Thank you to all the parents, caregivers and staff who particpated in our November PTO/Principal forums the last two weeks. We were abe to review and discuss the successes of the hybrid learning model, and how students, staff and families have adjusted to the new routines and schedules. Congratulations to all!
Wednesday, November 25th: School closes at noon for Thanksgiving Break
Thursday, November 26th: No School-Thanksgiving
Friday, November 27th: No school for Thanksgiving Break
Early Release Days for Grades K-8:
1. Thursday, December 3-Grades K-8 dismissed early at 12:40pm
2. Tuesday, December 8-Grades K-8 dismissed early at 12:40pm
Annual Cranberry Counting:
Every year for the past 50+ years Lawrence teachers and students estimate how many cranberries are in a jar. This year we have a touchless way to see the jar, make your estimate, and enter to win a bookstore gift card if your estimate is the closest in your category.
From Interim Superintendent Marini on November 17th:
In these unprecedented times, I understand the desire to want to maintain the holiday traditions that anchor us to family and friends, but this year is different. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19 and that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. In addition to the CDC guidance, Mass.gov has issued travel regulations. Most notably, if you visit a high-risk state, you must fill out a travel form and either produce a negative COVID-19 test administered up to 72 hours prior to returning to Massachusetts or quarantine for 14 days.
Wednesday, November 11th: Veteran’s Day-No School for students and staff
Wednesday, November 25th: School closes at noon for Thanksgiving Break
Thursday, November 26th: No School-Thanksgiving
Friday, November 27th: No school for Thanksgiving Break
Fall Early Release Days for Conferences:
Lunch will not be eaten in school on early release days, as we want to maximize instructional time for students. Students will still have a snack break and those who need to take a bagged lunch home; will be able to do so.
Thursday, November 12-Grades K-6 dismissed early at 12:40pm
Tuesday, November 17-Grades K-8 dismissed early at 12:40pm
Thursday, December 3-Grades K-8 dismissed early at 12:40pm
Tuesday, December 8-Grades K-8 dismissed early at 12:40pm
I realize that beginning of the year conferences may sound different this year and not include as deep of a data/assessment review that you are typically used to providing to parents/caregiver in past (non COVID) years. We will follow the district calendar and reframe our conversations to match the late start, remote learning and only a few weeks of following the in person hybrid schedule.
The PTO Presidents and I will host the second round of grade level forums for parents and caregivers in grades K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. These forums will be at 7pm as the first round of forums were held at 4pm. The January/February forums will take place in the morning to meet the needs of varied work and life schedules.
Lawrence K - 2 November PTO/Principal Forum
Time: Nov 12, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Lawrence 3 - 5 November PTO/Principal Forum
Time: Nov 17, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Lawrence 6 - 8 November PTO/Principal Forum
Time: Nov 19, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Dressing for Colder Weather:
Please send your children to school with layers and warm clothing.
I suggest an extra sweatshirt and socks in case they get wet during recess. Also send them
with hats, gloves and boots. We will go out in the snow and colder temperatures.
Holiday Travel and Celebrations:
As the holidays quickly approach and we each begin to plan for fall and winter celebrations, we understand that many festivities will look a bit different this year. Since COVID-19 can easily spread from one person to another during traditional holiday activities, such as gathering for shared meals or rituals, we ask that our students and staff be extra cautious when making plans this season.
If you are planning to travel outside of Massachusetts please email both nurses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com once you have your travel destination and dates, this is so we can help plan for your safe return to in person teaching as soon as possible.
Please see the link below in regards to travel, testing, and/or quarantine requirements upon your return into the state.
Follow Massachusetts travel orders requiring quarantine upon return from most locations. Per the travel order issued by Governor Baker on August 1, all families traveling from out-of-state and internationally must self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. More information can be found here.
Please reach out with any questions and or concerns.
Safe travels and Happy Holidays!
Nurse Miller and Nurse Hillary
Parent Volunteers to Help with Lunch and/or Recess:
Are you available to help during the school day? Even just one day a week? Well, Lawrence parent and caregiver volunteers can serve as Lunch and Recess Monitors during in-person hybrid days in grades that their children are not in. Volunteers will be trained on procedures and safety, must complete a CORI check and will be helping meet a current need at our school. It is a weekly commitment.
This is a new way that parents/caregivers can volunteer at Lawrence during the pandemic, even as many of our traditional ways of volunteering are on hold. Just use this Lawrence Volunteers link to share your interest and availability.
The Lawrence admin team will reach out once they can match specific class/grade needs with your availability. Looking for more details about this opportunity? Wondering what times are most needed? Check the form first! Still have questions, email PTO Board Member Grace at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for considering.
I am writing this afternoon (10/23/20) with an important scheduling change that will impact all hybrid students (or those set to enter hybrid) in grade levels 9-12 beginning the week of October 26, 2020 and grade levels 1-8 beginning the week of November 2, 2020. The Leadership Team, School Principals, and the Brookline School Committee have decided to make Wednesday a completely remote day for all students in the hybrid learning model.
Wednesday will remain a shortened day (early dismissal), but students in grades 1-12 enrolled in the hybrid model will participate in their instruction remotely. We have learned a lot in the past four days after transitioning to the hybrid model and believe this change in schedule is what’s best for our educators, our students, and our staff.
Why the transition?
Relationships and Community Building
Students in grades 1-12 began the year together, albeit remotely, and are now split due to the hybrid schedule. A remote Wednesday allows students to reconnect with their peers and have a whole class experience again.
Students will receive live synchronous learning similar to what they experienced the first four weeks of RemotePlus.
Students will have more live time with their teacher(s) over the course of the week because all students will have two full days in-person and a full half-day remote each week. This allows more time to strengthen relationships between teachers and students which we believe is a necessary factor for student success.
Instruction and Curriculum Planning
Students will receive a robust day of synchronous learning on Wednesday in their content areas reducing the amount of asynchronous time they currently have during the school week.
Teachers can plan more coherently now that students are receiving the same amount of touch points per week.
Students in Cohort A and B will be more in-line with each other as they will have an equal amount of time with their teachers each week. The remote Wednesday can serve as a full group check-in for misconceptions or misunderstandings related to learning.
Teachers and specialists (math, literacy, special educators) can facilitate more small group instruction/intervention from various classes that have similar needs. The remote Wednesday alleviates the concern for crossing cohorts as these small groups can meet remotely.
Secures collaboration and preparation time for teachers that is more efficient and less strained than currently scheduled in the hybrid model.
Cleaning and Sanitization
Additional time for a more thorough cleaning and sanitizing of buildings between cohorts
Additional time for appropriate cleaning of shared materials such as paper, makers, library books, math manipulatives, etc.
As more students enter the building in the hybrid model, a Wednesday cleaning day allows the building to breathe and likely increases how long we can remain open in this model.
Wednesday will be a fully remote day for students in the hybrid model in grades 9-12 beginning Wednesday, October 28, 2020.
Wednesday will be a fully remote day for students in the hybrid model in grades 1-8 beginning Wednesday, November 4, 2020.
Wednesday will remain an early dismissal day
Remote Learning Academy schedules will not change.
Kindergarten schedules will not change. Kindergarten students enrolled in-person will attend in-person 5 days a week.
Students in First to Return who will remain in-person 5 days a week have been notified. All other students in First to Return have shifted to the hybrid schedule.
We know this is a quick transition for some families, staff and caregivers and appreciate your flexibility as we continue to update our plans based on recent information, lived experiences, and what we believe is in the best interest of our community. School leaders and teachers will be able to provide more details on the Wednesday schedule specific to your child(ren) in the upcoming week.
I really enjoyed seeing so many of you at the Principal/PTO Forums last week. These are virtual meetings we have organized to take the place of our traditional in person PTO/Principal Coffees that we cannot hold due to COVID. We held a meeting for each grade band K-2, 3-5 and 6-8. We also held our first coffee for Lawrence families who are in the METCO program this past Monday. Finally, we held the first Lawrence School Council meeting on Tuesday, October 6th. Thank you to our parent representatives: Jaime Carillo, Amy Evenson, Mendie Weylu and Ken Yamada. I have enjoyed reconnecting with so many families!
K-5 Open Houses on Thursday, October 8th
School will be closed on Monday, October 12th for all students and staff for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. No lessons on this day.
6-8 Open Houses on Thursday, October 15th
School will be closed for all students on Monday, October 19th as it is a Professional Development Day for staff. No lessons on this day.
New Hybrid Schedule starts for students in Grade 1-8 on Tuesday, October 20th
Wednesday ends at noon for students in K-8-Lunch not served.
Friday is extended from 1:40pm to 2:30pm for students in K-8
Hybrid in person return based on A and B cohorts starts on Tuesday, October 20th for students in grades 1 and 2.
Hybrid in person return based on A and B cohorts starts on Monday, October 26th for students in grades 3 and 8. Students remain at home until then.
Students must come to school with multiple masks in their backpacks as they are expected to wear a mask all day except during snack and lunch. We have additional masks for emergencies.
Once in person starts for grades 1 and 2 on Tuesday, October 20th, families will not be able to live park to drop off students on Francis Street per the Brookline Police Department. Also, families should not drive down Newell Road or Sterns Road to drop off students. This practice by some has created dangerous situations in the past, and we need to make sure all remain safe. Thank you for following these expectations.
Hybrid Model approved by the School Committee:
Students in each class have been divided into A and B groups. A great deal of time and effort has gone into making these groups with a focus on balancing groups and making sure we can service all students. Additionally, we have been asked to make sure that siblings are in the same letter cohort.
A group attends school in the building on Monday and Tuesdays, while group B learns from home.
B group attends school in the building on Thursday and Friday, while group A learns from home. Reminder, Friday will now end at 2:30pm.
Group A and B will alternate being in school/learning from home on Wednesdays which will end at noon and lunch will not be served on Wednesdays
Some parents have reached out to ask if we can move students into particular groups to accommodate outside pods/family support groups. Unfortunately, we are not able to do so as one move can have a domino effect on many lists. I am sorry that this is so hard, and I wish we were able to do so.
Excited to see more of the stduents in the buidling!
The Public Schools of Brookline School Committee voted on August 12, 2020 to endorse the following reopening plan for Brookline schools.
School will start on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.
-Kindergarten Classes will be in the building Monday-Friday
There will be specific arrival and dismissal procedures shared before the start of school.
K students will follow the traditional staggered start on September 16 and 17 to support a smooth transition, and then all K students will meet in class on Friday, September 18th. The schedule for the staggered start will be shared with K families.
Students in grades 1-8 will learn remotely at home starting on September 16th. Students will have a full day of learning with breaks built in to recharge.
Once classrooms meet healthy ventilation metrics, grades levels will transfer back into the building to follow a hybrid model.
Have a healthy and joyful summer break. May your days be filled with love, laughter and learning!
The message below is from Interim Superintendent, Ben Lummis, sent to all families and staff on June 26, 2020.
Dear PSB Families and Staff,
Yesterday, Governor Baker’s office and the Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley released the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Initial Fall School Reopening Guidelines for all school districts in Massachusetts. I applaud the level of thought and care that went into the development of this guidance, and share its goal of the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings in order to best meet students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.
As I let the school community know earlier this week, our planning teams will be reviewing this guidance in the coming weeks to understand how it impacts the PSB planning that is already underway. I also want to acknowledge that these initial guidelines do not address every topic and that additional guidance will be shared with us throughout the summer.
Based on this guidance, Brookline and all other Massachusetts school districts will develop three separate plans - one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements, one for full remote learning, and one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning. Based upon the current medical situation, the expectation today is that students will return to full in-person instruction in September with significant safety requirements in place; however, that is subject to change based upon how the medical situation develops. Here are some key components of DESE’s guidance:
Current medical research supports a safe in-person return to school - with preventive measures in place - as infection and transmission rates are lower for children than adults
Preventive measures include masks/face coverings, physical distancing, handwashing, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces
Masks/face coverings will be required for all students in Grade 2 and above and for all adults; they are recommended for students in Grade 1 and below
Based upon current medical research, and in conjunction with other preventive measures, DESE has established a minimum physical distance of three feet for safe social distancing
There are likely to be more questions than answers at this time. Incoming Interim Superintendent Jim Marini and his team will continue to communicate with families and staff in the coming weeks and months. I also encourage you to read the full Initial Fall School Reopening Guidelines from DESE.
I have teamed up with some parents and am excited to share the message and opportunity below! I would like to thank parents, Jin Suk, Vanessa Trien and Harold Price for spearheading the idea and making it a reality. I also want to thank our own Jon Weinberger, for keeping the tradition alive after Mr. Rogers retired. It is now going virtual!
"Ago! Ame! We’ll be keeping the Lawrence tradition of Community Meeting alive by "live streaming" a Virtual Community Meeting on June 13, 7 pm, featuring a Lawrence student and teacher talent show! Some of you may have dreamed of sharing your talents at a community meeting, such as playing your violin, piano or other instrument, or perhaps dancing, singing or telling jokes. Well, this is your chance! You are invited to video record yourself (or a group) at home on your phone and submit your act to the talent show. The event is open to all grades, K thru 8 and the deadline for submissions is June 8th. So get thinking and recording! Your friends and teachers would really love to see what you’re up to, we promise!
Spirit Week-May 11th/Questions to Answer with School Closed Through June 23, 2020
Posted by Monica Crowley on 4/27/2020 7:00:00 AM
All school buildings are closed for the remainder of the school year due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak per order of Governor Baker. Please check the Public Schools of Brookline website for information if needed.
Thursday-Wear Lawrence Clothing and/or Lawrence Colors (maroon and white) and/or Favorite Color Day!
With the news that school buildings will be closed the rest of this school year comes many questions. We are currently working behind the scenes so that we can find ways, practical and celebratory, to get true closure on the school year, like:
Getting into the building- to get stuff in lockers, musical instruments, student projects, winter boots and coats, and more. When it is safe, the district will establish protocols for retrieving such items. We’ll have to continue to be patient on this front.
8th Grade graduation- while this milestone event won’t happen in the same way it always has, we fully intend to mark the auspicious occasion. Details to follow.
Yearbook-Parents are still working hard on trying to identify ways to create the all school yearbook. Ms. Alper is also working on ways to hopefully publish the 8th grade specific yearbook.
5th to 6th grade transition- the transition from elementary to middle school is an important time at Lawrence School. We’ll reach out with details on how we hope to smooth this transition for incoming grade 6 students, so that come the fall they can feel safe and prepared to enter middle school.
It is so important that in each classroom we find ways to celebrate the end of the year while helping our students look forward to what is to come. The launch of the new school year will offer many, many new challenges, but for now we’ll focus on what is immediately ahead.