As the world reacts to the ever changing environments due to COVID-19, it is our responsibility to develop plans that keep students and the community safe and still meet our primary goal to educate students. Yesterday, the New Hampshire DOE passed an emergency rule change to ED 306.18 (see attached) that gave guidance and local authority to remotely instruct students if school closure is necessary. As you can imagine, the decision to close schools has a great impact on families, staff, and our students. It is my hope, that if possible, we avoid this disruption of education and routines for our community. However, if school closure is necessary, we are finalizing a plan for remote learning. We will be communicating this plan soon.
I wish to stress that our educators, staff, and schools, are prepared to continue to educate our students both in our buildings and outside of the buildings if necessary. We have hand sanitizers in our classrooms. We are sanitizing our surfaces with disinfectant sprayers on a regular basis. We continue to stress the importance of staying home when sick, and washing hands to stop the spread of sickness. At this point we are not aware of any cases of COVID-19 in Pelham, however we will continue to plan and do our part to keep everyone as safe as possible.
In order to plan for potential remote learning, we are holding a professional development day for all staff (this includes support staff) on Monday, March 16th. This is a no school day for students. We are planning for the potential possibility of long term closures. Our faculty and staff need time for training and planning for the possibility of a long term closure. This is to ensure our staff are prepared to provide continued lessons and learning using remote instructional strategies and tools.
I encourage families to prepare for this as well. I apologize for the late notice and inconvenience this may cause, however as things change rapidly we wish to be prepared for any circumstances. I continue to follow guidance set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as NH DOE, and CDC. Our primary goal is always to keep students safe and we are taking measures in order to do so. Additionally, all school events are cancelled until further notice.
Superintendent of Schools