Going to kick it off with an update of where each district stands at this point with an important note that all plans are subject to change as information continues to be updated from state and health officials.
- Chesterfield: Adopted a plan to begin fully remote and to move into the blended hybrid and modified the school calendar in that staff now begin on September 1st, students begin on September 10 and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd. Meeting Monday, 9/21 at 5pm unless otherwise needed.
- Harrisville: Adopted the blended hybrid plan as presented and will discuss a change to the school calendar to align with the majority of other districts. “Letters of Intent” sent to families on Friday 8/7. Meeting Monday evening 8/17 at 5pm.
- Keene: Adopted the blended hybrid plan and modified the school calendar in that staff now begin on August 31st, students begin on September 10 and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd. “Letters of Intent” went out to families August 10th. Next meeting is scheduled for September 8th at 6:30pm unless otherwise needed.
- Marlborough: Adopted a plan to begin fully onsite and modified the school calendar in that staff now begin on August 28th, students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd. “Letters of Intent” went out to families August 11th. Meeting Monday evening 9/28 at 6pm unless otherwise needed.
- Marlow: Adopted a plan to open the school year fully remote and will discuss a change to the school calendar to align with the majority of other districts. Meeting tonight, Monday, August 17th at 7:00pm.
- Nelson: Adopted the blended hybrid plan and modified the school calendar in that staff now begin on September 1st and students begin on September 10th and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 24th. “Letters of Intent” went out to families August 12th. Meeting Monday afternoon 9/14 at 4:00pm
- Westmoreland: Adopted the blended hybrid plan and modified the school calendar in that staff now begin on September 1st and students begin on September 10 and the last day of school for students is shifted to June 23rd. “Letter of Intent” sent to families on Friday, August 14th. Meeting Wednesday 8/26 at 6pm.
The districts that have adopted a plan that includes both an onsite (either hybrid or fully onsite) and offsite (remote) option for parents are actively sorting through the data that has come in through the “Letters of Intent.” Collectively, the desire for families is roughly 79% are choosing to be in some form of onsite teaching and learning and almost 21% are indicating a desire for a fully remote option.
This information is absolutely critical as we are working through the design and implementation to make these options a reality. We will be ready. Thank you to the many parents and guardians that have responded to the call for this information. Your assistance is greatly appreciated and helps us to prepare with the greatest amount of accuracy in order to provide for both onsite and remote options. I know you don’t need (or perhaps even want) to hear it again, but we really are preparing for providing a school program that has never been considered in our districts. Quite frankly, it hasn’t been considered around our state, region and throughout most of the country. I do believe that your responses are helping us accelerate those specific details everyone is thirsting for.
With that in mind, as information becomes available, I will commit to sending out additional updates throughout the week as needed. This is on top of the weekly update that will be sent on Mondays. Our Comprehensive Plan has continued to be updated since it’s first version as recently as today. For the most updated version of the Comprehensive Opening Plan please use the embedded link. We are also working on more user friendly public service announcements and guides to assist families with the opening of the school year. Some schools are developing an array of tools to help their families and we all want to make certain that it is as clear as possible when school opens shortly.
I wanted to have a more specific update on this, but we are anticipating the report from the air ventilation vendor this week. We will be working closely with the vendor to ensure that we fully understand what the report is telling us and be very transparent about those outcomes with all of our stakeholders.
I’m sure that we’re all feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything at the moment. Nobody within our districts will dispute that it is all a lot to take on. I can assure you that our staff at the building level, district level and across districts are all working feverishly to be prepared. Our Boards are fielding calls and emails, as are our administrators and office staff. Your feedback is truly appreciated, but I want to be clear that not all inputs/ideas are going to be implemented immediately. There may be some recommendations that will need additional focus and consideration while, at the same time, we’re paving the road forward. Our staff are constantly considering how any procedure/protocol or recommendation/suggestion plays out for ALL of our students and our staff. As I’ve stated before, we all want the best possible outcomes for our students and staff and we will continue to work to that end, because…
WE GOT THIS!
Active Brain Ideas: If you have other thoughts or ideas on how to keep the brain active in the summer, please post them on this linked Padlet I created so that we can all share and learn from one another. All you need to do is double click on the wallpaper and a sticky note will pop up. Then you can jot down your idea, click on the wallpaper again to post it and those that visit can learn from your wisdom. You can also add comments to posts and like ones that interest you most.
COVID-19 Data: Here is a 7 day look at the data related to COVID-19 that we’ve been tracking since March. Source: NHDHHS COVID-19 Page
For ease of understanding, I’m adding in the charts from the Comprehensive Opening Plan so that it is easier to understand how the numbers above may impact our schools.
The following describes how we will make determinations on what model we will be using at any point in time. The first chart demonstrates the risk levels based on positive cases per 100,000 people. The second chart is the tipping points that we will use to move from one model to another. The third chart is the real data for both Cheshire County and the State of New Hampshire.
- The Harvard Global Health Institute key metrics for COVID Suppression issued on July 1, 2020. The rate is calculated using a 7 day rolling average of new cases per 100,000.
- The following chart illustrates the decision tipping metrics that will be used:
**In our original plan, the tipping point for going from the blended hybrid to fully remote was a seven day rolling average of 25 new cases per 100,000. In response to concerns voiced during the SAU-wide Board meetings, we lowered that number to a seven day rolling average of 10 new cases per 100,000. This aligns with the previous risk level chart in that both the orange and red risk levels are combined to go fully remote.**
- The data reported by the NHDHHS COVID-19 Dashboard for our county and our state:
(as of August 16, 2020)
The data will be monitored on a daily basis and determinations will be made and communicated no later than the last Friday of every month (September 26, October 30, November 27, and so forth).
We will use the Rate per 100,000 data across Cheshire County as opposed to using the statewide or town specific data for decision points on any model that we are implementing. The rationale for using the county data is because it will give us enough time to shift prior to a local outbreak in any one of our communities. Unless there is an urgent need to immediately shift to a fully remote model, a period of two weeks will be used to give families and staff enough lead time to transition to any change in model.
Meals: Southwestern Community Services, Inc. began offering the Summer Food Service Program to our community’s youth June 29. All area students, including those from SAU 29 districts, are welcome to utilize the lunch program free of charge.
SCS is encouraging folks to take advantage of the curb-side pick-up at Keene Middle School. The program is available Monday through Friday from June 29 through August 21. The meals will be available from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM.
For more information please contact Rhonda Hull, SCS Community Food Coordinator at 603.719.4240 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health & Cultural Awareness: Below are some resources that may be helpful as we begin our summer vacation.
- https://www.unicef.org/parenting/talking-to-your-kids-about-racism to help talk with your children, our students about racism. This article covers ages ranging under 5 years old, between 6-11years old, and 12+.
- https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/5-ways-stand-against-racism-and-injustice/37355 This article addresses acceptable ways to condemn racism. This seems especially timely as peaceful protesters pop up all over the country, even here in Keene.
- https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/how-white-people-can-talk-their-kids-about-racism/37361 This is a great way to start a conversation about racial issues with your kids. Racism thrives in silence.
- The 5 Signs to help you identify and support others who may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time, or at any time.
100 Different Ways to spend time in the summer with your kids, and most are free of charge!
Power School update:
We have upgraded Power School and in doing so we need to make sure we have all the latest data for your contacts and emergency contacts. We will be sending out a link to a video that will show you how to update your emergency contacts. As we get closer to the opening of school we will ask that you make sure all your information is correct for you and your students. We are putting in place an online registration to keep your important information up to date. Once we have it up and running we will send out a notice to all important links.
Reporting Abuse: If you see something, please say something. You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.
- Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention - We’re here for you 24/7. You don’t have to be in crisis to call. Call our hotline at: 603-352-3782 or 1-888-511-MCVP
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
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 - HSB Meeting Video
Keene - KBE Meeting Video
Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video
Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video
Nelson - NSB Meeting Video
Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video
School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only. Visitors are advised to call the school office in advance of showing up to ensure that your needs are able to be met.
Central Office hours are 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All buildings are closed on the weekend.
School Calendars: The 2020-2021 school year calendars can be found using this link: SAU 29 School District Calendars.
School Grounds: Outdoor facilities were opened on Monday, June 22nd. Playgrounds will remain closed as proper sanitization can not meet recommended guidelines. Organizations and teams wishing to use the facilities must arrange to do so through the facility use process. Contact your respective school district for further information. Users of the facilities shall continue to practice social distancing while on school grounds.
School Year 2020-2021 Opening: In order to best prepare for the return to schools we need to consider all possibilities to most effectively provide for our students, staff and families. More specifically, we need to be prepared for models that could look like the following:
- Being fully onsite as we were prior to the pandemic.
- Some form of being onsite and being remote.
- Being fully remote as we have been since the start of the pandemic.
The primary objective is to have a flexible plan in place for the three models of returning to school for the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Our timeline to help us fulfill that objective looks like this:
Special Education: Happy Summer!!! We are moving forward with the daily business of Special Education. This includes referral meetings, individualized education plan meetings (IEP meetings) and extended school year programming for those students that have qualified. As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email email@example.com if you have any questions. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:30. Thank you!
Please contact your school for more information on times and where you should drop off the devices. Make sure you have the power cord with the device.
Help desk number, (603)352-0640 ext 3871, For help with the Home user and remote learning click here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.