I’m not sure about anyone else, but I certainly appreciated the rainfall we received yesterday. It appears that we may have more heading our way as Tropical Storm Isaias makes its way north. Please continue to monitor and above all, please continue to be safe.
Today we are releasing the much more detailed Draft Comprehensive Opening Plan for the new school year. Please be advised that some of our site specific plans are still being ironed out and will be available shortly. We will send out an updated link with the additional plans for everyone to view.
We listened to the input from various members of our communities and have put a great deal of thought and consideration into the plan. I can not stress enough that there will be absolutely no decision that will be acceptable for everyone. Each person has their own perception of what our schools should or should not do. There are large numbers of people that are on complete polar ends of the conversation regarding what schools should do in the fall. There are some that feel schools should be 100% remote and some that feel schools should be 100% in person and others that fall in between. It is important that we all recognize that each person’s perception is also their reality, and it’s okay. I ask that we all respect each individual’s perspective, even if it is different than your own perspective. Nobody should be shamed or belittled for any reason as the pandemic reality has played a toll on every person’s unique reality.
I won’t be overly descriptive here as there is much greater detail in the document for your review, but in general, it is our plan to implement a “blended hybrid” model (p. 3-5) in all SAU 29 schools at the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year (see updated COVID-19 data below and the decision making model in the plan (p. 5-7) . We will also be offering a fully remote option (p. 5) for those that prefer not to be onsite in the school setting as well. In addition, you will also find specific details on Stay-At-Home requirements, screening protocols, face covering details, distancing, hand hygiene as well as the many other areas that are addressed.
As part of this release, we are also activating a live sheet for public input and comment. This sheet will be open throughout the day and tomorrow when all seven of our SAU Boards are scheduled to meet. If you would like to leave a comment or have input, please try to identify specifically what section of the plan your comment is directed. We also have a column to identify what district you are responding for specifically. Please note that inappropriate comments and personal attacks are not acceptable and will be removed, as we all need to model the behaviors we would expect from our students.
Tomorrow, as mentioned, all seven of our SAU Boards will be meeting in the Keene Middle School Auditorium at 5:30PM. We will be streaming this meeting live so that the entire public can watch from the comfort of their home. Links will be provided on both the SAU 29 Facebook and the Keene School District Facebook pages, as well as on our website here (for those that don’t have Facebook). The aforementioned sheet will remain open so that individuals can comment in real time during the meeting. During the meeting, we will work through section by section of the comprehensive plan until we have worked through the entire document. By the end of the meeting we anticipate that we will be able to call the draft plan final, knowing full well that it will need to continually be monitored and updated as new guidance and information is made available.
Once we complete the meeting tomorrow evening, many people will have difficult decisions in front of them. I am certain that we will continue to put student and staff safety at the forefront of every decision that is made. There is no “one size fits all” model which is why we prepared two options for consideration. Our schools will be sending each family a form to help finalize who will be doing what that will lend itself to how the two groups will be established for the blended hybrid model. We will be ready and prepared to assist families that wish to choose the fully remote option as well. There may be other choices that families will be exploring and I ask that you please notify your school of record so that we can plan and be accountable for every student.
As always, I am thankful for the patience that everyone has demonstrated as we get to the end of this long and difficult process. I am thankful for all of the input that many people have shared and the assistance with putting this together. We needed to shift a little throughout the process and the product that is now before you is ready for your eager eyes. I do believe that no matter what families decide to do,
WE GOT THIS!
Active Brain Ideas: If you have other thoughts or ideas on how to keep the brain active in the summer, please post them on this linked Padlet I created so that we can all share and learn from one another. All you need to do is double click on the wallpaper and a sticky note will pop up. Then you can jot down your idea, click on the wallpaper again to post it and those that visit can learn from your wisdom. You can also add comments to posts and like ones that interest you most.
COVID-19 Data: Here is a 7 day look at the data related to COVID-19 that we’ve been tracking since March. Source: NHDHHS COVID-19 Page
Meals: Southwestern Community Services, Inc. began offering the Summer Food Service Program to our community’s youth June 29. All area students, including those from SAU 29 districts, are welcome to utilize the lunch program free of charge.
SCS is encouraging folks to take advantage of the curb-side pick-up at Keene Middle School. The program is available Monday through Friday from June 29 through August 21. The meals will be available from 11:30 AM until 12:30 PM.
For more information please contact Rhonda Hull, SCS Community Food Coordinator at 603.719.4240 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mental Health & Cultural Awareness: Below are some resources that may be helpful as we begin our summer vacation.
- https://www.unicef.org/parenting/talking-to-your-kids-about-racism to help talk with your children, our students about racism. This article covers ages ranging under 5 years old, between 6-11years old, and 12+.
- https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/5-ways-stand-against-racism-and-injustice/37355 This article addresses acceptable ways to condemn racism. This seems especially timely as peaceful protesters pop up all over the country, even here in Keene.
- https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/how-white-people-can-talk-their-kids-about-racism/37361 This is a great way to start a conversation about racial issues with your kids. Racism thrives in silence.
- 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.
100 Different Ways to spend time in the summer with your kids, and most are free of charge!
Power School update:
We have upgraded Power School and in doing so we need to make sure we have all the latest data for your contacts and emergency contacts. We will be sending out a link to a video that will show you how to update your emergency contacts. As we get closer to the opening of school we will ask that you make sure all your information is correct for you and your students. We are putting in place an online registration to keep your important information up to date. Once we have it up and running we will send out a notice to all important links.
Reporting Abuse: If you see something, please say something. You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.
- Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention - We’re here for you 24/7. You don’t have to be in crisis to call. Call our hotline at: 603-352-3782 or 1-888-511-MCVP
- National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
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
School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only. Visitors are advised to call the school office in advance of showing up to ensure that your needs are able to be met.
Central Office hours are 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All buildings are closed on the weekend.
School Calendars: The 2020-2021 school year calendars can be found using this link: SAU 29 School District Calendars.
School Grounds: Outdoor facilities were 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.
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:
- Being fully onsite as we were prior to the pandemic.
- Some form of being onsite and being remote.
- 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:
Special Education: Happy Summer!!! We are moving forward with the daily business of Special Education. This includes referral meetings, individualized education plan meetings (IEP meetings) and extended school year programming for those students that have qualified. As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email email@example.com if you have any questions. Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:30. Thank you!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.