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Superintendent's Update - April 8, 2022

Dear Monomoy families and staff,

Between an exciting past few weeks and the upcoming weeks, there are many signs of a return to normal. We’ve had high school students performing in the spring musical and a Disney Pops concert, a middle school production of Aladdin Jr., and next Wednesday evening there will be a middle school band concert two years in the making. Many of our high school students will be embarking on our first international trips since the pandemic began, with one group heading to explore the ecology of Costa Rica and the other group experiencing the rich history of London. Last week also saw the heavy equipment arrive at Harwich Elementary School to begin construction of the much-awaited community playground.

The Community Risk Level for COVID in Barnstable County continues to remain low despite the presence of Omicron/BA.2. We have only had a handful of positive pools in the past few weeks and appear to be seeing a random ebb and flow to new cases. Over the previous couple of weeks, we had seen multiple new cases at Chatham Elementary but these have now dropped off; whereas, the middle school and Harwich Elementary are currently seeing a minor uptick in cases. Please be mindful to not have children come to school when displaying cold-like symptoms -- it's one of the best ways to help us keep new cases minimal.

April is Autism Awareness Month, and there are lots of activities happening across the district to educate and support our students. Special thanks to HES teacher Dyanna Rose, who planned and coordinated a vibrant slate of activities for the school -- including t-shirts for every student and staff member funded by local businesses and individuals, bulletin boards throughout the building, reading lists, and more.

Spring also brings with it the annual Town Meetings, which will be May 2 in Harwich and May 14 in Chatham. Proposed revisions to the Monomoy Regional Agreement will be on the warrant in both towns. These changes are needed to fix an unintended financial inequity created by how the current Regional Agreement apportions costs for the two elementary schools, where Harwich taxpayers have been subsidizing the operations of a much smaller Chatham Elementary School. We want to maintain the same high-quality educational program at both elementary schools, but due to economies of scale, it simply costs more per student to offer the same program at a much smaller school. In brief, the proposal finds each town paying the costs for its own elementary school, and will provide Harwich taxpayers fiscal relief while ensuring that we are maintaining a vibrant educational program at Chatham Elementary. The proposal is a win-win for both towns and their families and has unanimous support from our School Committee and both Select Boards. You can learn more in this forum hosted by the Harwich Voter Information Committee -- watch the video here.

Save the date for April 26 - I will be hosting the final Conversation with the Superintendent for this school year. More details will be sent home next week.

Take care and enjoy the longer days -- hopefully filled with lots of sunshine and fresh air.

Scott Carpenter, Ed.D.