McGovern News!

September 11, 2020

It's hard to believe, but the start of the 2020-2021 school year for students is finally here! We are so excited to have our students at school.


The work to get here has been a collective effort for sure. Many different teams have collaborated to get us here including our facilities department, technology department, the Medway teachers and members of the teacher’s union leadership team, district and building administration, the town of Medway, and of course, YOU ! Our families have all played a pivotal role in developing our approach to this school year. Thank you for attending the many school and district webinars, office hours, virtual school committee meetings, and filling out the many surveys we’ve sent home. This allowed us to shape our educational approach to the school year in several different and important ways.


The work will not be perfect out of the gate. We will continue to build our capacity to increase technology, student interactions, and our collective technological skills. This will take time and we will need your partnership and patience as we navigate these new waters.


While we always put the safety of our students first, this year has required a new level of planning and vigilance. We continue to believe that a safe return to school is what is best for students, and there cannot be a return without prioritizing safety for all.


We are all ready for our students to start! Watching our students walk through our building doors for the first time in six months, will be a gift to our educators. Their significant work over the last ten days is impressive and makes me proud to lead this amazing group of people. They have worked extremely hard to build rich educational experiences for students while balancing building connections and routines.


One final update is that our technology department will be sending you your Medway Schools' Google identification and password. This is incredibly important AND the only way your child will be able to log into Zoom. Please be sure to check that you have received this email by Tuesday at noon to ensure your child is able to participate in morning meeting Wednesday morning.


We are excited and ready to engage our learners in new ways, while giving students the consistency they need. I hope you enjoy your last weekend of summer and we hope to see you at our webinar on Monday.


Best,

Amy McDonald, Principal

Meet our Amazing Classroom Teachers!

Preschool

PreK Welcome 1

Kindergarten

Meet Our Kindergarten Teachers!

First Grade

Updated First Grade Welcome 2020

School Reopening Webinar for Hybrid Learning


While I can't promise this will be our last webinar, I can tell you it will be the last one before school opens. With many details now solidified at the District level, we are able to speak to specifics. We will discuss arrival and dismissal, lunch and recess, remote days (Wednesdays), building preparations, and supplies. In addition, families will be able to write in questions. As always, we will share the recording with families. Please note, this webinar is for families who have selected the HYBRID model. We look forward to connecting with you! Please click here to register for the webinar. We hope you join us on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 2:00 pm.

Virtual School Webinar


Virtual School schedules were released earlier this week, and our staff are ready to engage our learners. There has been extensive work and collaboration to develop this educational approach. We are looking forward to engage our families in further details of what Virtual School will look like in Medway. Please join us on Monday, September 14, 2020 at 4:20 PM. Please click here to register for the webinar. Please click here for a link to register.

Technology Update

The Technology Department provided an update on the process to move to one Chromebook for every Medway Public School student. We heard from many parents that this communication was confusing.



Elementary School students without a school issued device DO NOT need to transport a personal device to and from school. We ask that if a student currently has a school issued device, and when your student does obtain one, to please then transport the device. We DO NOT expect parents to buy a Chromebook for their child/children for the first few weeks of the school year, nor do we expect you to provide your personal lap top to a student for school. If your student needs a device for home, while we wait to move to one to one, please make a request using the link below.


20-21 Device Request Form


In addition, we do have headphones at school for students to use. However, if you are more comfortable sending in headphones from home we would encourage you to send them in a plastic bag labeled with your child's name.

Orientations

On Monday September 14th, students will be welcomed to join their teacher for a short meet and greet, as they transition to/back to McGovern School. Our class orientation time is (insert time) and our drop off location is (insert drop off location). Please be mindful of traffic pulling in and out of multiple drop off locations and drive slowly. As a reminder, this is like the first day of school. Students may be really excited to come to school, while others are a bit nervous and even anxious. If your child has a hard time separating or getting out of the car, we will kindly ask you to pull into a park spot and a staff member will come to your car and assist you. Finally, please follow the below procedures and we look forward to seeing you on Monday!


Arrival Procedures:

  • When you pull up to the McGovern School please drive to your designated drop off location:

    • Parent Drop Off: as you drive into McGovern, get in the right lane, bear to the right through the staff parking lot, and loop around to the side entrance

    • Bus Loop: as you drive into McGovern, get in the left lane and come to the front circle

  • Please have a piece of paper with your child’s first and last name as well as the teacher’s name on the front dashboard or affixed to the passenger side window.

    • To minimize points of contact and for other safety reasons, we ask that you remain in your car at all times, unless otherwise instructed by McGovern staff.

  • A staff member will greet you and help your child out of the car, if necessary. The staff member will also make sure your child is wearing a mask and then will help your child to the class line up location.

  • On the way into the classroom, your child will stop and clean his or her hands with hand sanitizer.

Dismissal Procedures:

  • Please pick up your child at the same location as drop off, see the specifics above.

  • Please have a paper on the front dashboard with your child’s name and teacher’s name or group name in black marker.

  • Please wait in the car while that person calls the classroom to have your child come to the car.

  • On the way out of the building your child will be prompted to clean his or her hands with hand sanitizer, at the building entrance.

  • The staff member will ensure your child gets safely into your car.

Have your child practice buckling and unbuckling their seat-belts independently prior to the start of the school year. Here is a fun song about seat-belts.

Arrival and Dismissal

With transportation information being finalized, we do not expect a scattered start or end time this year. However, the process to get students into and out of school safely will look different. We anticipate increases in the amount of time that it takes for students to get in and out of their family's car as well an extended arrival/dismissal time for our buses. We ask for your patience as we work to ensure student safety in these transitions. We may need to adjust our processes but we need to "live" if first.

Contacting Our Nurse

Please feel free to make an appointment with our school nurse, Mrs. McKay if your child/children have any medical needs, allergies, you have medicine to be dropped off, and/or questions. She can be reached at pmckay@medwayschools.org. She will also be available for medication drop offs during orientations on Monday.

2020-2021 School Calendar

The School Committee approved the recommended, amended 2020-2021 School Calendar which can be found here. The calendar takes into account the additional 10 days of professional learning and planning days prior to the start of our student return which will be Wednesday, September 16. The two days at the end of the year are being held in abeyance in case we need them sometime during the year in support of a student learning model transition (i.e. move from hybrid to full remote, etc.)

Nutritional Support / Remote School Lunches

In order to ensure that children’s nutritional needs are satisfied during this period of remote learning, we are offering any Medway resident under the age of 21 the opportunity to access free school meals every day of the week and/or food to prepare meals at home. For more details about these offerings and to sign-up for remote meals please click here.

Transportation Updates

We expect initial bus routes to be available today. This information will provide District leaders to solidify arrival and dismissal times for families. These are being developed based on the cohorting model and family survey information. Please look here for that information:

Health and Safety Updates

The District is moving forward with the purchase of air purifiers with HEPA filters for each classroom, teaching space, and office. These devices have the ability to sanitize the air, depending on size, every 15 minutes. We are hopeful we will receive delivery prior to the students starting school.


While this exceeds the recommendations provided by DESE, we believe that this is an essential purchase for a few reasons:

  • It adds another layer of protection for students, faculty and staff

  • It allows us to more effectively operate our ventilation system, while complying with guidance, as the weather shifts

Face Covering Policy

At the August 20, 2020, School Committee meeting, the committee approved the following:.

In addition, here are some important tools and social stories that can help your child:

Returning To School


I can wear a mask Social Story


Wearing a mask

Technology Update

Due to the uncertainty of our current environment, the Medway Public Schools Technology Department is pushing towards a 1:1 chromebook environment for all students. Our 8th through 12th grade students have benefited from a 1:1 environment for the past several years and expanding this to all grades will ensure we are prepared for any educational scenario moving forward. Unfortunately, in-house supplies are limited and supply chains are strained due to high demand. Our deployment plans for all grades can be found below.


Deployment Priorities - We apologize that we will not be able to immediately accommodate devices for all students. We encourage families to utilize existing devices to help support all learners. Our deployment priorities will be as follows:

  • All 9th through 12th grade students will continue to utilize their existing devices, provided by MPS.

  • 7th and 8th grade students will be required to return any loaned device and charger in exchange for new Acer Spin 311 R721T chromebooks. These devices will be utilized for the next three to five years for these grade levels.

  • 3rd through 6th grade students who have not already received a device from MPS will have an existing device prepared for delivery. See delivery methods below.

  • PK through 2nd grade students will receive devices as soon as possible. Families of PK-2 students who do not have a device in their homes for student use should contact us, see deployment method information below, to request a device. Distribution of devices to all other PK-2 students will take place mid-late October.

Delivery Methods - In order to effectively manage deployment of devices to all students, we are implementing the following procedure.

  • ALL STUDENTS will need a device capable of connecting to video conferencing software (similar to the spring) on September 16, the first day of At Home Learning.

  • Any Student in need of a device for the first day of school, should complete the 20-21 Device Request Form. A device will be prepared for pickup as described below.

  • ALL STUDENTS AND FAMILIES are required to complete the MPS 1:1 Consent Form, detailing the expectations, care, use, and family responsibilities of the device.

  • Cohorts A, B, and C in Grades 3-7: Those students receiving two to four days of in school learning will receive devices on their first scheduled day of in-school learning, delivered to their homeroom.

  • Virtual School Student Learning Model: Those students participating in the Virtual School Student Learning Model, are required to complete the 20-21 Device Request Form. A device will be prepared for pickup as described below.

Device Insurance: All Families are encouraged to purchase insurance for the school owned device to cover any repair costs that may be incurred. Please note that accidental and malicious damage is covered under this policy. Lost or stolen devices are not covered. Care of the device is the responsibility of the family up to the full replacement value of $310.00. MPS has secured insurance through Worth Ave for $22 per year for all devices and offers multi year plans based on grade level. Please visit the payment portal for more information. Please note that anyone receiving free or reduced lunch will receive one year of insurance free with the device deployment.

Device Pickup: For families of students participating in the MPS Virtual School Student Learning Model and those in need of a device for the first day of school, September 16th, please complete the 20-21 Device Request Form and the MPS 1:1 Consent Form. A device will be prepared for your student(s) with a pickup window of September 14th and 15th, 8:30 to 4:30. The location will be Medway Middle School, Door 8, IT Office. Devices will be brought to your car based on the plate number. We encourage all families to purchase insurance for the school owned device to cover any repair costs that may be incurred. Please note that anyone receiving free or reduced lunch will receive one year of insurance free with the device deployment.


Repair Services and Supports:

Anyone in need of technical assistance or device repair is encouraged to visit our Technical Support site. Medway Technical Support can be reached via email at support@medwayschools.org or by phone at (508) 321-4799. Requests will be managed as quickly as possible.

Free and Reduced School Meal Program

Every child needs a healthy, nutritious meal to learn. Medway Public Schools offers nutritious meals to children each school day, often at a free or reduced price for those who need it. Medway Public Schools participates in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program (NSLBP), a federally funded program that helps children receive free or reduced meals.

Click here for additional information and to find out if you qualify.

Resources!

Communication

If you are not receiving email communications from the district or the schools, we are here to help. Please email parent@medwayschools.org and a team will work to ensure that you are connected.

Important Dates!

Aug 31-Sept 15: Professional Development Days for Faculty and Staff

Sept 14: Student Device Pickup, Middle School, Door 8, IT Office, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Sept 14: Orientations, see teachers’ communications for specific times

Sept 16: First day of school (Remote day for everyone, PK-1)

Sept 28: No School: Yom Kippur

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