School reopening update: Committees to discuss plans, preparing students, AP prep work delay, and more free tutoring (Updated)

by beth on July 28, 2020

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Above: A document shared by the Superintendent gives parents six instructions to prepare for reopening of schools this September. (image cropped from flyer)

This Wednesday, school committees for Northborough and Southborough K-8 public schools will discuss the schools’ Reopening Plans.

The public can submit questions in advance of Wednesday’s meeting and can view it live by registering in advance for the webinar.

Last Friday, parents were told to expect to receive a copy of the draft plans next week. In the meantime, we are encouraged to prepare students for a return to school.

The July 24th update from Superintendent Gregory Martineau included:

We conducted an assessment of our HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems in all 10 schools. With the progress made, we are still on target to share our draft plans the week of August 2nd.

A document attached included instructions for preparing students. (For example teaching them proper hand washing skills, getting used to wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, and purchasing reusable water bottles with built-in straws.) You can read that here.

The agenda posted for Wednesday night’s meeting indicates it will follow an about 1 hour closed Executive Session (on collective bargaining) that begins at 6:00 pm.

Although the agenda includes Audience Sharing after the Reopening Plans discussion, an explanation details the a different process than usual:

The Public is encouraged to submit questions and/or comments via email to NSC@nsboro.k12.ma.us , or SSC@nsboro.k12.ma.us prior to the meeting. Please include your full name and street address. Submissions will be read into record. The Chairs and the Superintendent will decide whether questions are answered during this meeting, or taken under  advisement for follow-up during the next public meeting in which Reopening Plans are deliberated.

An email this week from new Algonquin Regional High School Principal Sean Bevan addressed academic preparation steps for students to take this summer. 

It appears that students taking AP Courses this fall had yet to receive their summer prep work. He updated:

One of the first things we do in the summer is to finalize the rosters of our AP courses so that we can communicate with students about teachers’ expectations for work they must complete before returning to school. However, our work to finalize AP rosters has been delayed due to the uncertainty we continue to face in planning for school to reopen. I am sure that our students may be interested in beginning schoolwork for their AP courses, and I know that we have been able to provide it to them early in summer in previous years. We should be able to finalize this information in the coming weeks. AP teachers will reach out to students with that information soon after. In light of the reduced time to complete this work, I have asked AP teachers to pare down the expectations they share as compared to more typical years. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

The email also informed students and parents of another free tutoring service available courtesy of students:

Two of our students, rising juniors, Melissa Dai and Cynthia Rajeshkanna, have created a free online tutoring service and learning platform for K-12 students looking for help with various academic subjects. The services are provided by qualified ARHS tutors. If you would like to know more, visit their site, Aptitutor. Well done, Melissa and Cynthia!

Updated (7/28/20 2:55 pm): A reader pointed out that I misread the school committees’ agenda. It covers the K-8 committees for both Northborough and Southborough, but not the Regional high school.

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