O'Maley Family Focus

Updates from Principal Lynne Beattie - September 4, 2020

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Good Afternoon O'Maley Families!


Today I am writing to share a great deal of essential information. I received a few questions after yesterday's brief email message, so I have included some clarifications, as well. There is a lot of information; this message will be posted on the O'Maley website, and archives of past messages can always be found at the bottom of the page.


Please look for hybrid and remote to focus on information pertaining to your student's learning model. I am sending information to ALL families at once. To date there have been no separate communications related to either model.


Assignments to House teams and homerooms will be ready soon. Letters will be mailed to each family. This is typically the only hard copy mailing that we do. All other communication is electronic, so please keep your contact information, including phone numbers and email addresses up to date. Any changes should be communicated asap to Beth Oliver in the main office (978)-281-9850 or boliver@gloucesterschools.com.


Below you will find information about:


  • The First Day of School
  • Building Orientation
  • Chromebooks
  • Health & Safety
  • Schedules and Classes
  • Lockers & Supplies


Enjoy the weekend!


Best,

Principal Lynne Beattie

The First Day of School, September 16th

For hybrid learners, the first day of school will be held in-person instead of remote. From that point on, all Wednesdays will be remote.


For remote learners there is no change. Remote learners' school days area always fully remote.


Bus transportation is available for hybrid learners on September 16th according to the same schedule and locations as on other school days. See the GPS Transportation letter sent previously for information.

Building Orientation Information

Building orientations have been schedule for students in the hybrid learning program ONLY. The purpose of the orientation is to acquaint or reacquaint students to the O'Maley school building and to review expectations for safety in the school building. Remote learners will NOT attend a building orientation.


An introduction to the remote program will occur on the first day of school. Login and schedule information will be available prior to September 16th.


Orientations for hybrid learners at each grade level are schedule as follows. There is no bus transportation for orientation.


  • Monday, September 14 - Grade 8, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
  • Monday, September 14, Grade 7, 12:30-2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 15, Grade 6, 8:00-9:30 a.m.

Chromebook Exchange and/or Pickup

All students at O'Maley will be provided a new school-owned Chromebook as part of our 1:1 program. Any family who borrowed a Chromebook for remote learning in the spring needs to return it and exchange it for a new device as part of our transition to an official 1:1 program at all grades 6-8.


The Chromebook will go back and forth between school and home with hybrid learners and remain at home with remote learners.


For hybrid students, they will receive their Chromebook at orientation, or on 9/16. Loaner Chromebooks should be returned when students come for building orientation:


  • Monday, September 14 - Grade 8, 8:00-9:30 a.m.
  • Monday, September 14, Grade 7, 12:30-2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 15, Grade 6, 8:00-9:30 a.m.


For remote students, loaner Chromebooks should be returned at Chromebook pickup, Tuesday, September 15, All Grades 10:00-11:30. Students do not need to attend this pickup. It is fine for an adults to simply come and pickup/exchange devices.


If you have enrolled in the remote program and would like a no-contact/curbside pickup, please link here to request one. It will occur at the time note above.


If you have not already responded to the short questionnaire I sent yesterday about orientation and the first day of school please link here to do so. Thank you!

Stay tuned for information about increased SEL (Social Emotional Learning) at O'Maley

Health and Safety at O'Maley

Student and staff safety is our utmost priority at O'Maley as we return to school. We will strictly uphold our safety guidelines and will apply progressive disciplinary procedures to address infractions.


S.A.I.L.S. AND SAFETY:

Maintaining a safe and sanitary learning environment is a community responsibility and we will all work together to ensure that our school remains healthy. Our S.A.I.L.S. principles guide us to respect and take part in our community through Service, Acceptance, Integrity, Leadership, and Success. Actively following our safety guidance individually and supporting and encouraging others to do the same are great examples of Leadership and Integrity that will ensure our Success.


6" DISTANCES

We have worked diligently to design a model in which we will sustain 6' of distance among all of our community members, both staff and students. Classroom seating is arranged to provide this spacing and hallways will be marked for traffic flow. Students will be assigned a seat in each class the first day of school and will retain that assignment unless directed differently by the teacher.


Students should not stop, remain stationary, and/or congregate less than 6' apart when moving about the building. While they may at times pass by one another at a slightly lesser distance, they must maintain the maximum distance possible in hallways and when entering and exiting classrooms, staying as close to 6' apart as possible. Traffic flow and expectations for transitions between classes will be reviewed with students by teachers within each House team.


MASKS

All students MUST wear masks upon entering O'Maley school grounds and throughout the school day unless directed and given permission by an adult to remove the mask for a mask break. Students should have at least two, and they should be cleaned daily. If you are shopping for masks currently, I recommend avoiding neck gaiters and masks with one-ply fabric or valves. Those are under discussion and may be prohibited.


The West Parish PTO 5th Grade Committee has generously allocated remaining 5th grade funds to O'Maley and have purchased mask lanyards for students and staff. These will be distributed once they arrive. Thank you!


SANITIZING

Hand sanitizer stations will be located at all entrances, stairwells, bathrooms, water fountains, and inside each classroom. Students are expected to sanitize their hands upon entering the building or any of the spaces noted above.


Bathrooms will be cleaned hourly.

Surfaces in the building will be cleaned each day following students' departure.


During the school day, classroom surfaces will be cleaned between classes. Teachers will spray student desks/tables with a sanitizing solution. Students will then be responsible for wiping down their own desk/table surface before leaving the classroom.


Supplies will not be shared interactively among students and will be wiped down between uses if they are not allocated to individual students. Items like textbooks and literature will be distributed to individual students and quarantined for at least three days when returned.


ARRIVAL AND DISMISSAL

Students should arrive to school at or after 7:30 a.m. and will enter the building directly upon arrival at that time. They will head straight to homeroom which officially begins at 7:40 a.m. Students should not arrive prior to 7:30 a.m.. In the event of an urgent and temporary situation where arrival before 7:30 a.m. cannot be avoided, students will be required to separate on the courtyard by at least 6' of distance. Please assist us in ensuring that unless there is a rare, temporary, and urgent situation, students do not arrive prior to 7:30 a.m.


Students will be dismissed at the end of the day in groups of walkers, pick-ups, and bus riders. Practices for social distancing while exiting will be instructed, reviewed, and monitored.


STUDENT GROUPINGS IN THE HYBRID MODEL

Students will remain in a grouping we call a "bubble" throughout the day. Each bubble is a House team and consists of about 80 students. There are 7 adults who oversee the 8 class blocks that occur over the course of two days, Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday. There are no circumstances in which students are scheduled with other students outside of their bubble.


Our class size is 12 or fewer students. Students travel with various members of their House "bubble" during the day and remain in that bubble.


TRAVELING WITHIN THE BUILDING

Students will be assigned one or more designated bathrooms to use during the day. We will be implementing an electronic pass system called SmartPass which requires students to sign out through their Chromebook before leaving a class, and alerts them if the location is not available. For example, if the bathroom is full or if the guidance counselor is not available, the student will be alerted and unable to sign out of class until there is availability. This will reduce hallway traffic and prevent students from congregating while waiting to go into a room.


PRPTOCOLS FOR ILLNESS

COVID-19 Protocols developed by DESE will be followed. Development of a shorter, easier to use version for GPS is underway and will be published soon. Our nurses, Kim Cameron and Alycia Gossum are able to answer questions at any time. To read the DESE Protocols in multiple languages, link here.

Schedules and Classes

The schedule for both hybrid and remote learners is essentially the same (see below). The difference is that the whole schedule is remote for remote learning. Individual houses may make adjustments at times, in either remote or hybrid models.


Schedules will be available in the Schoolbrains Community Portal once complete. The only changes made to student schedules will be those required to meet the needs of specialized instruction.


Please note that the schedule below is just a sample. The sequence of classes may be different and the specialist class will rotate. Students will be assigned specialist classes each half term, having one specialist class at a time for 4-5 weeks. Specialist classes included in our program this year:


  • Art
  • Health/Physical Education
  • Investigations in Science (Replaces Coding - Combines technology with lab science.)
  • Library Media
  • Music (General music replaces band and chorus, will include some instrumentation)
  • Performing Arts
  • Spanish Language and Culture



Students will rotate through the courses as assigned.

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Lockers and Supplies

LOCKERS

Students will not be using lockers this year and should bring backpacks.


SUPPLY LISTS

Supply lists are being generated by teachers and will be available toward the end of next week.


WATER BOTTLES

Students should be sure to bring a water bottle to school. Bottle fillers will be available for use. Bubblers will not be available.


Any family who needs assistance with purchasing backpacks, water bottles, or general supplies should contact should contact guidance counselors:


O'Maley Academy

Just recently, O'Maley was awarded a new three-year Exemplary Programs Grant by the 21st Century Community Learning Center of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.


Thank you and congratulations to Ms. Alves, the Director of the O'Maley Academy and all of the staff, for all of the work they have done and continue to do to ensure that this amazing programming is available at O'Maley.


Information will be out soon about available options for O'Maley Virtual Academy for the fall. Stay tuned for messages from Ms. Alves.