Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, June 23, 2021

Summer Programming

While the 2020-2021 school year is winding down, we are getting ready to start our summer programming.  Our Credit Recovery Summer School Program will be open to students who need to replace credits lost due to academic performance.  This program will be offered remotely this year.  Guidance staff will be in contact with students who meet the eligibility criteria for the Credit Recovery Program.  Our Extended School Year (ESY) Program will also be in place for students whose IEPs require summer tutoring or more extensive programming.  The ESY programs will be in-person, four days per week for 6 weeks.

Asst. Superintendent for Student Services Patty Bullard and Mathematics Department Head Denise Tenanty have submitted a grant proposal to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education under the Summer Acceleration Academy Grant Program for a Mathematics Acceleration Academy.  Unfortunately, the grant does not provide for an English Language Arts component at the middle and high school levels.  Per the DESE, Masconomet is eligible for a total of $29,500 in funding.  The program will serve a total of 48 students, composed of rising 8th grade and rising 10th grade students.  Our plan is to run this Acceleration Academy during the first two weeks in August.  There will be two one-week sessions for groups of 12 students per session.  Students will be invited to attend based on pre-determined criteria. 

Acceleration Roadmap Documents

In early June, DESE released the “Acceleration Roadmap” documents.  These documents are a planning template for school districts as they approach the 2021-2022 school year.  The documents are built on the philosophy of “acceleration,” where “all students receive access to grade-level work with targeted scaffolds to make it accessible.”  This approach is in contrast to “remediation,” where “students mainly receive work better suited for earlier grades, based on the misconception that they must master all past concepts before accessing grade-level work.” (Acceleration Roadmap, p. 5).  The Acceleration Roadmap provides three priorities for schools as they implement this plan: 

  1. Fostering a sense of belonging and partnership among students and families.
  2. Continuously monitoring students’ understanding.
  3. Ensuring strong grade-appropriate instruction with just-in-time scaffolds when they are needed. (Acceleration Roadmap, p. 6)

Our Department Heads have been working to develop a District plan that follows the “Acceleration Roadmap.”  Department and Professional Learning Team meetings have been dedicated to sharing information between grade-level teams regarding the standards that were taught during the past school year.  We also held a meeting with our Department Heads, seventh grade teachers and curriculum personnel from the Tri-Town Union to discuss the curriculum that was taught to our incoming seventh graders. 

Using the Acceleration Roadmap as a guide, we’ve developed draft District Goals for next year, and have been developing activities to meet these goals.  For example, we’re developing programming on building relationships among students and families, including programming for faculty on mindfulness in the classroom, and Project Adventure activities for Middle School students.  Our Department Heads conducted a survey of the faculty regarding their levels of comfort with looking at student work, and using the scaffolding techniques that are necessary for accelerated instruction.  We’ve also committed to have approximately 25 faculty members work 700 hours over the summer to update our curriculum, and develop assessments and lesson plans.  The funds for this curriculum work are part of our general operating budget. 

Happy Summer!

Finally, I’d like to wish everyone a happy, safe and healthy summer! Enjoy the well-deserved rest. Our seventh and ninth grade orientations will be held on September 2nd and all students will return to classes on Wednesday, September 8th. See you in September!

Congratulations to Masconomet’s 2021 Retirees

As we come to the conclusion of the 2020-2021 school year, I would like to recognize five members of our faculty who are retiring this month. Congratulations to all of our retirees and best wished as they enter this next phase of their lives.

Peter Delani

After 29 years in the Masconomet Regional School District, Pete Delani is retiring.  Pete first worked in business for two years after graduating from UMASS-Amherst.  He then left the business world to go to UMASS-Boston for his Master’s Degree in Education and complete his student teaching at Wakefield High School.  He then worked for two years at Newmarket Junior/Senior High School as a Middle School Social Studies Teacher.  In the 1992-1993 school year, his first year at Masco, Pete taught Social Studies and was an Assistant Football and JV Baseball Coach.  In his second year, he was promoted to Varsity Baseball Coach, a position he held until 2006.  In 1998, Pete was appointed to the role of “High School Dean of Students,” a half-time role that he split with his social studies teaching position.  He also was nominated for the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year Award in 1999.  In May of 2000, Pete was appointed as a full-time high school assistant principal.  He held this position for seven years until he was appointed to the position of Interim High School Principal in May of 2017.  One year later, Pete was appointed to the position and has served with distinction as our High School Principal for the past three years.

In his 1993 Masconomet Application’s Personal Statement, Pete wrote:  “I operate on the basic belief that life is meant to be enjoyed to its fullest and we as people need to seek and create challenges for ourselves and those around us.  I bring that belief and what I consider a dynamic approach to my classroom teaching.”  For the past 31 years, Pete has lived these words through challenging himself, his colleagues and his students to live life to the fullest and to challenge themselves to be better. 

Maripaul McGinn

Maripaul McGinn is retiring after ten years of service (four years as contracted service provider) as the Speech and Language Pathologist for the Masconomet Regional School District.  Prior to working at Masconomet, Maripaul worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist in several capacities, including in her own consulting company, the Northshore Education Consortium, Northeast ARC-Early Intervention Program, Waltham-Weston Hospital, Northshore Children’s Hospital and the Lawrence Public Schools.  Maripaul is passionate about her work and brought her knowledge and training of the Social Thinking Curriculum based upon Michelle Garcia Winner’s work to Masco. Thank you Maripaul, we wish you all the best as you retire.   

Christina Stohl

Christina Stohl’s career at Masconomet began in September of 2010, when she joined the High School as a Special Education Program Coordinator.  Prior to coming to Masconomet, Christina worked for 8 years as a Special Education Teacher in the Lynn Public Schools.  Christina brought her knowledge and skill in Mathematics to Special Education. Over the years she co-taught in several math classes. Christina also created curriculum for a new course, Topics in Algebra, her Master Teacher Project. This course provided students with a modified Algebra course that was skills based. Thank you, Christina, for your hard work and dedication to our students at Masconomet.

Denise Tenanty

Denise Tenanty was hired as the Mathematics Department Chairperson at Masconomet in September of 1989.  Prior to coming to Masconomet, Denise was a Mathematics Teacher at Saint Mary’s High School in Brookline, Mount Saint Joseph Academy in Brighton, Don Bosco Technical High School in Boston, and Silver Lake Regional High School in Pembroke.  In all Denise has been a teacher for 40 years, 31 of them at Masconomet.  In her time at Masconomet, Denise dedicated herself to ensuring the students of Masconomet has the best mathematics education possible.  She is known for her tireless dedication to her department and the District.  She demonstrated an incredible capacity for working long hours, and was always willing to step in and take on an extra class when the need arose.  Denise’s impact on Masconomet will be felt long after her retirement. Thank you, Denise. We wish you the best in your retirement.

Elizabeth Thomas

Elizabeth Thomas is retiring after 9 years with the Masconomet Regional School District.  Betty was hired as a Tutor in the High School Special Education Department in September of 2012.  Before coming to Masconomet, Betty worked as both a Paraprofessional and a Teacher in the Alternative Program at Browne Middle School in Chelsea.  She also worked in the financial services and banking industry for 21 years. Betty loved working with our students and supporting them in any way she could and they  loved her.  She particularly enjoyed having lunch with her colleagues. Betty, we wish you well and thank you for caring so much for your students.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, June 9, 2021

Updates to COVID Guidance from DESE

On May 27th, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released “Updates to DESE COVID-19 Guidance.”  In this document, DESE outlines that although many of the health and safety protocols for the general public ended on May 29th and that the State of Emergency in Massachusetts will end on June 15th, schools will be required to maintain their core mitigation strategies, including wearing masks, social distancing and hand washing through the end of the school year.  The one exception to this is that individuals are not required to wear masks while they are outside.  This document also states that schools should prepare for a return to full time, in-person learning in September with no health and safety requirements in place.  This includes physical distancing.  Districts will not be able to offer remote learning as an option for students to participate in school beginning in September.

Panorama Survey

On Monday, June 14th Masconomet Middle and High Schools will be administering the Panorama survey to all students in grades 7-11 during WIN Block.  This survey is designed to measure students’ perceptions of their strengths relative to four social-emotional domains:  “Self-Management,” “Self-Awareness,” “Growth Mindset, and “Self-Efficacy.”  Results will be reported on a grade-by-grade basis and will be used by administration and faculty to develop and implement programming to address identified areas of need in the four social-emotional domains.  This survey was originally administered to students in grades 7-11 in the spring of 2019.  Students in the Tri-Town Union’s elementary schools will also take a similar survey in their own schools this month.  If parents have questions regarding the survey, they should contact their building principal. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2021

I’d like to offer my congratulations to the Class of 2021 and my thanks to High School Principal Pete Delani, Assistant Principals Katie DiNardo and Alyssa Schatzel, HS Office Staff Ann Curley, Cathie Daly, and Marcia Kilgallen, Senior Class Advisor Paul Massicotte, Music Department Head Randy O’Keefe, and Assistant Superintendent Jeff Sands and our Information Technology and Facilities Teams for their work in making the Commencement Ceremony a great success.

8th Grade Move-Up Day

Earlier this week, we announced that we have arranged for the tent on the football field to remain in place through June 21st.  This will allow us to hold our 8th Grade “Move Up” Celebration under the tent.  It will also allow us to accommodate three in-person guests per student for this event.  Thanks to Asst. Superintendent Jeff Sands and Middle School Principal Phil McManus for your work in making this happen.  Dr. McManus will be in touch with families with additional details later this week.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Masconomet on June 23rd from 3:00 to 6:00 PM

Masconomet Regional School District has partnered with Curative to provide a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for staff and students 12 and older to be offered at Masconomet High School.  Curative is a national biotech company that provides vaccination and testing in Massachusetts and across the nation.  Locally, Curative runs the Danvers Doubletree Vaccination site.   The Pfizer vaccine will be administered to all registered participants.  The Pfizer vaccine is approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA for individuals 12 and older.  Please follow this Link to complete your Curative patient registration. Completing the registration will enter the patient into the system for both first and second dose appointments. Please go to https://mascosuper.school.blog/2021/06/02/covid-19-vaccination-clinic-at-masco-june-23-2021-300-pm-to-600-pm/ for more information.

Thanks to Middleton Town Meeting

On Saturday, June 5th, Middleton Town Meeting approved both the Masconomet Regional District Budget and the Warrant Articles regarding our proposed Amendments to the Masconomet Regional Agreement.  Thanks to the voters of Middleton for their support!

Tiered-Focused Monitoring Report

I’m pleased to announce that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has completed its audit of our Special Education and civil rights programs and found that we are in compliance in all areas they audited and no corrective action is required at this time.  Thanks to Patty Bullard and the Student Services Department for their work in preparing for this audit.

Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic at MASCO, June 23, 2021, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Masconomet Regional School District has partnered with Curative to provide a Covid-19 vaccination clinic for staff and students 12 and older to be offered at Masconomet High School.  Curative is a national biotech company that provides vaccination and testing in Massachusetts and across the nation.  Locally, Curative runs the Danvers Doubletree Vaccination site.   

The Pfizer vaccine will be administered to all registered participants.  The Pfizer vaccine is approved for emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA for individuals 12 and older. 

For complete information about the Covid-19 vaccine, please visit  https://www.fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine.  If you have further questions, please consult your doctor.

There is no cost for this service or the vaccine.

Dates and Times:

First Dose Clinic on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 between the hours of 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. 

Second Dose Clinic on Wednesday, July 14, 2021  between the hours of 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

It is preferred that you attend the clinics for both first and second doses.  Please email tracycassidy@curative.com if you need assistance finding another clinic to attend.

Register to be vaccinated:

  • Please follow this Link to complete your Curative patient registration. Completing the registration will enter the patient into the system for both first and second dose appointments.

How do I register and how long will it take?

  • Registration is simple to complete using a smart device such as a cell phone, tablet, or computer.  It will only take 10 minutes to complete the process.  You’ll need to have general information and your health insurance card available to sign up.  Note, health insurance is not required to participate.  There is no cost to the patient for this service or the vaccine.
  • This process will only need to be done once. Your second dose will be administered at the same location on July 14, 2021 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Location

This clinic will take place on the High School side of the building.  Enter at Door 27.

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, May 19, 2021

Return to In-Person Learning Update

Overall, our return to in-person learning has gone very well.  Approximately 88% of our middle school students opted to return to in-person learning on April 28th and around 70% of high school students returned on May 3rd.  The nicer spring weather has allowed many classes and activities to move outside and take advantage of the tent and our fields.  It has been great to see students and faculty engaged in teaching and learning in-person throughout our campus.  There are some things that we may want to continue after the pandemic is over.  I hope that using the outdoors as a classroom is one of them.

There have not been any major issues to report regarding the return of students during the school day.  We are aware of the traffic issues that have occurred during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up and have been working with our local police departments to provide traffic direction at these times.  I’d also like to remind families that there is plenty of room available on our school busses and that all students are guaranteed bus transportation.  A listing of our bus routes is available at: https://www.masconomet.org/domain/107

May 17 COVID-19 Guidance from Governor Baker

On May 17th, Governor Baker issued guidance lifting most COVID-19 restrictions in Massachusetts, effective May 29th.  For the time being, K-12 schools in Massachusetts will continue with their usual health and safety mitigation strategies, including mask-wearing, social distancing and hand hygiene during the regular school day.  We will also continue with our COVID-19 cleaning practices and avoid sharing materials between students.  I expect that these measures will remain in place in Masconomet Middle and High Schools through the end of the current school year on June 21st

We are reviewing this guidance in light of the lifting of restrictions on school activities that take place outside of the school day.  For example, we received notice that effective on May 18th, student-athletes are no longer required to wear masks while engaged in outdoor athletic activities, and have implemented these new rules for outdoor athletics.  We are also in the process of making revised plans for “Senior Week” and our June 4th Graduation Ceremony based on the lifting of restrictions.  Mr. Delani will be communicating these plans to families of graduates as soon as possible.

On his conference call with superintendents on May 19th, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Riley announced that he is working with the Department of Public Health on plans for the reopening of schools in September. He is asking for full-time, in-person learning and no remote learning option. He is also seeking to eliminate all social distancing requirements for September and anticipates that there will be a requirement to wear masks for at least some grades. Written guidance for September should be issued by DESE in early June.

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at Masconomet

District Administration is in the process of working with Curative to hold a vaccination clinic for students who are 12 and older and any unvaccinated faculty and staff.  We’ve tentatively scheduled this clinic for Wednesday, June 23rd and a session for second doses on July 14th.  More information will be issued from my office, including a link to sign-up for appointments, in the next few days.

“Thank You” to Topsfield Town Meeting

Thanks to the citizens of Topsfield for approving the Masconomet Regional District Budget and Warrant Articles related to revising our District Regional Agreement at Topsfield Town Meeting on May 8th

The District Budget and proposed Regional Agreement Amendments will be voted on by Middleton Town Meeting on Saturday, June 5th and at Boxford Town Meeting on Saturday, June 26th.

Superintendent’s Update, 5/4/21

Dear Friends,

As we continue our great start to our return to in-person learning, I’d like to remind families of the importance of monitoring their children for symptoms of COVID-19.  With the return of students to in-person learning, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.  In some of these cases, the infected person was exhibiting symptoms before coming to school and therefore, should not have come into the building.  As a reminder, anyone with any of the following symptoms should remain at home and are recommended to be tested for COVID-19:

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills (CDC has lowered the temperature from 100.4 to 100.0)
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

We’ve worked hard to be able to return our students to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year.  It will take our continued commitment to following our health and safety protocols, including staying home when sick, mask-wearing, social distancing and hand-hygiene, to ensure we are all safe and to maintain our in-person model.  Thanks in advance for your cooperation. 

We’ve also received inquiries regarding information on vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine is now available to anyone who is at least 16 years old. Our School Nursing Staff has put together this infographic to provide you with information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines:

Individuals who are fully vaccinated are also exempt from quarantining as a close contact unless they are exhibiting symptoms. Having more adults and students over 16 vaccinated lessens the likelihood of spreading COVID-19, so we urge anyone who is willing to get vaccinated.

Thanks, and May the Force Be With You,

Mike Harvey

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, April 28, 2021

Return to In-Person Learning Update

Approximately 90% of students at Masconomet Middle School returned to in-person learning on Monday, April 26.  Thanks to Asst. Superintendent Jeff Sands, Middle School Principal Phil McManus, High School Principal Pete Delani and their teams for getting the building ready for the in-person return of students. This involved fully cleaning both the Middle and High Schools, receiving, assembling and distributing approximately 400 new student desk and chair sets, restocking supplies throughout the buildings and developing and distributing health and safety operating protocols.  We are now completing the preparations to return Masconomet High School Students to in-person learning on Monday, May 3rd.  These preparations are on track to be completed by the end of this week.  Monday, May 3rd will be a delayed opening for both the Middle and High Schools.

Updated DESE and DPH Guidelines on Close Contacts in Classrooms and on School Busses

On April 20, 2021, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued new guidance relative to students who have been identified as close contacts through exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual while in a classroom or on a school bus.  Students in these situations will not have to quarantine unless they were within 3 feet of distance of the COVID-19 positive individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period.  This does not apply if someone was identified as a close contact outside of the classroom or bus (e.g., in sports, extracurriculars, lunch, etc.) or if masks are not worn by both persons at the time of the exposure. All other close contacts must follow the standard protocol for when a close contact may return to school. (https://mass.us14.list-manage.com/track/click?u=d8f37d1a90dacd97f207f0b4a&id=9691a2ef19&e=7e83dcacad )

Families of students who were within 6 feet of a COVID-19 infected individual will still be notified that their child is considered to be a close contact, and will be encouraged to have their child tested and monitored for symptoms.  We will be updating our COVID response documentation to reflect this new change.  The positive development from this information is that we will not have to quarantine every student who was sitting between 3 and 6 feet away from a positive individual.  We will, however, still need to identify all students who meet these criteria and notify them.

Updated Commencement Guidance from DESE

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released updated guidance relative to high school commencement activities on April 28.  The only change to the previously released guidance is that for outdoor ceremonies, graduates may be seated 3 feet apart as long as they are masked.  This is a reduction from 6 ft of social distancing that was required in previous guidance.  We will be reviewing the new guidance and making any necessary adjustments to the plans for our graduation ceremony.

Planning for September of 2021

On his conference call with Superintendents on April 27, Commissioner Riley announced that districts could expect “road maps” from DESE by the end of May regarding opening school in September.  He also promised more concrete guidance in the late June/early July timeframe.  The Commissioner is hoping conditions with COVID-19 will be greatly improved and schools will have a “normal” opening in the fall, but he wants to be sure before DESE will issue concrete guidance.  One of the key factors that may impact DESE’s plans is the availability of vaccines for children age 12 to 15 over the summer.

Information Regarding Masconomet’s Return to In-Person Learning

Dear Masconomet High School and Middle School Parents and Caregivers,

We are excited to welcome Masconomet Middle School students to full-time in-person learning on Monday, April 26th and our High School students on Monday, May 3rd.  To facilitate our final preparations for the return of a greater number of in-person students, both April 26th and May 3rd will be delayed opening days.  These days will be in addition to our previously scheduled delayed opening on May 17th.  Classes will begin at 10:00 AM on these three days.  As we approach the return of students to in-person learning, please review the information below.

Health and Safety Guidelines

While the infection rates in our local communities remain low, our ability to maintain in-person learning is dependent on our continuing to follow the health and safety guidelines designed to limit the spread of COVID-19.  These guidelines include mask-wearing, maintaining social distancing, and following appropriate hand hygiene.  In the attached letter, our School Nurses have outlined the health and safety practices we will follow in school.  I ask that you also continue to follow these practices while students are at home in order to minimize the risk of COVID-19 infection. 

Most importantly, I ask that you regularly monitor your children for the symptoms of COVID-19 and keep them home if they are sick.  With the reduced social distancing between students in our in-person model, one COVID-19 case in school will likely result in dozens of students entering quarantine as close contacts.  Monitoring your child for symptoms and keeping them home when they are sick will help us to avoid returning to remote learning due to positive cases and quarantined students.

Student Attendance 

All Middle and High School families have been asked to indicate whether their children will return to in-person learning or remain remote for the rest of the school year.  In order to appropriately track student attendance, we will be instituting the following procedures for the remainder of the year.  Students who have opted for in-person learning and are physically absent from class will be marked “absent” from the class.  In-person students who are not regularly attending school in-person will be referred to the appropriate building administrator for follow-up.   In-person students who are absent from school for COVID-related reasons (illness or close contact) will be allowed temporarily to attend school remotely while they are isolating or quarantining.  Our school nurses and administrative offices will make the necessary changes to student attendance to reflect students who are temporarily attending school remotely for COVID-related reasons.  Parents should follow our usual procedures for calling the appropriate school attendance line to report absences for both in-person and remote students.

Finally, please use the following links for more information regarding Masconomet’s return to in-person learning:

We’re looking forward to the return of students on April 26th and May 3rd.  If you have any questions, please reach out to the appropriate building principal.

Sincerely,

Mike Harvey

Superintendent

Superintendent’s Report to the School Committee, April 7, 2021

Return to In-Person Learning Update

We are preparing for the return of students to in-person learning at the Middle School on April 26th and the High School on May 3rd.  The Middle School Survey was completed on March 23rd. Families that did not respond to the survey were then contacted directly by the Middle School.  Approximately 88% of Middle School Students have indicated they will return in-person on April 26. 

The High School Survey was open for one week and closed yesterday, April 6th.  The initial response rate was around 81%, which is 894 of 1110 total High School students.  Of these 894 responses, approximately 69% have opted to return to in-person learning and 31% have chosen remote.  The 216 students who did not respond to the survey will be contacted directly over the next week so we can have a complete accounting of the number of students we should expect in the building on May 3rd.

Operationally, we are in the middle of completing an over 40-item list of tasks in time for the in-person return of Middle School students on April 26th.  This list includes: installing a tent adjacent to the field house; procuring an additional 400 student desks and deploying them to needed areas throughout the buildings; setting up Middle and High School classrooms at 3’ distancing; restocking cleaning supplies in classrooms, offices and bathrooms; and preparing our food services for the greater number of in-person students.  Additionally, we’re updating our Staff and Student Protocol Documents, developing guidance for classroom teachers and creating new seating charts for school busses.  Much of the work of physically setting up the buildings will take place over April Vacation week.

Changes to 2020-2021 School Calendar

In order to provide teachers with some additional time to prepare for a greater number of in-person students, we’re making some changes to our school calendar.  Next Tuesday, April 13th, we will be administering the SAT to members of our Junior Class.  Around 270 Juniors have signed up to take the exam, which will be held in the Field House.  All other High School students will attend remotely that day.  Middle School students in “Cohort A” will attend school in-person that day.  Classes for both the Middle and High Schools will end at 12:30 on April 13th.  We will be providing bus transportation and a “grab and go” lunch for the in-person Middle School students and juniors taking the SAT.  Additionally, April 26th and May 3rd will be delayed opening days for all students.  School will begin at 10:00 AM on these two Mondays.  The Middle and High School administration will provide families with more information regarding the daily schedule for April 13th, April 26th and May 3rd.

MCAS Update

On April 1, Commissioner Riley announced that he will be asking the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to waive the achievement of a passing score on the MCAS English Language Arts and Mathematics exams as a requirement for a diploma for the Class of 2022 (current juniors).  If this recommendation is approved, 11th grade students will not need to take the MCAS.  The Commissioner has also announced that there will be a remote administration of the MCAS for students in grades 7 and 8 who have opted to learn remotely for the remainder of the year.  Finally, the window for completing the MCAS for our students in grades 7-10 has been extended to June 11th.

DESE Guidance on Student Groups and School Events

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has also released updated “Guidance on Student Groups and School Events for School Year 2020-2021.” This document supplements previous guidance on holding graduation ceremonies that was released on March 22nd.  Some of the key points of the “Guidance on Student Groups and School Events for School Year 2020-2021” are: 

  • Non-athletic student group activities should be held virtually.
  • Schools should not hold proms this year.
  • Gatherings that include outside participants should be held online.
  • Activities that require students to leave school grounds should be reconsidered.

Our Executive Leadership Team has reviewed both of these guidance documents and is using them to plan our end of year events.

Letter Regarding Out of State Travel for Masconomet Staff and Students

Dear Masconomet Families and Staff,

As we approach April Vacation and the return of Middle School students to in-person learning on April 26th  and high school students to in-person learning on May 3rd, I wanted to make you aware of the Masconomet’s procedure regarding staff or students who choose to travel out of state.  

Any staff member or student who travels out of state is subject to Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Travel Advisory and should quarantine for 10 days upon their return to Massachusetts.  Travelers in the following categories are exempt from the 10-day quarantine if:

  • The traveler has received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts, or receives a negative COVID-19 test result after their arrival in Massachusetts.  Travelers who test after their return to Massachusetts should quarantine until they receive their result.
  • Any traveler who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of state for less than 24 hours.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated  (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 or more days ago) and who do not have symptoms.

Masconomet staff or students who travel out of state must either provide documentation of a negative test result, completed vaccination or will need to quarantine for the 10-day period before they will be allowed to return to work/school.

The reason for these requirements can be summed-up in four words:  “Maintaining In-Person Learning.”  Once we return to in-person learning, one positive case in school will have a large impact in terms of the number of individuals who will be subject to quarantine as close contacts.  Our school community has worked hard this year to prepare for our return to in-person learning.  We would like to do everything we can to maintain in-person learning once it begins.  If you have any questions, please contact your respective principal or school nurse.  Thank you in advance for making sure we can keep it that way through the remaining 11 weeks of school.

Sincerely,

Mike Harvey

Superintendent

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