School Updates: Resources for families (including learning POD & daycare options), Food Plan, and more

by beth on September 8, 2020

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The school issued its Back to School newsletter yesterday. Here are some of the highlights.

Community Resource page

Community Resources pageThe newsletter reminded parents about the School Reopening website. It included the happy news that as of Friday a new section was added. A Community Resource page “was designed to assist families in finding community resources and helping connect families to resources.” (The district thanked Johanna Sheyner for developing and organizing it.)

The section offers links to the following lists/directories, plus the ability for community members to add more information to some of them. The sections include ones related to families who need help with Learning PODs – either through partnerships with other families or signing up through outside programs.

The page is headed with the Disclaimer:

The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough do not endorse the offerings that are collected on this website. The collection of offerings is a community-based effort to support the needs of the families.

Click here to open the page with the following listing links:

  • Community Resources: “A listing of local business run programs that includes programs for Tutoring, Childcare, POD programming, Enrichment and Extracuricular Activities; plus a list of Outdoor Activities, Online Programming, and Local Event/Enrichment Finder.” One example is a K-6 program at YMCA of Central MA.
  • After School Enrichment: RAP Programs offered by Southborough Recreation
  • Community POD Directory: “A list of Northborough and Southborough Families that are hosting PODs or offering babysitting to fellow community members.” There is also a linked FAQs and Resources for learning pods. There is also information on how to add your own pod listing to the directory.
  • Back to School Supply List links for Northborough and Southborough K-5 schools.
  • Family Resources: “Lists of local School and Family resources in the community that can help support families such as Financial Aid, Food Pantry, FYS (Family and Youth Services), Nutrition Programs, etc.”
  • Find a POD Tutor or Teacher: “Links to sites that have teachers and tutors looking to assist with POD Learning.”

Food Services Information

For families concerned about how food services will be run this year, the district shared new procedures: 

The districts’ food services programs are excited to reopen and welcome back students. It is important to note that, as a result of the pandemic, there are new procedures and guidelines.

To support families, a detailed food services plan is now available, which highlights a variety of important topics. Included in the Plan is a form to sign your child up for the Remote Lunch Program. This Program allows families to access the lunch program on days of remote learning.

The District is encouraging families to participate in the food services programs as the meals are free of charge until December 31, 2020. The USDA has extended a waiver to schools to give access to food during the pandemic.

If you have any questions, please email Keith Lavoie, Director of Operations, for support (klavoie@nsboro.k12.ma.us).

Transportation Update

No, bus routes aren’t posted yet. But according to the newsletter we can look for them at the end of the week:

The District will be publishing the 2020-2021 bus routes on the District’s Transportation Webpage as well as a detailed Transportation Reopening Plan on Friday, September 11, 2020.

Superintendent’s Message

The message featured from Superintendent Gregory Martineau focused on the need for the community to endure and work together. Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve recently been drawn to stories of what I consider to be extraordinary accomplishments that require commitment, discipline, and endurance. I’m sure I’m not alone. A recent article in the New York Times chronicled a sixteen-year-old’s feat of swimming across the English Channel. Vera Rivard began her journey from the United Kingdom and, 33-miles of swimming and fourteen-hours later, the teenager’s journey ended on a beach in Calais, France. The sixteen-year-old is the second American to swim across the English Channel, which is an incredible individual accomplishment. No, none of us are taking on swimming across the English Channel; however, what we are facing may seem even more challenging. We all have been asked to participate in an endurance event, which none of us have asked to participate in, and that is the Covid-19 Pandemic.

One year ago, I don’t think anyone of us could have predicted discussing launching a new school year in a hybrid or remote learning model. We all have developed new strategies and language to engage in Pandemic dialogue: ‘pods,’ ‘hybrid learning,’ ‘remote learning,’ ‘surveillance testing,’ to name a few. Although we are “all in this together,” each of us is uniquely experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic. This is no different for The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough. As an organization, we have been required to reinvent the 2020-2021 school year to meet the District’s mission: to Educate, Inspire, and Challenge. (read more)

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