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Updated Emergency Planning Notes: 3/15/20

posted Mar 15, 2020, 1:05 PM by Eric Wood   [ updated Mar 16, 2020, 11:20 AM ]

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Updated Emergency Planning Notes: 3/15/20


In this situation, it is imperative that we consistently communicate with families. Once the distance learning plans are in place and approved (hopefully by day’s end tomorrow), our plan is to reach out to families individually to ask the following: 1) Have you received, and do you understand the remote learning plan? 2) Do you have any questions for us or any needs that we can support you with? 3) Do you have any family members who are experiencing illness? The reason that we are asking the third question is because any determination to reopen schools must be made on the basis of an understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting our community. 

Family Support:

For delivery of food to families, we are going to utilize existing bus runs. For the first week on either Tuesday or Wednesday we will provide packets of food to any family who wishes to take advantage of the offer. The reason for the uncertainty on the start date is due to the challenges of getting things up and running with limited time and supplies. We will use “In Touch” to communicate the date that the delivery will take place as well as any additional runs that happen. The buses will travel their afternoon runs, and an additional employee on the bus will distribute the food and document to whom the food was provided. Our plan is to make two deliveries week one (Tuesday/Wednesday and Friday) and three deliveries week two (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). We can also use this method to provide families with educational materials on a limited basis. Since this closure is for a minimum of two weeks, we will reassess our ability to open at the end of week two and make a determination at that point. 

Continuity Plans/Distance-Learning Plans:

The common theme is to “do the best you can with integrity.” Our goal is to provide students with legitimate educational opportunities at home during the closure. However, that is going to look different for each student. Administrators have a schedule for tomorrow that will limit the number of people gathering in any one area, and they will provide guidance on creating/finishing plans. New Suncook and Brownfield-Denmark staff will meet at their respective schools. Molly Ockett staff and Special-Education staff will meet in different areas of MOS. 

While it is ideal if “new learning” can occur at home, this is the ideal and not the expectation for all staff. For example, if we have teachers utilizing technology to teach “face-to-face” with students, then that approach is going to afford students opportunities to receive instruction that just isn’t possible when students are working independently at home. There are no expectations on minutes of instruction or minutes that students need to work each day given the complexity of the approach we will be using. Once you have completed your planning (team or individual) please notify your direct supervisor. We will all do our best under the circumstances.

Access to Schools:

After tomorrow, staff members must contact the principals at both New Suncook and Denmark to access the building. At Molly Ockett, special-education staff should consult with Pat and regular-education staff should consult with Mark. We want to maintain knowledge of who is using the building to monitor numbers who will be present at any given time and to assure that classroom spaces are being cleaned daily. Ike will be communicating with his staff to establish expectations about schedules and duties. 

Because students went home last Thursday unprepared for this closure, we are going to use In Touch to let parents know they should bring students in at the following times to gather any materials that they will need for remote learning:

Students with last names A-F: 12:00 to 1:00

Students with last names G-P: 1:00 to 2:00

Students with last names Q-S: 2:00 to 3:00

Students with last names T-Z: 3:00 to 4:00

This will be a time when teachers might be available to provide any words of wisdom regarding the remote learning plans and perhaps to even clarify when they might be available through “office hours” or designated times when parents/students can ask questions about the remote learning plans. It would be wonderful if plans could include the ability to give students feedback on the work. The technology department will also communicate with families about how parents and students can receive technology support, and Jim will be working with his staff to determine work hours/work location.

Hourly Employee Options:

During this situation, any employee may use available vacation time and sick leave. That means that an employee having either of those options can apply as many days as they would like during the (at least) fourteen day closure. For employees who wish to continue to work during the closure, we will be asking you to contact your direct supervisor so that we can add your name to a working list of hourly employees wanting to continue working. Once we have that list, the administrative team will re-convene and determine available options. 

From our initial discussions, food service staff will have opportunities (if willing) to continue to work as we will be providing food for families. The custodial staff will also have work to do (if willing) under Ike’s direction. Some out-of-district drivers will also be continuing to transport students, which means that some bus aides will also have work to do. We are willing to be flexible to find meaningful work that can be done to support what needs to be done in the next two weeks. 

Administrative Roles:

To best identify “go-to” resources, we have divided up responsibilities in the following manner:

The initial remote learning plans K-4 will be developed under the guidance of your building administrators, but after that it would be helpful if questions are directed toward the identified individuals so that we have consistent communication and messaging. 


  • The remote instruction plan is being brought to the Board for approval tomorrow evening. 

  • The future of MEA testing (testing window, etc.) had not been determined as of 11:00 AM.

  • Kindergarten Screening will have to be postponed and rescheduled. 

In conclusion, I am very appreciative of the willingness of the administrative team to put plans in place to accommodate our staff and students under very challenging circumstances. I have also been very appreciative of the staff members and community members who have been understanding and patient as we have worked through this situation. Lastly, thank you to all the staff members and community members who have pledged a willingness to support the District students in this time of need. Your support is deeply appreciated. 


Jay Robinson

Eric Wood,
Mar 16, 2020, 11:18 AM