Amesbury Public Schools Update
From the Office of the Superintendent - January 7, 2022
Dear Amesbury Public School Families,
I wanted to share with you that, at this time, remote learning is not an option for us. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has said that remote learning DOES NOT count as part of the time on learning that schools must adhere to. There are Massachusetts laws that dictate both the number of days and the number of hours that students must be in school. For that complete information CLICK HERE.
Length of School Year - 603 CMR 27.03: School Year Requirements:
(2) Every school committee shall schedule a school year which includes at least 185 school days at each elementary, middle, and secondary school within the school district.
(3) Every school committee shall operate the schools within its district at least 180 school days in a school year.
Number of Hours in a Sch. Yr - 603 CMR 27.04: Structured Learning Time Requirements:
(1) No later than the 1997 – 1998 school year, schools shall ensure that every elementary school student is scheduled to receive a minimum of 900 hours per school year of structured learning time, as defined in 603 CMR 27.02. Time which a student spends at school breakfast and lunch, passing between classes, in homeroom, at recess, in non-directed study periods, receiving school services, and participating in optional school programs shall not count toward meeting the minimum structured learning time requirement for that student.
(2) No later than the 1997 – 1998 school year, all schools shall ensure that every secondary school student is scheduled to receive a minimum of 990 hours per school year of structured learning time, as defined in 603 CMR 27.02. Time which a student spends at school breakfast and lunch, passing between classes, in homeroom, at recess, in non-directed study periods, receiving school services, and participating in optional school programs shall not count toward meeting the minimum structured learning time requirement for that student.
Last year, special permission was given to alter these expectations. At this point in time, there have not been any changes to these laws. In fact, on Wednesday, Commissioner Riley shared with superintendents that remote learning will not be implemented this year. His rationale included the negative impact on the mental health of our students and that closing schools actually has a negative impact on hospitals. Approximately 30% of health care workers have children under the age of 14. Closing schools would further put a strain on the availability of health care personnel. I can speak first hand about remote learning's impact on our mental health but had not thought about the impact on hospitals.
Just a reminder, we are still accepting applications for substitute teachers and nurses. Daily rate for teachers/paraprofessionals is $125 and for nurses $175. Please have any interested people contact Carol Bartlett in the Central Office. People can choose to work in a single building or multiple buildings -- we need substitutes in all areas!
Have a happy and safe SNOW DAY and weekend!
My Child Tested Positive at Home - What Should I Do?
- If a family/student administers a rapid home test that results in a positive result, please notify your school nurse (see list below) and complete this quick form for the Board of Health.
- With a rapid home test positive, the parent/guardian will determine the return to school date (with the understanding that the conditions listed below are met). A reminder that the day of the test or onset of symptoms is noted as Day 0.
- It is also important that our school nurses know that your child has tested positive, especially if they are not yet vaccinated, as they are exempt from testing and quarantine protocols for 90 days.
My Child Has COVID-like Symptoms Or Is Just Plain Sick -- What Do I Do?
DESE COVID Guidance Protocol Changes
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school nurse or your building principal.
I have only included the weeks of December and the first week in January; however, the total number is an accurate reflection of our count from the start of the school year.
Important Information for 8th Grade Families!
Professional Release Day on Wednesday, January 12, 2022
AHS, AIHS, AMS: 11:30 am
AES, CES: 12:00 noon
If you have any questions, please contact the principal of your building.