COVID-19

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19

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Letter from Superintendent Willard regarding Return to School Guidance and Parent Survey: June 25, 2020


Dear Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District Families and Staff,

Today, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. We applaud the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance, and share its goal of the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.

Over the coming days, we will be reviewing the guidance to begin to understand how it impacts what we can do in the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming throughout the summer. The link to the full document is at the bottom of this letter, but here are some key components:

● Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school – with preventive measures in place - as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults.

● Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces

● Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below

● Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established

All school districts will need to develop three separate plans - one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation today is that students will return to full in-person instruction in September; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops. We have created a survey that we are asking all families to complete in order to help us prepare our plans. The survey link is: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7J1o1m5JbkiK5ut2K-7JNxXVspmbqDxBnxlpF0ZgZKdUQ1VRVzZBUVc2QzIyUjlYNFlGWldaUEZMNi4u. We ask that each family complete this survey by the end of the day on July 3, 2020. Please use the current guidance when answering the questions.

We acknowledge that there are likely to be more questions than answers at this time, and we will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months. We also encourage you to read the State’s guidance, linked below, and if you have any questions to please send them to the superintendent@stgrsd.org and use “return to school” in the subject line.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Jennifer C. Willard
Superintendent

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Initial Fall School Opening Guidance: Planning Resource Presentation 6/25/2020

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance

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Letter from Superintendent Willard regarding planning for 20/21 school year: June 15, 2020

Dear STGRSD Families,

I hope this email finds you and your family healthy and finding time to enjoy this weather. I know there are many questions about next school year and I want to assure you, we are working closely with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to identify what school will look like. 

Jeff Riley, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE) anticipates the release of initial guidance for fall back to school planning by the end of next week.  Commissioner Riley stresses that it is important for us to move together as a state, and has urged districts to wait for his guidance before moving forward with fall planning. 

In the meantime, the district has been gathering information and research on best practices for supporting student learning, mental health, and social emotional needs in both remote and hybrid (part time at home, part time in school) learning models. 

Regardless of which model is recommended by MA DESE, our focus will be on developing robust direct instruction with grade-level content as the academic priority.  We have adopted the following Building Blocks of Equitable Remote Learning (developed by LearnLaunch Institute) as the backbone of our planning: 
Set learning priorities 
Communicate clearly 
Prepare Educators 
Ensure equitable access 
Include social emotional learning 
Support parents 
Engage learners 
Plan for special education 
Address the needs of English learners 
Select aligned tools 

Once the initial fall guidance has been released, we will convene working groups that consist of a range of district, school, and community stakeholders to work on our reopening plans over the summer. Please be sure that your contact information is up to date in the school directory, and please check your emails regularly for additional updates. 

I also want to inform you that, throughout the summer, I will be presenting bimonthly superintendent updates on the first and third Tuesday of the month. During these webinar format updates, I will review any new information on the reopening of school.

Once again, we cannot thank you enough for all you have done to support teachers and students during these past few months of remote learning.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer., 
Superintendent Willard 

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Letter from Superintendent Willard regarding end of the year information: May 18, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope that you are all keeping well and safe. As we begin our tenth week of school closure and remote learning, I wanted provide an update on end of year information. Please keep in mind that the execution of all of these things may change depending on the health and social distancing guidelines from State and local officials.

Information for All Students
Commissioner Letter
At the bottom of this message, please find a letter to families from Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. A copy of this letter is available on the District website.

Notice of School Closure Extended Privacy Rights
At the bottom of this message, please find a Notice of School Closure Extended/Privacy Rights relating to video communication platforms. A copy of this notice is available on the District website.

Last Day of School
The last day of the 2019/2020 academic year for students in K-11 is June 19, 2020.

Grab&Go Meal Service
Grab&Go Meal Service will continue until at least June 19, 2020. Information will be forthcoming about whether or not service will extend beyond June 19, 2020.

For families needing food support at any time, Our Community Food Pantry serves all three towns of Southwick, Tolland and Granville. Visit their website: http://www.community-food-pantry.org/ for information on becoming a client.

New Student Enrollment
New student enrollment packets are available for download from the District website: www.stgrsd.org. Visit Community and select Enrollment.

Transportation
Beginning with the 2020-2021 academic year, District transportation will be provided by the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative (LPVEC). As part of that transition, LPVEC plans to base its operation for STGRSD at the current campus site and at this time is we anticipate very little change to existing staffing, schedules and routes.

As in prior years, a transportation form will need to be completed for each student. The District or school will be in touch in early June with information for completing and returning those forms.

Student Device Return
If you picked up one or more District-owned laptops as part of student device distribution, we anticipate those devices will be returned to the schools during the last week of school. More guidance will be forthcoming.

Student Personal Belongings
The personal belongings of students will be made available for pick-up from school buildings during the last week of school. The pick-up is likely to coincide with the student device return.

What if I have a Question
Any questions that you have should first be directed to your child’s teacher or building principal. At any time, you can call your child’s school office and leave a message, voicemails are retrieved daily.

School and District Office Staffing 
Based on Governor Baker’s return to work information, beginning on May 26, 2020, school offices will begin to be opened on a limited staffing basis on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. If you need to come to the office for any reason, please call ahead to schedule an appointment, as the offices are not seeing unscheduled visitors.

The Superintendent’s Office will have daily limited staffing Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.. If you need to come to the office for any reason, please call ahead to schedule an appointment, as the offices are not seeing unscheduled visitors. Superintendent’s Office phone number (413) 569-5391.

Information for Woodland School Students
Remote Learning Update
Woodland is focusing primarily on English Language Arts and Math standards that have not been covered this year. Some new learning for Science and Social Studies will also be included. There will be video lessons on these areas with activities and follow up by teachers. See Mrs. Saso’s newsletters for more information.

Pre-K Graduation
The teachers and Mrs. Saso are working on plans to recognize students moving on to Kindergarten.

Pre-K Sign Up
Contact the Woodland School Office for information about availability in the Pre-K program. 413.569.6598

Kindergarten Enrollment
If your child will be 5 years of age by September 1, 2020, they are eligible to attend Kindergarten. Enrollment forms can be downloaded from the District website. Visit Community and select Enrollment.

Pre-K and Kindergarten Screening
Due to social distancing requirements, these screenings are currently on hold. Woodland School will be in touch with families as soon as more information is available about when they will be rescheduled. 

Transition to a New Grade
Woodland and Powder Mill are currently planning to offer a meet and greet in the fall so students can meet new teachers. Information about this event will be provided with the August classroom assignment letters.

2nd Graders going to 3rd Grade
Mrs. Carrier, Principal of Powder Mill School is working with grade three teachers to create a virtual tour and introductions. They will provide information to frequently asked questions. This will be available sometime during June.

Yearbooks
Yearbook distribution is currently scheduled to occur in conjunction with student personal belonging pick-up.

Information for Powder Mill School Students
Remote Learning Update
Powder Mill is focusing in on a few Math standards that have not been covered this year. There will be video lessons on these areas with daily activities and follow up by teachers. Other requirements will be lessened as needed to allow the focus to be on these topics. See Mrs. Carrier’s newsletters for more information.

6th Graders going to 7th Grade
Orientation and building tours will be scheduled a week to ten days prior to the start of the new school year. Students can expect to receive information about their schedule during orientation. Dates and details will be communicated in July along with information about school supplies.

Yearbooks
Yearbook distribution is currently scheduled to occur in conjunction with student personal belonging pick-up.

Information for Southwick Regional School Students
Remote Learning Update
At Southwick Regional School, learning will continue as established on April 6th for the fourth quarter.

Graduating Seniors
SRS will communicate directly with seniors and their families on all senior activities including, but not limited to:

  • Check-out day on May 29, 2020
  • Senior device return
  • Graduation tentatively scheduled for June 20, depending on State guidelines and approval from local health officials

Yearbooks
Distribution date will be announced once yearbooks arrive.

As we approach these last few weeks, I would like to say a sincere “Thank You” for your continued patience, flexibility and willingness to support your children and our teachers during this time.

Stay safe and be well,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent


DESE Commissioner Riley Letter to Families on School Connectednes
Notice of School Closure Extended Privacy Rights




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Letter from Superintendent Willard regarding Governor Baker's closure of school for the remainder of the 2019/2020 academic year: April 21, 2020

Dear Families and Staff,
Today we received confirmation from Governor Baker's office that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019- 2020 school year. For the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District, it means we will remain in remote learning mode for the remainder of the school year. 
But, most importantly, I want to take a moment to say, "Thank you." Thank you for all you are doing to keep our community safe. Thank you for providing structure in your homes for continued learning. Thank you for supporting our teachers as they work from home to provide engaging and relevant learning opportunities for our students. Thank you for those of you who are working during the COVID- 19 pandemic to keep us safe and fed. Finally, thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time in history.
Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard, Superintendent


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Letter from Superintendent Willard updating families on April vacation, MCAS testing and Report Cards: April 13, 2020

Dear Families,
I hope this email finds you all safe and healthy and that you had a good long weekend.
I want to update you on a few things:

April Vacation: We did survey of the school community and we are going to continue with April vacation as planned. There will be no remote learning during the week of April 20-24. Attached is a summary of the survey results. 

MCAS: On Friday, April 10, 2020 Commissioner Riley announced: "this spring's regular administration of MCAS in grades 3-10 is cancelled. Further info on competency determination et al. will be forthcoming."

Report Cards: This week, we will be emailing Quarter 3 report cards to families. Email distribution of report cards will help us protect staff and families while maintaining social distancing. If your family needs a paper copy, please contact your child’s school. 

We are working to provide information to you as it becomes available. Please continue to check your emails, the District website, or our Facebook and Instagram accounts. As always, if you have questions about your child’s education, please reach out to their teacher, or the school office. School office personnel are checking voice messages during the closure.

Thank you for your continued patience and support during this unprecedented time. 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent



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Second student and staff device distribution: April 7, 2020

For families that expressed a need for an additional laptop for use at home during the current extended school closure. The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District (STGRSD) will be distributing a second round of devices on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. 
Attached, please find the STGRSD Student Device Sign-out Agreement and the STGRSD Empowered Digital Use Agreement. Please read both of these documents carefully. Caregivers will be required to agree with and sign the STGRSD Student Device Sign-out Agreement at pick-up in order to receive a device. If you have already completed the form you will be asked to sign a second form.  

Device pick-up for all schools will be: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
Southwick Regional School 
93 Feeding Hills Road, Southwick, MA. 
 
When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and staff will be on hand to facilitate signing of the agreement and distribution of devices. Please bring a pen and photo ID. 
If you have any questions, please call your child’s school and leave a message if necessary. Messages are being be retrieved daily. 

Thank you, 
Southwick-Tolland-Granville 
Regional School District 

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Letter from Superintendent Willard regarding remote learning plans: April 2, 2020

Dear Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District Families and Communities:

Thank you so much for your patience, support, and willingness to work with the District during these past few weeks. These are unprecedented times we are experiencing and have been working to create a new “school day” in what looks to be our new normal for the next few weeks or even months. We want to acknowledge how challenging this transition is for everyone, and recognize the difficulties faced by many of our students, families and staff.

As this crisis has evolved and we have moved from a short term closure to a longer extended closure, our teachers and staff have worked diligently to bring engaging and authentic learning into your homes that will enrich and review lessons preciously taught. We have also worked as a school community to bring instructional platforms (iReady and Lexia) to you that will provide lessons matched to your child’s specific learning needs. Now that the Governor has announced the extended closure through May 4, 2020, the Commissioner of Education, Jeffrey Riley, has asked teachers, especially at the high school level, to use their professional judgment to determine what standards and content their weekly assignments will cover, recognizing that any “new” curriculum must be taught in a way for all students to access, grasp and apply it with limited support.

This past week, our administrators have worked with our teachers to create our remote learning plan for the foreseeable future. This plan is not intended to replicate the regular school day; rather, it is intended to provide structures and expectations around teaching and learning. This plan does not anticipate every situation or possible scenario as the situation is constantly evolving. Our intent is to find the right balance to meet the needs of our students, our staff and our families. Attached please find the remote learning plans for the District as well as each school. These plans are also available on the District website. 

On Monday, April 6, 2020, we will begin the next phase of remote learning. Please anticipate that there will be a transition period this first week as schools and teachers adjust their planning for these changes in our remote learning expectations. If you have any questions, I would encourage you to follow the protocol you would follow if schools were still “physically” in session. First, reach out to your child’s teacher and then building principal. As most are working from home, email would be the best form of communication.

In closing, I want to thank our students who are working hard at home, our parents who are juggling their work load and remote learning support, and our staff, who are also balancing their home life and their teaching responsibilities. It is in times like this I am reminded of our District vision, to prepare students to persevere, adapt, and thrive in an ever-changing world. These are not simply words, but the foundation we build each school day on. I am viewing this shift in learning as an opportunity for our staff and students to show how we emulate this vision and when this pandemic ends, and we are back together again, we will be that much stronger.

#STGRSDSTRONG

Stay safe and be well,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent



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Letter from Superintendent Willard and MA Commissioner of Education: March 31, 2020
Dear Families, 
I hope this email finds you all safe and healthy. 
Below please find an important letter from Jeffrey C. Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, regarding extended school closures due to COVID-19. 

Utilizing the Commissioner’s guiding principles, the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District is currently working to develop and revise a remote learning plan to be implemented through the current closure period, until May 4, 2020. We anticipate that we will have this plan ready for release to you by the end of the week and as we proceed, the learning experiences that teachers and our schools are providing will continue to become more organized. 

I want to take this opportunity thank all of the students and families and teachers for your patience, understanding and ability to adapt to this ever evolving situation. I look forward to the days when everyone will be back together again. In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC in protecting yourselves and the community from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and watch for updates from teachers, schools and the District. 

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent

Jeffrey C. Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Letter to Families: COVID-19

Jeffrey C. Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Letter to Families: COVID-19-Spanish

Jeffrey C. Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Letter to Families: COVID-19-Russian

Jeffrey C. Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Letter to Families: COVID-19-Vietnamese

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Student Device Distribution: March 27, 2020
Families that completed the District survey and expressed a need for a student device for use at home during the current extended school closure will receive devices on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

The Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District (STGRSD) is currently able to provide one student device per family. 

Caregivers will be required to agree with the STGRSD Empowered Digital Use Agreement and sign the STGRSD Student Device Sign-out Agreement at pick-up in order to receive a device.

Families have been contacted with their pick-up time. Device pick-up for all schools will be at Southwick Regional School.

Questions should be directed to your child's school. Please leave a message. Messages are being retrieved daily. 

Click here for low cost options for internet access.

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Governor Baker Extends School Closures: March 25, 2020

Governor Baker has just announced that he has ordered all Massachusetts schools to stay closed through the end of April, and not to reopen earlier than May 4, 2020.

We will continue to update families as new information becomes available.


 

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WiFi Needs Survey: March 23, 2020

STGRSD is working to provide laptops to students who need them.
So the District can identify how many laptops would be needed, we ask that families please complete the survey linked below:
https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx…

Please complete the survey by Wednesday, March 25, 2020.

Additional information will be forthcoming.
A link to the survey is also available from the District website: www.stgrsd.org


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Interscholastic Athletics: March 17, 2020

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) is the governing body that oversees high school athletics in Massachusetts. Yesterday, the MIAA Board of Directors voted to amend the start of the 2020 spring sports season in light of recent mandates from Governor Baker and recommendations from governing health agencies.

The updated start date for the 2020 spring season is April 27, 2020.


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Continuous Learning Resources: March 16, 2020


Dear STGRSD Families,

As you read in last night’s email, Governor Baker has closed all public schools through April 6, 2020. During this time, we intend to provide opportunities for continuous learning while our students are at home. The intent of these resources is for our students to exercise their minds while away from school so they are ready to resume new learning when they return. Most of our resources can be found as a live link on our District website: https://www.stgrsd.org/departments/health_services/c_o_v_i_d-19/continuous_learning

For grades K-6, you will find login information for i-Ready, an online learning platform. Mrs. Fahey- Carrier, principal of Powder Mill School, will be posting a video tutorial for families in the coming days. If you do not have access to online learning at home, we have paper packets ready for our students at the Superintendent’s office. Please call ahead to schedule a time to pick them up this week.

Grades 7-12 have additional resources for independent learning on the website as well. These resources should provide opportunities to extend or review what students have already learned or to provide enriching experiences.

I can’t emphasize enough, we are not trying to replicate a student’s school day rather we intend to keep their minds fresh. Enjoy and have fun with these activities.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent


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Grab & Go Meals: March 16, 2020

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020 STGRSD will be providing Grab&Go meals for children who need them. Meals will be available weekdays, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for pick up at the Powder Mill School (main entrance) and the Granville Town Hall. There is no charge for the meals.

So that we can best serve the community and maximize resources, we are asking families who plan to pick up meals to please complete the form on our website:
https://www.stgrsd.org/cms/One.aspx…

To manually access the form: select Grab&Go Meals from the menu on the right.


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Letter from Superintendent Willard: March 15, 2020

 

In light of the Governor's announcement where all Massachusetts public schools are closed for the next three (3) weeks, I want to let everyone know that we will do everything possible to keep you informed and updated on all things related to the educational, social, emotional, and overall wellness of our students!  Schools will be closed until Tuesday, April 7, 2020.  

 Thank you for your patience and understanding. Together we will ensure that our students, our staff, and our community remain safe, healthy, and ready to return to school. 

In the meantime, while at home, please continue practice proper hygiene and maintain social distances.  One of the main points the Governor emphasized was the importance of NOT gathering in large groups, but to limit interactions to immediate family.

I will update the community as I learn more.

 Jennifer Willard





Superintendent's Letters To Families


March 4, 2020: COVID-19 Update

March 11, 2020: COVID-19 Update

March 13, 2020: COVID-19 Update: School Closure



State Resources
State of Massachusetts

Commissioner Riley's Guidance to Elementary and Secondary Schools Regarding COVID-19 

Guidance recently issued by the U.S. Department of Education, Services to Children with Disabilities


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