I would like to thank you for your patience this last two weeks. I know that this has been an incredibly difficult time for families. As an educator and a parent, I know that it is a challenge to balance home and work under normal circumstances and having to do this under the current conditions is a tremendous undertaking for all of us.
I am so proud of our staff; they have risen to the challenges set before them.They are connecting with our students, engaging in activities and online platforms, and facing the technological changes that this new environment has thrown at them. They are doing an awesome job. For that I am grateful. What we are undertaking here is no easy task. Please understand that we are doing our best to ensure that all of our students' needs are being met.
Phase 1 of the extended school closure started on March 16 and lasts until April 6. We are now in Phase 2 of the extended learning which will now be designated as Remote Learning. Over this past week the teacher’s union and central administration carefully reviewed the new guidance from DESE, and collaborated in lengthy negotiating sessions, which culminated in a principle for a formal Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). These sessions were marked by a collegial atmosphere and desire to reach an agreement as rapidly as possible to benefit students and their families. The final step in this entire process will occur this coming Monday night April 6th when the Maynard School Committee reviews the agreement and takes a final vote regarding acceptance of the agreement.
State guidance covered in the agreement will govern the frequency and nature of instruction during the current shutdown. For example, the state has directed that students, on average, should participate on average 30 minutes per day of educationally related work per subject. Students will spend approximately half of the normal school day engaged in normal academic activity.
Upon the signed MOA a fuller description of the new instructional model will be released. It is anticipated that this coming week of April 6-10th will mark a transition from the enrichment activities that DESE directed districts toward under Governor Baker’s initial closure order. By Monday April 13th, all aspects of the new agreement will be implemented.
In other news, the district is diligently trying to ensure that all students and households have the technical infrastructure to support distance learning. If you need internet access or hardware such as a Chromebook to allow for home contact please contact Jennifer Gaudet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be aware that we are working diligently to ensure that our students are successful. It is important for you to understand that staff are learning to teach in these challenging times just as our students and families. Thank you for your suggestions and your support of the Maynard Public Schools during these difficult weeks.
Mary Jane Rickson