july covid update

Posted on 07/17/2020
July 17, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We hope this letter finds you all well and enjoying this very interesting summer break. As we prepare for the coming school year, we have much to review, plan, and think about. We know that parents and students have decisions to make regarding the upcoming year, and we want to give you as much information as we can in a timely manner so that those decisions can be made in the best interests of your family. We will be outlining our reopening plans with our School Board at the August 5th meeting.

Educational Design 2020-2021: Based on the current federal, state and Governor’s reopening guidelines, the Sunapee School District will open so that all students K-12 will be able to be physically present in our buildings with outlined protocols. Working with all our staff and the local teachers union representatives, we have been able to develop a plan that is safe and which enables us to deliver our curriculum to students in our buildings. A letter will be sent out next week to all families which outlines the changes, protocols, and expectations for returning to school.

If parents are not comfortable sending their children to our schools due to the pandemic, we will work with each family to have them enrolled in the State’s K-12 public education virtual school. The Virtual Learning Academy (VLACS) is free to all students in New Hampshire. To find out more information about VLACS, visit their web site at https://vlacs.org/

Over the year our hope is to have all students and staff in our buildings every weekday. The reality is that we may end up in a remote time again, staff may get sick, and students may get sick. This could create some very challenging situations during which we need to provide a continuous education. We will have to be creative as to how we address these challenges. We will be working with Edgenuity, a K-12 educational learning platform. This online platform
allows teachers in grades 6-12 to build a class/subject online that is aligned with our state and local standards. Edgenuity in grades K-5 uses students’ local testing data (NWEA) to create a personalized learning path in English language arts and math. While we know that face-to-face instruction works best for most students, having this system on hand will be very beneficial for providing a continuous curriculum to our students during any prolonged absence from school, and will allow a teacher on a prolonged absence to engage with students who are in school.

After completing the remote learning period last year, we were able to review the survey data from students, parents and teachers to look at what worked well and what components we needed to have in place to help us be prepared if remote learning is used again for this school year. We have identified several common needs: all students need to have access to the same model of device, teacher information needs to be posted and stored on one platform, a master schedule of classes needs to be developed, and specific learning expectations need to be
developed for remote learning.

Next year all students will be assigned a Chromebook that is available for their personal use while in and out of school. Also all teachers will be using Google Classroom as the primary location to post assignments, important information, and communication that will be useful for students and parents in any learning design situation.

Look for information early next week about the specific protocols for students/staff who will be in our buildings. We will also be setting up a parent Zoom meeting in August where the administration will outline the re-opening plan and take questions from parents.

Please click, or cut and paste into your browser, this link to complete this one-question survey on Transportation:

https://forms.gle/VQn6AkMFb4qTqYP87

Sincerely,
Russell E. Holden - Superintendent of Sunapee Schools