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Superintendent's Weekly Update 3/5/21

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  Hello, Thank you to those parents and community members that attended the School Committee meeting on Wednesday. On Monday, March 8 at 630PM I will host a community forum on our back to school plan. The presentation will be similar to the one that I presented at the School Committee Meeting on Wednesday night, however as we have seen throughout the pandemic, information changes daily and there very well could be new information presented. The presentation will last about 20 minutes and the remainder of the time will be dedicated to questions from you. Below is a link to the Community Forum. Topic: Community Forum Time: Mar 8, 2021 06:30 PM  Join Zoom Meeting https://douglasps-net.zoom.us/j/85953453927?pwd=WFk0ME1hcTh5ZGIwUjkrencyMi9FUT09 Meeting ID: 859 5345 3927 Password: 324249 Additional Forums: I have asked principals to set up building specific community forums to be able to share with you building based plans on what a full return to school plan will look like and to also be ab

Superintendent's Weekly Update 2/26/2021

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  Hello, It has been a great first week back to school since vacation. I have enjoyed seeing the kids back in school and in classes learning. The return from February break to me always marks the beginning of the push towards the end of the school year. The sun is out in the morning, the days are getting longer, we change the clocks in a few weeks, and the weather begins to change. It was amazing to see the sun on Wednesday and have it be close to 50 out. Good things are on the horizon on all fronts. As people are aware Governor Baker and Commissioner Riley announced a proposed change in the regulations to bring back all elementary students in April. The Board of Education still needs to vote on the regulatory change in a few weeks and I will need to meet with DTA Leadership to work on details of the return. The vote would eliminate schools being able to offer a fully hybrid or remote option as the main way to educate students. This would pave the way for elementary students to return

Superintendent's Weekly Update 2/21/21

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  Hello, Thank you to those that took the time to fill out the survey last week on returning to school, it gave me very clear data and information. As I said in the summer, the goal has been and will continue to be to have students, faculty, and staff safely return to school for in person instruction. It is what everyone in the Douglas Public Schools want for our students. We just need to make certain that we are doing it safely.  Survey Results: We had 992 responses to the survey across the district. As a point of reference we have about 1150 students; which is a great response rate from the community. Below are the results of the survey: If the Douglas Public Schools are to return to full person instruction will you send your student back to school full time? 87% of the people answered yes (864 yes- 128 no) If your student is currently fully remote will you stay fully remote? 78% of the people answered no (92 yes-323 no) Additional data will be needed as 415 people responded to this

Superintendent's Weekly Update 2/12/21

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  Hello, I would like to wish everyone a restful and enjoyable February break. It only seems like a few days ago we were getting ready for Christmas break. If the next 7 weeks go by as quickly as these last 7 weeks, we will shortly be enjoying spring weather and everything associated with it. I would also like to thank the principals and all the parents that attended our state of the schools presentation. It is important for us to share with you what is happening in our schools and it is equally important for us to be partners with you in this process. Thank you to those that attended and your continued support. As a reminder, if you test positive, become ill, or have to quarantine please notify the school during the vacation week. We need this information to stay safe and open. Return to School Survey: On Wednesday, I sent out a return to school survey that I am asking everyone to fill out. To date we have had over 850 people respond. I will keep the survey open through the middle of

Return to school survey

  Hello, This fall, I presented at several School Committee meetings a plan to bring more students back to school. That plan called to bring back k-3 students full time and to adjust the schedule for grades 4-12 for more in person instruction. After those meetings we saw a surge in positive cases that put a pause on our plans and plans everywhere in The Commonwealth in moving forward. In the last 3 months several positive things have occurred to cause us to alter our original plan. This new information has caused us to be able to pivot from our original plan this fall and potentially be able to bring back more students to school this year.   In order for us to be able to finalize our plan, we need to gather some information from you. I ask that you take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Please fill out one survey per student as we need this data by school and student. Over the 7 to 10 days I will share out more information with you. Link to surveys below: DPS DES DMS DHS Thank you

Superintendent's Weekly Update 2/5/2021

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  Hello, I hope that everyone is well and survived the cold and the snow. Although it is still cold out and we still have weeks of winter ahead of us, the days are getting longer and March is around the corner. Next week is our final week before entering the February vacation. I will include the travel advisory below as a reminder for people who may travel. Our numbers in Douglas have continued to decline which is fantastic, but we must continue to exercise good judgment by avoiding large gatherings, always wearing a mask when in public, frequent hand-washing, and sanitizer. By doing our part we can stay open for in person learning. Thank you for what you do, your vigilance has allowed for us to stay open. Travel Advisory: Attached in a link to the travel advisory information by the Governor for those who may travel.  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order Snow Days: I have been asked a few times this week about traditional snow days versus remote learning days. I hope

Superintendent's Newsletter 1/29/21

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  Hello, One thing I can say for certain is that winter is here. After some very comfortable days, mother nature has certainly made sure we know she did not forget about winter. Although I am not a skier, this weather is making for some great skiing, which I am certain makes people happy. It is also difficult to believe that next week we hit the halfway point of the school year. February 2 will be our 85th day of school.  Middle School Principal I am very pleased to announce that on Monday February 1, Mr. Ralph Olsen will start as the interim Middle School Principal. Mr. Olsen spent several years as a high school teacher, before going into a leadership position. He retired in 2005 as the principal of Framingham High School and has spent the last 15 years in a variety of interim positions in both middle schools and high schools. He is meeting today with Ms. Urquhart and Mr. Aronian to get a head start for his first day and learn a little about the school and the district. Within the nex