Dear MES Families,
Below you will find a brief narrated powerpoint providing you with more information about the Educational Choice Model that we will be starting the year in. You will also find a commitment letter that you need to fill out for each child that will be attending MES in the fall. The letter is a fillable form that you can email back to me at email@example.com or mail to the school 13 Darling Hill Road. Please return your commitment letter by next Wednesday, August 5th at the latest.
At Monday, July 20th School Board Meeting, they were presented with a plan for a traditional model as well as a hybrid model that we are calling the Educational Choice Model (ECM). After much discussion and reflection they unanimously agreed that the ECM plan was the best decision for our district at this time.
With the Educational Choice Model the students will be broken into two cohorts (based on last name). One cohort will attend school on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other will come into school Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be remote learning for all students so that we can deep clean the building in between cohorts. We will be combining grades so that we can make teams of teachers. While one teacher is teaching the in person students, the other teacher will be providing direct, virtual instruction to the students that are at home. This will allow for all students to receive the same instruction from a Mason Elementary teacher no matter if they are at home or in school. Those families that want full remote instruction will also be able to access their education from Mason Elementary and the children will still be able to engage remotely with their peers.
The feedback we received during the “crisis teaching” in the spring was that students need more direct instruction so they could be taught new concepts as well as be engaged in their learning. We feel as though this model will meet this need as well as offer a seamless transition if we are able to fully come back to school or if we have to go full remote.
As I mentioned above we will be having combined grade levels K/1, 2/3, 4/5. The combining of grade levels was necessary with either the traditional school or the ECM plan in order to reduce class sizes particularly in the younger grades. The ECM plan allows us to have half of the student population in the school at one time allowing us to reduce the crossover contamination between groups.
We also changed the school calendar at last night’s meeting. School will now be starting on August 31st for all students K-5. We are still working on the plan for preschool students and will be reaching out to our preschool families to gather more information from them, so stay tuned. We were supposed to have Friday, September 4th and Tuesday, September 8th off but we will now be having school those days.
We are asking that everyone commit to a plan for the first trimester (Aug-Oct) and then at that point we may change the model or individual families may need to make a change for personal reasons. I really wish I wasn’t having to write this letter and that we were all coming back to school like “normal” but unfortunately that isn’t an option at this time. Our hope is to make the time students spend in the building as safe as possible but also as “normal” as possible. By using this cohort model we will be able to socially distance students so that masks won’t need to be worn at all times and that classrooms will not just be individual student desks in rows. Students will be able to go to their specials and access the cafeteria and playground safely. We hope that at some point this year we will all be together again but until then we will do the best we can with what we have.
If you haven’t already please subscribe to the SAU 89 email list on the homepage of the school’s website (www.mason.sau89.org) so you are sure to get up- to -date information.