Update on School Reopening Plan
Thursday, November 12, 2020
Good afternoon, EPS Parents, Families, and Guardians,
I am writing to you today to provide an update on our school reopening effort, which continues to be alternately influenced by our strong desire to bring our students back to school and the city’s rising COVID-19 metrics. Unfortunately, at this point in time, coronavirus is getting the better of our best intentions and plans.
Most important is the fact that we have decided not to proceed with the beginning of our hybrid learning model on November 16th. Instead, we will be continuing our remote eEducation learning model. We will continue to provide full virtual instruction and access to eLearning Centers, while also striving to slowly phase in more opportunities for in-person services for students.
Through successful collaboration with the Everett Teachers Association, we have already added in-person services for some of our students on IEPs. In the coming weeks, we will continue to expand such opportunities for our students who have special needs and our English Learners. We will also consider what else we can safely and effectively incorporate, such as access to Career and Technology Education (CTE) experiences and extracurricular activities/clubs that offer opportunities for healthy interaction.
Our 2020-21 remote learning framework is adaptable. We are constantly reviewing every aspect of how we teach and organize our days as well as the effectiveness of our learning platforms and technology. We are working diligently to improve our teaching practice and your user experience. Our learnings over the course of the first quarter are informing enhancements we will be making to the second quarter that will include adjustments to the daily schedules to better fit our students’ needs, more rigor, greater expectations within the school day, and increased time for synchronous learning among teachers and students. Again, this is not my determination alone. These are the conclusions we have reached after considerable collaboration with, and feedback, from teachers and school leaders. If any such changes or enhancements are being made to your child’s schedule, you will receive that information directly from your child’s school and teachers.
To help us to continue to improve our eEducation model, we are asking that you share your thoughts with us by completing this survey, which is available in English, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Spanish.
All students who are currently in eLearning Centers will continue to attend their designated eLearning Center. For any families who require their child to have access to an eLearning Center beginning November 16th, please apply here. Again, if your student(s) is already enrolled in an e-Learning Center, you do NOT have to register them again.
Regrettably, we are unable to set firm dates or to provide a timeline for when we will be able to begin hybrid learning. We are analyzing our positivity rates weekly, and we are working in close consultation with our COVID-19 Response Team, which is made up of health experts from the Cambridge Health Alliance and other leading hospitals. We will provide you with monthly updates that provide up-to-date information and assessments of where we stand in regards to our COVID-19 positivity rates and our ability to return to in-person learning.
As we move forward, I vow to continue to successfully attempt to weigh safety with progress. Every day presents obstacles we must overcome and opportunities we have to seize. I thank you for the positive role you are playing in helping us meet these challenges.
Have a great week! And, please, remember to fill out our family survey!