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Superintendent's Letter Shares Parent Survey On Intentions For The Fall, Deadline Is July 13



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Superintendent of Schools Dr Lorrie Rodrigue released a letter to school district parents on July 9, announcing a parent survey to gather their intentions for sending students back to school in the fall. The deadline for the online survey is July 13.

The letter also shared an update on the Board of Education's Re-Entry Subcommittee's work on researching and planning for schools to reopen in the fall, a calendar change for the 2020-21 school year, and a recently approved Board of Education district resolution on equity and diversity.

The letter is below.

July 9, 2020

Good Afternoon Parents,

I hope everyone is enjoying a much-needed summer break with your families. As promised, I want to provide some updates for you as we continue to plan for a return to school in the fall, along with additional opportunities available for you to share needed input that will ultimately support our work.

Parent Survey Only

The state has requested preliminary data regarding parents’ intentions on sending students back to school in the fall. This information will also inform the work of our Re-Entry Committee and help in planning and decision-making. We understand your decisions may change based on a variety of factors, but this is simply a starting point to solicit your feelings at this point in time. Please complete the survey by Monday, July 13. [The survey link was included in the e-mail sent directly to parents.]

Re-Entry Committee

Our Re-Entry Committee is working to finalize our school reopening plan, which needs to be submitted to the State of Connecticut on July 24. Subgroups are meeting regularly and reporting back to the larger committee in order to finalize our plan and ensure alignment with State of Connecticut requirements. We will be presenting our plan to the Board of Education on July 21 and sharing the plan with all parents via e-mail directly following the BOE meeting. I have set aside two full days of “virtual” office hours on July 23 and July 24 for parents to ask questions or clarify aspects of the Re-Entry Plan. As always, parents will have the opportunity to reach out to building level leaders for questions more specific to their child’s school. Details about signing up for virtual office hours will be sent out with the final draft of our Re-Entry Plan.

School Calendar

In light of the requirements for staff training outlined in the State’s Plan, the BOE approved a proposal to move our school start date for all students to September 2. This change will provide the necessary time to train staff in the health safety measures and protocols that need to be in place prior to welcoming our students. This still maintains the required 180 days of school and does not change the predicted end date originally planned for in the 2020-21 calendar. A revised school calendar [was attached to the letter to parents and] will be posted on our website [newtown.k12.ct.us].

Diversity & Equity

During its recent meeting, the BOE reviewed a draft of a resolution related to diversity, inclusion, and equity. In the interim, I have been meeting with current and alumni students to discuss ways we can promote an open, trusting, respectful, and safe environment for all of our students. On Monday, July 27, I will be holding a virtual Community Conversation on this topic. If you would like to join, please send an email to junek@newtown.k12.ct.us. Once you RSVP, we will send you information to join the meeting.

Thank you and continue staying safe!

Dr Lorrie Rodrigue

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