Hello Heath School Households,
Here is a summary of the latest meeting of the Brookline School Committee's Ad Hoc Remote Learning Task Force on August 7:
Fall Reopening Update - The PSB central administration presented a recommended plan at the SC meeting on August 4. A PDF of the presentation is available on the district’s reopening webpage (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/reopen). The administration recommended a hybrid learning model (see Slide 14) for Grades 3-12 with 2-3 days in person learning and 2-3 days remote learning each week. In the recommended plan, BEEP, Grades K-2, and other other high needs students would have in-person learning 5 days per week, and there is an option for fully remote learning for any student or family that needs to opt out of in-person instruction. The plan also specifies September 1 as the first day that all staff would report and September 16 as the first day of school for students. The administration will revise the plan in light of the comments received, and the SC is now expected to vote on a plan at its August 12 meeting. The deadline for submitting the final reopening plan to the state has been extended to August 14.
Expert Advisory Panel Updates - The expert advisory panels are making their work available by posting presentations, meeting recordings, and other materials on the School Committee’s Task Force website (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2621). Here are some highlights.
Panel 1 - Educational Excellence and Equity - Summarized and provided recommendations around four focus areas, including reaffirming the differential needs of some student populations that may be disproportionately affected by the pandemic and the impacts on school. The panel also articulated general best practices to support educational excellence, including regular live interaction with teachers, frequent checks for understanding, and explicit attempts to build community and partnerships with parents/caregivers.
Panel 2 - Support to Address the Whole Child Experience - Presented recommendations on parent facilitation and family engagement to support students when they are likely to have increased social and emotional challenges. The panel also examined options for after-school, extended day, and extracurricular activities, as well as other considerations related to social emotional and physical wellness.
Panel 3 - Remote Learning Capacity Building - Put together a set of shorter- and longer-term recommendations for hybrid/remote learning in the areas of best structure and practices, managing asynchronous content delivery and learner engagement, and streamlining communication. The panel is also putting together a set of potential professional development workshop offerings based on the areas of expertise of the panel members.
Panel 4 - Public Health, Safety and Logistics - Collected and analyzed evidence from the reopening of Brookline-area camps this summer, and hosted a discussion with Shari Churwin (Education Director at the Trust Center for Early Education, http://www.tceebrookline.org/), Stephanie Springer (Environmental Director at Brookline Rec, https://www.brooklinerec.com/), and Sarita Chung (Director of Disaster Preparedness, Division of Emergency Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital) about their experiences with in-person programming.
The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for August 14. See the Town calendar for upcoming School Committee meetings. You are encouraged to listen in and submit comments or questions.
As always, if you have a perspective that would be relevant to the Task Force, please do reach out to me by email (email@example.com) to share your thoughts.
Eli Silk, Heath School Parent Representative