I just learned, with many of you who were watching the Governor’s address, that the closure of our schools has been extended until May 4th.
As we receive guidance from the state, that was referenced during the Commissioner’s address, we will provide updates and information to all of you.
I truly understand what a challenging time this is for you, your children, and your extended family. Please take care of yourselves and stay safe. As we have all said, we are in this together! Please email your child/ren’s teacher, guidance counselor, support person, administrator, or me if you need any support.
Karen Crebase, Superintendent
I wanted to ensure that all families received the information that the Governor just shared during his address to the State. All schools are being closed until April 7th. The Governor encouraged families to focus on social distancing and remain home as much as possible.
Tomorrow, our administrative team will be meeting all day to find solutions to all of the issues that we anticipate in the upcoming weeks. On Tuesday, staff will work remotely to develop learning opportunities for our students. Each teacher will be communicating with students and/or families by Wednesday.
I encourage all of us to work together. This is uncharted territory for children, for families, and for educators. We will work hard to meet the needs of our children over the next few weeks. The Governor’s announcement has raised many questions and we will work hard to address all of them. Please be patient during this challenging time and do not hesitate to reach out to any one of us in the schools for support.
Karen Crebase, Superintendent of Schools
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we navigate through the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) problem. As always, supporting our students and families is our primary concern. I am writing to share important information with our families. The national response to this pandemic has been very rapid and ever-changing. As many of you know, I have been working throughout the day to conference with many departments and Superintendents throughout the state.
In collaboration with the Blackstone Valley Superintendents, I have made the decision that effective Monday, March 16, the Hopedale School District will be closed for a period of two weeks (through Friday, March 27). All classes as well as extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports, are suspended until that date. At this time, we anticipate the last day of school to be June 19, 2020, even with our need to close the school buildings
Before March 27th, we will work with local and state officials to assess the status of this closing. This decision has been a collaborative one, and it is intended to be proactive and not reactive. Many public health experts have stated that we are in a period where there should be “proportional mitigation,” i.e., a response to avoid a sustainable community spread. There is a growing body of research that supports proactive measures to stop any potential spreading. Our decision was based upon ensuring the safety of our staff and students.
Please realize that this two-week closure is being done on a regional basis, as all of the superintendents in the Blackstone Valley have been in close consultation. Potential infection does not discriminate among borders and we are all in agreement that a regional response is the most effective one. We agree that the two-week window will enable us to reassess the depth and breadth of the current COVID-19 threat. We continue to have confidence in the knowledge and leadership of our local and state health officials whose guidance and support we have relied on throughout this ever-changing situation. Although they have not directed us to close at this point, we – along with all public school districts across the Blackstone Valley – have decided to close school to ensure that we are acting proactively and in a way that supports the health and safety of our community.
On Monday, Administrators will meet to develop a specific plan about opportunities for learning while our schools are closed. On Tuesday, our staff will have time to develop these plans and will be in communication with you. These plans will include links to on-line learning and/or sending PDF documents to families. Teachers will provide the information and documents necessary. Staff will work with families who do not have access to a computer and/or the internet and will have learning opportunities that meet the needs of all of our students. In addition, on Monday the building will be empty of staff other than administration. Please email your administrator directly if your child has items in his/her locker that he/she needs and we will be happy to work with you to ensure access to pick up items.
I am sorry for the disruptions to your usual routine and the inconvenience that this has or may cause. I also regret the heightened anxiety that this nationwide health issue is causing for many. However, these are extraordinary times and they call for proactive measures. Please be patient as we work through this situation.
Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions.
Karen M. Crebase