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COVID-19 Update #58- Synchronous Learning Update
Jeffrey Marsden
Friday, January 15, 2021

January 15, 2021 -- 

Dear Parents, 

As promised yesterday, I want to provide you with an update on increased synchronous learning and other items that were collectively bargained over the past three weeks.  Last night the Medfield School Committee and I came to a "tentative agreement" with the Medfield Teachers' Association for the implementation of the new student learning regulations. This agreement is called "tentative" because it still needs formal approval by both sides. Fortunately, we agreed to implement the new language prior to the formal approvals.  Although the Memorandum of Agreement language is still being finalized, I wanted to provide you with the highlights of this agreement that could impact your family's schedule beginning on January 19, 2021. School-specific details will be sent out by the building principal later today or over the weekend. 

1.Synchronous Learning- This agreement provides additional hours of synchronous learning in Grades 1-12 and goes beyond the minimum hours required in the new regulations. Core subjects are defined as science and technology, mathematics, history and social science, English, foreign language, and the arts. Please remember that many of our teachers are still new to live streaming. This skill set is complex and we ask for your patience during the rollout of this initiative.

Elementary-

  • Grades 1-5 shall have live synchronous teaching for 20 minutes during a morning meeting/lesson each day.  In addition, all grades will have live synchronous learning classes each day as outlined below:
  • Grade 1 – Two (2) synchronous learning blocks of at least 35 minutes each day focused on core subjects
  • Grades 2-3 - Two (2) synchronous learning blocks of at least 40 minutes each day focused on core subjects
  • Grades 4-5  - Two (2) synchronous learning blocks of at least 45 minutes each day focused on core subjects
  • Specialists will also be synchronous

Blake Middle School-

  • All core subjects will be live/fully synchronous

Medfield High School-

  • All core subjects will be live/fully synchronous 

2.Wednesdays- Beginning on February 10, 2021, Wednesdays will become a half-day of in-person learning for alternating cohorts. These days will be fully synchronous for the cohort not in-person.  This will allow for more in-person learning and students at home will still be participating in real time.

The Wednesday schedule beginning on February 10, 2021 will be as follows:
Medfield High School                         7:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
Blake Middle School                           8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon
Elementary Schools                            9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m. (Elementary students will each lunch at 12:00.)

3. Return to In-Person Update- We continue our commitment to prioritizing our youngest and most at-risk students for expanded in-person learning. Our Pre-K program remains fully in-person, our Full Day Kindergarten students will return 4 days a week in-person on January 25, 2021, and we are planning to bring our Grade 1 students back in-person in February. Our K-8 students with disabilities with an academic IEP began attending school 4 days a week on January 4th and we plan to have our 9-12 students with disabilities with an academic IEP begin to attend school 4 days a week in FebruaryThese are all positive steps toward our goal of bringing all students safely back to full in-person during the spring of 2021.

I hope you have a great long weekend.

Sincerely,
Jeff Marsden