Tuesday, 6/16/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,

The celebrations and ceremonies that took place last night have all been reported as being as special and as meaningful for the students, families and staff as those that had already taken place earlier. They were student centered and included families and staff alike as well as the greater communities. They were demonstrations of just how important education is not only in the present for the students that are currently enrolled in our schools, but also in our society as we have repeatedly shown that we will bring it everyday until we cross the finish line, whenever that may be. Congratulations to the students of Chesterfield, Marlborough and Marlow for finishing up our celebratory season!

So today, we mark the last day of school for the final two schools. 

Last Day for Students

Tuesday, June 16

Marlborough School, Wells Memorial School of Harrisville

With that, I proudly announce that all schools in the districts of SAU 29 have officially completed 180 days for the 2019 - 2020 school year and dedicate THIS SONG to everyone that played a role in getting to this point in time! I have stated this before and I believe it bears repeating, that the importance of not shortchanging our students by lessening the number of days they attended school this past year was more critical than ever before. We know there are going to be gaps that will need to be addressed and we are committed to filling those gaps when we resume in the fall. Shortening the length of the school year would have been the easy thing for us to do, but we didn’t. We stood firm, planned for 180 days and delivered. We knew it wouldn’t be easy as places all around us were ending much earlier than we were, but we persevered because we knew that the “WE GOT THIS” mindset would see us through...and now we can say that WE DID IT!

Throughout these updates I have given many special shout outs to different groups of people.  I’ve recognized our students, our parents, different groups of staff, our school boards and even different community organizations and agencies. Today, I want to give one final shout out to a group of people that really worked hard until no hurdle was insurmountable, our administrators. The administrators in all of our districts have come together in ways unseen before to prepare the difficult navigation that was heading in all of our directions. They brought their expertise to the table, contributed in meaningful and appropriate ways, and made their students, their families and their staff their number one priority! They met multiple times per week (and in some cases, daily) to ensure they were not overlooking anything that needed to be addressed, or to bounce ideas/thoughts off one another to determine if it made sense.  (Important Note:  If anyone tells you they hope that they could have more meetings to attend in a day/week/month please do the responsible thing and make sure they’re okay.) Whether in a school, central office, or any of our buildings, the administrators were ARE continuously ready to answer the call to action! Yet another example that explains why there is no Superintendent in the world prouder than I am. Thank you to all of the hard working administrators for a job well done!

I ran into a little technical difficulty while building the survey regarding the opening of school year 2020 - 2021. It has been sorted out and barring any other unforeseen holdups, should be ready to launch tomorrow! We’ll keep it open for almost a week before we begin the next step in analyzing the results.

With the school year officially completed in all of our districts, I will begin to transition the updates to weekly after tomorrow. I want to be mindful that the folks that help pull this together also need time to recharge their engines during the summer months and a daily update will not be realistically sustainable.

As a reminder, all of our buildings will be closed this Thursday and Friday. I’m giving the members of the staff that reported to work on March 16 and 17 the two days on the tail end of the remote learning period to take a breath for a bit as we did on the front end for the staff that did not report to work on March 16 and 17.  

Finally, I want to reissue the thank you video from the final challenge of the school year.  We missed a few submissions the first time around and thus I share with you the Final Thank You Video.  I hope you enjoy it! 


Be Well,


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.


Week of June 15th

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

In Progress

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 rmatte@sau29.org.  


  • 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 rmatte@sau29.org. 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 GroundsOutdoor facilities will be opened on Monday, June 22nd. Playgrounds will remain closed as proper sanitization can not meet recommended guidelines. Organizations and teams wishing to use the facilities must arrange to do so through the facility use process.  Contact your respective school district for further information. Users of the facilities shall continue to practice social distancing while on school grounds.

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 rmatte@sau29.org

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: