Please read Old Colony’s CoVid-19 update here.
Please read Old Colony’s CoVid-19 Update here.
Please see the letter linked here for Old Colony’s April 14, 2020 CoVid-19 update.
Good Morning Old Colony Families and Community,
Please see the letter linked here for the Old Colony’s April 3, 2020 CoVid-19 update.
Wishing you health and peace of mind.
Aaron L. Polansky, Superintendent-Director Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School
Connect. Create. Inspire.
Governor Baker has announced that the statewide school closure will remain in effect until Monday, May 4th. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has provided additional guidance on this extended closure. We look forward to continued connection during this time of physical distancing. Please note that we understand it is unrealistic to replicate the educational experience our students benefit from during normal school operation. We thank you for your patience and continued support during this unprecedented time. Health and safety is our top priority. We are committed to the education process while keeping in mind the multitude of circumstances that may exist for the many people impacted by current events. Please click on the links highlighted throughout this document to access a variety of additional information.
We continue to connect with our students through the academic enrichment resource guide previously communicated. Teacher outreach will begin with the issuing of classroom assignments on Monday, March 30th. Teachers will conduct office hours on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays as we continue our efforts to provide direct connections with our school community during the physical distancing period. Please note that work will be posted every Monday using our existing 9/11 and 10/12 calendar cycle. Our Administrative team will provide additional updates as we receive more information and guidance from the DESE, DPH and the Governor’s office throughout the course of this fluid process.
We have established a recommended schedule of regularity as part of this correspondence. These opportunities allow for a combination of structure and flexibility, while we hope to offer a regular source of inspiration to our students, staff, and your families. Please feel free to join us, make recommendations for additions to this schedule, or even offer some type of enrichment for our tight-knit community. We are going to maximize the opportunity to make the most out of our guiding principles (Connect. Create. Inspire).
Resources for Assistance
If anyone in your household has filed for unemployment in the last two weeks or if your household has experienced a significant change in financial status, please consider utilizing any of the following resources.
Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline offers free, comprehensive statewide food assistance to all Massachusetts residents. Help is offered in 160 languages and there is a line dedicated to helping those that are hearing impaired. For more information and hours, visit www.projectbread.org/gethelp, or all Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.
The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) assists and empowers low-income individuals and families to meet their basic needs, improve their quality of life, and achieve long term economic self-sufficiency. DTA serves one in nine residents of the Commonwealth with direct economic assistance (cash benefits) and food assistance (SNAP benefits), as well as workforce training opportunities. Visit https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov/ to learn more about DTA benefits and enroll.
Please check out a Recommended Schedule of Regularity here.
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.
Aaron L. Polansky
Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School
Dear Old Colony Community,
We will continue to maintain communication as we process information associated with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and its impact on our community. We appreciate your patience as we continue to manage this rapidly changing situation and will take necessary action to put the well-being of our school community at the forefront of all decision making. Please understand the importance of social distancing as it pertains to a collaborative effort to mitigate the heightened regional risk of cross-contamination from outside the community. We are focused on mitigation with the understanding that not all folks who contract COVID-19 will experience the same symptoms or outcomes. As stated in prior correspondence, this action, as part of a statewide strategy, will be most effective with the help and cooperation of the community.
Please note that an update to our school closure schedule was announced by our Governor during a press conference on March 15th. The Governor has made the decision to close all Massachusetts schools through Monday, April 6th with tentative plans to return to school on Tuesday, April 7th. This closure includes all student activities. School days will be made up, in the same fashion as snow days, in late June. However, make-up days will not exceed our 185th day of school. Our last day of school will fall on June 19, 2020.
Please note that during this unprecedented time we will work with our administrative staff and teachers to plan next steps pertaining to the weeks of March 23-27 and March 30-April 3. During this week of March 16-20 our responsibility is to adhere to social distancing recommendations. A status update relative to next steps for the weeks of March 23-27, 2020 and March 30-April 3, 2020 will be distributed to our Old Colony community on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Please know that we have provided guidance below for residents, families and students, and staff to help in practicing social isolating, monitoring symptoms, and avoiding typical student events and large gatherings during this period of closure. The intent is to isolate and therein calm the spread of the virus. If you do not assist us in this manner, we may be staying out of school for no effective result. This is town-wide public health strategy to reduce community illness, please take our requests seriously.
Previously Scheduled Activities While we know it is disappointing that activities are not occurring and key activities are postponed while community health is being prioritized. We are working to reschedule things wherever possible in the coming weeks. We understand that there will be questions about AP classes, college application deadlines, prom and other special events but we cannot yet answer this at this time.
School Employee Information
It is expected that all staff will check work email during this closure to remain informed. During this closure, the school will be cleaned and disinfected using deeper disinfection equipment. Custodial staff will be report to the school to handle these activities. The school is officially closed to all visitors and non-essential staff until further notice. Only pre-approved visitors will be admitted to the building under limited circumstances.
In the interest of business continuity, Old Colony Central Office will be open and the following essential personnel may be called to work during the closure: Principal, Business Manager, Facilities Director, Custodial and Maintenance Staff, Accounts Payable Assistant, Payroll Assistant, Assistant to the Business Manager, Assistant to the Principal, Assistant to the Superintendent, Director of Student Services, and Director of Technology.
In terms of MCAS, the DESE states that it may be possible to receive a waiver from the DOE on this requirement and DESE is looking at legislative relief within Massachusetts as well. The Grade 10 MCAS scheduled for the weeks of school closures have been postponed. Additional information will be provided at a later date.
If your student qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch and you are in need of access to meals, please contact our Food Service Director, Crystal Andrade at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will coordinate meal pick-up with you. We have also created a list of Meal Access Resources available to families. Please click on the link here to find a resource proximal to your respective district.
Community Health & Prevention
When a new illness is circulating, it’s natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families. For our community health actions to be effective, we need all community members to do their part by staying at home as much as possible during the school closure. Our best prevention guidance is:
- Practice social isolation—only leaving home as necessary
- Avoid large social gatherings
- Cover coughs/sneezes with tissues, or cough/sneeze into the inner elbow.
- Practice good handwashing with soap and water as often as possible
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers ONLY if soap and water are not available.
What We Know About COVID-19: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a strain that is part of a large family of coronaviruses which usually cause mild respiratory illnesses, such as the ‘common cold’.
Some coronaviruses have caused more severe illness, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). COVID-19 is a disease caused by a new coronavirus that was not previously identified in humans before December 2019.
Quarantine and Isolation: Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It can take between 2 to 14 days after a person gets the virus in their body to become (outwardly) ill.
If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, and develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately. Your healthcare provider can assess whether a test for COVID-19 is required. Depending on your contact and/or travel history, you will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time you had contact with a positive or presumptive positive person.
During the isolation period, you should not have visitors in the location where you are isolating. If you must share living quarters with another person, then that person will be subject to quarantine as well. As noted above, we are asking students not to congregate and to remain as isolated as possible within their families as they can so assist in slowing the virus spread.
Follow-up and Next Steps
This is an unprecedented public health situation that is rapidly changing. We will keep you informed of any additional changes in operation as this rapidly evolving public health situation continues.
Thank you for your continued support and patience.
Out of an abundance of caution, Old Colony has decided to close school from March 16-20, 2020. Please note that there have been no confirmed cases of CoVid-19 within our community at this time. Our decision has been made in an attempt to be proactive in the effort to mitigate the situation at hand and minimize the potential spread of the virus. Please find additional information in the letter from Superintendent-Director Polansky here.
A status update relative to next steps will be distributed to our Old Colony community on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Please note that if your student is in need of access to breakfast or lunch during the school cancellation from March 16th – March 20th, you should contact Crystal Andrade, our Old Colony RVTHS Food Service Director at candrade@OldColony.info to coordinate pick up of meals.
Below is a list of events that have been postponed. This list will be updated.
Madden Tournament – 3/13
Saturday Detention – 3/14
Cooperative Education Program is canceled March 16-20, 2020
All Night School Classes and Activities are canceled March 16-20, 2020
BCC Field Trip on 03/16
District Improvement Planning Meeting on 3/19/2020 has been postponed
Winter Sports Awards – 3/19
House & Mill Carpentry Field Trip to JLC Live on 3/20 has been canceled.
Early College Admissions seminar on March 24th @ 6:00
No spring sports tryouts or practices until 3/30
Advisory Board Meeting and Dinner 4/1 has been postponed. Future date to be determined.
Families and communities are critical partners to a school’s success. Just as a student’s report card shows how they are performing, the school report card shows how a school is performing in multiple areas. It shows the school’s strengths and the challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the school is meeting the needs of all students.
You can view the school’s report card here.
Please provide the attached flyer when you dine-in or take-out from Texas Roadhouse on March 25th between the hours of 4 pm- 10 pm.Old Colony Education Foundation