Covid-19 Update 4.21.20
Dear Marshfield Families, Students & Staff,
I hope this finds you healthy and well.
As most of you probably know by now, Governor Baker announced earlier today that public and private schools in Massachusetts will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. This means that as our physical schools remain closed, we will continue with our remote learning programming through the end of the school year.
This is disheartening news, and I am so sorry that our students and their teachers will not be able to be together, in a traditional classroom setting, for the rest of the year. Students and staff have done a tremendous job implementing our remote learning plan, but it cannot replicate the magic that happens in our classrooms. It saddens our students and staff every day they cannot be together, but I am confident that all of our stakeholders will continue to make the best of a challenging situation.
As districts across the Commonwealth built their initial remote learning plans on recommendations from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE), this next phase of remote learning will also reflect new directives from DESE and our Commissioner of Education. We were initially asked to move slowly and focus on many standards already covered, but with a greater level of in-depth analysis. By the end of this week, we will be getting new directives from Commissioner Riley that will ask districts to focus more on key “power” standards from the state’s curriculum frameworks. These standards will represent the foundation that we want each student to have as they move from one grade to the next.
Our educators and leadership team stand ready to revise our current plan to reflect these new expectations and weave them into their remote lessons. For now, nothing changes for our students and staff. They will continue with the plan in place, though we will continue finding ways to enhance the program and to offer additional tools that will allow us to further address the needs of all our students.
These closures have had a dramatic impact on all of our students, their families and staff. However, one group has had to deal with an inordinate amount of loss during this pandemic and that is our high school seniors. So many memories are made during the senior year and due to our current situation, our seniors have not been able to enjoy any of them, in the traditional sense.
While the current, and now extended, school closures are going to prevent us from having graduation on May 30th, please know your high school and district leadership team, along with the School Committee, have been discussing ways in which we will be able to honor our seniors. We do not have anything finalized yet, but please know we will do all we can to make it a special event for our seniors and their families when it is determined when (and how) we can bring folks together. As the dad of a high school senior, I know how much this hurts and I will do all I can to create a special memory for our seniors.
I’ve asked you all to be patient and understanding over the past five weeks and you have been amazing. While today’s news is a setback, I will not let it define who we are as a district. We are still a dedicated, caring, creative, resilient and hardworking group of students, staff and families. We need to continue to embody these attributes as we take on this next phase.
I know we can do it and our entire district will continue to do everything we can to meet the academic and social/emotional needs of our 4,000+ students.
As always, thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
Jeffrey W. Granatino