Thursday, June 25, 2020

Thursday Update from the Superintendent

In case you missed this communication on Thursday from our Superintendent, it is replicated here.

Good Morning Beverly School Community:

I am writing today to share with you what I know will be the first of many updates regarding the development process of a plan to reopen schools in the fall. First, let me thank you for your participation in our Parent Survey on Reopening Schools. We will have follow-up survey opportunities for you to share your feedback as we continue to develop our plan. Today, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. We applaud the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance and share 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 what we can do in Beverly. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming throughout the summer. The full document can be found at HERE, but here are some key components of the department’s 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, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
  • 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.
  • Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established.
Districts will need 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. The district has created a task force to develop each of these plans and each building will have a building-based team to determine the individual adjustments necessary for their school building. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation today is that students will return to full in-person instruction in September; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops.

We acknowledge that there are likely to be 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 document HERE, and if you have questions to please send them. At this time, the best way for you to help us is to complete this parent survey (open through June 28) and those that will follow in the coming weeks and months.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Sue Charochak, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools