An Update From The Superintendent

An Update From The Superintendent
Posted on 03/24/2020
SchoolhouseGood Afternoon Staff, Parents, and Guardians,

 
I hope this message finds you and your family as well as can be expected in light of these challenging times. I want to start by thanking you for your patience and support as we roll out distance learning for the first time. I want to stress that this method of teaching is far from perfect, but is designed to maintain and extend (where possible) your child’s learning during this unprecedented time.
 
I have a few updates for you in this ever changing landscape:
 
Governor Lamont announced yesterday that all CT schools will remain closed until at least April 20, 2020.  This is not a firm deadline and may be extended, but at least allows us to know where we stand for the next month. I want to reiterate that Newington Public Schools will continue to observe the Good Friday holiday on April 10 and April vacation, scheduled for April 13-17. These will remain “off-line” days for both students and teachers.


I was also informed yesterday that Connecticut has received a waiver from the Federal Government  and therefore will not be required to administer standardized tests such as the Smarter Balanced Assessment, NGSS testing, and the School Day SAT during this school year, even if school does resume. If your students are taking AP classes, they have already received information about the AP exam from their teachers. College Board, the organization that produces and oversees the SAT administration, has not determined if/when they will resume the administration of non school day SAT testing.
We have received inquiries about grading during our distance learning program. I have been in constant communication with my local organizations such as the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) and Hartford Area Superintendents Association (HASA). I anticipate more guidance on that in the near future. For now, the most important issue is for your children to participate in their educational program, with your support, to the best of their ability. 



After this Wednesday’s meal service, we will be going to a three day service: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. We will still be providing breakfast and lunch for the entire week (including weekends), but we will be giving more meals out each day. For example, this Wednesday you will receive lunch for Wednesday, breakfast and lunch for Thursday, and breakfast for Friday. We will not have a meal service on Thursday. On Friday you will receive lunch for Friday, breakfast and lunch for Saturday and Sunday, and breakfast for Monday. Please see our website for the menu and meal service sites and bus routes.



If you or your child is struggling with the transition to distance learning or if you would like more information about how you might support your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher. Our teachers welcome your feedback so they can adjust their plans. I also want to remind families that school psychologists, social workers, guidance counselors and nurses are available by email throughout our distance learning period. They stand ready to assist you with a variety of issues that may arise at this time. 


Finally, and most importantly, please focus on your family’s health and well being. I don’t want anyone to be overly stressed by our distance learning program. I have heard from some families about the challenges and stressors that have arisen. If you and your child are doing your best to participate, then you will be fine. Again if you are having challenges reach out to support staff at your child’s school. For technology support, please refer to the online learning guide (www.bit.ly/npsdistance) for additional information. 
 
Please be well and I will continue to provide information as it becomes available. 
 
Maureen Brummett, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools