Monday, 4/20/2020 - SAU20 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

Hopefully, everyone was able to enjoy the weekend and the beautiful weather we had yesterday, even if it was only for just a little bit. It’s really nice to see the budding leaves on the trees and the grass turning greener and greener. 

I have been hearing some concern from people who would like immediate answers to the topic(s) they have brought up in various forums. Whether those concerns are grading, staffing, board meetings, student workloads, connectivity, graduation/end of year ceremonies or anything in between, it is important to know that we are working on providing those answers. It is also important to know that your perspective is appreciated just as much as the perspectives of those that may not feel the same as you do. What is not helpful or appreciated, are unfounded accusations, finger pointing, and labeling of anyone that is trying to do their absolute best in providing for our students, or trying to simply share a point of view.  There will be topics and points of views that you will agree with and those that you do not agree with. That’s okay because (as I was once told by a person I have the utmost respect for) perception is neither right nor wrong, it just is and it’s somebody’s reality. Please be respectful of others perceptions and of the work that many people are doing their best to perform.

It is understood by many, if not most, that going to remote learning has been a challenge to some extent or another for all of us.  Some have had more seamless transitions than others who have experienced great difficulties along the way. This applies to our students, our staff as well as our families.  Please know that those same challenges and difficulties are not unique to our schools/districts as many are facing challenges and difficulties of their own. The unfortunate reality is that there is not a “one size fits all” model for remote learning that will work for everyone.  Just like there is not a “one size fits all” model in normal schooling that will work for everyone. Our teachers, our administrators, and quite honestly, all of our staff, recognize that and work very hard to make any situation the best that it can be for our students.  

So in all fairness and because I shared what is not helpful, let me share what we have found to be helpful.  Whether something is going well or not so well, let your teacher(s) know. I know this is sounding like a broken record, but we really do have amazing teachers (and all staff for that matter), but I have not yet met one that can read minds.  If they don’t know whether something is or is not going well, how can they help or improve, or be expected to continue? It doesn’t need to be an overly lengthy explanation but a simple note on how it’s going, or just a simple thank you, or a please help message.  

With that, please continue to demonstrate the outstanding patience we have all seen and appreciate.  As I’ve stated before, everyone’s input is important and every staff member wants to provide appropriate feedback as timely as possible.  Sometimes, it just is not possible to respond as quickly as others may wish for any of us to respond. Sometimes it is because we don’t have the answers one may be seeking...yet.  Regardless, we do try our best and will continue to do just that!   

And so, I’ll leave you with this little thought: by the end of next week (May 1st) we will be over the halfway point of the remote learning period we were tasked to implement for the duration of this school year...WE GOT THIS!

Be Well,


Remote Learning: If you are experiencing any difficulties with your child’s remote learning or have questions regarding what is expected, please start by asking your child’s teacher.  Our teachers are doing a GREAT job of continuing the teaching and learning process through these adverse circumstances and can provide immediate answers or direct your questions accordingly.

School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.

Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  Harrisville School Board(video to come after April 27th meeting)

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - Marlborough School Board (video to come after April 21st meeting)

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video

Student Challenge:  Extended to the end of this week is the call to all students to send me their favorite thing to either make or to eat.  If you can, include a recipe to share and a photo of the dish you created. Submissions could be a breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, appetizer, soup, or whatever you’d like to submit.  It may take a little longer, but what I’d like to do when this challenge is over is create a cookbook of sorts for all to use as they see fit.   

Submissions should be sent to me directly at [email protected] by 5:00 PM Friday, April 24, 2020.  

Special EducationThe special education and related services staff continue to provide specialized instruction and related therapies from a distance.  In addition, the paraprofessionals, across all seven school districts, continue their important work of assisting and supporting online instruction.  In addition, the special education department is moving forward with the daily business of Individualized Education Plan Meetings (IEP), transition meetings and Extended School Year Services meeting (ESY) for those students that qualify.  As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email [email protected].  Our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.  Thank you!

Meals: The order form for meal pick up at a town school location is now open for orders to be picked up on Monday April 27th and Wednesday April 29th. Orders MUST be submitted no later than this Thursday April 23rd at 5:00 pm. Please use this meal order form link to place your order.

Meal pick up for Keene is behind Franklin and Keene High School On Mondays and Wednesday from 7:30-11:30 am.  No preordering is required.

Monday you will receive 2 days’ worth of meals. Wednesday you will receive 3 days’ worth of 

meals. 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 now have Kami as a part of the Google classroom for Teachers and students. Click here for the 1st time login instructions. Click here for the help with getting started with Kami.  

A tip from Nancy Rafferty at KMS. Control Alt Achieve is a great site and resource for help with Classroom and many other online lessons.  We are working on a way to use Youtube in our schools however it is not available at this time due to an age restriction.  

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. 

Mental HealthAs always, please reach out to your child’s team of school counselors or school nurses if you need support or assistance during this challenging time. If you are not sure who to contact, please call or email your child's building principal.  If you are unable to reach someone, please contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email [email protected].  Here is a resource guide The 5 Signs to help you identify and support  others may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time.  Thank you!

Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  

School Calendars: You can use this link to view your district’s calendar:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  The 2020-2021 school year calendars can also be found using this link.

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 [email protected]

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: