2020-08-12 Superintendent Update

08-12-20

Dear HUUSD Community,

We wanted to share with you an update the Superintendent just shared with HUUSD staff.

I am writing today with a few updates and pieces of information. I sure hope you and your families are well. Summer days will soon transition into fall and school will begin. Isn't this just the craziest of times? Everyday we are challenged with new and changing information that informs our thinking and changes our decisions. Please remember that on Thursday, I will be meeting with our HUEA team from 10:00-12:00 and any of you who can join in our all HUUSD Staff Meeting from 2:30-4:30. I wanted to provide some information and some of my best thinking prior to both meetings.  Here is where things stand.

  1. Schools will open on Sept. 8th. HUUSD is expected to open in our Pre K-12  4-1 model, where students will be in person 1 day each week ( broken into groups A and B) with staff in the buildings on Tues. and Thurs. This will give us that much needed opportunity to "toe dip" into the "COVID New School Model", allowing for adapting for students and staff while making adjustments based on our real experiences. 

  2. Yesterday, I sent you the newly revised documents from the AOE -   Revised Opening Guidance August 2020  and  Athletics: Reopening 2020. These documents are full of information. There are many significant changes that will impact and change how we open schools. The allowable leave categories are also significantly changed. I encourage you all to fully read these documents.

  3. We need you to complete the latest survey sent by Michelle Baker this week asking if you believe you will be applying for leave if we move to either a 5 or 4 day in person model. If after reading the revised guidance or this update you need to submit a change, please contact [email protected] This information is essential to our opening plan so that we can assure adequate staffing and hire substitutes where necessary. 

  4. Here is a video from the Champlain Valley (CVU) district that has gone viral that I wanted to share. All of our admin team have watched it. It clarifies a lot of the medical information and informs social distancing.  HERE

I have received many, many messages today asking specific questions about the newly revised guidance, and when and whether we will add more in person days. All I can say to any of you at this point is what I believe will likely happen. I could be wrong and I suppose everything is subject to change, but given everything I read in the new guidance, what will likely occur around the state, and what will likely be the expectations in our community, we will likely move to 5 days of in person instruction in grades PreK-4 without students separated into groups A and B (attempting to provide only single class groups), and a Hybrid in grades 5-12 of 2 full days in person for students and 4 for staff (Mon/Tues for A, all remote W, and Thurs/Fri for B) two weeks after the start of school (Sept. 22),  if the Governor and Dept. of Health determine Vermont schools will open at Step III. The change in our plan if we open at Step III results from several pieces of the new guidance, with the most important alterations to the 3-6 foot distancing rule for students 10 years and younger. We are still working to determine if this is possible in every classroom in every building. Parents will be surveyed again next week about a final decision.

Our admin team will start to unpack this new information Monday and Tuesday next week. You can expect changes ahead. Our main goal will need to be having three models in place for the school year - Step I Total Remote, Step II Hybrid, or Step III mostly In Person instruction. If we begin Step III after the first two weeks of school, it is not likely that HUUSD will be able to offer a totally remote learning option for families when we are in Step III. All our staff will be working full time serving all students in the Step III model. The district could not possibly hire another staff to serve students totally remotely in all Pre K -12 grades and subject areas. I believe those parents will need to apply for home study with the state. We are continuing to study this.

I have received a number of questions about child care. We have not yet fully determined if our buildings can be utilized for child care under Step III due to the disinfecting requirements.

Here is some important information from the State Child Development Division about child care for families with school-aged children:

  • Families can access child care through the state-wide child care referral network. Child Care Referral Specialists at statewide Community Child Care Support Agencies can match families with available child care options, including for school-aged children. There is no charge for this service, and it is available to all Vermonters. For more information: https://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/cccsa

  • Families can receive financial support for child care by talking with an eligibility specialist. The Child Care Financial Assistance Program helps families pay for child care. Families with a household of four people can make up to $77,256 per year and qualify for help. Eligibility specialists maintain an ongoing connection with families who receive this benefit and help them as their needs change. For more information: https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/ccfap

School leadership should also be aware of this information:

  • CDD is working to maximize child care options as needed. We are collaborating with state and community partners, legislators, and school leaders to find and implement positive solutions for school-aged child care during remote learning days.

  • Communication about school facility operations is key to co-located child care programs. Child care programs that utilize school facility spaces that may or may not be administered by the school itself will benefit from knowing whether they can use the school facility so they can plan accordingly.  Communication about school facility operations will be a key component in helping these programs plan and communicate with the families they serve.

  • If approached with offers for vacant space for child care programs, please refer property owners to CDD. Our licensing team will rapidly vet these opportunities from a health and safety perspective and make the connection between programs and approved locations. The best way for property owners to get in touch with CDD is: (802) 241-0837 or [email protected]

  • CDD licensing staff are available for any and all questions related to regulated care and supervision of children. Our staff are available to discuss any questions related to child care programming, licensing, regulations, and more. Please contact us with any questions related to licensing: (802) 241-0837 or [email protected]

Our hiring is not yet complete. We are still in need of school nurses (2), custodians (5) (both have increased in number since last year due to COVID) and bus monitors. Depending on where we end up with approved leaves, we may begin advertising for teachers and support staff next week. Each needs to be reviewed individually. Presently, we have approximately 22 leave requests ( 2 support staff and 20 teachers) with only 150 replies. Our substitute list is confirmed for about 21% of our usual list. 

I hope this information can inform our conversations tomorrow and better prepare us for our next Community Forum Mon. 8/17 at 6:30 and School Board Meeting Wed. 8/19 at 6:00. Uncertainty is so difficult. I know. We are all in this together. I have no doubt our plans will come to fruition and be successful because we will carry each other as needed along the journey. This is a marathon not a sprint. We got this HUUSD!

Best regards,

Brigid

"Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important. Capture the good times. Develop from the negatives. And, if things don't work out take another shot."

Anonymous

 

 

Search
Recent Posts
2020-09-25 Weekly Community Bulletin Sep 25 2020 2020-09-23 HUUSD Board Meeting Recap Sep 24 2020 HUUSD Reponse to a Positive COVID-19 Case Sep 19 2020 2020-09-18 Weekly Community Bulletin Sep 18 2020 Message from Superintendent Nease: Update and Lessons Learned from COVID Sep 15 2020 HUUSD Board Meeting Recap - 09/09/20 Sep 14 2020 2020-09-11 Weekly Community Bulletin Sep 11 2020 2020-09-04 Weekly Community Bulletin Sep 04 2020 2020-09-02 Superintendent Nease's Welcome Back Address to Staff Sep 02 2020 2020-08-28 Weekly Community Bulletin Aug 28 2020 2020-08-26 Superintendent Message Aug 26 2020 2020-08-21 HUUSD Weekly Community Bulletin Aug 21 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 08/19/20 Aug 20 2020 2020-08-19 Superintendent Nease Report Aug 19 2020 2020-08-14 HUUSD Weekly Community Bulletin Aug 14 2020 2020-08-12 Superintendent Update Aug 12 2020 HUUSD Board Meeting Recap - 08/05/20 Aug 10 2020 2020-08-07 HUUSD Weekly Community Bulletin Aug 07 2020 2020-07-29 HUUSD Board Update: Fall Reopening Plans Aug 03 2020 Superintendent's Letter to the Community 7/25/20 Jul 25 2020 2020-07-23 Superintendent's Report Return to Learn 2020 Jul 23 2020 Message from Superintendent Nease 07/16/20 Jul 16 2020 SURVEY: Return to Learn Fall 2020 Jul 08 2020 Update from HUUSD Board - 06/24/20 Jun 29 2020 Reopening Schools in the Fall: From the Agency of Education Jun 17 2020 School District Budget Passes Jun 17 2020 Anti-Racism Task Force Jun 17 2020 Facility Use Application Open Jun 15 2020 HUUSD Board Statement on Superintendent Contract Extension Jun 12 2020 2020-06-04 Message from Superintendent Nease Jun 04 2020 School Board Budget Update: June 16th Vote May 18 2020 2020-04-27 HUUSD Board Leadership Update Apr 29 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 04/08/20 Apr 13 2020 Staff/Board Report from Superintendent Nease 04/02/20 Apr 03 2020 Message from Board Leadership 03/30/20 Mar 30 2020 Governor Scott's Directive to Close Schools Mar 26 2020 Providing Child Care: Superintendent Nease's Response to the Community 03/22/20 Mar 22 2020 Important: Information Request From Superintendent Nease Mar 19 2020 HUUSD Childcare for Essential Persons during COVID-19 Closure Mar 19 2020 A Message from the HUUSD Nurses Mar 19 2020 Update from HUUSD Board - 03/19/20 Mar 19 2020 Buildings Being Open to Retrieve Materials Mar 17 2020 HUUSD Free Breakfast and Lunch Mar 17 2020 HUUSD Closure Information 03/15/20 Mar 15 2020 03/13/20 Coronavirus Update from Superintendent Nease Mar 13 2020 03/06/20 Coronavirus Update from Superintendent Nease Mar 06 2020 03/03/20 Coronavirus Message from Superintendent Nease Mar 03 2020 An Invitation to the HUUSD Annual Meeting 03/02/2020 Feb 27 2020 World Hearing Day is March 3, 2020 Feb 21 2020 2020-02-17 FY2021 Budget FAQs Feb 18 2020 Superintendent's Report: FY21 Programming, Staff Assignments, and Transition Planning Feb 18 2020 02/19/20 HUUSD Board Meeting Cancelled Feb 17 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 02/12/20 Feb 14 2020 HUUSD FY2021 Budget and Annual Report Available Feb 12 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 01/22/20 Jan 27 2020 Update from HUUSD Board - 01/24/20 Jan 24 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 01/15/20 Jan 20 2020 Superintendent Nease’s Report on the Bus 20 Accident January 16, 2020 Jan 17 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 01/08/20 Jan 10 2020 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 12/18/19 Dec 23 2019 Join the School Board in 2020 Dec 18 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 12/11/19 Dec 13 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 12/04/19 Dec 06 2019 PreK-12 Planning Update Nov 22 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 11/20/19 Nov 22 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 11/13/19 Nov 15 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 11/05/19 Nov 08 2019 Letter to the Editor - 10/31/19 Nov 06 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 10/23/19 Oct 29 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 10/16/19 Oct 21 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 09/25/19 Sep 27 2019 First Things First: The “Why” of District Redesign Sep 23 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 09/11/19 Sep 16 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 8/28/19 Aug 31 2019 HUUSD Board Kicks off School Year Aug 25 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 6/26/19 Jul 01 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 6/12/19 Jun 14 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 06/05/19 Jun 10 2019 HUUSD Board: Vision Event Reminder and May 22 Recap May 28 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 5/15/19 May 20 2019 May HUUSD meetings: Community Participation Sought! May 20 2019 A New Principal for Fayston Elementary May 16 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 5/8/19 May 14 2019 What’s happening with the Harwood bond? May 07 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 4/24/19 Apr 30 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 4/10/19 Apr 12 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 3/27/19 Mar 29 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 3/13/19 Mar 18 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 2/20/19 Feb 26 2019 Vote Yes for Schools on March 5: Info Meeting March 4 Feb 18 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 1/23/19 Jan 28 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 1/16/19 Jan 21 2019 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 12/19/2018 Dec 21 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 12/12/18 Dec 17 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 11/28/18 Dec 06 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 11/7/18 Nov 19 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 10/10/18 and 10/24/18 Nov 01 2018 Bus Drivers Needed! Sign-On Bonus! Oct 29 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 9/19/18 Sep 24 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - 9/12/18 Sep 17 2018 Press Release: HUUSD UVM Outstanding Teacher Nominees Sep 10 2018 4 options for Grades 7/8 in our district - watch the video! Sep 07 2018 August 29 Event - Public Voice in School Governance Aug 21 2018 Consultant Needed: Professional Development Provider Aug 09 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - June 27 Jun 29 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - June 13 Jun 19 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - June 6 Jun 11 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting Recap - May 23 May 31 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting recap - May 9 May 15 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting recap - April 25 Apr 30 2018 HUUSD School Board Meeting recap - April 11 Apr 16 2018 School Emergency Information Feb 19 2018 Opinion: Proficiency-Based Learning Beneficial for Students, Secretary Holcombe Dec 06 2017 HUUSD Board: Five Goals Driving Our Work Sep 04 2018 HUUSD Budget Process Sep 04 2018 Action Plan Sep 04 2018 Action Plan Presentation Mar 08 2017 Community Coalition Fall Newsletter Nov 16 2016 Key Themes: Community Conversations May 13 2016 HUHS Acknowledged For Their Efforts With Student Voice Apr 26 2016 The Moretown School Featured on WPTZ Dec 23 2015 WWSU Action Plan Jun 10 2015 VSA/VSBA Education Situational Analysis Sep 17 2014 Introduction To A Framework for Teaching Jul 21 2014