Tuesday, 6/2/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,


Great things continue to happen in our schools. I shared a link to the annual production of “Nostalgia” last week. Today, it is my honor to share with you a link to this spring’s production by the Keene High School Drama Club, “The Curious Savage” embedded here for ease of access.  What this group of students along with their advisors have been able to put together with all of the difficulties they were faced with is absolutely AMAZING! The resilience they have demonstrated when it would have been so much easier to just give up exudes all of the efforts that have been put into our remote learning worlds. I hope that you are able to watch and marvel at just how awesome our students and advisors are because they certainly have done an over the top job in bringing this to all of us. And if you have a chance, please give them as well as the folks that brought you “Nostalgia” a word of appreciation because they unquestionably have earned it!  Thank you students and advisors, you are all Rock Stars!


I also have it on good authority that tonight’s episode of NH Chronicle will have a special guest from The John D. Perkins Academy of Marlow. Tune in this evening at 7:00PM and meet “Professor Perkins” and learn how he is engaging our students (and families) in Marlow. I’m confident that you will find the professor to be another fine example of all the good things that are happening in our schools.


Also taking place tonight at 7:00PM is the Chesterfield School Board meeting that will explain the School District Meeting scheduled for 2:00 - 4:00PM on Saturday, June 6th.  The Board will review the warrant articles for the district as well as the process that will be used for voting.  Registered voters of the Chesterfield School District are encouraged to attend tonight’s meeting remotely to learn first hand what this process will look like. Additionally, the Board will be accepting public input and comment on the warrant articles, which includes the annual operating budget, a negotiated collective bargaining agreement and a couple of reserve funds for consideration. More information on how to join tonight’s meeting as well as other important information about the process can be found by going to the Chesterfield District Meeting link embedded here, or under the resource tab on the Chesterfield School website. Tonight’s meeting will be recorded and posted on the School Board link shared in the update below.


I want to give a big shout out to a group of employees that so often don’t get the recognition they so rightfully deserve, our office staff. They have repeatedly risen to the occasion when things have gotten a little bumpy, including, but not limited to, the global pandemic we are all navigating. They juggle multiple schedules and help to monitor workflow so that things don’t fall through the abyss of overflow and unintentionally get lost. They get an earful from “passionate” callers that may not agree with something that has taken place and provide support to basically everyone that has anything to do with our school systems. They are truly unsung heroes that never ask for the spotlight to be shined on them. Without them, everything would be much more difficult, so I ask that you please join me and send a BIG THANK YOU to all of our office staff for a job well done!  Thank You!


Our first focus group met today to get to work on what the 2020 - 2021 school year may look like. The other groups will be meeting tomorrow. Our first goal is to get a calculated process established to collect the input of OUR stakeholders so that we get a much better sense of the thinking in OUR communities. I’m aiming toward having that process ready for launching early next week.


Keep checking in with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and counselor as the end of the school year is rapidly approaching. You have until the end of the week to participate in the final challenge, please send in those videos. This includes students, parents/guardians and all members of the staff.  


By tomorrow, we’ll already be halfway back to the weekend!  We Got This!!!


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 Month:  A friendly reminder to reach out to your teacher, school counselor or school nurse if you are feeling the need to talk about matters related to our cultural challenges, Covid-19, or anything else that is weighing on your mind.  We want to hear from you.   


Last 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: After careful thought, discussion and analysis, all extended school year (ESY) instruction and related service therapies will be an extension of remote learning. We appreciate everyone's flexibility and patience as we weighed all options before making this important decision. 


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 meal pick up in the towns is open for Monday, June 8th and Wednesday, June 10th. Orders MUST be submitted no later than this Thursday, June 4th at 5pm.   Please use this meal order form link to place your order.


Meals in Keene are available for pick up behind Franklin Elementary and Keene High School on Monday and Wednesday from 7:30 to 11:30am. No pre-ordering is required for the Keene locations.


Last day for meal pick up:

Keene -  June 10 (4 days)

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

Marlborough & Harrisville - June 15 (2 days)

Information on summer lunch programs will be posted this 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: