DPS Family Covid Information Sheet

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Update 8/14: Danvers Family Reopening Survey and FAQs

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. 

 

Thank you,

 

Lisa Dana, Mary Wermers, Keith Taverna

 

Questions? Ask us!

Quick Family Survey 8/10/20

“As a follow-up to Thursday’s School Committee meeting, the district is sending out a quick survey to help us with our Return to School planning.  As required by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the district will be offering multiple models of education this fall. As the School Committee voted last week, the district will be returning in a hybrid model with a fully remote learning alternative option available to families. 
 
After the DESE presentations of their full remote learning alternative models and Thursday’s School Committee meeting, the district is exploring the feasibility of a full remote learning alternative model offered by the Danvers Public Schools taught by Danvers teachers and using Danvers Public Schools curriculum.   We’ve put together a Quick Survey to start our feasibility study. Please check your email for the link. If you did not receive the email, please contact us at info@danvers.org
 
Later this week, we will be sending an additional survey to begin to collect specific family information around your intended model to return to school in the Fall. This information will allow us to schedule cohorts, transportation, after school care, etc.”

Danvers Public Schools July 31 Reopening Models

The following document outlines the three potential learning models that Danvers Public Schools is presenting to DESE on July 31.

To watch the Danvers Public Schools School Committee presentation, please click here.

 

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Update 7/13: Summer Learning Resources

Hello Danvers School Community, 

 

We are very pleased with the response to our DPS Family Return to School Survey over the past few days.  We’ve had close to 2,000 responses to the survey and look forward to many more through this week.  Please check your email for the link, and remember that the survey closes on Friday, July 17, 2020.

Danvers Public Schools is committed to providing our students with quality educational materials that will enrich their learning throughout the summer. The summer learning resources you will find on our website are a culmination of the collaboration between our teachers and administrators. Our learning resources are divided by levels –  elementary, middle and high school students.

Our focus for this summer is on summer reading. Reading just twenty minutes a day is our goal for all students. At the forefront of our learning resources at each level is information about our summer reading programs. We also include resources for the core academic areas, social justice and social emotional learning.  This year we added social justice resources as we believe it is  important for us to support our community as we face social justice issues together.   To that end, we have listed curated websites and book recommendations for our students, families, and educators.

In closing, please utilize our website for summer reading lists, optional summer learning resources, and social justice resources. We would also like to remind you at this time to complete the 2020 census if you have not already. If you have any questions about any of these resources, please feel free to reach out to dpscurriculum@danvers.org.

 

Thank you,

 

Lisa Dana

Keith Taverna

Mary Wermers

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 for public comment: info@danvers.org.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Lisa Dana, Keith Taverna and Mary Wermers

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

Thorpe Kindness Quilt 2020

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Thorpe Elementary’s Kindness Quilt!

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.”