Friday, 4/10/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,


I met with our entire central office staff this morning and it’s hard to imagine that we are at the end of week four since we closed our schools.  It feels like it’s been much longer than that and I’m certain that many others share that sentiment with me as well. Nonetheless, we’re one day closer to the end we all long for!  Hang in there and stay positive.


There have been some concerns that have been brought to my attention with regard to the length that remote learning will take place.  Some have shared that other districts in New Hampshire have already decided to continue with remote learning through the end of the school year.  While I can see the value in making that known as far in advance as possible, I do believe that decision needs to be made further down the road.  


There are a lot of things that need to be considered with that decision.  Things that are important to many people, for example, our graduating seniors.  These are items that people just want to know what is going to happen, much like we want to know when we’ll be through all of this.  If we have learned anything through this current situation it’s that things can change course quickly and we need to be able to respond to those changes as they come up.  I assure you that when it comes time to make that decision, I will communicate that through these updates.


Speaking of these updates, it has been my pleasure and my honor in preparing them for our stakeholders.  When we began all of this on March 16th, our communication plan was and has continued to be streamlined to the best extent possible.  Items that applied to all schools and districts were to be sent by my office. Items that applied only to a specific school were to be communicated by that respective school.  


Based on the overwhelming feedback that has been shared with me directly, this communication structure has worked well for many.  However, I don’t want to pretend that I know what is working best for the majority of people. With that, I will commit to getting your feedback with regard to this matter and send out how we will get your feedback on this front as well.  Please be on the lookout for that in either Monday or Tuesday’s update.  


Lastly, I’ll be closing the input for this week’s challenge at 5pm tonight.  Thank you to all of those that have responded. For those that have not, the details are below for your consideration.  I’ll have a new challenge for next week as well.


I hope that you enjoy your weekend.  Please stay safe and practice all of the preventative measures that we continually are reminded about.  I’ll end by sharing, ironically, a Chinese proverb that makes sense with what we are all going through - “To get through the hardest journey we need to take only one step at a time, but we must keep stepping.”


Happy Friday and Be Well,

Robb


April Break:

A final determination regarding the status of April Break will be made and communicated in this update on Monday, April 13, 2020.  Thank you to all of the participants in the survey as that proved to be quite helpful with this consideration. With over 3,600 reponses, our communities rocked it!


Remote Learning: If you are experiencing any concerns with remote learning, please reach out and let us know.  You should start by letting your child(ren)’s teacher(s) know what your concerns are so that they are aware of your concern.  Please also share your concerns with your building Principals so that they can help with finding solutions.


Student Challenge:  Please send me a list of the top 5 appropriate activities you like to do when you are unplugged.  Meaning, what do you like spending your time doing when you are not connected to a device, any device, including televisions.  Try to be as specific as you can be so that your creative ideas may be of help to others when they are not on their devices. The deadline for submission will be 5:00 PM today, Friday, April 10, 2020.  I’ll compile a list of activities and share that next week.  Submissions should be sent to me directly at rmalay@sau29.org.  


Mental HealthOur school counselors and/or school nurses stand ready to assist in any way that they can.  Please reach out to our incredible team of counselors if you need assistance. Here’s a resource to help you identify the The 5 Signs that somebody may not be doing well.  


Reporting AbuseReports of child abuse inclusive of neglect have declined drastically since the onset of remote learning.  If you see something, please say something. You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  


Special Education:  

Please reach out to your child’s special educator/case manager if you have questions or concerns with the following: remote learning, transition meetings, any upcoming Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, and/or data collection  for the extended school year (ESY) planning and potential compensatory education planning. You may also call the Student Services Office at SAU 29. The number to the central office is 357-9001, extension 230. Lastly, The Student Services Office at SAU 29 remains open to the public from 8am  to 3 pm. For planning purposes, we encourage the public to call or email (357-9001 extension 230, rmatte@sau.29org) before coming to visit the office. Thank you!!


Meals: 

Starting Monday April 13, 2020, Franklin and Keene High Schools will be offering pick up on Mondays and Wednesdays only.


Mondays you will receive 2 days’ worth of meals. Wednesdays you will receive 3 days’ worth of meals. Pick up hours will remain the same 7:30-11:30am. No pre ordering is required for pick up at Franklin and Keene High School.


The DOE recommends limiting the number of days for pick up, in addition, we have had very little participation on the other days of the week. In order to keep families and our staff safe with as little interaction as possible we will move to two days a week for meal pick up.


The order form for meal pick up in the towns is now open for meal pick up Monday April 13th and Wednesday April 15th. Orders MUST be submitted no later than Thursday at 5pm.   Please use this meal order form link to place your order.


Has your financial situation changed? If your financial situation has recently changed, you can download a Free and Reduced Price Meals Application at www.keenefoodservices.com  You can also pick up an application at any of the curbside pickup sites. Please return it to any pickup site or mail the application to:  Keene Food Services 77 Arch Street Keene, NH 03431


Menus and offerings will vary based on availability.


Technology: Help desk number (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here


We have added an extension called Kami to the Google platform. For help in using this extension look here. When you login to Kami use the Gmail button that comes up on the screen. It will ask you a few questions. You do not have to answer all questions, click finished at any time and you will be all set. 

Technology and COVID 19 and Remote Learning 

We would like everyone to know that the SAU29 Technology Department is here to help. Below are some of the ways we can help you or you can help yourself. We hope this alleviates some of the pressures you’ve been under and we wish you all the very best during this difficult time.

Digital Resources

We understand that many of you have been contacted by outside vendors for free or discounted services regarding online access to websites, free applications, training and learning tools. While many of the vendors are truly trying to help there are many others with more hidden agendas.

SAU29 and its schools are dedicated to protecting student and staff privacy through the creation of policies and administrative procedures and by abiding by State and Federal Privacy Laws.

All employees of SAU29 and its School districts must abide by the policies and administrative procedures of SAU29 along with State and Federal privacy laws.

SAU29 and its schools have many online services, databases, software and apps already in place for remote learning. We ask that you use the systems we already have in place and refrain from requesting new digital resources during this time of extended closure.

If you’re not sure if a digital resource is available you can check the status of approved/non-approved online services, databases, software and apps by going to the SAU29 District Listing on SDPC’s website. If an App shows as approved and the appropriate equipment is available, it can be used and supported in an SAU29 School.

Parents and Students

If you are having issues with technology and remote learning at any one of the SAU29 schools (Chesterfield, Daniels, Franklin, Fuller, Harrisville (Wells Memorial), KHS, KMS, Marlborough, Marlow (John D. Perkins Academy), Nelson, Symonds, Westmoreland or Wheelock) please feel free to contact us at 603-352-0640 x3871 or at helpdesk@sau29.org. We are available from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Staff and Teachers

If you are having technical issues we ask that you submit a work order or contact us at 603-352-0640 x3871. We are available from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Please do not email any of the technicians. They are working on setting up systems to get online learning ready and cannot answer direct email.



Vetted APPs and Websites:  You can check the online vetted site here SDPC  Look up the App and website by company. We have added more to the list as we get them back from the Vetting team. 


School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only.  All buildings are closed on the weekend.


School GroundsAll school playgrounds, fields, and other outdoor facilities are closed until further notice.  


Social Distancing:  Please refer to Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order 17 for additional guidance.


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 rmatte@sau29.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.


COVID-19 and Remote Learning Resources: