in good working order according to our 1:1 Initiative information found here. In the event the device needs repair, please email support@medwayschools.org for assistance and we will schedule a pick up or drop off.



Insurance - We encourage families with students in grades 5 through 12 to purchase insurance for the devices in the event they may incur accidental or malicious damage. Repair costs are the responsibility of the family and can range from a $15 keyboard, a $160 touchscreen, to $350 for full replacement. The cost of insuring a device is $20 per year and covers most repair incidents. Insurance is a wise investment when considering the cost of repair. We offer one to four year policies for devices through Worth Ave Insurers. Please note the portal to purchase insurance will be open in mid August. In the event your device is in need of repair, please contact support@medwayschools.org and we will assist you. Families with students in grades k-4 are not encouraged to purchase insurance as the devices will remain in school. In the event they are sent home, MPS will manage any repairs for accidental damage. Families receiving free or reduced lunch will be automatically insured by MPS for one year for all grade levels.

Breakfast and Lunch

Every child needs a healthy, nutritious meal to learn. Medway Public Schools offers nutritious meals to children each school day and breakfast and lunch will continue to remain free of charge through this school year. Please be sure to check out the menu here to ensure your child likes what is being served that day. You can find the menus by clicking on this link.

GUARDIAN AND STUDENT INFORMATION REVIEW PROCESS

MPS requests that all guardians complete the Online Registration process, better known as the “beginning of year packet”, within the Parent Portal application by September 30, 2021. Completing the Online Registration ensures we have the most accurate and up to date information for your child(ren) and helps us stay in touch with families. To access the Online Registration Process, please login to the Parent Portal via a computer by clicking here, then choose MORE > Online Registration from the left menu. Follow the prompts to review and confirm the information we have on file. Please note that it may be difficult to complete the forms via a smartphone. Guardians without a portal account can email parent@medwayschools.org for an activation code.


In addition to the beginning of year packet being completed through Online Registration, MPS would like to advise guardians that email and phone number changes can be submitted through the portal anytime during the year. Simply select MORE > Family Information from the menu options, then Update on the individual you wish to change information for. Please note that address changes can not be made through this system as they require proof of residency. Please forward any address changes to parent@medwayschools.org, including a copy of the proof of residency. Click here for POR information.

Communication

If you are not receiving email communications from the district or the schools, we are here to help. Please email parent@medwayschools.org and a team will work to ensure that you are connected.

Important Dates!

Sept. 1: First day of school, 1st grade

Sept 1: Kindergarten, AM and FULL Day Preschool Orientation, 9:30 AM

Sept 1: PM Preschool Orientation, 1:15 PM

Sept. 2: First day of school, Preschool and Kindergarten

Sept. 3: No School

Sept. 6: No School, Labor Day

Sept. 7: No School, Rosh Hashanah

Sept. 10: No Preschool Classes

Sept. 16: No School, Yom Kippur

Sept. 30: Back to School Night, time TBD

Oct. 1: No Preschool Classes

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