Saturday, September 12, 2020

Letter from the Superintendent

This letter was sent to families on Friday from Superintendent Sue Charochak and is replicated here for your reference.

September 11, 2020

Good Afternoon Beverly Parents and Families,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to navigate the uncertainties of this year’s school reopening. Our parents, staff and students stepped up in extraordinary ways this past spring to fill the gaps caused by our schools closures. Our commitment to partner with you this year is unlike any other. We have heard repeatedly that “we are all in this together” but nowhere is that truer than in educating our students. We have spent the summer preparing for all three scenarios this fall: remote, hybrid and in person. Our highest priority is to keep our students, teachers, and staff safe and although Massachusetts has some of the lowest transmission rates at this time, we have chosen a combination of remote and hybrid options that we feel is best for the Beverly Public School District.

These past two weeks, we have welcomed back staff and spent time preparing for the coming year. We continue to refine our plans and look forward to welcoming our students back in whichever model of learning they are participating. In Beverly, students in PreK - 4 will begin the year in a hybrid model (five days with an early dismissal) grades 5 & 6 will start with a hybrid model (two days in school, three days remote) on September 16th (Kindergarten will have a delayed start of September 24th). Students in grades 7 - 12 will begin the year in a remote model on September 16th, however, the school committee voted last evening to set September 29th as the date that our 7 - 12 students will begin transitioning to a hybrid model. Students and families in these grades will receive more information from their building principals as to the specifics of their individual schedules. For students in our Remote Learning Academy, remote instruction will begin on September 16th.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, working with our state’s top medical professionals, have put comprehensive safety guidelines in place to greatly reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Our school leaders and staff have worked diligently to create detailed school plans to ensure that we are fully prepared to execute all of the recommended safety measures, including, signs to direct staff and students, mandatory mask-wearing, physical distancing, hand washing and mask breaks, additional sanitizing of the school, notification of positive cases, and the ability to transition back to remote learning should it be necessary.

In the meantime, our teachers have received training on the safety protocols and guidance for in person learning. We are confident that they can provide engaging instruction when students are in the classroom, while implementing the safety measures we need to keep students, teachers and families safe. Teachers have received training on flipped classrooms, blended learning, and remote learning. We are confident that they are ready to teach our students through Google Classroom, Moodle, and Seesaw using a combination of best practices that will include live, whole class instruction, teacher-led small group work, and independent student work.

We are committed to frequent communications to our families to ensure that we are transparent in our decision making and are providing families with information as so as it becomes available. Not only will you receive updates from your school principal, you can expect to regularly hear from your child’s teacher(s) to ensure you have a clear understanding of your child’s learning expectations for the fall. It is important that we hear your perspective regarding your perspective regarding your child’s learning needs as well as his or her social emotional development in order to put a plan in place for your child’s continued growth.

Given the heightened importance of communications over the next several months, we would ask that you reach out to us with your questions and concerns. We look forward to meeting this challenging time together and welcome your input to best serve your child.

As always, thank you for the trust you have placed in us and in our partnership as we work together to educate your child.


Sue Charochak, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools