March 31, 2020
I hope this communication finds you well and adjusting to new routines. For most of us, that means balancing the demands of work and family. This is not an easy task in the best of circumstances and made more difficult amid the general culture of anxiety and uncertainty.
Our partnership with you is now more important than ever! During this period of time we remain dedicated to providing educational supports, to the greatest extent possible, for your child. Over this past week, I hope you have had the opportunity to communicate directly with your child’s teachers and service providers. Their strong work ethic and commitment to our students is unwavering. We are sensitive to the extraordinary stress families are experiencing and will do our very best to accommodate your needs. While every family’s situation is different, we are committed to providing the IEP services and 504 accommodations for every student to the best of our ability. To be successful, ongoing communication between parents with general and special education personnel is critical.
Your child’s team has been thoughtful about how content will be be introduced and reinforced. Our paraprofessionals have participated in Google Classroom training and may also be utilized to support your child’s learning. Finally, similar to our typical service delivery, there may be circumstances where your child is grouped with general education and special education students or just with students on IEPs. If this is to occur, you may be hearing from your child’s case manager about this topic in the days ahead. As always, if your child is having difficulty with classroom content, please reach out to their general education and special education teachers for clarification of assignments and accommodations. They are collaborating with each other to determine the most effective ways to provide your child access to distance learning.
Normally, at this time we would be convening an Annual Review PPT or 504 meeting for your child. However, under guidance from Federal and State Departments of Education, we have shifted our energy and focus to setting up services and reaching out to our families. As our current situation continues to evolve, this may change, but for now we will continue to focus on the wellbeing and safety of our community and the engagement of students in educational opportunities. Please be assured that any plans for your child’s instruction will not be limited by the absence of a PPT. Should your child meet an objective on their current IEP, their learning targets will progress as determined by their team, for which you are an important member. If an IEP “lapses” during school closure, your child will continue to receive the services that were outlined in the most recent IEP. Annual reviews and new IEPs will be created when PPTs are resumed.
As school closure is prolonged, our physical and mental reserves may be taxed. Our support staff have been thoughtful about resources made available to East Granby families. Please check our district website for supports or reach out to our school psychologist, social worker, school counselors and BCBAs. They are ready and willing to help.
Please continue to reach out to me if you have additional questions or concerns. We are here to work with you and for your child.
Wishing you all good health,
Director of Student Support Services
March 27, 2020
Hello East Granby Families,
I hope this message finds you well. It has been a very busy week and I know you are tired.
Let me start by saying thank you for your efforts on the home front. We recognize that there is a LOT going on and families are constantly juggling responsibilities. As a school district, we have realized that implementing a distance learning plan for a week or two is much different than one expected to carry through long term. Please know that we are listening to your feedback and adjusting accordingly. What is just right for schoolwork in one household may be too much in another and too little for still others. We also recognize that this can change from day to day even within one household. Please keep talking with your child’s teacher and administration; we will work with you to match your needs and help find a balance. We also understand that your children are missing their teachers; the feeling is mutual! We will strive to find ways to keep students connected as a school community.
There is a link on the EGPS website, COVID-19 Information & Resources, that we continually populate: https://www.eastgranby.k12.ct.us/parents/covid-19/. Whenever appropriate, I will post quick updates on the district Twitter feed. This is located on the district home page and is public so you do not need a Twitter account to read the “tweets”.
April Vacation (4/10 - 4/17): Spring break will remain April 13th -17th; Good Friday will be observed on Friday, April 10th.
Additional Google Classroom support: East Granby parent, Len Beman, is a Google certified Super Administrator with over 12 years of experience with Google Classroom. He has volunteered to be an additional support for parents. Email is the best way to contact Len. Email address ~ firstname.lastname@example.org Subject line ~ Google Classroom Message ~ It would be helpful to be as specific as possible with your question or concern. Please also include a phone number and best time to be reached. Len will walk you through a solution over the phone or set up a virtual meeting. Thank you, Len!
Updates from the Governor and from the Connecticut State Department of Education: Governor Lamont has cancelled classes through April 20, 2020 (which is actually a Monday). On March 20, 2020, the Connecticut State Department of Education was granted a federal waiver to suspend assessments for the current school year. This includes The Smarter Balanced Assessment and Next Generation Science Standards Assessment. Communication regarding SAT and AP testing will be communicated through the high school administration and school counselors.
Enjoy some screen downtime over the weekend. Stay well and stay home!
Missy Bavaro-Grande and the East Granby Administrative Team
March 22, 2020
Greetings East Granby families, faculty, staff, and community members:
Tomorrow, Monday March 23rd, our school district has prepared - in a matter of days - to embark on a new and challenging venture: to educate all of our students remotely, regardless of their age, ability, or family situation. Teachers will do this without the ability to speak face to face with students, something we thrive on.
This was not a choice; and the only alternative is no continuance of education, something other areas across our country have been forced to accept. Our country is in a crisis like we have never experienced, and we are staying home for the protection of the greater good. The education world is adapting to this situation to the best extent possible, and East Granby Public School faculty and staff will carry out this charge with the utmost professionalism, care, compassion, and love for our students ~ your children. We recognize some of you will be juggling a multitude of responsibilities while at home, while still others will be working outside of the house and finding a way to support the learning at home. We understand these realities.
East Granby’s distance learning plan is very good, and will continue to improve as we go through implementation. I ask for patience and flexibility. We are waiting for guidance from the State Department of Education for further attendance guidelines. For the present time, attendance will be tracked through a daily contact or assignment completion, depending on the student’s age and circumstance.
For our younger students, who will need the greatest support from someone in the household, a combination of technology and non-technology based activities will be provided. The administrative team is extremely proud of the dedication and commitment of the entire East Granby Public School staff. Over the past week, teachers have been working diligently on creating lessons, activities, and assignments, which will continue going forward. Paraprofessionals will collaborate on lessons, support specialists will consult with families, counselors will provide resources and social and emotional guidance, secretaries and business staff will keep our operations running, and our amazing custodial staff will continue to clean every area of each building. Additionally, our Information Technology team has been a vital component in preparing our school devices for home use, providing professional development for online platform use, troubleshooting challenges, and researching anything we have asked of them.
As a district, our goal was to communicate important information as the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolved. We also did not want to overwhelm you. There is a link on our East Granby Public School webpage, COVID-19 Information and Resources https://www.eastgranby.k12.ct.us/parents/covid-19/. It is our hope that this will make finding communication and information easier by having it located in one place. We will continue to communicate with you, seek feedback, and strive for improvements.
While right now we may be seeing light-hearted videos, memes, and jokes about homeschooling and social-distancing, the frightening reality is that next week, or the week after that, any of our families could be experiencing the impact of COVID-19 first hand. These are not going to be typical or average days. Our staff members are also home caring for children and family members, while executing educational plans. Again, I ask for patience and flexibility for our teachers. Please let the administration know if your family is experiencing circumstances impacting your child's attention to the educational tasks.
Administrators and teachers are here to support you. Keep the communication open and understand we are truly in this together. There are no two days that will look alike, and the African proverb, “It takes a village” has never been more real. The school district is greatly appreciative of the support from the Board of Education, First Selectman’s Office, and Department of Public Works, who will assist with resources and personnel in any way needed. We are also grateful for the work of the Friend to Friend Food Pantry and the guidance of the Farmington Valley Health District. The many calls and emails of support from parents and guardians is a lift to our spirits. As a district, we will be confronted with many challenges; we will shift and prioritize as needed. The best outcome will be a healthy and cohesive community on the flip side of this pandemic.
Have patience with yourself and with your child’s/children’s teachers. Keep watch over your family and neighbors. Support our friends and community members who will be on the front line as we stay home. We are stronger together. I know I speak on behalf of the entire faculty and staff in saying we look forward to the day to be back in school, greeting your children at the door.
My best to you. Stay Well!
March 21, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We hope this letter finds you and your family well. The uncertainty of the changing world and the disruption of our daily lives is stressful, and we understand our friends and neighbors in East Granby and Hartford are worried. Our neighbors will work to support one another, as in the past. While we move toward implementing an online distance learning plan, please know the teachers, staff, and administration have been working diligently on incorporating a variety of experiences for your child's education. We will go live with the plan this coming Monday, March, 23, 2020.
For parents and guardians of K - 5 students, classroom assignments are posted in the Google Classroom platform designed for parents. In order to access these new grade-level sites, you need to create a free Gmail address (directions located on the COVID-19 Information page at eastgranby.k12.ct.us). You will be able to communicate with teachers and the principals at both Carl Allgrove Elementary and R.D. Seymour Elementary within the platform, through email, and using Google Meet, a video communication tool. Teachers will be online during the school day to assist. You will find their classroom hours in the first post on the classroom page. You will receive an email with the specific code to join the grade-level class prior to Monday.
For parents and guardians of 6 - 12 students, your students will continue moving forward in their regular Google Classroom as they have been doing in the past. These classrooms are for the students only, adults should not join with a student code. Teachers and principals will communicate with you regarding school work if a student fails to turn in assignments. Grades will be posted in PlusPortals.
All students across the district will have assignments and activities daily, which are graded. For further information, please see our Parent Overview, also located at the COVID-19 Information page. Help for Google Classroom K-5 is at the bottom of the document. Attendance, as explained in the linked document, is recorded via completed assignments. For more detailed information, the twelve-page plan is also available on the COVID-19 Information page. These documents will help answer many questions you may have about implementation.
In the beginning stages of online learning next week, there will surely be technical difficulties and frustrations. We know it may take a little while to work through this new, and perhaps unfamiliar, territory. The faculty and staff, along with school administrators, want to support our students and their families as we work together. Patience is key in the coming weeks.
An email with help on using Google Meet will be sent later next week, so as not to overload you. Also, please remind our East Granby students that our internet agreement is applicable when using the school's WiFi and Chromebooks. We will send further communication on the safety embedded into our systems in the future. We will be in touch frequently and set up opportunities for virtual discussions.
As we work together to support one another, let's become learners together while lifting one another up during this crisis. Stay safe, EGPS family.
Marjorie G. Light
Director of Curriculum and Professional Development
March 18, 2020
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers,
We hope this message finds you well despite the disrupted schedules we all are experiencing. We understand that there may be unique challenges for students with disabilities and this may be an especially unsettling time. During these unprecedented times, the East Granby Public Schools Student Support Services Department leans on our collaborative partnership more than ever. In following consultation and guidance from both state and federal agencies, we will be working to provide opportunities for continuity of education. Our department has been working closely to ensure that all our students are provided to the greatest extent possible high quality opportunities for engagement. Our goal is to work with students and families in the learning process, while providing some consistency and personalized connections.
Our special education and related service personnel will be supporting distance learning for students on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans as feasible within a distance learning model. In the coming days, special education teachers will be reaching out to you with greater specificity about what the continued educational opportunities will look like for your child. The plan will provide individualized activities to address IEP goals and objectives along with individualized strategies for implementing those plans. Your child’s special education team will be working with general education colleagues to help promote your child’s access to remote learning. Grade level and course activities/assignments will be modified and/or accommodated. Special education and related service areas will be addressed through planned activities, consultations and digital support as feasible. This will look different for each grade level and for each student.
Thank you for your continued communication, patience, support and understanding during this unprecedented time. Together, our collective efforts will support your child’s educational needs to the greatest extent possible.
Best regards and stay well,
March 17, 2020
Good Afternoon Families!
The only thing consistent during these last few weeks has been change, rapid change, at that! Last night, Superintendents received guidance from Commissioner Cardona, State Department of Education, shifting the focus from supplemental learning to continuity of educational opportunities. This is based on most recent CDC guidance, which suggests there may be long-term school closures.
You will receive additional information later this week regarding our interim (distant) learning plan. This plan is targeted to begin the week of Monday, March 23, 2020. Barring any circumstance that would require a different decision, the graduation date will remain June 17th; April 13th-17th will remain non-school days.
Teachers have spent a large amount of time growing their knowledge of Google Classroom so they can support and educate your children to the best of their ability, given the current situation. The plan is not perfect. We are a profession that thrives and excels with face to face contact, so this is a new experience for many and will improve through use and practice. Please be patient as we navigate this together.
Polls were sent to all students last week requesting information about home devices and internet accessibility. Please contact your child's principal if there is a concern over an available device or internet availability in your home.
Parent conferences during the first week in April have been postponed. Administrators will be working remotely, as much as possible, but checking email and voicemail on a regular basis.
Observe the social distancing and remain positive! I am thinking of you all.
Acting Superintendent of Schools
“America was not built on fear.
America was built on courage,
on imagination and an unbeatable
determination to do the job at hand.”
President Harry S. Truman