As each day passes, our daily lives and routines are changing radically, and there will be more to come. We will do our very best to maintain operations and be accessible via email and phone for parents, students, and staff in the weeks ahead. I think we all understand the reality here, whatever plans we put into place will need to adjust and we will keep you informed as we go.
Academic Resources: Around 6:30 PM this evening, each principal will send their plan for academics to families that is consistent with the direction we have received from the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). For the time being, these plans are for enrichment activities and to maintain the skills and concepts already covered this year. Teachers and staff will be connecting with families and students in the days ahead with resources, optional assignments, and suggestions for activities that can be done from home. Teachers and administrators will be available via school email for questions, feedback, and ideas.
Access to school buildings/medication: Tomorrow will be the last opportunity for staff and students to access the buildings to pick up personal items, medication, curricular materials, etc. Principals will be available tomorrow from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at HMS and HHS and 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at both elementary schools. Any parent needing to pick up medication must email our Director of Health Services, Patricia Smith, in advance for access. Her email address is email@example.com, and she will make arrangements to meet you at your child’s school.
Administrator Availability: District and building administrators will be accessible and checking emails and phone messages regularly throughout this period of closure, and all school buildings will be closed to the public after tomorrow. Staff members will receive information about payroll and benefits from the HR Office.
Wifi Access: Below is information that we received from Comcast/Xfinity about free wifi access. Please understand that this is not a service that we control, but we are sharing it with you as a possible resource if you need it.
Please follow the advice of our local, state, and federal officials and medical experts and stay home. We will get through this together.
Superintendent of Schools
In response to Covid-19 Comcast/Xfinity is taking a couple of steps to ensure students have access to online learning resources. They have built out a nationwide WiFi network for their customers and are now making that free for everyone. They are also offering 60 days free for new customers of their Internet Essentials tier. The link for more details is https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19 and a summary of the two very key points are;
Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.