WPS Superintendent Updates

January 14, 2022

COVID Update

The most recent COVID-19 data for Walpole shows a 23.78% positivity rate with 218 positive school cases last week. Cases are updated every weekend and can be found on the WPS COVID Data Dashboard.


On Monday, January 10, Commissioner Riley (DESE) announced that he is extending the mask requirement in schools through Monday, February 28.The Department will continue to work with medical experts and state health officials to evaluate the mask requirement beyond February 28. The current vaccination rate at the middle schools is 60%. WHS student and staff vaccination rate is 82%. At this time, there is no change to the WPS mask policy. In conjunction with the Walpole Health Department, we will continue to review our local data. Additionally, per order of Walpole’s Town Administrator, masks are required in all town buildings until further notice.


The Walpole Health Department will open additional vaccination clinics for Walpole Public School students ages 12+. These clinics will be offered to High School and Middle School students who need their 1st or 2nd dose of the primary series or to those who are eligible for their booster vaccine (at least 5 months after the 2nd shot in the primary series).


Please note that the Walpole Health Department is working on another vaccination clinic for ages 5-11 in February. We will send out that information as soon as it becomes available.

Pre-registration is required which includes the consent for your student to receive the vaccine. The registration links for each corresponding clinic is below:


Walpole High School: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

8:30am – 10:00am: Pre-registration Link


Bird Middle School: Tuesday January 25, 2022

10:30am – 12:00pm: Pre-registration Link


Johnson Middle School: Tuesday January 25, 2022

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Pre-registration Link

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten pre-registration for the 2022-2023 school year will be conducted through January 28, 2022. Letters were mailed home to families. To pre-register a kindergarten age-qualified* child, a parent or legal guardian must:

  • Complete the online pre-registration form

  • Present the required registration documents to the neighborhood school during registration week. If unable to drop off documents at your neighborhood school during the day, families may bring them to the Superintendents’ Office (135 School Street) on Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:30 and Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m.

*Kindergarten age-qualified children are those that have turned five (5) years old before September 1 of the school year for which they are pre-registering.

To find out more about registration, click here.


Reminder: 2022-2023 Elementary Start and End Times

The four elementary schools rotate start and end times every three years. The 2022-2023 School Year represents year one of the next rotation. Consequently, Boyden and Fisher Schools will start at 8:55 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m; Elm Street and Old Post Road Schools will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 2:55 p.m. The Daniel Feeney Preschool hours have been adjusted to accommodate the change in schedule. We want to provide this information to families early so they can plan accordingly.


Help Wanted

Many organizations continue to experience difficulty recruiting and hiring staff. Although WPS is faring better than other districts, we are still looking for daily on-call substitute teachers. Walpole High School graduates in college may be eligible to serve as on-call substitutes. If you, or someone you know, is currently looking for a position, we encourage you to reach out to our Human Resources Coordinator, Laurie Sylvia @ lsylvia@walpole.k12.ma.us or visit https://sites.google.com/walpole.k12.ma.us/wpshumanresources/employment-opportunities


WHS Student Design Selected for Master Plan Logo

Congratulations to Walpole High School student Cara Morris whose design has been selected as the official logo for the new Master Plan. Students' designs were submitted anonymously to the Master Plan Steering Committee. Chloe Bindon’s design took second place and tied for third place were designs by Colleen Finn and Ariana Korentis. All three are students at WHS. Cara's design will be permanently linked to this master plan and will be used around town as we work to complete the plan. We are very excited to have Cara's design become part of Walpole's history. Congratulations, Cara!


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December 17, 2021


Dear Walpole Public Schools Community,


To say that 2021 has been a challenging year is an understatement. In January, our elementary classes were bursting at the seams to make room for all of our K, 1, and 2 students to attend full time. Most grades were in the infamous “hybrid” model, there were remote Wednesdays, and if we had a holiday, everyone would rush to their calendars to figure out which Cohort was attending school on which day (A or B?). We grew tired of hearing the words “the new normal”, and on April 5th, we pivoted to a full five day in-person schedule for all grades K-12. Families and faculty continued to think outside the box to creatively hold end of year activities and welcomed some of the traditions of the summer months. At the start of this school year, we continued with full in-person learning. Thankfully, we took student field trips to somewhere other than school playgrounds, held afterschool activities in our classrooms, listened to concerts in our auditoriums, and watched athletic events in our gymnasiums.


Needless to say, the events from this past year have greatly impacted the way our students have experienced teaching and learning. Our families were challenged with new and different responsibilities at home and were required to juggle the many demands of their children’s social and academic needs. Finally, our Walpole Public Schools teachers and staff were required to do their jobs in dramatically different ways, but always rose to the occasion to meet the varied needs of our students.


It has been a difficult year, but even in challenging times our educators, students, and families have learned and grown from our experiences and demonstrated incredible resilience in the face of adversity. It is important to continue our work together to educate Walpole’s children, provide high expectations, opportunity, and access to all of our learners. As we wind down 2021, I want to thank you for your continued partnership. I wish everyone a happy holiday and a joyful, restful winter break.


Bridget A. Gough, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


As a reminder, school offices are closed December 24 - January 2. School will resume on January 3, 2022.

2022-2023 Elementary Start and End Times

The four elementary schools rotate start and end times every three years. The 2022-2023 School Year represents year one of the next rotation. Consequently, Boyden and Fisher School will start at 8:55 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m. Elm Street and Old Post Road Schools will begin at 8:25 a.m. and end at 2:55 p.m. The Daniel Feeney Preschool hours have been adjusted to accommodate the change in schedule. We want to provide this information to families early so they can plan accordingly.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Pre-registration for the 2022-2023 school year will be conducted from January 3 - January 28, 2022. Letters will be mailed home to families within the next few days. To pre-register a kindergarten age-qualified* child, a parent or legal guardian must:

  • Complete the online pre-registration form

  • Present the required registration documents to the neighborhood school during registration week. If unable to drop off documents at your neighborhood school during the day, families may bring them to the Superintendent's Office (135 School Street) on Mondays and Wednesdays until 5:30 and Tuesday evenings until 8:00 p.m.


Kindergarten age-qualified children are those that have turned five (5) years old before September 1 of the school year for which they are pre-registering.

To find out more about registration, click here.

COVID Update

The most recent COVID-19 data for Walpole shows a 5.54% positivity rate. There were 17 positive school cases last week. As of yesterday, 11 positive cases have been reported for a total of 42 positive cases in December. Cases are updated every weekend and can be found on the WPS COVID Data Dashboard. As a reminder, DESE Commissioner Jeff Riley, extended the mandatory indoor mask mandate for all Massachusetts schools through January 15. Commissioner Riley is allowing districts to implement a mask removal option for any school that can demonstrate an 80% vaccination rate of all staff and students. The current vaccination rate at the middle schools is 48%. WHS student and staff vaccination rate is 81%. At this time, there is no change to the mask policy. In conjunction with the Walpole Health Department, we will continue to review our local data.

Thank you, John D. Langley Foundation!

Thank you to John D. Langley Foundation for their generous donation of three communication boards at the DFP playground. These boards are a way to help the playground be more accessible for children with communication delays. The symbols on the board were selected by speech-language pathologists specifically for use on the playground and will allow for children of all abilities to utilize the boards. Click here to find out more information about John Langley and the Foundation.

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Help Wanted

Many organizations continue to experience difficulty recruiting and hiring staff. Although WPS is faring better than other districts, we are still looking for the following positions:

  • Daily On-Call Substitute Teachers

  • Van Drivers

If you, or someone you know, is currently looking for a position, we encourage you to reach out to our Human Resources Coordinator, Laurie Sylvia @ lsylvia@walpole.k12.ma.us or visit https://sites.google.com/walpole.k12.ma.us/wpshumanresources/employment-opportunities

Those interested in van driver positions may contact our transportation coordinator, Kim Poirier, @ kpoirier@walpole.k12.ma.us


Walpole High School graduates in college may be eligible to serve as on-call substitutes.

Elm was featured in the latest update from Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

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Have a great weekend.


Bridget A. Gough, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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