March 31, 2020 --  

Dear Parents,

I hope you and your family are healthy and doing well.
Last Friday, the Commissioner of Education released updated guidance for schools regarding the extended school closure to May 4th. During the initial shutdown phase, we have focused our attention on staying connected with students and families, as well as ensuring continuity of learning across the district. The new guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) allows districts to continue with deeper learning and begin to move forward with new content and instruction. All new instruction will be delivered in a developmentally appropriate way for our students and it will look different at each level. 
Our next phase of remote learning will begin on Monday, April 6th. Our teachers and staff have worked hard to develop engaging lessons and activities for our students. We are currently completing our district's remote learning plan and it will be sent to you within the next two days. It's important to understand that remote learning is not synonymous with online learning. Remote learning can take many forms: large group video conferences, emails, telephone calls, work packets, projects, reading lists, online learning platforms, and other resources to effectively engage with students. Our teachers will continue to make two connections each day and you can expect your child will be engaged in learning activities, independent work, and/or instruction for an average of two to three hours a day.  We expect students to spend additional time on wellness/physical activity, art, and music. 
We know that we can not recreate the traditional school day, but we feel our remote learning plan will help balance the needs of our students, families, and staff in a healthy and thoughtful way during this extended school closure. We will continue to assess our programming and make adjustments if needed. As I have mentioned in previous updates, I understand and appreciate the levels of disequilibrium everyone is experiencing with the school closure. I want to thank everyone for their continued support as we begin our pivot to the next phase "school". I look forward to the day when the yellow buses are rolling and our buildings are once again filled with kids and adults.
Jeff Marsden