Shawsheen Tech To Reopen Using Hybrid Model; First Day Set For Sept. 14; Parents Asked To Take Survey

Below is a letter from Shawsheen Tech Superintendent Brad Jackson and Principal Jess Cook sent to parents on Friday, August 7, 2020:

Dear Shawsheen Parent/Guardians:

We are writing today to share important information about our plans to reopen Shawsheen this Fall.  Since the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released its Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance on June 25th, the administrative team at Shawsheen, with the support and input from all of our teachers, have been meeting frequently and working exclusively on developing a plan that met DESE’s stated goal of “the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings to maximize learning and address our students’ holistic needs.”  This afternoon, the Shawsheen School Committee approved our plan to begin school using a Hybrid Learning Model.  This plan will allow students to attend school in-person for a portion (2-3 days) of both the academic week and the shop week, and spending the remainder of the week in remote learning.  The planned schedule of when students will be in-person or remote can be found on our website here.

Additionally, we were notified in late July that DESE and representatives from the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association, the Massachusetts Federation of Teachers and the Boston Teachers’ Union negotiated an agreement that calls for a mandatory 10-day school reentry period for staff and a reduced (170 day) school year for students.  Today, the Shawsheen School Committee voted to adjust our school calendar to reflect this state-wide agreement.  As a result, the first day of school for students will be Monday, September 14, 2020.  The revised school calendar can be found here.

We recognize that while receiving this information is helpful, it will likely cause you to have many, many questions regarding the specifics of the plan.  With this framework approved, we can now finalize many of the details and will share them with you as they become available.  We will be publishing a detailed plan document and will share it with parent/guardians and staff on Friday, August 14th.  We will also be conducting a series of live “virtual meetings” for parents, students and staff to discuss specific details on the plan.  Information on the first of these virtual meetings will be shared next week.

The decision as to whether or not your student will return to in-person learning is up to each individual family to make.  Ultimately, if you are uncomfortable with the details of our plan or simply uncomfortable, regardless of the details of our plan, with having your student attend in-person, parents do have the option of choosing to have their student participate 100% remotely.  To assist us in developing the detailed implementation plan for reopening, we are asking you to fill out this short survey to indicate your current plans regarding your child’s participation in the in-school portion of the Hybrid Learning Model.  The information you provide is for planning purposes only and does not obligate you or your student one way or the other.

Thank you for your ongoing support and patience as we work through the incredibly complicated task of planning a safe and productive 2020-2021 school year for your student.

Respectfully,

Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Jessica L. Cook
Principal

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