McGovern News!

September 4, 2020

Our educators are back! The excitement in our building palpable. It has been so great seeing our teachers in person. Moving from small Zoom boxes to in person has been a joy for our community. Faculty and staff have been eager to jump into academic planning, professional development, classroom set up, and safety training. The level of commitment this year is extraordinary and there has truly been an enrichment of the team mentality. We are all committed to providing a rich educational experience with a priority in safety.


We are so looking forward to our student return. Teachers will be connecting with families over the next week to provide further information and provide opportunities for connections. If you have specific questions regarding the classroom, please feel free to reach out to your child's teachers.


If you have any school based questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out. In next week's communication, we aim to include some videos and photos of how we have been planning and preparing.


Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!


Best,

Amy McDonald, Principal

Q&A

Mr. Kelley and I engaged in an office hour session with elementary parents today. We were able to provide information regarding teacher assignment, transportation, and more details into the 3rd and 4th grade hybrid experience. Parents had the opportunities to ask questions about orientation, Chromebooks, and supplies.


At the onset of the webinar, there was a technical challenge. Attendees were present in the Webinar, but were not able to view us. We shifted gears quickly to remedy this problem. You can find the link for that webinar here.

Student Supplies

McGovern School has purchased pencil boxes and student supplies for the upcoming year. Each student will have a box that includes the following:


  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Colored Pencils
  • Student Scissors
  • glue stick
  • markers

Orientations

On Monday September 14, students will be welcomed to join their teacher for a short meet and greet, as they transition to/back to McGovern School. Teachers will communicate what time orientations are scheduled for. Please be prepared to drop off your child in the designated area and pick them up at the end of the orientation. Please have a name plate in the passenger window with your child's name and teacher written in large black text. At this time, we are not able to invite families into the school building, so this is a student only event.

Class Assignments

You should have received an email from your child's teacher. If you did not receive this notification, please contact Jennifer Suttill in the main office or at jesuttill@medwayschools.org.

Big picture

Nurse's Notes

I hope you all had a great summer despite the current concerns. I am excited to be back at McGovern and look forward to seeing the students!


I am at school everyday now and available to meet with parents to discuss health concerns, develop health plans, and receive medications and paperwork. Please email me at pmckay@medwayschools.org so we can set up an appointment. Be aware that, for the moment, all in person meetings will take place outside of the building. I am also available to speak with you on the phone (508-533-6626 ext. 5354) or communicate via email.


A few reminders:


As mandated by the MA Department of Public Health immunization requirements must be completed prior to the start of school and an in-person physical exam is needed for students entering the school for the first time; typically pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students or a student transferring from another district. Documentation of an in-person physical is required. This physical exam should be conducted one year before or within 90 days of the start of school and can not have been a phone or virtual examination. If your child had a virtual visit please contact your child’s provider to discuss setting up an in-person appointment. All forms are to be sent to the attention of the nurse. They may be scanned and emailed to pmckay@medwayschools.org or faxed to 508-533-3263.


Additionally, Massachusetts now has a NEW requirement that students must receive an influenza vaccine by December 31, 2020. This is required for all students in pre k – grade 12 unless there is a medical or religious exemption.


Feel free to contact me with any questions at the above email address or at 508-533-6626 x5354.


Thank you and stay healthy!


Sincerely,


Penny McKay



2020-2021 School Calendar

The School Committee approved the recommended, amended 2020-2021 School Calendar which can be found here. The calendar takes into account the additional 10 days of professional learning and planning days prior to the start of our student return which will be Wednesday, September 16. The two days at the end of the year are being held in abeyance in case we need them sometime during the year in support of a student learning model transition (i.e. move from hybrid to full remote, etc.)

Transportation Updates

We expect initial bus routes to be available today. This information will provide District leaders to solidify arrival and dismissal times for families. These are being developed based on the cohorting model and family survey information. Please look here for that information:

Health and Safety Updates

The District is moving forward with the purchase of air purifiers with HEPA filters for each classroom, teaching space, and office. These devices have the ability to sanitize the air, depending on size, every 15 minutes. We are hopeful we will receive delivery prior to the students starting school.


While this exceeds the recommendations provided by DESE, we believe that this is an essential purchase for a few reasons:

  • It adds another layer of protection for students, faculty and staff

  • It allows us to more effectively operate our ventilation system, while complying with guidance, as the weather shifts

Face Covering Policy

At the August 20, 2020, School Committee meeting, the committee approved the following:.

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

Technology Update

Due to the uncertainty of our current environment, the Medway Public Schools Technology Department is pushing towards a 1:1 chromebook environment for all students. Our 8th through 12th grade students have benefited from a 1:1 environment for the past several years and expanding this to all grades will ensure we are prepared for any educational scenario moving forward. Unfortunately, in-house supplies are limited and supply chains are strained due to high demand. Our deployment plans for all grades can be found below.


Deployment Priorities - We apologize that we will not be able to immediately accommodate devices for all students. We encourage families to utilize existing devices to help support all learners. Our deployment priorities will be as follows:

  • All 9th through 12th grade students will continue to utilize their existing devices, provided by MPS.

  • 7th and 8th grade students will be required to return any loaned device and charger in exchange for new Acer Spin 311 R721T chromebooks. These devices will be utilized for the next three to five years for these grade levels.

  • 3rd through 6th grade students who have not already received a device from MPS will have an existing device prepared for delivery. See delivery methods below.

  • PK through 2nd grade students will receive devices as soon as possible. Families of PK-2 students who do not have a device in their homes for student use should contact us, see deployment method information below, to request a device. Distribution of devices to all other PK-2 students will take place mid-late October.

Delivery Methods - In order to effectively manage deployment of devices to all students, we are implementing the following procedure.

  • ALL STUDENTS will need a device capable of connecting to video conferencing software (similar to the spring) on September 16, the first day of At Home Learning.

  • Any Student in need of a device for the first day of school, should complete the 20-21 Device Request Form. A device will be prepared for pickup as described below.

  • ALL STUDENTS AND FAMILIES are required to complete the MPS 1:1 Consent Form, detailing the expectations, care, use, and family responsibilities of the device.

  • Cohorts A, B, and C in Grades 3-7: Those students receiving two to four days of in school learning will receive devices on their first scheduled day of in-school learning, delivered to their homeroom.

  • Virtual School Student Learning Model: Those students participating in the Virtual School Student Learning Model, are required to complete the 20-21 Device Request Form. A device will be prepared for pickup as described below.

Device Insurance: All Families are encouraged to purchase insurance for the school owned device to cover any repair costs that may be incurred. Please note that accidental and malicious damage is covered under this policy. Lost or stolen devices are not covered. Care of the device is the responsibility of the family up to the full replacement value of $310.00. MPS has secured insurance through Worth Ave for $22 per year for all devices and offers multi year plans based on grade level. Please visit the payment portal for more information. Please note that anyone receiving free or reduced lunch will receive one year of insurance free with the device deployment.

Device Pickup: For families of students participating in the MPS Virtual School Student Learning Model and those in need of a device for the first day of school, September 16th, please complete the 20-21 Device Request Form and the MPS 1:1 Consent Form. A device will be prepared for your student(s) with a pickup window of September 14th and 15th, 8:30 to 4:30. The location will be Medway Middle School, Door 8, IT Office. Devices will be brought to your car based on the plate number. We encourage all families to purchase insurance for the school owned device to cover any repair costs that may be incurred. Please note that anyone receiving free or reduced lunch will receive one year of insurance free with the device deployment.


Repair Services and Supports:

Anyone in need of technical assistance or device repair is encouraged to visit our Technical Support site. Medway Technical Support can be reached via email at support@medwayschools.org or by phone at (508) 321-4799. Requests will be managed as quickly as possible.

Free and Reduced School Meal Program

Every child needs a healthy, nutritious meal to learn. Medway Public Schools offers nutritious meals to children each school day, often at a free or reduced price for those who need it. Medway Public Schools participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program (NSLBP), a federally funded program that helps children receive free or reduced meals.

Click here for additional information and to find out if you qualify.

Resources!

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!

Aug 31-Sept 15: Professional Development Days for Faculty and Staff

Sept 14: Student Device Pickup, Middle School, Door 8, IT Office, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Sept 14: Orientations, see teachers’ communications for specific times

Sept 16: First day of school (Remote day for everyone, PK-1)

Sept 28: No School: Yom Kippur

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