Thursday, June 10, 2021

Superintendent's Report to SC 6.9.21

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Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee

June 9, 2021



June 11th Vaccination Clinic:

  • An important reminder that the second vaccination clinic will be held at Swampscott High School this coming Friday, June 11th from 2 pm - 5 pm.

  • The clinic is available to all Swampscott and Nahant Public School students, families, and staff who are 12 years old or older.

  • If you are receiving your second dose, please remember to bring your vaccination card with you.

  • Pfizer Vaccination Clinic 6.11.21




Director of Human Resources - Update:

  • We had 8 strong candidates for Round 1 interviews that were scheduled for Wednesday, June 2nd, and Thursday, June 3rd.

  • Of those 8 candidates, one took another position and one did not show for her scheduled interview. 

  • We have moved four candidates forward to the next round of interviews which will take place this Friday, June 11th. 

  • In this round, the Interview Committee will include the Town Administrator, Mr. Fitzgerald, Town Director of Finance, Ms. Sarro, Town Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Ms. Fiske, Town and School Dept. Attorney Darren Klein, and myself.

  • My goal is to have this critical position filled no later than July 1. 




Summer Learning Program:

  • July 6th to August 13th Monday through Friday from 8:30  am to 12:30 pm

  • FREE to all families

  • Location: Swampscott High School

  • Current Enrollment: 178 students

    • 96 targeted

    • 82 non-targeted

    • K-4 is completely full



Career & Technical Education Opportunities:

  • 12 prospective students for the Innovation Pathway of Advanced Manufacturing as of June 4th.

  • 7 perspective students have completed their application for the After Dark Partnership with Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical High School.






Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Superintendent's Report to SC 5.26.21

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Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee

May 26, 2021


May 21st Vaccination Clinic:

  • A huge thank you to our Occupational Health Nurse, Amanda Mulcahy, for her efforts in coordinating this event.

  • Another “Thank You” to our school nurses for being there to assist our students and families.

  • A final shout-out and thank you to our volunteers including Suzanne Wright and Amy OConnor as well as Select Board Chair, Peter Spellios.

  • 246 individuals were vaccinated!

  • Second clinic being held on June 11th.



Director of Human Resources:

  • We have formed an interview committee and will begin first-round interviews of candidates next Wednesday, June 2nd. 

  • Ms. Sybert is currently conducting phone screens for each candidate. 

  • The interview committee members include Our Director of Finance, Ms. Sybert, Town Director of Finance, Ms. Sarro, our Occupational Health Nurse, Mrs. Mulcahy, and myself.

  • The final round of interviews will include Town Administrator, Sean Fitzgerald. 



Addressing Learning Loss:

  • On Monday, May 24th, DESE posted the FY22 Summer Acceleration Academy Grant. This grant targets an Academy Week, in late August to target learning loss. 

  • We are offering a 6-week, 4-hour/day Summer Program to Address Learning Loss from July 5th until August 13, 2021.  It will serve students entering grades 1 through 12. We are in the process of inviting students who our data suggests would benefit from summer learning to be able to enter the next grade level fully prepared. If we do not fill all the available seats (about 200), we will open the program to all families seeking summer enrichment opportunities for their students. 

  • The program is project-based, which will provide students the opportunity to learn through high-interest projects while receiving small bursts of just-in-time academic instruction in reading, writing, and math that they will need to complete their projects.

  • High school students will be able to recover missing credits or earn an additional semester’s worth of credit towards graduation.

  • The program is free to all SPS families.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Superintendent's Report to SC 4.14.21

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Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee

April 14, 2021


Full In-Person Reopening Update:

  • Welcomed all levels back to in-person learning on April 5th and April 12th.  

  • Great school spirit with the support of each school’s parent organization and our Food Services department

  • I can not emphasize the incredible work put in by our administrators, teachers, and staff in order to make this happen. 

  • School site visits - School Committee, Finance Committee 

  • Challenges our educators are facing - Read Across America

  • Thanks to our volunteer and paid lunch/recess monitors, as of this morning, all shifts are covered and we couldn’t do it without you.


Innovative Pathways Program: - Dr. Bacon


2021-2022 - Partnership with Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School

  • Designed for SHS who do not have post-secondary plans and who have an interest in the following Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs:

    • Auto Collision Repair and Refinishing

    • Automotive Technology

    • Construction

    • Design and Media Communications

    • Electrical

    • Plumbing

  • Monday through Friday - Leave SHS at 11:00 by bus and leave ENSATS at dismissal at 2:30. 

  • Rising Juniors - 2-year program

  • More information will be provided


The State of Student Services: - Ms. Martha Raymond

 

 

Kindergarten Registration and School Assignment:

  • Because the state during the TFM called out the inequities in our three elementary schools we are going to look at assignments very carefully for the fall.

  • May look different than it has in the past as we try to balance these numbers.









Thursday, March 25, 2021

Superintendent's Report to SC 3.24.21

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Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee

March 24, 2021


Thank you!

  • A HUGE shout out and thank you to our custodial staff and facilities department, who have been working tirelessly throughout this last year and continue to do so as classrooms are being prepared for students to return. Unsung heroes!

  • Thank you to the parent volunteers who have already committed to assisting with the bins and materials collection at the elementary schools!


Ventilation Report and Update: 

  • The “purple rooms.”

    • Twelve rooms (elementary and middle school) were retested. 

    • Of these 12 rooms, 7 of them have come back online and are no longer “purple.” 2 at Clarke, three at Stanley, and two at the middle school.

    • The other five rooms have shown improvement but remain purple, which means they CAN be used, but 6ft of distancing should stay in these spaces. 2 at Hadley, three at the middle school.

  • This information has been critical to building administrators to plan for lunch schedules and staffing needs.


Stanley Project Update: 

  • The ventilation project at the Stanley School is scheduled to be completed by this Friday, March 26th.

  • Mrs. Huntley has drafted a transition plan for our Little Stanley students and will be sharing it with faculty, staff, and families in the coming days.  

  • Students will NOT be transitioning for next week. 

 



Survey Results:


Family Choice Survey Results as of 3/22/20






% In-Person

% Remote

Total School Enrollment

Approximate Unknowns

Clarke

93%

7%

222

38

Hadley

89%

11%

301

8

Stanley

95%

5%

219

0

Middle

88%

12%

703

116

High

85%

15%

686

119


Return to In-Person Learning:

  • Except for the High School setback, we are moving ahead with the schedule outlined at our last meeting.


MARCH 29th 

  • Preschool 8:30 am-2:00 pm (5 days) and bringing in more students. 

  • K & 1: 8:00 am -12:15 pm (5 days) Teachers will be available to Zoom with remote students at 1:15 pm.

  • Middle School (all grades 5-8) 8:00 am - 12:30 am (5 days).


APRIL 5th

  • Kindergarten-Grade 4 - (5 FULL days) with lunch.

  • High School (all grades 9-12) (5 FULL days).


APRIL 12th

  • Middle School (all grades 5-8) (5 FULL days) with lunch.


Attendance: 

  • As we return to in-person learning, we will be returning to our previous attendance policy.  If you have committed to in-person learning, your student will not have access to Zoom, and teachers will mark them absent.  

  • Our teachers have been challenged during hybrid learning with students staying home or going away for long weekends and signing on to Zoom when they are supposed to be in-person. This practice will no longer be allowed. 


Parent Emails Re: Football:

  • I received two emails questioning the decision to pause football until April 5th.

  • Some clarification:

    • We follow the state's guidelines as the Department of Public Health (DPH)/ Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) when it comes to quarantine and or isolation, not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

    •  DPH/CTC  does allow individuals to test out of quarantine at day 5 and or day 7; however, individuals need to continue to monitor for symptoms for a full 14 days

  • Individuals can become positive and or symptomatic at any time up the 14-day window. 

  • This decision was not made in isolation but made in consultation with the Swampscott Health Department.

  • As of 3/23, we still did not have test results from more than half of the football team. 

  • Football is not being treated any differently than any other sport or our student body returning to school. 

  • Football is considered a high-risk sport concerning COVID, and close contacts need to continue to monitor their health. 

  • This decision isn’t to be punitive. It is to protect the health and safety of our students, families, teams, and community. We based our decision on the residual risk of spread that could occur if we allow students to play any sooner. The Swampscott Health and School Departments decided based on the maximum risk reduction because there are so many individuals involved.  








Thursday, March 11, 2021

Superintendent's Report to SC 3.10.21

 Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee

March 10, 2021


Thank yous:

  • Thank you to the parent group who organized to help make vaccination appointments for our faculty and staff.

  • Thank you to the 24 parents and community members who have already signed up to volunteer where needed as we roll out more in-person learning opportunities.


Ventilation Report and Update: Director of Facilities, Mr. Kasper


BinaxNOW Point of Contact (POC) Testing: 

Occupational Health Nurse, Mrs. Mulcahy

 

Tents:

  • Having them installed the week of March 29th. 

  • This spring installation will include the sides of the tents for use in inclement weather. We have health guidance for the use of these sides. 


Purchases:

  • Portable seating for indoor and outdoor use (elementary and middle school)

  • Additional desks - for those classrooms previously using tables.

  • Individual desk shields for all elementary students

  • Picnic Tables for each school


Classroom Set-Up: 

  • Custodians have already been setting up classrooms with desks from the storage containers.

  • Teachers will be taking inventory of all the extraneous furniture in their classrooms that might be stored in the containers for more space in their classrooms.

Staff with Medical Accommodations:

  • We will not be flipping a switch, and suddenly all teachers with medical accommodations will be back in their classrooms on a random date.

  • It will be a rolling return, whereby once these faculty and staff members are fully vaccinated (two weeks after their second shot), they will be returning to their classrooms.  We are currently looking at a timeline for each of these individuals.


Return Dates from the Commissioner:

  • April 5th - K-5 (unless your middle school has a 5-8), then you can apply for a waiver.

  • April 28th - Middle School

  • TBD - High School

























SPS TIMELINE

  • This is an overview and outline of the district-wide plan.

  • Further details and communications will come from your building principal.

  • This approach is purposeful and cautious. 



MARCH 22nd

  • BY NO LATER THAN 3/22, all special education students at elementary schools back to original classrooms (out of large spaces, like cafeteria & library

  • Continue preparing spaces across the district to go from 6ft to 3ft in all classrooms; moving furniture while waiting on purple classrooms’ report.

  • SHS Remote ½ day Wednesday will go full day remote Wednesday, and the SHS schedule reverts to five days rather than a two-day schedule.



MARCH 29th - Current Hybrid Students Only

  • Preschool 8:30 am-2:00 pm and bringing in more students. 

  • K & 1: 8:00 am -12:15 pm and teachers available to Zoom with remote students at 1:15 pm

  • Middle School (all grades 5-8) 8:00 am - 12:30 am current hybrid students for five days.

  • High School (all grades 9-12) full-day five days current hybrid students. No lunch service inside - kids go out for lunch just as on the hybrid days now. 



APRIL 5th

  • Kindergarten-Grade 4 - five full-days with lunch

  • Food services were looking at one choice and boxed or bagged lunches only.



APRIL 12th

  • The goal is to have all students 5-8 in five full-days with lunches

    • Contingent on more information on large spaces and purple room report





OTHER CONSIDERATIONS AND WORK TO BE DONE

  • REMOTE STUDENTS: 

    • It’s important to note that the state is mandating we get students back to in-person learning.

    • Families that choose to remain remote for the rest of the year may do so, but time on learning is not a factor for this group of students.

    • The focus will shift to the in-person students as directed by the state.

    • Currently, 5-8 & 9-12 will continue to live Zoom (stream) from their classrooms.

    • Elementary Grades 3-4, we are looking at live Zooming as mentioned above.

    • Elementary Grades K-2 will be a combination of Zoom and asynchronous learning.

    • Current Remote students wishing to change to in-person learning will be given that opportunity after April vacation.



  • LITTLE STANLEY - THE MOVE BACK TO BIG STANLEY:

    • No decision has been made on the specific date yet.

    • If the timing holds for the completion of the ventilation project, we will be ready to move students back by the last week in March or the first week in April.


  • OPEN FAMILY MEETING:

    • 6:30 pm tomorrow, Thursday, March 11th. 

    • Letter and Zoom link here.


  • YET ANOTHER SURVEY:

    • The state is requiring another parent survey be distributed to families regarding your choice of a learning model for your student(s). 

    • Dr. Bacon will be sending this survey by the end of this week.