May 11, 2022
We are pleased to announce that our school budget was passed with a unanimous vote at the Norfolk Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 10th. All of our budget plans and decisions are guided by the districts’ commitment to providing a safe, joyful and challenging learning experience that meets the needs of our diverse students. Additionally, as we planned and prepared the budget for next year, we took into account the impact the Covid 19 pandemic has had on our students both academically and from a social/emotional perspective. We recognize that post pandemic recovery is not an overnight process and that addressing the learning and mental health needs of our students following this global health crisis will take dedicated, focused efforts over the next several years.
Our 2022 budget request reflects both the staffing and educational resources that the district feels are most critical to maintaining a high quality education for all children as they move forward in returning to a greater sense of normalcy in our schools. The approved budget for the upcoming school year allows us to maintain our strong educational programs, protect class sizes at all grade levels and continue to provide a rigorous and comprehensive education for all of our students. The 2023 budget also maintains critical positions that we added this year to support Covid recovery, including a School Psychologist, a part-time Social Worker and a Developmental Math Teacher. The 2023 School Budget is available to the public on our website.
Our request to fund a feasibility study for expanding the Freeman-Kennedy School was also unanimously approved at town meeting last night. As you might have heard, space continues to be a challenge for our district. Our growing population is exceeding the capacity of our school buildings. We have implemented creative solutions to temporarily offset this issue but the district does not have the capacity to absorb the increase in enrollment projected to occur over the next five to six years. The feasibility study will allow us to evaluate educational program and space needs, document existing conditions, establish design parameters, develop and evaluate alternatives, and recommend the most cost effective and educationally appropriate proposal to the town. This would also include a comprehensive cost estimate for all components of the proposed building project.
We would like to thank the town of Norfolk and all of the residents for universally supporting our budget request. It is due to our strong partnership with our families and community that we will be able to continue to provide our students with the high quality and rigorous education that Norfolk is known for. We look forward to a great new school year!
Victoria Saldana, Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction
As you are probably aware, the state of Massachusetts has seen an increase in the number of cases of Covid 19 reported over the past few weeks. Additionally, waste water testing has confirmed that the state is currently experiencing a Covid 19 surge (although smaller than the spike we experienced over the winter). Over the past week, we have seen an increase in the number of cases reported in both of our schools. As a result, after consulting with our school nurses and the local public health nurses, we are going to implement some additional Covid mitigation measures for the next couple of weeks. Our goal is to keep our students and staff members healthy and able to remain in school teaching and learning during this critical time of the school year. For the next few weeks we will be implementing the following mitigation measures:
Teachers will be keeping classroom windows open whenever possible (considering weather conditions) to increase ventilation.
We will be adjusting our HVAC systems to maximize the amount of external air brought in through our air exchange systems.
When possible teachers will take students outdoors for snacks or special projects.
We will be re-implementing physical distancing between student desks in our classrooms. Students will still be able to work with peers and in small groups throughout the day for shorter periods of time. However, we are seeking to provide some additional space between desks so that children are not seated directly next to peers for lengthy, extended periods of time while case counts are elevated.
Masking will remain a personal choice for students and staff members, however, we are strongly encouraging all members of our school community to consider wearing a mask for the next couple of weeks to protect themselves and those around them while we are experiencing an increase in case counts. Additionally, we encourage all parents to consider enrolling in the district's optional weekly testing program. If you are interested in participating, click Norfolk Public Schools Rapid Antigen Testing Opt-In Form to enroll. Please remember you are able to enroll or terminate your participation in this program at any time.
A final reminder to all parents, if your child is sick or exhibiting Covid symptoms, they MUST remain home from school. Covid symptoms include:
Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
New loss of taste or smell
Muscle aches or body aches
Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
Headache when in combination with other symptoms
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
Please be aware that any child who tests positive for Covid 19 must isolate for five days after symptom onset or after a positive PCR or antigen test. They may return to school on day 6 if symptoms have improved, but are required to continue masking for an additional five days.
Being out of school at the end of the year is disappointing and difficult for students with the many special end of year events and activities planned. We are asking for everyone’s support and assistance in keeping our school community healthy. We want all of our children to enjoy the last few weeks of school and end the year on a great note!
We will monitor this situation closely and will re-evaluate our mitigation plans based on both our local and community data. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s building principal or school nurse for assistance.
National School Nurse Day!
Mrs. Ann Hurley
H. Olive Day
Mrs. Barbara DiGiacomo
Celebrating our School Nurses
Thank you to our outstanding school nurses who have gone above and beyond this year to care for our students and support families as they navigate the challenges of Covid 19. They are incredibly dedicated and talented professionals!
Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
As you may know, the PTO organizes a teacher appreciation luncheon every spring on the half day that falls in May. This year the luncheon will be held on Friday, May 27th and we are asking for assistance in two ways:
1. Cash donations that will be put towards catering - please Venmo to @Lynn-Kealty or send in cash donations to school in an envelope with Lynn Kealty's name. No amount is too small, and any donation is appreciated!
2. Donate goods to be dropped off at school the day before or day of the luncheon. A sign up for each school is below. We are also looking for a few people to decorate at HOD.
Thank you for helping us put on an amazing luncheon to thank our wonderful teachers and school staff!
~ Norfolk PTO
Norfolk PTO COLOR FUN RUN is back!
To help make the Color Fun Run a success, please volunteer to help us out!
DARE to DREAM Summer Day Program!
The D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officers from the towns of Norfolk, Plainville, and Wrentham will be holding the annual DARE to Dream Summer Day Program for those students exiting the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grades.
All online registration forms are due: Friday, May 20, 2022.
See the flyer link for more specific details:
Norfolk Recreation Programs!
More Music with Mrs. Musial!!
And the beat goes on with the Glockenspiels,
Mrs. Zollo's fourth graders
Mrs. Raider's fourth graders
Click on pictures to SEE and HEAR the music!
and xylophones ...FANTASTIC!
Mr. Brogan's fourth graders