Superintendent Gregory Martineau issued the official word to parents on the Phased Reopening Schedule and information on the Stand Alone Program. The message again cites his belief “there are no best solutions, only solutions with significant tradeoffs”.
The email includes his explanation of principles behind the Northborough-Southborough administration’s decision making.
It is followed by important details on the model parents can select if they don’t want their kids to have any in-person schooling this fall. It includes links to a presentation on the program and the form for signing up. The presentation assures that “All [Stand Alone Remote Program] classes/courses will be taught or supervised by an NSBORO teacher.” The opt-in form for that model has a deadline the morning of Wednesday, August 19th.
Below is the information emailed to parents and guardians last night:
I have two updates this evening:
- Reopening Schedule and Plan
- Stand Alone Remote Program Information
Reopening Schedule and Plan
I want to provide families with important school reopening information that was approved at last evening’s Joint School Committee meeting. Additionally, as an educator, making a recommendation to the school committees was one of the most challenging recommendations I’ve had to make professionally. With each opportunity for parents, guardians, faculty, and staff, to provide their input, it is abundantly clear to me that there was no “best” model, as no matter what model was selected, there would be dissenting opinions about the decision. How do I balance this tension? For me, the guiding principle outlined in the District Reopening Plan, “Prioritize the physical, social, and emotional well-being of the school community, students and staff,” and thinking about what is best for students, remain the beacons for my work and the work of the District.
I remind myself daily, if not hourly, that these are extraordinary times and circumstances, where there are no best solutions, only solutions with significant tradeoffs. I am also confident that this pandemic will pass. However, ‘when’ is uncertain. I do reflect on the qualities and traits of the organization that I want to endure while ensuring students are getting a high-quality education. Students only have a year in each grade level, and each year needs to be a year of substantial, high-quality learning, even in a pandemic. Here are the qualities and traits of the organization that I want to endure:
- The student-centered focus from every employee, regardless of the role. I want every employee to have five questions in mind: What do we want students to learn? How will we know if they have learned? What will we do if they don’t learn? What will we do if they already know it? Am I doing everything I can to support each student?
- The partnership between all stakeholders: Students, educators, families, citizens, and town government.
- The professional and collegial relationships with the educators. Educators are the most critical employees in the organization, and I want to ensure that we maintain our excellent faculty and staff.
Again, the pandemic will not last forever, and the strength of the organization must endure.
Last evening, Wednesday, August 12, 2020, the Northborough, Southborough, and Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committees approved a reopening strategy which was organized around two areas, public health criteria and differentiation. I’ve included a link to last evening’s school committee presentation for your information. I also want to share with families key dates, which are outlined in the table below. The implemented reopening strategy will result in all schools being in a hybrid model by October 6, 2020.
Building principals, directors, and I will communicate more detailed information in the days and weeks ahead.
Gregory L. Martineau
Superintendent of Schools
The email included the table outlining the phased reopening dates, which I inserted above right. (Click to enlarge.)
Below is the section that followed on the Stand Alone Program. Scroll down for images that were included on sample school schedules:
Stand Alone Remote Program Information
The Stand Alone Remote Program is designed to meet the needs of families who require or prefer a fully remote educational option during the pandemic. The Stand Alone Remote Program will follow the same calendar as the other learning models (in-person, hybrid, or remote).
Due 8/19/2020 by 9:00 AM
Our intention is to create a community of learners in the Stand Alone Remote Program with Northborough/Southborough educators as the teachers or supervisors of learning experiences. At the elementary level, students will be grouped across schools to create “classes” of students assigned to a teacher. Middle school students will also be grouped across schools. At the middle and high school level, students will have different teachers for different classes much like they would during an in-person experience. They will have a daily and weekly schedule that structures their time.
Instructional methods will be adapted to the remote learning environment. Students will engage in classes that are aligned to the same curriculum standards as their peers who might be attending school in-person.
At the high school and middle school levels, students will have access to the appropriate level of course work in all subject areas. Electives will be offered, however, there will likely be limitations in terms of elective options due to the constraints of staffing.
We will offer secondary-level courses in the Stand Alone Remote Program based on the needs of the students enrolled in the program which means that the courses cannot be determined prior to families opting into the program. In order to meet the needs of the full range of learners, we may offer some courses through third-party vendors. However, a student’s progress in these on-line courses would be supervised and supported by a Northborough/Southborough educator.
Students that participate in the Stand Alone Remote Program who have special education needs will receive special education services under this model. In addition, the District will develop a plan for delivering English Learner Education for students in the Stand Alone Remote Program for English learners.
The specifics of how we will structure and implement this program is highly dependent on the number of students enrolled and their learning needs as well as staffing availability. The model is subject to further development and change based on these factors.
If extra-curricular activities or school-wide events are offered virtually, students from the Stand Alone Remote Program will be able to participate.