There has been some community discussion about our screening assessment and the Stay-At-Home requirements that our schools are following. Let me be crystal clear in that we are absolutely, 100%, following the guidance that has been provided by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. We have weekly internal meetings with our school nurses and with our administrators throughout the SAU to identify and problem solve many different scenarios that come up. Additionally, both our school nurses and our administrators meet weekly with health officials (including the state epidemiologist) to clarify the guidance they provided so that we fully understand the “what ifs” that come up when putting it into practice. We have pushed back when something wasn’t clear and have shared inconsistencies that we ourselves have discovered with different levels of guidance. As a result and to help provide that understanding more broadly, we released the Screening Assessment Flowchart on Friday to all of our families and our staff so that they could see how the “what ifs” play out.
While I routinely report out on the community transmission rates in our county and our communities, it is also quite important to be mindful of what is happening around us as well. The broader conversations about what is happening in our state is notably concerning and worth continued monitoring. A quick look at the difference between early September and last week showing what is happening in our state is provided below.
It has been brought to my attention that there may be some concerns about a perception of intentionally keeping our schools from a full return because of some unknown agenda. We have been completely transparent throughout the return to school this fall making it widely known that “the overall health, well-being and safety of our students and staff is a primary reponsibility” and that “onsite learning is the ideal/preferred method of providing instruction.” We have moved schools in that direction when we were confident that doing so wouldn’t impact the safety of students and staff, or impact the operations of the school in its entirety. Where we have not been able to achieve both, we have not. And although our community transmission rates have continued to be favorable since we opened the school year, we without question, need to continue to keep our guard up and be mindful of everything that impacts these decisions.
I want to continue to encourage everyone to reach out to your child(ren)’s principal(s), teacher(s) and counselor(s), with any questions or concerns you may have. All of our outstanding staff members are working hard to provide the best possible outcomes for all of our students while maintaining the highest possible safety protocols at this time. They stand ready to assist all of our families as we all continue to navigate these uncertain times.
Finally, I want to reiterate the very real difficulties that everyone has been enduring throughout the entire pandemic. A strong hope of returning to how things used to be is desired by a lot of people. The changes that WE have ALL made, the sacrifices that WE have ALL endured, and the efforts that have been necessary to do so has truly impacted ALL of US. WE are not in the clear...yet, but everyday that passes gets us one day closer to when WE will be! I hope you have a great week!
COVID-19 Data: Here is a 7-day look at the data related to COVID-19 that we’ve been tracking since March. Source: NHDHHS COVID-19 Page
*Notes: On 10/13 dashboard went up by only 1 from 10/12 despite 2 new cases reported in Cheshire County on the daily update leaving total discrepancy at 3. On 10/17 dashboard did not go up from 10/16 despite 1 new case reported for Cheshire County on the daily update leaving total discrepancy at 4.
Do Your Part: Here are the 7 short videos that were created from the Do Your Part Challenge that was issued to all stakeholders. A huge thank you to those that participated and we’re looking forward to the next challenge that is issued.
- DYP - Screening (Part 1)
- DYP - Screening (Part 2)
- DYP - Face Covering (Part 1)
- DYP - Face Covering (Part 2)
- DYP - Hand Hygiene
- DYP - Big 4 (Part 1)
- DYP - Big 4 (Part 2)
E-Flyer Distribution Program: As a reminder, there are many flyers that our schools are asked to send home throughout the school year. We also post these flyers on our website and it can be found by going to this E-Flyer Distribution Program embedded link.
Mental Health & Cultural Awareness: Below are some resources that may be helpful.
- https://www.parents.com/kids/education/back-to-school/12-fun-first-week-of-school-traditions/ Cool ideas….clever, fun and creative.
- https://discoveries.childrenshospital.org/preparing-kids-school-covid-19/ to help talk with your kids about returning to school.
- https://www.unicef.org/parenting/talking-to-your-kids-about-racism to help talk with your children, our students about racism. This article covers ages ranging under 5 years old, between 6-11years old, and 12+.
- https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/5-ways-stand-against-racism-and-injustice/37355 This article addresses acceptable ways to condemn racism.
- https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/how-white-people-can-talk-their-kids-about-racism/37361 This is a great way to start a conversation about racial issues with your kids. Racism thrives in silence.
- 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.
Reporting Abuse: If you see something, please say something. You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.
- Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention - We’re here for you 24/7. You don’t have to be in crisis to call. Call our hotline at: 603-352-3782 or 1-888-511-MCVP
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Meals: Every student in SAU 29 is eligible for FREE breakfast and lunch for each day of school through the USDA until 12/31/2020 or until funds are exhausted.
Hybrid students: All students attending school in person are eligible to receive their free breakfast and lunch at their school on the days they are attending in person. Families can sign up for three additional days’ worth of meals (6 meals) each week representing the school days that hybrid students are not in school and are learning remotely. If you would like your student to receive those meals for remote days the order form will need to be submitted by Thursday at 5:00pm each week. Those reserve orders must be picked up on the following Wednesday at the locations requested on the order form. Please see the link below to fill out the required order form.
Fully Remote Students: Fully remote families can sign up to get 5 days’ worth of meals (10 meals) each week representing the school days that fully remote students are learning remotely. The order form will need to be submitted by Thursday at 5:00pm each week. Orders must be picked up the following Wednesday at the selected location. Please see the link below.
Please note, meals are provided for students only. Please call Keene Food Services at 603-357-9011 with any questions. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
LINK FOR REMOTE MEALS ORDER FORM:
Special Education: Special Education continues to work very closely with building leaders to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met. As always, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher or building principal with questions. You can also contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email email@example.com if you have any questions. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Thank you!
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Technology: Teachers, we have installed some software for remote teaching. Currently we have Kami which integrates with Google classroom. Screencastify will let you record your computer screen to share with the class. You can also have your image in the corner of the screen as you record the lesson. EquatIO Easily add equations, formulas, graphs to G Suite for Education. It has a scientific calculator, and periodic table charts.
Parents, Please make sure you fill in the online registration for your students. It is important to have all the correct information in place.
Technology support during COVID19: Please see the update.
Power School update:
Power school online registration help can be found here.
Please remember to fill out the youtube permission form. For KHS and KMS
Help desk number: (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here.