Title by DPS Curriculum Center
Dear DPS Community,
We are writing to you today to share three updates this afternoon:
The daily average of positive cases reported to the Danvers’ Board of Health has recently moved us from a low risk (green) community to a moderate one (yellow). Given this change, we are moving the level-based Feedback Forums to virtual meetings. You will receive a link to your Forum on the day of the event.
Please see the District Wide Nurse’s Update with a revised DPS Family COVID Information Sheet including information on return to school requirements, close contact information and travel information.
Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers
It is hard to believe that we just finished the second cycle of hybrid and remote learning. It has been wonderful to see students learning back in our schools and online! Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we opened school with two very different learning models – hybrid and fully remote. This unprecedented time has turned our way of educating students upside down.
We would like to take this opportunity to clarify our hybrid model along with the fully remote option. In the hybrid model, classroom teachers are working with groups of students throughout the four days of in-person learning – 2 days for Cohort A (Mon/Tues) and 2 days for Cohort B (Thurs/Fri). Therefore, in order to support hybrid students on their remote learning days, we are relying on another group of teachers working in the fully remote learning model. In grades K-8, this means hybrid students receive synchronous time during their remote learning days from remote teachers. This synchronous time is meant to provide some instruction and support for the remote learning assignments. The fully remote teachers are balancing instruction of both the fully remote students and the hybrid students on their remote days.
That being said, we also want to take time to thank you for being our partners in educating your children during remote learning! We are aware of the different needs of our families and are working to support you as your child(ren) engage in remote learning. From our emails with families, we have found that the following strategies have been helpful for some families:
- Check your child’s Google Classrooms for links to synchronous learning sessions and for the remote learning assignments. At HRMS, you can also check the Team’s website.
- Help your child advocate for themselves during synchronous sessions with the remote teacher. This is their time to ask questions and get clarifications about the assignments they are working on at home.
- Help your child create a daily/weekly schedule of synchronous meetings along with asynchronous work time. This should mirror the school schedule but, if you are unable to work during the scheduled time, plan for when your child will complete the assigned asynchronous work.
- Email or have your child meet with their hybrid teacher after school to get the help or clarification for any remote work.
- Use the DPS Student Online Help Desk to report any technical issues you are experiencing during remote learning.
- If you are unable to join a Google Meet or Zoom class session, please email your teacher so they are aware of your technical difficulty.
Finally, the Danvers Recreation Department has an update on their Remote Learning Program to support children during the remote learning portion of the hybrid model which is now adjusted to $50 per day: “New lower price effective October 1st! You asked, we listened. In an effort to better support our community we have adjusted our fees and expanded our program to include K-8 going forward. Financial aid is available for those in need.”
Remember, we are opening school at an unsettled time in a very different way. We need to give ourselves permission to take the time to adjust to our new way of learning and being at school. In order to provide some support in helping your family as we settle into hybrid / remote learning, we would like to share this resource for helping your child learn at home.
Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers
September 15, 2020
Hello Danvers Community,
Tomorrow, September 16th, marks the start of the 2020-2021 school year! We are really looking forward to seeing all of our students online for the first day of school. Thursday will be the first in person day for Cohort B and Monday will be the first in person day for Cohort A. Please note that your teacher will provide full details of your child’s schedule tomorrow.
If you encounter any technology issues, please fill out the Google Form below so a technology specialist from Danvers Public Schools can assist you. Our technology team will be responding to tickets as soon as possible. Please know that we understand the need for flexibility with all our students during this transition to the remote and hybrid settings.
We wanted to remind you that you can find helpful resources on our website. Our website has been updated with details on the 2020-2021 Reopening including information on the Safety Protocols for Elementary, Middle School, and High School students as well as protocols across K-12.
Our nurses have provided information for families on what they need to know for a safe return to school, along with a video highlighting health and safety information. As noted in the DPS Family COVID info sheet, please remember to screen your child for symptoms of COVID-19 each morning before attending school. Everyone must do their part to protect others and stay home when feeling unwell.
We greatly appreciate our collaborative partnership with our families.
Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna, Mary Wermers
Hello Danvers Community,
The Danvers Public Schools plan is to open for the 2020-2021 school year in a hybrid model. Our reopening plan was shared at the August 6th School Committee meeting and can be found here. We appreciate the feedback from our families and staff. This week, we have been able to put together a full remote learning alternative taught by Danvers teachers with Danvers curriculum. (This is a revision from the original reopening plan.)
In order to help us plan for this hybrid model, we ask that you fill out a survey for each child attending the Danvers Public Schools.
This survey requires you to commit to the learning model for your child to participate in for the coming school year (Danvers Hybrid Learning Model or the Danvers Full Remote Learning Alternative). This information will assist us in scheduling cohorts, transportation, after school care, etc. For families who do not complete this survey by Wednesday, August 19th, your child will be automatically assigned to the Danvers Return To School model – the hybrid model.
We have received many emails from parents and staff with questions that have helped us update our new Reopening FAQ’s. Please review this document before filling out the survey so you are able to make the best decision for your child’s placement.
In regards to transportation, please note, families will receive transportation registration information in an email next week.
Lisa Dana, Mary Wermers, Keith Taverna
Dear DPS Families,
As we head into our last two and half weeks of remote learning, we want to take a moment to once again thank you for being our partners in educating your child(ren). We consider our collaborative work in remotely educating the students of Danvers as a marathon. If we were actually running the Boston marathon, we’d be coming off of Heartbreak Hill, running past the BC campus, and beginning our downward descent through Brookline. As we enter the month of June, we are in our downward descent to the end of the school year; we’ve made it over Heartbreak Hill, we are tired, but the end is near! In order to support you through the final weeks, we’ve provided resources that we hope you will find useful in supporting your child(ren) to sustain their engagement in remote learning. Our newest resources are:
As we close out the year, you’ll find that we have two strong weeks of remote learning remaining, with the third short week spent celebrating and closing out the school year. Your principals and teachers will be sending out school-specific information.
Finally, we want to thank those of you who have completed our Family Remote Learning Survey. This information has helped us understand your views on the current remote learning plan and will inform the development of future remote learning plans. If you have not had the chance to respond, please feel free to take the survey: link to the survey
Dear Danvers Families,
We hope that this letter finds you and your family safe and well. It is hard to believe that we have been away from school for 9 weeks and are starting our 3rd week in Phase III of our remote learning. As part of this communication, we are sharing a letter from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education which highlights the different phases of remote learning we have experienced and provides a brief picture of Phase IV – preparing for the next school year. In addition, the letter also includes a 2-page handout on School Connectedness which highlights the Commissioner’s guidance for Phase III of remote learning.
We also want to take the time to thank you for being our partners in educating your children. This unprecedented time has turned our way of educating students upside down. Not only are many of you working remotely or as an essential worker, but you are also working to support your children as they participate in remote learning experiences. We are aware of the different needs of our families and have planned our remote learning approach with equity in mind. That being said, we wanted to provide other resources, as you may need something different to keep your child(ren) engaged for the last four and half weeks of the school year. First and foremost, please know that our number one goal for remote learning is to keep your children engaged in their learning and connected to their school community.
Finally, since we have completed two weeks in Phase III of our remote learning plan, we would like to get your feedback on this plan. We would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete this survey. Once we’ve completed the school year, we will focus our energies on Phase IV – planning for the opening of school in the fall. While our hope is that we are all together in school in person, the reality is that we may have a need for remote learning for some periods of time during the next school year. Your feedback will be important as we plan for the next phase of reopening our schools.
Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna, and Mary Wermers
The beginning of May brought beautiful weather along with the reality that we are not going back to school today and will end the school year away from one another. Given this new reality, on April 24th, the Commissioner of Education released new guidance for the state’s approach to remote learning. The good news is that we are on the right path with our remote learning plans. The Commissioner’s guidance highlighted two areas we’ve begun to strengthen – new academic content and student connectedness.
During the week of April 6th, many of our teachers started to shift to teaching new content after spending the first weeks of remote learning reinforcing previously taught content. With the Commissioner’s guidance document released on April 24th, we are now able to focus our work on prerequisite standards – content that all students should learn this school year. This past week, teachers at all levels reflected on what they taught in the first two-thirds of the school year and determined which standards they must cover for the remaining weeks. They embarked on collaborative lesson planning and will begin to transition to covering these new standards as soon as they close out the content they are currently covering.
In addition to focusing on new content, our teachers also strengthened their commitment to connect with students. The Commissioner stated in his guidance: “A quality remote learning program will ensure that opportunities for connection are woven throughout core instruction and enrichment opportunities. Separate group or individual check-ins focused on students’ social-emotional health and well-being are also highly encouraged for all students.“
In Danvers, we were on that path by setting up varied opportunities for teachers to connect with students. To that end, in our family communication on April 24th, we sent guidance on the use of Google Meet by stating our expectations for students while participating in these sessions (see below). Our approach to student connectedness looks different at each level. At the Elementary level, teachers are providing two forms of live virtual meeting opportunities. Currently, classroom teachers are hosting a class meeting once or twice a week as an opportunity for students to connect with their teacher and their classmates. In addition to this, beginning the week of May 11th, each grade level team will offer office hours twice a week. These are optional opportunities for families to join a Google Meet and ask questions about content or particular assignments and get feedback from their teacher. At the secondary level, teachers will continue to hold daily 30-minute office hours to provide feedback to students on new academic content as well as host opportunities for students to connect in other ways (Team meetings, co-curricular activity check-ins, etc).
This week, May 4-8th, is teacher appreciation week! We’d like to express our gratitude for the Danvers teachers especially as they have quickly transitioned to remote learning while balancing the care of their own families. During this pandemic it has become clear that teachers play a very important role in the lives of our students and families. Please join us this week in showing appreciation for teachers, teacher aides, and Title I tutors along with our nurses for Nurses’ Day (May 6th). Also, know that we appreciate our families who have become our partners in teaching through our time in quarantine. We know you may find it challenging to work with your child(ren) on school work but we hope that we’ve provided the structure and materials to assist with this important task. Please find some additional resources to support you at the end of this letter.
Finally, we are mindful that each and every family has unique circumstances that they are facing during these challenging times so we want to remind you that we are here to support you – be it the need for support with a daily lunch, support with technology or Chromebook repairs (please contact school principal), or support with remote learning. Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
Resources for supporting your student with remote learning:
How to Support Your Children in Learning at Home (elementary)
Expectations for students during Google Meet sessions:
Here are some guidelines for student participation in a Google Meet (Hangout). All students must follow the Danvers Public Schools Acceptable Use Policy .
Expectations for students during Online Class Meetings:
- Appearing in a video meeting is a choice. You are also welcome to be a silent observer by simply muting your microphone or camera.
- Our teacher and classmates will see what is behind you. Make sure it is appropriate and not personal.
- Find a quiet space where you will not be distracted by family members. Let your family members know that you will be participating in an Online Class Meeting.
- Think of the space you are using as your classroom. This means dress as if you were in school and keep your conversation school appropriate.
- You should only be having a teacher led conversation while the teacher is present. When the Online Class Meeting is over the teacher will end the call for the entire class.
- You may not record the video call as video, audio, or still images (screen captures, etc.) because it is illegal to record or take pictures without the person’s consent.
- You may not invite others (share the link) to any Meet hosted by a Danvers Schools staff member.
An age-appropriate form of this statement will be read at the start of each Online Class Meeting: “Whenever we participate in remote learning through the use of video communication, it is important that we continue to respect the privacy/confidentiality and intellectual property rights of our school community for both students and teachers. By participating, you as students agree that you may not save, record, share, or post a session or any photos/screenshots from a session. I also agree that I will not save, record, share, or post a session or any photos/screenshots from a session. Please remember that all school rules and acceptable use policies apply during these remote learning sessions.”
64 Cabot Road
Danvers, MA 01923
Tel.: 978 – 777 – 4539
Fax: 978 – 777 – 8931