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Superintendent Update

January 14, 2022

Dear Staff and Families,

On this otherwise rainy day, I hope I bring a bit of sunshine by sharing a few wonderful things happening in our schools.

FHS Art Student Recognition. The College of Visual and Performing Arts selected artwork from two FHS Clippers in a highly competitive New England juried exhibit, Emerging Young Artists. Congratulations to FHS ceramics students Avery Johnson, Sophomore and Madeline Sabens, Junior! And many thanks to instructor Corine Adams for your instructional leadership and the opportunities you provide our students.

Morse Pond’s Global Project. Through the generous support of the Falmouth Education Foundation, Morse Pond students participated in the global traveling mural project. This international project focused on diversity and social emotional capacities by learning about the zones of regulation and examining identity. Students created a mural to represent their new understanding. Thank you to Librarian Liz Abbot and Art Teacher Amy Maseda for leading this wonderful project.

COVID update. The COVID surge continues. Here is a snapshot of the positive cases this week per day:

Monday - 42 students and 4 staff. Contract tracing was required for 25 of the cases.

Tuesday - 37 students and 0 staff. Contract tracing was required for 12 of the cases.

Wednesday - 36 students and 3 staff. Contract tracing was required for 27 of the cases. Thursday - 31 students and 4 staff. Contract tracing was required for 22 of the cases.

Our wonderful Nurses, Health Assistants, COVID tracers and testers deserve much praise all the time, but especially now. The contact tracing, testing, and paperwork is a bit overwhelming at this time. Please forgive us if you receive multiple notifications. If you have concerns or suggestions please email us at info@falmouth.k12.ma.us so we can keep the COVID phone line open for families with a student who has tested positive and need additional support. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we get through this surge.

Mask Mandate. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has extended the staff and student requirement for wearing masks while indoors until February 28, 2022.

No Guff! 2022. We will celebrate No Guff on January 31 through February 4, 2022. The FHS students selected “Respect Others” as this year’s theme. Thank you to the Graphic Arts students, under the direction of teacher Larissa Hart, for creating this year's design. No Guff activities will occur at all the schools. Although we recognize staff and students and celebrate during this one week, everyone knows we encourage No Guff throughout the year.

Food Justice Program. Falmouth Public Schools is currently developing an innovative pathway in partnership with our community and aligned with our values for equity. This idea was brought forward by three members of the science and research community and is regarded as the Food Justice Program. The Food Justice Program combines farming and agriculture with social and racial justice. Students will learn about sustainable farming, food insecurity and scarcity, and how race and existing social structures affect who has access and who does not. This curriculum connects with the science, math, and social studies disciplines. The Food Justine Program Advisory Team will be composed of community members and throughout the course students will be engaged with community partners such as Farming Falmouth, the Cape Verdean Museum and Cultural Center, and the Wampanoag Tribe. The Falmouth Education Foundation has partnered with us on this project and has financially supported the opening of this new student opportunity. Students will begin registering for all their classes soon, including this program.

Nature Trails. The Falmouth Rotary Club, The 300 Committee, the Outdoor Learning Committee, and the Falmouth Public Schools are creating educational nature trails for students and the community at each of our schools. The first trail, at the Teaticket Elementary School, starts at an outdoor classroom, runs past a master kiosk which presents a map of the 2,000 ft. long trail and directs you to ten QR stations starting on school grounds and ending up in Teaticket Park. The QR codes will take you to a 30-second video with sounds and sights of the environment and transport you up close to animals and plants along the trail. To tie the videos into the curriculum of the school, the dialog is chosen in the scripts to match the elementary science curriculum Mystery Science. The next Nature Trail is planned for Mullen Hall School.

Stay warm! And as you reflect on Martin Luther King Jr., remember he was a great advocate for education. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Sincerely,

Lori Duerr, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools