This week’s Parent Update will include:
- Celebrations and Upcoming
- School Messenger and Contact Information
- Illness and Mitigation Strategies
CELEBRATIONS AND UPCOMING
Welcome back to school for the new school year. The first week of school has gone very well for our students and staff. Generally, we are focused on establishing routines and a feeling of community with students and staff getting to know each other and learning the rules and routines of the various areas of each of their schools. The Meet and Greets were attended by many students and their families. Please keep watching the school newsletters and my Parent Update for information throughout the year about other family events at the schools. There is also a link to the athletic schedules on the high school page of the website.
SCHOOL MESSENGER AND CONTACT INFORMATION
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.
It is also extremely important that families update their phone numbers and email addresses so you are able to get communication from the schools. Please remember to change your contact information with the schools when you make changes in your phone number or emails.
Updated Family/Student handbooks are available on the district website under each school page. A handbook acknowledgement form was sent home for all students and we ask that you review the handbook and return the signed acknowledgement form.
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 City recently provided information about testing options which can be found on the City’s website at https://greenfield-ma.gov/
The Greenfield Schools are experiencing a staff shortage, particularly with our Instructional Assistant positions. We are working to fill as many positions as possible as quickly as we can. If anyone is interested in applying to be an Instructional Assistant, please visit the home page of the website for the “click here for employment opportunities”.
Unfortunately, with the educator shortage impacting not just Greenfield, but the entire region, we still have some changes in staffing. All district administrators are continuing to recruit and interview applicants so we have positions filled. This can take some time as the applicants are typically employed in other districts and required to give notice before they leave. We realize changes can be difficult for some students and we are working to get any openings filled as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.