Well we’re clearly into the fall season with this morning’s weather. At least we had a few days last week to be able to fully enjoy the outdoors a bit. I hope that everyone was able to take advantage of some of that favorable weather.
I’ve updated the COVID-19 Data section below to include the data that we’ve been collecting since the onset of the pandemic. You’ll notice in the links that we’ve been tracking the State and County numbers from the early days in March. You’ll also notice that the cumulative totals only go back to April and the current positive totals start in June. This is simply because those are the dates that the state began reporting in that manner.
Another couple of points worth mentioning with regard to both the State and County Data that may answer some questions before they are asked. I’ve included both the Harvard Global Health and the NHDHHS Measures for Community Transmission from the beginning of the pandemic because they are the only two metrics that we have utilized in our Comprehensive Opening Plan. You’ll note on page 11 that we updated our plan to reflect the metric released by NHDHHS on September 1st. We are following the NHDHHS metrics, therefore the Harvard metrics are only being shared as a point of reference.
In order for those calculations to be made, we used the US Census Population totals from the linked site. For NH, we used 1,359,711 and for Cheshire County we used 76,085. That is important for you to know so that you can see how the per 100,000 rates were derived in our calculation. The other significant difference between the two measures is that the Harvard measure is based on a 7-day average of new cases and the NHDHHS measure is based on a 14-day sum of new cases.
The last comment on the linked data sheets that I need to be transparent about is in regard to both the New Hospitalizations per 100,000 and the 7-Day Positivity Rates. Both of these sets of data were first shared publicly on September 1, 2020. While we may have been able to go back through all of the daily updates to try and capture that information at the state level, it has not been explicitly disaggregated by counties and thus we simply record what is reported on the NHDHHS Schools Dashboard every day.
Speaking of the schools dashboard, last week I shared the transformation of our state from September 2nd - October 14th. I’ve had some questions on how the “green, yellow and red” are determined. I hope that this VERY brief Community Transmission slideshow helps explain how that comes about. It is concerning how the situation has changed over a relatively short period of time and one that we are keeping a watchful eye on. It also serves as a good reminder to Do Your Part.
One of the pieces to Do Your Part includes the screening assessment. The screening assessment as you are well aware, includes a question about traveling. There have been some questions raised about the upcoming holidays and travel during these periods of time.
I recognize that this is traditionally a time to consider traveling to visit family. The decision about traveling is completely up to families and staff that may be considering travel. We do not have the authority to prevent anyone from making those arrangements. However, we have and will continue to follow State of New Hampshire guidance for those that do travel outside of New England. At this time, those that do will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon returning. There is no provision to test out of that quarantine in accordance with the state’s guidance.
While we all understand the reasons folks may have to make those decisions, it is imperative that we are consistent with our efforts in providing as safe an environment as possible for all of our students and staff. These are personal decisions that will impact our students and staff if we are not following our guidance.
It is also important that we are mindful of the capacities of our remote only options for families that may think they can jump from one instructional delivery model to another because of travel plans. Our model was established because of the numbers we were working with at the start of the school year and simply cannot and should not be expected to accommodate requests to get through a quarantine period because of travel. This should be handled in the same manner as it would have been prior to the pandemic for any extended absence for a student, in that course work should be provided for the onsite learning that may be missed as a result of travel quarantining.
I am almost certain that there will be some level of disagreement with that guidance and I completely understand that. These are difficult personal decisions that impact others. Nobody is immune to these difficult decisions...absolutely nobody. If there are any updates to the state’s travel guidance, I will definitely let everyone know, but as it is at this time, travel outside of New England is a 14-day quarantine upon return with no option to test out of that.
Next week there will be no school on Tuesday, November 3rd as it is a workshop day for our staff. It also happens to be Election Day and I hope that everyone will exercise their right to vote as we want to model that civic responsibility for our students. The Professional Development Committee coordinated an eventful day for our staff and I am both grateful for their efforts and excited to participate in the activities! We sent out a communication on Friday on how the existing school days during the week will operate in our buildings. If there is any question on what it will look like for your school, please contact your school for that clarity, or for any questions or concerns regarding your child(ren)’s education.
Lastly, there are a number of safe Halloween Considerations as we head into the weekend for those that may be participating in different events for your review. This is not an effort to tell anyone what they should or should not do, but simply a quick search to share some of the things that may be worth thinking about. Stay safe everyone!
COVID-19 Data: Providing all of the COVID-19 data that we have been tracking since the onset of the pandemic back in March, 2020.
- NH COVID-19 2020
- Cheshire County COVID-19 2020
- SAU29 Towns Cumulative COVID-19 Data 2020
- SAU29 Towns Current COVID-19 Positives 2020
Do Your Part: Here are the 7 short videos that were created from the Do Your Part Challenge that was issued to all stakeholders. A huge thank you to those that participated and we’re looking forward to the next challenge that is issued.
- DYP - Screening (Part 1)
- DYP - Screening (Part 2)
- DYP - Face Covering (Part 1)
- DYP - Face Covering (Part 2)
- DYP - Hand Hygiene
- DYP - Big 4 (Part 1)
- DYP - Big 4 (Part 2)
E-Flyer Distribution Program: As a reminder, there are many flyers that our schools are asked to send home throughout the school year. We also post these flyers on our website and it can be found by going to this E-Flyer Distribution Program embedded link.
Mental Health & Cultural Awareness: Below are some resources that may be helpful.
- https://www.parents.com/kids/education/back-to-school/12-fun-first-week-of-school-traditions/ Cool ideas….clever, fun and creative.
- https://discoveries.childrenshospital.org/preparing-kids-school-covid-19/ to help talk with your kids about returning to school.
- 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.
- 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.
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)
Meals: Every student in SAU 29 is eligible for FREE breakfast and lunch for each day of school through the USDA until 12/31/2020 or until funds are exhausted.
Hybrid students: All students attending school in person are eligible to receive their free breakfast and lunch at their school on the days they are attending in person. Families can sign up for three additional days’ worth of meals (6 meals) each week representing the school days that hybrid students are not in school and are learning remotely. If you would like your student to receive those meals for remote days the order form will need to be submitted by Thursday at 5:00pm each week. Those reserve orders must be picked up on the following Wednesday at the locations requested on the order form. Please see the link below to fill out the required order form.
Fully Remote Students: Fully remote families can sign up to get 5 days’ worth of meals (10 meals) each week representing the school days that fully remote students are learning remotely. The order form will need to be submitted by Thursday at 5:00pm each week. Orders must be picked up the following Wednesday at the selected location. Please see the link below.
Please note, meals are provided for students only. Please call Keene Food Services at 603-357-9011 with any questions. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
LINK FOR REMOTE MEALS ORDER FORM:
Special Education: Special Education continues to work very closely with building leaders to ensure that the needs of students with disabilities are met. As always, please reach out to your child’s special education teacher or building principal with questions. You can also contact 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 AM to 4:30 PM. Thank you!
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.
Technology: Teachers, we have installed some software for remote teaching. Currently we have Kami which integrates with Google classroom. Screencastify will let you record your computer screen to share with the class. You can also have your image in the corner of the screen as you record the lesson. EquatIO Easily add equations, formulas, graphs to G Suite for Education. It has a scientific calculator, and periodic table charts.
Parents, Please make sure you fill in the online registration for your students. It is important to have all the correct information in place.
Technology support during COVID19: Please see the update.
Power School update:
Power school online registration help can be found here.
Please remember to fill out the youtube permission form. For KHS and KMS
Help desk number: (603) 352-0640 ext 3871. For help with the Home user and remote learning click here.