Hello Heath School Families,
The Brookline School Committee's Ad Hoc Remote Learning Task Force met on June 19, 2020. Here are the main summary points from the meeting:
- Expert Advisory Panels - All four of the expert advisory panels are up and running and have had their first meetings. The School Committee has set up a webpage (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2621) where it is posting information from the panels, including a full list of the members of each panel, and a few of the presentations from their first meetings.
- Incoming Superintendent and Anticipated Guidance - The Public Schools of Brookline (PSB) central administration working groups presented draft fall reopening plans at last night’s School Committee meeting (https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2087). Two highly-anticipated events will have a large impact on those plans as they continue to be revised. First, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is expected to release school reopening guidance this week but has not yet done so. Second, on July 1, Dr. James Marini will start his term as the PSB interim superintendent. As Dr. Marini comes on board and the state guidance is released, the fall school planning is also expected to become clearer.
- BHS Innovation Fund Grants - The Brookline High School Innovation Fund announced a special grant award for 30 BHS educators to engage in work this summer to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the BHS educational environment. The educators will work on capturing best practices in remote learning, researching improved remote teaching strategies, examining synchronous and asynchronous education with respect to the BHS curriculum, creating a “welcome back to school” plan for September, and building assessment approaches.
- Extended Day and After School Enrichment - The Task Force heard from Lauren Bernard, the executive director of the after school enrichment program at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School, about the need for fall school planning to also consider extended day and after school activities. Many parents in our community need care for their children even after the typical school day ends, and so it will be important to think through what options will be available.
The Remote Learning Task Force meetings are from 9:30 - 11:00 AM on Fridays, with the next meeting scheduled for June 26. The Task Force and the expert advisory panels are expecting to continue to meet throughout the summer.
The agenda and virtual meeting links for all School Committee meetings—including regular School Committee meetings, subcommittee meetings, Remote Learning Task Force meetings, and now also the Expert Advisory Panels meetings—are published on the Town calendar (https://www.brooklinema.gov/calendar.aspx?CID=110) and are open to the public. 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
** 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 meeting was 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, additional links are provided below. **
Want to dive in further? Here are some useful links: