2020, 2020, CoVid-19 Updates, News

CoVid-19 Update 3/20/20

Dear Old Colony Families,

Thank you for your continued patience and support as we navigate the closure of our school. Please read this entire document as there are a multitude of important items that require your timely attention. The date for the earliest return to school is April 6, 2020, which was amended from the original statement of April 7, 2020. Read the Governor’s full executive order for more information. We have created a document to address Frequently Asked Questions. Please click here to read our extensive FAQ.

Please know that as we navigate these unprecedented times, you are constantly in our thoughts. We cherish the opportunity to look one another in the eye, share a smile, and engage in our day to day. As we attempt to adhere to social distancing expectations and provide a continuation of learning as defined by our Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), we acknowledge the fact that there is no substitute for our face to face interactions.

We have shared a considerable amount of information in this correspondence. During the week of March 23-27 we would like our students to choose from some of the enclosed opportunities for enrichment that are of interest to them. We will be launching a more formalized approach to continued learning and enrichment the week of March 30-April 3. Please note that per the recommendation of the DESE these learning opportunities will not impact student transcripts. March 30, 2020 starts a new chapter in our delivery of education. There is a huge learning curve that students and teachers will be navigating together!

As we move closer to embarking on this thing called “distance learning,” we are asking our community to refrain from publicly scrutinizing their children’s teachers/schools for the way we are teaching, or the lessons we are assigning. We are about to navigate uncharted waters with less preparation time than our teachers would have liked. We are figuring this out as we go. Please be patient with all of us. This is a national crisis, and many of our staff have their own children at home to care for and teach as well.

Rest assured, we will be doing our best because, like you, we do want the best for “our” children. We are blessed to work within such an amazing community and thank you for your ongoing support. Each of us will face different challenges during this unprecedented time and must remember to put people first as we embark on this journey together. Education of the whole person will present itself in a multitude of ways. We will continue to reinvent ourselves over this extended period of time and welcome your constructive insights as we brave these waters.

Technology and Access Survey and Services

We have recently generated a survey for families regarding: technology and internet access. Please click here to complete the survey and provide us with necessary information as we plan for contingencies in the event of an extended closure. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. Your feedback will be of significant importance as we proceed with contingency planning.

Comcast is offering new, low-income, Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet and raising the speed of service to 25/3 Mbps. To sign up, visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Interscholastic Athletics, Extracurricular Activity, and Testing

MIAA has indicated that the start of spring sports will be delayed until at least 4/27/20.  SAT/ACT College Board has emailed all registrants of cancellations and updates. There’s no word yet on AP tests. There have been questions about senior events and prom. Given the fluidity of our situation, decisions relative to these events will be made at a later time.

Online Educational Enrichment Options

We will be providing regular and robust educational enrichment online opportunities starting immediately. A list of resources will be continuously updated and is available by clicking on this link. Additional access to enrichment opportunities will be provided in the days to come. We will look to increase structure associated with continued learning in the coming days and weeks. We ask for your patience as we work with staff to establish a functional mechanism for our instructors to interact with students. We thank you for your ongoing support during this unprecedented time in our history. Please reach out if you are in need of further support.

With Gratitude,

Aaron L. Polansky

Superintendent-Director
Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School