COVID-19

COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19
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This page is updated with information about COVID-19 and the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District.
Scroll down to find information about School Committee updates and messages home to families.

Click a link in the menu on the right for important documents relating to STGRSD and COVID-19.
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State of Massachusetts COVID-19 Quick Links:
The link below brings users to State's COVID-19 response reporting webpage that includes the Weekly Public Health Report(Town Data) as well as the County Level Positivity Report. Scroll to find all reports.
These reports updated weekly.
https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-weekly-public-health-report-


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Letter to families on November 25, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID case at Southwick Regional School

November 25, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Southwick Regional School community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to any other cases that we have previously reported.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing.

We appreciate the communication that families have maintained with the District and ask that, even during a fully remote learning status, you please continue to report COVID testing and results to your child’s school nurse. This information helps us inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience.

While we continue to provide remote learning for all students, community vigilance in practicing the important protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community will aide in a return to in-person learning. These include:

Practice Social Distancing – limit in-person contact as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others

Wear a Mask – wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings

Wash Your Hands Often – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

Stay Home If You Are Sick – if you aren’t feeling well, stay home except to get medical care


For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on November 25, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding continuation of remote learning until at least December 7, 2020.

November 25, 2020

Dear Families, 

When I wrote to you on November 5, 2020 notifying you of the need for the District to go to a full remote learning status for all students, I noted the agreement between the District and the Teacher’s Union and the metrics in that agreement that used the Hampden County Weekly COVID-19 Positivity Rate of 3% as its benchmark. I am pleased to notify you that the District and the Teacher’s Union have successfully negotiated a new agreement that utilizes multiple data points, including town specific data, to drive decisions about opening schools for in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. I cannot thank the teachers enough for their dedication to our students and their desire to get back to in-person learning. 

As I am sure you are aware, during the past two weeks, we have seen a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country and our towns are no exceptions. When we closed on November 6, 2020, our town COVID-19 Positivity Rate was far below that of Hampden County. However, this past week, Southwick’s rate surpassed Hampden County’s Positivity Rate. Therefore, after consultation with the Southwick Public Health Nurse, and data that indicates that COVID-19 cases in our communities continue to rise and Southwick is expected to be “well into the RED” for the second consecutive week, I am making the difficult decision to extend full remote learning for all students until at least December 7, 2020. 

I know for many families, as well as myself, we had hoped to reopen sooner. There is no replacement for in-person learning but the active COVID cases in our school community prevent reopening at this time. The District will continue to work with the STGRSD Safety Committee, which includes the Director of the Board of Health and Public Health nurse, to monitor community metrics and we will keep you updated on a return to in-person learning as soon as we feel it is safe to do so. 

As we prepare for Thanksgiving celebrations, no matter how different they may look this year, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to each of you for your continued dedication to our students and our STGRSD community. 

I wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on November 24, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID case at Woodland School

November 24, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Woodland School community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to any other cases that we have previously reported.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing.

We appreciate the communication that families have maintained with the District and ask that, even during a fully remote learning status, you please continue to report COVID testing and results to your child’s school nurse. This information helps us inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience.

While we continue to provide remote learning for all students, community vigilance in practicing the important protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community will aide in a return to in-person learning. These include:

Practice Social Distancing – limit in-person contact as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others

Wear a Mask – wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings

Wash Your Hands Often – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

Stay Home If You Are Sick – if you aren’t feeling well, stay home except to get medical care

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools



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Letter to families on November 23, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID cases at Woodland School and Southwick Regional School

November 23, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Woodland School community and also a member of our Southwick Regional School  have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are unrelated to any other cases that we have previously reported.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing.

We appreciate the communication that families have maintained with the District and ask that, even during a fully remote learning status, you please continue to report COVID testing and results to your child’s school nurse. This information helps us inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience.

While we continue to provide remote learning for all students, community vigilance in practicing the important protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community will aide in a return to in-person learning. These include:
Practice Social Distancing – limit in-person contact as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others
Wear a Mask – wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings
Wash Your Hands Often – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Stay Home If You Are Sick – if you aren’t feeling well, stay home except to get medical care

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on November 16, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID cases at Powder Mill School and in remote cohort at Southwick Regional School

November 16, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Powder Mill School community and two members of our Southwick Regional School  School remote cohort have also tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are unrelated to any other cases that we have previously reported.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing.

We appreciate the communication that families have maintained with the District and ask that, even during a fully remote learning status, you please continue to report COVID testing and results to your child’s school nurse. This information helps us inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience.

While we continue to provide remote learning for all students, community vigilance in practicing the important protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community will aide in a return to in-person learning. These include:

Practice Social Distancing – limit in-person contact as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others

Wear a Mask – wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings

Wash Your Hands Often – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol

Stay Home If You Are Sick – if you aren’t feeling well, stay home except to get medical care


For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools
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Letter to families on November 13, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID cases at Powder Mill School and in remote cohort at Southwick Regional School

November 13, 2020
Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Powder Mill School community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is potentially related to a Powder Mill School positive case you were informed about previously and school-related transmission cannot be ruled out. Additionally, two members of the Southwick Regional School remote cohort have also tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are unrelated to one another.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing.

We appreciate the communication that families have maintained with the District and ask that, even during a fully remote learning status, you please continue to report COVID testing and results to your child’s school nurse. This information helps us inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience. 

While we continue to provide remote learning for all students, community vigilance in practicing the important protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community will aide in a return to in-person learning. These include:
Practice Social Distancing – limit in-person contact as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others
Wear a Mask – wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings
Wash Your Hands Often – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Stay Home If You Are Sick – if you aren’t feeling well, stay home except to get medical care

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools


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Letter to families on November 12, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID cases in remote cohort at Southwick Regional School

November 12, 2020
Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that three people in our Southwick Regional School remote cohort have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are potentially related to one another but transmission occurred out of school. 

As COVID cases are rising in our towns, we are asking all families and community members to please remember and practice the important protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community:
Practice Social Distancing – limit in-person contact as much as possible, stay at least 6 feet away from others
Wear a Mask – wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth in public settings
Wash Your Hands Often – wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Stay Home If You Are Sick – if you aren’t feeling well, stay home except to get medical care


For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on November 11, 2020 from Superintendent Willard Regarding Schools Remaining In Full Remote Status Until At Least November 30, 2020

November 11, 2020

Dear STGRSD School Community, 
Additional time is needed to negotiate a new Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the District and the Teachers’ Union. Therefore, full remote learning will continue for all students until at least November 30, 2020. 

We recognize the impact that this has on students and families and hope to have an agreement soon that keeps our students and staff safe. 

Thank you for your continued support and patience. 

Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools
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Letter to families on November 10, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID cases in Powder Mill School and Southwick Regional School

November 10, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Powder Mill School community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is potentially related to a Powder Mill School positive case you were informed about previously and school related transmission cannot be ruled out. Additionally, a member of the Southwick Regional School community has also tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to other cases previously reported.

Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. As stated in previous correspondence, we have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience.

Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.

To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to return to in-person learning. We will continue to provide remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools


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Letter to families on November 9, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID cases in Powder Mill School resulting in remote learning extended until November 30, 2020


November 9, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that two people in our Powder Mill School community have tested positive for COVID-19. The cases are potentially related to a Powder Mill School positive case you were informed about last week and school related transmission cannot be ruled out. Because of this, Powder Mill School will remain in a full-remote learning status until at least November 30, 2020. An update on reopening of all schools will be released as soon as more information is available.

We have reached out to the MA Department of Public Health to request a mobile testing unit come to our school this week. Only children in the same classroom as affected individuals would be eligible for testing. If the State approves a mobile unit for our school, the families of eligible students will be contacted separately.


Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. As stated in previous correspondence, we have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected families as they navigate this stressful experience.

Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission.

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school members. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community members will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.

To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to return to in-person learning. We will continue to provide remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools


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Letter to families on November 7, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID case at Powder Mill School

November 7, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Powder Mill School 
community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to the Powder Mill School positive case you were informed about on Thursday, November 5, 2020 and there is no evidence of transmission in the school.

Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. As stated in our previous letter, we have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the schoolinform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience.

Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission. 

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community member will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result.  We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.

To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing
, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.  

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse.  If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on November 5, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding transition to full remove learning, effective November 9, 2020

November 5, 2020 

Dear parents, caregivers, and guardians, 

I have never been so proud to be part of a school district that prioritizes what is best for students. Our District has the highest percentage of students participating in in-person learning in Western Massachusetts. It was a collaborative effort to open schools in early September and in order to do so, we needed to create a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the District and the Teachers’ Union to ensure that safety measures were put in place as we reopened our doors during a pandemic. As we were ahead of other districts, we crafted our MOA with the best available data at that time, which was on county positivity metrics. As such, we agreed that if Hampden County reached a 3% positivity rate our district would pivot to a remote learning model. Today, the Hampden County Positivity Rate is 3.74%, therefore, starting Monday, November 9, 2020, we will be shifting to a full remote teaching model.   

Since the MOA was executed, additional guidance has been received from DESE and the parties have agreed to resume negotiations. We are optimistic that a new agreement will be reached that will utilize metrics that are more directly reflective of our school community. Execution of a new agreement could alter the timeline for reopening. We strongly believe that there is no replacement for in-person learning and the connections between students, teachers and peers. Please know we are working as fast as we can to once again provide in-person learning. 

We know that for many of you, this will be an additional hardship as you juggle work with supervising your children at home. Many families have expressed challenges around technology– whether that is having the device they need or the ability to connect to the internet. We are here to help. If you have notified the District that your child needs a device, we will be distributing them on Monday, November 9, 2020. Families will receive an email about their device pick up time.  

I just want to assure you, our staff spent the summer and early fall developing plans and receiving training on remote learning, Microsoft Office and Zoom. Teachers will use a combination of best practices, including live, whole class instruction, teacher-led small group work, and independent student work to help keep your children engaged. 

You will receive specific information about schedules, assignments and expectations from your child’s teachers. 

We need your help in making this a smooth transition. There is no doubt that our students will be disappointed. It is important for them to know that we are eager to return to our school buildings as soon as an agreement can be reached and it is safe to do so. We will be updating you regularly on our plans and are asking that you reach out to your teacher or principal with questions and concerns. They will be in touch shortly with information on their specific plans around the transition. 

We appreciate your partnership as we navigate this unprecedented year.

Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools
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Letter to families on November 2, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID case in the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District Community

November 2, 2020



Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,


I am writing to inform you that a person in our Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District community has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. As stated in previous correspondence, we have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience. 


Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission. 


Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.


Parents of students who were in close contact with the community member will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result.  We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.


To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.


For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.


You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.  


We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse.  If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.


Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on October 13, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID case at Woodland School


October 13, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our Woodland School community has tested positive for COVID-19. This case is unrelated to the Southwick Regional School positive case you were informed about yesterday. Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. As stated in our previous letter, we have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience. 

Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission. 

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, your child was NOT a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community member will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result.  We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.

To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.  

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse.  If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

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Letter to families on October 12, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding positive COVID case at Southwick Regional School

October 12, 2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers, and Guardians,

I am writing to inform you that a person in our school community has tested positive for COVID-19. Our first responsibility is to keep our students and staff safe. We have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience. 

Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission. 

Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, your child was not a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

Parents of students who were in close contact with the community member will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result.  We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.

To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on those areas frequented by the community member that tested positive. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in person learning. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved. We have been sharing remote learning options with students in advance of our first positive case in hopes that they will understand that this process is designed to keep everyone in our community safe, as opposed to assuming that they have contracted the virus.    

For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.  

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse.  If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools


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Letter to families on October 2, 2020 from Superintendent Willard regarding Influenza Immunization

Dear STGRSD Families,

On August 19, 2020, State public health officials announced that influenza immunization is now required for all children 6 months of age or older who are attending Massachusetts childcare, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities. The new vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related illness and the overall impact of respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students will be expected to have received a flu vaccine by December 31, 2020 for the 2020-2021 influenza season, unless either a medical or a religious exemption is provided. The full Massachusetts DPH announcement, along with a link to frequently asked questions can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/news/flu-vaccine-now-required-for-all-massachusetts-school-students-enrolled-in-child-care-pre

To obtain an influenza vaccine, please contact your child’s medical provider, local urgent care clinic, or local area pharmacy. Additionally, the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District has plans to partner with CVS pharmacy to offer an after school flu vaccine clinic this fall. More information will be forthcoming on this clinic as soon as it is available.

It is advised that your child receive the vaccine at your earliest convenience. Please note that on rare occasions, people may have mild symptoms for up to a few days post-vaccination. If your child feels ill after receiving the vaccine, please do not send them to school as this could mimic COVID-19 symptoms, which would warrant dismissal from school and you would be asked to get your child tested for COVID-19 per guidelines.

Please take this opportunity to ensure that your child is up-to-date on all of their State mandated vaccinations which are a requirement for school attendance. As always, feel free to reach out to your school nurse if you have any concerns regarding vaccination guidelines.

Sincerely,
Jennifer C. Willard
Superintendent


Fall Sports Update and Two New Policies: School Committee Meeting, September 15, 2020

At the September 15, 2020 School Committee Meeting:
- David Sanschagrin, Athletic Director presented on Fall Sports 2020.
- The Committee accepted two new policies on School District Wellness and Bullying Prevention

The Committee voted to rescind their 9/2/2020 vote to postpone fall athletics and then voted, for the the 2020/2021 school year to: approve Golf for the fall 1 season; postpone Girls Volleyball and Unified Basketball to the fall 2 season; have Soccer, Field Hockey and Cross Country all be intramural sports.

Click the links below for more information:

PowerPoint Presentation: SRS Proposal for Participation in the Fall Athletic Season


Click here to view the recording of the September 15, 2020 School Committee meeting on the District YouTube channel.




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Transportation, School Nutrition and Fall Sports Updates: School Committee Meeting, September 2, 2020

At the September 2, 2020 School Committee Meeting:
- Roland Joyal, Anna Bishop and Charlie Crowe from the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative presented on back to school transportation for 2020.
- Mr. Presnal and Mr. Lillibridge presented a status update on School Nutrition for school reopening.
- Superintendent Willard presented a Fall Sports Update.

The Committee voted to postpone fall sports until the spring 2021, fall 2 season. They also voted to accept a new District calendar which reflects the updated first days of school for preK and K.

Click the links below for more information:

PowerPoint Presentation: School Nutrition in the Age of COVID-19, Stephen Presnal, Director of Finance and Operations

PowerPoint Presentation: Fall Athletics 2020, Jennifer Willard, Superintendent of Schools

20/21 District Calendar, rev 5.2

Click here to view the recording of the September 2, 2020 School Committee meeting on the District YouTube channel.





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Principals Provide School Opening Updates and Technology Update: School Committee Meeting, August 25, 2020


At the August 25, 2020 School Committee Meeting:
- Each of the building principals presented updates on their school's reopening based on the enrollment selections made by families.
- Mr. Taglieri presented a status update on technology for school reopening.


One of the key takeaways is that laptops ordered in May and are now delayed. One of the responses to that, in addition to being more creative about how we use the devices we do have available, is that the Woodland School students who are returning in person will now phase-in over a shorter period of time. The updated phase-in is outlined in the Woodland School Plan updated by Kimberley Saso. Families are encouraged to review the presentation and reach out to Woodland School with questions. 


Click the links below for more information:

PowerPoint Presentation: Woodland School, Kimberley Saso, Principal

PowerPoint Presentation: Powder Mill School, Erin Fahey Carrier, Principal


PowerPoint Presentation: Southwick Regional School, Joseph Turmel, Principal

PowerPoint Presentation: Technology Update, Benjamin Taglieri, Instructional Technology Coach

Click here to view the recording of the August 25, 2020 School Committee meeting on the District YouTube channel.


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District Update and Face Coverings Policy Approved: School Committee Meeting, August 18, 2020

At the August 18, 2020 School Committee Meeting:
- Superintendent Willard provided a District Update based on the enrollment data recently submitted by families
- The District Update also included :
      information about new metrics that will be released weekly by the State of Massachusetts
       p
rotocols regarding "What If" COVID-19 scenarios at the schools.
       extra-curricular activities for the fall
- The Committee also accepted a new policy on Face Coverings



Click the links below for more information:


PowerPoint Presentation: Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District Update, Superintendent Willard
The PowerPoint slides presented at the August 18, 2020 School Committee Meeting



State of Massachusetts Community-Level COVID-19 Data Reporting - MAP



State of Massachusetts Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report 


Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education - July 17, 2020 On the Desktop: Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios



STGRSD Policy EBCFA Face Coverings



Click here to view the recording of the August 18, 2020 School Committee meeting on the District YouTube channel.

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Final Reopening Plan Submitted to the State
Letter from the Superintendent, August 15, 2020


Dear STGRSD Community, 

I hope this message finds you and your family well as we begin our reopening of schools. As promised, I am writing with an update on our plans for the start of the 2020-21 school year in the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District. 

 I think we would all agree that under normal circumstances, students are best served in schools every day, interacting with their peers and engaged in live classroom learning. While our educators and families worked incredibly hard last spring to implement remote learning, we know that this approach presented challenges, did not reach all students, and is not an adequate substitute for in-person interaction with teachers. When not in school, our students also lack access to all of the academic, mental, and physical supports that help ensure their social-emotional well being. Therefore, we put together a plan that would help meet the needs of our most dependent learners while also educating all students in a way that prepares them for future success. 

In order to adhere to the school re-opening guidance provided by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education consistent with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Pediatric Association, we also do not believe we can safely meet physical distancing requirements with all students and staff in the buildings at the same time. However, we do believe we can make significant changes in our school schedules and operating procedures to make a partial return to in-person learning both safe and successful. This approach will require strategies to ensure physical distancing, as well as a series of other critical health and safety measures, including wearing face coverings, washing hands frequently, cleaning and sanitizing facilities, screening regularly for symptoms of illness, and staying home when sick, among other precautions. Our planning process includes a comprehensive set of strategies and investments to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus. We are also fortunate to have a very low level of active COVID-19 cases in our three communities. 

On August 5, 2020, I presented a plan to the School Committee that I felt best met the needs of our District and would provide the best possible education during these complicated times. The School Committee supported my recommendations and the STGRSD will be moving forward with two options for parents to choose from for the fall of 2020. 

The hybrid plan that was approved by our School Committee outlines which grades will be returning to school for a full in-person model and which grades will be part of a hybrid model (part in-person and part online). Currently, grades preK-4 will be in person five (5) days a week, with Wednesdays being a half in-person learning day. Grades 5-12 will utilize a hybrid plan broken up into two cohorts depending on first letter of last name and/or geographic location. These cohorts will attend a two-day-a-week in-person and a three-day-a-week online schedule. We also have a cohort of students in grades 5-12 who meet certain criteria, who will attend a five (5) day-a-week in-person plan with a half day on Wednesdays. Parents will be notified if their child qualifies. Please see the attached plan for greater detail 

The School Committee also approved a full remote online learning plan as an option for our students. Parents who choose this model will have their children taught by STGRSD teachers and will follow the STGRSD curriculum. It needs to be reiterated that this model is not like what we provided at the end of last school year. This model will be a full day of school for students and staff and students MUST participate daily as attendance will be recorded. In addition, this will not be a pass/fail model, but rather traditional grading will be given. 

We recognize that the circumstances of every family and staff member are different, and that no plan ultimately will satisfy everyone in our community. But rest assured we worked diligently to explore all options available to us, that we remain guided by the science to keep our students and staff safe and healthy, we listened to feedback we received, and that we are prepared to make adjustments along the way if the public health conditions or other variables change over time. 


We will continue to keep you informed about our progress and I plan to present the outcome of our enrollment numbers and its impact on our two plans to School Committee on Tuesday, August 18, 2020. I am confident that together, we can provide our students with an exceptional education under the most challenging of times. 

Please be safe and enjoy these beautiful summer days; and as always, thank you for your continued patience and support. 

Sincerely, 
Jennifer C. Willard 
Superintendent of Schools

Click here for the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District Final Reopening Plan Submitted to the State
.

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Individual School Reopening Plans and Facilities&Operations for Fall Opening: School Committee Meeting, August 5, 2020

At the August 5, 2020 School Committee Meeting:
- Each of the building Principals presented the School Reopening Plans for the 2020/2021 School Year. 
- Stephen Presnal, Director of Finance and Operations presented was the Facilities & Operations information for Fall Reopening
- A new calendar was accepted for the 2020/2021 School Year 

Click the links below for more information:

PowerPoint Presentation: School Reopening Plans for the 2020/2021 School Year, Kimberley Saso, Woodland School Principal, Erin Fahey Carrier, Powder Mill School Principal, Joseph Turmel, Southwick Regional School Principal
The PowerPoint slides presented at the August 5, 2020 School Committee Meeting


PowerPoint Presentation: Facilities&Operations for Fall Reopening 
The PowerPoint slides presented at the August 5, 2020 School Committee Meeting


2020/2021 School Year Calendar Approved at the August 5, 2020 School Committee Meeting

Click here to view the recording of the August 5, 2020 School Committee meeting on the District YouTube channel.

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Initial Reopening Plan: School Committee Meeting, July 30, 2020


At the July 30, 2020 School Committee Meeting, Superintendent Willard presented the Initial Reopening Plan for the 2020/2021 school year. 

Click the links below for more information:

PowerPoint Presentation: Initial Reopening Plan 2020, Superintendent Willard
The PowerPoint slides presented at the July 30, 2020 School Committee Meeting

Full Document: STGRSD Initial Reopening Plan 2020/2021
12-page STGRSD Initial Reopening Plan 2020/2021 has submitted to the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education **NOTE some portions of the Reopening Plan have been adjusted since this meeting. Effective August 5, 2020, the Full Remote Learning will be provided by STGRSD teachers using STGRSD curriculum. See information on August 5, 2020 School Committee Meeting.**

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Coronavirus/COVID-19 On the Desktop Messages
A comprehensive listing of all COVID-19 guidance and documents released to Massachusetts Public Schools 

Click here to view the recording of the July 30, 2020 School Committee meeting on the District YouTube channel.

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Special Education Parent Feedback Forums: July 29, 2020

On July 29, 2020, Robin Gunn, Director of Student Services, held feedback forums with parents of special education students to discuss remote learning, returning to school and special education . Click the link below to see her PowerPoint and specifically the last page with a listing of resource links for families.

Reopening Schools: A discussion about remote learning, returning to school and special education
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School Committee Meeting: July 21, 2020

At the July 21, 2020 School Committee Meeting, the following presentations were given on school reopening plans. 

Takeaways from Feedback Forums: Lessons Learned, Opportunities for Improvement
Jenny Sullivan, Director of Curriculum and Instruction


Supporting Our Students: Preliminary guidelines to address students’ needs as they return to school
Robin Gunn, Director of Student Services


School Reopening 2020
Superintendent Willard


The full recording of the meeting is available on the District YouTube channel.


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Letter from Superintendent Willard regarding Fall Reopening and FAQ Sheet provided by DESE: July 13, 2020

Dear STGRSD Community, 

As you are aware, we are actively working on fall reopening plans for the District. I would like to express my sincere thanks to each of you who has reached out with feedback and/or questions and everyone who has, or is planning to, participate in one of our feedback forums. There is still a lot of work to be done and input from staff, families and students is key to a successful reopening.

Guidance from the State Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in conjunction with local health officials, outlines the conditions under which we are able to reopen. Commissioner of Education, Jeffrey Riley, has provided a Reopening FAQ Sheet related to the most recent guidance. A link to that FAQ sheet is at the bottom of this message. DESE plans to release FAQs with updates as more details become available.

As noted in DESE’s initial fall guidance, they are requiring Districts to submit a reopening plan that will address health and safety requirements under three different student learning models: in-person, hybrid, and remote learning. The plan must also describe how special populations will be effectively served within each of the models. We are actively working on STGRSD’s reopening plan which is due to DESE by Friday, July 31, 2020.

We all understand that you are eager for the District to finalize our plans as soon as possible and we equally as anxious to have plans finalized. However, the District is still waiting for key information that will directly impact our learning model for reopening. This includes more information about financial resources that may be available, including the possibility of a second federal stimulus package, and any change in local COVID-19 transmission rates. As a result, the Commissioner has specifically requested that Districts hold off on announcing any final decisions about what reopening will look like until early August.

Again, I want to thank you for your continued support, feedback and patience as we all work on fall reopening. I will be in touch with more information as soon as I am able.

Sincerely, 
Jennifer Willard
Superintendent of Schools

FAQ SHEET: Department of Elementary & Secondary Education: Fall Reopening Frequently Asked Questions, as of July 10, 2020
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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


©2020 Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District