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  • SUPERINTENDENT UPDATES DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE  

    Superintendent Update 3/25/20

    Good Evening,

    I am aware that you are receiving a large amount of email communication from the School Department and I appreciate your understanding of our need to stay connected with students, families and staff during this school closure. This is most certainly a time of stress and anxiety for everyone as none of us have ever experienced an interruption to both school and life on a global scale. 

    As of 3:30pm today, Governor Baker has ordered that all schools now remain closed through the month of April with a new opening date of:

    May 4, 2020.

    Our goal is to continue to update everyone as we continue to work with the Department of Education and advocate for answers to the concerns of our students, families and staff. This is being accomplished by daily Massachusetts Superintendent group conversations, structured weekly phone conferences with the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, daily conversations and virtual meetings with WPS staff and ongoing updates to our students and families. 

    As we navigate this unprecedented time, school districts are seeking the guidance and support of the Commissioner of Education, Jeffrey Riley, to assist with the development of expectations of learning for all students during the closure to ensure equity among our communities and student populations. To date, the Commissioner has explicitly communicated that school districts cannot substitute online learning for face-to-face instruction. Replicating the school day is impossible and attempting to do so would present challenges of equity among our communities and student population. School districts were directed to provide opportunities for continued learning in grades K-12 as a resource for parents to allow students to stay connected to learning during the closure. Initially, and as guided by the Commissioner, public-school districts provided families with lists of curriculum resources as a guiding document to encourage a continuation of learning during the closure. These were the first set of documents that the WPS posted to individual school websites. As educators, we understand that these resources are not equivalent to what students would be learning in a classroom and the concern that this presents regarding grade level achievement. As time is passing, we also understand that parents, families, students and staff are becoming anxious about what lies ahead in terms of a return date and the impact of lost school days among other things.

    The Massachusetts Superintendents anticipate an update from the Commissioner at the end of this week to help clarify and/or answer some important frequently asked questions. We will be providing you with updates as soon as we are notified.

    In the meantime, and given the concern that there is a possibility of a State ordered extension of school closure time, our entire school staff has been working on creating additional guidance for families that will include a more Structured Daily Learning Focus Guide K-8 (this will look different for each school depending on grade levels) to assist families in keeping students focused on a daily basis by subject area, with the goal of staying engaged at a level that is commensurate with their classmates. We are updating this information daily and will post the information related the new Structured Daily Learning Focus Guides K-8, as it is completed and no later than Monday. Grades 9-12 will continue with a similar guided plan using the current platforms for posting recommended and focused learning opportunities.

    Please click the link below to view the learning opportunities for your students. It is strongly recommended that you visit your students school webpage as information is continually updating.

    Winthrop High School

    Winthrop Middle School

    Arthur T. Cummings 

    Gorman Fort Banks

    I would like to thank all of you for making it possible for the Community of Winthrop to follow our state and local directives and for your willingness to stay connected as we navigate this unanticipated event in our lives. Please reach out to your student’s Principal or teacher if you have any questions or concerns and they will provide you with the guidance needed. Please continue to do your part to abide by the “Stay-at-Home” advisory and continue to practice social distancing. Stay safe and in touch.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa A. Howard, Superintendent of Schools

    Additional Reminders

    School Food Service:

    Grab and Go Meals will continue to be prepared by our Food Service Staff and available for any WPS student in need.

    Pick Up Location: Rear parking lot next to baseball field and at the loading dock area) of Winthrop High School 

    Hours of Pick Up: 11:00am to 1:00pm

    Who is Eligible: Any WPS student

    Cost: $0 There is no cost for any student

    Food Service Staff will be available and on-site during distribution time to support the nutritional needs of our families. If you are not able to come to the location to access the Grab and Go Meals, please email me so that we can come up with an alternative to ensure that your child has access to what they need. All information will be kept confidential so please do not hesitate to reach out to you student’s Principal directly.

    Town Food Pantry:

    There is a Winthrop Community Food Pantry accessible to all Winthrop Residents located at the Arthur T Cummings School (School Street lot) where you can donate or pick up needed food items. The hours are as follows:

     Monday and Wednesday:         Food Donations 11:00am-1:00pm

    Tuesday and Thursdays:          Food Pick Up11:00am-1:00pm

     

    Link to site for parent/guardian support and resources related to COVID-19

    https://www.suffolkcac.org/support-resources/covid-19-support#

     
     

    Lisa A. Howard, M.Ed

    Superintendent, Winthrop Public Schools

    Important Update 3/18/20

    Good Afternoon,

    I would like to provide you with another update from the Winthrop Public Schools. Before I provide any new updates, I want to re-emphasize the importance of social distancing. Our current actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 will only be effective if we all do our part to support the grater health of our community.

    Social Distancing: means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.

    This out of school time is difficult for all of us and we encourage you to guide your children to practice social distancing and avoid interactions with people outside of your home such as attending playdates, going to malls or the theater, hanging out with groups of friends in community spaces, hanging out at playgrounds or meeting up in the Center. The goal is to limit the opportunity to become exposed to the coronavirus.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Please be aware that our school buildings and central offices will be physically closed until further notice. Staff will be working remotely, and email is the suggested method for communicating with district personnel.

    Learning Resources and Opportunity

    I know that many parents have been asking about what we will be providing for educational opportunities for students during the time that we are closed. This week out Administrative staff has been working diligently to put together a guidance and information document regarding learning opportunities for the students of the Winthrop Public Schools. Please understand that this document has been designed given the guidance and direction of the Mass Commissioner of Education. His guidance is quite clear in that districts should not be attempting to replicate the school day remotely- particularly because there are significant issues with student equity. This document will be posted on our website as well as each school home page on Wednesday, March 18th. I encourage all families to review the information and begin the process of having your student remain connected to learning experiences during this time of school closure. The learning opportunities that will be provided by the WPS are not intended to be a replication of a school day and work completed is not going to be graded by teachers nor is it considered mandatory. We would like to stress that every student will benefit from staying engaged daily and staying connected to the routine of learning daily and resources provided will have multiple levels of engagement access so that every child has access to learning opportunities. The amount of time spent on academic and extracurricular learning is at the discretion of each family and the resource we will be providing will assist you in making that happen. Each building Principal will reach out to their families directly on Wednesday, to provide you with detail related to your student’s access to learning opportunities as well as information to assist you in connecting with teachers, school nurses and other essential staff.

    For non-digital activities, one of the simplest things we can do is to ensure that all students read daily, keeping in mind that reading across all genres is important and encouraged. Engaging in literacy activities such as writing, asking questions about what students are learning from what they are reading, will help student continue to develop critical thinking skills which are essential across all grade levels. Any discussion that engages children in productive thinking is beneficial.

    Our schools provide services that are beyond the typical academic instruction, particularly as it relates to the social and emotional needs of our students. We will be asking the adjustment counselors and guidance counselors to provide resources to our websites as well and be equally as accessible as our teachers will be by email. Principals will be including email contact information in their communication to families this week.

    In the meantime, and in addition to what will be provided to you by individual schools, please click here for a multitude of additional resources for students and families.

    Access to School Meals

    Beginning Wednesday of this week we will be providing Grab and Go meals for anyone in need. These meals are available to ALL students K-12 regardless of their status related to eligibility for free or reduced meal service. The schedule of distribution is as follows:

    Beginning Wednesday, March 18th - Friday, March 27th, Grab and Go Meals will be prepared by our Food Service Staff and available for any WPS student in need. 

    Pick Up Location: Rear parking lot next to baseball field and at the loading dock area) of Winthrop High School 

    Hours of Pick Up: 11:00am to 1:00pm

    Who is Eligible: Any WPS student

    Cost: $0 There is no cost for any student

    Food Service Staff will be available and on-site during distribution time to support the nutritional needs of our families.

    If you are not able to come to the location to access the Grab and Go Meals, please email me so that we can come up with an alternative to ensure that your child has access to what they need. All information will be kept confidential so please do not hesitate to reach out to me. lhoward@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    Thank you for your continued patience during these challenging times. Please stay connected to us by checking your email frequently, checking your student’s school website, checking the Town of Winthrop Website and contacting me or your child’s Principal directly when needed.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa A. Howard, Superintendent of Schools

     

    CONTAT INFORMATION

    School Website

    www.winthrop.k12.ma.us

    Principal Emails

    mcrombie@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    bcurley@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    ngrimes@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    ipearson@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    Executive Director Off PPS/Special Education Email

    joconnell@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    Executive Director of Curriculum Instruction and Accountability Email

    lgallivan@winthrop.k12.ma.us

    Essential Phone Numbers

    School Department: 617-846-5500 ext7110

    Town Health Department Emergency Operation Center open 8am-4pm: 617-539-5848

    Online Learning Resources for Students and Families 

    Please click HERE for Online Resources.  Please note that these resources can be used in addition to the learning opportunities provided by each school.  

    Family Information Regarding the COVID-19 Virus 

    Please click HERE for a letter from Superintendent Howard. 

    Superintendent's Winter Newsletter

    Please click HERE for the Winter Newsletter 

    2020/2021 WPS School Calendar 

    Please click HERE for the priliminary 2020/2021 WPS School Calendar

    Winthrop High School Accreditation Update

    Please click HERE to view the NEAS&C Presentation from the School Committee Meeting on Monday, Feburary 10th.  The presentation includes an overview of the Accreditation process and specific information from the Collaborative Conference Report.  Please reach out to Mr. Crombie, WHS Principal, with questions or concerns regarding the accreditation process.  Thank you.  

    WPS School Committee Vacancy

    Please click HERE for additional information regarding this vacancy    

    Budget Forum

    Budget Forum

     

    Superintendent's Fall 2019 Newsletter

    Please click HERE for the latest edition of Superintendent Howard's newsletter

    2019 WPS MCAS Results Presentation

    Please click HEREto see Superintentdent Howard's presentation to the School Committee on the 2019 WPS MCAS results   

    WPS A.L.I.C.E. Training Information

    Please click HERE for more information.  This link can also be found under the "Parent Information" tab

    School Safety - Letter From Superintendent

    Please click HERE for Superintendent Howard's School Safety Letter 

    Superintendent's Summer 2019 Newsletter

    Please click HERE for the latest edition of Superintendent Howard's newsletter

    Important Information for Students Entering Grade 9 for the 2019-2020 School Year

    Residency Letter to Parents

    Parent Notice - Residency

    Residency Checklist 2019/2020

    Residency Affidavit 2019/2020

    Superintendent's Spring Newsletter

    Please click HERE for the latest edition of Superintendent Howard's newsletter

    2019/2020 WPS District Calendar 

    Please click HERE for the WPS district calendar for the 2019/20 school year.  Click HERE for a condensed list of important dates and holidays

    Superintendent's Budget Overview 

    Please click HERE for Superintendent Howard's 2019/2020 budget overview presentation 

    Anonymous Bullying Report Form

    Please click HERE for a link to our new anonymous bullying report form

    2019/2020 School Committee Meetings Calendar 

    Please click HERE for the list of all scheduled WPS School Committee meetings for the 2019/20 school year

    Letter from the Massachusetts Attorney General: Vaping 

    Please click HERE for the full letter 

     

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