Remote Learning Task Force
May 15 & 22, 2020 Meetings Summaries
Hello Heath School Families,
I wasn't able to get out a summary last week, so I am including a summary of the latest two meetings of the Brookline School Committee's Ad Hoc Remote Learning Task Force. First, here are the main points from the May 15, 2020 meeting:
- District Planning for the 2020-2021 School Year - At the May 14, 2020 School Committee meeting, the Superintendent presented planning toward the next school year (see the presentation document and the meeting video starting at 2:40). The district has formed three groups tasked with planning for alternative scenarios: (1) completely remote learning, (2) a return to buildings, and (3) a hybrid. Each group will have a draft plan to present at the School Committee meeting on June 19.
- CDC Guidance for K-12 Schools Reopening - School Committee member Sharon Abramovitz (who has professional expertise in epidemiology and public health) made a presentation to the Task Force that translated ways in which the CDC's latest guidance for K-12 schools had implications for the next school year in Brookline. She also presented examples of how other countries have returned to school.
- Special Education Update - Casey Ngo-Miller, Deputy Superintendent for Student Services, provided an update on remote learning with special education. The district surveyed staff to understand the format of the services they are currently providing, and are working with teachers to increase the availability of instruction that is live and explicit wherever feasible and appropriate. They are also focusing on assessing regression, identifying students eligible for extended school year services, and planning for the possible scenarios for the next school year.
Main points from the May 15, 2020 meeting:
- Preliminary Parent Survey Results - The district's remote learning experiences survey closed on May 15. Erin Cooley, PSB's Director of Data Analysis & Information Management, shared early results of the quantitative data (the qualitative open-ended responses are still being analyzed). The response rate across the district was about 30%. Some high-level findings were that majorities of students feel connected to their teachers, but less so to the broader community, and that many expressed that there was not enough time devoted to live interactions (one-to-one or small groups). The data have been made accessible to principals and school-based teams to inform their improvement efforts, and a version of the survey results will soon be presented to the School Committee and then made publicly available.
- Call for Experts to Develop Learning Plans for 2020-2021 - The School Committee is seeking experts from the community to advise on the development of preK-12 learning plans for the upcoming school year in the areas of (1) educational excellence with equity, (2) whole child supports and development, (3) educator capacity-building, and (4) public health, safety, district operations, and logistics. Read the call for volunteers. If you have relevant expertise, please volunteer by emailing the Brookline School Committee c/o Robin Coyne (email@example.com) by Tuesday, May 26 at 5.00 pm.
The Task Force meetings have been shifted up an hour so are now all from 9:30 - 11:00 AM on Fridays, with the next meeting scheduled for May 29 (https://www.brooklinema.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=8219). All meetings are open to the public.
As always, if you have a perspective that would be relevant to the Task Force, please do reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your thoughts.
Eli Silk, Heath School Parent Representative
** NOTE: Remote learning—and today’s home, school, and work environment more generally—presents a range of unexpected challenges that are unprecedented in our lifetimes. All stakeholders in our school district are working hard to serve our students as best they can, but the challenges are complex and the situation is continually evolving. The latest Remote Learning Task Force meetings were each 90 minutes and included substantive discussions on a range of topics, but because the Heath PTO wants to keep you informed while respecting that you have many important issues seeking your attention, this summary is necessarily brief and simplified. If you would like to learn more, there is additional information and links below so that you can dive in further. **
Want to dive in further? Here are some useful links: