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Planning for the Fall and the 2020-2021 School Year

June 12th, 2020

The following message was issued by HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano on June 11, 2020:

Our preparations continue for the 2020-2021 school year. Our internal planning team is already hard at work on all of the preparations we need for learning to resume in the fall, including teaching and learning processes, student supports, transportation and other operational considerations, and many other factors that must be considered in our plans. We realize that much may change by the time school reopens in the fall, and we are preparing for an array of possibilities that will be progressively refined as the situation evolves.

Many issues will be determined by MSDE. For other issues, local school systems will have considerable discretion in making decisions based on local priorities and concerns.

The primary consideration for our planning continues to be the health and safety of our students and staff. Equity is a critical priority as we seek to serve the needs of all students, including those who are most vulnerable. Ultimately, all plans will reflect the needs and priorities of our students, staff, and parents and guardians.

Over the next two weeks, we will roll out surveys to students, parents and guardians, and staff, to request their feedback on the current continuity of learning program and their most important priorities and concerns for the fall. We will provide translated versions of the parent survey to ensure all stakeholders have full opportunities to participate. We will also provide a dedicated email address for community input.

We will post all survey responses on our website after the end of the survey period, omitting any personally identifiable information.

We will also convene a new Recovery Plan Stakeholder group, whose members will include parents, students, staff, administrators, and community members, as well as representatives from the health community. This group will review the survey results, emailed feedback and other data to inform and help to refine our planning for the fall.

I want to give you an idea of the decision points we’re working toward. These include:

As I mentioned, many of these decisions will be largely dependent on guidance from MSDE, as well as the CDC’s and Health Department’s recommendations for social distancing and safety measures for students and staff.

We will continue to provide updates as our progress continues over the next several weeks. There will be public discussion about the recovery plan at an upcoming Board meeting, and I will present our completed plan during a July Board meeting.