Covid-19 Update April 17, 2020
April 17, 2020
Dear Marshfield Families, Students & Staff,
I hope this finds you healthy and well.
We are wrapping up our fifth week of school closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic and I want to thank you all for the efforts you have made over this period of time. While every district across the nation tries to find a way to best educate their children in a remote fashion, I’m proud of the efforts that our classroom teachers and district leaders have been making to create a productive and engaging remote learning environment for our 4,000 students. In these trying times, we still see student television shows being produced at the high school and teacher-created podcasts at the middle school. In addition, our middle school and elementary students and teachers have embraced their learning platform and are working on daily lessons that meet key standards of the state’s curriculum frameworks.
The work done in school districts around the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is noteworthy and has been recognized by educational leaders across the country. MIT’s Teaching Systems Lab did a recent study of the states using remote learning and Massachusetts ranked 2nd in the nation on remote learning guidance.
The success we have had does not mean that our remote practices are going to remain static. Due to the hard work of our educational team, they are continuing to grow and expand on multiple levels every day. There are some who may feel there has been too much work assigned, and there are others who feel not enough work is being asked of our students. Our teachers, district leaders, and support staff process this feedback as we review our plans on a daily basis and continue to revise them to best address the needs of the whole child. This will be an ongoing practice until we are able to return to our schools. Sometime next week, we will also be sending out a survey so we can continue to gather information and feedback on our remote learning practices. We hope you are able to take part in the survey.
Regarding our return to school, we are still slated to return on May 4th. We understand this could change at any time, and we await word from Governor Baker on whether the school closure will be extended. If the return date changes, we will communicate that out to you immediately. The return date also has an impact on the MHS graduation date, which is currently set for May 30th. We are reviewing alternative options in case we have to move away from the current date and will share that information if the closures are extended.
For the next two weeks, we will continue with our remote learning. Monday, April 20th is Patriots’ Day and there will be no remote learning assigned for that day. Thanks to the cooperation of our teachers’ association, the School Committee has voted to cancel the April vacation, and we will be in session from Tuesday, April 21st through Friday, April 24th. As we informed you last week, our last day of school for the year is June 17th.
Below are a few other areas of note that you may be interested in:
Last week, Commissioner Riley informed District Leaders that as a result of the health crisis and federal and state actions, he is enacting state legislation and canceling this spring’s regular administration of grade-level MCAS tests for students in grades 3-10.
In addition, the legislation allows the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon the Commissioner's recommendation, to modify or waive the requirements of the competency determination for high school graduation in order to address disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 or the state of emergency. The Commissioner is currently considering various options, and further guidance will be forthcoming.
Shout Outs to Seniors
Principal Keuther has been looking at different avenues of celebrating our seniors and their accomplishments. Starting next week on WCVB, Channel 5 - The Eyeopener, the early morning news show, will be giving out routine "Shout Outs to Seniors" across the Commonwealth. We would love to see our community flood WCVB with Shout Outs from our families to our Marshfield High School Class of 2020. The recognitions have to be posted by families, not by schools, therefore we have included the information so that you each have the opportunity to recognize your senior and to share some of their accomplishments. When posting please add #WeRMarshfield to your posts so that we can see and retweet them.
Our food service team is continuing to distribute Grab-N-Go breakfast and lunch bags with the assistance of the Boys & Girls Club and the Marshfield Food Pantry. We are reaching close to 100 students a day with this program and if there is anyone else who finds they need assistance, please just contact your principal and arrangements will be made. Due to next week’s holiday, food will be available for distribution on Tuesday & Thursday.
In addition, on Monday, April 20th, the Boys & Girls Club will be hosting a “Kids Grab-N-Go Dinner” between 4 - 6 PM (curbside pickup). A big thanks to Mike Sousa, Mia Regazza, Polcari’s Bridgewaye Inn, the Boys & Girls Club, the Marshfield Food Pantry & the Molly Fund for making this special event possible.
Finally, let’s make sure we continue to do all we can to promote the practice of appropriate social distancing. The more we practice this, along with consistently wearing gloves and masks/face coverings when we are out in public, the sooner we will be able to be back together in school.
I know I said this a few weeks back, but it’s still appropriate for today as we continue to adjust to the new challenges placed before our students and staff on a daily basis: “We will adapt, work hard together and at the end of this process will be stronger as a learning community.”
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Jeffrey W. Granatino