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September 10, 2021

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Newsletter

This Newsletter updates on all matters connected to Cohasset Public Schools. This letter is sent as part of a District initiative focusing on communication.
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Welcome to the 2021 - 2022 School Year

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Greetings Cohasset Families,

Welcome to the 2021 – 2022 School year. This year we are excited to focus our efforts as a school community on the implementation of the Cohasset Public Schools Strategic Plan, 2021 – 2024, which was created collaboratively by the entire Cohasset School Community. This plan aligns goals from the Cohasset School Committee, District and Building Leadership, and staff, and shapes our school improvement plans. Our mission states that “Cohasset Public Schools places students first. We provide an optimal teaching and learning environment by cultivating empathy, global citizenship, agency, inclusivity, and community engagement to empower students to realize continuous personal growth and achievement.” We will focus on teaching and learning, social and emotional wellness, resources, and communication and engagement, as we enact this mission in order to reach our vision to “Empower student to improve communities.”

Over the next three years we will create an environment that is focused on the whole student:



  • We will encourage students to achieve their full potential socially, emotionally, and academically, as they embody equity, cultural responsiveness, inclusivity, empathy, and global citizenship.
  • We will support students in developing agency (to act independently and make their own free choices) within an innovative and creative mindset.
  • We will cultivate an environment of open communication, engagement, and collaborative learning opportunities among home, school, and community.
  • We will support optimal teaching, learning, and leading through responsible funding that provides academic excellence, appropriate staffing, state of the art facilities, and quality instructional materials.



In conjunction with our Mission, our theme for this year is “Working Together to Place Students First.” We are committed to meeting students where they are academically and social-emotionally, and we will enact a student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Please never hesitate to reach out to me or to any member of the leadership or staff if you have any questions or if we can help your student in any way.

Sincerely,

"The Best Part of Me"

The below film is based on a project that many of our elementary teachers have used effectively with their students in the past called, “The Best Part of Me,” which is based on a mentor text of the same name by Wendy Ewald. It can, to a degree, be a metaphorical exercise where a student picks a part of their body or person and explains the strengths of this body part through an extended metaphor to represent their strengths, core values, and aspirations. The older a student gets, the exercise tends to get more abstract, where it can be a little more concrete for the younger students. This video, which was created by senior Jake Gowell and supported by Technology teacher, Adam Sasso, and Instructional Technology Specialist, Cassie O’Brien, shows clearly the wonderful students we have and the amazing strengths we can work together to cultivate individually and collectively. Thank you, Jake, Cassie, Adam, and all the amazing students who volunteered for your efforts in creating this wonderful film. I shared this video as part of teacher's opening day as part of our year's theme of "Working Together to Place Students First."

PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW THE VIDEO

Wonderful Start to the New Year

The start of our new school year was filled with excitement. Thank you to the staff, students, and families for a successful beginning to the year.
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Thank you to our amazing educators!

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Thank you to all who worked behind the scenes to prepare our schools: Custodians, Facilities, Food Service, Bus Drivers, Emergency Management, DPW, Secretaries, Administrative Assistants, IT, Book Keepers and all who work so hard to make our schools special.

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Cohasset Information Technology staff help students hit the ground running by ensuring thier BYOD devices connect securely to the school WIFI network. This is an annual one time task to ensure all BYOD Devices/students can access the schools digital resources for the new year. Thank you, IT.

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Cohasset Public Schools Launches Strategic Plan for 2021- 2024

Thank you to everyone who helped to create this collaborative plan. I enjoyed discussing the implementation of this plan at the Cohasset Farmers Market in August. I will be returning to the Cohasset Farmers Market with members from the Cohasset School Committee on September 16 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM to discuss our goals and focus points in a relaxed setting. I look forward to these important discussions.
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Summer Happenings

This summer was very eventful. We had amazing collaborations with Cohasset Student Coastal Research (CSCR) and the Grew School in Boston; our Summer Learning Program and Extended Year Learning Program were very successful; our student orientations were wonderful; we opened a CHS farm stand at the Farmer's Market with produce harvested from our school gardens; we celebrated the efforts of our summer work force; our climbing wall was installed in the CHS / CMS gymnasium due to the generosity of a CEF grant; leadership planned for the year to come, including meeting with Cohasset Police and Cohasset Fire; and fall sports are back!
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SAVE THE DATE(S): OPEN HOUSE

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Joseph Osgood School Open House: 9/21 from 6:00PM - 7:30PM


Deer Hill School Open House: 9/23 from 6:00PM - 7:30PM


Cohasset High School Open House: 9/28 from 6:00PM - 7:30PM


Cohasset Middle School Open House: 9/30 from 6:00PM - 7:30PM

Cohasset School Committee Goals Approved for 2021 - 2022 School Year

At the 9/8/2021 School Committee Meeting the Cohasset School Committee approved their goals for the 2021 - 2022 school year. These goals directly relate and reference the Cohasset Public Schools Strategic Plan, 2021 - 2024. Thank you to the School Committee for their dedication and work to help the students, staff, and families of Cohasset.

METCO UPDATE

One of the highlights of the summer was leadership attending the METCO student ice-cream social held at Edward Brooke School in Dorchester. It was wonderful to see our Boston families and to reunite with our amazing students. Thank you to our METCO Director, Aleisa Gittens-Carle, and to Atisha Winslow for their efforts in making this event happen for the students.
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Cohasset Public Schools Vision of Equity

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BE THE CHANGE

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Please visit our website for resources regarding the promotion of diversity.

We will continue to engage students and staff in the meaningful discussions necessary to promote change. We are committed to promoting anti-racism and cultural responsive teaching and learning.

Technology Updates

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Please see the below presentation, which was delivered at the end of last year to the School Committee by Lisa Radden, Director of Technology and Digital Learning. This presentation highlights the efforts of our Digital Learning Committee and other important on-going technology initiatives from last year. We are poised to continue and to add to these collaborations and endeavors.

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Cohasset Community Health Update

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Cohasset Community is now in the GREEN Category...Please continue to be vigilant regarding Covid-19 protocols and safety measures

Below please find the Cohasset Community Health Update as of September 9, 2021.


Community Report:

As of September 9, 2021 the Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the town of Cohasset’s positive COVID-19 test rate over the past 14 days is 2.39% with 587 tests reported. Cohasset has eleven (11) positive cases reported over the past two weeks. Currently, 82% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated with 8% of eligible residents partially vaccinated. Under the DPH metrics, the town of Cohasset is in the "Green" category for communities who have a population of under 10,000 who have less than or equal to 15 positive cases over the last 14 days. Here is the complete report issued on September 9, 2021.


This school year, we will be sharing data regarding school community COVID-19 cases within our weekly community health updates. To date since the start of the pandemic we have had no know transmission of COVID-19 in our schools. Here is the Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Weekly Update Spreadsheet that I will be using to indicate cases. This spreadsheet will also be found on the district website under COVID-19 information. As always, all close contacts of COVID-19 positive individuals will be informed in a separate communication. When a positive case occurs, anyone who is determined to be a close contact is provided with specific instructions regarding testing and quarantining (if there is a need for them to test and quarantine).

School Safety Considerations and Procedures

The following operational and Department of Public Health (DPH) / Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) requirements that are currently in effect in all of our schools:


In-Person Learning: “As noted in the Updates to DESE COVID-19 Guidance released on May 27, 2021, all districts and schools will be required to be in-person, full-time, five days a week this fall...” (DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021).

All schools in Cohasset will begin the school year in-person, full-time, five days a week:

CHS & CMS: 8:15AM - 2:55PM

Deer Hill: 9:05AM - 3:25PM

Joseph Osgood: 9:10AM - 3:30PM


Masking: Effective immediately, public school students and staff in all grades are required to wear masks indoors in schools, except as noted in the guidance linked below. Masks are not required when outdoors. All visitors are also expected to wear a mask in school buildings. Please click on the link to see the full masking / face covering mandates.


Physical Distancing in Schools: All Cohasset schools will begin the year by doing all they can to maintain 3 feet distance (edge of seat to edge of seat) in the classroom and 6 foot of distance when eating indoors. Our classroom and eating space furniture has been arranged to maintain this distance. Maintaining this distance is essential because of close-contact and quarantining guidelines.


Close-Contacts and Quarantines: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the following is the definition of a close contact: “Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.”


Exemptions from testing and quarantine response protocols:

“• Asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts: Individuals who are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

• Classroom close contacts: An individual who is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom while both individuals were masked, so long as the individuals were spaced at least 3 feet apart, is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

• Bus close contacts: Individuals on buses must be masked according to federal requirements. As such, individuals who are masked on buses when windows are open are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols.

• Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days: An individual who has been previously diagnosed with COVID-19 and then becomes a close contact of someone with COVID-19 is exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols if:

• The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND the exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 Symptoms” (DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021 - 2022).


Synchronous Provisions for Students during Quarantine: At this time synchronous provisions for students experiencing quarantine are still being bargained with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA). Information will be forthcoming.


Test-and-Stay: At this time, Cohasset Public Schools does not plan on implementing test-and-stay in our school buildings. Families will be informed if Cohasset Public Schools decides to implement this measure.


Ventilation, Hand-Hygiene, and Staying Home When Ill: We will continue the successful practices of using Portable Air Cleaners (PACs) to improve the air changes per hour and ventilation in all buildings. We will continue the successful hand washing and hand sanitizing processes we had in place last year. We encourage students to stay home when sick.


Transportation Guidance: “By federal public health order, all students and staff are required to wear masks on school buses at this time” (DESE/DPH COVID-19 Guidance for Districts and Schools: Fall 2021). Windows will remain open on buses. No physical distancing is required on buses, and the DPH / DESE guidance indicates that no quarantines will result from riding on a bus.


Other Safety Considerations:

Cleaning Protocols: We will be sticking with our successful cleaning protocols established last year at all schools.


Sharing of Materials: We will be allowing students to share materials, although we will minimize this sharing when possible.


Locker rooms and lockers: We will be using lockers and locker rooms, but lockers will not be shared. Osgood will continue to use their successful outside of the classroom “hook” system.


Field trips: We will be allowing field trips and club trips...masks will currently be required on all buses and transportation per guidance.


Visitors in buildings: We will be allowing approved visitors into the buildings as we did pre-COVID). Per masking requirements, all visitors are required to wear masks while inside school buildings.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): We will continue to have masks available for anyone who wants / needs a mask. We will continue to have hand sanitizer available outside / inside classrooms.


Nurses’ Offices: We will continue to have separate waiting / treatment areas for individuals who exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms. As per. Guidance, all individuals entering a nurse’s office will require a mask.


Music: Music will be as it was at the end of the year, with spacing when playing and singing, and outdoor playing and singing when possible to do so.


Barriers: Plexiglas desk panels for use by classroom teachers when meeting individually with students within the classroom during instructional time will be in place, as they were at the end of the school year.


Heat Index: If masks are required, “heat days” may become necessary if the heat index rises to an uncomfortable and not learning conducive level. We continue to work to improve our air-conditioning in all of our buildings.


Tents and Outdoor Learning: We will resume use of tents and outdoor learning spaces.

Recess: Students will be allowed to unmask at outdoor recess.

Our main objectives remain to keep students, staff, and families safe; to provide the best academic and social-emotional environment and offerings that we can; and for everyone to remain in school.

Pictured below our some of our safety measures including tracking our cleaning and Portable Air Cleaner (PAC) filter replacements, spacing in our classrooms and indoor dining areas, hand sanitizing / hand cleaning, and outdoor learning spaces.

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2021 - 2022 Cohasset School District Calendar

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Food Services

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Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to the 2021-22 school year. The Cohasset Public Schools Department of Food and Nutrition is excited to once again provide free breakfast and lunches to all students this year through the USDA.


While school meals will be universally free for all students this year, USDA requires all school districts to make school meal applications available to certify children for free and reduced price meals and that information may be used to qualify newly eligible children for P-EBT.

You do not need to fill out an application if you already received a letter from the district, OR if you do not feel that you will qualify for P-EBT benefits.


Please click on the link below to access an application. Applications are also available online at cohassetk12.org under the Nutrition tab.

FREE AND REDUCED APPLICATION FY22

FY22 Application Directions

Free and Reduced Application FAQ


IF YOU ARE FILLING OUT AN APPLICATION, THIS INFO IS:

Step 1: Child’s full legal name and school (no nicknames)

Step 2: Number is provided on your letter – not your card

Step 3. Name and income – (Weekly, Bi –Weekly, 2x Monthly or Monthly)

If you are a seasonal employee, please enter annual income

Step 4: Last 4 digits of Social Security and Signature are REQUIRED –If not received, applications will be denied automatically and will delay approval process.

New form is required, status does not carry over from year to year.

ONE form per family. Please make sure all children that are in your household are included on the form, including those who do not attend school.

Only one application is required. If an online application is completed, a paper application is not needed.


If you have any questions, please contact food services at 781-383-6107 or email me at mharaden@cohassetk12.org.


Thank you,


Marilyn Haraden, Director of Food Services

Cohasset Public Schools



Continuation of Universal Free School Meals:

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended school meal waivers through the end of the 2021-2022 school year, allowing the continuation of universal free school meals at any school district throughout the state for the rest of this school year, through the summer, and through next school year. Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option, which is typically only available during the summer months and which allows schools to serve free meals to all children. More information is available online.” (Commissioner Riley’s Update, April 20, 2021).

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Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: Assistant Superintendent Leslie Scollins, Ed.D.

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August 26, 30, and 31 we welcomed our new teachers for our New Teacher Institute. It was three days of getting to know each other and learning about the district. We coordinate with the CTA to provide each new teacher a mentor, and we are thankful for their efforts. One of the highlights of the Institute was a tour of Cohasset and a stop at JJ's Dairy Hut for an ice cream. The new teachers are amazing, and we are thrilled to have them as part of the Cohasset Public Schools.

Professional Development

The Professional Development Committee meets throughout the year to determine the needs of the staff. This year we are focusing on the components of the new CPS District Strategic Plan such as building relationships, early literacy, and building upon the technology strategies that were learned last year. One September 1 and 2 all staff began the Annual Mandatory training, elementary staff participated in dyslexia and early reading workshop, and middle school and high school focused on Social Emotional Learning and relationship building. CHS participated in Challenge Day which is a non-profit organization that works with groups to build "empathy and compassion in our communities" - https://www.challengeday.org. We look forward to all our work together this year.

Office of Student Services

Barbara Cerwonka, Director of Student Services

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MAMA MIA THE MUSICAL IS COMING TO CHS

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Cohasset High School is excited to announce Mamma Mia as our fall musical!

Auditions are Monday September 13th from 6:30 - 8 or Wednesday September 15th from 3 - 4:30. We invite any and all high school students to audition!"

Sports Information

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Welcome Back to All of Our Fall Student Athletes!

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Please Click on the Link Below to Access Schedules and Other Sports Information

Thank you to the Cohasset Education Foundation (CEF) and to all who helped make our new Project-Adventure Climbing Wall a reality for the students. Physcical Education Teachers are currently being trained in the use of the wall, and we are excited to open this up to students soon.

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SAFE HARBORS UPDATES

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As we reach the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, we remember the great loss and great heroism that took place. We will keep the memories of those we lost within our hearts.

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The Important Role Families Play In Stopping the Spread of COVID-19

Families play an important role in helping to create a culture that prioritizes health and safety. Families should check their children daily for signs of COVID-19 and should keep them home from school if they are not feeling well or if they have been in close contact with a person who has been recently diagnosed with COVID-19. It is also important that families support students wearing masks in school and on the bus. We are strongest when we work together to stop the spread (Initial Fall School Re-entry Guidance, 2020).


CPS Pledge: Healthy and Responsible Behaviors Regarding COVID-19

By coming into Cohasset Public Schools, I pledge I am following:


  • State expectations for social and physical distancing

  • Regulations regarding the wearing of facial coverings

  • Quarantine directives put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Health and the Cohasset Department of Health

  • Guidance that has students and staff stay home from school / work if they are experiencing symptoms of fever, fatigue, difficulty breathing, or dry cough or if they have exhibited any symptoms relating to COVID-19

There are many stressors to our day-to-day lives; however, there are many resources available. The District Website has a page dedicated to Social Emotional Learning and Wellness. Below are some additional resources that you or a friend may find helpful. Please remember that our schools are a resource and our adjustment counselors can support you and your child.


Osgood: Dave Vinton dvinton@cohassetk12.org

Deer Hill: Laurie Dolan ldolan@cohassetk12.org

Robyn Costa rcosta@cohassetk12.org


CMS: Emily Manewal emanewal@cohassetk12.org

CHS: Leanne McCarthy lmccarthy@cohassetk12.org

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Take Care of Yourself and Take Care of Each Other

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Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can do anything to help your student or your family during this difficult time. Most important is the physical and mental health of everyone, and we will stay focused on making that a priority. Please take good care.

Please click on the following link to access even more information on the Cohasset Public Schools Web Site.

Please follow me on Twitter for daily updates from the Cohasset Public Schools