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Superintendent's Weekly Newsletter 6-4-21

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Hello, Throughout the course of the year I have mentioned that the light at the end of the COVID tunnel was getting closer and brighter. Last week we reached several major milestones; guidance has been released for next school year, kids and adults no longer need to wear masks outside, and our positivity rating is below 1%. As of today we will return to school in the Fall with all COVID restrictions lifted with the exception of wearing a mask in the buildings. This could change in the next 2 1/2 months, as I remain optimistic.  Graduation was set for today for seniors, but Mother Nature did not want to corporate. It has been moved to Saturday at 5:30PM. This week seniors were able to participate in several senior week activities. Tuesday of this week was Class Night and through the generosity of our community over $45,000 in scholarships were handed out to members of the senior class. We have 84 proud graduates who are ready to go out and make their mark on the world. Our PTO this week

Superintendent's Weekly Update 5/21/21

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  Hello, It has been a busy but a very productive week here in Douglas. Many of us were pleased with the news from the Governor, DESE, and the MIAA regarding masks. There are a lot of COVID updates in this newsletter and I thank you ahead of time for reading all of it. New Mask Guidance Effective, Wednesday May 18, the following guidelines are in place: Students no longer have to wear masks when outdoors, even if distance cannot be maintained Effective May 18th, this guidance update applies to recess, physical education, youth sports, and outdoor learning environments  The following applies to student athletes: Athletes on spring teams in active play outdoors are not required to wear a mask/facial covering. Athletes when they are on the bench or in a dugout are not required to wear a mask/facial covering. Spectators and chaperones, coaches, staff, referees, umpires and other officials who can social distance while outdoors, are not required to wear a mask/face covering. Visitors, sp

Superintendent's Weekly Update 5/16/21

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  Hello, I would like to thank the Douglas Board of Health for setting up a vaccination clinic for eligible students on Friday at the high school. It was no small task to make this happen. We are working with them to see if we can do this again one more time this school year. Below is some additional information about vaccinating students. To be clear, the Douglas Public Schools are NOT requiring students to be vaccinated, this is just for the purposes of sharing information. The CDC has recommended and approved allowing individuals as young as 12 years old to be vaccinated. Attached is a fact sheet for you to get some more information. https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download . This week we begin our interviews for our new Director of Special Education. In my newsletter next week I will be announcing the finalists and our next steps.  Over the next few weeks you will also be receiving information from building principals about our summer learning program in August. This program is de

Superintendent's Weekly Update 5/7/21

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  Hello, This week we honored and celebrated our teachers during National Teacher Appreciation Week. This year, they deserve all the kudos they have received for their tremendous dedication and commitment to our students in these truly unprecedented times. If you have not reached out to say thank you to your student’s teacher(s), I am certain they would appreciate it.  COVID Data Attached is a link to our COVID Dashboard along with guidance and information for families. Link To COVID Dashboard   guidance for families   To all the wonderful mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day! I hope each of you has a great weekend. Thank you, Paul

Superintendent's Weekly Update 4/30/21

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  Hello, I hope everyone had a good and relaxing week away. We are entering the home stretch of the school year and as you will see it will be a busy 7 weeks. I have a lot of information to share so thank you for taking the time to read this. New Updates: Guidance has been updated on close contacts. The new guidance calls for everyone within 6 feet of a COVID positive case to be notified but only individuals within 3 feet will need to quarantine. This went into effect this week. The Governor has also lifted the mask mandate for people who are vaccinated and outside. The Douglas Public Schools will still require everyone to wear a mask while on school grounds regardless if you have been vaccinated or not.  Pooled Testing: This week we had our first pool test flagged. We were able to identify an asymptomatic individual early on and have them quarantine. At this time we only have about 20% of our population testing weekly. This is a self administered nasal swab that takes under 10 seconds

Superintendent's Weekly Update 4-16-21

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  Hello, This week students and staff enjoyed spirit week at each of our schools. Thank you to the schools and the staff members that helped to organize this week for students; it was fun. The high school also hosted the National Honor Society induction ceremony on Wednesday. It was great to have some normal activities in what has not been a normal 14 months. I am thrilled that we were able to do this for our kids as we are slowly returning to some semblance of normal for students.  As I have mentioned at various meetings throughout the year, we received grant funds from the Federal Government to help mitigate the impact of COVID in our schools. We were able to purchase PPE, technology and materials to get schools ready to open this year with the funds. We have earmarked a portion of the funding to create remediation programs this summer and next school year to address learning gaps. We will have a multi-week summer program that we will send out information on to students that qualify

Superintendent's Weekly Update 4-9-21

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  Hello, It truly has been a wonderful week to have everyone back for full in person instruction. We have spent the majority of the year working towards this point and I am thrilled that we are able to get back for so many reasons. We must not let our guard down and I will highlight this again shortly in this newsletter and throughout the remainder of the year. We will continue to maintain a very high level of vigilance in order to stay safely open. Over the next few weeks I want to start discussing and sharing non COVID related topics with you. Thank you for your continued support and patience with this process.  Safety Precautions: These safety precautions have been in place all year and may very well still be in place next year. Please take a few minutes to review these with particular attention to numbers 7 and 8. Our ability to follow these have been one of the main factors to staying open this year.   Avoid large social gatherings Wear a mask Practice social distancing Wash your