Update from Principal Choquette

April 7, 2020

Special Education

I learned over the weekend that some of our special education families and staff did not receive Dr. Plumer's message about Josh Dickson that she had sent out. Below is a statement from Dr. Plumer that went out to the SEPAC list serve on March 24th regarding the resignation of Josh Dickson, Associate Director of Student Services as well as an update on Dr. Plumer. As you know, Dr. Plumer made public earlier in March that she would not be renewing her contract with the Northampton Public Schools as of June 30, 2020.

"This afternoon Associate Director of Student Services, Josh Dickson, let the NPS School Committee know that he has accepted a position as Director of Student Services for Hoosac Valley Regional School District as of April 2. While this news is difficult for many to hear during this challenging time, and we have best wishes for Josh, I want to assure you that we have systems in place to support our students, families, and colleagues. Dr. Provost has permitted both Marianne Lockwood and Barbara Black to begin immediately supporting the Student Services Office. Many of you know the inimitable Barbara Black, who was a Student Services Administrator and Early Childhood expert for decades in the Northampton Schools. She has been helping to advise the Commonwealth Preschool Partnership Initiative (CPPI), and she will now continue in a supervisory capacity for the grant, along with our strong and passionate Coordinator, Laura Frogameni. Marianne Lockwood is a Special Education Teacher and Transition Coordinator in our district. She has also performed the roles of an ETL at times. Marianne has completed her Special Education Administrator internship hours under my direct supervision this year, and she is often by my side on a daily basis. I am certain that her professionalism, compassion, and calm demeanor will enable the important work of our office to continue during this period of change. Finally, in light of the pandemic and the challenges it has brought to our community, I have approached Dr. Provost about negotiating an extension to my contract which is set to end June 30. While this work is incredibly challenging, I am committed to collaborating with colleagues this spring to ensure we have a solid plan in place to support our students, which includes planning a strong summer program. Please bear with our office as some of the roles and responsibilities that have been divided between Josh, Dave and I will need to shift. I hope this message leaves you with the knowledge that despite the number of uncertainties surrounding us right now, I am confident in our interim team moving forward, and I pledge to continue to work diligently to support our students. "

Food Distribution Update

Please see the attached flyer regarding the most up-to-date information on Emergency Food Distribution.