COVID-19 Updates & Bulletins

  • MERSD End of Week Update

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 5/22/2020 2:00:00 PM

    Good Afternoon MERSD Community,

    I hope this email finds you well.  I am happy to report that Remote Learning Phase III is going well, and we are making solid progress toward our goals.

    • Advance the curriculum in alignment with the Department of Education power standards
    • Deliver Instruction in an audio/visual format either synchronous or asynchronous
    • Increase connectedness with the classroom

    The terms uncertainty and uncharted waters have been used countless times over the past few months, but they remain the best descriptors of what lies ahead.  As we continue on this journey and begin preparing for the multiple scenarios for reopening school in the fall, we will be reaching out to solicit feedback to inform our work.  As we look forward, the MERSD team will do its best to design a flexible program that puts students at the center of our decision making and strives to ensure access for all.

    In addition to the challenge of planning for the Fall of 2020, MERSD is facing a very challenging budget situation.  As you may know, the state of Massachusetts has delayed its budget development process to the summer, and local communities have had to postpone annual Town Meetings.   These two events are critical to the development of the school budget: the state determining school funding appropriations and the town appropriating local assessment dollars.  Although MERSD developed and passed a budget earlier this year, the economic downturn combined with an anticipated 10%  ($360,000) reduction to state aid has required us to revise our budget.   The following MERSD Scool Committee Budget Goals have guided our process for budget development and revision:

    • Develop and deliver a fiscally responsible budget that maintains educational quality, supports District goals, and recognizes the confines of Proposition 2 ½.
    • Manage Enrollment
      • Strive to meet School Committee class size guidelines
      • Serve increasingly diverse student educational needs
    • Exercise fiscal responsibility
      • Seek internal efficiencies to offset growth needs when possible
    • Meet local, state and federal responsibilities while controlling growth

    Throughout this revision process, MERSD has been working collaboratively with the Boards of Selectman and Finance in Essex and Manchester.  Both communities have organized outdoor Town Meetings to be held in June.  Town meeting is the mechanism by which the MERSD budget is formally approved and funds are appropriated by each town. We are hopeful that these meetings will occur, and we will have a formal budget in place to begin the new fiscal year in July.   If you are interested in learning more about our budget and the revisions and reductions we have made, please visit the MERSD Budget page to review our latest documents.

    I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and can take some time to unplug and enjoy the wonderful spring weather, as well as to reflect on the sacrifice of those serving our country.

    Sincerely,

    Pam
     ___________________________________________________________________

    Updates & Reminders  - New Items

    Cass of 2020 Celebration 

     

    • Save the Date!  June 5 at 4:30 – Class of 2020 Car Parade: Students will begin to arrive at 4pm.  We are planning a safe environment, yet festive atmosphere,  in the parking lot and then a parade through the streets of Manchester and Essex.  More detailed information soon.

    Pick-Up of Student Materials:  Student material pick-up will take place between May 28th and June 5th.  Principals have created and communicated school-specific plans including dates and times.  If you have questions, please contact your building principal.

    Remote Learning: The MERSD Remote Learning Plan and related documents are available on our Remote Learning Page.  If you have questions or concerns related to the implementation of the remote planning plan, I encourage you to reach out to the school using the  MERSD Problem Solving Quick Guide.

    Food Assistance:
     Free Lunch is available to all who need it.

    School Buildings: All buildings and fields will remain closed per the Governor’s order.

    • No access for students, staff, or the community.
    • During the shutdown, buildings will be cleaned and sanitized.

    Construction at Memorial School continues under the guidelines for essential construction.

    School Closure:  All Massachusetts schools remain closed and we will continue implementing Remote Learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Because we opted to eliminate three days of April Break to continue remote learning through that period, the DESE has advised that we can end the school year on the 181st day of school.  That puts our last day of school at June 19th

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  • MERSD End of Week Update

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 5/1/2020 5:45:00 PM

    Good Afternoon MERSD Community,

    Late last week the Department of Education published updated guidance for remote learning, which included the recommendation that we begin moving the curriculum forward in alignment with the newly developed DESE power standards. Power standards are prioritized academic expectations determined to be the most critical and essential for students to learn between now and the end of the year.   Over the past week, our educator team has been reviewing the K-12 grade-level content standards and has begun to prepare for advancing the curriculum.   On Tuesday evening Julie Riley, Director of Curriculum & Instructional Technology, will be updating the School Committee on our timeline for implementation.  Additionally, we will be sharing the feedback we received from our check-in survey.  Thank you to all who took the time to provide input.  It has been very helpful in planning for Phase III of remote learning.   

    In addition to preparing updates to our Remote Learning Plan, the leadership team has been reviewing options and connecting with stakeholders to develop plans to continue the traditional end of the year student activities and celebrations.   We are optimistic that we will be able to continue most of our activities in a virtual format.  I will be updating the School Committee on our progress on Tuesday evening, and I hope to have the plan included in next week’s update.

    Prin DayI’d like to end the week, by expressing gratitude to our awesome Principal Team for all they do to support MERSD students, faculty, and families. 

     

    Have a great weekend.
    Pam 

     


    Weekly Updates & Reminders

    Remote Learning: The MERSD Remote Learning Plan and related documents are available on our Remote Learning Page.  If you have questions or concerns related to the implementation of the remote planning plan, I encourage you to reach out to the school using the  MERSD Problem Solving Quick Guide


    Food Assistance:
     Free Lunch is available to all who need it.

    School Buildings: All buildings and fields will remain closed per the Governor’s order.

    • No access for students, staff, or the community.
    • During the shutdown, buildings will be cleaned and sanitized.

    Construction at Memorial School continues under the guidelines for essential construction.

    School Closure:  All Massachusetts schools and we will continue implementing Remote Learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Because we have opted to eliminate three days of April Break and to continue remote learning through that period, the DESE has advised that we can end the school year on the 181st day of school.  That puts our last day of school at June 19th.  


    Spring Sports: 
    MIAA has formally announced the cancellation of the spring sports season. Click here for MIAA's formal statement.


    End of Year Assessments

    • MCAS:MCAS is cancelled. 
    • SATs, ACTs & AP Tests:
      • SATS:May/June SATs have been canceled. June administration of SAT has been cancelled.  New administration dates are 8/29, 9/26, 10/3, 11/7 and 12/5. Students can register for these administrations starting in May. MERHS will contact students directly during the week of May 26 to provide an exact date. For each administration, the College Board is preparing to significantly expand our capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen. 
        • Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re:
          • Already registered for June
          • In the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores
        • ACTs: will offer national test dates on June 13 and July 18. If a test center is not able to open on the national test date, a makeup test date will be provided a week later. The makeup test date for the June 13 national test date will be June 20, and the makeup test date for the July 18 test date will be July 25. See ACT.org for more information
      • AP Tests: AP testing will be administered remotely.  Please click here for AP testing dates and format:  https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/educators/taking-the-exams/ap-exam-schedule#courseSpecific

     

     

     

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  • MERSD End of Week Update

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 4/24/2020 3:15:00 PM

    Good Afternoon MERSD Community,

    I know the closure has been a challenging experience for everyone in the MERSD Learning Community, and we were all disappointed to learn that we will not be returning to campus this year.  In particular, our thoughts are with the Class of 2020 and the fact that they will not be able to enjoy their traditional senior year milestones. Please know that we will make every effort to find a creative way to celebrate their high school graduation. 

    We are all in this together, and it is important to us that we hear from you.  Don’t forget to tell us how things are going for you and your family - MERSD Check-In Survey.

     

    Updates & Reminders

    School Closure: Earlier this week, Governor Baker formally announced that Massachusetts schools will remain closed and will continue implementing Remote Learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Because we have opted to eliminate three days of April Break and to continue remote learning through that period, the DESE has advised that we can end the school year on the 181st day of school.  That puts our last day of school at June 19th.  

    End of Year Activities - All Levels: At this time no final decisions have been made with regard to the end of the year student activities and celebrations.  Over the next week, the administrative team will be reviewing options and connecting with stakeholders to develop plans.  It is my hope that we will have plans ready by the first week of May.   

    Spring Sports: MIAA has formally announced the cancellation of the spring sports season. Click here for MIAA's formal statement.

    End of Year Assessments

    • MCAS: MCAS is cancelled. 
    • SATs, ACTs & AP Tests:
      • SATS: May/June SATs have been canceled. June administration of SAT has been cancelled.  New administration dates are 8/29, 9/26, 10/3, 11/7 and 12/5. Students can register for these administrations starting in May. MERHS will contact students directly during the week of May 26 to provide an exact date. For each administration, the College Board is preparing to significantly expand our capacity for students to take the SAT once schools reopen. 
        • Students can get early access to register for August, September, and October if they’re:
          • Already registered for June
          • In the high school class of 2021 and don’t have SAT scores
        • ACTs: will offer national test dates on June 13 and July 18. If a test center is not able to open on the national test date, a makeup test date will be provided a week later. The makeup test date for the June 13 national test date will be June 20, and the makeup test date for the July 18 test date will be July 25. See ACT.org for more information
      • AP Tests: AP testing will be administered remotely.  Please click here for AP testing dates and format:  https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/educators/taking-the-exams/ap-exam-schedule#courseSpecific

    Remote Learning: The MERSD Remote Learning Plan and related documents are available on our Remote Learning Page.  If you have questions or concerns related to the implementation of the remote planning plan, I encourage you to reach out to the school using the  MERSD Problem Solving Quick Guide

    Food Assistance: Free Lunch is available to all who need it.

    School Buildings: All buildings and fields will remain closed per the Governor’s order.

    • No access for students, staff, or the community.
    • During the shutdown, buildings will be cleaned and sanitized.
    • Construction at Memorial School continues under the guidelines for essential construction.

    Have a great weekend.

    Pam 

     seal

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • MERSD School Shutdown Update

    Posted by Pam Beaudoin on 4/21/2020 2:45:00 PM

    Good Afternoon MERSD Community,

    This afternoon Governor Baker formally announced that Massachusetts schools will remain closed and will continue implementing Remote Learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  Although this was not a surprise, we are all saddened by the thought that we will not be returning to campus this year.  In particular, our thoughts are with the Class of 2020 and the fact that they will not be able to enjoy their traditional senior year milestones. Please know that we will make every effort to find a creative way to celebrate their high school graduation. 

     

    At this time no decisions have been made with regard to the end of the year student activities and celebrations for all levels.  Over the next week, the administrative team will be reviewing options and connecting with stakeholders to develop plans.  It is my hope that we will have this ready by the first week of May.

     

    I know the closure has been a challenging experience for everyone in the MERSD Learning Community.  It is important to us that we hear from you about how things are going for you and your family.  Please take a moment to complete our MERSD Check-In Survey.

     

    Sincerely,

    Pam

    Pamela Beaudoin

    Superintendent

    Manchester Essex Regional Schools

    beaudoinp@mersd.org

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