Tuesday, 5/12/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,


I want to start by recognizing some of our unsung heroes throughout the remote learning structure that we have been in since the middle of March. Our buildings and grounds crews have been absolutely crushing it since the onset! They have been actively and consistently working hard to disinfect the areas of our buildings that are being utilized by staff to continue the operations of schools everyday! They have been mindful of areas that may be frequented or utilized throughout the day and have provided cleaning supplies to help keep our staff safe. As the weather has improved and our landscapes have come to life, they are out there regularly maintaining the manicured lawns and fields as well as all of the plants, bushes and shrubs that make our campuses look so beautiful. A big THANK YOU for maintaining the standard levels of excellence that may have been taken for granted, but certainly not forgotten. Your attention to detail and making our buildings safe (even through the absence of students and normal staff presence) is greatly appreciated!


Those standard levels of excellence that we have all come to expect is something that as communities we can all be proud. While it would have been easier to pull the plug on the school year, our staff has repeatedly and resolutely moved forward. Staff could have taken an approach that would have completely negated any efforts to make this new reality fail from the onset, BUT they didn’t. Instead they designed and built a structure to best provide for our students given the circumstances and have continued to readjust as they have moved forward. As a parent, I was thrilled to see the efforts being brought forth for my children and how thoughtful their teachers have been throughout. I am grateful for the experiences they are providing my children and that we know what to expect for the remainder of the school year.  While other districts may have opted to end their year earlier (***Note: others around the state have not***), our staff is committed to finishing what we started. I said it early on in an update but it bears repeating, there is not a Superintendent in the world that is more proud than I am of their outstanding staff.


The same holds true for our communities. The volumes of support that have been shared throughout this period has been very humbling. We fully recognize that everything is not working as well for all of our students. We recognize that when we are in our buildings under normal circumstances we work very hard to try to make it work for every student. Your feedback and your interactions with your child(ren)’s teachers, counselors and administrators only help to better provide and support our students. Please continue to keep those lines of communication open as we head into the tail end of the school year.  


I have been hearing about people wondering what school will look like when we eventually reopen.  As I have promised, when I receive information, I will pass it along through this update.  I received the attached fifty-two (52) page document earlier today that establishes a School Transition Reopening and Redesign Taskforce (“STRRT) that will be charged in large part with establishing guidance for schools and districts throughout the State of New Hampshire.  You will notice in the document that the timeline for preliminary recommendations is June 30th.  I will be meeting with building principals to begin our initial discussions later this week.  Please expect that we will, at some point, be reaching out to the broader community as we get a little further down those discussions.


I’m still awaiting the final guidance on summer activities that is expected “mid-May.” This will guide plans for summer programming in our schools as we near the end of this school year.  As always, I’ll share that information as we receive that as well.


Today you’ll hear from the President of the Keene Paraprofessionals Association as we continue with the films for Mental Health Awareness Month. If you have not watched the film “Like” yet, it’s not too late. There are still viewings available for families and staff to take advantage of. The information and login information is shared below in the update. I would encourage you to take this opportunity before the viewings run out. 


The temperatures are looking much more favorable as we continue through the week. I hope that means everyone will be able to enjoy some more outdoor time as we go along. I further hope that if you are able to enjoy the outdoors a little that you are able to take a big breath and know that 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.


Mental Health and Mental Health Awareness MonthMonday we began our feature films for Mental Health Awareness Month.  Below you will find the link and login information in order to access the LIKE online program.


Link to View "Like"


Login: [email protected]

Password: sau29


The remaining schedule for the films will be as follows:


May 11-15:  Like a film about the impacts of social media.

May 18-22:  Angst a film about anxiety in our youth.

May 25-29:  The Upstanders a film about Cyber-bullying.


A friendly reminder that we have limited viewings for each film, so it is really important that households only access one of the viewings. This will allow more of our families and our staff to be able to watch the films as well.


As 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].  


  • The 5 Signs to help you identify and support others who may be struggling more than usual at this challenging time, or at any time.
  • A Mom's Retreat - A podcast on managing anxiety.

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:  This may take a little longer than it looks at first, but here’s this week’s challenge for those that wish to participate.


Please list your favorite(s) to the following, and why:

  1. Non-Fiction Book
  2. Fiction Book
  3. Play
  4. Poem
  5. Quote

You can answer all or part of the challenge as you may not have a favorite for each of the categories. Simply send your response to me directly by email at [email protected], or through a Google Doc.  This challenge will remain open until this Friday, May 15th at 5pm.  


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 meetings (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 towns is now open for next week, Monday, May 18th and Wednesday, May 20th. Orders must be submitted no later than this Thursday, May 14th at 5pm.  Ordered meals will be available at noon on Monday and Wednesday at the school you selected.. 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


We 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. 


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


Additional Resources:


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: