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Message from Superintendent Duerr

Dear Families,

As we head into another beautiful weekend, I was anticipating we would have guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to share with you for your review and reflection. Hopefully, we will receive something next week.

This week, I engaged with both the Homework Advisory as well as the Parent/Staff Re-Opening Advisory, and both spoke to their experiences in remote learning and how the lessons we are learning through closure will help us find our way forward both with future remote learning and the longer-term goal of blended learning.

Homework Advisory Update

This advisory committee’s work paused with the spring’s forced closure. Our meeting this week blended our original focus on homework with remote learning, which was exclusively situated in our homes for the final marking period. Among the themes we discussed were the balance between social engagement and instruction during live interaction. We also talked about the ways in which updated scheduling and continuation of learning routines can help maintain the integrity of the curriculum as we advance into the new school year.

Parent/Staff Re-Opening Advisory Update

Like the members of the Homework Advisory, the members of the Re-Opening Advisory also engaged in discussion and problem solving with regard to consistent daily or weekly schedules as well as what strategies can be tested during the summer school programming that the district will offer. The committee underscored our value of compassion in the face of changing circumstances.

We also acknowledged that our community is experiencing many emotions, and we are listening to each person’s thoughts and ideas. However, the members of this committee affirmed the

importance of following Massachusetts’ health and safety protocols to safeguard staff and students as well as the families to which both return each day. As our efforts advance, we cannot lose sight of the current health data and trends in the Commonwealth and the impact on our local community

I appreciate the committee’s input this week and understand that childcare is a key concern that could impact students through grade eight, not just our elementary grades. Therefore, we are looking at multiple ways to return as many of our students as possible. My administrative team and support staff are working diligently to design classroom plans that maximize student in- person attendance while following the anticipated health and safety guidelines that are sure to follow soon.

The committee continues to look at the science and the successes as other countries return to school as they will help inform our practices in Falmouth. I appreciate the commitment and contributions of all our committee members.

In closing and as we look ahead to our last week of school, I encourage students and families to engage in the Virtual Field Day that our Physical Education Teachers have prepared. I am sure

there will be much fun to be had! While there is more to look forward to, I’m saddened by the thought that we cannot send our students off for summer in a manner that we are accustomed to doing. Posters, pictures, and parades have become the way to bring closure to the school year, and, as they continue, I wish you all the best with your end of year celebrations.

Please know we miss our Clippers!

Lori Duerr, Ed. D.
Falmouth Public Schools