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Reopening Announcement

SUBJECT: Schools to Reopen with Hybrid Model July 22, 2020

Dear MVSD Families,

I am writing to provide you with an update on our plans to reopen our school buildings in Franklin, Highgate, Swanton and at MVU. To start the school year, the Missisquoi Valley School District, along with all 16 school districts covering Addison, Chittenden Franklin and Grand Isle Counties who are members of the Champlain Valley Superintendents Association (CVSA), will implement a hybrid instruction model that will include both in-person and remote learning. This plan to return to school is student-centered, focused on the social-emotional and physical health and safety of our students and staff, and designed to keep our students learning at a high level. Here’s how the hybrid model will work.

  • Students will be divided into two groups.
  • Groups will attend school in-person two days a week and learn remotely three days a week. 
    • Students and staff attending in person will wear masks and practice physical distancing.  
    • Groups will be thoughtfully created so they best support families, including grouping family members together whenever possible. 
    • We are working on scheduling and will have that information to families as soon as possible. 
  • All students will be learning remotely on Wednesdays. We will use this day to provide individualized support to students, engage in professional learning and planning for our staff, and deep clean our buildings.

While we all agree that nothing compares to the benefits that students receive from in-person instruction, after extensively reviewing the guidance put forth by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), evaluating how to operationally implement those recommendations in our schools, reviewing survey submissions from our families and staff, and consulting with our reopening committee, we feel the hybrid model will best address the health and safety of our students and staff given the current health data available. 

Having fewer students in the building at a time will help reduce contact with others and allow for better distancing. The smaller groups will also allow teachers and staff more time to assess the academic progress and needs of our students. With fewer students in the building, we can better help them adjust to new expectations while fostering healthy routines throughout the day, such as regular hand washing. In these pandemic conditions, it is also imperative that we continue to improve our remote systems so that we can be ready to adapt if health data requires a shift to full remote learning again.

We are also preparing to offer a remote-only/virtual learning option for families. More information regarding this option will be available soon.

We acknowledge the hardships that hybrid and full remote models may place on families, including our own faculty and staff. Although a clear majority of staff and families preferred a remote or hybrid model for the reopening of school, we know that many families were hoping for a full time option for their children.  As difficult as this fall will be for everyone, it is important that you know that throughout this decision making process, the health and safety of our students and staff have been our priority.  By working together, openly communicating, and being creative and flexible, we can overcome these challenges together. That said, please understand there are many moving pieces to these plans, and we will need to adapt as the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves and we receive further guidance from the AOE and the Department of Health. 

Finally, in addition to academic work, I want to assure you that our teams will work tirelessly to support your child’s social and emotional needs through this transition. School is going to look and feel different this year, and we know all of our students will need support. We are here for your children and for your family.  

Sincerely,

Julie Regimbal, Superintendent

Missisquoi Valley School District

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At-Home Learning: Week of April 20-April 24, 2020

Vermont Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and the Agency of Education (AOE) are partnering to
support continuity of learning for our students and school communities. This partnership provides
access to free educational programming and distance learning tutorials through Vermont PBS At-Home Learning. Teachers can create unique accounts with their school email or Google account through PBS LearningMedia. Accounts are free and provide access to a range of additional features.

Contacts:
Pat Fitzsimmons (AOE) at pat.fitzsimmons@vermont.gov
Heather Duhamel (PBS) at hduhamel@vermontpbs.org

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MVSD Payroll During Emergency School Dismissal

MISSISQUOI VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Payroll During Emergency School Dismissal

Statement

This procedure establishes how employees will be paid during school dismissal as mandated by the Governor’s Executive Order declaring a state of emergency for the State of Vermont in response to COVID-19.

Procedure

  1.  All employees will continue to be paid based on their current contract.
  2.  Funding of Employees:
    1. During school dismissal all employees will continue to be funded in the same manner as they are funded when there is not a school closure.
    1. Employees paid with federal funds and multiple funding sources will continue to be paid from the same sources they are paid from when there is not a school closure.

The above procedures shall be in place while the school district is closed as mandated by the Governor of Vermont.  

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Letter to MVSD Community – March 27, 2020

3/27/2020

Dear MVSD families, Faculty and Staff;

Last night we were all stunned to see that Governor Scott closed schools for the rest of the school year.  Although school leaders expected that some kind of extension of remote learning would be forthcoming, this was not the news any of us hoped to hear.

 I know that this directive will be a serious hardship on families, teachers and students.  It will also be a period of loss for us all. We will lose the joy of seeing our students and families every day.  We lose the camaraderie of teachers and leaders working together in our schools. We lose our usual connection with one another.  We will need to ensure that we work hard to minimize that hardship and loss as we plan for the next few months.

We are committed to continuing our delivery of meals to children in our communities.  Our teachers and staff have shown true dedication to our students by making sure we are able to bring food into the community.  If there are any changes to routes or drop off locations due to the spread of this virus, we will communicate those changes as publicly as possible.  

We are also committed to continuing to maintain student learning for the next few weeks.  Teachers will be working with administrators, instructional coaches, and our tech department to plan and implement the provision of remote new learning experiences.  We will be receiving guidance from the Agency of Education shortly on their expectations for continued instruction in a remote environment. More information will be coming from your school about the specific plan for your child’s classroom, grade level and schedule.  This way of delivering education is going to be a challenge for everyone, so it is important that families and teachers keep in close communication during this transition.

For those of you with High School Seniors, I know this is not the Senior Year anyone expected.  I am keenly aware of the disappointment you and your students must have at the loss of so many celebrations and activities.  We will be getting guidance about graduation requirements, graduation ceremonies and end of year activities soon. As soon as we know anything, we will share what we know.

 We will continue to put information and resources on our mvsdschools.org website, our school district Facebook page and @MissisquoiSD.  We will also use School Messenger for important updates. If you are in need of resources for your family during this time you should dial 211 to get connected to the right agencies and supports.

As difficult as this school closure is, we must remember how important it is for the wellbeing of our community members.  “We are all in this together” seems to be the phrase most used right now, but it could not be more true. We have a responsibility to care for each other during this crisis even though that involves staying apart as much as possible. Please be well and take care.

Regards,

Julie Regimbal, Superintendent