School Update: Bus and class schedules issued; more webinars and videos for parents

by beth on September 14, 2020

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Above: The NSBORO District posted this year’s school bus routes and issued a link to a safety video produced by the bus company that outlines new procedures. (image cropped from NRT video)

School Reopens remotely for K-12 students* in Northborough and Southborough Schools this week and K-5 begin Hybrid in-person attendance* next week. So, unsurprisingly, there is a flurry of communications coming out from the NSBORO District and schools these days. Here are some highlights.

Bus Routes Posted

The routes for Northborough, Southborough and Algonquin buses have been posted. The NSBORO District is hoping to avoid past year’s fiascos while dealing with new safety complications. A message to parents assures that drivers are testing out the routes prior to the start of school.

You can find the 2020-2021 routes here. As usual, the only posted times are the start of the scheduled routes. A message with FAQs can be read here. It notes:

After reviewing the routes, if you are uncertain about your student’s bus or bus stop, you can contact the school’s main office after Wednesday, September 16, 2020. We are still fine-tuning lists of cohorts and keeping an eye on capacity limitations. This is still a moving target as some families are making adjustments to their reopening plans.

The Transportation Reopening Plan with a linked safety video for families can be read here.

Families were required to register for the bus. If you didn’t and now wish to, the form is here. That said, the message informed that bus route changes are temporarily frozen:

All routes will be frozen until Friday, October 19, 2020. No changes will be made to the routes unless it’s to address a safety concern. All of the requested changes will be reviewed and implemented on Monday, October 19, 2020. The purpose of freezing the routes is to provide time for the drivers to learn their routes.

If you did register, but no longer need transportation services, please email Transportation Coordinator Jean Pinto directly at jpinto@nsboro.k12.ma.us.

Also, stay tuned for news on the district’s plans to pilot a “Here Comes The Bus” app. For “proof of concept”, one route from each of the three districts will be selected to participate.

Trottier and Algonquin Class Schedules

Families had been waiting on the details of kids’ class schedules for the middle and high school. That information started coming out late last week. Algonquin students were notified to log into a new “Power School” portal on Friday to view their schedules. Anyone with schedule issues was directed to fill out a form on the Guidance Department website. Meanwhile, Trottier’s Principal Gary Hreschuk emailed that families should check their mailboxes for accurate schedules:

The Power School portal was open to some families today and some students had access to schedules. I want to share that some schedules are subject to change as a result of such a complex school year.

In a typical school year, we provide a hard copy of the schedule on the first day of school. Due to this unique environment, we are going to send your child’s schedule via snail mail today. You should have a copy of the schedule Tuesday.

[Note: My family got ours on the weekend, so don’t wait until Tuesday to look.]

More Webinars

Emails have invited parents and/or the community to participate in more webinars this week to prepare for the school year. Those include:

ARHS and Trottier this afternoon

The email from Trottier Principal Hreschuk also shared links to past webinars and to one this afternoon: Canvas Bootcamp for Parents, Monday, September 14 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. 

Algonquin is also holding an Informational Webinar for Parents this afternoon. That one, which shares final details on reopening overlaps, running from 3:00 – 4:00 pm. It is also capped at 500 attendees. Fortunately, Principal Sean Bevan promises that they will follow up with a link to the video of the webinar for those who can’t participate.

District’s Medical Advisory Team forum tonight

Yesterday, Superintendent Gregory Martineau issued an invite for parents to join a webinar with the district’s Medical Advisory Team this evening from 6:00 – 7:30 pm:

Our District has significantly benefited from the expertise and guidance from the MAT. The Team has volunteered many hours to ensure our students, faculty, and staff safety as we prepare to reopen our schools. I can’t thank the Medical Advisory Team enough for its support and expertise. [The] forum is an opportunity for families to ask the District’s MAT questions and learn more about the Covid-19 Virus.

Please Submit Questions in Advance: Medical Advisory Forum Questions Form

To register, click here.

School Committee Meetings

This week, committees that oversee Southborough’s K-12 public schools are meeting again. The meetings will take place the evening of the first day of school, Wednesday, September 16:

  • Combined School Committees – 5:15 pm (agenda) – click here to register for webinar. Highlights include: Audience sharing, an NSPAC Presentation; Updates on the Music Study Group, Professional Development, Strategic Plan, and Coalition for Equity; plus a draft of next year’s school calendar
  • Regional School Committee – 7:00 pm (agenda) –  click here to register for webinar. Highlights include: An Update on Fall Sports and MIAA guidelines, discussion of a proposed Distribution Facility abutting the school, and updates on the Solar panel installation project and School Start Time

For more information on the schools’ reopening plans, don’t forget they have a dedicated website. You can find that here.

*Pre-schoolers begin in-person school this Wednesday. Not all older students will shift to hybrid attendance. Some have opted for the Stand Alone Remote program instead.

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