8.6.20 Fall 2020 Planning Update
Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 8/6/2020 5:00:00 PM
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the lengthy School Committee meeting on Tuesday evening. We had over one hundred seventy participants join in to listen to our planning updates. If you weren’t able to be at the live meeting I encourage you to listen to the recording to hear the latest thinking on the potential options for Fall 2020 - School Committee Playback. At the meeting, we updated the 2020-2021 school year calendar to move the first day of school for students to September 16th, in accordance with the state mandate to provide training for educators at the beginning of the school year. We will be revising the year-long calendar and reissuing over the next few weeks.
The Fall 2020 Planning Report included presentations on the feasibility study conclusions to date as well as a detailed presentation of the Middle and High School Hybrid Model. Links to the individual slide decks are below or you can view the presentations by watching the 8.4.20 School Committee meeting.
Feasibility Study Conclusions to Date:
- The MERSD School Committee has established a six-foot social distancing guideline.
- The cost of the district-wide in-person and/or hybrid models will require an investment of $1.5 – $2 million dollars.
- In-person models require significant investment in additional staffing.
- MERSD cannot accommodate full in-person learning and meet the social distancing and DESE health and safety guidelines.
- MERSD can achieve a K-12 hybrid in-person/remote model that meets the six-foot social distancing guideline and DESE health and safety guidelines.
- Implementing the hybrid model at the high school level in a manner consistent with DESE safety guidelines does not allow for full access to the current program of studies and requires the implementation of heterogeneous grouping and a modified curriculum to achieve the cohort structure.
- In the hybrid model, providing the full high school program of studies to students would require four classroom changes per day and the following cohort levels. As outlined below the cohort levels do not meet DESE safety guidelines.
- Cohorts = Grade 9/10 @ 60
- Cohort = Grades 11/12 up to 125
- 60 students per day / 120 students per week
- Implementing the hybrid model at the middle school level in a manner consistent with DESE safety guidelines does not allow for full access to the current program of studies and requires the implementation of heterogeneous grouping and a modified curriculum to achieve the cohort structure.
- Implementing the hybrid model at the middle school poses some challenges in terms of minimizing movement and maintaining a low number of student interactions for faculty and staff. Cocooning cohorts to one classroom / one teacher daily does not allow for the full academic program to be delivered.
- Moving only teachers exposes teachers to 60 students per day / 120 students per week.
- Creating standalone cohorts (1 teacher / 12 students) would put teachers in the position of supervisor and not allow them to teach their typical course load. This may result in the need to provide an independent remote learning option that students can access while supervised by classroom teachers.
- Survey results show the community has a strong interest in the hybrid model; however, anecdotally, at the high school level access to the full academic program is of equal or greater importance to stakeholders.
- Implementing the hybrid model at the elementary level allows for the full academic program and results in standalone cohorts (1 teacher / 12 students).
Our next meeting is on August 11th. The meeting will focus on Fall 2020 Reentry Planning and will include a general planning update along with presentations on the elementary hybrid model and special education.
Lastly, we have updated our fall 2020 Planning Timeline
Fall 2020 Planning Timeline
SC Meeting - Implications of Hybrid
Week of 10-Aug
Continue Plan Development / Update
Remote Plan Outline
Plan Update to be Posted 8.14
Teachers Return to School – Training / Professional Development
Students Return to School