School Closure Update 03.26.20

posted Mar 26, 2020, 8:48 PM by Grant Harris

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As you probably have heard, the Governor has extended school closure until May 4. After two weeks, we are also at a point where we are prepared to assess how we will move forward with remote learning. This afternoon, the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) published a set of recommendations for remote learning during this COVID-19 school closure. This is something school districts, including Gloucester, have been waiting for. These recommendations are important, as they were the result of conversations at the state level with the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. What we also received today were recommendations from the state as to how we should be moving forward with Special Education services.

The next step toward developing a plan for remote learning during school closure is to establish a Memorandum of Understanding with the Gloucester Teachers Association. We are scheduling those discussions for as soon as possible.

Once this work is completed, and a Memorandum of Understanding established, we will provide you with a clear sense of the remote learning model that we will proceed with. I will end this notice with a quote from the Commissioner:

Remote learning cannot replace students’ experiences in school communities with their teachers, administrators, and support staff.  All of the students and educators with whom I have spoken this week sorely miss learning in person as part of a community. That said, we must all pull together – parents and caregivers, students, the community, and of course, our educators and staff – to help students continue their learning over this extended period.

Richard Safier, Superintendent