COVID-19 UPDATE 3.16.20
Dear MPSD Families, Students & Staff,
Good evening. I wanted to send you a quick update on a few things I wrote to you about yesterday. As most of you are aware, after the Superintendents in our region called for a two week closure of schools on Friday, the Governor informed us last night that we will actually be out for a three week period of time. As of right now, that means we are scheduled to return to school on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.
Beyond extending the school closure for a little more than a week, there are no additional changes to the information that I provided you in yesterday’s email. Our last day of school is still June 23, 2020.
With regards to the availability of breakfast and/or lunch for students who rely on their school’s breakfast and lunch programs, these meals will be made available starting on Tuesday, March 17th, between 8:00 AM - 11:00 AM at the Marshfield Boys & Girls Club at 37 Proprietors Drive. As I noted yesterday, our food services team will put together breakfast and/or lunch grab-n-go packages at MHS and they will be brought over to the Boys & Girls Club for pickup. When you arrive at the Club, volunteers will help deliver you the bagged meal and there will be no need for folks to get out of their cars.
Besides thanking our Food Services team for helping make this possible, I want to thank Mr. Jim Bunnell and the entire Marshfield Boys & Girls Club for hosting the distribution of the meals. In addition, the Marshfield Food Pantry has gone out of their way to support this endeavor with people and resources to better allow for us to feed our students in need. In addition, I want to recognize and thank Star Market in Marshfield as well, as they are donating 30 cold cut sandwiches each day, which will be a part of our grab-n-go options. We also have many parents and staff who have volunteered to help with the distribution and we cannot thank them enough.
I also wanted to remind you that we are planning a roll out of our online “Community of Learning Resources” tomorrow. Educators at all levels have been sharing a variety of online resources and they are being compiled by Ms. McAlpine, the District’s Coordinator of Innovation, Design & Digital Learning, and she is organizing them into an online resource that will be accessible to students, their families and our staff. Per state guidelines, completion of the suggestions and resources is not mandated and any independent work completed by students during the school closure will not be formally assessed.
As noted yesterday, if a student needs access to a Chromebook to complete the voluntary activities, they should contact their building principal. We are putting a plan in place to accommodate those requests.
Please know we are also aware that some families may need to gain access to their child’s medication that may have been left behind in their school nurse’s office. We are putting together a plan by which we will get those back to you and will communicate that plan out to you in the next day or two.
Below this email, you will also find an update and some guidance from our Office of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services.
Thank you so much for your ongoing support and patience. Have a good night.
Jeffrey W. Granatino
Email from the Office of Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services.
March 17, 2020
I hope this message finds you and your family well. As the Director of Special Education/ Pupil Personnel Services, I am writing to provide you with information regarding the guidance school districts are receiving from the US Department of Education and the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education related to providing students with disabilities services during the current public health crisis.
To summarize briefly, the understanding is that if a Local Education Agency (LEA) closes schools and does not provide any required educational services to the general population, then the LEA would not be required to provide services to students with disabilities during the same period of time. Once students return to school, each team will make an individualized determination as to whether compensatory services are needed or if the IEP needs to be amended to respond to any changes in current performance. For additional information, please visit this Questions and Answers Guide, Providing Services to Children with Disabilities during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak, released by the US Department of Education in March 2020.
That being said, all MPSD special education teachers and related service providers are working in collaboration with general educators to ensure that all students have access to enrichment opportunities designed to maintain engagement in learning while students are at home. Per the MA DESE, districts need not provide FAPE during this time, as enrichment opportunities are not the same as educational services. All links to both general and special education resources can be found on the “MPSD Continuity of Education” resource sent to you by Superintendent Granatino.
In closing, please know the District will continue to keep you updated with any changes, updates, or guidance from either the Massachusetts Department of Education or the US Department of Education regarding how these unanticipated closings may impact our provision of service to students. In addition, your student’s teachers will be reaching out periodically to touch base, provide resources, and answer any questions you may have.
Amy C. Scolaro
Director of Special Education/ Pupil Personnel Services