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Superintendent's Update - August 7, 2020

Dear Monomoy Families,

I have appreciated all of the feedback we have received from parents and our teachers and staff since the release of our draft Back-to-School Plan last week. I want to acknowledge that these are challenging times for all of us - parents and caregivers, students, teachers and staff, and even administrators. This pandemic has created situations where there are no easy answers and no clear solutions. I’m confident that as we navigate this together, we will come out stronger on the other side.

While many districts are faced with large class sizes, smaller classrooms, and older facilities that make safe in-person schooling challenging, Monomoy is fortunate to have small class sizes, spacious classrooms, and well-maintained and fully operational HVAC systems -- we are well-positioned to safely bring students back for in-person learning, when other districts may not be so lucky. 

Monomoy is also committed to the moral imperative of providing equitable education for all of our students. Lessons learned during distance learning this spring, in Monomoy and around the country, showed that not all students had equal opportunities for success, which is why in-person learning helps us to ensure a level playing field for all students. 

Our Parent Forum earlier this week was full of great questions and input -- we apologize to those who were not able to get in. Sometimes, technology hinders as much as it helps. We will hold an additional Parent Forum on Monday, Aug. 10, at 6:30 p.m. to ensure that all have an opportunity to ask questions and receive clarifications.

At last night’s School Committee meeting, the committee approved our draft plan, with a few changes and clarifications based on questions and input we have received. The approved plan can be found here. We added some clarity and flexibility to the process of changing models (found on page 15). We also added information on the high school schedule to account for an asynchronous seminar class, which will allow MRHS to offer 7 classes and ensure that students have access to all credits needed (page 19). To help families and teachers approach learning with appropriate guidelines, we have expanded and clarified the section on expectations for both in-person and distance learning (pages 21 and 22). 

Additionally, our Back-to-School 2020-2021 website is a good resource for families -- not only is the plan linked, there is also an FAQ page (being added to frequently as new questions arise), and photos of some of our classrooms set up for 6-foot distancing.

We recognize that there are big decisions at hand, and understand that none of the choices are ideal. We are in a less-than-ideal situation and must persevere and make the best choices we can for our families. If you haven't already done so, please complete the Selection Form by Aug. 12.

I encourage us all to continue to wear our masks, practice distancing, and do what we can to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Have a great weekend and stay safe.

Dr. Scott Carpenter, Superintendent