Re-Opening Advisory Task Force
June 9, 2020
Good Afternoon LPS Community,
Thank you to members of the Longmeadow Community who have taken time to send questions, feedback or suggestions to the Reopening Advisory Task Force. We have created a resource page on the https://www.longmeadow.k12.ma.us/home. In the days and weeks ahead we will post updates, guidance and more.
As we begin the process of planning for the reopening of our schools, I want to re-emphasize that the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has indicated that it will provide a very prescriptive, statewide school re-opening plan on or around June 15.
Recently publicized DESE Guidance on “Required Safety Supplies for Re-Opening Schools” suggest that districts need to plan for a socially distanced opening. If this is the case, reopening with these safety restrictions in place will require great creativity, flexibility and planning. However, as recently as today, DESE cautioned districts that communities need to wait for the final guidance. We all hope that health and safety conditions and DESE guidance will allow for regular schedule. Certainly, this year we developed an even deeper appreciation of the value of an in-person education to children and the wider community.
Until, and even after, the DESE final guidance is issued, be assured that the LPS administration and Longmeadow School Committee will advocate at the highest levels for a safe, feasible plan that provides students with the fullest educational experience possible. If communities are given any local discretion, we will explore, with all stakeholders, the safety and feasibility of adopting less restrictive models based on local data and our community’s educational needs and requirements.
Two final notes:
First, the roster of the Advisory Task Force is currently posted to the LPS website and the group can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Task Force welcomes your comments, but please understand that the volume of emails may delay or prevent individualized responses. Please do not use this email address for confidential comments or personal matters. The Task Force consists of two members of the Longmeadow School Committee, school and central office administrators, three teachers appointed by the Longmeadow Education Association, an LPS health professional, a Lieutenant and EMS Coordinator from the Longmeadow Fire Department, the Longmeadow Facilities Director, parents selected from the Parent Curriculum Advisory Council and two Longmeadow High Students.
Second, credit to Executive Assistant Dianne Georgantas for finding the archived minutes of the Longmeadow School Committee from October, 1918 when the United States simultaneously faced the Great War and a global influenza pandemic. In a brief entry, dated October 8, 1918 and depicted below, “Chairman Munroe reported that, pursuant to the advice of the Town Board of Health, and in view of similar action by the school authorities in Springfield, the schools of Longmeadow had been closed for an indefinite period, beginning Friday, September 27. This action was approved. It was decided that there should be no home work assigned, or books sent during the influenza epidemic for sanitary reasons.” The American experience at this difficult time in history suggests that, as a community and a nation, we will endure and that brighter days are ahead.
My best wishes to all for a successful conclusion to the school year!