Dear Parents/ Guardians,
I hope you are well and adjusting to our new “normal”. I want to thank you for connecting with our educators, counselors and principals. I admire the work you have done in your job as a teacher in working with our staff to teach the curriculum. Thank you for letting us into your homes in google chat, google classroom, google voice and zoom calls. Over the last nine weeks, the WPS teaching and learning work has moved from “Extended Learning” to “Remote Learning” and now to “Remote Learning Plus”. The main focus of the current “Remote Learning Plus” is to provide students with new instruction that will bridge their learning to meet 2020-21 standards. Teachers are providing schedules for Google meets, Google classroom, and recorded lessons. Teachers, counselors, and support staff are contacting students to check on student and family wellness and providing academic support. The WPS also sent home packets to students who do not have access to the internet. Teachers are providing consistent feedback on student work. I am very appreciative of the personal conversations and the work you have been doing with our teachers regarding your child’s continuing education. I have attached the Commissioner of Education’s latest educational update for your reference.
I am writing to share with you additional updates for WPS students:
The last day of school for seniors is May 27, 2020. The Worcester Public Schools has paid for all seniors’ caps and gowns this year. Students caps and gowns have been mailed to each seniors address with the exception of Worcester Tech, Gerald Creamer Center and St. Casmir's. Seniors will also be receiving information from their principals on returning AP Chromebook, hot spots, and textbooks. Principals have been contacting seniors and their families with information regarding their virtual graduation and the plans to distribute the diplomas to students.
The first wave of Chromebooks were distributed to students who did not have a device in their home on Friday, May 15. The second round of chrome books distribution will begin the week of May 26th. Families will be receiving a phone call from school staff indicating which school they will be picking up their Chromebooks from, the date, and time. This will allow for social distancing and a quick pick up. The WPS Extended Learning Site has learning activities that students of all ages can access now and during the summer. The Worcester Public Schools has also paid for many educational APPS for students to use now and this summer to further develop their skills. .
There will be no 4th quarter grades issued. The exceptions are high school Physical Education, Reach Academy, Early College High School, and Gerald Creamer Center Day and Evening Programs. The final grade is determined by the average of the first three terms. Students can earn one to four points on their final grade by completing work submitted to teachers beginning May 10. Teachers will provide one to four points on the feedback rubric. This applies to both non-tech and digital work.
Students will be able to collect their personal belongings and return their textbooks to their schools from June 8-June 12. Principals will be contacting you with the process and times for each school. We will be following state and city safety guidelines.
The last day of school for the Worcester Public Schools is Friday, June 12. Report cards will be mailed. Grade level summer reading lists and suggested math activities will be enclosed.
Summer school programs are virtual this year. Most summer school programs will be held from June 17 to July 8 for students in grades 2 through 12. Special education summer school will be held from July 6-August 6. Families will be contacted by their schools with more information and about additional opportunities for students who qualify for summer programs.
If you have any questions, please check the WPS website, Worcesterschools.org under “Frequently Asked Questions” to see if the questions have been answered. You can also email (https://worcesterschools.org/contact/) or call my office at 508-799-3115.
With all of the sad effects of Covid 19, we have learned some valuable lessons. WPS staff have commented that true family engagement is essential. They have experienced a deeper connection with students and families during these past months and are committed to continuing this. We feel clearly the importance of working together in the best interest of each student. Our technology skills have needed to improve quickly as we moved from one platform of teaching to the present remote learning. The technology skills of both students and families have also been expanded. The WPS will be offering online training for students, families and community partners. Once school resumes, the use of technology to engage students in their learning will be a part of daily instruction. Finally, we learned that the only way to move forward is to join together with our colleagues, students, families, community leaders and agencies. I look forward to improving our work together.
Maureen F. Binienda
Maureen F. Binienda