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April 27, 2020
Dear Cromwell Public Schools Families and Staff,
I hope this letter finds you and your family feeling well and adjusting as best you can to the unique circumstances presented by COVID-19. I am writing to update you on Cromwell Public School’s efforts to provide our students with high quality educational opportunities during these unprecedented times. I am so impressed with the work of our staff and students to ensure that academic progress continues amid these challenges. Together, we are striving to educate and uplift each other through so much uncertainty. Our families and teachers are learning new instructional methods while supporting their families and addressing their own health needs. Our students are learning in new ways while missing their peers and feeling the loss of familiar activities. Our non-instructional staff continues to come to work to provide meals for our students, clean our buildings, and attend to the business of the school system to ensure our dedicated staff are paid and school is ready for your ultimate return. Everyone in our community is pulling together to keep us informed, cared for, and safe.
We continue to make progress on our Virtual Learning Plan. Our initial efforts included optional assignments offered online. Currently, Phase 2 of the plan includes more on-line learning opportunities but lacks real time interaction between students and teachers. To address this, we are moving into Phase 3 which will include distance education sessions with teachers in real time as well as independent learning opportunities. Schedules have been created to provide students with the opportunity to interact more fully with their teachers and classmates. Students will be able to ask questions of their teacher or classmates and receive instant feedback. Below are important components of the plan and our next steps in meaningful learning for our pupils. Click here if you would like to review the detailed Virtual Lerning Plan. Below is a summary of the highlights and important information:
Plan Highlights and Important Information:
· Cromwell Public Schools will shift to a phase three of our Virtual Learning Plan as of May 4, 2020.
· School closure will continue through May 20, 2020.
· At the secondary level, Quarter 4 (Q4) and Semester 2 (S2) will be graded as Pass or Fail (with the exception of ECE and AP). Incompletes will be provided for students with extenuating circumstances and a plan will be developed.
· Quarter 4 will begin on April 6, 2020 and will end on June 10, 2020. Incomplete grades will be finalized no later than August 15, 2020 for the 2019-2020 school year. There will be no GPA calculated for S2 of the 2019-2020 school year.
· ECE courses will continue to provide a letter grade. These grades will appear on the student transcript but will not be calculated into class rank moving forward. An extension of the withdrawal period for the course has been extended. Teachers will be reaching out to ECE classes with additional information.
· We will not give final exams for Semester 2.
· Teachers will provide office hours on a schedule developed in each school to provide face to face support for students. Link to the building schedules are below:
· Elementary teachers will be using normal grading procedures on report cards.
· Connecticut has applied, and been granted a waiver to cancel the Smarter Balanced, NGSS and the School Day SAT.
· Plans are being made for a fall administration of the School Day SAT.
· AP and ECE courses have not changed. AP students will be taking the exam at home on a device and AP and ECE students will be receiving letter grades on their official transcripts.
· Teachers will also be communicating via email, phone, Google Classroom or one-sided video. A schedule will be posted of when teachers will be providing in-person office hours to students. See schedule above.
A critical component of this plan is the protection of a student’s confidentiality rights. Cromwell Public Schools will continue to comply with the Family Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). With the return to teacher-to-student and student-to-student interaction, there may be limited sharing of personally identifiable information. We ask that you agree to allow your child to participate in distance learning groups and recognize the unique circumstances in which we are working and understand that a release of personally identifiable information is possible although we ask that you help minimize this potential while your child interacts in group sessions.
We ask that parents, staff and students follow the same expectations for privacy that we would if a parent observed their child in the classroom. It is important that students have a quiet space with reasonable adult supervision as needed, but not adult participation. We must respect the privacy of all students. Parents, students, or other members of the household that may be with the student during virtual instruction periods are asked to refrain from recording a classroom session, unless it is part of your child’s special education plan or required for access to learning. Recording of real time teacher/student interaction should only be done with written permission from the district. Additionally, parents are asked not to disrupt the delivery of instruction, avoid unnecessary access to personally identifiable information about students or families, and avoid any disclosure of information you may have inadvertently discovered while your child is engaged in class discussions. Failure to abide by these standards may result in suspension of on-line/remote privileges.
Cromwell Public Schools strives to protect our students’ confidentiality rights during this unusual period of education. We feel the procedures we are employing provide adequate safeguards and offer the proper informed consent for students participating in our virtual learning environment. If you object to your child’s participation in on-line or virtual learning or are concerned about an invasion of privacy rights, please contact your school principal or Sari O’Leary, Director of Special Services, by email at email@example.com. Please use the subject, “Notice to and Consent by Parent/Guardian Information Regarding Student Confidentiality”. We will work to address your concerns or develop other means for your child to receive instruction.
Equally important to the academic well-being of our students is their physical and emotional health. Our teachers, counselors, and school psychologists continue to reach out to families and students to help them cope with the disruption to their lives and the emotional impact that comes with the lack of structure and predictability that provides security to our youth. Children are astute observers to the stress around them. Should you need additional support in helping your child cope with anxiety or reactions to the pandemic, please reach out to Sari O’Leary, Director of Special Services, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, resources regarding trauma related stress, anxiety and depression can be found on our website at http://www.cromwell.k12.ct.us/o/district/page/covid19-coronavirus.
My sincere hope is that we will soon return to normal. In the interim, I will continue to keep you informed. We hear frequently from the Commissioner of Education, Miguel Cardona, and Governor, Ned Lamont, regarding guidance for school districts and best practices during this pandemic. I will forward developments to you regularly. We anxiously await the word that we may resume regular school sessions.
Until then, stay safe, stay healthy, stay optimistic. We have a great community and together we will come through this with a new understanding of our world and appreciation for those around us.
Enza Macri, Ed.D.
CPS Phase 3 Virtual Learning Plan Community Letter
Cromwell Public Schools
Tuesday, April 28, 2020