In following the guidelines set forth by the CDC, Massachusetts Department of Health, and the Brookline Department of Public Health, Brookline Public Schools will be closed until Monday, May 4 for the health and well-being of our community.
PSB has also published revised guidelines for Remote Learning, following updates from the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Learn more.
Hello Coolidge Corner School Families and Friends,
I hope you all are safe and healthy and found some time for connection and relaxation this weekend. Later tonight you should be receiving an email from Superintendent Lummis that outlines the remote learning plan for the Public Schools of Brookline. Please take some time to carefully review the communication. I will be addressing the details laid out in guidelines and how it impacts our work at CCS tomorrow night at 8:00pm during our Family Open House and again for the morning edition Tuesday morning at 7:00am. (See links below).
In reviewing the guidance from the district extensively this weekend, I remain confident in our team at Coolidge Corner School and the work they have begun and will continue to tweak and refine. As is common practice in the field of education, we educators are constantly reviewing education research and evaluating research based practices and methods to continuously improve our own practices. This closure is no different and since we closed our doors to students on May 12th I have been reviewing articles, district plans, and conferencing with educational leaders both within the commonwealth and across the nation in an effort to best inform decisions and our own approach here at CCS. A common theme that we are all wrestling with is defining this state that we are operating. It is not homeschooling. It is not distance learning. It is not an online school. What we are engaged in as a community is teaching and learning amidst a pandemic, COVID-19 to be specific. We don't know YET how to bring the best of teaching and learning to our students in this new context. The key to figuring it out is trying small investigations and asking for feedback from our students and their families. Your patience, supportive feedback, and understanding are very much appreciated and needed as we navigate teaching and learning in a pandemic.
Below you will find some additional information about:
Guidelines for Families During Remote Learning Opportunities
Our new webpage launch
This week’s Family Open House agenda and links
This week’s Bedtime Stories link
The link and a reminder for Trivia Tuesdays for Middle Schoolers
Freelance Fun TV
Information about accessing the Brookline Food Pantry
CCS as a satellite site for Brookline Fire and Police Departments
Guidelines for Families During Remote Learning Opportunities
In order to continue to provide safe and supportive learning opportunities and environments for our students, our educators have been working on establishing norms and ways of being for each of their smaller communities. Below are our school wide norms for adults in the community participating in video conferencing platforms.
Video Conferencing Norms for Families
Announce to your child and others in the video conference that you will be watching/listening
Do not record a video conference unless you have permission from everyone who is a part of the video conference
Do not discuss other children’s behavior or work with other adults in the community
Remember we are all new to this, try to avoid comparison between and conversations about teachers’ capacity and fluency with the new tools we are all using and experimenting with for the first time. Be supportive and offer positive and constructive feedback.
In response to family feedback and in our efforts to continuously improve our approach to this new learning environment and experience for us all we have created a new webpage on our CCS website. On the page you will find grade level specific and school wide information, links, and resources. We are working on consolidating information so families have one or two places to go for information. Please take some time to look through the page. I welcome your feedback via email so we can continue to support you in supporting your child(ren) at home during this time.
Family Open House Agenda and Links
This week during our Family Open House I will review the newest document shared from Superintendent Lummis that outlines the Public Schools of Brookline Remote Learning guidance and how it impacts our work at CCS. I will also have time for questions and feedback.
CCS Family Open House Evening Edition (Monday 4/6 8:00pm)
Our Trivia Tuesdays for middle schoolers is a fun time for all! Please remind your middle school student of our weekly trivia time at 2:00pm. Students who choose to use avatars or names that are offensive and do not meet our school expectations will not be allowed to join the trivia game.
We are so excited to introduce to you Freelance Fun TV, an amazing collaboration between our very own Mr. Michael, Ms. Moore, and Nurses Heather and Jana. Check out their YouTube channel with your student for fun and engaging shows. Mr. Michael will be hosting a question/answer style talk show, Ms. Moore will host Art with Ms. Moore, Nurse Heather will host a cooking show, and Nurse Jana will lead us through some mindfulness each week. New episodes will be posted weekly so be sure to check back often. You can also find the link to Freelance Fun TV on our new webpage!
The Brookline Food Pantry plans to stay open through this crisis (as long as they have volunteers and funding). They have three locations now:
15 St. Paul Street
55A Egmont Street
226 High Street
They are also experimenting with providing home delivery to individuals and families who are unable to leave their homes or do not have someone who can shop for them at our pantry locations. The home delivery would involve a "knock and leave" procedure and there will be no interactions between individuals.
The pantry continues to be for people who are in financial distress and are food insecure. Although they have temporarily suspended the requirement for documentation, they are verbally asking families to answer a few basic questions such as the number of individuals in the home and whether they receive SNAP benefits, assistance with housing, Medicaid/Medicare and/or other social services. All information is confidential and is not shared with governmental agencies.
Additionally families can access meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 12:00 - 1:30p at CCS.
CCS as a Satellite Public Safety Site
This past week has been an eventful one for our first responders in our public safety departments in the Town of Brookline. The Public Schools have given permission for Police and Fire to use our school building as a temporary satellite station to allow for the social distancing of their crews and units.
The health and safety of our first responders is essential. The support PSB and our CCS building can offer is a location to address the need for social distancing. It is rare that we can return the effort and care they provide our students and employees during the school year. I am so glad that we are able to open our doors to our first responders and provide this opportunity to them as they have been such tremendous support to our students and families throughout the school year.
While we have Police and Fire in our building, it does not mean our building is open. Police and Fire employees have no authority to allow entry of anyone into a school building. Please understand that asking to enter a school building during this time of "stay at home" other than authorized personnel puts the life safety of our first responders in jeopardy and defeats the purpose of their being in a satellite location. Our building remains closed to employees, students, families, and the community until it is reopened.
Some of you have reached out with questions about April break and other “no school” days. I do not yet have guidance about April break yet, but I do know that we will continue to follow guidance as laid out by the School Committee around assigning work in relation to the upcoming religious holidays. Our educators are aware of the dates of Passover and Good Friday and will be adjusting their work loads, assignments, and activities accordingly just as we would have if we were in the school building with our students.
The passing of Bill Withers hit me unusually hard this weekend. I have such fond memories of his music and my childhood swaying and dancing in the kitchen with my mother. Perhaps the distance and longing to physically connect with my own family and friends started to come to the surface as I played his albums on repeat over the weekend. Lean On Me feels especially relevant tonight as I write to you all knowing that we will all be there to help each other carry on and offer that helping hand to lift each other up during this health crisis and time apart from our community.
I hope to see many of you tomorrow night or Tuesday morning for our Open House so we can continue our dialogue and work together in supporting our students, families, and staff through this pandemic.