DPS Family Return to School Survey

Dear Danvers School Families,

On June 25th the Commissioner of Education released Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance that asked districts to plan for three learning scenarios (in-person, hybrid, and remote) for the reopening of schools in September. The district has three committees working on these plans – DPS School Reopening Committee, Curriculum and Social Emotional Learning Subcommittee, and the Danvers School Administrative Council. These committees need your feedback to better prepare for each of these plans.

We’ve developed a survey for families to complete in order to gain your perspective on the reopening of schools. Knowing that every child learns differently, we are asking families to fill out one survey for each child in our schools. This will help provide a detailed picture of all our student needs.

Please check your parent email for the survey link

Remember this is an initial survey meant to help the district develop return to school plans. You are not committing to any plan at this time. We recognize that your family choices may change with continued information from the State. We intend to follow up with families later in the summer to finalize our return to school plan. The health and safety of students is our shared primary goal!

The survey will be open until July 17, 2020.

Thank you for your participation!

Lisa Dana
Keith Taverna
Mary Wermers

2020-2021 School Calendar

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Danvers Public Schools 2019-2020 Final Accomplishments

DPS COVID-19 Update 4/2: Special Education

Letter to Parents/Guardians of Students with Special Needs

Danvers Public Schools

 

April 2, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians;

 

During this exceptional time, Special Education providers in the Danvers Public Schools are actively engaged in supporting remote learning opportunities for students as we strive to flatten the curve of COVID-19.  Our top priorities are to keep students and their families connected to us, support students as they learn at home as well as provide and modify these remote learning opportunities to the best of our ability and try to maintain aspects of normalcy in a time of enormous stress.

As you know, COVID-19 is the obstacle to providing service and instruction that we normally would.  During this pandemic, the regular school day cannot be replicated. We cannot provide all expectations of an Individual Education Plan (IEP) nor can we evaluate students as we would if school were open.  Despite severe constraints on our interactions with students we are working hard to provide opportunities that honor the intent of each student’s IEP. This work is different from specially designed instruction but is aligned to the IEP.  We are regularly coordinating, collaborating and communicating with general educators, administrators, support staff and consultants.  

Our Special Education providers, inclusive of related services providers, are planning activities and lessons that focus on maintenance, engagement and Social Emotional Learning.  We will hold some annual reviews via video or teleconferencing with parent/guardian permission and if the health, safety of our students, parents/guardians, staff and community permits.

Our approach during this unavoidable shift to remote learning opportunities is consistent with the guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the U.S. Department of Education.  Of note, the Office of Special Education Services of the U.S. Department of Education maintains that the IDEA was not designed to deliver education during a pandemic and has advised that we focus on the safety, health and welfare of students and staff in our community first and foremost; provide FAPE by delivering services the best we can and to as many students as is reasonable under the constraints we face; and demonstrate a good faith effort to provide services.  

We care deeply about our students and community.  Danvers Public Schools Special Education staff as well as all related service providers meet regularly as groups and with general educators to coordinate our ongoing efforts to support our students.  We will continue to do so. Please, please take care of yourself and your loved ones. Follow the guidance by the CDC. Together we can do this.

Most sincerely,

 

Dr. Mary Tatem

Director of Student Services

DPS COVID-19 Update 4/1: Information from Town of Danvers and State of Massachusetts

We hope you are all staying well during this school closure period. We would like to remind you of a few resources:
Thank you,
Danvers Public Schools

DPS COVID-19 Update 3/30: MA DESE Info & Resources

Dear Danvers Families,

Please see the letter below from Commissioner, Jeffrey C. Riley and the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
The letter addresses the remote learning recommendations as well as updates on a range of other matters related to the school closures. Please visit the DESE site for more information and resources.

To read this letter in Spanish, click here. Additional language options will be available on MA DESE’s website.

 

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DPS COVID-19 Update 3/27: FAQs & Engaged Students Page

Dear Danvers Families,

As the second week of our school closure comes to an end, we wanted to provide some context for our next steps in growing our current district learning resources into a more robust remote learning experience for our students.  First and foremost, we want to thank you for your patience and support of our first phase of learning for your child(ren). We can all say that this has been an interesting and challenging time given the rapid changes we’re experiencing.   In the resources we have put out for families, we hope that you have taken advantage of the social and emotional resources as well as the academic ones.  The district spent the first two weeks focused on providing creative and engaging learning resources while encouraging our teachers to reach out and connect with their students.  We will continue to provide similar learning experiences as planned for the week of March 30th – April 3rd.

However, as you now know, the Governor has extended our time away from school until May 4th.  He suggested that this amount of time “…will allow school districts to provide the best possible opportunities for remote learning to all students.”   With that said, our district will transition to a new phase of remote learning – one with teachers providing more robust and structured learning experiences aligned with their grade-level and course standards starting on Monday, April 6th.

The district has developed a Frequently Asked Questions form to help you navigate information available to families including remote learning, students in need of lunch, internet service or other needs.  Additionally, you can access district learning resources on the Engaged Student web page.

Again, we thank you for your patience and support for our school district and teachers during this unusual time.  Please feel free to reach out to us or your school principal with anything you may need to assist with your child’s remote learning.

 

Please take care,

Lisa Dana

Keith Taverna

Mary Wermers

DPS COVID-19 Update 3/23: Accessible Learning Opportunities

Dear Danvers Families,

As we start our second week away from school, the Danvers Public Schools has developed accessible learning opportunities for the week of March 23-27, 2020.  Students are highly encouraged to complete these learning experiences. We are also encouraging students to read independently (or with a family member) for at least 30 minutes a day.

It is important to remember while we are away from school that we take time to care for ourselves and our children. We have posted a number of social emotional learning activities that we feel will help us with the anxious time that many of us are experiencing.  Please consider participating in these activities as part of the academic learning tasks that we have provided. To access these learning opportunities, please click here to visit our website at danverspublicschools.org

As we continue to work with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), please know that the district continues to work on developing strategies and resources to sustain learning and vital services throughout this closure period and beyond.

 

We thank you for your support during this rapidly changing time and hope that you are all staying healthy and safe.

 

With gratitude,

 

Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers

DPS COVID-19 Update 3/17: Family Resources

Please view our new Family Resources page for ideas on how to talk to your kids about coronavirus, how families in need can sign up to receive a free lunch delivery, and information for families experiencing homelessness.

DPS COVID-19 Update 3/12: Schools Closed March 13 – April 6

DANVERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED MARCH 13- April 6

Out of an abundance of caution, we will be closing schools along with all town buildings tomorrow Friday, March 13th through Monday, April 6. At this time there have been no presumptive cases of COVID-19 involving any students or staff of the Danvers Public Schools. The situation continues to evolve quickly and collectively we believe the time is now to take action.

This closing includes all athletics as well as extracurricular/after school activities and events. During this time away from school, the Department of Public Works will be taking proactive steps and completing a deep cleaning of all school buildings. We will continue to communicate additional information over the coming days.

To make this decision we have been in contact with the Town Manager’s Office, Danvers Department of Public Health, Danvers Police Department, Danvers Fire Department and Danvers Department of Public Works. We continue to monitor the most up to date information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Center for Disease Control and World Health
Organization around COVID-19.

Thank you for your continued cooperation. Click here to view a press release from the North Shore Superintendents regarding the school closings in our area.

We will continue to assess the situation. We will be in touch Monday, March 16 with more information and learning resources.

Sincerely,
Lisa Dana
3/13/2020

GRAB & GO LUNCHES AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS IN NEED

We would like to follow up on our school closing communication with some resources for you. First, please know that we will have “grab and go” lunches available for students in need at Danvers High School in the Atrium from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM Monday 3/16 through Monday 4/6.

ONLINE RESOURCES

Additionally, we also wanted to share some resources to help with talking to your children about the Coronavirus:

How to Talk to Children about the Coronavirus:
https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-to-talk-to-children-about-the-coronavirus-2020030719111

Talking to Teen/Tweens about Coronavirus:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/02/well/family/coronavirus-teenagers-anxiety.html

**Here is a pamphlet from the article:
https://www.hemot.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Pamphlet_HEMOT_english.pdf

A Comic created from NPR based on interviews with experts:

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus

The NASP released a resource for parents:
https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-climate-safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-(coronavirus)-a-parent-resource

US 2020 Census

The Peabody Institute Library of Danvers offers resources for the US 2020 Census

Visit CENSUS.GOV for additional information!

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