McGovern News!

October 30, 2020

As we turn the page towards November, we are excited to bring our students back to school for half a day on Wednesdays. As a reminder, this will start next week. In addition, our afternoon virtual preschool program will move to in person in the afternoons starting on Monday.


Our sixth week of school is complete. I’ve found myself needing to check the calendar to prove that fact! While it is the final week of October, students are still in their first term of school. Students have learned all of our routines and new protocols for sure, but learning can still present challenges. Students are increasing their stamina daily in the content areas and we will continue to build and increase this over time.


Looking forward, it is hard to ignore the tenor of State and National Public Health data. The research and trends indicate that there are challenges ahead, especially with the temptation to resume traditions with upcoming holidays. With that being said, this CDC article has been a great resource for me in processing this reality and supporting my own children. We need to model and have an appropriate, open dialogue with students if they inquire about this. Lastly, stay safe and healthy.


Best,

Amy McDonald, Principal

Expansion of In Person Offerings

Our goal in Medway has always been to safely bring students back to school 100% of the time. On November 4th, we will welcome our preschool-grade 1 students back in person on Wednesdays for half days moving forward. Arrival will remain at 8:35 am and dismissal will begin at 12:00 pm, which is our standard early release dismissal time. We will be looking to move to a full in person day eventually.


Since our Preschool Programs are half days (and Wednesdays will only be in the morning), we will alternate in person learning every other week so students have equitable access to the program. As such, in person learning will be 8:35-11:30 AM (this means afternoon sessions will be coming in the morning on their specified dates) and will follow the schedule below:


  • November 4: Morning Session

  • November 11: No School, Veteran’s Day

  • November 18: Afternoon Session (8:35-11:30 am)

  • November 25: Morning Session

  • December 2: Afternoon Session (8:35-11:30 am)

  • December 9: Morning Session

  • December 16: Afternoon Session (8:35-11:30 am)

  • December 23: Morning Session


On days that your child does not have in person learning, teachers will share at home activities for students to engage in. For preschool dismissal at 11:30 am, if you pick your child up from the program, please use the front parking lot (the circle where the busses usually go), not the drop off loop.


Please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or me if you have any additional questions.

Lost and Found

Believe it or not, there are already many items in our lost and found! It is very important that everything a child brings to school is labeled with their full name. This includes common items like lunch bags, water bottles, and sweatshirts. At the end of every school year, we donate several bags of unclaimed sweatshirts, winter coats, and more! Please double check that your child's items are all labeled.

Open House and Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night was Thursday, October 29th. We hope that this time provided a more detailed picture of your student’s classroom and also an opportunity to ask questions to teachers and specialists. We look forward to greeting you all again for conferences.

Transportation Information and Survey

In order to continue to address in person offerings, we need all families to complete a transportation survey. Please see the communication below from the Director of Finance Don Aicardi:


*If you have already filled out the survey, you do not need to again.

*This applies to kindergarten and 1st grade students in hybrid and virtual school.

*If your child usually takes the bus from school to an afterschool center (MEDI, Country Cottage, The Learning Tree, etc.), please click on YES (even though the form states taking the bus home; you still require afternoon transportation via the bus).


Dear Medway families,


As you may recall, prior to the start of school, we sent out and asked families to complete a transportation survey so that we had a clear understanding of the number of students who would require “big yellow bus” transportation. This was an important piece of information as our buses are limited to a much lower capacity of students to ensure adherence to safety guidance. It is important to remember that the organization of our schools, along with the adoption of our health and safety protocols, should not create close contacts within school, except on the bus.


Now that we have a few weeks of experience, we have noted that many of our buses have many fewer students than they can transport within the newly established guidelines. It is important that we gain an accurate understanding of the transportation needs of our students. Gaining this understanding will help us accomplish the following goals:

  • Improve transportation efficiency

  • Potentially eliminate double-runs that were created

  • Allow us to bring more students back to school more fully

  • Allow us to respond to the many requests we have for changes/adjustments to transportation

  • Allow us to effectively and accurately conduct contact tracing should there be a positive case of COVID-19 of a student who uses transportation


In order to accomplish this, we are asking that families who are eligible for bus transportation, to affirm their need for bus transportation. School committee policy defines eligibility for transportation for our elementary schools at one mile and for our middle and high school at 1.5 miles.


Unlike this summer, if we do not receive a response from a family, we will assume that bus transportation is not needed. We are asking families to complete the survey, linked below, no later than October 23rd. Also, please note that we are not able to manage individual requests for “one-offs” or special requests at this time. We ask for, and continue to appreciate, your understanding.


Again, it is critical that we receive a response from any family with children who will use bus transportation now and into the anticipated future this school year. If there has been a change in your families’ status in regards to transportation since you filled out the original survey, please use this one to update your status, if eligible. If we do not receive a response by October 23, your child will not have an assigned seat on the bus and will not be allowed to utilize bus transportation.


Please know that it will take a few weeks to reconcile the survey information. Unfortunately, no individual transportation change requests will be granted until we have clarified information on ridership. We continue to appreciate your partnership as we manage this most unique year. Any questions may be directed to Don Aicardi at daicardi@medwayschools.org.


Please complete the survey here. Families should complete one survey for each child.


Sincerely,


Don Aicardi

Director of Finance

Remote Learning Guidelines for Families and Students

We have learned a great deal over the last 4+ weeks in school and continue to refine and grow our instructional practices.

As we work to bring more synchronous (virtual, live, scheduled) time to our students during their at home learning days and also continue to enhance our practices to ensure readiness SHOULD we need to transition to a fully remote learning model, we have crafted some "rules of engagement" to support students, their families, and our faculty and staff. The success of this work is dependent on all of us working together to ensure compliance and partnership. Please sit and review the information found through the links below WITH your child, regardless of their grade level.

The second section of this form asks for your partnership and agreement with these guidelines in support of all. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.


You can access the form here and we would like all students and families to electronically sign the form.

Dressing for Recess and Outdoor Time

Can you believe the weather today? It's a great reminder to be prepared for all that New England weather has in store for us. Here is a helpful graphic to ensure that students are arriving to school with the best layers and apparel as we transition from summer temperatures to the crisp air of fall. This is also helpful in the classrooms and on the bus, if your child is a rider, as we are trying to keep windows open as much as possible.


On snowy days, students will need boots, snow pants, a hat, mittens, and winter coat. And, it will probably be 70 degrees next week! Flexibility... the key word to this year!

Big picture

Principal Office Hours

In an effort to continue to stay connected to families, my next office hour session is on Friday, November 13, 2020 at 2:00 pm. I will share the meeting credentials via School Messenger the week of 11/9.

Nurse's Notes


I hope this finds everyone healthy.


A gentle reminder that all students’ immunizations, whether an in-person or virtual learner, need to be compliant as mandated by the MA Department of Public Health. In addition, an in-person physical exam is needed for students entering the McGovern school for the first time; typically pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students or a student transferring from another district. Documentation of an in-person physical is required. This physical exam should be conducted within one year before or within 90 days of the start of school and can not have been a phone or virtual examination. If your child had a virtual visit please contact your child’s provider to discuss setting up an in-person appointment.


As many of you are aware, Massachusetts now requires that all students, pre k - grade 12, receive an influenza vaccine by December 31, 2020. The only exceptions allowed are for medical or religious reasons.


Please provide the appropriate documentation as soon as you are able. All forms are to be sent to the attention of the nurse. They may be sent to school with you child, scanned and emailed to pmckay@medwayschools.org or faxed to 508-533-3263.


Feel free to contact me with any questions at the above email address or at 508-533-6626 x5354. I am at school every day and available to meet with parents to discuss health concerns, develop health plans, and receive medications and paperwork. Be aware that, at this time, all in-person meetings will take place outside of the building. I am also available to speak with you on the phone or communicate via email.



Thank you.


Sincerely,


Penny McKay


DISTRICT NEWS!

Medway Public Schools COVID-19 Information Hub


To provide families with the latest information and resources related to COVID-19, we have created a COVID-19 information hub, which can be accessed here, and by visiting our district’s homepage. Please visit this site for information about school/community COVID-19 health data, positive test reporting, student protocols, and local testing sites.

Covid Response Hotline

In order to ensure confidentiality and begin Contact Tracing as soon as possible, the District has established lines of communication if ever you need to report a positive COVID Test.

Report a student positive COVID test results by either emailing or calling the hotline below:



Flu Shots Required by December 31, 2020


The state of MA now requires that all students receive the influenza vaccination. Students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided. This new flu immunization requirement to enter school in January is in addition to existing vaccine requirements for all students attending school in Massachusetts. Elementary and secondary students in districts and schools that are using a remote education model are not exempt.

Free School Lunch and Breakfast For ALL STUDENTS for the Entire 2020/20201 School Year


The USDA recently announced that school breakfast and lunch would remain free for ALL students for the entirety of the 2020/2021 school year. We realize that parents and guardians are being asked to do many different things in support of their children this school year. We are pleased to be able to take one thing off of your plate by providing your student with breakfast and lunch.

Reminders!

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.

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.

MEPTO NEWS!

MEPTO's Creative Arts program chair has created a fun calendar for the K-4 families, for the month of October. Check out the calendar for some fun activities! You can view the calendar here.

Square One Art

Please read the letter below regarding square 1 art:


Dear Family,


Welcome to Square 1 Art! The Square 1 Art art project provides you the opportunity to purchase keepsakes and gifts featuring your child's art and every order profits your school. This year will look a little different as all artwork will be done at home and will be submitted virtually.


Your 3 Simple Steps:

1. Your child creates art. Art Creation instructions and art/order deadlines will be provided by your Square 1 Art coordinator.

2. Take a photo of your child's art with your phone or tablet.

and upload the art online at square1art.com/shop/upload

3. You may then begin to shop for keepsakes!


Together, we can help support the school, and create keepsake memories of your child's art to enjoy for years!


More detailed instructions coming soon...


Square 1 Art

square1art.com

888.332.3294


McGovern School Square 1 Art Coordinator

Meagan Wilde

meagan.mckenna@yahoo.com



Memorial School Square 1 Art Coordinator

Julie McMenamy

juliemcmenamy@yahoo.com

Important Dates!

Nov 1: Daylight Savings, turn the clocks back 1 hour

Nov 2: PM preschool returns to in person learning

Nov 3: No School, Election Day, Professional Development Day for faculty and staff

Nov 4: Wednesday 1/2 day learning begins

Nov 11: Veterans Day, No School

Nov 25: Early Release 12:00 pm for kindergarten and 1st Grade

November 26-27: Thanksgiving break, no school

Do you need the Smore Newsletter Translated?

Please click the following links for directions on how to translate the newsletter.


Here is the link for the master directions in English.

Here is the link for Spanish.

Here is the link for French.

Here is the link for Russian.

Here is the link for Arabic


Haga clic en los siguientes enlaces para obtener instrucciones sobre cómo traducir el boletín.

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Here is the link for French.


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Here is the link for Russian.