Superintendent's Letter 3.16.20

Good Afternoon, 

I am sure you have heard by now or have seen Governor Baker's Press Conference 03.15.2020 from last evening where he has tightened restrictions on groups of people gathering, limiting the size of the groups to 25 people or less, with a few exceptions. Governor Baker has called for all schools and school activities to be suspended for three weeks (until April 6, 2020) to maintain the practice of social distancing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This order extends our original closure by one week. 

Our leadership teams have been working to limit access to the buildings, coordinate meal plans for our families, communicate with staff about the Learn Anywhere Program and plan for special student populations including ESL, METCO and Special Education. 

We have decided that as of Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 3:00 PM, all of our buildings will have limited access to only administrators, some secretarial staff and custodial staff. We are working to set up additional employees to work from home to support this limitation. As a reminder, students, families and staff should plan to pick up all personal items no later than 2:00 PM on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

I emailed earlier about our meal plan. To reiterate, the Wakefield Public Schools will be offering a grab and go lunch option to our families as needed. These meals will be available for pick up, Monday-Friday 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM, at the Wakefield Memorial High School loading dock entrance. Procedures for pick up will comply with guidance from local and state officials. If this is a service that your family would like to access, please complete the form below to support us in having a sufficient amount of meals planned. 

Grab and Go Lunch Form

Additionally, if you are in need of further support, the Wakefield Food Pantry is open to all families. They are also accepting donations if you would like to help with their efforts to assist our community. 

Wakefield Public Schools is fortunate to have the opportunity to utilize our Learn Anywhere Program to support and engage our students during this very challenging time. We know there is no substitute for time spent in class with our teachers, however we believe that this program has great potential to engage students and help us maintain relationships with one another during this unprecedented time.  

As part of our planning for Learn Anywhere, we are continuing to think about equity and access for all of our students. We will continue to work closely with our Special Education Administrator, Lyn O’Neil, METCO Director, Glavia Smith and ESL Coordinator, Colleen Annes, to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our families and students as best as we can.        

We know that we need to be flexible and will need to problem solve daily to adapt to the demands of the Coronavirus Pandemic. We will send out updates and more information in the coming days. Last, as challenging as this time is, we ask that you support the efforts of the community by doing your part to keep our students home and ideally with immediate family only. Please do not engage in play dates, sleepovers, free play outside with neighborhood children and other social gatherings. Please reach out if you have additional questions and concerns.               

Sincerely, 

-Doug Lyons