This week’s Parent Update will include:
- Welcome Back
- An Apology
- Administrator Communications
- Inclement Weather or School Cancellations
- School Messenger and Opt Out
- Illness and Mitigation Strategies
CELEBRATIONS AND UPCOMING
Welcome back to school for the new school year. We are so excited to get ready for a new school year. I am sending this to provide some basic information as we look to the first day of school. Principals will send school-specific updates to families later this week.
It was brought to our attention that one of the communications used in our Summer Eats advertisements was racially insensitive. That was not our intention. We reviewed the promotional materials through some lenses but we needed to view the materials through others. I apologize for this, we are learning from this mistake and will do better moving forward.
The principals will send information to parents regarding the start of school for each building later this week. They will be sending communication to families each month with specifics related to their buildings and upcoming events. Please check your emails and the school websites for those communications close to the first of each month.
I will be resuming my weekly Parent Updates after the first day of school. My updates will generally include district-related information and will also be added to the website for reference.
School, district and emergency communications are most often sent through the School Messenger program. We are including all families in the School Messenger list at the start of school. If you do not wish to receive these communications, you will need to contact the school and request to opt-out.
Please seriously consider this decision. Communication about emergencies, weather-related closures or unanticipated early school dismissals would all be communicated in this manner, as will attendance calls if your student is absent but we have not received a call or note from the parent/guardian. Given this important information, we strongly urge you to remain subscribed to School Messenger.
Weather-related school closures will also be available on WWLP, Western Mass News, NECN and 98.3 WHAI as well as posted on the district website.
ILLNESS AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES
The Massachusetts Department of Education has reminded us there is no longer a mask mandate other than school health offices and there are no testing requirements for schools. We support anyone who wishes to wear a mask. Below is a link to the recent joint memo from the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.
The district is working with the Greenfield Health Department regarding ways to mitigate the spread of illness, not just COVID 19. We will continue to encourage and schedule opportunities for handwashing or use of hand sanitizer, continue use of classroom air purifiers when the windows are not able to be open and encourage all students and staff to remain home when they are ill. Our discussions with the Health Department are ongoing and will continue throughout the year as we work collaboratively regarding all illness including, flu, norovirus, Chickenpox, measles etc… should they occur. Updates to this information may be made and I encourage families to keep checking Parent Updates and the website as the year progresses.
The district is in the process of scheduling community-based discussions about the options for use of our facilities provided in the NESDEC report. The dates, times and locations will be provided to the community as soon as a final schedule has been identified. The goal is to schedule these community discussions now through the fall. A copy of the report can be found on the GPS website.
If anyone requires a printed copy of the report, please contact Lauren at the Superintendent’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org.