O'Maley Family Focus

Updates from Principal Lynne Beattie - October 26, 2020

Reminder: Early Release 10/27 at 11:15 a.m.

Spirit Week 2020

Hello, O'Maley Families!


It's hard to believe that we are wrapping up the month of October. This week is Spirit Week at O'Maley, with different themes each day. I hope you enjoyed the video; students watched in homeroom on Friday to prepare them for the week of fun:


  • Monday - Crazy Hair Day
  • Tuesday Unity Day - Wear Orange
  • Wednesday - Pajama Day
  • Thursday - Halloween costume or Favorite Character
  • Friday - Sports Day


Arrival to School

As we head into cooler weather, I want to provide a reminder about our morning procedures. As the weather gets cooler, students will continue to wait outside on the dots until 7:30 a.m. when the doors to the building open and students head in and to their assigned homerooms. Unless there is significant precipitation or dangerously cold temperatures, we will continue this practice. We encourage you to drop off students as close to 7:30 as possible, and be sure they are dressed for the outdoors before that time. If there is significant precipitation or dangerously cold temperatures we will invite students into the auditorium, with socially distanced seating, until 7:30 when they will head up to homeroom where they are under supervision of staff. The official start time of homeroom and the school day is 7:40 a.m. and students should arrive to start the day on time.


Early Release Dismissal

As you were made aware recently, transportation was able to reorganize the bus schedule to provide an 11:15 a.m. early release on the days scheduled on the GPS calendar. Tomorrow, October 27, is the next event of early dismissal.


Attendance

As noted above, homeroom is part of the school day. Students both in the building and attending remotely should arrive on time and expect to attend all classes as scheduled throughout the day. This pertains to both in-person and remote learners. On remote days we have begun to face a challenge with students attending some, but not all, classes, or arriving to class late or leaving early. While remote, it is essential that students treat the schedule the same as if they were in the building. To track attendance, teachers will be noting missed classes as CC (cut class) or TTC (tardy to class). This will help provide accurate information to families.


SchoolBrains Community Portal

While teachers are using Google Classroom as their teaching venue and assignment distribution, all grades are entered into the Schoolbrains portal within two weeks of an assignment's due date.Students and families can login to Schoolbrains at https://community.schoolbrains.com/gloucester_Community/. If you don't know your login, please email Assistant Principals Jeff Destino, jdestino@gloucesterschools.com or Dennis Hurley, dhurley@gloucesterschools.com. if you have logged in before, please use the "forgot password" feature in the portal login. Most usernames are first initial and last name.


Please continue to read below for important upcoming events and information. As always, reach out with questions or comments any time!


Best,

Principal Lynne Beattie

Upcoming Events/Dates

Spirit Week: Monday October 26 - Friday, October 30

Watch the video for information about each day's theme.


O'Maley Midterm Check-in Survey Due Tuesday, October 27:

Be sure to submit if you want to change your child's program, Hybrid or Remote.


Early Release at 11:15 am: Tuesday, October 27


O'Maley PTO Virtual Meeting: Thursday, October 29

Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/9704896203?pwd=OEY0RjBiYlZnQmFNdnRTeUdmeDZ0dz09

Meeting ID: 970 489 6203

Passcode: 671449


No School November 3rd: Election Day and Staff Professional Development


O'Maley Picture Day November 16-17

Hybrid students will have photos taken in the morning during the school day. remote students are scheduled to have photos taken on both days, 1:00-3:00 p.m. Unless weather is prohibitive, pictures will be taken outdoors.

From Nurses Kim Cameron & Alycia Gossom

Flu Vaccines

Nurses Kim and Alycia would like to remind you that the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is requiring flu vaccines for all students. They are due to be completed by December 31st. There is still a while to go, but please plan ahead. Unless you have a documented medical exemption, the DESE is requiring immunization.


7th Grade Immunizations

7th Grade physicals are due: An updated physical and physical report is mandated by the state of Massachusetts for every 7th grader.


Contact our nurses each and every time your child is out sick. We will do everything we can to assist in keeping your child healthy. Please contact the O'Maley nurses office at 978-281-9847.

What to Do When Students Are Ill: Minimizing COVID-19 in Our Community

As we try to minimize Covid-19 in our community and our schools it is essential that parents/guardians communicate with school if their child is out, sharing the details of why you are keeping your child home.


Below is the full list of symptoms for which caregivers should monitor their children:


  • Fever (100° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills

  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms

  • Muscle aches or body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms



A student may return to school with documentation (see below) after COVID-19 symptoms

  • After they have tested negative for COVID-19, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, or

  • If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis), or

  • If a student or staff member presents COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without fever for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of fever reducing medication.


Documentation after illness: Please use the list of symptoms above and include details in both your phone communication and the written note for return to school. We have created a form to use for your note. Please link here: Student Return to School After Illness


NOTE: If multiple symptoms occur, a physician's note or negative COVID-19 test is needed in addition.

GPS Online Learning & Chromebook Use

Please be sure to read this three part document related to using GPS Chromebooks and online resources. Chromebooks will be distributed to students at orientations/remote pick-up or in school Wednesday.

Drop off and pick up at O'Maley is in the rink parking lot ONLY. DO not drive up to the front of the building or drop off in the driveway.

All Students Must Wear Masks to School.

Health and Safety at O'Maley

Student and staff safety is our utmost priority at O'Maley as we return to school. We will strictly uphold our safety guidelines and will apply progressive disciplinary procedures to address infractions.


S.A.I.L.S. AND SAFETY:

Maintaining a safe and sanitary learning environment is a community responsibility and we will all work together to ensure that our school remains healthy. Our S.A.I.L.S. principles guide us to respect and take part in our community through Service, Acceptance, Integrity, Leadership, and Success. Actively following our safety guidance individually and supporting and encouraging others to do the same are great examples of Leadership and Integrity that will ensure our Success.


6' DISTANCES

We have worked diligently to design a model in which we will sustain 6' of distance among all of our community members, both staff and students. Classroom seating is arranged to provide this spacing and hallways will be marked for traffic flow. Students will be assigned a seat in each class the first day of school and will retain that assignment unless directed differently by the teacher.


Students should not stop, remain stationary, and/or congregate less than 6' apart when moving about the building. While they may at times pass by one another at a slightly lesser distance, they must maintain the maximum distance possible in hallways and when entering and exiting classrooms, staying as close to 6' apart as possible. Traffic flow and expectations for transitions between classes will be reviewed with students by teachers within each House team.


FACE COVERINGS

All individuals are required to wear face coverings or masks when in school, on school grounds, and on school transportation.


Please follow these guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health when selecting a mask or face covering:

  • Cover your nose and mouth,

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,

  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,

  • Include multiple layers of fabric,

  • Allow for breathing without restriction, and

  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

  • Masks with valves should not be worn as they do not effectively filter breath a person exhales.


When putting on and taking off a mask, do not touch the front of it, only handle the ties or ear straps, and make sure you wash the cloth mask regularly. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching the mask.


Gloucester School Committee Policy allows for exceptions to this policy in certain circumstances such as students with medical, behavioral or other challenges. All exceptions must be approved by the building principal in consultation with the school nurse or the Gloucester Board of Health, and the superintendent.


SANITIZING

Hand sanitizer stations will be located at all entrances, stairwells, bathrooms, water fountains, and inside each classroom. Students are expected to sanitize their hands upon entering the building or any of the spaces noted above.


Bathrooms will be cleaned hourly.

Surfaces in the building will be cleaned each day following students' departure.


During the school day, classroom surfaces will be cleaned between classes. Teachers will spray student desks/tables with a sanitizing solution. Students will then be responsible for wiping down their own desk/table surface before leaving the classroom.


Supplies will not be shared interactively among students and will be wiped down between uses if they are not allocated to individual students. Items like textbooks and literature will be distributed to individual students and quarantined for at least three days when returned.


ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL

Students should arrive to school at or after 7:30 a.m. and will enter the building directly upon arrival at that time. They will head straight to homeroom which officially begins at 7:40 a.m. Students should not arrive prior to 7:30 a.m.. In the event of an urgent and temporary situation where arrival before 7:30 a.m. cannot be avoided, students will be required to separate, standing on the dots on the courtyard, by at least 6' of distance. Please assist us in ensuring that unless there is a rare, temporary, and urgent situation, students do not arrive prior to 7:30 a.m.


Students will be dismissed at the end of the day in groups of walkers, pick-ups, and bus riders. Practices for social distancing while exiting will be instructed, reviewed, and monitored.


STUDENT GROUPINGS IN THE HYBRID MODEL

Students will remain in a grouping we call a "bubble" throughout the day. Each bubble is a House team and consists of about 80 students. There are 7 adults who oversee the 8 class blocks that occur over the course of two days, Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday. There are no circumstances in which students are scheduled with other students outside of their bubble.


Our class size is 12 or fewer students. Students travel with various members of their House "bubble" during the day and remain in that bubble.


TRAVELING WITHIN THE BUILDING

Students will be assigned one or more designated bathrooms to use during the day. We will be implementing an electronic pass system called SmartPass which requires students to sign out through their Chromebook before leaving a class, and alerts them if the location is not available. For example, if the bathroom is full or if the guidance counselor is not available, the student will be alerted and unable to sign out of class until there is availability. This will reduce hallway traffic and prevent students from congregating while waiting to go into a room.


PRPTOCOLS FOR ILLNESS

COVID-19 Protocols developed by DESE will be followed. Development of a shorter, easier to use version for GPS is underway and will be published soon. Our nurses, Kim Cameron and Alycia Gossum are able to answer questions at any time. To read the DESE Protocols in multiple languages, link here.

O'Maley Academy

O'Maley Academy Virtual Fall Session Information: The fall session will begin October 5th, fully remote.


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