From Superintendent Brooke Clenchy
Welcome to the Fall Season!
Welcome to the Fall Season!
It’s time for football, turning leaves, cooler weather, and winter preparations!
We are well into the new school year and back into routines.
COVID remains a concern for us, for both staff and students. We began the school year with loosened restrictions, but in some cases we are finding ourselves having to return to more stringent routines, routines that are more aligned to what was in place last year.
As we began the new school year we had received new guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for how to deal with cases of COVID in our schools and changes to expectations regarding mitigation strategies. The social distance spacing, for example, was shortened, athletic and music activities were freer to resume with limited restrictions, lunch restrictions were lessened, and bus guidance was dramatically altered. Although this was not a complete return to pre-COVID times, it felt that we were on our journey back to that type of normalcy.
COVID has since run interference and we are seeing COVID starting to spread amongst our schools, especially in our youngest learners. As a result, you may well see schools in a position to have to return to restrictions similar to those that were in place last school year.
We continue to stress the importance of parents doing a quick check in the mornings with their children prior to them coming to school. If they are experiencing any signs of illness, we ask that they stay at home.
COVID quarantine expectations have also marginally changed, per DESE guidelines, as has the process for identification of close contacts. None-the-less, contact tracing is still in place, as is a new “Test and Stay” approach to retaining students in school, even though they have been identified as a close contact. The approach allows for each student identified as a close contact, with parental permission, to be tested daily for a period of time to ensure that they are not COVID positive. It is important to note that the “Test and Stay” program can only be utilized in the case of school-based close contacts, not community situations. You can anticipate further information outlining the “Test & Stay” program as well as appropriate parent electronic consent forms that will be sent out soon via email.
Remote teaching as we knew it from the last 19 months, as of now, is not a means or approach supported by the DESE. It is not considered “time on learning”, nor is it an approved learning model during this school year, unless special permission from the Commissioner of Education has been received. This type of permission is not easy to receive.
We know that COVID remains a concern for all of us, but we will see our way to the other side of all of this - and we understand what a challenge all of this is.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CIA)
Our work continues in this area under the steady guidance and wisdom of Dr. Robin Millen. She continually meets with administration and job-alike teacher groups as they complete strategic planning and efforts around the Nauset Public Schools Strategic Plan. In addition, the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief funding plan was submitted for review this week. We want to thank all of the staff, students, caregivers, organizations, and community members that engaged in the formulation of this plan. We encourage you to visit the Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment section of the Nauset Public Schools website for more up-to-date information.
The Director of Technology, Eileen Belastock, is regrouping with a district-wide Technology Committee to strategize a new direction forward for Nauset Public Schools in terms of direction and different pathways to get there. This will include discussion on appropriate, grade level devices, applications, licenses, etc.
Each school and the district will have twitter accounts set up shortly. As soon as this process is complete, we will be sure to post our accounts and be available to “follow”.
Work is continuing on our school district website. You will also begin to see some changes to our current website as we work at ensuring that the information on there is relevant and timely. Our new website is expected to take most of this year to create and populate.
Food Nutrition Services
The Nauset Food and Nutrition Department is asking for your patience and support as
it navigates new challenges. As you may be aware, they are currently faced with
unprecedented shortages of food and packaging materials, massive delays or
cancellations of deliveries, and department labor shortages. Nationwide shortages and
delays have affected availability of certain food items, leading to substitutions of menu
items they’ve been able to offer regularly in the past. These supply issues are occurring
throughout the country and are especially challenging for school systems, due to the
quantity of meals we serve and the nutrition standards we follow.
All of this means that our cafeterias may need to make quick substitutions to menus based
upon what we have available.
We know that this affects students, and we are doing our best to provide updates about menu changes when possible as soon as we identify an issue.
Our priority continues to be providing healthy, nutritious, and appetizing meals for your children. We appreciate your support and patience as we continue to offer meals at no charge for all students again this school year. Your participation in our program helps it to stay strong!
Nauset Regional High School Building Update
The Nauset Regional High School Building Committee met throughout the summer and continues to meet regularly with the engineering and design companies. Progress continues to be made at every meeting. The companies also met regularly throughout the summer with staff from the high school as they collectively explored staff and programmatic needs and together they envisioned spaces that could meet those needs. The work is exciting as we can see this project moving closer to a true project start date. You can expect to see updates as we move throughout the school year indicating where the project is at in terms of its ongoing progress.
NEWS on mental health services from Mary Buchanan, Director of Student Services:
The Nauset Public Schools has selected Care Solace, an organization determined to calm the chaos of mental health care coordination, to expand access to community mental health and substance use treatment providers for students, staff, and their families. Care Solace provides a Care Companion™ team who can quickly and confidentially find available providers in the community. Care Solace also equips school systems with a customized online tool that gives community members a way to anonymously search for community-based providers matched to their needs. For more information on Care Solace kindly follow this Link: