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October 30, 2020

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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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Start of School Data Review

At last Wednesday evening's Special School Committee Meeting to review the first six weeks of school, we presented data gathered from students (focus groups), staff, and families. At the conclusion of the meeting, the Cohasset School Committee voted, pending further negotiations with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA), to implement alternating in-person Wednesdays for each cohort at every school in the district, beginning on December 9, 2020. Here is the link to a video recording of the meeting. Thank you to everyone who helped provide input regarding our start of school.


With appreciation,


Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.

Superintendent


Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

Assistant Superintendent

Cohasset Community Health Update

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Cohasset Community Health Update

As of October 29, 2020, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID-19 test rate over the past 14 days is 1.37%, with nine (9) positive case out of 658 tests reported. Although none of the cases have originated from Cohasset Public Schools and there are no new cases within Cohasset Public Schools at this time, the town of Cohasset is now in the Red Category according to DPH metrics, which designates towns that have a case rate greater than eight (8) in the last 14 days per 100,000 population.


With Halloween approaching, it is important that we are vigilant with social distancing and that families please take care to follow all safety protocols. Please consider alternative Halloween activities from traditional trick-or-treating. Please take a moment to read this article, which recently appeared in the Cohasset Mariner highlighting a joint effort between the Cohasset School Committee and the Cohasset Board of Selectpersons to underscore the importance of avoiding traditional trick or treating. We all also need to keep following the protocols of handwashing / hand sanitizing and wearing face-covering masks when appropriate to do so. Here is the complete report from DPH that was issued Thursday evening.

Cohasset Public Schools adding Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) to learning spaces

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The Cohasset Public Schools has secured funding for the acquisition of approximately 170 Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) for use in various learning spaces throughout the district. We have ordered these PACs in anticipation of the winter months and in an effort to mitigate any potential air quality concerns within the buildings.


In support of this purchase, the district cites the following considerations:

· PACs can simulate a higher Air Change per Hour (ACH)

· PACs can improve air quality

· PACs can be used to reduce airborne contaminants


Thank you to the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA) and the Town of Cohasset for their collaboration regarding this important safety initiative.

Flu Clinics

Please remember that all students are required to have a flu vaccination by December 31, 2020 (religious and medical exemptions withstanding)

A Note from SEPAC

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SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) aims to promote child-focused, inclusive learning environments for all students. The council also works to support parents of students on IEPs and liaison with district and school administration to maintain open dialogue and transparency. SEPAC holds regular meetings with Barabar Cerwonka, Director of Student Services and plans to host two virtual parent-only coffees this year to offer parents time and space to talk and share issues, concerns, and ideas. The first virtual parent-only coffee will be Tuesday, November 17th at 10am. Keep a look-out for the flyer with the zoom link! Email us at cohassetsepac@gmail.com to ask questions, become more directly involved, or just say hello. We'd like to wish everyone a great year and extend a big thank you to all of the teachers, staff, administrators, parents, caregivers, and siblings for their ongoing and tireless efforts to keep our kids engaged and learning.

Special Education Rights Presentation

Please see the below presentation from Barbara Cerwonka, our Director of Student Services, regarding Basic Rights in Special Education. Thank you, Barbara and SEPAC for hosting this event.

Some Images from the Week

Our images from the week come from the Osgood PSO who this week hosted an amazing Trunk-or-Treat (COVID safe) drive through event, where families were able to drive through the Osgood parking lot and see some pretty scary...and fun creatures. Thank you to the PSO, to Meghan Barry (for leading the organization of the event), to Will Puzella, Cohasset Class of 21 (for taking the wonderful pictures), and to the town of Cohasset and the entire Osgood community for making this event happen for the students.
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The Important Role Families Play In Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Families will 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 over your nose and mouth when in public settings (for students from grades PK– 12 and for all staff)

  • 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

PROTOCOLS REGARDING COVID-19


The following information was compiled by our district nurses and provides supplementary information to the protocols stated in the Cohasset Public Schools Fall School Re-Entry Road Map. A big thank you to Kelly Gildea (lead nurse) and our district nurses for compiling this information and for their leadership and guidance during this difficult time.


Cohasset Public Schools Medical Frequently Asked Questions


Cohasset Public Schools Decision Tree Regarding Health Situations Related to COVID-19


COVID-19 Symptom Checklist for Parents and Guardians to utilize with their children


Here are some useful videos regarding Mask Wearing, When to Stay Home, and Hand Washing / Hand Sanitizing prepared by the National Association of School Nurses (NASN).

BE THE CHANGE

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

CPS Faculty Professional Development

The CPS faculty participated in a full day of virtual workshops on Cultural Proficiency on today. Dr. Kalise Wornum was the keynote speaker. We had 5 other presenters from the Boston metro area that engaged the staff in dialogue about inclusivity and how to ensure that all people feel included, valued, and heard. I want to thank Aleisa Gittens-Carle for pulling together such an amazing group of presenters, Dan Kelly who coordinated the platform for the virtual workshops, and to all the staff for engaging in deep conversations and work.

Parent Workshop

Cohasset Public Schools offered a workshop: “Preparing for School Re-entry: How to Support Students with Practical Social Emotional Skills and Strategies; Part 2, 6 Weeks In!” presented by Dr. Steve Bonauto and Dr. Barry Plummer on Monday, October 26. This was a 60 minute interactive virtual presentation that provided a forum for families to hear about ways they can continue to support their children during this school year. Here is the link to watch the recording of the workshop.

SAFE HARBORS UPDATES

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Updates

  1. Cohasset Virtual Youth Center This is now live on the home page of the Town’s website, found toward the bottom right-side of the page. This serves as a central location for all youth-geared programming/events that are occurring via Rec, Library, Elder Affairs, and Safe Harbor.

https://www.cohassetma.org/


2. WANTED: Social Media Boosters Looking to volunteer time to the Safe Harbor initiative but don’t have much time to give? Please consider volunteering to be a designated social media booster.

What does this entail?

Receiving communication from Marketing Director that information has been posted for you to like, comment, share, share to Cohasset143 and/or post yourself

How much of a time commitment?

5 minutes a week

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

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