Wednesday's Words

February 10, 2021

District Planning for Phase III Learning Models

Dear Parents,

As we reflect back on what has been a very challenging school year, the Norfolk Public Schools have many things to celebrate. Throughout the fall we have been able to continuously increase the number of students we have brought back to school for in person learning. We have implemented effective health and safety protocols and successfully mitigated school based transmission of Covid 19. Our School nurses have been true super heroes during this time, taking on the responsibility for Covid education, contract tracing and responding to students and staff members who are ill. Our technology team has brought in grant funding, procured devices for all students, created innovative solutions to virtual learning and maintained a vastly expanded network. Our administrators have worked tirelessly to develop safety plans, recruit and hire staff, revise and adjust curriculum and support families. Our facilities staff has done outstanding work maintaining the highest standards for cleanliness and sanitization and keeping schools healthy. Our food service staff continues to prepare and distribute free lunches for students on remote learning days and to serve healthy meals at school. Building secretaries have worked to get timely communication out to families, support building operations and fill in wherever needed. Lastly, our teachers have been phenomenal. They have gone above and beyond to create new ways of teaching and learning and to provide the best possible learning experience to every student in their class.

At this time, we are actively planning for Phase III of our district learning models. Phase III will involve bringing more students back to school and increasing our in person learning. The focus of these efforts will begin with our most vulnerable learners and those who are least successful with remote instruction. The first students that we are working on returning for more in person instruction are preschool students and children in first and second grade. We will then begin to move forward with transitioning more students to in person learning with our youngest students given priority. As you are aware, the district has several challenges that we are working to address in order to make more in person learning possible. The biggest challenges for our district involve physical space and transportation. For more information click on the link below.

As we work to resolve challenges, we are encouraged to see that Covid 19 cases across the state and in the town of Norfolk have been declining. The district will be hosting a vaccine clinic for all school staff in collaboration with our regional partners (King Philip, Wrentham and Plainville) at the end of February or early March, contingent on state access to vaccines. These positive developments, combined with new research on Covid 19 transmission, will allow the district to begin to safely bring more students back to school.

It is our goal to begin to transition students back in the order outlined above beginning in April, as long as conditions permit. We expect to have more information to share with families regarding plans and timelines by the middle of March. The district will continue to provide fully remote classroom instruction for the students and families who have selected this option through the remainder of the current school year.

Have a great February vacation!


Close Contact Quarantine Guidelines

We are pleased to see that case counts of Covid 19 in Norfolk appear to be declining. The Town of Norfolk has now transitioned out of the red and is no longer considered a community with widespread Covid 19 transmission. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health updates data weekly and we expect to see Norfolk heading into its third week of being in the yellow. In addition, the district continues to review and monitor new research coming out from the CDC and other sources on Covid 19 transmission in the schools. Based on all of these factors, we will be reducing the current requirements for a 14 day quarantine for individuals who are close contacts of a Covid 19 positive individual. Effective after the February vacation, the district will reduce the length of the quarantine period to ten days for close contacts who are tested at least 8 days after the date of exposure, who have not and do not have any symptoms and who receive a negative test result. Students who are tested prior to day 8 and students who chose not to be tested for Covid 19 will be required to adhere to the full 14 day quarantine.

Covid 19 Dashboard

Due to the low rates of in school transmission for Covid 19 experienced by the district, we will no longer be sending out a community letter every time a new case is identified. Parents of students who are close contacts of a Covid 19 positive individual will be contacted directly by the school nurse and will receive a personal letter with instructions for quarantine and testing. Parents interested in tracking new cases in the schools can check the Covid 19 Dashboard on our District website for weekly updates.

Reminder- Please register for your Parent IPASS account

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As part of our continued effort to reduce paper and limit our environmental footprint, the district is implementing a new 'Parent Portal' called iParent, where parents will be able to access information about their child's school attendance, as well as view his/her/their report cards. We will not be sending home hard copies of report cards for Term 2 (T2), but will make the report cards available for you to review through iParent. If you do not have access to a computer or internet, hard copies will be made available upon request, by calling the H. Olive Day School office at 508-541-5475 or the Freeman-Kennedy School office at 508-528-1266.

If you have more than one child in the district you will get multiple emails/connect-eds with your student/s ID. Please make sure you only create ONE iParent account and register ALL your children who are currently attending Norfolk Public Schools at the same time.

Please click on the link below to register for your iParent account and set up your login and password.

Parents: Click Here to Register for iParent on-line access system

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