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Superintendent Update

October 14, 2021

Dear Clipper Staff & Families!

The summer weather has lingered and softened the transition into the fall. Our students have enjoyed outdoor learning and play, and our fall athletes have had warmth and sunshine cheering them on. With the buzz of learning and activity, it’s incredible to see the routines our students and teachers have built and how far into the school year we already are. I sincerely appreciate how each and every one of you have helped create the positive feelings of returning to school.

Wampanoag Tribal Storytellers, Dancers, and Singers. Our partnership is growing, and we were truly fortunate to have hosted cultural celebrations at each of our schools in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. I am grateful for all the students and colleagues with whom I have talked about the presentations. Each has shared a way in which the messages and traditions of the Wampanoag people impacted them. Thank you to our teachers and staff who help students prepare for and better understand the ideas, stories, and experiences shared with them.

COVID Response Team. I would like to introduce our newest members of our COVID Team. Aja Gonzales is our new daytime contact tracer and Paul Dart is our evening and weekend contact tracer. If you receive emails and calls from Aja and Paul, just know they are part of our Falmouth Public Schools District COVID team.

Please report vaccination information to our COVID Team at 774-392-6477 or covidteam@falmouth.k12.ma.us. Aja and Paul can also help you with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and District guidelines and practices. If you have a medical related question, please contact your school nurse or your primary health care physician.

Test and Stay program: If you have not already completed the online form or paper copy version, parents/guardians may complete the online consent form for in-school testing at https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=null.

Remember, if your child is experiencing COVID like symptoms, please keep your child home. Testing in school is only for students and staff who begin feeling symptomatic after arrival and during the day. If you send your child to school with symptoms and they test positive, other students will need to start the Test and Stay program or quarantine unnecessarily. Thank you for working together as a community.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer. The Town and School Department’s new DEI Officer, Jacquelyn (Jacki) Hartman started work on October 4, 2021. She has been busy meeting administrators, staff, students, and community members. She’s engaged in Restorative Practices professional learning. We’re excited to have her connect with the District’s important new direction. Ms. Hartman will also begin looking at our policies to ensure our practices are equitable for all. Jacki is welcoming emails at jhartman@falmouth.k12.ma.us and phone discussions at 774-349-1638.

Restorative Practices. Dr. Curtis Bates with Seaside Educational Consultants has begun a series of professional development sessions for staff. Dr. Bates’ work focuses on Restorative Practices and helps us continue our transformation of discipline practices and responses. While we continue to operate within a clearly defined legal framework, we can leverage Restorative Practices to prioritize relationships among students and staff within and across our school community. To learn more, please visit our Discipline Philosophy & Restorative Practices page in our Student/Family Handbooks. And, a special shout out to two of our administrators, Principal Rose Moran and Assistant Principal Tom McManamon, who created this video explaining more about Restorative Practices. It’s also linked in the Handbook.

Dr. Adolph Brown. We were fortunate to welcome Dr. Adolph Brown to Falmouth to present his “straight talk” to our faculty and staff during our Professional Day on October 8, 2021. Dr. Brown spoke about the need to be both human and kind. I am overjoyed by the number of colleagues who took time to share their feedback and how deeply impacted they were by Dr. Brown’s words and sentiments. He reminded us of the power of being authentic and available to each other. Dr. Brown celebrated our advancement of cultural proficiency as we work to realize our equity vision:

UNDERSTAND ME, RESPECT ME, LIKE ME, and I WILL LEARN.

Principal of FHS. We are sad to see Principal Gans move on to new adventures; however, we support her decision and are so grateful for her leadership. Mary has been the very proud high school principal for eight and a half years. Mary is a true Clipper! She is an inspiring leader whose impact will be felt for many years as she models how to put students first in decision making. Mary will be missed by so many colleagues, students, and families. Mary Gans’ tenure as the high school principal will conclude at the end of December. Assistant Principal Tom McManamon will assume the Interim Principal position as of January 3, 2022.

Please enjoy this beautiful fall weather and outdoor activities with your children.

Sincerely,

Lori Duerr, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Falmouth Public Schools