Phase III- Strengthening Our Remote Learning Experience
Dear Tri-Town Communities,
First and foremost, we hope this message finds you and your family well as we continue to navigate a global pandemic and its impact on our Tri-Town communities. With school buildings closed for the reminder of the 2019-2020 school year, our educators have shifted from a traditional learning model to remote learning. This is challenging – for ALL of us. Yet, we should be very proud of our educational community and how we have rose to the challenge to continue to support our students. We should ALL be proud – educators, parents, guardians, family members, stakeholders, and most importantly…we should be proud of our students.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) have outlined four phases of COVID-19 school closure:
Phase I – is the initial school closure that started on March 16, 2020 with a focus on students’ and families’ immediate needs, such as safety and food.
Phase II – is the initial remote learning phase that provided particular DESE recommendations before anyone knew that school would be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
Phase III – is the remote learning phase that will remain in place until at least June 18, 2020.
Phase IV – refers to when students and staff will re-enter school safely.
There are two main areas that the Phase III DESE guidance titled Strengthening Our Remote Learning Experience (please find the DESE guidance attached to this email) focuses on. First, to further define the recommended elements of a quality remote learning program, including a focus on teaching the content standards most critical for student success in the next grade level. Second, DESE is encouraging school districts to move all students towards successful engagement in remote learning, with a focus on addressing fundamental needs.
As a result, all of our schools have strengthened their remote learning plans to align to the most recent guidance released by DESE. Our schools’ remote learning plans aim to accomplish the following:
- Prioritize meaningful connections with educators and peers.
- Provide engaging core instruction focused on the content standards most critical for student success in the next grade.
- Offer opportunities for enrichment, exercise, and play.
- Ensure programming is accessible and communication is streamlined for students and families.
The school principals will be sharing their strengthened Phase III remote learning plans with their students and families by May 8, 2020.
In closing, please know how important it is for our students to continue to learn and connect with their teachers and peers during this difficult time. We will also continue to support the physical health, safety, nutrition, social-emotional, and mental health needs of our students and families as we work together as a Tri-Town educational community.
Douglas R. White, Superintendent of Schools
Michael S. Nelson, Assistant Superintendent