3/29 Closure Update

Posted by Jennifer Buller on 3/29/2020 5:00:00 PM

Hello Coolidge Corner School Families and Friends, 

It is hard to believe that just 17 days ago we closed our school building and were thrown into a vast space of uncertainty and challenged to drastically shift the way we interact, teach, and support students and families against the background of a global health crisis.  So much has happened in that window of time, and I am proud of the growth mindset and dedication each of our educators has shown through this difficult time. We have been constantly learning and growing as professionals as we adapt to interacting through digital platforms while maintaining our fierce commitment to educational equity.  We are trying new things, getting lots of feedback, and adjusting our approaches each day. The health and safety of all our students, families, and staff remains at the forefront of our work. We know the stress this closure and pandemic puts on families, we feel it too and want more than ever to help everyone in our community meet and overcome this challenging time.  

Below are a few updates including:

  • Commissioner Riley’s Recommendations and Next Steps for CCS and PSB
  • Family/Teacher Conferences and Progress Reports/Report Cards
  • New Bedtime Stories Time and Link
  • Family Virtual Open House
  • Food Pantry Resources and Meals at CCS  for Families 
  • Accessing Online Books 

Commissioner Riley’s Recommendations 

As you may be aware, Commissioner Riley shared with districts updated guidelines and suggestions for distance learning during school closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  In his message to districts he recommends the amount of time we should plan to provide learning for each day, tries to define remote learning, and addresses giving feedback on student work and grading. From here, the Office of Teaching and Learning and the Office of Student Services will work together to create more specific guidelines for our next phase of remote learning. There will be much needed input and guidance from educators, the School Committee, and the BEU as this is developed . 

At Coolidge Corner School, while we await further guidance, we are continuing to refine our approaches to engaging students in distance learning environments,  providing feedback to students in meaningful ways, and supporting students' social emotional needs. We are working on building up to the recommendation of providing 3 hours of activities and work for students.  Teams of educators have been spending countless hours collaborating virtually on making this transition. We stand ready for additional guidance on how, when, and what new content will be introduced and taught during the closure, and I am confident that our team of teachers will move swiftly once the information is shared with us. 

I am hopeful that after the School Committee subcommittee meets this week that I will have additional information to share with you about what to expect and our approach to distance learning during the closure.  You should also be hearing more information about the commissioner’s recommendations and what it means for the Public Schools of Brookline from Superintendent Lummis early this week. 

Many of you have shared concerns, feedback, and excellent questions regarding many aspects of this transition.  Please keep sharing these questions and feedback and I will keep searching for answers and bringing forward your concerns to our leadership team.  

 

Family/Teacher Conferences and Progress Reports/Report Cards

At this time we are suspending family/teacher conferences as well as progress reports and report cards.  Until further guidance and agreement from the School Committee and the Brookline Educators’ Union we will not be grading student work or using completed work to assess progress towards the standards set forth by the state and district.  Please remember, this situation is incredibly fluid and we are getting new guidance and recommendations frequently.  The approach we have to grading and conferences is what we are following currently and could shift.  

 

New Bedtime Stories Time and Link

We will continue our bedtime stories next week to help maintain connection and community through our closure.  To accomodate feedback and hopefully increase our participation we are shifting the time to 7:30pm each night. 

CCS Bedtime Stories Week 3 (7:30pm)

https://zoom.us/j/920038497?pwd=UlozbUFpUlhtVS9CSEl6ZmxQajUrUT09

Meeting ID: 920 038 497

Password: 640172

 

Family Virtual Open House 

I will be continuing our weekly “Open House” forum throughout the closure to share information and gather feedback and questions in an effort to keep all lines of communication open and clear.  I will be hosting two sessions to try and accommodate everyone’s schedules. The first session will be Monday nights at 8:00pm after Bedtime Stories (new time: 7:30p). The second session will be Tuesday mornings at 7:00am.   Both sessions will have the same information if I have new information to share so you should not feel like you need to attend both unless you want to connect with more people.  

Family Virtual Open House (Evening Edition)

https://zoom.us/j/994871101?pwd=NTMvSk84eFFUVGdELzhIYmxYSmJFdz09

Meeting ID: 994 871 101

Password: 355841

 

Family Virtual Open House (Morning Edition) 

https://zoom.us/j/819229655?pwd=TTlPUTlUSVp4ZzVzbXRNa3d0bXZRdz09

Meeting ID: 819 229 655

Password: 745698

 

 

Food Pantry Resources and Meals at CCS

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

Wednesday 3-6pm

Thursday 11-2pm

 

55A Egmont Street

Thursday 3-7pm

Saturday 10-1pm

 

226 High Street

Tuesday 3-7pm

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.  

 

Accessing Online Library Books

This letter shares some online resources , including e-books and audiobooks, that you can use at home with your child(ren). 

 

Remember we are stronger when we are able to work together, show and model kindness and empathy, and offer one another help when we can.  I hope to continue to see many of you at our nightly bedtime stories and our virtual open house sessions this week.  

Jen