Superintendent's Update - April 29, 2022
Dear Monomoy families and staff,
I hope you enjoyed a restful and rejuvenating April break, whether you traveled or relaxed here on the Cape. The return to school following spring break marks the final push to the end of the school year (which will be June 28, barring any additional extraordinary weather situations!). I continue to be impressed and proud of the hard work and resiliency of our students and staff during these past two years. We have seen many steps in a return to ‘normal’ this year, and are confident that the next school year will be even more so.
One of the tools that has allowed us to safely learn in person is frequent COVID testing, particularly when anyone is displaying cold-like symptoms. The number of positive cases being identified through pool testing remains low (about a handful or less per week), and at-home rapid testing is increasingly becoming a better means of identifying new infections before students or staff come into school. As such, May 9 will be the last date for in-school pooled testing in MRSD. Instead, we will increase the number of at-home rapid tests provided to those who have opted in to our testing programs, so that families can test twice a week at home, on Mondays and Thursdays. In addition, our nurses will continue to provide symptomatic testing at school for students (with parental permission) and staff. As always, we ask that you stay home when sick and test before returning to school.
It is the beginning of Town Meeting season in our community, with Harwich Town Meeting on Monday, May 2, followed by Chatham Town Meeting on Saturday, May 14. At this year’s Town Meetings, there is an important warrant article to consider. Voters in both towns will be asked to approve changes to the Monomoy Regional Agreement, which are needed to fix an unintended financial inequity created by how the current Regional Agreement apportions costs for the two elementary schools. We want to provide 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 high-quality program at the much smaller Chatham Elementary School. In brief, the proposed changes to the Regional Agreement finds each town paying the costs for its own elementary school, so Harwich taxpayers are not subsidizing the operation of Chatham Elementary and families in Chatham are ensured that a vibrant educational program remains at the elementary school in their town. The proposal is a win-win for both towns and their families and has unanimous support from our School Committee and both Select Boards, and both Finance Committees. Click here to read a letter of support for the article from the School Committee, both Select Boards, and both Finance Committees. You can also learn more about the proposed changes from a forum hosted by the Harwich Voter Information Committee -- watch the video here. Note also that both towns are offering free childcare for Town Meeting -- contact the Community Center in each town to learn more and sign up.
Graduation and summer are just around the bend.
Scott Carpenter, Ed.D.