Thursday, 6/11/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

All reports indicate that all three end-of-year ceremonies that took place last night were very successful and wonderful celebrations of our students. As I referenced yesterday, it would be impossible for me to be in 3 places at one time in person but I did get the opportunity to visit one of the celebrations that took place. I can tell you that it was very real. By that I mean that it was not staged, there were no scripts, there were lots of smiles and happy faces, and there must have been a lot of dust in the air, because there was also some welling of the eyes. It was really nice to see our awesome staff connect with our awesome students and families one last time before the school year ends, because those connections and those bonds that are formed are also real and they impact many people on so many levels. I’m not sure any of us will fully understand the impact those connections and bonds have on another person, but we certainly know what they are from our own individual perspective. Great job to all three schools for taking the time to facilitate these events.  

There will be a slight change in tonight’s programming as a result of the uncooperative weather we have out there today. The Special Recognition Night at Keene High School will go on as planned and will be streamed live on our Facebook pages. You can also access the link to livestream the event through the Keene High School Website with a direct link to the page where it is housed. The three other events that were originally planned for this evening have been rescheduled as follows:  Franklin Elementary - rescheduled for Friday 6/12, Westmoreland School - rescheduled for Friday 6/12 and Marlborough School - rescheduled for Monday 6/15.

I have added a new section at the beginning of the update below so that everyone will know where we are in the process regarding the start of the 2020 - 2021 school year. While I know there are other districts that have made announcements on what they are intending to do for the fall, I have intentionally slowed that down for our districts in SAU 29. I have decided to take that approach primarily because I want to ensure we have input from OUR communities. That piece is very important to me so if it means that we need to take our time finalizing the conceptual frameworks that may come into play, then I can live with whatever criticism may come from that decision. Do know that is it still my intention to have those frameworks completed over a month before we are scheduled to open the new school year and it can also be assumed that a lot can change between now and then.

I recognize that I have been nagging you for a while now about checking in with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and counselor. I did that because here is what the last day for students looks like in all of our schools:  

Last Day for Students

Friday, June 12

Franklin Elementary, Fuller Elementary, Jonathan Daniels Pre-School, Keene High School, Keene Middle School, Wheelock Elementary

Monday, June 15

Chesterfield School, John D. Perkins Academy of Marlow, Nelson School, Symonds Elementary, Westmoreland School

Tuesday, June 16

Marlborough School, Wells Memorial School of Harrisville

For those that are finishing tomorrow, I want to wish you all a safe and happy summer! You have certainly earned a break from school, and we are looking forward to seeing you again soon! For those that are finishing next week, you’re one day closer now than when you woke up this morning. Finish can do this!

Today, I’d like to finish by acknowledging that every one of us stumbles along the way from time to time and sometimes those stumbles lead to falls. Those stumbles and falls are not what defines who we are as individuals, it’s what we do after them that does. Take into consideration this Japanese Proverb “Fall Down 7 Times, Stand Up 8 Times,” the next time you have a stumble or fall yourself. And if that doesn’t work, try to remember to Chumbawamba it and go Tubthumping (20 second clip embedded)!

Be Well Everyone, WE GOT THIS!


School Year 2020-2021 Opening: In order to best prepare for the return to schools we need to consider all possibilities to most effectively provide for our students, staff and families. More specifically, we need to be prepared for models that could look like the following:

  1. Being fully onsite as we were prior to the pandemic.
  2. Some form of being onsite and being remote.
  3. Being fully remote as we have been since the start of the pandemic.

The primary objective is to have a flexible plan in place for the three models of returning to school for the 2020 – 2021 school year.

Our timeline to help us fulfill that objective looks like this:




Week of June 1st

Populate focus groups and begin building a survey item bank.


Week of June 8th

Finalize survey item bank and build survey for stakeholder input.

In Progress

Week of June 15th

Launch survey for stakeholder input to provide local data to help inform decisions.


Week of June 22nd

Synthesize survey data and begin building for the 3 models.


Week of June 29th

Prepare draft plan for opening of school year 2020 - 2021.


Week of July 6th

Share draft plan for stakeholder feedback and input.


Week of July 13th

Revise and finalize the draft plan (as needed).


Week of July 20th

Publicize final plan for the opening of the 2020 - 2021 school year.


Mental Health AwarenesAs 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  


  • 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.

Responsible Social Media Use:  As mentioned in the June 3rd update, the responsible use of social media can be an asset or a liability for individuals. It is critical that we teach (and reinforce) as well as model responsible use of social media with our children/students.  Here are some resources that may be of assistance:

20 Tips from Smart Social

Safe and Responsible Social Networking 

Social Media Etiquette

Social Media/Media Literacy Responsible Use

Social Media Responsibility 

Social Media Responsibility and Etiquette

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

Special Education: After careful thought, discussion and analysis, it has been decided that extended school year (ESY) instruction and related service therapies will be an extension of remote learning. We appreciate everyone's flexibility and patience as we weighed all options before making this important decision. 

The 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 Our hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:00.  Thank you!

Last day for meal pick up:

Chesterfield, Marlow, Nelson, Westmoreland - June 15 (1 day)

Marlborough & Harrisville - June 15 (2 days)


KMS- Drop off of the Chromebooks will start on the 15th and 16th. Please contact the school for the assigned day. 

Please contact your school for more information on times and where you should drop off the devices. Make sure you have the power cord with the device.

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

Phishing attempts:  We have had another phishing attempt. We have blocked the person that is attempting to scam us. Please read this document for more information.

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.

June 18-19:  All buildings in SAU 29 are closed.

June 26:  Rescheduled floating holiday from April 24.

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

Social Distancing:  Please refer to Governor Sununu’s Emergency Orders for additional guidance on this as well as other areas of interest.

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

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: