Return to School Plan

Return to School Plan

Most of HPS will Start the SY 20-21 School Year Remotely.

In order to ensure that the students who need the most get the most, we have selected K-12 students for whom in-person instruction is most essential, and their families will have the option to choose in-person or fully remote learning.  This group of students includes:

  • Career and Vocational Technical Education (Dean Campus) students,
  • students with disabilities in substantially separate classrooms, and
  • English Learners defined as Newcomers. 

 

Read our Return to School Plan below or in printable PDF Format (English | En español) to learn more. 

Although the plan below identifies remote, hybrid, and in-person models of learning, we will not be implementing hybrid at this time.  (The contents of the plan may change based on health metrics and future guidance from the local Board of Health, State of Massachusetts, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)).  Throughout the year, we will consider adding students for whom remote learning is less conducive.

female student at laptop

Personal Responsibility Pledge for Students and Families (PDF) | En español (PDF)

The pledges will be included in the back-to-school packet and do not need to be mailed to the school until further notice.

Dear Holyoke Public School Community,

As a community, we approach a new school year that will look, sound, and feel much different than any other.  Based on the science, we know that COVID-19 will continue to evolve, hence information provided by local, state, and federal health agencies will also continue to change.  With that said, we need to reevaluate and reimagine teaching and learning and how we can best support and engage with our students and families.

As you recall, back in March, the entire state had to cease in-person instruction and pivot to remote learning. This was truly no easy task for anyone involved, but I must say HPS should be proud of what they accomplished.  Students’ holistic needs were met by providing devices and connectivity for ongoing learning, access to healthy meals, and other essential needs.

This summer, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Commissioner Jeffrey Riley asked school districts to design three learning models: remote learning, in-person learning, hybrid learning (a combination of in-person and remote learning).  Our Reopening Leadership Team and committees have worked diligently to resume teaching and learning with safety and equity for all, across each learning model.  Our team reviewed the latest medical research and educational guidance and gathered feedback from all stakeholders via surveys, Facebook Live sessions, e-mails, and meetings.  

The Holyoke Public Schools return-to-school plan reflects our careful planning efforts, with the recognition that we must regularly review and adapt our plan based on new guidance and feedback from our students, teachers, staff, and families.  We will monitor health metrics throughout the year to help us make decisions about whether and when to bring more students back to school.  

In response to family, student, staff, and community feedback and due to the current health environment in Holyoke, the majority of HPS students will start the school year remotely.  In order to ensure that the students who need the most get the most, we have selected K-12 students for whom in-person instruction is most essential, and their families will have the option to choose in-person or fully remote learningThis group of students includes Career and Vocational Technical Education (Dean Campus) students, students with disabilities in substantially separate classrooms, and English Learners defined as Newcomers.  Newcomers are students who have newly arrived (two years or less) to the mainland U.S. or are new to English dominant instruction.  Throughout the year, we will consider adding students for whom remote learning is less conducive.   Families of selected students will be contacted by August 24 and we strongly encourage them to consider in-person learning. 

We learned a lot from our remote learning efforts in Spring 2020.  With more time to prepare and clear guidance from DESE, remote learning for SY20-21 will look much different.  In particular, we would like to highlight:

  • All students, teachers, paraprofessionals and instructional staff will have their own device. The Internet will be provided to students who need it.
  • Students will follow a daily synchronous (live) learning schedule with Holyoke teachers and staff that will closely mirror traditional class schedules.  The majority of students’ time will be spent with educators and will include a combination of direct teacher instruction, student collaboration time, and independent student work time while the teacher confers with individual students.  
  • The district will use Google Classroom in all grades as the learning management systems (LMS).  (This is a change from previous guidance, when we thought Seesaw would be the LMS for grades PreK-2.)  Zoom is the video conferencing platform for live classes.
  • Advisory Groups (PreK-8) and Learning Squads (9-12) will promote high student engagement and provide individualized support.  
  • Breakfast and lunch will be available for pick-up at many locations three times per week.

As previously mentioned, select students will attend school in-person for some of the week during the first term and beyond.  Staff who are teaching students in remote learning may also choose to teach from their classroom.  In order to keep students and staff as safe as possible, HPS will implement a detailed plan which includes:   

  • A personal responsibility pledge | En Español (PDF) to stay home when ill and follow all other precautions, required of each student, family and staff member.
  • Masks required for all staff and students in grades PreK-12, unless prevented due to a medical condition or behavior concern.  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff members, especially those who work with the most vulnerable students.
  • Social distancing in classrooms of at least 6-feet and smaller groups of students in each classroom.
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures, including cleaning high-touch surfaces multiple times a day, regular cleaning daily and deep cleaning between cohorts of students.
  • Proper ventilation and classes outdoors at the discretion of teachers to promote fresh air.
  • Staff training on new safety and health procedures.
  • Extremely restricted access to all buildings by non-HPS employees.   
  • Quick access to COVID-19 testing through local testing sites.
  • Contact tracing to quickly inform students, families, and staff if possible exposure to COVID-19 has occurred. 

School will begin for students in grades 1-12 on Monday, September 14, and for students in grades PreK and Kindergarten on Monday, September 21.  The revised SY20-21 calendar is available on our website.  We will have a staggered start for in-person learning for select students. 

In particular, we want to thank our teachers, nurses, and other school-based staff who are on the front lines educating and supporting our students.  I look forward to working with all of you to revise our plan based on public health data and stakeholder feedback to best meet the needs of our students, family and staff.   The physical health, mental health, and safety of our students and staff is our top priority.  

This year ahead will undoubtedly be a challenging one for us all.  However, we are HPS strong!  I am confident that together we will respond to these challenges with flexibility, patience, grace, and commitment.

Our full return-to-school plan is available on the return to school webpage.  (Note: The plan is available today via google translate and will be formally translated next week.)  FAQs will also be posted next week.  You may also contact us with questions through the Contact Us Form on our website (https://www.hps.holyoke.ma.us/about-us/contact/) or by text/phone on our hotline at 413.561.0862.  

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Dr. Alberto Vázquez Matos
Superintendent/Receiver


 

Estimada comunidad de las Escuelas Públicas de Holyoke:

Como comunidad, nos acercamos a un nuevo año escolar que se verá, sonará y se sentirá muy diferente a cualquier otro. Basándonos en la ciencia, sabemos que COVID-19 continuará evolucionando, por lo tanto, la información proporcionada por las agencias de salud locales, estatales y federales también seguirá cambiando. Dicho esto, necesitamos reevaluar y reimaginar la enseñanza y el aprendizaje y cómo podemos apoyar e involucrar mejor a nuestros estudiantes y familias.

Como recordarán, en marzo, todo el estado tuvo que dejar la instrucción en persona y pasar al aprendizaje remoto. Esta no fue una tarea fácil para todos los involucrados, pero debo decir que HPS debería estar orgulloso de lo que lograron. Las necesidades integrales de los estudiantes fueron satisfechas proporcionando dispositivos y conectividad para el aprendizaje continuo, acceso a comidas saludables y otras necesidades esenciales.

Este verano, el Comisionado del Departamento de Educación Primaria y Secundaria (DESE), Jeffrey Riley, pidió a los distritos escolares que diseñaran tres modelos de aprendizaje: aprendizaje remoto, aprendizaje presencial, aprendizaje híbrido (una combinación de aprendizaje presencial y remoto). Nuestro Equipo de Liderazgo de Reapertura y los comités han trabajado diligentemente para reanudar la enseñanza y el aprendizaje con seguridad y equidad para todos, en cada modelo de aprendizaje. Nuestro equipo revisó las últimas investigaciones médicas y orientación educativa y recopiló comentarios de todas las partes interesadas a través de encuestas, sesiones de Facebook Live, correos electrónicos y reuniones.  

El plan de regreso a la escuela de las Escuelas Públicas de Holyoke refleja nuestros cuidadosos esfuerzos de planificación, con el reconocimiento de que debemos revisar y adaptar regularmente nuestro plan basado en la nueva orientación y comentarios de nuestros estudiantes, maestros, personal y familias.  Supervisaremos las medidas de salud a lo largo del año para ayudarnos a tomar decisiones sobre si y cuándo traer más estudiantes de vuelta a la escuela.  

 

En respuesta a los comentarios de la familia, los estudiantes, el personal y la comunidad y debido al entorno de salud actual en Holyoke, la mayoría de los estudiantes de HPS comenzarán el año escolar de forma remota. Para asegurarnos de que los estudiantes que más necesitan obtengan el máximo provecho, hemos seleccionado estudiantes de K-12 para quienes la instrucción en persona es más esencial, y sus familias tendrán la opción de elegir el aprendizaje en persona o completamente a distanciaEste grupo de estudiantes incluye estudiantes de Carreras y Educación Técnica Vocacional  (Plantel Dean), estudiantes con discapacidades en salones de clase sustancialmente separados y estudiantes aprendices de inglés definidos como recién llegados. Los recién llegados son estudiantes que han llegado recientemente (dos años o menos) a la parte continental de los EE. UU. O son nuevos en la instrucción dominante en inglés.  Las familias de los estudiantes seleccionados serán contactados el 24 de agosto y les alentamos a considerar el aprendizaje en persona. 

 

Aprendimos mucho de nuestros esfuerzos de aprendizaje remoto en la primavera de 2020. Con más tiempo para preparar y una guía clara de DESE, el aprendizaje remoto para el año escolar 20-21 se verá muy diferente. En particular, nos gustaría destacar:

  • Todos los estudiantes, maestros, paraprofesionales y personal docente tendrán su propio dispositivo. Se proporcionará Internet a los estudiantes que lo necesiten.
  • Los estudiantes seguirán un horario de aprendizaje sincrónico (en vivo) diario con los maestros y el personal de Holyoke que reflejará de cerca los horarios de clases tradicionales. La mayor parte del tiempo de los estudiantes se utilizará con los educadores e incluirá una combinación de instrucción directa del maestro, tiempo de colaboración del estudiante y tiempo de trabajo independiente del estudiante mientras el maestro habla con estudiantes individuales.  
  • El distrito utilizará Google Classroom como los sistemas de gestión del aprendizaje (LMS) en todos los grados.  (Esto es un cambio con respecto a la orientación anterior, cuando pensábamos que Seesaw sería el LMS para los grados PreK-2.) Zoom es la plataforma de videoconferencia para clases en vivo. 
  • Los Grupos asesores (PreK-8) y los Equipos de aprendizaje (9-12) promoverán una alta participación de los estudiantes y brindarán apoyo individualizado.  
  • El desayuno y el almuerzo estarán disponibles para recoger en muchos lugares tres veces por semana.

Como se mencionó anteriormente, estudiantes selectos asistirán a la escuela en persona durante parte de la semana durante el primer trimestre y más allá. El personal que está enseñando a los estudiantes en aprendizaje remoto también puede optar por enseñar desde su salón de clases. Para mantener a los estudiantes y al personal lo más seguros posible, HPS implementará un plan detallado que incluye:   

  • Un compromiso de responsabilidad personal de quedarse en casa cuando esté enfermo y seguir todas las demás precauciones que se requieren de cada estudiante, familia y miembro del personal.
  • Se requieren mascarillas para todo el personal y los estudiantes en los grados PreK-12, a menos que se eviten debido a una condición médica o preocupación por el comportamiento. Equipo de protección personal (PPE) para los miembros del personal, especialmente aquellos que trabajan con los estudiantes más vulnerables.
  • Distanciamiento social en salones de clases de al menos 6 pies y grupos más pequeños de estudiantes en cada salón.
  • Procedimientos de limpieza mejorados, incluida la limpieza de superficies de alto contacto varias veces al día, limpieza diaria regular y limpieza profunda entre grupos de estudiantes.
  • Ventilación adecuada y clases al aire libre a discreción de los maestros para promover el aire fresco.
  • Formación del personal sobre nuevos procedimientos de seguridad y salud.
  • Acceso extremadamente restringido a todos los edificios por parte de empleados que no pertenecen a HPS.   
  • Acceso rápido a las pruebas de COVID-19 en sitios locales.
  • Seguimiento de contactos para informar rápidamente a los estudiantes, familias y personal si se ha producido una posible exposición al COVID-19. 

La escuela comenzará para los estudiantes en los grados 1-12 el lunes 14 de septiembre, y para los estudiantes en los grados PreK y Kínder el lunes 21 de septiembre. El calendario revisado del año escolar 20-21 está disponible en nuestro sitio web.  Tendremos un comienzo escalonado para el aprendizaje en persona para los estudiantes prioritarios. 

En particular, quiero agradecer a nuestros maestros, enfermeras y otro personal escolar que está en la primera línea educando y apoyando a nuestros estudiantes. Espero trabajar con todos ustedes para revisar nuestro plan en función de los datos de salud pública y los comentarios de las partes interesadas para satisfacer mejor las necesidades de nuestros estudiantes, familias y personal. La salud física, la salud mental y la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y personal es nuestra principal prioridad.  

El año que tenemos por delante, sin duda, será un desafío para todos nosotros. Sin embargo, ¡somos HPS fuertes! Estoy seguro de que juntos responderemos a estos desafíos con flexibilidad, paciencia, gracia y compromiso.

Nuestro plan completo de regreso a la escuela está disponible en la página web de regreso a la escuela. (Nota: El plan está disponible hoy a través de Google Translate y será traducido formalmente la próxima semana). Las preguntas frecuentes también se publicarán la próxima semana. También puede contactarnos si tiene preguntas a través del Formulario de contacto en nuestro sitio web (https://www.hps.holyoke.ma.us/about-us/contact/) o por mensaje de texto / teléfono en nuestra línea directa 413.561.0862.  

Atentamente,

 

Dr. Alberto zquez Matos
Superintendente / Receptor

After an unprecedented spring of school closures across Massachusetts and the country, and an abrupt transition to remote learning due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, school districts are charged with planning for and implementing a successful SY20-21 amidst continued uncertainty and changing circumstances.  Accordingly, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) asked all districts to assess the feasibility and submit plans for three learning models of K-12 education in the coming year: continued full-time remote learning, a return to full in-person learning, and a hybrid of both.  This document details Holyoke’s return-to-school plan across all three models, with multiple dimensions to consider: health, safety, academics, consideration for special populations, social emotional learning, family engagement, operations, transportation, and talent management.    

In May 2020, Holyoke established a Reopening Leadership Team (RLT), a 17-member group of district leaders, school leaders, school staff, parents and a School Committee member, to lead the development of a return-to-school plan.  The RLT established 8 committees (district-based operations, school-based operations, academics, human resources and personnel, social emotional learning and behavioral health, family and community engagement, special education, and health and wellness), with more than 150 members (list here), to engage in detailed planning.  

The RLT grounded its work in these guiding principles:

  • Student and staff safety are critical.
  • Student academic learning and social, emotional, behavioral and mental health are paramount.
  • Our most vulnerable students and staff need to be at the center of our plan
  • We will be nimble, flexible and emotionally balanced in our approach.  We must rapidly respond to updated guidelines/feedback and have contingency plans.
  • We make decisions based on equity as our guiding light.  

 

The RLT and committees carefully reviewed all guidance released by DESE, which was informed by the MA COVID-19 Command Center’s Medical Advisory Board (a group of physicians and other health experts), Dr. Sandra Nelson (MD, Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital), Dr. Lloyd Fisher (President, Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics), and many other members of the MA medical and educational community.  HPS solicited input from families and staff through surveys and town hall meetings and reviewed data about the level of engagement during the Spring 2020 remote learning.  HPS has also carefully considered the evolving health data and environment in Holyoke and Massachusetts. Sean Gonsalves, Registered Sanitarian, Director of the Holyoke Board of Health has been a tremendous partner to HPS as we have developed our return to school plans.

 

In response to family, student, staff, and community feedback and due to the current health environment in Holyoke, the majority of HPS students will start the school year remotely.  In order to ensure that the students who need the most get the most, we have selected K-12 students for whom in-person instruction is most essential, and their families will have the option to choose in-person or fully remote learningCareer and Vocational Technical Education (Dean Campus) students will attend school in-person one day per week and the other days will be remote.  Students with disabilities in substantially separate classrooms and English Learners defined as Newcomers will attend school in person four days per week (Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri); Wednesday will be remote.  Newcomers are students who have newly arrived (two years or less) to the mainland U.S. or are new to English dominant instruction.  Throughout the year, we will consider adding students for whom remote learning is less conducive.  We plan to contact families of selected students by August 31 and strongly encourage them to consider in-person learning. 

 

On August 11th, the Governor’s Office released metrics that will help local municipalities and school districts plan accordingly, as it relates to the operation of cities, towns, and school districts.  The HPS leadership team and Holyoke Board of Health Director Sean Gonsalves will review and discuss the following metrics each week and over time to ensure that our chosen learning model matches the health environment.  The Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report is available every Wednesday by 4 p.m.

  • Color-coded metric: Number of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period
      • August 12th: Red (9 cases per 100,000 residents)
        • Please note: This is an increase from last week’s report where Holyoke was listed as yellow.  The increase in cases is attributed to incidents at two long-term care facilities
    • Test positivity rate over a two-week period (% positive COVID-19 tests out of all tests conducted)
      • August 12th: 2.39%
        • Please note: CDC and WHO recommend a test positivity rate of less than 5% to open schools.  Harvard’s Global Health Institute recommends less than 3%.
  • Upward/downward trend in cases
    • August 12: Upward trend
      • Please note: In the prior week, it was a downward trend.

 

We are hopeful that, over time, we can bring more students back for in-person learning, especially considering that families of 44% of students preferred at least some in-person learning (August 6-12th family survey).  We will evaluate the learning model each quarter (for middle school and high school) and trimester (elementary school) to determine if we should make a change to the learning model.  We will aim to make a decision about the next quarter or trimester at least 3 weeks ahead of the new period.  Each month, we will evaluate the metrics to see if we should expand who qualifies for in-person instruction.  In any scenario, families will have the option to remain in remote learning throughout SY20-21.

 

In order to ensure sufficient time and training for teachers and staff as we return to school, we modified our SY20-21 calendar.  Commissioner Riley and the Massachusetts Teachers Association worked together to ensure that every district in the Commonwealth has at least 10 days of professional learning for teachers prior to the first day of school for students.  (HPS teachers have 14 days.)  Our teachers and staff will be trained in health and safety protocols, blended learning, social emotional learning, and core content curriculum.  All teachers will return to work by Monday, August 24 (note: Veritas Prep and teachers participating in induction or new staff orientation returned earlier), and paraprofessionals return to work on Thursday, August 27.  Accordingly, students in grades 1-12 will return on Monday, September 14, and students in Pre-K and Kindergarten will return on Monday, September 21.  An updated calendar is available here.  

 

Please refer to the table of contents to review all the components of our return-to-school plan, especially the academic plan for all students in each learning model and precautions we are undergoing to keep our students, staff and families safe.  

Después de una primavera sin precedentes de cierres de escuelas en todo Massachusetts y en el país, y de una abrupta transición al aprendizaje a distancia debido a la pandemia del coronavirus (COVID-19), los distritos escolares están encargados de planificar e implementar un exitoso año escolar 20-21 en medio de la continua incertidumbre y las circunstancias cambiantes.  En consecuencia, el Departamento de Educación Primaria y Secundaria (DESE) pidió a todos los distritos que evaluarán la viabilidad y presentaran planes para tres modelos de aprendizaje de la educación K-12 en el próximo año: la continuación del aprendizaje a distancia a tiempo completo, el retorno al aprendizaje presencial completo y un híbrido de ambos.  Este documento detalla el plan de regreso a la escuela de Holyoke en los tres modelos, con múltiples dimensiones a considerar: salud, seguridad, académicos, consideración de poblaciones especiales, aprendizaje socio-emocional, compromiso familiar, operaciones, transporte y gestión de talentos.       

En mayo de 2020, Holyoke estableció un Equipo de Liderazgo de Reapertura (RLT, por sus siglas en inglés), un grupo de 17 miembros de líderes de distrito, líderes escolares, personal escolar, padres y un miembro del Comité Escolar, para dirigir el desarrollo de un plan de regreso a la escuela.  El RLT estableció 8 comités (operaciones basadas en el distrito, operaciones basadas en la escuela, académicos, recursos humanos y personal, aprendizaje social y emocional y salud del comportamiento, compromiso familiar y comunitario, educación especial y salud y bienestar), con más de 150 miembros (lista aquí), para participar en la planificación detallada. 

El RLT basó su trabajo en estos principios rectores:

  • La seguridad de los estudiantes y del personal es crítica.
  • El aprendizaje académico del estudiante y la salud social, emocional, conductual y mental son primordiales.
  • Nuestros estudiantes y personal más vulnerables necesitan estar en el centro de nuestro plan
  • Seremos ágiles, flexibles y emocionalmente equilibrados en nuestro enfoque.  Debemos responder rápidamente a las directrices/retroalimentaciones actualizadas y tener planes de contingencia.
  • Tomamos decisiones basadas en la equidad como nuestra guía.  

 

El RLT y los comités revisaron cuidadosamente toda la guía publicada por DESE, la cual fue informada por la Junta Asesora Médica del Centro de Comando COVID-19 de MA (un grupo de médicos y otros expertos en salud), la Dra. Sandra Nelson (MD, Enfermedad Infecciosa, Hospital General de Massachusetts), el Dr. Lloyd Fisher (Presidente entrante de la Academia Americana de Pediatría, Capítulo de Massachusetts ), y muchos otros miembros de la comunidad médica y educativa de MA.  HPS solicitó la opinión de las familias y el personal a través de encuestas y reuniones de la alcaldía y revisó los datos sobre el nivel de compromiso durante el aprendizaje a distancia de la primavera de 2020.  HPS también ha considerado cuidadosamente la evolución de los datos de salud y el medio ambiente en Holyoke y Massachusetts. Sean Gonsalves, Registrado Sanitario, Director de la Junta de Salud de Holyoke ha sido un gran socio de HPS en el desarrollo de nuestro plan de regreso a la escuela.

 

En respuesta a la retroalimentación de la familia, los estudiantes, el personal y la comunidad y debido al actual ambiente de salud en Holyoke, la mayoría de los estudiantes de HPS comenzarán el año escolar a distancia.  Para asegurarnos de que los estudiantes que más lo necesitan obtengan el máximo, hemos seleccionado estudiantes de K-12  para los cuales la instrucción en persona es más esencial, y sus familias tendrán la opción de elegir entre la enseñanza en persona o la enseñanza totalmente a distancia.  Los estudiantes de Educación Técnica Profesional (Plantel Dean) asistirán a la escuela en persona un día a la semana y los otros días serán remotos.  Los estudiantes con discapacidades en salones de clase sustancialmente separados y los estudiantes aprendices de inglés definidos como recién llegados asistirán a la escuela en persona cuatro días a la semana (lunes, martes, jueves, viernes); el miércoles será remoto.  Los recién llegados son estudiantes que acaban de llegar (dos años o menos) al territorio continental de los EE.UU. o son nuevos en la enseñanza del inglés. A lo largo del año, consideraremos añadir estudiantes para los que la enseñanza a distancia sea menos propicia.  Planeamos contactar a las familias de los estudiantes seleccionados antes del 31 de agosto y les animamos a considerar el aprendizaje en persona.

 

El 11 de agosto, la Oficina del Gobernador dio a conocer las medidas que ayudarán a los municipios locales y a los distritos escolares a planificar en consecuencia, en lo que se refiere al funcionamiento de las ciudades, pueblos y distritos escolares.  El equipo de liderazgo de HPS y el Director de la Junta de Salud de Holyoke, Sean Gonsalves, revisarán y discutirán las siguientes medidas cada semana y en el transcurso del tiempo para asegurar que nuestro modelo de aprendizaje elegido se ajusta al entorno de salud.  El Informe Semanal de Salud Pública COVID-19 está disponible todos los miércoles a las 4 p.m.

  • Medida codificada por colores: Número de casos diarios de COVID-19 por cada 100,000 residentes durante un período de dos semanas
      • El 12 de agosto: Rojo (9 casos por cada 100,000 residentes)
        • Nota: Esto es un aumento desde el informe de la semana pasada donde Holyoke aparecía en la lista amarilla.  El aumento de casos se atribuye a los incidentes en dos centros de cuidados a largo plazo
    • Tasa de positividad de la prueba en un período de dos semanas (% de pruebas COVID-19 positivas de todas las pruebas realizadas)
      • 12 de agosto: 2.39%
        • Nota: El CDC y la OMS recomiendan una tasa de positividad de menos del 5% para las escuelas abiertas.  El Instituto de Salud Global de Harvard recomienda menos del 3%.
  • Tendencia ascendente/ descendente de los casos
    • 12 de agosto: Tendencia ascendente
      • Tenga en cuenta: En la semana anterior, fue una tendencia descendente.

 

Tenemos la esperanza de que, con el tiempo, podamos traer más estudiantes para el aprendizaje en persona, especialmente teniendo en cuenta que las familias del 44% de los estudiantes prefirieron al menos algo de aprendizaje en persona (encuesta familiar del 6 al 12 de agosto).  Evaluaremos el modelo de aprendizaje cada cuarto de año (para la escuela intermedia y superior) y trimestral (escuela primaria) para determinar si debemos hacer un cambio en el modelo de aprendizaje.  Intentaremos tomar una decisión sobre el próximo cuarto de año o trimestre al menos 3 semanas antes del nuevo período.  Cada mes, evaluaremos las medidas para ver si debemos ampliar quién cualifica como estudiante prioritario para la instrucción en persona.  En cualquier escenario, las familias tendrán la opción de permanecer en la enseñanza a distancia a lo largo del año escolar 20-21.

 

Para asegurar el tiempo suficiente y la capacitación de los maestros y el personal al volver a la escuela, modificamos nuestro calendario del año escolar 20-21.  El Comisionado Riley y la Asociación de Maestros de Massachusetts trabajaron juntos para asegurar que cada distrito de la Mancomunidad tenga al menos 10 días de aprendizaje profesional para los maestros antes del primer día de clases para los estudiantes.  (Los maestros de HPS tienen 14 días.) Nuestros maestros y personal serán entrenados en protocolos de salud y seguridad, aprendizaje mixto, aprendizaje social y emocional, y currículo de contenido básico.  Todos los maestros volverán a trabajar el lunes 24 de agosto (nota: Los maestros de Veritas Prep y los maestros que participan en la inducción o en la orientación del nuevo personal regresaron antes), y los paraprofesionales vuelven a trabajar el jueves 27 de agosto.  Por consiguiente, los estudiantes de los grados 1-12 volverán el lunes 14 de septiembre, y los estudiantes de Pre-K y Kínder volverán el lunes 21 de septiembre.  Un calendario actualizado está disponible aquí

 

Por favor, consulte la tabla de contenidos para revisar todos los componentes de nuestro plan de regreso a la escuela, especialmente el plan académico para todos los estudiantes en cada modelo de aprendizaje y las precauciones que estamos tomando para mantener a nuestros estudiantes, personal y familias seguras.  

In-Person Learning

For the majority of our students to be in-person full-time, students would be spaced at least 3-feet apart and would need to wear masks at all times, except for meals and mask breaks.  Masks are required for all staff and students in grades 2-12; and strongly recommended for students in grades PreK-1, unless prevented due to a medical condition.  Families could still elect to have their student opt into remote learning 100% of the time.  Remote learning would also be available for students who needed to be physically absent from school for a short period of time (e.g. if the student contracted COVID-19). 

Hybrid Model

The hybrid learning model allows for about 50% of our students to be physically in-person at a distance of 6-feet apart, while the rest learn remotely.  Most classes will have 10-12 students with 1-2 adults.  There are four cohort of students:

  • Cohort A: Attends school in-person on Monday and Tuesday.  Wednesday is a remote day (with independent and synchronous learning) and deep cleaning of the building.  Thursday and Friday are remote days (with primarily independent learning).  
  • Cohort B: Attends school in-person on Thursday and Friday.  Wednesday is a remote day (with independent and synchronous learning) and deep cleaning of the building.  Monday and Tuesday are remote days (with primarily independent learning).  
  • Cohort C: Attends school in-person four to five days a week.  This cohort consists of a selected group of high needs special education, English Learner, and Pre-K students.  
  • Cohort D:  Engages in remote learning 100% of the time via the HPS Virtual Academy, due to the family opting out of in-person learning
  • Please note that remote learning is also available for students in Cohorts A, B, and C when absent from school due to illness for short periods of time.

Masks are required for all staff and students in grades 2-12; and strongly recommended for students in grades PreK-1, unless prevented due to a medical condition. 

Remote Learning 

The remote learning model allows for the majority of students to learn remotely, while a selected group of students, as described below, will participate in in-person small group learning.  All students will be issued a device and will have access to the internet, if needed.  

 

In order to ensure that the students who need the most get the most, we have selected students for whom in-person instruction is most essential, and their families will have the option to choose in-person or fully remote learningTo begin SY20-21, this group of students includes Career and Vocational Technical Education (Dean Campus) students, students with disabilities in substantially separate classrooms, and English Learners defined as Newcomers.  Newcomers are students who have newly arrived (two years or less) to the mainland U.S. or are new to English dominant instruction.  Newcomers have limited English proficiency and  need support in the acquisition of English language.  CVTE students would attend in-person one day a week; all others would attend in-person four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday).  All other days are remote learning days.

 

Throughout the year, we will consider adding students for whom remote learning is less conducive.  

Across all three learning models

Across all three learning models described in this plan educators will continue to implement strong standards-based curriculum aligned to the Massachusetts Frameworks.  Curricular committees have worked over the past few months to design rigorous and relevant curriculum units and adjust scope and sequence and pacing guides.  These curriculum guidance documents will be followed regardless of the model of our return to the SY20-21.  Furthermore, all curriculum plans are designed to support full implementation of the district’s multi-tiered system of support for academics and all schedules include time for intervention, regardless of the return model, to accelerate student learning.  Please note that Veritas Prep Holyoke will continue to utilize their own curriculum, per the Memorandum of Agreement between Friends of Veritas and HPS. 

Teachers will follow the curriculum guidance regardless of the model of our return to the SY20-21.  The expectation is that all curriculum  programs will be implemented with fidelity, using digital platforms to collect real-time data on student progress and assign regular assessments.  Units and lesson plans also incorporate strong community building opportunities and social emotional supports to help students make the transition to in-person learning while implementing all safety protocols and to support them at home when engaged in remote learning.  

The social justice standards from the Teaching Tolerance and Anti-Racism Framework have been incorporated in all K-8 ELA curriculum units, and students will begin the year with a unit of study focused on community building and identity-based lessons. In grades K-8  our current curriculum will be utilized including Being a Writer, Making Meaning for K-2 ELA, Expeditionary Learning for grades 3-8, Eureka Math in grades PreK-5, Illustrative Math in grades 6-8, STEMscopes in grades K-8, NEWSELA Social Studies in grades K-6 and District developed Social Studies/Ethnic Studies curriculum.   In grades 9-12 teachers will implement new mathematics (Illustrative Math), ELA (Springboard), and intervention (ILit) curricula.  All English Learners (ELs) who receive stand alone ESL class will be taught using a newly developed Next Generation ESL unit with necessary academic language for returning to school and engaging in a new learning environment.  All K-5 ELs level 1-3 will be taught using Imagine Learning and all ELs 6-8 (plus grade 5 at Veritas) will be taught using iLit ELL. 

We will incorporate approved programs and methodology to provide additional support time for tiered intervention matched to students’ instructional needs.  We have planned units of study and training with specific attention to ensuring that teachers incorporate a blended learning model even while in full in-person learning so that students and staff can seamlessly transition to hybrid or full remote learning as the need arises.  Blended learning is defined as the style of education in which students learn via a combination of traditional face-to-face learning as well as technology/media based learning. Therefore, emphasis will be placed on developing student-centered environments grounded in equity.  This requires scheduling  practices that will ensure classroom groupings that cluster students heterogeneously despite race, gender, ability, or cognitive dexterity.

All three learning models provide for daily instruction in Literacy, Math, Science/Social Studies, intervention, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).  SEL supportive practices are embedded throughout all content areas as well as provided through direct instruction opportunities.  Additionally, there are multiple opportunities for weekly enrichment instruction in the arts or physical education.  All three learning models allow for a minimum of 26-30 instructional hours per week for all full-time students and 15 hours for half-day PreK students. Based on a 170-day student school year, this average exceeds the state’s minimum learning time requirements for SY20-21.  HPS elementary students, at a minimum, will receive 884 hours of instruction (34 hours more than the required 850 hours) and secondary students will receive a minimum of 1020 hours (85 hours more than the required 935 hours).  

Regardless of the learning model in effect for the SY20-21, the District’s current grading and attendance policies will be in effect with slight revisions. The district is currently adjusting how we define attendance to include engagement with both in-person learning as well as remote learning.  The district is dedicated to ensuring that the right balance between accountability and support for learning is reached in our attendance policy so that we can continually support student engagement in learning regardless of the model used.  Once revisions are made attendance will be tracked through our current Student Information System (SchoolBrains). Students will receive progress reports and report cards that reflect course grades.  Additionally, grading at the high school level will result in earning credits and will impact GPAs as per our grading policies.  

Across all three learning models, all educators use student data to drive instructional decisions.  To support data-driven instruction, HPS will continue to implement a variety of diagnostic assessments (i.e. benchmark, literacy screeners, curriculum-embedded formative and summative assessments and quick hitting progress monitoring assessments) to assess student successes and learning gaps.  This data will be used to plan instruction that accelerates student growth in order to meet and exceed grade level expectations.  Instructional leaders and teachers will engage in data-driven meetings (either in-person or virtually) to discuss student progress and plan instruction on a regular basis.  Assessment information will be used to guide instructional decisions as well as provide feedback to students and families through conferences (phone or video), emails, or through the district’s adopted learning management system (LMS).  The district’s selected LMS are SeeSaw in grades PreK-2 and Google Classroom in grades 3-12. Educators will utilize the functions of the LMS to engage students in daily lessons, communication and collaboration as part of our daily learning process across all three models. 

 

Professional Learning and School Calendar

Professional development (PD) is a critical lever in any model of learning that we employ for SY20-21.  The district must prepare all instructional leaders and educators for appropriate and equitable instructional delivery for every student.  All educators will be prepared to provide high quality instruction that is relevant, appropriately rigorous and engages all learners regardless of instruction being in-person or virtual.  Continuous learning for instructional leaders and educators will be provided throughout the year that will focus on best practices in blended learning, strengthening the instructional core through content and data-driven instruction, and how to continuously support student engagement and social-emotional well being.  Educators will need to collectively develop expertise with using blended learning tools to engage students, and therefore, specific PD will also focus on becoming familiar with the LMS and adaptive software and intervention/acceleration programs used to engage students in learning experiences.  Furthermore, all staff will receive training in district and school specific health and safety protocols throughout the school year.  

 

HPS will run a 170 student school year in alignment with DESE’s recommendation.  The school calendar has been adjusted to add additional professional development (PD) for all staff at the beginning of the SY20-21. HPS feels it is extremely important to provide our students with as much time on learning as possible to support their learning acceleration.  In order to provide the level of instruction our students deserve our instructional staff need comprehensive training and support.  In addition to the PD days prior to the start of the school year, the district has been able to maintain four (4) PD days throughout the year to support staff in data-driven practices that support MTSS implementation and continuous improvement in implementing blended learning.  The revised SY20-21 calendar will reflect these changes.  

 

The additional PD time will be used to meet our learning needs in the above mentioned topics.  The August PD days will be shared equally between district-wide content learning and blended learning best practices with school-based PD focused on school specific health/safety procedures and protocols as well as  school improvement priorities.  Furthermore, educators will receive PD in on using the LMS, Google suite and other technology based instructional tools (i.e. Zoom, Screencastify, etc.).  

 

Throughout  the school year staff will hold collaborative planning, data team meetings or school based professional development every Wednesday afternoon.  These additional professional learning hours will allow staff increased planning time to meet student learning needs and attend ongoing professional development to continually improve blended learning practices.

 

In-person Learning

In the full in-person model, HPS would continue to follow our existing PreK-12 curriculum scope and sequence.  Guided by the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks, standards-based instructional units have been designed for all content areas.  Teachers will be expected to follow the scope and sequence documents created for all grade levels in PreK -12 and implement programs with fidelity, using digital platforms to collect real-time data on student progress and assign regular assessments.  Units and lesson plans would also incorporate strong community building opportunities and social emotional supports to help students make the transition to in-person learning while implementing all safety protocols.  Students will also have recess and enrichment. 

 

The social justice standards from the Teaching Tolerance and Anti-Racism Framework have been incorporated in all K-8 ELA curriculum units, and students will begin the year with a unit of study focused on community building and identity-based lessons In grades K-8  our current curriculum will be utilized including Being a Writer, Making Meaning for K-2 ELA, Expeditionary Learning for grades 3-8, Eureka Math in grades PreK-5, Illustrative Math in grades 6-8, STEMscopes in grades K-8, NEWSELA Social Studies in grades K-6 and District developed Social Studies/Ethnic Studies curriculum.  In grades 9-12 teachers will implement new mathematics (Illustrative Math), ELA (Springboard), and intervention (ILit) curricula.  

 

All English Learners (ELs) who receive stand-alone ESL class will be taught using a newly developed Next Generation ESL unit with necessary academic language for returning to school and engaging in a new learning environment.  All EL students will receive strong core instruction in content areas with additional support through Imagine Learning (for K-5) and iLit (grades 6-12). 

 

We will incorporate approved programs and methodology to provide additional support time for tiered intervention matched to students’ instructional needs.  We have planned units of study and training with specific attention to ensuring that teachers incorporate a blended learning model even while in full, in-person learning so that students and staff can seamlessly transition to hybrid or full remote learning as the need arises.  

 

To complement academic learning and focus on students’ social emotional needs, teachers will facilitate existing school-based Tier I social emotional learning (SEL) practices.  This will promote nervous system regulation to assist with anxiety that may or may not be attributed to anxiety and stress from COVID including, but not limited to; social distancing, wearing of masks, fear of catching the virus, fear for family members, and challenges faced by students/families because of remote/hybrid learning.  School counselors and building leaders will screen select K-12 students using the UCLA Brief COVID-19 PTSD Screener, HPS 45-day Screener and CST process to identify SEL needs and appropriate interventions/supports.

 

As referenced in Part 1, families would still have the option to opt-out of in-person learning and opt-into the HPS Virtual Academy, which is primarily self-paced with targeted HPS educator check-in/coaching support.  

 

Hybrid Learning Model 

All Schools PreK-12

The hybrid learning model allows for class sizes that allow us to maximize health and safety of our students and staff by maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet, cutting class sizes in half (approx. 10-12 students per classroom with 2 adults), providing deep cleaning between cohorts. Students will be divided into four (4) cohorts: Cohort A, B, C, D. Students in Cohort A and B will attend school in-person twice per week (days depending on cohort assigned) and engage in remote learning twice per week.  

 

Students in Cohorts A & B will be assigned to “Advisory Groups” with specific instructional support staff (“Advisory Leads”) so that they have a consistent point of contact for support, in addition to their classroom teacher.  The support staff will meet regularly with the teacher(s) during educator collaboration time to coordinate supports.  Students in Cohort C will attend in-person small group instruction  for a minimum of four days a week while also attending 1 synchronous session with their grade level or course level peers.  This cohort will consist of high needs special education, English Learner students, and students enrolled in integrated preschool programs.  

 

Cohort D is reserved for students of families who opt-out of in-person learning and prefer to enroll in a full remote option, these students will be enrolled in the HPS Virtual Academy. 

 

Instructional hours for the HPS Hybrid Model consist of daily engagement in in-person, synchronous and asynchronous learning.   In the in-person hybrid model elementary students will complete a minimum of 26  instructional hours/week and secondary students will complete a minimum of 30 instructional hours/week.

 

Hybrid Learning Model

Monday Tuesday Wednesday* Thursday Friday
Cohort A In-person In-Person A.M

 Cohorts A&B combine for  Synchronous remote

Teacher-facilitated learning**** 

P.M. 

Educator Collaboration, preparation and PD time

Deep Cleaning occurs in preparation for Cohort swap.

Remote Asynchronous Learning: students work independently on assignments** Remote Asynchronous Learning: students work independently on assignments
Cohort B Remote Asynchronous Learning: students work independently on assignments Remote Asynchronous Learning: students work independently on assignments In-Person In-Person
Cohort C Small group in-person instruction will be provided 4 to 5 days a week for our students who need the greatest support to be successful. This cohort will consist of higher need special education students, English Learner students, and students enrolled in preschool programming.
Cohort D Full Remote Learning through the HPS Virtual Academy***

 

*Holiday weeks: In the event there is no school on a day during a given week due a holiday, the Wednesday schedule will be dropped in favor of replacing any lost in-person day.  For example, if Monday were a holiday, the Wednesday schedule for that week would become an in-person day. 

**Remote Asynchronous Learning: Instructional staff and support staff will be utilized to provide individualized support to students.  Students will be assigned to “Advisory Groups” with specific support staff so that they have a consistent point of contact for support.  The staff will meet regularly with the teacher(s) during educator collaboration time to coordinate supports.

***Cohort D  is reserved for families who opt-out of the Hybrid Model only.  In the event that we need to move to a full remote model for the entire district Cohort A, B & C will combine for synchronous remote learning with their assigned HPS teachers remotely. Students will also receive related services (ex: OT/PT, Speech etc) during remote learning.

 

Elementary and Middle Schools

On Wednesdays, educators will meet with all of their students by combining Cohort A & B for an abbreviated day with synchronous remote learning lessons or full class collaborative work sessions. Wednesday remote synchronous sessions will be held for a total of four (4) hours of the school day with asynchronous learning being assigned to students for the remaining two hours. 

High School

Students in Cohorts A and B will attend school on Mon/Tues and Thurs/Fri respectively.  They will carry a full schedule (up to 7 classes).   Teachers will use the live sessions to introduce new material (content and skills), collaborative work, and assessments,  and to prepare students for the autonomous, independent work they would have on the matching couplet of days for at home learning.   On Wednesdays students in both cohorts A and B will meet with their teacher for digital synchronous class sessions committed to skill and content review, building classroom culture and community, and course “roadmapping”.  Class sessions will follow the daily schedule, and attendance will be taken.  During the remote learning days (Th/F for Cohort A and M/T for Cohort B) students will complete independent assignments asynchronously.  Teachers and advisors will monitor student progress on independent assignments each day. 

 

During our emergency transition to full remote learning during the Spring of 2020, we quickly developed a process to deploy materials and resources (academic care packages, chromebooks, PreKcare packages, distribution of meals, etc.).  We learned what process for distribution of materials worked the best during the emergency remote learning period and will use those protocols to distribute learning materials and resources to be used both during the hybrid and remote learning models.  

 

Remote Learning Model

If the district needs to transition to a full remote learning model the expectation is that, as with the other models, the planned curriculum will be implemented.  As mentioned earlier, curriculum committees have worked over the past few months to design rigorous and relevant curriculum units and adjust scope and sequence and pacing guides.  These curriculum guidance documents will be followed regardless of the model of our return to the SY20-21.  Furthermore, all curriculum plans are designed to support full implementation of the district’s multi-tiered system of support for academics and all schedules include time for intervention, regardless of the return model, to accelerate student learning.   

 

During Spring 2020 when we had to swiftly move to full remote learning, we did not capitalize on synchronous (live) learning, and our engagement in remote learning suffered. Over the course of school closure between March and June, on average we had 40% of students in grades K-8 and anywhere between 30-60% in grades 9-12 who were moderately to highly engaged in the remote learning provided to them.  Our current plan addresses this need by requiring daily synchronous learning for all students.  To accomplish this, schools would implement a daily schedule almost identical to the schedule they would run if school was in full session in the traditional brick and mortar format.  Students would follow a “typical” daily schedule and attend all courses as they would traditionally.  Class times vary by grade band, yet the expectation is that every class period will consist of an age appropriate balance of synchronous and asynchronous learning.  For example: middle and high school students should spend approximately 70% synchronous learning and no more than 30% of asynchronous assignment time per course/class while students in grades 3-5 should plan for a blend of 60% synchronous and 40% asynchronous learning and PreK-2 should have more of a 50-50 blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning during each class throughout the day. Synchronous time will include a combination of direct teacher instruction, facilitated student collaboration time, and independent student work time with the teachers holding conferring sessions with individual students.  Our family survey results from mid-July support these changes; the two top recommendations from families were more 1-on-1 or small group interactions with my child’s teacher and more synchronous learning. 

 

All students will engage in their learning through the same learning management system (LMS) across all grades PreK-12 to manage in-person,  remote and hybrid learning assignments, activities and family communication.  In the preliminary family survey from mid-July, 40% of families requested more consistency in remote learning platforms.  The district’s selected LMS are SeeSaw in grades PreK-2 and Google Classroom in grades 3-12. Educators will utilize the functions of the LMS to engage students in daily lessons, communication and collaboration as part of our daily learning process for all courses and Zoom will be used across all grades to facilitate all synchronous learning sessions. 

 

During the remote learning model the district will provide in-person instruction to Cohort C students (as described in the hybrid model).  In order to ensure that the students who need the most get the most, we have selected students for whom in-person instruction is most essential, and their families will have the option to choose in-person or fully remote learningTo begin SY20-21, this group of students includes Career and Vocational Technical Education (Dean Campus) students, students with disabilities in substantially separate classrooms (K-12), and English Learners defined as Newcomers (K-12).  Newcomers are students who have newly arrived (two years or less) to the mainland U.S. or are new to English dominant instruction.  Newcomers have limited English proficiency and need support in the acquisition of English language.  

 

Throughout the year, we will consider adding students for whom remote learning is less conducive. The decision to add or reduce student groups who participate in Cohort C  will be determined based on local health metrics. 

 

Subgroups of students in Cohort C will gradually phase into in-person small group learning based on local health metrics.  Cohort C student groups will gradually enter school with a target date of September 28, 2020. The tentative schedule for gradual entry (based on student enrollment and staffing) is:

 

  • September 14: High School programs: CVTE, select special education populations (TIP, RISE, Functional, SHINE), Newcomers (9-12), and Transition Academy
  • September 21: Grades K-8 Newcomers, Peck School (TIP, SHINE), Veritas Prep (Functional)
  • September 28: STEM Academy (LLD, ABL), Lawrence School (TIP), Sullivan School (RISE, SHINE), Donahue (ABL)

 

CVTE students will attend school in-person one day per week (Mon – Seniors, Tues – Freshman, Thurs – Sophomores, Fri – Juniors) and the remaining days will be remote learning days.  All other Cohort C student groups will attend in-person learning four days a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.  Wednesday students will participate in synchronous remote learning while the facilities teams perform deep cleaning. 

 

Holyoke High School will organize its teaching and learning within a set schedule of live, online classes.   A key lesson learned from the spring is that without an official, accountable schedule students are more likely to opt out of open-ended office hours or optional direct instruction, and parents and guardians are hamstrung in their push for students to “attend” school.  The academic day will be run on one of two schedules: either all 7 current courses will meet every day for 40-45 minutes or students’ courses will be split to run on an A/B Day schedule, adding an 8th session for longer support and community building within the Learning Squad (which will also serve as students’ homeroom each day).

 

“DESE’s Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) Reopening Guidelines (July 29) has informed our approach to learning at the Dean Campus for SY20-21.” Dean Campus students will be encouraged to attend school in-person one day a week, where they will be able to access their shops for the hands-on/minds-on learning and training at the core of the CTVE model.  Students and families who choose to forego this opportunity for live, in-person, on-campus support will have a remote option.

 

The use of Advisory Groups (PreK-8) and Learning Squads (9-12) will be used to maintain high student engagement and provide support to students in an individualized manner.  Each Advisory lead or Squad Leader will be assigned a group of 10-12 students and will be responsible for maintaining weekly/daily communication with students to ensure students remain fully engaged in their learning.  Advisory Leads/Squad Leaders will coordinate supports with teachers, families, and students as needed.  In addition to the Advisory Groups/Learning Squads, teachers will be required to hold office hours at a minimum of once a week to support student or family support sessions.  

 

During our emergency transition to full remote learning during Spring 2020, we quickly developed a process to deploy materials and resources (academic care packages, chromebooks, PreKcare packages, distribution of meals, etc.).  We learned what process for distribution of materials worked the best during the emergency remote learning period and will use those protocols to distribute learning materials and resources to be used both during the hybrid and remote learning models.  Families and students were appreciative to receive materials in a socially distant and safe manner during our Spring closure and summer sessions.  During the opening of the school year (and periodically throughout the remote learning phase), each school will schedule a social distancing meet and greet so that families and students can meet their teachers and receive packages of hands-on learning materials to support their learning at home. 

English Learners (ELs)

ELs: All Learning Models

Working with students who are acquiring English is an important and required component of instruction in our schools.  In accordance with state and federal laws, we must meet legal obligations to ELs, even when students are learning hybrid/remotely. 

While remote learning offers positive opportunities, such as pace-shifting and personalization, student engagement may be challenged by the lack of in-person interaction that ELs may need to increase their English language proficiency.  In addition, educators should take into account the wide variety of specific and unique language acquisition needs of all ELs based on their English language proficiency levels.  The strategies listed below will help teachers continue providing English Learner Education (ELE) services and keep ELs engaged while in a new learning environment across all three learning models.  

  • Teachers will use technology-based activities in class when possible to teach routines, support learners’ digital literacy and support technology vocabulary they see in other classes. 
  • All English as a Second Language (ESL) staff who push-in to classes will co-teach with their core content teachers.
  • ESL and core content teachers will collaborate to provide differentiation, modifications, and supports, as needed.
  • Teachers will engage and support the well being of students and families and promote listening, speaking, reading in writing in the student’s first language and English
  • Teachers will encourage and give opportunities for ELs to engage with peers in discussion, assignments, group work projects, etc
  • ESL teachers will continue grade level professional learning communities (PLCs) and collaborative planning time (CPT) with the ESL director (Wednesdays). 

 

ELs: In-person Learning

All K-5 English Learners (ELs) levels 1-3 will have access to Imagine Learning: Language and Literacy for 20 minutes, three times per week.  Two or three times per week, students will receive small group language instruction.  Former English Learners (FELs) and students whose family choose to opt their child out of ESL services will be monitored at least once during the Fall session to ensure they are progressing adequately and will also receive family check-ins with school staff to be given the opportunity to opt back into ESL supports. If needed, FELs will be given the WIDA MODEL to assess language growth and/or regression and then given appropriate ESL instruction.  If safety protocols allow for it, ELs will follow the district plan for all students and will receive their ESL time as they would prior to school closure. If teachers are not able to push into the classroom, all ELs will receive pull-out ESL instructional time. 

 

ELs: Hybrid and Remote Learning

ELs and their families will have access to bilingual staff, Zoom with translation and interpretation (LEP families), Imagine Learning (K-5), iLit for ELS (6-12), and teacher-created ESL Resources to support asynchronous learning that is not dependent on technology.   Please refer to the EL hybrid schedule in the appendix.

 

In the remote model, the district is committed to engaging our highest need students with in person learning in our schools. The district has selected students for whom in-person instruction is most essential to participate in in-person learning.  English Learners defined as Newcomers are part of this group.  Newcomers are students who have newly arrived (two years or less) to the mainland U.S. or are new to English dominant instruction.  

 

Students with Disabilities (SWDs)

SWD: All learning models

HPS recognizes that students with disabilities (SWD) and their families have been impacted by the extended school closure due to COVID-19.  As we plan for the SY20-21 and fall reopening, we are committed to ensuring provision of a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in conjunction with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those individuals providing instruction, specialized instruction, and related services to those students.  On June 25, 2020, DESE released its Initial Fall Reopening Guidance (June 24), which prioritized the safe return of students back to school by following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements.  The initial guidance asks schools and districts to prioritize our most vulnerable students for in-person instruction, while simultaneously preparing blueprints for both a remote learning and a hybrid learning model, should local conditions change this school year.  Further guidance was provided with the recent release of the Comprehensive Special Education Guidance for the 2020-2021 School Year on July 9, 2020. 

The Special Education Guidance for the Fall of 2020,  “Guidance on Fall 2020 Special Education Services”, emphasizes the following:

  • “Students with disabilities, particularly preschool-age students, dually identified English Language Learners (ELL,) and those with significant and complex needs, should be prioritized for in-person instruction during the SY20-21.  These students should receive as much in-person instruction as is feasible within the health and safety parameters in effect at any particular time.”
  • “Even if schools or districts are operating in a hybrid or remote model, educators and administrators must make every effort to continue to provide up to full time in-person instruction to such students.”  If in-person instruction cannot be provided (due to student health, parent choice, and/or local/state closure) and students with disabilities must receive instruction remotely or through a hybrid model, they must receive all of their IEP prescribed specialized instruction and related services necessary through an Instruction and Services model of delivery (i.e. structured lessons, teletherapy, video-based lessons, etc.) instead of relying solely on a Resources and Supports model (i.e. packets and assignments). Resources and supports can be provided to students after a synchronous/asynchronous lesson in order for the student to demonstrate understanding of the previously taught lesson, and for independent work.
  • General education, special education, and English language educators must collaborate in order to identify and implement the unique modifications that will be necessary to ensure the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is in place for students with disabilities.  This will require careful planning and scheduling.
  • “Family engagement is critical. It is essential to reach out to parents and establish ongoing communication in a manner that works for the family.  Data from parents on primary areas of need, their children’s ability to access remote learning, and other observations about emotional and social well-being during the state of emergency will be essential to determine how to meet the needs of students’ when schools reopen.”
  • Schools and districts must provide interpretation and translation for all communications with LEP families.

 

HPS will ensure that students will receive all of their services outlined in their individual education plans (IEPs).  School-based teams will collaborate with families to determine the most effective and safest models of service delivery based on individual student learning and health needs.  Preschool-aged students with special needs and students with significant and complex needs will resume per program, in-person learning to the greatest extent possible.  Students with complex needs must meet at least two of the following criteria to receive full-time in-person learning while meeting current health and safety requirements.

  • Students identified as “high needs” students who spend approximately 75% of their school day outside of general education classrooms and with special education service providers.
  • Students who cannot engage in remote learning due to their disability-related needs
  • Students who primarily use aided and augmentative communication
  • Students who are dually identified as English Learners
  • Students experiencing homelessness and/or in DCF foster care

Per the DESE’s remote learning guidance (July 24), “parents/caregivers have the option to choose a district’s remote learning program for their child’s instruction if they prefer – with the understanding that the remote learning program may not provide as robust offerings as, or replace the full benefits of, learning in person.” Based on survey feedback, 32% of our families want more support from specialists.  As part of the re-entry plan for students with disabilities, Holyoke Public Schools special education and student service teams will ensure that all students on IEPs will work with their teachers and related service providers (RSP) to the greatest extent possible. We will ensure that all teachers and RSPs will continue to assess students’ progress and current levels of performance and at the same time adhere with the current health and safety protocols. Lastly, we will ensure that careful considerations have been made for safety equipment and PPE in order to safely deliver all IEP services. 

As stated, family engagement is an essential component of any successful education program, particularly for students with disabilities.  It will be imperative that HPS and individual schools:

  • Establish meaningful ongoing two-way communication with families/caregivers.  This will include the expectation that classroom teachers, special educators, and related service providers establish agreed upon frequency, parent preferred mode of communication (ie. email, secure applications, video or telephonic check-ins through scheduled office hours), and meaningful discussion.  All written and oral communication will be provided in a manner that is understandable to the general public  and in the primary language of the home.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan for students to receive individualized instruction and related services per their IEP.  IEP Team members will need to work collaboratively with families/caregivers to obtain as much meaningful data as possible in order to anticipate a student’s present areas of need and levels of need during re-entry.  This will also help prepare school staff and families for the possibility of abruptly transitioning to a different instructional model (ie. fully in person to fully remote), if such an event re-occurs. 
  • Identify if/how services will be provided differently as a result of the changes to the overall learning environment associated with any of the three instructional models (In-person, remote, hybrid).  These differences may be warranted if the team feels the content and/or delivery of services outlined in the IEP will negatively impact student learning in their current instructional model. If special education services are provided differently than as they are described in a student’s IEP, IEP case managers will notify the parents in writing with specific information about how those services will be provided after discussing with the parent using a Documentation of Modified In-person, Remote or Hybrid Services template.  Written parent notification will include:  description of differences in how special education services will be delivered and how/ where/when specialized instruction is being provided. This documentation will be dated to reflect when these changes will go into effect,  beginning promptly at the start of the SY 20-21. Changes in instructional models will not result in an IEP change of placement or services.  Parental consent will not be required to implement modified in-person, hybrid, or remote special education services. 





Students in the following programs and supports would return to the greatest extent possible to full-time programming, 

  • Transitions Academy at Open Square
  • ABL (Applied Behavioral Learning) at Donahue School, Morgan School, EN White School, and STEM Academy 
  • RISE (Reaching Individual Self-Efficacy) at Sullivan School and Holyoke High School-North Campus
  • Functional Program at Peck School, Veritas Academy, and Holyoke High School-North Campus 
  • LLD (Language Learning Disability Program) at STEM Academy
  • SHINE (Students with Health Impairments and Needs of Exception) at Sullivan School, Peck School, and Holyoke High School-North Campus
  • TIP (Therapeutic Intervention Program) at Lawrence School, Peck School, and Holyoke High School-North Campus
  • Students in the Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) programs across the district, including ABL, Integrated, Full Day at Morgan School, and Dual Language Pre-K)

Students in Out-of-District Schools will continue to receive their services either remotely or in-person as directed by the individual schools.  HPS will continue to receive Documentation of Modified In-person, Remote or Hybrid Services template and progress reports on all students as appropriate.  Team meetings will also occur within mandated timelines.

SWD: In-person Learning
SWD will receive full IEP services following all safety protocols.  In-person learning will include flexible solutions for reducing the mixing of student groups to ensure students are receiving services in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  This may include when feasible, providing related and/or pull-out services within the student’s classroom to the greatest extent possible. If push-in services do not meet safety guidelines, technology will be utilized for virtual inclusion support and additional direct service will be provided if needed.

HPS will maximize in-person learning for students with disabilities.  Instruction and services will be provided in a hybrid learning model with a combination of in-person and remote learning.  We will be mindful when planning for the physical distancing requirements for students and adults in a classroom for the additional special educators and related service providers who will need to enter the classrooms throughout the day to provide services to students with disabilities.  The Pupil Services Department will work closely with schools to develop classroom assignments and service delivery schedules for students so that they receive services consistent with student IEPs in the least restrictive environment.  Special educators and related services providers will schedule services in a manner that maintains physical distancing requirements and avoids overlapping with other staff in the classroom or physical setting.

SWD: Hybrid Learning
SWD in hybrid learning will have access to special education teachers and services providers including paraprofessionals.  Based on family survey results, 60% of our families want more 1:1 or small group access to teachers/staff.  We will use the Zoom platform that allows for simultaneous interpretation and for 1:1 student support during synchronous lessons. If all safety protocols can be met and staffing is available, some services will be provided in the home for our most high need students. SWD will have access to all Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices, technology devices and specialized equipment/materials, following safety and health guidance.  We will provide parents/caregivers with training in the use of technology and online learning resources.  Support staff will  deliver learning materials directly to students and check-in with students and families to determine what additional support and resources they may need.

HPS is prepared to provide services through the “Instruction and Services” mode of delivery, which includes structured learning time, teletherapy, and video conferencing. 

SWD: Remote Learning

The Remote Learning for SWD will include:

  • A regular and consistent schedule of classes, interventions, services and therapies as required by the student’s IEP, offered synchronously or asynchronously
  • Structured learning time designated so that the student can access state standards
  • Frequent interactions with teachers and other staff members to ensure participation
  • A regular system of progress monitoring and progress reporting

 

In the remote model, the district is committed to engaging our highest need students with in person learning in our schools. To begin the school year, select students will be students with disabilities in substantially separate classrooms.  Over the course of the year, we will consider adding additional  students to in person learning.   If all safety protocols can be met and staffing is available, some services will be provided in the home for our most high need students that are unable to attend in person. Students will be identified that meet the in person criteria and outreach to families will occur to determine plans for re entry. To the extent possible, in-person testing will also be prioritized during remote learning.  This will be contingent upon safety and staffing needs being met. 

 

Career Vocational Technical Education

“DESE’s Career/Vocational Technical Education (CVTE) Reopening Guidelines (July 29) has informed our approach to learning at the Dean Campus for SY20-21.” Dean Campus students will be encouraged to attend school in-person one day a week, where they will be able to access their shops for the hands-on/minds-on learning and training at the core of the CTVE model.  Students and families who choose to forego this opportunity for live, in-person, on-campus support will have a remote option.

 

Students will attend school on the following days:

  • Monday: Seniors
  • Tuesday: Freshmen
  • Thursdays: Sophomores 
  • Friday: Juniors

 

The students’ instructional time will be spent with the CVTE teacher for nearly the full day.  Students will also have access to health and social emotional experiences with other staff members.

 

Freshman will begin their exploratory program, where they have an opportunity to explore all 9 CVTE shops.  Sophomores will earnestly start learning in their chosen shop.  Juniors and seniors will be able to work towards their certifications, licensing and cooperative (co-op) placements.   

HPS mobilized immediately to support our families with basic and educational needs and continues to sustain those efforts to ensure our families feel loved and supported. On a district-wide family survey, 66% of parents and relative caregivers reported that they were concerned about their child’s social or emotional well-being.  Therefore, HPS continues to be committed to the development of the “whole child.”  

We have prioritized Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and will ensure our staff and students are supported through the implementation of SEL curriculum, learning coping skills and strategies when challenges arise to strengthen mental and emotional health, and recognize and celebrate prosocial behaviors.

The SEL curriculum will provide our students with the opportunity to be social change agents, with our guidance and support, and thrive in this new learning environment. This will be accomplished by leveraging existing resources to support the integration of SEL strategies in all schools:

  • The Great Body Shop
  • The BRYT Program
  • Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and the Holyoke Mental Health and Wellness Coalition 

Specifically, these resources will be leveraged in the following ways:

All Learning Models: The Great Body Shop

The Great Body Shop is a health and wellness curriculum that incorporates an SEL lesson (45-minutes weekly) during the synchronous learning time in the hybrid and remote models and in-person for the students attending in-person 5 days per week.  Students are taught about developing their SEL competencies through modules that also incorporate a home component to involve parents/guardians.

In-person Model: The BRYT Program

Six (6) schools (Holyoke High, Kelly, Lawrence, Morgan, Peck, and Sullivan) in the HPS have the Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) Program that prioritizes students that are exhibiting a high level of social, emotional, mental and behavioral health needs:    “Depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders, and concussions are some of the most frequent reasons why students enter BRYT programs.  Schools may prioritize students in association with any of a number of situations where integrated academic, clinical, family, and care coordination supports are needed. Most students participate in these programs for 6-12 weeks, typically spending more hours in the BRYT program room at first and then more in their regular classroom as they progress.” (Source: www.brooklinecenter.org)

All Learning Models: MTSS/Holyoke Mental Health and Wellness Coalition Tiered Continuum of Supports

The Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition (BRYT) Program will train our teachers and staff to identify signs of distress and decompensation from our students both in-person and remotely.  Staff on the “front lines” will ensure that students that need the most, get the most.  This will be done through a strategic screening process that will assess student risk through “look-fors,” a process for referring students that need support or are severely disengaged to school counselors and wrap-around service providers when necessary.  These interventions are designed to ensure a comprehensive, evidence-based system of support for our students and families as well as designed for the in-person, hybrid and remote models.  

Students that present needing a higher level of support will be provided with additional interventions by school counselors and designated staff equipped with the expertise to meet those needs.  These interventions may be in the form of allowing time for reflection in calming spaces by practicing self-regulation techniques through breathing, and behavior modification through support groups for social skills, relationship building, grief, etc. for students attending school in person.  The Holyoke Mental Health and Wellness Coalition has established a continuum of supports for students in the remote and hybrid settings.  This Coalition can provide telehealth and teletherapy for students and families in need via School Counselors, site-based clinicians and off-site service providers.  This Coalition is in partnership with River Valley Counseling Center, Brookline Center for Community Mental Health and Behavioral Health Network.  

HPS educators will further support students’ social-emotional learning needs by:

  • Establishing predictable routines for remote and in-person classrooms to help students manage stress and anxiety.
  • Planning consistent opportunities for student check-ins and providing time for students to discuss how they are feeling.
  • Implementing structured SEL activities that promote personal reflection and problem-solving skills.

HPS is currently reviewing and developing policies and procedures to ensure a safe reopening.  A key change will be the leave policies and practices; they are being reviewed to reasonably allow staff to stay home when they are sick, have been exposed, or caring for someone who is sick.  Through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees have added protections and access to paid sick time and/or FMLA leave for reasons related to the coronavirus.  Additionally, we are continuously providing staff with training and guidance on safety expectations to maintain a safe environment.  Health and safety training is embedded into the professional development schedule to review both district and school specific requirements.  

Under the current circumstances, staffing models need to be developed so that they are adaptable to frequently changing circumstances; these staffing models will have to be reviewed frequently in order to best support student learning.  Regardless of the model, staff will have to be more flexible and support areas outside of their normal job functions.  For example, specials teachers (i.e. physical education, music, art, computer) may be required to substitute in a first grade classroom if the teacher is absent and no substitute (guest) teacher is available.  

To project staffing impacts, we relied heavily on the survey data from staff.  Based on the July staff survey, we anticipate that anywhere from 5-25% of staff are unable to physically return to the workplace this fall.  Additionally, approximately 25-30% of staff have school aged children whose school schedule may impact their availability.  

In-person Learning

Using the all in-person model, we would face significant staffing challenges based on the survey data.  Under this model, we estimate having to hire approximately 65 new teachers in order to staff all classrooms for in-person learning, given the number of teachers who may qualify for leave.  We do not have the fiscal resources nor do we currently have enough qualified candidates in our pipeline to meet this demand.  Also, since we are encouraging staff to stay home when sick to control the spread of the coronavirus, we also anticipate significantly higher staff absenteeism under this model.  This is another significant challenge because we struggled to meet the demand for Guest (substitute) Teachers in prior school years under normal circumstances, and, although we anticipate the recession helping to build the pool, we do not feel that it will have enough of an impact that we will be able to meet the demand.  Furthermore, this also adds costs to the district.  

Under this model, we project that approximately 85% of teachers will need to be in-person, which means we will likely only be able to reasonably accommodate about half of the staff who may need to request a remote position as an accommodation for medical reasons.  

For the remote teachers, we also anticipate having to more than double the student to teacher ratio.

The largest benefit of this model is that the roles and responsibilities will be most similar to what they are used to under this model.  


Hybrid Learning 

The hybrid model gives staff and families a greater sense of safety by allowing the 6-feet between desks.  This is extremely important in creating a healthy work environment for all staff.  

However, like the in-person model, we still anticipate having a teacher shortage based on the information that we have.  Although we may be able to add a few remote positions to this model (allowing us to accommodate a few additional employees), we would still face very similar staffing challenges including the expenses of hiring new teachers and having higher absenteeism.  The remote positions would still double the student to teacher ratio.  An additional challenge in this model is that it would require significantly more professional development and restructuring of many roles in the district.  

Under this model, we are still considering allowing teachers’ children to have a 5-day in-person option.  

Remote Learning

Under this model, we do not face the staffing challenges that we see in the other two models.  Like the hybrid model, this model requires a significant amount of professional development and restructuring of roles, but we do not anticipate the need for hiring new staff since we will be able to accommodate most of our staff’s needs.  We would work to retain as many staff as possible and re-purpose roles to the extent possible; however, if we are unable to repurpose certain roles, we would be faced with potential furloughs or reductions in force. 

On the other hand, given that only about 30-35% of our staff are comfortable returning to the workplace this fall, we anticipate this model being desirable to most staff.  (In this model, staff will have the option of working from their classrooms at school or working from home.)  Another benefit of this model is that we would be able to keep class sizes at the normal student to teacher ratio.  

We carefully consulted DESE’s guidance on facilities, operations, and transportation (July 22) in the development of our operational plan.  Please refer to the appendix for the personal protective equipment (PPE) plan, which was informed by DESE’s July 6th guidance on PPE purchases.  Please also note that access to all HPS buildings by non-HPS employees will be  extremely restricted in order to limit exposure.

 

Facilities Walk-Through

HPS conducted an analysis of the capacity and operations of our buildings to see how we can safely bring back all of our students in the Fall.  Our feasibility study included: an analysis of average class sizes given enrollment, a physical walk-through of the building with the principal and Facilities team, and use of the Cannon Design Tool supplied by DESE to districts.  Our modeling accounted for 2-feet of personal space for each student and a teaching area of at least 6 x 6-feet for each teacher.   We analyzed all of our spaces, class sizes, entry and exit, ventilation, signage required, and furniture constraints to inform our decisions.  

In most of our classrooms, we can fit up to 24 desks at 3-feet apart and 11-14 desks at 6-feet apart.  In the science labs, we could only accommodate 16 students at 3-feet apart. 

Accordingly, our analysis revealed that, given the estimated percent of students opting into remote learning, 95% of classrooms in all schools could accommodate the required number of students everyday at 3-feet apart.  However, less than 5% of general education classrooms can accommodate the required number of students everyday at 6-feet apart.  At 75% of schools, we are at close to capacity and do not have significant space to add classrooms.  At 25% of schools (Morgan, Kelly, and E.N. White), we have some space to spread students out into additional classrooms.  This would require adding at least 1 more teacher per grade level.  In all schools, nearly all of our classrooms serving students in a substantially separate program can accommodate the required number of students and educators everyday at 6-feet apart.  More information on the facilities analysis is available in the appendix.

 

Facilities: HVAC Air Quality Systems

HPS has taken prudent and practical preventative measures to improve air quality in our buildings, and we will implement the following practices to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19: 

  • HVAC preventative maintenance will be conducted as prescribed by the recognized industry standards and preventative maintenance procedures we have established.
  • Building maintenance staff will confer with service providers to ensure timely service is delivered to our buildings.
  • Ensure we are ever vigilant in checking and increasing outside air exchange rates to the specific equipment’s full potential.
  • Maintain and review with regularity all preventative maintenance and inspection records to ensure and confirm that maximum HVAC efficiencies have been provided.
  • Upgrade and replace air filters with greater regularity to reduce COVID-19 transmission potential.

HPS has air conditioning in many of its buildings, and most of them are window units.  Where possible, we will ensure that all classroom windows are functioning properly so that windows can be opened to allow increased ventilation and fresh air into the classrooms.  For example, at Peck and Veritas, we installed mechanisms to allow windows to open and close – now, more than 120 windows open!  This is in addition to the window projects at Kelly, Metcalf, Morgan and Sullivan in Summer 2019.  In areas that may be of concern, we will work to secure air purifiers to circulate clean air.  For more information on HVAC, please see the Appendix.

Facilities: Cleaning and Disinfecting 

HPS has created a cleaning and disinfecting plan to create a safe and healthy learning environment for all staff and students.  We expect at least some students and staff to be in school buildings in any of the learning models, and our plan will be adjusted based on the number of students and staff in buildings, as well as where they are located.

 

We utilized DESE’s facilities and operations guidance (July 22) to develop our plan, as well as consulted with our primary cleaning supplier to understand and implement best practice procedures to comply with all health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The new procedures include at least daily (and often multiple times a day) disinfecting throughout the schools with an emphasis on specific areas such as touchpoints and high traffic areas, including: door knobs, door handles, classroom doors, classroom windows, push plates, push bars, light switches, stair railings, bottle filling stations, urinal handles, toilet handles, sinks, faucet handles, soap/hand sanitizer dispensers, paper/sanitary napkin dispensers, tables, desk, chairs, elevator buttons, and ADA-compliant grab bars.  Regular deep cleaning, especially between cohorts of students if in the hybrid model, will focus on all areas, including deep cleaning floors and walls with electrostatic sprayers and disinfectant.

 

All custodial and maintenance staff will be provided the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (see appendix for more information) and training to implement these enhanced procedures.  All the above work is in addition to the regular cleaning procedures outlined in our facilitates and operations manual.

 

HPS has also purchased a significant amount of hand sanitizer dispensers for use in schools.    Where possible, these dispensers will be touchless.  This is in addition to the sinks with running water and soap in many classrooms.  

 

In the remote learning model, some students (vulnerable and those for whom a virtual platform offers a less conducive learning experience) will be in person, as well as the staff for these student populations and additional staff who may choose to teach from their classrooms.  Additionally, we will have food service workers to distribute meals to students for pick-up.  Accordingly, the facilities team will work closely with principals to ensure that areas in use are being cleaned and disinfected regularly.   

 

Food Service

HPS recognizes that meals students receive at school are a vital part of their nutrition.  During the school closure period, the district was able to serve over 25,000 meals per week at its peak.  Regardless of the learning model, we will offer breakfast and lunch to every HPS student who would like the meal.  Since tracking the accountability of meal distribution is important for federal reimbursement, we will explore a touchless system to allow for a barcode scanner with student IDs.  

 

In alignment with DESE’s facilities and operations guidance (July 22), when students are physically present in school buildings, they will be spaced at least 6-feet apart for eating, since they are unable to wear their masks/face coverings during this time.  For the in-person learning model for most students, we would need to use a combination of the cafeteria and classroom in order to ensure the 6-feet of distance, which would include assigned seats in the cafeteria and cleaning and disinfecting between cohorts of students.  It would also require that we lengthen the amount of time the cafeteria is open for lunch.  Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) would need to be adjusted, and we would explore optional breakfast in the cafeteria (spaced 6-feet apart) or sending breakfast home with students the prior day to be consumed at home before school.  

 

In the hybrid model, the classroom would primarily be used for eating, since students will be 6-feet apart.  We would have pre-packaged grab-and-go meals for students to pick up and bring back to the classroom.  Where space is limited and if there is a need to use the cafeteria for some students, we will ensure that they are at least 6- feet apart when eating. 

 

For remote learners, we will set up meal distribution sites at our schools across the City to ensure equitable access to food.  Students will be able to pick up breakfast and lunch between 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Monday (for Monday and Tuesday), Wednesday (for Wednesday and Thursday), and Friday for that day.  Cafeteria menus will continue being available on the website, and families can text Holyoke to 88257 for more information.

According to DESE and USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) requirements, only HPS students will be allowed breakfast and lunch.  We will not be allowed to distribute meals to younger siblings or non-HPS students, unless regulations change.  We are hopeful that DESE will get the waiver required to also offer snack and dinner and weekend meals, as well as to allow us to deliver meals to students at homeless shelters and students who are unable to access our food sites. 

Technology

Every HPS student, teacher, paraprofessional, therapist, counselor and administrator will have a device.  Students in grades 3-12 will be issued a chromebook, with the exception of grades 6-8 students at Peck and Holyoke STEM who already have iPads as part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) program.  Students in grades PreK-2 will be issued an iPad.  We have all the devices, with the exception of some of the iPads, which we expect to receive in mid-September, and then will image the devices with the appropriate software.

 

For in-person learning for the majority of students, we would establish collection sites to collect devices in order to disinfect, repair and prepare for redeployment.  Then, we would redistribute devices to schools for use as we have typically done.  

 

In the hybrid model and remote learning models, students will need a device at home.  Students who currently have a working device from their remote work last spring and/or this summer will turn in that device, except for grades 7-8 students at Peck and Holyoke STEM who already have their 1:1 iPad and students in grades PreK-2.  Students in grades 3-12 will be issued a device before the first day of school.  Students in grades PreK-2 will be issued the iPad as soon as it is available (hopefully by the first day of school or shortly after).  A technology roll-out plan will be communicated to families soon.

 

HPS will continue our partnership with Comcast to provide internet via the Internet Essentials program.  We will send more information to families before the start of the school year on how to access this program.  In Spring 2020, 75 families took advantage of this program for 6 months of internet; we will extend access for these families as long as they are in remote or hybrid learning.  

 

In all learning models, the technology team will be available to support staff and students with any hardware or connectivity issues.  Each school will also have a tech lead for easier-to-resolve issues, as well as an instructional technology point of contact.  

 

Technology Resources Available for Academic Support

  • Google G-Suite
    • Google Classroom
    • Google Meet
    • Google Chat
    • Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, etc.  
  • Clever (for accessing digital learning platforms)
  • Zoom
  • Screencastify (Pending)
  • SeeSaw

 

Technology Hardware

  • Chromebooks for students in grades 3-12
  • iPads or Touchscreen Chromebooks for students in grades PreK-2 (Delivery date: TBD)
  • New laptops for all teaching staff
  • Laptops or Chromebooks for Academic Support Staff 

 

Please refer to the Academics portion of the plan for more information about how technology will be used in the classroom.

 

Transportation

The Holyoke Public Schools transports over 2,200 students every school day.  This represents 41% of our student population.  HPS will follow all the transportation guidance outlined by DESE (July 22).  To summarize, HPS will:

  • Require masks for all students and staff of all ages.
  • Ensure students are seated 3-feet apart from each other, facing the same direction.  Only students of the same family will be allowed to share a seat.  This will reduce overall capacity to 30-40% per route.
  • Clean the bus between cohorts of students.
  • Assign seats on the bus.
  • Monitor students for symptoms and do not allow any student displaying symptoms to ride the bus to or from school.

Regardless of learning model, students who are eligible for transportation will still be able to access transportation if they choose; this includes any students who may still come to the school building while the rest of the district is remote.  The preliminary family survey revealed that 58% of families will seek alternate forms of transportation, which will greatly assist with our ability to meet the social distance guidelines of 3-feet apart.  The HPS transportation department is working with the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program (MASSDOT) to help communicate and encourage students’ families to walk or bike to school.  This program helps schools develop plans that create safe routes for students to walk to and from school.  

Unfortunately, given the restrictions around social distancing, we may not be able to provide transportation that is not required by our policy.  (Eligibility criteria is available on our transportation webpage.) Accordingly, some students have received bussing if slightly out-of-zone or to after-school programs.  If changes need to be made in order to safely transport all students we are required to transport, families will be contacted by letter and phone. 

If necessary, we will consider modifying start and end times, but we do not anticipate that needing to happen at this point.  Please refer to the appendix for more detail on the transportation analysis.

Our families and community are critical partners as we prepare for a successful SY20-21.  We have surveyed families and will continue to be in touch with families (at the classroom, school and district levels) throughout the year.

Ongoing Supports

During the opening of the school year (and periodically throughout the remote learning phase), each school will schedule a social distancing meet and greet so that families and students can meet their teachers and receive packages of hands-on learning materials to support their learning at home.  Throughout the year, each school has a Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Team member designated and dedicated to supporting families on an on-going basis.  This team provides a continuum of services that include helping with basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, translation services, PPE and childcare), connecting families to community resources, providing adult learning and training, and connecting students and families to active learning no matter what learning model HPS is engaged in.  The FACE team will be nimble in response to the unique needs of families and the community as HPS works to ensure that every student and family has access to high quality teaching and learning while navigating the challenges of COVID-19. 

Translation and Interpretation

HPS offers LEP families translation and interpretation services. Families are free to reach out directly using the contact information on the webpage and can also contact their teacher/school if they need support accessing or understanding any instructional materials or assignments given to their children.  During remote learning, HPS will have access to the Zoom platform that allows for simultaneous interpretation during an online lesson. 

Virtual School Tours, School Events and Home Visits

After a long period of not being in school, students may feel anxious.  We will create a video to show what an elementary and high school classroom looks like with social distancing measures in place.  We could also facilitate virtual school tours for students before returning to school.  While the public is not allowed in school buildings at this point, we must maintain strong relationships with family members.  We can host celebrations virtually, as we did with the Rising Stars event in the Spring.  We can call and video conference with families to touch base on how they are doing, learn more about the student and family and connect them to resources as needed. If a family is presenting with emergency needs and there is no option but for an in-person meeting, they will be conducted outside whenever possible, and adhering to social distancing and PPE requirements.  Translation and interpretation services will be provided.

Connecting with Hard-to-Reach Students

We want all students to actively engage in learning, across all learning models.  Remote learning can be a particular challenge for some students and families.  In addition to ensuring that they have the technical resources needed (e.g. device, internet access), we must also support students and families to ensure they have a space conducive to learning in the home and/or community, as well as appropriate adult support as needed.  We will pursue many avenues to help support students and families through any challenges they may encounter, outreach (phone calls, emails, text messages) from HPS, friends of the student, and community partners.  If and when teachers cannot reach a student, the teacher will work with school-based (e.g. FACE team members, counselors, etc.) and district-based personnel (e.g. district-wide attendance officer) to reach the student and family.  In the beginning of the school year, we will implement a strategic communication and support plan to ensure that all students and families understand that attendance and grades count for SY20-21.

Staff Collaboration and Capacity Building

FACE staff members and other school-based staff members work together to create a strong school-home connection.  FACE team members work with school-based staff to build our collective capacity to create and take advantage of opportunities to connect with families to strengthen the educational outcomes of all students.  FACE staff will coordinate and facilitate virtual professional development, which includes cultural competence, effective virtual home visits, authentic connections and culturally responsive communication, at their respective school(s) virtually.   

Family Educational Programming

One of the critical components of the FACE work is to ensure that our families have access to important information and educational resources.  This creates a collaborative relationship that is mutually beneficial and increases coherence among school and family stakeholders.  We will prioritize education related to COVID-19 prevention, such as “What is COVID-19,” social distancing, hand washing and good hygiene, bus safety, temperature checks, effective use of masks and expectations for students, and connecting to medical service providers for testing and care.  We will also offer programming such as navigating technology, supporting student learning at home, the dual capacity framework for family-school partnerships, and social media and the student, and navigating the school system.  FACE staff will host and facilitate Joy/socialization events virtually and in-person (where possible).   “The Parent’s Lounge”  is a virtual socialization space where family stakeholders can discuss shared experiences, share their stories, and ask for community support through a social lens. 

Community Outreach

We are working with community partners to identify the ways that they can support students and families, particularly during hybrid or remote learning.  For example, partners may be able to provide supervision, academic support or space for students engaged in remote learning.  Families will be contacted with more information as plans are developed.  Many partners are continuing to support families in meeting other basic needs, such as food and school supplies.

Academic supports for students includes academic tutoring in ELA and Math. The district partners with Literacy Labs to provide individual tutoring support for early learners in priority schools across the district.  Literacy Labs will partner with the district to provide individualized targeted support to our students regardless of the model that will be in place.  Literacy labs will follow both school district and CDC guidance when planning how we will interact with students and operate in the school building(s) whether full in person or a hybrid model is used.  Literacy Labs is also prepared to provide synchronous 1:1 tutoring to our students in the event that a full remote model must be implemented.  

Title I math tutors may be hired to support gap-filling and intervention during before or after school. This can occur during OST programming, and will require data analysis in order to place students in specific Do the Math  modules or foundational lessons from the core curricula (as directed by the assessment and publishers recommendations from Zearn and Illustrative Mathematics).   Math tutors, like Literacy Lab tutors,  will be prepared to provide students with 1:1 and small group tutoring regardless of the model of schooling. 

The district runs several 21st Century Out of School time (OST) programs across multiple campuses.  Our OST programs will follow the in-person school day structure and all safety protocols established by the district and specific school site protocols. The program will still be offered for 400 hours to include 4 days a week, vacation academies, and summer program.  OST will offer synchronous sessions for students if the district is predominantly remote.  Additional staff will be hired to run the after school program with program capacity at 50%. The staff to student ratio will be 1:5. Admittance into the program will be based on the needs of the students and recommendations of principals.  Class sizes will remain small and cohorts of students will stay together as much as possible. Professional Development offerings will be offered specifically to OST staff around social emotional learning, Proper protocol for social distancing in a less structured environment as well as safety guidelines and best practices in blended learning models. 

The Club Inventions Curriculum will be utilized for students in grades 1-5 and in grades 6-8 the WeThrive Curriculum will be utilized.This will provide students with their own individual materials while being hands on and engaging.  In addition, individualized learning will take place according to principal recommendation to align academic lessons to the school day.

Enrichment options will be modified and planned according to CDC  guidelines and district procedures to ensure student safety.

DESE Guidance and Community Response
The district is guided by information from DESE (particularly the July 17th guidance on responding to COVID-19 scenarios and July 6th guidance on purchasing PPE), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in identifying needs and putting safety and wellness supports into place for students and their families and staff.  As part of this, HPS staff participate in community response efforts such as the city’s weekly COVID-19 Checkpoint and contact tracing efforts.  COVID-19 information is available through the HPS website on the Health, Wellness and Nursing webpage and through social media platforms. Holyoke follows the DESE and CDC’s guiding safety and wellness principles which include promoting behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19, maintaining a healthy environment, maintaining healthy operations, and preparing for when someone gets sick. 

 

Education and Healthy Behaviors

Holyoke’s return-to-school plan regarding behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 includes student, family, and staff education around personal prevention practices that include staying home when sick, frequent hand washing or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, face coverings, masks and PPE, and cleaning and disinfection. Ongoing education is paramount to reinforce concepts and expected behaviors around prevention practices.  Facilities, special education and nursing have collaborated on estimating needs and purchasing PPE along with adequate cleaning and disinfecting supplies for the district for the first three months and for the year.  

 

COVID-19 Response Protocols

We have developed a COVID-19 response protocol for when an individual who displays symptoms similar to COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19.  This response includes working closely with the Holyoke Board of Health and the HPS response team which will consist of the school/building Nurse, Supervisor, HR, and Custodian.  At each school building, the school nurse will be the primary point of contact for COVID-19 concerns; their contact information will be shared with all staff and families.  While specific responses may vary, there are some common elements for each possible COVID-19 scenario.  For suspected COVID-19 symptoms, the nurse will evaluate symptoms, separate the symptomatic individual from others, the custodian will clean and disinfect spaces visited by the person, the individual will be referred for COVID-19 testing and advised to stay at home while awaiting results.  If the test is positive, the individual will remain home at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.  They will be expected to monitor symptoms, notify the school and personal close contacts, and answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative to help identify close contacts to help them prevent transmission.  Contact tracing will be initiated promptly by the school nurses whenever an individual is known to be displaying symptoms related to COVID-19.  When there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, this information will be shared with the Holyoke Board of Health. When appropriate, close contacts of a known COVID-19 positive individual will be notified and advised to get tested or quarantine for 14 days.  All staff will be notified when there is a confirmed case in the building.  It is important to note that names of individuals are not provided to staff or families. Importantly, the individual’s identity will be protected throughout this process.  Importantly, each location has an identified medical waiting (isolation) room, per DESE’s operations and facilities guidelines (July 22).

 

Please refer to many other sections of this plan that have further detail on cleaning protocols, social emotional supports and other supports that promote safety and wellness.

We are committed to communicating all elements of the HPS reopening plan to all stakeholders – families, staff and community members. The plan will be available on the district website at https://www.hps.holyoke.ma.us/families/back-to-school/. The link to the plan will appear on the website homepage.

 

We will use existing communication channels and methods, which are outlined below, to share information about reopening, including health and safety precautions and academic plans and school schedules. In addition to our regular communications channels, we will also utilize appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the communication of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to operations throughout the pandemic.

 

Communications Channels & Methods include:

  • New Return to School webpage to house related communications and resources
  • Holyoke Update – sent weekly via email and text to HPS Community with receiver/ superintendent communication updates including reopening letters
  • BlackBoard Connect district messaging system – phone, email, text messaging to HPS Families
  • Social Media – HPS Facebook, Twitter, Instagram 
  • Comcast community access Channel 12 programming and videos about health, safety, and reopening
  • July and August staff & family surveys (used to guide reopening planning and prepare FAQs)
  • Contact Us Form and  text/call hotline 413.561.0862 for stakeholder questions and suggestions
  • Weekly Reopening Leadership Team Meetings with weekly memo shared with the community (eleven memos shared to date)
  • FAQs document
  • Health and Safety Signage and Posters

To help inform our reopening plan, our Reopening Leadership Team has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, health department officials, unions and community organizations. Engagement efforts also included online staff and family surveys about reopening and virtual learning, a virtual town hall for staff and community partners, virtual school tours, Superintendent Facebook Live and school committee conversations. 

 

Important engagement opportunities included:

  • Monday, August 10th, 3-4:00 p.m.  Community Partners (Town Hall) 
  • Monday, August 10th, 9-10:30 a.m.  Staff Meeting (Town Hall)
  • Friday, August 7th, 6 p.m. School Committee meeting (accessible on our School Committee webpage and public access television)
  • Thursday, August 6th, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Thursday, August 6th, New Family Survey sent (54% preferred remote, 44% preferred some or all in-person, 2% other)
  • Staff Surveys sent for the August 10th Townhall and also sent in July (completed by 657 staff members)
  • Thursday, July 23rd, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Monday, July 20, 6 p.m. School Committee meeting
  • Wednesday, July 8th, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, July 8th, Family Surveys sent (1,710 responses, representing an estimated 2,600 students or about 50% of students in the district)
  • Wednesday, July 1st, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, June 24th,Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, June 17th, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, June 10th, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, June 3rd, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, May 27th, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)
  • Wednesday, May 20th, Superintendent’s Facebook Live Sessions, 5 p.m. (English), 5:45 p.m. (Spanish)

 

Responsive, Ongoing, Two-Way Communications

Ongoing, two-way communication is critical to efforts to ensure that families, students and staff have the information they need. 

 

At the district level, in addition to Facebook Live sessions and town hall, the texting and phone hotline 413-561-0862, contact us form, and email address “info@hps.holyoke.ma.us” have been used as tools for stakeholders to ask questions, provide suggestions, and seek assistance.  

 

At the school-based level, the FACE Team has scheduled parent group information sessions, will facilitate Virtual School Tours for families of each respective school.  Virtual Home visits will be conducted on an as-needed basis and mostly for emergent needs presented by families. Translation services will be provided virtually and/or telephonically as needed.  If a family is presenting with emergency needs and there is no option but for an in-person meeting, they will be conducted outside whenever possible, and adhering to social distancing and PPE requirements.  

School events and family programming will be facilitated virtually, and translation services will be provided virtually and/or telephonically.  Meetings with community partners for resource procurement, management, and allocation will be performed telephonically or virtually.

Teachers and school staff members will also be in regular communication with students and families via phone, email, text, and the learning management system

The Importance of Accurate Family Contact Information

It is critically important that the district has accurate contact information for each family. Each year, we verify contact information to ensure that this information is loaded into our communications and student management systems. We have accelerated this process, by encouraging families to inform us of changes to phone, email, and text contact information via a form so we can immediately update our system to ensure families are receiving most current HPS news.

 

Safety Measures & Protocols

The district will rely on the communications channels and methods outlined above to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including COVID-19 symptoms, social distancing requirements, appropriate usage of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. The information that we share is based on state guidance and the work of the Reopening Leadership Team.

District profile

Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) is a diverse, urban gateway school district located in Western Massachusetts serving just over 5,300 students in 12 schools.  After years of declining academic outcomes, the district was placed into state receivership in 2015.  Since 2015, HPS has experienced many promising successes, including a 10-point increase in graduation rates and a reduction in the dropout rate to 3.6%.  HPS has also strengthened the middle school experience, expanded choice programs such as dual language and personalized learning, developed stronger school-home connections, and created creative pathways for every student to graduate prepared to excel in college, career and community leadership.

The current HPS student population is 81% Hispanic/Latino (vs 22% for MA), 14% White (vs 60% for MA), and 3% African American/Black (vs 9% in MA).  More than 78% of students are economically disadvantaged, 28% of students have a documented disability, and 9% of students are homeless.  Further, Holyoke has become home to the highest concentration of Puerto Ricans per capita in the mainland U.S..  English is not the first language for 40% of the HPS students, and 21% of students are English Learners.  

 

Summary of health environment in Holyoke and Massachusetts

On August 11th, the Governor’s Office released metrics that will help local municipalities and school districts plan accordingly, as it relates to the operation of cities, towns, and school districts.  The HPS leadership team and Holyoke Board of Health Director Sean Gonsalves will review and discuss the following metrics each week and over time to ensure that our chosen learning model matches the health environment.  The Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report is available every Wednesday by 4 p.m.

  • Color-coded metric: Number of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period
      • August 12th: Red (9 cases per 100,000 residents)
        • Please note: This is an increase from last week’s report where Holyoke was listed as yellow.  The increase in cases is attributed to incidents at two long-term care facilities
    • Test positivity rate over a two-week period (% positive COVID-19 tests out of all tests conducted)
      • August 12th: 2.39%
        • Please note: CDC and WHO recommend a test positivity rate of less than 5% to open schools.  Harvard’s Global Health Institute recommends less than 3%.
  • Upward/downward trend in cases
    • August 12: Upward trend
      • Please note: In the prior week, it was a downward trend.

 

Holyoke COVID-19 Cases (July 30 – August 12)

Source: Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report, Department of Public Health

Total # COVID-19 Positive Cases Cases Past 14 Days Total Tests Past 14 Days Positive Tests Past 14 Days % of Positive Tests Holyoke Past 14 Days Change in Percent Positivity Number of daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents
1029 52 2,717 65 2.39% No Change 9.0 (Red)


On May 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised governments that before reopening, rates of positivity in testing (ie, out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19) should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.  Harvard’s Global Health Institute recommends less than 3 percent.  John Hopkins has a useful chart that shows which states/territories are above/below the recommended <5% test positivity rate.  As of August 13, MA is listed at 2.3 percent.  

 

Spring 2020 Remote Learning Engagement
Spring 2020 Remote Learning Engagement Chart

 

Personal Responsibility Pledges

*Please note, we are in the process of finalizing the HPS staff personal responsibility policy.  It is similar to the student (gr. 6-12) and parent/guardian personal responsibility pledges.

 

Pledge hand over heart

Personal Responsibility Pledge: PreK-5 Students

 

We must work together to keep everyone safe.  I promise to do my part.  

 

  • I will try my best in school everyday.
  • I will let an adult know if I need help.
  • I will stay home if I am sick. 
  • I will wear a mask/face covering.
  • I will stand 6-feet apart from others when at school or in public. 
  • I will wash my hands a lot.

 

Signature:

 

Date:

 

Personal Responsibility Pledge: Middle and High School Students

We must work together to keep ourselves, families, peers, teachers, staff, and community as safe and healthy as possible.  A combination of actions will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  I must also be an active learner.  I pledge to do my part.  

If/when I am learning remotely.

  • I will have a dedicated space to do my school work as best as I am able.
  • I will take good care of the device (e.g. Chromebook, iPad) given to me.
  • I will let my teacher or parent/guardian know if I need a certain material or if I need help.
  • I will try my best in school every day.  I will be on time.  I will pay attention to my teachers.  I will submit assignments on time. 
  • I will contact my teacher/school if challenges arise so we can work together to resolve them.  

If/when I am attending school in-person.

  • I will work with my parent/guardian to conduct a health and symptom screening (CDC, MA DPH) before I go to school each day. 
  • I will stay home from school when I am sick.  If I have any of the following symptoms, I must CONTACT MY HEALTH CARE PROVIDER AND SCHOOL NURSE and get a COVID-19 virus test prior to returning to school or remain at home in isolation for 14 days. (Here are MA test sites and DESE Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Protocols.) 
  • Symptoms include: 
    • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
    • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
    • Muscle aches or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms.
  • If a family member or I test positive for COVID-19, I will remain home until cleared to go to school.  
  • I will let my teacher know if I need help or if a challenge arises.
  • I will follow and support the guidelines outlined in Holyoke’s return-to-school plan, especially wearing a face covering/mask, practice social distancing, and washing my hands frequently.  

When I am not at school/work.  

  • I will be a responsible citizen and do my best to follow the health and safety guidelines in MA. 
    • Wear a face covering/mask that covers my mouth and nose.
    • Social distance from others who are not in my immediate circle.
    • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
    • Avoid large gatherings and adhere to the travel order requirements.
    • Keep my immunizations current and get the flu vaccine – required by Dec 31,  unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided.

***Contact your health care provider and school nurse if you or a household member has or may have COVID-19. Call our hotline at 413.561.0862 with questions.***

 

Personal Responsibility Pledge: Parents/Guardians

We must work together to keep ourselves, children, families, staff, and community as safe and healthy as possible.  A combination of actions will reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.  We must also work together to ensure that all Holyoke children receive a high-quality education. I pledge to do my part. 

If/when my child is learning remotely.

  • I will ensure my child has a dedicated space for school work as best as I am able.
  • I will ensure my child has the materials they need for school work and will contact the school if something is needed.
  • I will ensure my child is engaged in remote learning every day.  I will contact their teacher if my child cannot engage in remote learning for the day due to illness or an extenuating circumstance.
  • I will contact my child’s teacher/school if challenges arise so that we can problem solve together.  

If/when my child is attending school in-person.

  • I will conduct a health and symptom screening (CDC, MA DPH) of my child before they go to school each day. 
  • My child will stay home from school when sick.  If my child has any of the following symptoms, I must CONTACT OUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER AND SCHOOL NURSE and my child get a COVID-19 virus test prior to returning to school or remain at home in isolation for 14 days. (Test sitesDESE Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Protocols.) 
  • Symptoms include: 
    • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
    • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Headache when in combination with other symptoms
    • Muscle aches or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms.
  • If my child or an immediate family member tests positive for COVID-19, my child will remain at home until cleared to return to school. 
  • I will pick up my child from school if they become sick or are in close contact to someone identified to have COVID-19.
  • I will contact my child’s teacher/school if my child cannot attend school in-person or if other challenges arise so that we can work together to resolve them.  
  • My child and I will adhere to and support the guidelines in Holyoke’s return-to-school plan.  

 

When I am in the community.

  • I will be a responsible citizen and do my best to follow the health and safety guidelines in MA, such as:
    • Wear a face covering/mask that covers my mouth and nose.
    • Social distance from others who are not in my immediate circle.
    • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer frequently.
    • Avoid large gatherings and adhere to travel order requirements outlined by MA.
    • Keep my and my families’ immunizations current and have my school-aged children get the flu vaccine – required by Dec 31, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided.


***Contact your health care provider and school nurse if you or a household member has or may have COVID-19. Call our hotline at 413.561.0862 with questions.***

 


 

Hybrid Model – Sample In-Person School Schedules

Below are the schedules that depict what the day will look like during live in-person learning within the hybrid model.  Schedules at all grade levels allow for daily instruction in Literacy, Math, Science, Social Studies, SEL.  To the greatest extent possible the teachers will rotate between classes to limit the co-mingling of student groups during passing times. The hybrid model includes synchronous learning for combined cohorts A and B on Wednesdays.  The format for synchronous learning will mirror the in-person schedule and prioritize live core content instruction, with embedded SEL, for a minimum of four (4) hours for students in elementary and middle school. High school students will receive synchronous instruction in all seven (7) classes with SEL embedded in each. Students will also be assigned asynchronous learning on Wednesdays.  During the asynchronous learning days students will be provided independent assignments to complete and “Advisory Group Leads” will perform check-ins with students to provide instructional support.

 

Elementary Schedule Middle School Schedule High School Schedule*
8:30-8:50 a.m.  Arrival/BIC/Handwashing

8:50-9:15 a.m.  SEL/safety protocol review

9:15-10:50 a.m.  Literacy Block

  • incorporate mask break during independent work/reading

11:00-11:50 a.m.  Specials (e.g. PE, Art, Music)

  • Hold outside as much as possible
  • Handwashing break upon return to class

11:55-12:10 p.m.   SEL/Movement/Recess

12:10-12:40 p.m.  Lunch

  • handwashing/mask break

12:40-1:40 p.m.  Math

1:40-2:30 p.m.  Intervention Block

  • Handwashing  break included

2:30-3:20 p.m.  Science/Social Studies

  • Mask break included

3:20-3:35 p.m.  Dismissal

  • Hand Washing included
8:30-8:50 a.m.      Arrival/BIC/Handwashing

  • Includes safety protocol review

8:50-9:45 a.m.   Period 1 (ELA/Math/Sci/SS)

  • incorporate mask break during independent work/reading

9:45-10:40 a.m.   Period 2 (ELA/Math/Sci/SS)

10:40-11:00  a.m.  SEL/Movement

11;00-11:30  a.m.  Lunch

  •  handwashing/mask break

11:30-12:25 p.m.  Period 3 (ELA/Math/Sci/SS)

12:25-1:25  p.m.  Period 4- Intervention Block

  • Handwashing break included

1:25-2:25 p.m.    Period 5 (ELA/Math/Sci/SS)

  • Mask break included

2:25-3:25 p.m.   Period 6 (Specials)

  • Includes handwashing break

3:25-3:35 p.m.  Dismissal from Specials

8:-8:20a.m. Arrival/BIC/Handwashing

  • Includes safety protocol review

8:23-9:913 a.m. Period 1 (ELA/Math/Sci/SS)

9:16-10:06 a.m. Period 2 (ELA/Math/Sci/SS)

10:09-10:59 a.m. Period3

11:02-11:52 a.m. Period 4

11:52-12:22 Lunch

12:25-1:15  pm Period 5

1:18-2:08  p.m. Period 6

2:11-2:55 p.m. Period 7

2:55 Dismissal

*Incorporates handwashing at every transition and mask breaks during every class.

 

Consideration for special populations: EL Schedules

ELs will be supported by receiving more in person time than their non-language learning peers.  We believe that newcomers and students with limited or interrupted formal education students (SLIFE) need more in person, direct, language instruction and peer to peer discourse and social interactions. The following sample schedule describes how additional services may be scheduled for our ELs.

 K-2 Hybrid  Sample Schedule for ELs: Cohort A & B

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday 
ESL Mini lesson from MCU/National Geographic/Language Power  OR co taught class

Guided Small group instruction based on Imagine Learning data

ESL Mini lesson from MCU/National Geographic/Language Power OR co taught class

Guided Small group instruction based on Imagine Learning data

Virtual Meetings with whole class  greeting, read aloud, discussion/game (I spy…) (This week I have…) whole group show and tell  Imagine Learning

30 minutes

Guided practice connected to Mon/Tues. lesson

Imagine Learning

30 minutes 

Guided practice connected to Mon/Tues. lesson

Imagine Learning 30 minutes Imagine Learning 30 minutes Virtual Meetings with whole class  greeting, read aloud, discussion/game (I spy…) (This week I have…) whole group show and tell  Building background knowledge / vocabulary pre teaching for core classes (virtual field trip, activities related to Math/ELA/SS/SC)

Cotaught classes

Building background knowledge / vocabulary pre teaching for core classes (virtual field trip, activities related to Math/ELA/SS/SC)

Cotaught classes

 

Grades 3-5 Hybrid Sample Schedule for ELs

Monday  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday
Imagine Learning 45 minutes Imagine Learning 45 minutes Imagine Learning 20-30 minutes ESL/Core Content teacher collaboration on assignments, activities to build background knowledge or pretech vocabulary  Imagine Learning

20-30 Minutes

Listening: students listen to Podcast, ebook, video, etc. in person with teacher

Small group guided practice from IL data 

Take notes on reading or podcast, answer comprehension questions, or respond to teacher created discussion questions

Small group guided practice from IL data

Reading: read NewsELA or WordGen related article  Writing: written response to article or podcast ( journal, email to teacher, google doc, other virtual writing platform) . Students type responses on shared document and collaborate with   Speaking: whole group/ class discussion or submit flipgrid, vocaroo response

Ex: Language function: argue stance on article , talk with the teacher on phone, online, etc.

Grades 6-12 Hybrid Sample Schedules for ELs

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
MCU Day 1

Stations for independent work time

 Data driven mini lessons with students from  iLit

MCU Day 2

Stations for independent work time

  

    -Data driven mini lessons with students from iLit

Language cafes:
Promote oral language, discuss current events, give support SEL check ins for our families
iLit Independent work  iLit Independent work 
Listening: Assign Podcast, ebook, video, etc.  Take notes on reading or podcast, answer comprehension questions, or respond to teacher created discussion questions Reading: read NewsELA or WordGen related article  Writing: written response to article or podcast ( journal, email to teacher, google doc, other virtual writing platform) 

students type responses on shared document and collaborate with  

Speaking: whole group/ class discussion or submit flipgrid, vocaroo response

Ex: Language function: argue stance on article 

talk with the teacher on phone, online, etc

Cohort C: English Learners Levels 1 & 2*

Possible Schedules

 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday  Friday
In school inclusion in homeroom core class with peers
*ESL teacher pushes in to support
In school inclusion in homeroom core class with peers

*ESL teacher pushes in to support 

In school with ESL teacher only majority of day (as to not mix with opposite cohort and potentially risk higher exposure) receiving explicit language acquisition skills  In school with ESL teacher majority of day (as to not mix with opposite cohort and potentially risk higher exposure) receiving explicit language acquisition skills  In school with ESL teacher majority of day (as to not mix with opposite cohort and potentially risk higher exposure) receiving explicit language acquisition skills 
Inclusion in homeroom core class with peers Inclusion in homeroom core class with peers Remote Synchronous  learning with peers co-taught by core and ESL In school with ESL teacher receiving explicit language acquisition skills In school with ESL teacher receiving explicit language acquisition skills
Inclusion in homeroom core class with peers Inclusion in homeroom core class with peers Remote Synchronous  learning with peers co-taught by core and ESL Remote Synchronous  learning with peers co-taught by core and ESL Remote Synchronous  learning with peers co-taught by core and ESL

 

*With support from the EL Department, school based teams may make appropriate decisions about English Learners who would benefit from in person instruction 4 or 5 days per week. There are many circumstances that support and/or hinder this learning model for ELs. Many of our ELs are dually identified students who score lower on the WIDA ACCESS due to a disability and it is not a true indication of their language acquisition level. True newcomer students are defined as students who are identified as English Learners less than two years ago and have little to no English development.

 

*Some level 1’s and 2’s benefit from 4 or 5 in person days of instruction and some students were able to thrive during remote learning and will be safer in a synchronous, remote classroom in combination with in person learning to reduce the level of exposure. 

 

 

 

Facilities Walk-Through Appendix

 

Below is a snapshot of all of our buildings, the square footage, estimated enrollment, and average class size.  

 

HPS District-Square Footage Estimates

 

Holyoke STEM and Veritas Prep Holyoke does not have square footage information because that info is shown at the Holyoke High School – Dean Campus and Peck School where those schools are co-located.  

CannonDesign Analysis

In early July, DESE offered a webinar and introduced “CannonDesign,” which is a tool that districts could use to analyze capacity at schools using different models.  

Below is an example of the guidance provided for 6 feet, which also includes 2 feet of personal space for students.  It includes 6 feet of teaching space in the front of the classroom for the teacher.

 

 

 

Our classrooms range anywhere from 725 square feet to 900 square feet depending on the building.  When running this information through the CannonDesign tool at 6 feet, we can fit anywhere from 11 to 14 students per classroom.

 

Classroom model 29x25 6 ft

classroom chart 2

 

Given that our class sizes average out to be 22 in each classroom (28 in some of our elementary and middle schools), we would not be able to bring back 100% of the students and accommodate the 6 feet social distance.  The only way that this would be possible is in some of our schools (Morgan, Kelly, EN White) that have recently transitioned  back to the elementary model and have space in the building to accommodate additional classrooms.  In doing so we would have to add at 1 teacher per grade level to split up classrooms and create these additional learning spaces.  An additional 5 teachers would cost the District $380,000.  

 

Three Feet Apart

 

 

Classroom chart 3

classroom chart 4

 

 

In the scenario above, complying with students being 3 feet apart, the district can fit anywhere from 27 -37 students in the classroom.  While this model increases the number of students who could access in-person instruction, it would pose challenges complying with other DESE guidelines for feeding, mask breaks and transportation.

Physical Walkthrough

In our physical walkthroughs, we encountered 3 different types of schools.  We have schools that have bigger classrooms and have been converted from K-8 schools to elementary which means they may have some extra classroom space (Morgan, Kelly, E.N. White, Peck).  Another set of schools have medium/large classrooms but no extra classroom space (i.e. McMahon, Lawrence, Metcalf, Sullivan, Donahue).  The last category of school was the two high schools (North Campus and  Dean Campus co-located with Holyoke STEM) which have bigger classrooms and more common areas.

The intent of our walkthroughs was to assess the capacity of our classrooms, listen to principal concerns, gather information that would  help us prepare for re-opening in the fall, and make a recommendation on how to do it safely.   In each classroom, we reserved 6 feet of teaching space in the front of the classroom for the teacher.

On the high school campuses, our typical classroom can fit 24-30 students at 3 feet apart and 12 students at 6 feet apart.  In some of the science classrooms that have either fixed or moveable tables instead of desks, we could only fit 16 in the lab at 3 feet apart.  At 6 feet apart, we would be able to fit 11-13 desks in a classroom.  

At our elementary/middle schools like E.N. White, Donahue, Kelly, and Morgan, we would be able to fit up to 24 desks in our classrooms at 3 feet apart and 11-14 desks at 6 feet apart.  In some of our bigger classrooms, we could fit up to 24 students at 4 feet apart.  Lawrence classrooms are a little smaller, so a couple less students/desks can fit.  

Donahue at 3 feet apart 24 desks:

 

Donahue classroom photo

and Lawrence at 6 ft apart:

 

Classroom photo Lawrence

 

Peck at 6 feet apart

 

Peck classroom

 

Most of our schools do not use desks and chairs in the classroom for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and sometimes 1st grade.  In those classrooms, we could fit only 10 -14 tables, with one student per table.  If we wanted to pursue more students in the classroom, we would need to have two students on each end facing each other with a plastic barrier separating them, which we would need to verify is allowable per DESE guidance.  Other considerations need to be made if we make a decision to bring all students at less than 6 feet apart per classroom.  One of the biggest considerations is feeding students.  If we are spaced less than 6 feet apart in the classroom, that would mean that not all students could be eating in the classroom at the same time as it is assumed that they have to take off their mask to eat.  This would be challenging in many of our schools that do not have a lot of common areas that you could use for feeding.  In addition to lunch being an issue, we would not be able to do breakfast in the classroom after the bell which is currently being done at every one of our schools.  This program has boosted breakfast participation to over 80% at many of our schools.  

Facilities: Cleaning and Disinfecting (Additional Information)

The protocol for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will also be included in our training to ensure the health and safety of our staff and our students is addressed.  We will implement requirements that coincide with both CDC and DESE recommendations.  Below is a list of guidelines that will be expected of all building custodial staff:

  • Custodians will be required to wear the proper PPE required including but not limited to, nitrile exam gloves, protective mask, face shield, and or safety glasses, as required depending on the type of cleaning or disinfecting being performed.
  • Upon opening the building one custodian, (per floor in larger school buildings), will be responsible for disinfecting all touchpoints and high-traffic areas before all other staff are allowed in the building.
  • Before closing the building, all building staff and other occupants will be limited to one area of the building while the assigned custodian(s) repeat the disinfection process before the building is locked and secured.
  • In the event of a positive case, HPS has created isolation spaces. The Health department has created proper protocols for these isolation spaces to ensure that the potential spread is contained. Our department will follow strict guidelines there after to disinfect these spaces and will also be diligent in tracing all spaces and a deep cleaning will ensue which will include disinfecting with proper disinfectant and other cleaning methods. This will be done swiftly and effectively.
  • A log will be in the front office in each school and custodial staff will be required to sign, date and time after they have completed the disinfection and deep cleaning. 

 

In addition to the special work outlined above, custodial staff will perform their regular cleaning, including wiping down other surfaces, emptying trash, cleaning restrooms, and floor care.  The District is also purchasing a significant amount of hand sanitizer dispensers and making them available to schools.  Where possible, these dispensers will be touchless.  A lot of the Districts classrooms have sinks in them and these will be used for regular hand washing to minimize traffic to a common bathroom for that purpose. 

 

HPS has a variety of commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems.  The size and power of these systems vary depending on the size of the building.  Each and every system utilizes replacement filters that are changed twice a year.  Our custodial and maintenance staff are trained to know the location, size and method of install, in order to ensure the air coming into the building is clean.  We clean and disinfect the coils as part of our preventative maintenance of these systems. We will increase the frequency of changing the filters in all of our ventilation systems.  We will continue to monitor DESE, HVAC industry professionals, and health professionals recommendations on maintenance of HVAC systems and we will ensure we are in compliance with all recommended best practice.  The Transitions Program is currently using an ionization system that is installed in the air ducts, which eradicates harmful and contagious particles from the air circulating throughout the school.  We are currently in communication with our HVAC vendor R.L. Cote & Sons about the feasibility of installing this system in each one of our schools. 

 

In newer buildings, commercial HVAC systems are typically designed to produce internal conditions with a relative humidity of 40-60%. The equipment manufacturers and MSBA commissioning agents require these standards to be met during installation. 

 

In our HVAC systems featuring  adjustable modulating outside-air controls, adjustments will be made increasing the percent rates of outside air into our conditioned spaces.  The increased outside air brought into the system dilutes the percent of potential contaminants in the circulating air.  Please note that increasing the outside air rate or ventilation rate will likely result in increased energy usage and may result in mechanical difficulties to maintain the desired temperature and humidity within a building.  

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

In collaboration with the pupil services, nursing, and facilities departments we have established a list of all compliant PPE necessary to open our schools, and we have ordered supplies for the first 3 months of school.  Much has already been received.  We are working closely with Holyoke Medical to ensure that we can secure the N95 masks for nurses.  Many of our PPE has already been received.  The District has ordered over 3 months worth of supplies.  The biggest concern around PPE is N95 masks for our nursing staff.  N95 masks were not available when we began ordering our PPE.  Schools were closed and the supplies were going directly to healthcare workers and first responders. Just recently they have become more available and we have requested the city purchase on our behalf as part of a larger Municipal order since it is not possible to order them from the supplier as a school district.  N95 Masks will be in the week of 8/10 for scheduled nurse fittings. The full order will then be placed based on the fittings. Holyoke Medical Center will also supply nurses with reusable N95 masks that are the same as the ones used by medical staff.  Below is a summary of some of the inventory we received and have on order.

  • 28,000 disposable procedure masks received
  • 320 goggles received
  • 1,000 shoe protectors received and 800 on order
  • 200 face shields received and 600 on order 
  • 4,000 gowns received
  • 400 cases of latex gloves received
  • 26 gallons of isopropyl alcohol received
  • 3,000 face coverings (2 per staff) received
  • 1,000 face coverings (for our neediest students) received
  • 1,800 hand sanitizer bottles received
  • 100 manual and 100 touchless hand sanitizer dispensers ordered
  • 588 hand sanitizer dispenser refills received and 60 cases ordered
  • 73 cases of cavicide and spray bottles received
  • 10 Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers received and 18 ordered
  • 60 sneeze guards received and 220 ordered
  • Required signage received as well as painters tape being used for floor traffic flow

 

Transportation Appendix

Many of our busses were close to capacity last school year.  HPS worked closely with it’s transportation vendors to analyze capacity of our busses and concluded that it would not be possible to follow social distancing guidelines if we had to bus all of our students at their existing start times.  In order to make this possible we would have to stagger start times within the same school and also push back our second tier schools by another 45 minutes in order to accommodate extra waves and tiers.  Currently some of our schools start at 7:40 and others start at 8:30.  With only 50 minutes between school start times it makes it difficult to tier bussing and get students to school on time at the second tier.  Below is a snapshot of the Districts ridership:

 

Transportation chart 1

 

transportation chart 2

 

transportation chart 3

 

Below is a snapshot of the HPS vehicle fleet and it’s capacity:

 

transportation chart 4

 

 

Transportation: In-person Learning 

Under current recommendations the District would not be able to transport the amount of students that we regularly transport on a daily basis and maintain the required social distancing guidelines.  We would have to reduce the number of students that are eligible for transportation (cut by 1,200 riders).  Currently the District policy is to transport all students required by IEP, all students in K-5 that live 1 mile or more away from their zoned school, all students in 6-8 that live 1.5 miles or more away from their school, and all students in High School that live greater than 2 miles from their school.  As noted in the table above, based on the limit of one student per seat and our available inventory, capacity would only allow us to bus roughly 950 students.  This would mean that for each school we would have to do 2 waves of student drop offs and students would have to either get to school 45 minutes early or 45 minutes late if you are in the second wave.  We would also have to create more distance between our school start and end times because 50 minutes between school tiers would not be enough time to get 2 waves.  

Transportation: Hybrid Learning Model

Based on the capacity analysis above the District is recommending a hybrid model so that we are transporting only half of the students eligible on any given day.  This would allow us to socially distance our students and will allow the bus company to do regular cleaning of the vehicle daily.  Students will be seated 1 per bench/seat unless they are living in the same household we would be able to seat them together.  We will work with schools to consider a bus pass and seat assignment system whenever possible.  This will ensure that only eligible students are riding and will keep ridership at a manageable and safe level.  All vehicles will be set up with hand sanitizer dispensers so that students can sanitize as they enter and exit the bus.  Bus drivers will be wearing masks at all times as well as students.  The busses will have disposable masks in the event a student forgets theirs at home.  All drivers and monitors will be trained on the latest CDC and state guidance and will ensure that it is followed.

The District will consider the need to add bus monitors to all of its big busses.  Currently we only have monitors on our minibuses due to this being a requirement in the students IEP.  It will be difficult to implement a seating assignment (as recommended by DESE) without having a monitor present to assist.  If the bus driver had to do this it would drastically impact the ability to get students to school safely and quickly.  We are currently exploring if this function can be performed by some of our paras or parent volunteers.

Transportation: Remote Learning

Some students will continue to receive transportation in the remote learning model if they qualify.  We will evaluate our contract with our transportation vendors.  It would not be feasible to continue to pay for a service that is not being provided.  We would work with our vendors to employ them to help us with deliveries of food if that becomes a need and if allowed by DESE.

Recognition to HPS Staff and Partners for their Contributions to this Plan

The development of the return-to-school plan is truly a team effort.  We especially want to thank and recognize people who served on the reopening leadership team and committees, as well as those who served as critical advisors. 

 

Reopening Leadership Team

  • Dr. Vázquez Matos, Receiver/Superintendent 
  • Erin Linville, Chief of Strategy and Turnaround, Lead facilitator
  • Valerie Annear, Chief Instructional Officer
  • Cynthia Carbone, Director of Health, Wellness, and Nursing
  • Marianne Currier, Chief of Pupil Services
  • Dr. Tiffani Curtis, School Supervisor (Donahue, Metcalf, Peck, Sullivan, E.N. White)
  • Mario Florez, Chief of Social, Emotional and Behavioral Learning
  • Beth Gage, Chief Talent Officer
  • Jackie Glasheen, Principal, E.N. White, HPS parent
  • Nancy Lacey, Teacher, District Crisis Team, McMahon
  • Deb Lantaigne, DESE liaison to Holyoke
  • June Lavelle, HPA President, E.N. White paraprofessional, HPS parent
  • Alyson Lingsch, School Supervisor (Kelly, Lawrence, McMahon, Morgan, Holyoke STEM) 
  • Dr. Stephen Mahoney, Executive Principal of Holyoke High School
  • Pete McAndrew, HTA President, Holyoke High School teacher 
  • Anthony Soto, Chief of Finance and Operations
  • Devin Sheehan, School Committee Member
  • Dr. Stephen Zrike, Outgoing Receiver/Superintendent

 

District-based Operations: facilities, transportation, food Service, technology, etc. 

  • Brian Harris, Facilities Manager
  • Denise Rodriguez, Transportation Manager
  • Mellissa Kelley, Transportation at Durham
  • Ashley Plante, Food Service
  • Tim Gray, Food Service
  • Matt Kuzmeskas, Technology Director
  • Jackie Glasheen, School Representation 

 

School-based Operations: hallways, arrival/dismissal, fire drills, athletics, etc. 

  • Co-Chair:  Jacqueline Glasheen, Principal, EN White, HPS Parent
  • Co-Chair:  Dr. Steven Mahoney, Executive Principal, Holyoke High School 
  • Nisette Gonzalez, Assistant Principal, HHS North
  • Michelle Hernandez, Assistant Principal, Kelly
  • Katie Richie, Assistant Principal, McMahon
  • Aaron Morris, Assistant Principal, Peck, HPS Parent
  • Ashley Martin, Chief Academic Officer, Veritas Prep Holyoke

 

Academics 

  • SIPPS/Being a Reader team:  
    • Rod Hart, Dean of Students, Donahue
    • Nicole Fisher, Kindergarten, Donahue
    • Amanda Lachat, Kindergarten,  Donahue
    • Sarah Bizzotto, Grade 1, Donahue
    • Danielle White, Grade 1, Donahue
    • Katherine Rock, Grade 1, Donahue
    • Militza Rodriguez, Grade 2, Donahue
    • Meredith Gosselin, Grade 2, Donahue
    • Alexis Parent, Grade 3 Donahue
    • Ellen Bouthillette, Grade 2-3 Sped., Donahue

 

  • K-2 Curriculum Alignment
    • Chankyna Aribo, K-2 District Coach for Morgan, Lawrence
    • Suzie Planitis, Kindergarten Teacher McMahon 
    • Lauren BernardGrade  1 Teacher, McMahon 
    • Victoria Lyons, Grade  1 Teacher, McMahon 
    • Courtney Neil, Grade  2 Teacher, McMahon 
    • Megan Popp,  Grade  2 Teacher, McMahon 

 

  • 3-5 Curriculum Alignment
    • Julie Griffin Pluhta, ILS, Sullivan
    • Mary McAndrew,  ILS, Kelly
    • Rachel Flint, Special Ed. Teacher, McMahon
    • Cecily Selden, EL Teacher, Morgan
    • Abby McAndrew, Grade 4 Teacher, McMahon
    • Kaitlyn Burns, Grade 5 Teacher,- Peck 

 

  • 6-8 Curriculum Alignment
    • Valerie Vasti, District Coach for STEM, McMahon and Morgan
    • Nancy Lacey, ELA gr. 7&8, McMahon 
    • Jen Albury, EL grade 6-8, STEM   
    • Laura C. – ILS – STEM
    • Andrea Salvas, Asst. Principal/ELA lead, Peck

 

  • 9-12
    • Mickey Buhl, Executive Director of Opportunity Academy
    • Al Gates, Associate Principal, Holyoke High School
    • Lori McKenna, Associate Principal, Holyoke High School
    • Laurie Denis, Director of Career Vocational Technical Education
    • Geoffrety Schmidt, Opportunity Academy Engagement Director
    • Juraye Pierson, Assistant Principal, Holyoke High School
    • Juan Maldanado, Dean of Student, Holyoke High School
    • Mary Brazeau, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Sheila Fallon, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Pete McAndrew, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Caron Dewey, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Erin Lawler, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Lynn Bechard, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Kayleigh Berger, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Mike Cotto, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Luz Marie Rosado, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Quentin Donohue, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Bevan Brunelle, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Eliana Shwayder, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Cassi Stewart, Teacher, Holyoke High School
    • Kate Fenn, Teacher, Holyoke High School

 

Human Resources and Personnel 

  • Pete McAndrew, HTA Rep & HHS teacher
  • Tiffani Curtis, School Supervisor
  • Shannon Langone, Veritas
  • Stephanie Morris, HPA Rep & ENW paraprofessional
  • Julie Eldridge, Human Resources Generalist
  • Kelly Curran, Recruitment Manager 
  • Marylou Quick, Morgan Teacher

 

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Behavioral Health

  • Juraye Pierson, Assistant Principal at Holyoke High School
  • Cindy Marquez, School Counselor at Kelly School
  • Dustin Rose, Teacher, Kelly
  • Laura Mackey, Guidance Counselor McMahon School
  • Eileen Martinez, School Adjustment Counselor McMahon School
  • Paul DiPierto, Autism Specialist McMahon School
  • Megan Popp, Teacher McMahon School
  • Abbey McAndrew, Teacher McMahon School
  • Anais Penninck, BRYT Clinician at Morgan School
  • Lynne Lajoie, Assistant Principal Morgan School
  • Julie Rohan, School Counselor at Morgan School
  • Sarah Major, Director of SEL
  • Alissa Izzo, Behavior Specialist System Wide
  • Jennifer Johnson, Behavior Specialist System Wide
  • Richard Rodriguez, Adjustment Counselor, HHS
  • Mayra Rodriguez, School Counselor at Dean Tech

 

Family and Community Education

  • Yamaris Rivera, FAEC
  • Daisy Rentas, FAEC
  • Stefany Garcia, FAEC
  • Nikita Perez, FAEC
  • Dean Santiago, FAEC
  • Jasarah Burgos, FACC
  • Dializ Serrano, FACC
  • Edgar Robles, Attendance Officer

 

Special Education 

  • Dr. Sandy Donah, Director of Student Support
  • Michelle Cooper, Pupil Services Itinerant Services Coordinator
  • Alessandra Graziani, Pupil Services Student Services Coordinator
  • Jill Hughes, Pupil Services Intensive Services Coordinator
  • Tammy Seymour, Pupil Services Out of District and ETL Coordinator
  • Cynthia Carbone, Director of Health, Wellness & Nursing
  • Alyson Lingsch, School Supervisor
  • June Lavelle, Paraprofessional Union President, HPS Parent
  • Tricia Ruell, Special Education Teacher at Kelly School
  • Kimberly Longe, Team Leader at Metcalf
  • Tamara Lindskog, ABL teacher at Donahue
  • Ally Long, SHINE Teacher at HHS
  • Jessica O’Malley, Team Leader at HHS
  • Dan Cavanaugh, Team Leader at Donahue
  • Alexis Finn, Special Education Teacher at STEM
  • Elizabeth Swaboda, Special Education Teacher, Veritas Prep
  • Amanda Dembowski, Speech Pathologist System Wide
  • Jenna Bevins, School Psychologist System Wide
  • Jim Desautels, Team Leader at STEM
  • Julie Kakley, Speech Pathologist System Wide
  • Karissa Caraballo,School Psychologist System Wide
  • Kellen Matthews, School Psychologist System Wide
  • Kerstin Golen, Physical Therapist System Wide
  • Regina Doemer, Physical Therapist System Wide
  • Jennifer Reigner, Occupational Therapist System Wide
  • Kim Kisiel, Speech Pathologist System Wide
  • Korin Hall, Assistant Principal STEM
  • Linda Borreson, School Psychologist System Wide
  • Myra Oyedemi, Speech Pathologist System Wide
  • Noel Sherman, School Based Services
  • Raul Falcon, School Psychologist System Wide
  • Rosie Alig, Speech Pathologist System Wide

 

Health and Wellness 

  • Rene Barkyoumb, LPN, Resource Nurse
  • Nicole Brochu, RN, E.N. White School Nurse
  • Cynthia Carbone, RN, Director of Health, Wellness & Nursing
  • Rachael LaBerge, LPN, Resource Nurse 
  • Nancy Lacey, Educator and Crisis Team Lead, McMahon
  • Hallie McGuire, RN, Kelly School Nurse
  • Mary Michaud, RN, Peck School Nurse
  • Lynne Mills, Veritas Prep Holyoke Administrator 
  • Christina Morales, RN, Sullivan School Nurse
  • Lynanne Novak, LPN, Classroom Nurse
  • Tamra Pace-Hersh, LPN, Transitions Program Nurse
  • Pablo Pérez, LPN, HHS North Campus School Nurse
  • Amber Piedra, RN, HHS North Campus School Nurse
  • Karoline Syner, RN, McMahon School Nurse
  • Alla Taku, RN, Lawrence School Nurse
  • Danica Turgeon, LPN, Sullivan School Nurse
  • Laureen Urekew, LPN, Classroom Nurse

 

Additional Advisors

  • Sean Gonsalves, Director of Health, Holyoke Board of Health
  • Dr. Monica Liao, Medical Advisor, Holyoke
  • Deborah Lantainge, Targeted Assistance Manager, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Rachel Romano, Executive Director, Friends of Veritas
  • Deborah Schaier, RN, Holyoke Board of Health
  • All school-based staff that are serving on their school-level return-to-school planning teams

 

We also thank the school-based reopening teams who are charged with planning for returning to school this Fall. (School RLT leads are bolded below.)  

 

Donahue School

  • Marc Swygert, Principal
  • Tom Drohan, AP
  • Rod Hart, Dean of C&I
  • Brittany Kane, Nurse
  • Tamara Linskog, Teacher
  • Stephen Monge, Teacher
  • Nicole Fisher, Advanced Teacher
  • Mayra Lopez, Paraprofessional
  • Patricia Sprano Duke, BCBA
  • Briget Reilly, BELL
  • Kendra Kwasnik, Counselor

 

E.N. White

  • Jackie Glasheen, Principal
  • Arrin Barnes, AP
  • Amy Piedra, Dean
  • Kristen Welch, Teacher
  • Steffon Mock, Paraprofessional
  • Nicole Brochu, Nurse

 

HHS Dean Campus

  • Al Gates, Associate Principal
  • Laurie Denis, CVTE Director
  • Joseph Dutsar, Teacher
  • Danielle Hayes, Teacher
  • Lisa Lavelle, Teacher
  • Myra Rodriguez, Adjust Counselor

 

HHS North Campus

  • Lori McKenna, Associate Principal
  • Nisette Gonzalez, AP
  • Juraye Pierson, AP
  • Meghan Harrison, AP
  • Juan Maldonado, Dean of Students
  • Josh Dupuis, Teacher
  • Laura Vazquez, Counselor
  • Kate Fenn, Counselor
  • Mike Cotto, Teacher
  • Caron Dewey, Teacher
  • Sheila Fallon, Teacher

 



Holyoke STEM Academy

  • Sal Canata, Principal
  • Korin Hall, AP
  • Ramon Cosme, Dean of C&I
  • Brian Keane, Teacher
  • Emily Shankle, Teacher
  • Priscilla Rosado, Paraprofessional

 

Kelly School

  • Luis Soria, Principal
  • Michelle Hernandez, AP
  • Mary McAndrew, ILS/Coach
  • Roberto Vicente, BELL
  • Dustin Rose, TechCo
  • Tricia Ruell, ILT/SpEd
  • Cindy, Marquez, Counselor

 

Lawrence School

  • Catherine Hourihan, Principal
  • Karyn McDermott, AP
  • Korri Flynn, Coach
  • Sonia Molina, Manager of Climate & Student Support
  • Julie Diaz, ESL Teacher
  • Alexandria Rettura, Teacher

 

McMahon School

  • Rebecca Thompson, Principal
  • Kate Ritchie, AP
  • Megan Popp, Teacher
  • Destinee Meeker, Teacher
  • Nancy Lacey, Crisis/Teacher
  • Rebeca Chaverri, Teacher
  • Kimberly Longe, ETL
  • Caitlin O’Hare, Paraprofessional
  • Karoline Syner, Nurse

 

Metcalf School

  • Amy Burke, Principal
  • Anna Ludo, AP
  • Cynthia Gerena, ILS/Coach
  • Catherine MacBain, EL/BELL
  • Kara McCarthy, Advanced Teacher
  • Militza Semidei, Advanced Teacher

 

Morgan School

  • Steven Moguel, Principal
  • Miguel Lopez, Senior Custodian
  • Lyn Lajoie, Dean
  • Julie Drohan, 1st Grade Teacher
  • Ayla Wickham, 2nd Grade Teacher

 

Peck

  • Sarita Graveline, Principal
  • Aaron Morris, AP
  • Andrea Salvas, AP
  • Nakaia Smith, Dean of Students
  • Jessica Olivares-McBride, TIP Coordinator
  • Mauricio Tobar, Adj. Counselor
  • Heather Messier, SETL
  • Ashleigh Howland, SPED Teacher/Tech Lead
  • Mary Michaud, Nurse
  • Gerry Lane, Senior Custodian

 

Sullivan School

  • Sacha Garcia-Mailloux, Principal
  • Christina Huff, AP
  • Kendrick Roundtree, Director of Culture and Climate
  • Ashley Chenier, Counselor
  • Kimberly Beauregard, Teacher
  • Eileen Rybski, Paraprofessional
  • Julia Griffin-Pluta, Academic Coach
  • Christina Morales, Nurse
  • Danica Turgeon, Nurse
  • Juan Rentas, Senior Custodian

 

Veritas-Prep Holyoke

  • Rue Ratray, Principal
  • Sarah Center-Gray, DCI
  • Melisa Grandison, DCI
  • Yaritza Baez, DOO
  • Thomasina Hall, Teacher
  • Ashley Deleon, Teacher
  • Andrea Magana, Teacher

 

Certification of health and safety requirements

We certify that they meet the final health and safety requirements issued by DESE.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email