June 25, 2020
Dear EPS Community,
Today at noon, Governor Baker’s office and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will release their initial guidance about reopening schools this fall. We applaud the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance, and we share its goal of the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.
This guidance must be appropriately tailored to meet the circumstances and needs of each community. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be reviewing the guidance to begin to understand how it impacts what we can do in Easton. We also acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that there will be additional guidance coming from the state throughout the summer. While some media outlets have released documentation in advance of the Governor’s announcement, I would request that you only use the document we are providing as your source of information. Different iterations may be in circulation, but the one attached is directly from the Commissioner’s Office. The full document can be found HERE, but these are some of the key components:
Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school - with preventive measures in place - as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults.
Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below.
Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, a minimum physical distance of three feet has been established.
This is the “Initial Guidance.” There will be further guidance coming to us in July.
The Commissioner indicates that we need at least level funded budgets along with aid for additional costs to make the plan work. This is not guaranteed funding, but we will work hard to advocate for it.
The district is now required to develop three separate plans for submission to DESE; one for return to full, in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation from DESE today is that students will return to full, in-person instruction in September; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops.
We want to remind you that the district has already convened seven working groups to analyze each area of need in the district in preparation for this directive. This information was provided in the June 15th message sent to all families and staff. It can be accessed for reference via the district website on the Superintendent page.These working groups will now focus on the guidance received as they make plans and create the reports that will detail how we will operate in Easton. We realize the significance of family and staff planning for childcare, work schedules, etc. in the fall. The plans for Easton will be shared as soon as they are available and updated as frequently as needed due to any changes in the health and medical information we receive throughout the summer.
We acknowledge that there are likely to be more questions than answers at this time, and we will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks and months. Again, we encourage you to read the full guidance document from the Commissioner HERE .
Once again we find ourselves asking for your support and patience as we navigate this new challenge in unprecedented times. We assure you that the safety and wellness of our students and staff will remain our priority. Thank you for understanding this is an important process that will be difficult and time consuming. We are committed to producing the information for Easton as responsibly and as quickly as possible.
Dr. Lisha Cabral
April 8, 2020
Dear EPS families and staff,
Last evening, the School Committee voted to revise the EPS calendar to eliminate what was previously designated as April vacation. This means that April 20th will be observed as a holiday (Patriot's Day). However, the remainder of the week (April 21-24) will be considered school days. This will allow the Remote Learning Plan to continue without significant disruption, and the last day of school will now be June 15th. Please see the calendar below which reflects these changes.
We appreciate all of the feedback we received about this decision and agree that it is in the best interest of our students. We are working hard alongside you to create as much of a connection and routine as possible for our children and young adults, and this will assist all of us with that.
Thank you for your continued support in these trying times. We believe that by working together, we can model perseverance in the face of challenges and help to instill resiliency in our children. We are showing them that we can work through problems together in a spirit of collaboration and patience. This will ultimately be the greatest learning opportunity of all.
With support and gratitude,
Superintendent Lisha Cabral
Thank-You Message from Easton Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Lisha Cabral
Easton Early Elementary School Project Website