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Message from Superintendent Duerr

Good afternoon,

I hope everyone had a great day today. I appreciate your understanding and continued support as our teachers continue to grow their skills and capacity to provide a quality virtual learning experience for our students as we plan for next year.

Reopening Schools in September Update. While we await DESE’s guidance about the fall’s reopening of schools, we are exploring a variety of models that could address the most important family issues.

  • Childcare, in the event students begin school on a rotating schedule in a hybrid mode: If DESE allows or approves FPS to offer a full-time in-person mode for grades PreK - 2, we are increasingly confident we can offer that model for these We also aim to offer the same model to grade 3; however, we are still working on staffing options we can support financially. Please remember, we’ve been told that DESE will direct us on a model that we must use, so, although we are working on a variety of options, we do not yet have approval.
  • Option for continuing in a fully remote environment: We recognize that some families may not be ready to send their children to school in the fall for health or other reasons. Once we know DESE’s determined model(s), we will survey families on their preferred

Professional Development - Teachers and administrators from across the district engaged in professional development today to provide consistency to the student view of the digital classrooms, so students can readily access links, assignments, and other course material from one location. Elementary schools and Morse Pond School will use GoogleClassroom. Lawrence School and Falmouth High School will use the learning management system, Schoology.

We will provide our school adjustment counselors with additional resources to ensure their support of our students’ social and emotional learning and mental health needs.

Our school nurses are developing student learning modules focused on safety practices. All students will be required to engage in these lessons as part of the return to school routines for the safety of all students and staff. They are also developing protocols based on our best prediction of what the state mandates will be for reopening schools, including the use of isolation rooms if a student or staff member shows symptoms similar to those of COVID19.

***Important: DESE’s guidance will likely mandate 85% of our reentry plans. We do not know what decisions local districts will be permitted to make. Until we see the guidelines, we cannot commit to a FPS plan. We recognize this could create uncertainty and anxiety for our families and staff, but we will make this work together.

Parent & Staff Advisory Update. The Reopening Schools Advisory Committee met again this week. We continued discussions about safety. The committee recognizes that safety practices will most likely be mandated at the state level. This week the committee shifted from generating questions to recommending solutions.

  • Students in specialized programs need proximity and visual cues
  • Students and Staff in younger grades and specialized programs need clear masks and opportunities to remove masks
  • Students need consistency in remote learning across classrooms, grades, and schools
  • Students need options to skype with teacher/classroom during remote days
  • Families need daycare options
  • Students need consistent structure and organization of online content and learning in digital classrooms
  • Students need a consistent daily schedule of coursework and expectations for learning
  • Students need to receive teacher communications in a media with which they are familiar and have an ease of access
  • Students need a network of support for school re-entry
  • Students need to be supported to make sense of racial tensions, national events, and their own understandings, identity, and relationships post isolation
  • High School Administration needs to revisit the master schedule to support rotation of in-person instruction while honoring student selection of courses

Families should expect a survey in early July. The committee will review the family survey this week to ensure we ask the right questions to inform planning. Each member is also researching different states’ and countries’ reopening plans in order to help inform FPS’s plan to the extent we will be allowed to plan.

I would like to close by reminding you that if you would like to add to the list of questions or concerns, please email us at info@falmouth.k12.ma.us, learning@falmouth.k12.ma.us, or to me directly at lduerr@falmouth.k12.ma.us.

I hope you enjoy the sunshine this weekend. Best regards,

Lori Duerr, Ed.D. 
Superintendent 
Falmouth Public Schools