I want to start off by thanking the students that have already responded to this month’s student challenge (more information below in the update). Students of all ages/grade levels have sent in their submissions and the insights they have shared are truly amazing. It’s not too late for others to respond as the deadline for this challenge is Wednesday evening. We will be taking the responses and putting together slideshows to share with everyone as we bring an end to 2020 and prepare to welcome 2021.
Speaking of 2021, it is still our intention to return to onsite teaching and learning on January 4, 2021. While state officials continue to say that schools don’t need to shut down until they have an outbreak, please know that is exactly what we are trying to prevent. A critical data point that will help get us back into our buildings is the community transmission rate (see link in COVID-19 Data update below). We will diligently monitor the data on a daily basis and make that final decision for January 4th in time for the December 28th weekly update. Each weekly update will include the most current data that is available from the DHHS website for our state, county and communities.
I also want to thank those that have continued to fill out the screening assessment while we are remote. Our school nurses monitor this information on a daily basis, are ready to support families and are able to monitor the overall health of our school communities as a result of that effort. If you are not filling out the screening assessment, please notify your school in the event your child(ren) is/are not well and unable to participate for any reason. Our nurses have told me they appreciate having the screening information, so thank you as we continue to work toward a return to onsite teaching and learning.
Shifting gears a little, this weekend demonstrated that we will be getting further and further into the snowy part of the year. So that there is clarity on what happens when there is inclement weather, for both our families and our staff, a determination will be made by my office if it will be a normal remote learning day or if we will be implementing “Blizzard Bag” procedures as articulated by your school. That may sound trivial for many people as some school’s “Blizzard Bag” procedures look identical to a normal remote learning day, but please understand that there is an impact on some students and staff that are entering our buildings even while we are remote. A message will be posted on WMUR in the early morning hours, announcements will go out on local radio stations, and a mass email message will be sent declaring an inclement weather day as a “Blizzard Bag” day initiating those procedures. If you are uncertain what that means for your school specifically, please reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and/or Principal(s).
Lastly, I believe we all have endured a lot throughout this pandemic, and I literally do mean ALL. There have been many challenges unlike anything we have had to endure (for the most part). We have experienced the ups and downs, the stumbles and falls and despite that we get back up (or lend a hand for someone else to get back up), and move forward. And although we don’t know with certainty when the end to this pandemic will finally be here, we absolutely do know that we are closer to that end then we were in March when it all began. Keep persevering, keep showing that resilience, keep moving forward and find the lemonade in the things that are the most difficult.
The students that I referenced in the first paragraph reminded me of two important things. First, we will get through this together, and second...WE GOT THIS! Thank you students for that reminder.
Student Challenge: 2020 has taught us a number of things about ourselves and about life in general. We have all been tested in ways that we never have before. The challenge to each of our students is to:
- Share what you learned either about yourself or life in general during 2020.
- Share what you most look forward to in 2021.
Please, no personal attacks on any person or people, try to think of something positive you have learned. Submit your responses by 5pm on Wednesday, December 9th to email@example.com. Before you do, check with your parents/guardians so they know what you are submitting as well.
We will share responses anonymously for others to reflect on as we head into the holiday break and bring 2020 to an end.
COVID-19 Data: Providing all of the COVID-19 data that we have been tracking since the onset of the pandemic back in March, 2020.
- NH COVID-19 2020
- Cheshire County COVID-19 2020
- SAU29 Towns Cumulative COVID-19 Data 2020
- SAU29 Towns Current COVID-19 Positives 2020
- Community Transmission Slides - Relocated here for those that like to look at the data.
E-Flyer Distribution Program: As a reminder, there are many flyers that our schools are asked to send home throughout the school year. We also post these flyers on our website and it can be found by going to this E-Flyer Distribution Program embedded link.
Mental Health & Cultural Awareness: Below are some resources that may be helpful.
- https://www.novanthealth.org/healthy-headlines/6-ways-to-help-school-age-kids-navigate-fully-remote-learning to help readjust to remote learning.
- https://www.calhoun.org/blog/blog-stories/~board/calhoun-stories-blog/post/tips-for-helping-your-child-adjust-to-distance-learning to help adjust to remote learning.
- 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.
- 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.
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)
Meals: Free Meal Distribution: Every student in SAU 29 and all children 18 and under are eligible for free meals through June 2021. While SAU 29 districts are fully remote there are two pick up days each week representing 7 days worth of meals.
Pick-up will be on Tuesdays (3 days worth of meals) and Fridays (4 days worth of meals). Families have 10 locations to choose from with a variety of times covering most of the day.
The order form is now open to sign up for meal pick up Tuesday, December 15th and Friday, December 18th. Please see the link below.
Please submit your order for the following week's meals no later than 7:00 am, Friday, December 11th. You will receive an email confirmation after placing your order. Please only use your student's name when placing the order, do not use a parent name.
Please mark your calendars to remember to pick up your meals on Tuesday and Friday. Please contact Keene Food Services with any questions. 603-357-9011
Screening Assessment: It is our intent to return to onsite learning after the holiday break on January 4th provided transmission rates have subsided. As such, we are requesting that the screening assessment continue to be submitted during this period. It will allow our school nurses to continue to monitor and provide support with regard to the health of the school community.
Special Education: Special Education continues to work very closely with building leaders to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met. As always, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher or building principal with questions. You can also contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Thank you!
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@example.com.
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.
Technology: Please be aware of unsolicited email and advertisements. There are a lot of scams going on right now and it is important to be aware of email phishing efforts. Things to look out for are:
- Emails from unknown senders.
- Emails that look like it is someone you know but the address is not the correct address.
- Ad links in social media advertisements that ask to send cookies.
All of the listed above are common email scams. To better protect your school email it is also recommended not to use your school email for online shopping or social media.
Teachers, we have installed some software for remote teaching. Currently we have Kami which integrates with Google classroom. Screencastify will let you record your computer screen to share with the class. You can also have your image in the corner of the screen as you record the lesson. EquatIO Easily add equations, formulas, graphs to G Suite for Education. It has a scientific calculator, and periodic table charts.
Parents, please make sure you fill in the online registration for your students. It is important to have all the correct information in place.
Technology support during COVID19: Please see the update.
Power School update:
Power school online registration help can be found here.
Please remember to fill out the youtube permission form. For KHS and KMS
Help desk number: (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here.