Monday, 6/22/2020 - SAU29 COVID-19 Update

Good Afternoon,


It hasn’t even been a full week since I last sent out the update but it feels much longer than that.  Funny how the sense of time has changed since March 14th. Today we shift to sending the update out on a weekly basis. As mentioned last week, we’ll do this on Mondays as it is a good way to kick off the week ahead. It will also help staff to reprioritize many of their efforts as the daily update was high on that list.  


We’ve seen a great return on the survey that was launched last week. As of 1:00 this afternoon we had a total of 2,062 responses! Of that, we had responses from students (419), parents/guardians (1,258), staff (300) and those that indicated “other” (85) on the survey. Just a friendly reminder that the survey will close tomorrow morning at 8:00AM, so those that wish to have your input included, please do so prior to then. You can access the survey through this embedded link for your convenience:  Sensing Survey. We will begin synthesizing the results shortly after the survey closes so that we can maintain our timeline as indicated in the update below.


We are continuing to collect all of the equipment and materials that went out to students when the remote learning phase began back in March. If you have items that belong to the school that your child(ren) borrowed, please help us by returning them to the site they were borrowed from.  Each school has a process/procedure for the collection of equipment and materials that varies from building to building. I strongly encourage you to contact your specific building to understand what the process is prior to heading over. Thank you in advance for helping us maintain our inventories so that we can continue to have the necessary items for student use moving forward.


Last week I mentioned some ideas for maintaining an active mind throughout the summer. The list of possibilities really is endless and there are many great resources available for free on the internet so I won’t bog you down with another long laundry list of ideas.  I do, however, want to spend a little time talking about the importance of “summer maintenance” for the body. Healthy bodies benefit children and people of all ages to include (but certainly not limited to) a healthy mind. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the ideal visual to be talking about physical fitness and activity at the moment, but it is a work in progress, I assure you of that. Identifying realistic and achievable goals of where you’d like to get to can help with the process. From there, the hardest part of any physical activity routine/regimen/program is getting started. The second hardest part is keeping it going. Once those two difficulties have been conquered, the overall benefits are limitless. So, let’s start by identifying strategies that can help beat the two toughest hurdles.  


Getting started is typically much easier when you are engaging in something that you enjoy doing. Listing the different types of activities that you enjoy, or at least think you’ll enjoy, is a good place to start. It can be activities that you do alone, with a friend, or with a larger group of people (practicing recommended guidelines for group activities of course). It can be done at home, in your neighborhood, or anywhere that is easily accessible. It can be done at a time that works best for you, morning, afternoon, or evening. You can engage in one activity or multiple activities each day or you can change activities from one day to the next. Whatever it is, it should be something that you personally feel you enjoy. Once you get started, the next trick is to keep it going. Some tips on how to do that include one of my favorites - don’t try to eat the elephant in just one bite. By this I mean that going overboard on your first workout will likely turn you off from subsequent workouts. Instead, try starting small and building from there. You’ll likely find that within 3 weeks that you’ll see and feel the progress and be better positioned to add to your routine if that’s what you would like to do. You might also find that identifying a time of day to be helpful as well. A time when you are relatively certain that distractions won’t prevent you from engaging. Consistency will make the process much easier to overcome. Believe me when I say I know this sounds easier than it really is in practice. If it was actually as easy as it sounds then I would be that ideal visual for physical activity, but again, it is a work in progress and I will get there. If we can help our children/students get there as well, it will go a long way both in the learning environment and out of it as well.  


The last things that I’ll say about summer maintenance for healthy bodies is to be mindful of healthy dietary habits and getting a proper amount of sleep. We all know what foods are better for us than others so I won’t go into a diatribe about that. Again it goes back to getting started and keeping it going. The same strategies discussed earlier can help on this front as well. We also know that getting enough sleep is critical in helping our bodies recharge for the next day.  It also plays an important role in growth for the developing bodies our children have.  Recommended guidelines on sleep can be found from many reputable sources - CDC  The National Sleep Foundation The Mayo Clinic - for example, and they all look the same. Ultimately, our goal is to best position our children/students to be ready for anything that life throws their way in order to be as successful as they can be.  


Finally, you’ll notice that in the update below I’ve reorganized the sections so that they’re in alphabetical order. I’ve also cut down on the number of subheadings below as well as they are no longer relevant at this point in time. We’ll continue to provide information that is important and timely throughout the summer and update the information below as needed. It is my hope that this new streamlined approach will help folks find specific information they may be looking for a little easier.  


It is also my hope that you have a great week ahead. The weather has certainly warmed up a lot and judging by the lawns around our towns, a little rain wouldn’t hurt too much. Until next week, stay safe, stay cool, stay hydrated and always know that...WE GOT THIS!!!


Be Well,

Robb


Meals: Southwestern Community Services will be providing this year's summer meal program for SAU 29 students. Keene School District will be supporting their program with a location and food storage. Southwestern Community Services is currently working out logistics and will be announcing specific locations dates, and  times for meal pick-up very soon.


Mental Health & Cultural AwarenessBelow are some resources that may be helpful as we begin our summer vacation.  


Resources:


Reporting AbuseIf you see something, please say something.  You can find guidance on the NH Department of Health and Human Services website.  


Additional Resources:


School Boards:  Please use the links below to access the most recent school board meetings for your respective school district.


Chesterfield -  CSB Meeting Video

Harrisville -  HSB Meeting Video

Keene - KBE Meeting Video

Marlborough - MbSB Meeting Video

Marlow - MwSB Meeting Video

Nelson - NSB Meeting Video

Westmoreland - WSB Meeting Video


School Buildings: Building hours are 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for staff only. Visitors are advised to call the school office in advance of showing up to ensure that your needs are able to be met.


Central Office hours are 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.


All buildings are closed on the weekend.


June 26:  Rescheduled floating holiday from April 24.


School Calendars: You can use this link to view your district’s calendar:  SAU 29 School District Calendars.  The 2020-2021 school year calendars can also be found using this link.


School GroundsOutdoor facilities will be opened on Monday, June 22nd. Playgrounds will remain closed as proper sanitization can not meet recommended guidelines. Organizations and teams wishing to use the facilities must arrange to do so through the facility use process.  Contact your respective school district for further information. Users of the facilities shall continue to practice social distancing while on school grounds.


School Year 2020-2021 Opening: In order to best prepare for the return to schools we need to consider all possibilities to most effectively provide for our students, staff and families. More specifically, we need to be prepared for models that could look like the following:


  1. Being fully onsite as we were prior to the pandemic.
  2. Some form of being onsite and being remote.
  3. Being fully remote as we have been since the start of the pandemic.

The primary objective is to have a flexible plan in place for the three models of returning to school for the 2020 – 2021 school year.


Our timeline to help us fulfill that objective looks like this:

Timeline

Goal

Status

Week of June 1st

Populate focus groups and begin building a survey item bank.

Complete

Week of June 8th

Finalize survey item bank and build survey for stakeholder input.

Complete

Week of June 15th

Launch survey for stakeholder input to provide local data to help inform decisions.

Sensing Survey embedded link here

Ends 6/23 at 8am

Week of June 22nd

Synthesize survey data and begin building for the 3 models.

In progress

Week of June 29th

Prepare draft plan for opening of school year 2020 - 2021.

Planned

Week of July 6th

Share draft plan for stakeholder feedback and input.

Planned

Week of July 13th

Revise and finalize the draft plan (as needed).

Planned

Week of July 20th

Publicize final plan for the opening of the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Planned


Social Media Use:  As mentioned in the June 3rd update, the responsible use of social media can be an asset or a liability for individuals. It is critical that we teach (and reinforce) as well as model responsible use of social media with our children/students.  Here are some resources that may be of assistance:


20 Tips from Smart Social

Safe and Responsible Social Networking 

Social Media Etiquette

Social Media/Media Literacy Responsible Use

Social Media Responsibility 

Social Media Responsibility and Etiquette


Special Education: Happy Summer!!!   We are moving forward with the daily business of Special Education.  This includes referral meetings, individualized education plan meetings (IEP meetings) and extended school year programming for those students that have qualified.  As always, please reach out to the Student Services Offices at 357-9001 extension 230 or email rmatte@sau29.org if you have any questions.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 3:30.  Thank you!   


Technology:

Please contact your school for more information on times and where you should drop off the devices. Make sure you have the power cord with the device.

Help desk number, (603)352-0640 ext 3871,  For help with the Home user and remote learning click here


Vetted APPs and Websites:  You can check the online vetted site here SDPC  Look up the App and website by company. We have added more to the list as we get them back from the Vetting team. 


Contact Information: Dr. Rick Matte is the lead contact person for all COVID-19 inquiries and concerns at all SAU 29 schools and districts.  He can be reached at rmatte@sau29.org


Governor Sununu has also activated a 24-hour COVID-19 hotline for all related needs and supports. The hotline can be reached by dialing 211.