May 29, 2020 -
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is currently developing guidelines for all schools to implement for a safe reopening in September. I am fortunate to serve on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and we met with the Commissioner of Education, Jeff Riley last week. He told us that 85% of the DESE guidance will be “mandatory” and “directives”. The reopening document is due to be released by the end of June with the possibility of additional changes over the summer. Superintendents continue to meet with Commissioner Riley and DESE for a weekly status update.
The Town of Medfield and the Medfield Public Schools are in the early stages of developing a Covid-19 Reopening Advisory Committee that will provide input throughout the process. From the school perspective, our overarching reopening focus areas will be Student and Staff Health/Social Emotional Well Being, Academics, Transportation, and Business/Financial Impact. In addition, we will also continue to work closely with the Medfield Board of Health as they have provided guidance and support throughout the pandemic.
In order to gather your input regarding the reopening of schools, the Medfield School Committee and I will hold a meeting shortly after the DESE guidance is released. We feel this will be a great opportunity to provide a forum to give us feedback and highlight any areas of concern. Please watch for an email with the meeting date.
Lastly, I share your frustration not knowing all the information for school in September. It’s extremely difficult to plan for a new school year with so many unknowns. The past few months have challenged everyone’s ability to adapt and embrace ambiguity. It is beginning to look like these skills will be critical in the coming months.
I hope you have a great weekend.