Letter from the Superintendent - April 17, 2020

Letter from the Superintendent - April 17, 2020
Posted on 04/17/2020
Letter Image

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Yesterday afternoon Governor Sununu held a press conference regarding New Hampshire’s ongoing COVID-19 response. In his remarks he was very complimentary to teachers, students, parents and administrators. He commented on how we have become a model for the country with regard to implementing remote learning within an incredibly short period of time.

During the conference he announced that students will not be returning to school buildings and that Remote Learning for our students will continue for the remainder of the school year. He also talked about remote summer school and briefly mentioned a potential new model for returning to school next year. Details on summer and next year were not shared, but will undoubtedly be a major topic of discussion over the next few weeks.

While we know that this announcement does not come as a complete surprise, we also recognize that for many this comes as a disappointment. Please know that our staff has been preparing for the possibility of this decision for some time. We are prepared to continue Remote Learning and will continue to discuss and examine innovative ways to maintain educational services and nutritional services. In addition, we recognize the need to provide opportunities to celebrate milestones.

In the weeks to come, we all know we will need to find ways to recognize our 8th grade students, return materials and belongings to all students from their classrooms and lockers, create a plan and process for the return of chromebooks to the district, register kindergarten students for next year and hire staff for open positions. This by no means is meant to be a complete list, but rather a smattering of ideas to let you know a few of the things that we are
already contemplating.

As we mentioned last week, we are doing another formative survey (which you will find by clicking here) regarding Remote Instruction. With the Governor’s announcement your input on the survey has become even more important. Your feedback will assist us as we move to more long term planning. We hope to begin more specific planning next week at our Wednesday Leadership Team meeting, and the survey data will provide us information on major areas of focus. Your input will be greatly appreciated.

The next Chester School Board meeting will take place on May 6th. At that meeting I will be recommending a revised school calendar including a new last day of school for students for the Boards approval. We hope to have that information distributed to you by May 8th.

We will continue to actively monitor updates from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE), Pinkerton Academy and other SAUs in our region and throughout the state. Our priorities remain the safety of our students and staff, clear communication with parents, guardians and community members, and maintaining as much of a degree of normalcy as possible.

Our food service continues to offer breakfast and lunch. Review my last letter at our website for information on how to participate. The employment status of many of our residents continues to change. If your status has changed, you may want to apply for free or reduced price breakfast and lunch for your child. You will also find information in my previous letter with regard to how to apply for this program.

Please accept this gentle reminder, that Chester Academy is closed with the exception of authorized personnel. This includes the Playground Equipment and Outdoor Basketball Court areas as we cannot clean these areas daily. We apologize for this inconvenience.

As previously mentioned, we will continue to send you weekly updates. However, if you have questions or concerns that are not addressed in our updates, please do not hesitate to send me an email at lockwoodd@chesteracademy.org. We will do our best to provide you with a prompt response.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Darrell J. Lockwood, Ed.D.

 

COVID-19 Letter (13) 4.17.2020.pdf