Friday, 5/1/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,


If I’m being honest, something really felt good about changing the date at the top of the update today.  As I said in an earlier update this week, we continue to make progress and move forward with the circumstances that we are faced with and being able to see that as we turn our calendars certainly helped to reaffirm that for me.  


I wanted to get this update out there earlier today as Governor Sununu will be holding a briefing to announce the future of the Stay at Home Order as well as the reopening of some businesses today at 3pm.  Much of what is expected has been reported through various media outlets and I would suggest that when the Governor holds his briefing, it will then become official.  The briefing is being streamed through a variety of sources and can be viewed in real time for those that wish to listen.


When that guidance from the Governor’s Office becomes official, I want to gently remind everyone that it won’t mean that we are in the clear.  There were over 90 new cases reported in NH by DHHS on April 30th which was up significantly from the 44 new cases the day before.  I share this information not because I want to alarm anyone, but because I want everyone to be mindful that we’re not through this…….yet.  I encourage all of us to continue the safe practices that we have been diligent about so that we will all continue to be safe.


Today we end the latest student challenge that was issued.  I’ve received over 1,000 songs, with some repetition.  I’ll need to organize the complete list the best that I can and will need to omit some of the submissions as the lyrics/language may not be appropriate for all listeners.  I’ll share those results when I’m done with that.  You’ll see below, in the update, that I’m issuing the next challenge early as it will coincide with “National Teacher Appreciation Week.”  The new challenge is being issued not only to students, but to parents as well.  It is my hope that as many students and parents are able to participate as possible.


As it is Friday and we are heading into what looks like a very favorable weekend with temperatures nearing 70, some friendly reminders to keep in mind:

  • Continue to reach out to your child(ren)’s teacher(s), counselor and principal with any concerns you may have regarding remote learning.  They, like you and I, only want the best for all of our students.
  • Remember your check-ins to make sure that you and those you hold dear are still doing well.  It’s probably been the longest roller coaster ride that anyone has been on and we still don’t know when it’ll stop.
  • This week’s challenge ends at 5pm today.  
  • Because it is the weekend and the weather looks advantageous, try to enjoy the outdoors as much as you can.  

Before I let you go, I want to mention the incredible job that some of our unsung heroes have continued to do.  Our food service providers have been out there preparing and distributing meals for our students from the beginning.  They took one day to plan and organize and have been getting it done since then.  They started with two distribution locations and have expanded to meet the needs of families from all of our towns.  On a given day, they are distributing up to close to 1,000 meals.  I guess that’s why it was no surprise to see that they were included in this nationally released video tribute!  Thank you for all that you do and job well done!


Happy Friday and Please 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, today, Friday, May 1, 2020.  


National Teacher Appreciation Week ChallengeThis is an open challenge to students and parents and quite honestly, the entire community.  As May 4-8 is National Teacher Appreciation Week, I would like to challenge everyone to reach out to the teachers that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to continue to provide the best possible education for all of our students to let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.  Although it is National Teacher Appreciation, I would also challenge you to reach out to others in our school systems that have also been working hard to make things work the best that we all can.  This is not to diminish the roles that our outstanding teachers have been able to navigate given the uncertainties we are faced with, but a recognition of the efforts that everyone has put in during this truly unusual time.


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 now closed for Monday May 4th and Wednesday May 6th. If you signed up for the town district meals, you will pick up  at noon on Monday and Wednesday at the school you selected. The order form for meals on Monday May 11th and Wednesday May 13th will open on Monday May 4th. 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 Wednesdays 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: