Monday, 6/8/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

 

I hope that everyone was able to enjoy the weekend and the wonderful weather that accompanied both days. Today we enter the final week for many of our schools with a handful finishing up at the beginning part of next week. We also begin in earnest, the end-of-year celebrations throughout all of our schools with our Preschool Program at Jonathan Daniels kicking off the series of events earlier today. They had a wonderful drive by farewell for students and staff to visually connect with one another before heading into the summer months. The fun and celebrations continue this evening with the Keene High School Salmagundi Ceremony during which the top ten graduating seniors and the Outstanding Keene High School Educator will be announced.  Please visit either our Keene School District Facebook Page or our SAU 29 Facebook Page for details on live streaming the event for your viewing pleasure.

 

Saturday’s drive in district meeting in Chesterfield turned out very well. The District Moderator put a lot of time and energy toward that and the flow of the day went incredibly well. A huge thank you to all of the volunteers that turned out to assist as well as to the 114 registered voters  that came out to cast their ballot. The end results were that all warrant articles were passed with an overwhelming approval rate. Thank you to everyone that played a role in pulling that effort off.

 

Although this is the time of year when we are all consumed with the end-of-year celebrations, I want to be clear in that all of the other work doesn’t come to a halt while these events are taking place. As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, discrimination of any sort will not be tolerated in our schools. We are actively working on identifying ways that our schools will not only address acts of discrimination, but equally important, support those that are victims of any form of discrimination. This will require a great deal of attention and focus to ensure that ALL of our students feel safe and supported as they attend our schools, but attention that is so greatly needed as turning a blind eye is not acceptable. I humbly ask that you have conversations with your children to ensure that they know that under no circumstance is discrimination of any kind acceptable under any circumstance.

 

We are also continuing to work through the return to school discussions and preparing to collect broader input from all of our stakeholder groups. There are a number of factors to keep in mind with building a framework that will need to be mindful of multiple scenarios that could come into play as we move closer to the opening of the 2020 - 2021 school year. The intent is to have those plans finalized by the week of July 20th so that everyone will have more than five (5) weeks of advanced notice. It will also be mindful of where we are with the pandemic and how we can best provide for the safety of all students and staff while continuing the primary purpose of our institution in teaching and learning. 

 

Please continue to check in with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and counselors as we wrap up the school year. I also encourage you to access the parent portal for those that have children in the older grade levels so that you can double check where things stand.  

 

Thank you to all the folks that have submitted their videos for the final challenge of the school year. We will do everything within our ability to get this prepared and shared before the school year lets out. Please stay tuned in the update.

 

Lastly, I’ll leave you with this thought today as we are nearing the finish line for this school year.  As with most things, there are no shortcuts in the enduring of even the most difficult of times.  Our nation, our region, our state and our communities have been called upon with some of the most difficult situations we have been faced with during the last few months. On one hand we have been tasked with halting everything that we have known as routine and been expected to change daily practices in response to an influence that isn’t even a year old and has altered our world with the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, a much longer lasting reality that has been around for more years than anyone living today in the discrimination and stereotyping of others for whatever unacceptable explanation that may exist. Both have tested all of us to stand strong for what is TRULY RIGHT for our communities, our state, our region, our nation, our world. We do this not only for our own future, but for the future of our children and their children and so on and so forth. And so I ask that we all continue to do our part in working toward these finish lines, because there are no shortcuts, it will take all of our efforts to get there. I know that we will get there and I know that we will get there together, because we continue to demonstrate that 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 AwarenesAs 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.
 

Responsible Social Media Use:  As mentioned in the June 3rd update, the responsible use of social media can be an asset or a liability for individuals. It is critical that we teach (and reinforce) as well as model responsible use of social media with our children/students.  Here are some resources that may be of assistance:

 

20 Tips from Smart Social

Safe and Responsible Social Networking 

Social Media Etiquette

Social Media/Media Literacy Responsible Use

Social Media Responsibility 

Social Media Responsibility and Etiquette

 

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

 

Special Education: After careful thought, discussion and analysis, it has been decided that 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. KHS Seniors if you borrowed a Chromebook or computer please drop it off on the 9th. Make sure you have the power cord with the device.

KMS- Drop off will start on the 15th and 16th. Please contact the school for the assigned day. 

Please contact your school for more information on times and where you should drop off the devices. Make sure you have the power cord with the device.

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: