August 23, 2020 Update

August 23, 2020 Update
Posted on 08/23/2020

Hello East Granby Community!

For those who don't know me, my name is Melissa (Missy) Bavaro-Grande and I am beginning my fifteenth year as an educator in this dynamic town. I was hired in 2006 as East Granby High School Principal and then transitioned in 2012 to assume the principalship of East Granby Middle School. I served in the capacity of Acting Superintendent from May 2019 through June, 2020, and began as Superintendent on July 1, 2020.

Even in challenging times, the East Granby Community is fortunate on many fronts. Our district has a passionate, cutting edge and caring teaching staff inclusive of paraprofessionals, teachers, student support services, and interventionists. We have dedicated nurses and knowledgeable secretaries. We are also supported by hard-working custodians who take pride in the way the building looks and operates. Additionally, the committed administrative team consists of Karen Gogel, Director of Student Support Services; Marjorie Light, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development; Tony DeMelo, EGHS Principal; Tim Phelan, EGMS Principal; Marsie Luckenbach, R. Dudley Seymour School Principal; and Bob McGrath, Carl Allgrove School Principal. We start this year without our friend and colleague, Maylah Uhlinger, who recently retired and will hopefully be able to travel soon to many beautiful and relaxing destinations. We are grateful for the years that Maylah served as the proud principal of Carl Allgrove School and especially for “staying on” through the summer to help us plan for a reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our classrooms and routines will look different, and staff will be wearing masks upon arrival, but your children will be rejoining a caring and kind environment. Many aspects of this pandemic are out of our control, but we will take control of what we can and continue to provide an excellent education and prepare students for a successful future and an appreciation for the world around them. The many successes of our school district have been made possible with the ongoing support of our community and collaborative working relationships with town officials. We have demonstrated time and time again that we are stronger together.

I continue to ask for your patience and understanding. I am well aware that any one decision made over the course of the past six months might have been very favorable for one family and disappointing for another. Our decisions have been and will continue to be made under the guidance of the Farmington Valley Health District. I truly wish I knew the “magic answer” that would please everyone. One change is very impactful to a school; we are opening with more changes and modifications than not. We can not have a practice session or a dry run. We don't expect it to run perfectly; we will adjust as needed. I also know that you are anxious for teacher assignments. Please know that our numbers, family decisions, and

cohorts are still evolving. We are doing our best to accommodate families for childcare purposes and it can cause a domino effect in regards to balancing cohorts at the elementary level; we do not want to have one cohort of four and another of fourteen.

I have attached/included a variety of resources that you should be aware of and familiarize yourself with:

Daily Self-Check Protocol: please follow this daily before sending your child(ren) to school

Self-Quarantine Protocol: Available on COVID-19 Info Page

Self-Isolation Protocol: Available on COVID-19 Info Page

Return to School Form: Many pediatricians in the area will have this form, but you might want to bring a copy just in case yours does not have this one available.

Cohort Calendar: Please print for your reference

Travel Advisory: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel

Mask Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/about-face-coverings.html#:~:text=Masks%20with%20one%2Dway%20valves,an%20exhalation%20valve%20or%20vent. (please note that masks with a vent or valve are NOT permitted) The Department of Public Health is expected to send out a detailed mask guidance document in the near future. Unfortunately, this has not been received yet. There is controversy over the “neck gaiters” a mask that is worn around the neck and pulled up over the mouth and nose. For the time being, until we receive the guidance from DPH, please send your child into school with a cloth or surgical mask. We will have masks available at school for any student who forgets one or requires a new one during the day. I have watched and participated in many webinars throughout the summer and if there has been one consistent point, it is the wearing of masks to stop the virus spread. All students will be required to wear a mask on the bus and in school. If you do have a medical note for a mask exemption, please be sure that your child's principal has that note as soon as possible. We will need to pass the names to the bus company and your child's teachers. We might require a follow up conversation with your child's doctor regarding any mask exemption note.

Water: Water fountains will be inaccessible. Please have your child bring a water bottle to school to drink from for the day. We will have extra bottles of water in each building.

Return to School Survey: If you have not filled out the survey, please email your child's principal. It is imperative we know who to expect in school and who is opting for distance learning.

Temporary positions: We are still looking to hire temporary positions for bus monitors, paraprofessionals, and custodial support. We will provide training, no experience needed. Please contact Lisa Kline at the Board of Education office with questions or apply on the EGPS website. [email protected]

Flexible staffing requirements for substitutes without a BA/BS degree: Minimum Requirements: • At least 18 years old • High school diploma or equivalent • Experience with school-age children Authorized to serve no more than 40 days in the same assignment.

Join our team and apply at: http://eastgranby.ss11.sharpschool.com/for_staff/employment

Enjoy the last week of summer vacation. Wishing you continued health.

Respectfully,

Missy Bavaro-Grande

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