2020-2021 School Calendar

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Initial State Reopening Guidance

Dear DPS Community,

Today, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall.  We appreciate the level of thought that went into the development of this guidance, and especially its goal of the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.

Over the coming days, we will be reviewing the guidance to begin to understand how it impacts the Danvers Public Schools.  We have formed a Reopening of Schools Committee and Curriculum and Social-Emotional Learning Subcommittee to develop the necessary plans for a safe reopening of school in September.  The committees met last week and will meet next week to digest the details contained in the Commissioner’s guidance.  There will be additional guidance coming from DESE throughout the summer that will strengthen this initial guidance.  Our committees will continue to reflect on the new guidance and make refinements to our existing plans.   For your information, we have summarized  some key components of the initial guidance:

  • Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school – with preventive measures in place – as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults.

  • Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, cleaning frequently touched surfaces, and staying home from school when sick.

  • Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below.

  • Mask will be required for all district-sponsored transportation.

  • Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established.

DESE is requiring districts to develop three separate plans – one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning.  Although things are subject to change based on the most recent medical information, the expectation today is that students will return to full in-person instruction in September.

We realize that there are more questions than answers at this time, and we will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months.  We also encourage you to read the full guidance document, and if you have questions to please send them to our dedicated email address: info@danvers.org.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers

Griffin’s Gift Virtual Run

If you’re looking to support an important and local cause this Summer, we encourage you to participate in the Griffin’s Gift Virtual Race. You can do this anywhere, any method (walk, run, bike, scooter!) and anytime between July 2 – July 5! Register today for this free event, and donations can be made online. 

Join us for the FIRST EVER Griffin’s Gift Virtual Road Race happening between July 2 – July 5. This will mark the celebration of the late Griffin Lamar’s, 6th Birthday. For detailed information and to register, please click the link below!

REGISTER HERE!

 

Can’t make the event? But would like to make a contribution? Make your donation here.

 

Follow Griff’s Gift on Facebook

 

Categories: 5K, 10K, 1 mile or Griffin’s TriFecta (All 3 distances)

Swag: This year we are giving people the option to choose whether they’d like to receive a race shirt! We will coordinate pickup, drop off, and or shipping for those a far. If you want to wear your shirt on race day you must pre-order by June 15th!! Shirts ordered after June 15th will be delivered to you post event.

Event Contact: High5EM | 978-594-7050 | info@high5em.com

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Kindergarten Chronicles

 

Oct 4

Oct 11

oct 18

Oct 25

Nov 1

Nov 8

Nov 15

Nov 22

Dec 6

Dec 13

Dec 20

Jan 3

Jan 10

Jan 17

Jan 24

Jan 31

Feb 7

Feb 14

Feb 28

Mar 6

Mar 13

Apr 5

April 12

April 19

April 26

May 2

May 8

May 15

May 22

May 29https://danverspublicschools.org/highlands/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2020/05/Plans-June-1-5.p

June 5

June 12

Danvers Public Schools 2019-2020 Final Accomplishments

Update 6/1: End of 19-20 School Year, Survey, Parent Resources

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

Take care,

Lisa Dana

Keith Taverna

Mary Wermers

Update 5/18: Remote Learning, Survey, and Family Resources

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.

 

Take care,

 

Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna, and Mary Wermers

Update 5/4: Remote Learning Update, Resources, and Expectations

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.

 

Take care-

Lisa Dana

Keith Taverna

Mary Wermers

Resources for supporting your student with remote learning:

 

District Remote Learning Website

 

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19

 

How Parents Can Help Their Kids While Managing Distance Learning (secondary)

 

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.”

 

 

Update 4/24: Use of Google Meet

Good Afternoon DPS Families,

 

As we continue to evolve our remote learning, we wanted to share clear expectations for students while utilizing Google Meet (Hangout).

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.

  • Before you start, be aware of your background. Your 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.

    • 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.”

With this week’s announcement by Governor Baker extending the school closure until the end of the school year,  we are finalizing our Phase 3 (May 4- June 18th) remote learning plans and will provide an update later next week.  Additionally, we will keep you updated during the Month of May for June end of the year events.

We greatly appreciate your support and collaboration.

Take good care,

Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna, Mary Wermers

Update 4/24: MIAA Announces Spring 2020 Sports & Tournaments Cancelled

Spring Sports and Spring Tournaments cancelled for the remainder of 2019-2020 School Year
April 24, 2020

In accordance with Governor Charles Baker’s announcement Tuesday that Massachusetts schools will be closed to in person learning for the remainder of the school year, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) regretfully has cancelled all spring sports and spring tournaments.

Today’s decision by the MIAA Board of Directors was difficult, disappointing, and one that was deferred for several weeks as Association staff, Association members from the Tournament Management Committee (TMC) and the Board worked aggressively to construct optional structures to save the opportunity for our MIAA 80,000 student-athletes to enjoy a spring season.

Despite this disheartening but unavoidable action, it is paramount to applaud our constituents, principals, athletic directors, coaches and student-athletes for their positive power of example and cooperation during this unprecedented crisis.  The “life lessons” inherent in the games we play will be our resiliency to provide mental and physical strength to focus on the discipline and teamwork to make a difference in the challenging chapters in the Game of Life.  #OneTeamOneMIAA

Update 4/21: School Closure through June 18, 2020

Good Afternoon DPS Families,

 

We hope you and your families are doing well and staying healthy.

 

This afternoon the Governor announced that schools will remain closed through the end of the school year in June. We expect additional guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education by the end of the week around priority curriculum standards to focus on to prepare for the next school year in addition to logistics for closing out this school year.   We will be in touch next week to address how we will approach our remote learning and the close of school.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.

 

Take care,

Lisa Dana, Mary Wermers and Keith Taverna

Update 4/21: MA DESE Letter to Families

For additional resources for families with children with disabilities, please view the Family Resource Toolbox. This page contains information such as organizations, hotlines, resources to obtain internet access, supplementary learning resources, remote learning lesson help, assistive technology, caregiver tools, and more great resources.

Below you will find a letter to families from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Download (PDF, 150KB)

Update 4/14: April Vacation, MCAS, PBIS, etc.

SC Vote on April Vacation
Our School Committee voted in favor to use the 4 days from April vacation for remote learning and have the last day of school be the 181st day – June 18th. Thank you for all of your support.   1,325 families responded with 86% in favor and 353 staff responded with 92% in favor. Principals and teachers will be sending out more information about learning assignments for next week.
Spring 2020 MCAS Update
Message from Commissioner Riley – “With the federal testing waiver secured and the state legislature officially enacted, I can now confirm that this spring’s regular administration of MCAS in grades 3-10 is canceled.”
The use of PBIS is especially helpful when events disrupt normal routines – events like worldwide health pandemics. This practice brief provides recommendations for families and caregivers on how to use PBIS to continue to support their students’ social and emotional growth and minimize behavioral disruptions in the home.
Legal Notice on remote learning– in our FAQ. Our “Keeping Danvers Students Engaged” webpage has our archived updates and additional resources.

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 3/27: 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!

Download (PDF, 449KB)

2019/2020 School Supply List

Download (PDF, 55KB)

Highlands After School Enrichment Clubs

Click Here  – Highlands After School Enrichment Club Sign Up

Click Here – Round 2 Highlands After School Enrichment Club Sign Up

Pre-School Peer Screening

Download (PDF, 112KB)