March 31, 2021
Dear Norfolk Families,
Our hallways are buzzing with excitement at the prospect of having the majority of our students back in the building on Monday. As our recent presentation to the School Committee outlined there are numerous considerations that go into planning for a full return under the current circumstances. As we are taking steps to returning to a more traditional learning environment and reflect on the year that has passed, we have to recognize that this has not been a typical school year and that there is an impact on our students academic and social emotional learning. We expect that student progress will not look the same as it has in the past years when students were learning under more typical conditions. Therefore we anticipate that our students will demonstrate some learning gaps in both academic and social emotional learning (SEL). As a parent myself I know that this feels unsettling and our first instinct is to focus on comparing academic measures. Yet research conducted by numerous academic institutions this past year has shown that what our students need is time, time to connect with peers, time to acclimate to a new schedule of being in school five days per week, time to solidify academic skills with their teacher and time to focus on their social emotional state. Teachers, support staff and administrators have been focusing the majority of their planning efforts on mitigating the effects of the pandemic. The district has plans in place to support all students in closing gaps and in enhancing their achievement as we head into the last months of the school year. The leadership team is also beginning to forge plans for the next school year to ensure that all our students continue to receive the support that they need.
Some of the measures that are being put in place are:
A strong focus on RTI (Response to Intervention). Teachers in collaboration with the Literacy and Math Specialists are using data to identify concepts and skills that need reteaching or review, and customizing instruction to meet the needs of the students.
The district is continuing to modify the curriculum to ensure that students receive direct instruction on all key learning standards.
The adjustment counselors are enhancing our SEL curriculums to include lessons that support students with transitioning to in person learning. Students will continue to complete the daily starters.
Both schools continue to hold regularly scheduled N.E.S.T. meetings in order to structure general education supports, such as developmental services and individualized in-class RTI plans for students. (please click here for more information about the NEST process)
The district is pursuing grant funding to offer summer support programs.
We are looking forward to continuing our partnership with our families as we enter Phase III of our learning model this school year.
Ms. Victoria Saldana, Director of Curriculum
Dr. Ingrid Allardi, Superintendent
Norfolk Public Schools Technology Update
Attention H Olive Day School parents/guardians:
On April 5th the NPS Technology Department is asking all students in Grade 1 and Grade 2 to return their loaner technology equipment (Chromebook /iPad and chargers) to your classroom teachers.
The students will begin using the equipment on a regular basis in their classrooms.
Director of Technology
Norfolk Public Schools
508-528-1266 ext. 1228
Supporting Your Child with Returning To School
Safety Protocols/ Mask Guidelines
As we welcome more children back to full in-person learning, we want to remind families that continued diligence with safety and health protocols is important to protecting the well-being of all members of our school community. Students should continue to follow current guidelines for daily Covid 19 symptom screening and should remain home if they have a fever over 100.0 degrees or if they exhibit any covid symptoms listed on the screening checklist.
Students at all grade levels are required to wear a mask when they are in the school building, with the exception of lunch, snack and during scheduled mask breaks when they can maintain 6 feet of social distance. Students are encouraged to bring their own mask to school. Masks should be well-fitted and fully cover the child’s mouth and nose. Parents are encouraged to send an extra mask to school with their child in case their child needs to change their mask during the school day. If your child does not have a mask or if their mask does not meet the required safety guidelines, we will provide one. See the mask guidelines below.
Travel Policy Update
In order to maintain the safety and health of all Norfolk Public School students and staff, we want to ensure that our families are aware of the guidelines outlined in the current state travel advisory. We expect that all members of the Norfolk School community will adhere to the requirements of this advisory. After travel out of the state or country, students and staff are expected to comply with the following requirements:
All students and staff should produce a negative PCR Covid 19 test administered no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Massachusetts in order to return to school. Children under ten are not required to be tested, but should quarantine until other members of their travel party have produced a negative test result.
If students or staff members opt not to test, they are expected to quarantine for ten days and must remain asymptomatic in order to return to school.
Individuals who meet the criteria below are exempt from the requirements of the Travel Advisory:
Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours
Travellers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer Covid 19 or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least 14 days prior) and who do not display any symptoms of Covid 19
Please note that with the full return of students to in-person learning, students will be seated a 3 ft. of distance within classrooms and with less than 3 feet of distance on school buses. As a result, if we are notified of a positive case of Covid 19, there will be an increase in the number of students who are identified as close contacts that will be required to quarantine. In order to limit the impact and potential disruptions to student learning, we are asking all members of the community to strictly adhere to the health and safety guidelines detailed in the Massachusetts Travel Advisory. If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact your child’s school nurse.