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COVID-19 School Closing Update 4.21.20

April 21, 2020

Dear MSAD 60 Students, Parents, and Staff,

The current five-week remote learning experience has been a roller coaster ride for many students, families, and staff. I wish to commend and offer a virtual pat on the back to each of you, as we continue to experience twists, turns, and “G” forces. (“Gee, we’ve never done THIS before!” May be heard in every home daily.)

I think some of the Grateful Dead lyrics are relevant to the situation the pandemic has created for all of us: What a long strange trip it’s been! (‘76) While I don’t care for some of the song’s lyrics, I found these lines applicable:

One of these days they know they better get goin...'

Out of the door and down on the streets all alone…

You're sick of hangin' around and you'd like to travel...

Ok, enough homage to roller coasters and Jerry. I write to you today to notify you of an adjustment to the end of the student school year. After discussion with the MSAD 60 Board of Directors, we have determined that the final day of remote school for students will be Friday, May 29. There are several reasons for this decision, by example:

  • A fairly significant number of students and families are struggling around the educational component at this point. At only 24 days into remote school learning with 28 more days until May 29, even that span of time seems daunting. Families have many challenges pressing in on them from several sides right now, and we are hearing that remote learning is a significant pressure point.

  • School leaders and their staffs will need significant time to close out this school year. Student placements, continuous reworking of standards, a major shift in grading practices, the creation of new transitions systems (i.e., K screenings, Step Up Days, graduation, orientations), End Of Year state reporting, requisitions for September 2020, room closures in a controlled social distancing set up, and physical classroom moves (i.e., 7 or 8 rooms will need to be packed and moved just at NHS).

  • Staffs will also need to be prepared for the potential of renewed remote learning for the early part of the ‘20-’21 school year.

We hope the decision to close school early and the amount of time we are providing for families to prepare are beneficial to you. Building principals or department directors will provide more information as we progress further down this long strange trip. One piece I will share before closing is that tech devices will not be collected from Kindergarten through eleventh graders (seniors only). More information to follow! Be well.

Best wishes to all,

Steve Connolly

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