District Newsletter--September 14, 2020

Priority Students Return September 14!

We are eagerly awaiting the return of our priority students on Monday, 9/14. Your child’s principal has been in touch with families with details specific to their schools and around the bus schedule. Please contact the schools if you need further information. We are happy to help!

Food Service Update

We are excited to announce that the district is partnering with UMASS Amherst Dining services to make meals available to all students whether they are learning in the Hybrid or Remote models, starting on 9/14. All meals are USDA compliant, nutritious, delicious and use locally grown products whenever possible.

Students who are not in school on a particular day may still get lunch. Lunch can be picked up daily (regardless of which school your student attends) at SMITH ACADEMY between 12:15-1 PM, Monday-Friday.

The USDA has extended Free Meals for ALL students until December 31st, 2020. Please click on the link for more information.

HVAC Update

Please see the link for a letter from our HVAC professional verifying that our HVAC Systems have been repaired, updated and are functioning properly in both Smith Academy and Hatfield Elementary School.  Here is a letter from our other HVAC professional as well. We are grateful to the Town of Hatfield for allowing us to access the municipal side of the CARES ACT grant. The repairs were in excess of 150,00.00 and we couldn't have made the repairs without this financial help.  In addition, each classroom in the district is receiving a medical grade air purifier featuring HEPA 13 filtration. Even after after all the upgrades to the systems, we feel the HEPA filters offer further risk mitigation and peace of mind for staff and students.

Happy September!

Despite many challenges, we continue to do our best to make sure we are ready to safely welcome our priority students in person on September 14. Please note that our second phase of the hybrid learning plan is scheduled to begin on September 29 due to the observance of Yom Kippur. 

It should be again emphasized that the hybrid model relies on a delicate balance of multiple factors in order to be able to offer it safely and effectively. These factors include health and safety metrics, financial implications, and adequate staffing to maintain student safety. 

While we are all excited to welcome students back at least some of the time in person, we need to remember that we have to remain nimble and able to pivot quickly between models as necessary.

Thanks again!

Marty McEvoy

Technology Help Desk

We have established a help desk to support staff and families with any issues they may encounter with distance learning. Please email support@hatfieldps.net and someone will respond to you shortly to help!

Flu Vaccination Interest Survey 

As you may know, the influenza vaccine will be required for all students (including those taking remote instruction) beginning this school year. Influenza vaccine greatly reduces the risk of getting sick with the ‘flu, reduces the severity of disease if one does get sick, and prevents the spread of the ‘flu to others. During this COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccine will be especially critical to reduce the overall impact of respiratory illness on the population, protect vulnerable populations from severe illness, and decrease the overall burden on the healthcare system​. The Dept. of Public Health requirements for students in all grades are listed here along with a FAQ page.  Call your pediatrician to schedule your child’s vaccination.

Please click on the link to participate in a survey that Nurse Jean has designed to gauge interest in the HPS offering the vaccine for your convenience. 

School Committee Meeting (Virtual)

Thursday, September 3, 2020 

Agenda at this link.

Recording of August 25 meeting here.

We’re Hiring!

The Hatfield Public Schools are currently looking for excellent candidates for full and part time positions. We have openings for paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, substitute nurses, substitute custodians, and a full time custodian. 

Please pass this info along and have candidates contact cbuckland@hatfieldps.net, cdriscoll@hatfieldps.net, or mmcevoy@hatfieldps.net if interested!

August 7, 2020

This week's newsletter is an open letter to the Hatfield Public School Community.

JULY 24, 2020

Hatfield Public School Reopen 2020

Please click on the link for the presentation on our initial reopening plan from the meeting on Tuesday, 7/21. We understand there has been some difficulty opening the original file because of its size. This smaller version should work for you--please let me know if it doesn’t. 

Here are the links from the presentation:

Flipped learning Intro. While this particular video was made before Covid-19, we feel strongly that we can adapt the Flipped Classroom to a Hybrid or Remote Model.

60 Minutes Video” referenced during talk. While KHAN academy might be a tool teachers use, we would rely primarily on our teacher’s skill and expertise in the flipped classroom. Nevertheless, this video explains some key concepts about the flipped model.

Appendix. This is a working draft that we will add to very frequently.

This link will bring you to a recording of the presentation from 7/21..  

Please Note Updated Dates Below:

July 27: Return to School Planning Community Input Session

July 30: School Committee Meeting

Monday, August 3rd: Revised Reopening Plans Presented

Thursday, August 6: School Committee Votes on Plans

All Meetings Can be Accessed at:

Join Via Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85370605490?pwd=aENIei9KL1QwTy9vOGMrYUJyZTBpUT09

Meeting ID: 853 7060 5490

Passcode: 253835

Reopening Questions Email

A dedicated email address for you to communicate your questions, comments, and concerns remains available. While we still have many more questions than answers at this point due to a constantly evolving situation and limited guidance from the Commonwealth, I want to provide another forum for you to be heard. The email address is: hpsreopen2020@gmail.com

I will continue to respond to each question submitted, and I thank you for your participation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q). Here is a collection of questions you may have. There are also two of the latest documents from DESE linked. 

JULY 9, 2020

Welcome the Hatfield Public Schools District newsletter! As your superintendent, one of my main goals is to keep all stakeholders informed through regular communication. This newsletter is one way to accomplish that goal. As always, your questions and feedback are welcome. Feel free to call me at 413-247-5641 or email me at mmcevoy@hatfieldps.net

I know there is, quite understandably, a lot of angst given the COVID-19 pandemic and what that means for your student’s safety and education moving forward. I present for you here the two resources we have received from the Commissioner of Education so far representing the most current guidance at this time. You may have seen the attached pdf, and the accompanying Google slide presentation does a nice job of summarizing the main points of the Commonwealth's guidance. While the guidance does include some requirements, please know that we have been promised some degree of flexibility to decide what makes sense locally to keep our own students healthy and learning.

The HPS administrative team, with advisory input for the District Learning Team (composed of teachers, school committee members, parents, administrators, with town and student representation as well) has been working diligently to prepare for the three different scenarios as directed by Commissioner Riley.

                  Initial Fall Guidance PDF.                        Initial Fall DESE Guidance Presentation


Entry Plan Interviews: Round 1

A main component of my entry plan is to gain knowledge through hearing from school employees, families, the community, policymakers, and other stakeholders. During these meetings or interviews, I will listen for information from stakeholders around the following questions:

  • What should I know about our Hatfield Community?

  • What should I know about the Hatfield Public Schools?

  • What is working well and should be continued?

  • What needs attention and could be improved?

  • What concerns do we have about educating children during the current pandemic? What can we do to alleviate these concerns?

I'd love to meet you virtually for a chat for about 15 minutes. Please choose a time  that works for you at the link below, and I'll see you then!

https://calendly.com/drmcevoy/entry-plan-interviews

Extended School Year Program

Starting the week of July 6th, the Hatfield Public Schools Special Education department began the Extended School Year Program for those students who qualify.  

There are 2 programs running at this time:

1.The Early Education Remote and 1:1 Individual Program 

The remote portion of the program runs from July 6 until August 13, Mondays-Thursdays.  This program is open to all registered Hatfield Elementary Preschool children.

For the Remote portion of the program, materials will be posted online and sent in the mail, and a Google Meet lesson will occur each day at 10 am.  

The in-school portion will begin the week of July 13. Each qualifying child will be offered an individual weekly one-hour, in-person session.  All sessions will take place at Hatfield Elementary School with teacher, Patti Benson and paraprofessional, Colette Cernak.

2. Extended year ESY for Hatfield Elem. and Smith Academy students- 

Three special education teachers (Jacquie Juras, Lisa Swanson, and Mary Shanafelt) will be providing remote, small group lessons and Google Meets to support English Arts and Math.   

These programs are running for approximately 5 weeks for about 30 students.


Hatfield Public School Reopen 2020

I have set up an email address for you to communicate your questions, comments, and concerns. While you may remain anonymous if you wish, please indicate if you are a parent/caregiver or staff member if you are comfortable doing so. While we still have many more questions than answers at this point due to a constantly evolving situation and limited guidance from the Commonwealth, I want to provide another forum for you to be heard. We may not have the answer to your question, but I will respond to each email and also create a FAQ board to share information.

The email address is: hpsreopen2020@gmail.com

Please look for a survey next week for families and staff for your input related to the COVID-19 pandemic.