Today, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. A great deal of thought and care was put into this document, with many stakeholders sharing input in its development. The goal is for the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs. These initial guidelines do not address every topic; there will be additional guidance coming throughout the summer. The full document can be found at: http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/. I have also included a PDF.
Once you have read the initial guidance, I would like to hear from you! I am sending a survey that will give you an opportunity to let the district know your concerns and challenges regarding opening in fall. Please take a few moments to respond to the survey link below. The survey will remain open until JULY 1, 2020. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F6GYZXV
The guidance indicates that all districts are asked to prepare a reopening plan that addresses three possible learning models for this fall: 1) in-person learning with new safety requirements, 2) a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and 3) the continuation of remote learning.
Given these guidelines we know that reopening in the fall will look different in our school. The Worthington School District Reopening Task Force will develop a plan (or plans) that is child-centered, age-appropriate, and in the best interests of our whole community. Our task force will work with the state guidelines and develop comprehensive reopening plans (all three models) to report to DESE in August.
Below are some of the health and safety requirements for in-person learning.
• Masks/face coverings:
o Students in grade 2 and above are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth.
o Students in kindergarten and grade 1 should be encouraged to wear a mask/face covering. Face shields may be an option for those students with medical, behavioral, or other challenges who are unable to wear masks/face coverings.
o Adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear masks/face coverings.
o Exceptions to mask/face covering requirements must be made for those for whom it is not possible due to medical conditions, disability impact, or othe health or safety factors.
• Physical distancing:
o Districts should aim for six feet of distance between individuals and a minimum physical distance of three feet when combined with the other measures outlined in this list of safety requirements.
• Classroom and facility configuration:
o To the extent possible, desks should be spaced six feet apart (but no fewer than three feet apart) and facing the same direction.
Thank you for your patience and continued support. I acknowledge that there are more questions than answers at this time. I will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months as the task force develops the best plan for our community and as DESE releases additional guidance and/or directives. Additionally, the School Committee welcomes
parents and community members to join the regularly scheduled School Committee meeting to discuss the initial guidance. The meeting will take place Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 6:30 via Zoom.
Meeting ID: 169 979 620
+1.312.626.6799 US (Chicago)
+1.929.205.6099 (New York)
We look forward to seeing all of our students in the fall!
Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098