Friday, 05/29/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

Happy Friday! This is the last school day for the month of May as we flip our calendars forward on Monday. That does have a nice ring to it...in my humble opinion. 


(Editor’s Note: This information just came in and this update had to be amended to bring this important announcement to everyone. It is with tremendous pride and admiration that I am sharing with you the following).


Like just about everything, the annual production of our signature showcase event at Keene High School, Nostalgia, has been significantly altered with the global response to the pandemic upon us. However, like so many other efforts, students, staff and families have proven their resilience and have persevered  to bring their talents to the virtual stage as we all know that “the show must go on”. Huge round of applause for everyone that was involved to get this done!  It took a tremendous amount of effort from everyone and you are all to be commended! Our communities should be nothing less than proud of what you have accomplished not only under these circumstances, but quite frankly, in general! There are currently twelve finished pieces available for your listening enjoyment, and additional pieces will be added as they are completed. Please go to the embedded Nostalgia Link often and enjoy the many talents of our students under the outstanding leadership of their instructors.


(Now back to our regularly scheduled update)


Judging from the volume and content of the messages that I received, it appears that many folks have found individual meaning and value in the 5-minute video clip shared yesterday. I’m glad that it was beneficial in the variety of ways that were shared with me. If you didn’t get the chance to watch, please refer back to yesterday’s update if you are interested.  It’s actually 5 minutes and 36 seconds long.


I have also received word from some that participated in the live panel discussion after viewing the film “The Upstanders” on how well it went. I want to publicly thank the panel for being able to provide that support and network for our families that tuned in last night. The success of that session has given us something to think about when trying to facilitate similar types of efforts down the road a bit.


You may (or maybe not) recall that back in February (Valentine’s Day to be exact), I sent an email out to our stakeholders to be able to provide public comment on the State of New Hampshire’s plan for Career and Technical Education. I really have no idea on how many of our local people responded, but I received this notification this morning from the US Department of Education:  

Secretary DeVos recently announced the approval of the first six career and technical education (CTE) state plans under the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V), which was signed into law by President Trump in 2018. Perkins V encourages states to expand opportunities for every student to access coursework that will put them on the path to success.  Each state -- Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire -- crafted a plan to fulfill its promise of offering a robust CTE option for students, following consultation with its key constituents representing education and workforce, business and industry, and parents and community leaders.”  


It’s always nice to see how we’re leading the way in the country and knowing that we have somehow played a part in that process. It will help pave the way for our programs that are offered at Keene High School in the Cheshire Career Center for our high school students as well as those that come in from the neighboring districts of Fall Mountain and Monadnock.


The plans for a drive-by District Meeting in Chesterfield are in full motion moving forward. Mailings have been put together and will be sent out with the mail runs tomorrow. Additionally, all information can be accessed by going to the Chesterfield School Resource page with a direct link embedded here.  Information on how to access the meetings and how to provide comments are included in the documents on that site. I would encourage all of the residents of the Chesterfield School District to take the opportunity to view these informative and important documents.


The STRRT survey ends tonight at 8:00PM. If you haven’t had the opportunity to weigh in, the time for you to be able to is running out quickly. Please go to https://www.education.nh.gov/survey2020 to access the survey. As I noted in yesterday’s update, we will be facilitating a process to collect your input for us to use here in our school districts as well. We are doing that because we want the feedback to be relevant to our communities and not be lost in the more than 50,000 responses that have been collected to date.


As it is Friday and we are heading into the weekend, some friendly reminders to keep in mind:

  • Continue to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s), counselor and principal with any concerns you may have regarding remote learning. They, like you and I, only want the best for all of our students.
  • Remember your check-ins to make sure that you and those you hold dear are still doing well. It’s probably been the longest roller coaster ride that anyone has been on and we still don’t know when it’ll stop.
  • Here is some information regarding the scheduled 3:00PM Press Conference during which Governor Sununu is expected to release a number of updates if you are inclined to follow along live. 

And finally, a quick Two Minute Video that may have some value as we continue onward to the completion of our 2019-2020 school year.  


Happy Friday, WE GOT THIS, and Please Be Well,

Robb


Remote Learning: If you are experiencing any difficulties or concerns with your child’s remote learning or have questions regarding what is expected, please start by asking your child’s teacher. Our teachers are doing a GREAT job of continuing the teaching and learning process through these adverse circumstances and can provide immediate answers or direct your questions accordingly.


Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness MonthLast week we launched access to our second feature film for Mental Health Awareness Month. Below you will find the link and login information in order to access the Angst online program. I am also including the link and login information for the film Like once again for anyone that may not have had the opportunity to watch it last week. Both of these films will remain available until we have reached our limit for viewings.  


Link to View Angst


Link to View Like


The specific details to login to either film is the same and provided below.

Login: sau29@indieflix.com

Password: sau29


The remaining schedule for the films will be as follows:


Ongoing:  Like a film about the impacts of social media.

Ongoing:  Angst a film about anxiety in our youth.


As a follow up to both films, “Like” and “Angst” some of our dedicated staff have created a pre-recorded panel discussion on many of the most asked questions in relation to those films. This panel discussion will be available for you to watch at your convenience and is linked both here and in the update below.


A friendly reminder that we have limited viewings for each film, so it is really important that households only access one of the viewings. This will allow more of our families and our staff to be able to watch the films as well.


As always, please reach out to your child’s team of school counselors or school nurses if you need support or assistance during this challenging time. If you are not sure who to contact, please call or email your child's building principal.  If you are unable to reach someone, please contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email rmatte@sau29.org.  


Resources:

  • The 5 Signs to help you identify and support others who may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time, or at any time.
  • A Mom's Retreat - A podcast on managing anxiety.

School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.


Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  HSB Meeting Video

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video


Weekly Challenge:  This two-week challenge is to create a BRIEF thank you video lasting about 5-10 seconds long and is open to students, parents/guardians and all staff members.  We want to recognize and acknowledge that this has been a difficult time for many of us and being able to complete our school year took a great deal of effort on many people’s behalf.


There are multiple videos that can be created and submitted and you are not limited to any one specifically, meaning you can submit multiple videos if you would like. Here are some suggested categories of videos:


  • From Students:  a video to your parents to say thank you for all that your parents did to support you throughout remote learning.
  • From Students:  a video to your teacher(s) and/or other school staff to say thank you for their efforts in supporting you throughout remote learning.
  • From Parents/Guardians:  a video to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and/or other school staff thanking them for their efforts throughout remote learning. 
  • From Parents/Guardians:  to your child(ren) thanking them for their efforts throughout remote learning.
  • From Staff:  to your students and/or parents/families thanking them for their efforts throughout remote learning.
  • From Staff:  to your colleagues thanking them for their support and effort throughout remote learning.

In order for this to work to the extent we are hoping, we will need permission from parents/guardians to use the videos in the larger production we have planned. This will be easier to attain if permissions accompany submissions so that follow ups are minimized. It could be either a video permission or if the video is emailed from a parent/guardian’s email, written in the body of the email. To safeguard this process, I am emailing students to check with their parents/guardians prior to participation.


Please submit your videos to saupublicinfo@sau29.org with a Cc to rmalay@sau29.org before 5:00PM on Friday, June 5, 2020.  It is our intent to release the compilation of videos prior to the last day of school for all to enjoy.



Special Education: The Student Services Office expects a decision by the start of next week on whether Extended School year Services for IDEA eligible students will be an extension of remote learning or be held in-person.  We appreciate everyone's flexibility and patience as we weigh all options before making this important decision.  Please stay tuned to this daily message to learn about the latest information about ESY.   


The special education and related services staff continue to provide specialized instruction and related therapies from a distance. Moreover, our paraprofessionals and tutors are providing important assistance and support with remote instruction. In addition, the special education department is moving forward with the daily business of Individualized Education Plan Meetings (IEP), transition meetings and Extended School Year Services meetings (ESY) for those students that qualify. As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email rmatte@sau29.org. Our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.  Thank you!


Meals: The order form for the towns is now closed for meal pick up  on Monday, June 1st  (3 days’ worth of meals) and Wednesday, June 3rd (4 days’ worth of meals). If you signed up for meals in the towns, you will pick up your meals at 12:00 at the school you selected. The order form for meals on Monday, June 8th (3 days’ of meals) and Wednesday, June 10th (4 days’ of meals) will open on Monday, June 1st. The link is the same each week.


Meals in Keene are available for pick up behind Franklin Elementary and Keene High School on June 1st and June 3rd 7:30-11:30am.  No pre-ordering is required for the Keene locations.


Last day for meal pick up:

Keene -  June 10th (4 days)

Chesterfield, Marlow, Nelson, Westmoreland - June 15 (1 day)

Marlborough & Harrisville - June 15 (2 days)

Information on summer lunch programs will be posted next week.

Menus and offerings will vary based on availability.


Technology: Collecting Chromebooks. We will be aligning the collection of the Chromebooks with the returns of other resources from your schools. We are asking that you bring the Chromebooks back to the school you picked them up from. Please remember to bring the Power supply with the Chromebook. Look for more information from your school and in this update.


Help desk number (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here


Phishing attempts:  We have had another phishing attempt. We have blocked the person that is attempting to scam us. Please read this document for more information.


We have Kami as a part of the Google classroom for Teachers and students. Click here for the 1st time login instructions. Click here for the help with getting started with Kami.  


Vetted APPs and Websites:  You can check the online vetted site here: SDPC. Look up the App and website by company. We have added more to the list as we get them back from the Vetting team. 


Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  


Additional Resources:


School Calendars: You can use this link to view your district’s calendar:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  The 2020-2021 school year calendars can also be found using this link.


School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only.  All buildings are closed on the weekend.


June 18-19:  All buildings in SAU 29 are closed.

June 26:  Rescheduled floating holiday from April 24.


School GroundsAll school playgrounds, fields, and other outdoor facilities are closed until further notice.  


Social Distancing:  Please refer to Governor Sununu’s Emergency Orders for additional guidance on this as well as other areas of interest.


Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at rmatte@sau29.org


Governor Sununu has also activated a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.


COVID-19 and Remote Learning Resources: