Wednesday, 4/29/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing progress unfold before my eyes.  Sometimes progress can be seen on a short timeline such as weekly or monthly, and sometimes it can be seen over longer timelines such as yearly or over multiple years.  Whether that comes in the form of student performance in the classroom, on the stages or on the playing fields it truly is amazing to watch it unfold over time.  

The same holds true for the work and the efforts of our staff.  Where we are today with remote learning is not identical to where we were when we started on March 23rd.  We have made adjustments where we have needed to make adjustments and continue to work on solutions for all of the issues and concerns that are brought up.  We have done that while we’ve been in “mid flight” acknowledging throughout that this falls short in comparison to the real deal of being in the physical classrooms and schools with in person staff and classmates.  As a result, we are still making the best darn lemonade out the lemons that we’ve been dealt that surpassed the expectations of many.

We are continuing to test run different platforms to allow the community to stream school board meetings live and in real time.  It is our intention to have that in place as early as next week as we head into a new month on Friday.  

It is also our intention to provide guidance on what “grading” will look like through the end of the school by the end of this week or at the very beginning of next week.  This information will be shared by building principals as it may look differently between districts and between the different levels of school (elementary, middle and high school).

I am still anticipating the guidance on graduations and end-of-year events that I have mentioned in previous updates.  I was informed earlier today that we can expect that guidance “soon” which really doesn’t provide any clarity.  Our NH Commissioner of Education has promised to pass along any information he receives on this front as soon as he receives it so that all public schools can be furthering their considerations on behalf of our students.  

I continue to work through the more than 400 comments people submitted during the last survey.  I want to get that off of the radar as soon as I possibly can, but I need a little more time to fully digest all of the input so that it can be appropriately addressed as we continue forward.  Thank you in advance for your understanding.

Just a quick note on the responses from this week’s student challenge.  As of writing this update we were up to nearly 1,000 song submissions from our students.  There are still a couple of days left so it’ll be interesting to see just how many we end up with.

Today’s update served as a gentle reminder of the wisdom Theodore Roosevelt once shared that is so relevant to the many things we are faced with today.  He said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  WE GOT THIS!

Be Well,


Remote Learning: If you are experiencing any difficulties or concerns with your child’s remote learning or have questions regarding what is expected, please start by asking your child’s teacher.  Our teachers are doing a GREAT job of continuing the teaching and learning process through these adverse circumstances and can provide immediate answers or direct your questions accordingly.

School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.

Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  HSB Meeting Video

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video

Student Challenge:  I have found that music is great therapy and songs help me process the full gamut of emotions.  I have also found that songs take on different meanings for me personally depending on what is happening in my life at any given point in time.

My challenge to you is to submit the top 3 songs that have given you inner strength at any point in your life and perhaps during this COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.  Please make sure the song has appropriate lyrics (language) so that we can share a playlist with everyone to help others draw strength when they need it most.

Responses can be submitted by going to this embedded Google Form Link Songlist before 5:00PM, Friday, May 1, 2020.  

Special EducationThe special education and related services staff continue to provide specialized instruction and related therapies from a distance.  Moreover, our paraprofessionals and tutors are providing important assistance and support with remote instruction. In addition, the special education department is moving forward with the daily business of Individualized Education Plan Meetings (IEP), transition meetings and Extended School Year Services meeting (ESY) for those students that qualify.  As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email [email protected].  Our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.  Thank you!

Meals: The order form for meal pick up in the town districts is open for Monday May 4th and Wednesday May 6th. Orders must be submitted no later than tomorrow, April 30th by 5pm.   Please use this meal order form link to place your order.


Meal pick up for Keene is behind Franklin School and Keene High School On Mondays and Wednesday from 7:30-11:30am.  Preordering is not required.


Mondays you will receive 2 days' worth of meals. Wednesdays you will receive 3  days' worth of meals. 


Menus and offerings will vary based on availability

Technology Help desk number (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here

Thank you Keene High parents we are almost there.

KEENE HIGH Parents: Please take the time to fill out this permission slip to allow us to add Youtube to the list of tools for the teachers. Thank You. Click here

**** New ****

Keene Middle school parents:

Please take the time to fill out this permission slip to allow us to add Youtube to the list of tools for the teachers. Thank You.  Click here for KMS 

We now have Kami as a part of the Google classroom for Teachers and students. Click here for the 1st time login instructions. Click here for the help with getting started with Kami.  

Vetted APPs and Websites:  You can check the online vetted site here: SDPC.  Look up the App and website by company. We have added more to the list as we get them back from the Vetting team. 

Mental HealthAs always, please reach out to your child’s team of school counselors or school nurses if you need support or assistance during this challenging time. If you are not sure who to contact, please call or email your child's building principal.  If you are unable to reach someone, please contact the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email [email protected].  Here is a resource guide The 5 Signs to help you identify and support  others may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time.  Thank you!

Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  

School Calendars: You can use this link to view your district’s calendar:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  The 2020-2021 school year calendars can also be found using this link.

School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only.  All buildings are closed on the weekend.

School GroundsAll school playgrounds, fields, and other outdoor facilities are closed until further notice.  

Social Distancing:  Please refer to Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order 17 for additional guidance.

Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Governor Sununu has also activated a 24 hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.

COVID-19 and Remote Learning Resources: