Greetings Cohasset Families,
Here are a few updates for today, April 6, 2020:
- This Friday, April 10 (Good Friday) will be a day off as planned in the school calendar and will not be considered a school day.
- As we roll out our Remote Learning Plans, please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher / team / principal if you need any assistance. Please describe what you need, and we will work with you to overcome the challenge. There is no need to add additional stress to your family during this already difficult time.
- As was mentioned in a previous communication, the Community Updates will now be communicated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Have a wonderful evening.
Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.
Cohasset Public Schools
Dear Cohasset Families,
The Cohasset Public Schools will be providing remote learning opportunities during the school closure period. If you are concerned about your child being able to access or participate in any of these services, please contact Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Leslie Scollins, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your concerns and possible alternatives.
Currently, school administrators and educators are working together to finalize remote learning plans. These services may involve one or more of the following: emailing assignments to be completed; online, pre-recorded, or virtual lessons; and/or video conferencing and telephone calls. The precise tools to be used may depend on the student and teacher. In the upcoming days, you will receive additional information regarding the plans related to your child(ren).
Because we expect at least some of the remote learning to be conducted by virtual, telephonic, or other means, the Cohasset Public Schools reminds the school community about the importance of protecting the participants’ privacy and of maintaining a safe, respectful environment conducive to learning. Thus, the school district expects all participants (including but not limited to students, teachers, parents, guardians, and other staff) to adhere to the following expectations in virtual, telephonic, online or electronic sessions (collectively referred to as “remote sessions,” regardless of technology used):
- Participants will not share the links to the remote sessions with others or otherwise invite or allow others to participate in the remote services, without the school district’s express consent.
- Participants agree to participate in remote sessions in a quiet, private area free of distraction, to the extent practicable, to provide an environment conducive to learning and to protect the students’ and other participants’ privacy.
- To the extent virtual technologies are used, participants acknowledge other participants in the remote sessions will see whatever is visible by the participants’ webcam or other device, including but not limit to themselves, their children, and portions of their homes. Likewise, participants acknowledge that they will see whatever is broadcasted by other participants. Accordingly, participants are encouraged to participate in remote sessions in appropriate locations and to safeguard information they would not wish to be shared.
- Participants understand that certain information that may be protected under, among other laws, FERPA, the IDEA, HIPPA, and the Massachusetts Student Records regulations, might be disclosed in the course of remote sessions. Participants agree not to share any confidential student record information for any other students with third-parties or other not participating in the specific remote session.
- Participants agree to behave in a manner conducive to learning, to the extent possible. Pertinent district policies and rules, including but not limited to those prohibiting cyberbullying and any acceptable use policies, apply during remote sessions. Students and family members shall refrain from sharing inappropriate visuals or using inappropriate language during remote sessions. The school district reserves the right to remove from any remote session any participant who violates these rules or is not acting appropriately. The school district also reserves the right to suspend students from remote sessions and to impose additional consequences when school resumes, if a student commits disciplinary offenses during or in connection with the remote sessions.
In addition, recording the remote sessions, however provided (e.g., by video conference, pre-recorded lesson, phone call), without consent, may be prohibited by state and federal law, including the Massachusetts wiretapping law and FERPA. Participants agree not to record in any way (e.g., video or audio recording, screenshots, or photographs) the remote sessions unless otherwise agreed to in advance and in writing by all applicable parties. This prohibition applies to remote sessions provided individually and in a group setting.
Your participation, or that of your child in any remote sessions arranged by the Cohasset Public Schools means you agree to the terms set forth in this letter and will not hold the Cohasset Public schools liable for release of any student or personal information. In addition, the Cohasset Public Schools understands that you have consented to your child using the technology used to access remote sessions.
If your child is eligible for special education or English language learner services, you will receive additional information from your child’s service provider(s) regarding your child’s access to the remote learning opportunities and special education services during the school closures.
Dear Cohasset Families,
As a follow-up to my previous letter regarding our approach to Remote Learning, I have attached Commissioner Riley's letter to families. This information is available in multiple languages at http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/
Dear Cohasset Families,
Yesterday district leaders received further guidance from Commissioner Riley regarding remote learning during the now extended school cancellation period (the anticipated return to school or students is now Monday, May 4, 2020). This guidance was endorsed and signed by the American Federation of Teachers, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association and the Massachusetts Teacher Association. This advice can be accessed by clicking on the link below:
As a result of this guidance, we are moving from enrichment to a focus on providing academic assignments, deepening academic skills, and increasing student engagement especially for students in grades 6-12. Remote learning is not synonymous with or limited to online learning. As Commissioner Riley explains in his guidance:
Examples of remote leaning tools include large-group vido or audio conference calls, 1:1 phone of video calls, email, work packets, projects, reading lists, online learning platforms, and other resources to effectively engage with students. These tools could be used to deliver lessons, provide individual student support, provide resources (including instructional material and student assignments), connect student to each other and their teacher, and provide feedback on student work. (Riley, 3/26/2020)
Although we can never replace the connections and learning that goes on within our schools, our approach, when possible, will be authentic, project-based, innovative, creative, fun and engaging. This is a wonderful opportunity for schools to focus on inspiring creativity, engaging student voice, and providing non-traditional learning that will help all students. The following article highlights the opportunity that this time presents for us to envision learning in a different manner from what happens during a traditional school day.
Our theme all year as a school district has been “Through the Eyes of the Student,” and our remote learning approach will reflect this theme. We will be communicating to families of students who have special education programs and to families of English Language Learners in order to best meet their needs. We will also be differentiating our approach by grade-level and by content. Communication will be forthcoming over the next week from your child’s building principal regarding the structure of the Remote Learning Plan and timeline for implementation at your child’s school. Overarching district guidelines will also be communicated. Our expectation is that the new Remote Learning Plan will begin during the week of April 6, 2020.
Most importantly, we will strive to attend to the social-emotional needs of our students and families by providing transparent communication, personalized connection and unwavering support. Please know that our planning will be respectful that many parents / guardians are working from home, taking care of children and family members and potentially dealing with illness during this difficult time.
Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.
Dear Cohasset Families,
As this crisis becomes more of a constant than temporary discussion in households, I thought the attached advice from Maria Trozzi, M.Ed. would be helpful regarding how families can best cope during times of crisis. This advice supports the previous information sent to you regarding talking to your children during this crisis. Ms. Trozzi is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine; Director of the nationally renowned Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center, a consultant to the Child Development Unit at Children’s Hospital, and an author. Her credentials and expertise have established her as one of the foremost experts in the country on resilience as families, schools and communities face crises.
Also, as there is a shortage of N-95 type masks, Cohasset Public Schools is donating 500 masks to first responders and health care workers. We are also attempting to make masks using our 3D printers. We will all get through this crisis by working together.
Patrick Sullivan, Ed.D.
Cohasset Public Schools
Greetings Cohasset Families,
I want to clarify why we have taken the approach of remote learning and enrichment instead of facilitating direct on-line instruction during this crisis. Please understand that as is the case with any approach to learning in a public-school setting, that we are required by law to provide access to the learning being offered to all students. We are also required by law to support all special education needs. These practices are legal and moral obligations that all public schools share.
As it is not possible to guarantee access for all, nor is it possible to guarantee that we are supporting all special education needs through direct on-line instruction currently, we are instead providing optional enrichment in order to allow for the continuity of learning. We are following federal law and the guidelines from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) with respect to our approach. Please know that we will always be inclusive with our offerings, and that we will never require assignments nor offer instruction that cannot be accessed by all.
Greetings Cohasset Families,
This afternoon Governor Baker announced that schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will be closed for an extended period with an expected return of students on Monday, May 4, 2020. Although this news is disappointing, it is not completely unexpected considering the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.
We are currently awaiting information and guidance from Commissioner of Education Riley in order to determine our course for remote learning during this extended period of closure. The District Leadership Team has been meeting regularly, and we are working to plan to expand upon the learning opportunities we are offering currently. Leaders, teachers, and support staff will continue to prioritize our support of students and families.
This brief interview from 143 TV gave me the opportunity to express our core values as a district during this difficult time.
Please be on the lookout for further emails and additional information over the next few days and thank you for your patience and understanding.
Greetings Cohasset Families,
Due to school cancellation, the following events have been postponed or cancelled until the conclusion of the school cancellation period:
- Term 2 Report Cards for Cohasset Middle School (CMS)
- Term 2 Progress Reports for both Osgood and Deer Hill
- Parent Teacher Conferences scheduled for March 25 & March 26 for both Osgood and Deer Hill have been cancelled . We will inform you if these conferences will be rescheduled.
Decisions regarding revised or adjusted grading periods (terms) for all schools will be determined after the school cancellation period.
Greetings Cohasset Families,
Today we are launching the Cohasset Public Schools Enrichment / Remote Learning Resources. We are approaching enrichment in two ways...First, we have provided enrichment activities on our website. We will continue to add to these resources, which can be accessed on the Cohasset Public Schools website by clicking on the Image for Resources on the Cohasset website (prominent on District Home-page) https://www.cohassetk12.org/. These resources are learning opportunities, not mandatory or gradable assignments, and they represent the collaborative work of teachers and school leaders. There are also many resources included that have been generously made available by organizations such as WGBH, who have allowed free access to their learning materials. These resources are there for all to use, and completely optional for students and families.
Our second approach to enrichment is through individual educators working with their students. We are asking that staff consider their approach in three ways: Communication, Enrichment, and Support.
- Communication: We are asking that teachers check in with their students via email, google classroom or other method, frequently. This communication could be to explain the resources they are providing or are pointing students toward (beginning of week), to check in to see if there are any questions (middle of week), and to check in to see how they did and what they learned in working with the material (end of week). Special education staff and counselors will be checking in with their students in order to support them in a similar way.
- Enrichment: We are asking that teachers supply or point students towards enrichment activities (either on our website or other resources of the teachers' choosing). We do not want teachers to grade student products or to focus on instructional material. The material should be purely enrichment that ideally points students towards authentic / real world learning experiences...should be fun and engaging and not required...not stress inducing...and optional.
- Support: We are asking that general education, special education teachers and counselors be responsive to student and parent emails, and that they provide support through positive and reassuring messages in their communications.
Teachers will also be sending out a “Checking in” email by the end of the day Friday to show support for the students, as we collaborate to ensure the continuity of education to the best of our ability.
We are providing Chromebooks for loan to those families who do not have a computer to access the materials. Please email Dr. Leslie Scollins, Assistant Principal, at LScollins@cohassetk12.org if you need a Chromebook. We hope that you also take time for family and for wellness during the school cancellation period. Thank you for practicing social distancing and for taking care of yourself and others during this difficult time. We will get through this difficult time by working together.
Please see the link below for a video explanation of our enrichment approach:
Students, your teachers miss you and they will be there to support you.
As Governor Baker mentioned in his press conference today, "Although schools must suspend in-person educational operations, staff should be planning for how best to equitably provide alternative access to student learning opportunities during this period and beyond." Commissioner of Education Riley reasserted this in his recent press release. With this COVID-19 crisis intensifying, leadership has been discussing possible options for online learning, and we recognize that with the extension of school cancellation, families are looking for a learning plan. With this directive in mind we will be continuing to explore ways we can provid ethe most incliusive and equitable on-line learning plan possible. We will work together with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA) to create a plan that we will communicate over the coming days.
Minutes ago, Governor Baker, in an abundance of caution amidst the COVID 19 outbreak, provided the directive to cancel all schools in the Commonwealth for three weeks. As a result of this announcement we are extending our cancellation of schools beginning tomorrow Monday, March 16 through Monday, April 6 with a planned return on Tuesday, April 7. All restrictions, supports, and conditions that were sent to you today in my previous email, which can also be found on the Cohasset Public Schools webpage, are still in place. Governor Baker has asked that school districts make provisions for long-range learning plans and that we continue to provide essential services for families. In the coming days we will continue to communicate our daily updates, and I will be working to provide you additional information about resources that we will share with you to ensure the continuity of education and continued services to the best of our ability.
In addition, Governor Baker shared the emergency actions that he was operationalizing. Among these actions included a prohibition of gatherings of over 25 people and a prohibition of any restaurant or pub providing food on premises. Take out provisions are still allowed from restaurants and pubs. Governor Baker urged that families strictly practice social distancing, allowing for at least six feet between individuals, no play dates and more time at home with family for at least the next three weeks.
We will continue to support Cohasset families in every way possible during this difficult time. Please stay safe and take care of each other.
Important Information 3/15/2020
To keep all of you informed during this health crisis. I have included some important updates below and I have also attached a PDF of this information. In addition, I have included the Community Health Update for today, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Please continue to follow social distancing recommendations and take care of each other. I will continue to update you when information changes and through the daily community update. Please see the Cohasset Public Schools Website for a posting of all the previously shared updates and resources concerning this health crisis.
Pay of Hourly Employees
We will be paying all hourly employees their regular pay during this crisis. This includes food service, bus drivers, ESP activity aides, etc.…Everyone.
What are the obligations for staff during the closure?
Staff are expected to remain as vigilant with their duties and responsibilities to the extent possible with monitoring email communications and essential duties remotely while remaining safe. The closure period is not considered a vacation period. Teachers may grade papers, prepare for future lessons, etc.…
Staff are being asked to only enter the building if necessary, they are being asked to let their building principal know if they will be in the building and they are being asked to follow social distancing guidelines. They have been told not come into school buildings if they are feeling ill or if they have come into contact with anyone who has been determined to have or is under watch for exposure to COVID- 19.
All internal meetings are canceled, and if needed will be rescheduled virtually.
Special Education Meetings
All Special Education Team Meetings during this time of closure will be rescheduled upon returning to school. Special Education Staff are not in during this time so Team Meetings cannot be conducted virtually.
- My child is on an IEP or 504 Plan, and I am concerned about the implications of the closure on my child’s educational progress.
Upon the conclusion of the closure, and the re-opening of the district, IEP teams will be available to convene to determine what type of impact the closure had on your child’s educational progress and make individualized team-based decisions as needed. Please refer to the following guidance.
- My child is on an IEP and receives “services only” (i.e. speech/physical therapy/occupational therapy). Will my child receive these services during the closure?
Services will not be provided during the closure, consistent with how this is handled on snow days.
All town buildings are closed to the public until further notice.
School Buildings and Central Offices
The Office of the Superintendent, Office of the Director of Student Services, and Business Office, as well as all schools, are closed to the public until further notice. No students will be permitted to be in school buildings during the closing. 143tv studio, which is in the Cohasset Middle School & Cohasset High School Learning Commons, will be running programing throughout the break.
Essential staff such as custodians and food service will be working in the buildings. However, we are working with them to minimize the risk of contagion. As is the case for all employees, any essential worker who is not feeling well should not come into work.
Building Principals, Central Office Administrators and Central Office Personnel
When possible, central office administrators and employees and building principals will be working virtually.
Dr. Scollins, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment is collecting learning resources for families that will be posted on our webpage. Just to emphasize, these are not required instructional materials, and there is no expectation at this time for you to instruct remotely. We are simply organizing learning resources for families that will help them work with their children. Dr. Scollins will be leading this initiative. Here is a link to the site that is under construction. We hope to have resources go live early next week.
The below link will bring you to the Cohasset Public Schools Homepage. Please then click on the Cohasset Public Schools COVID 19 Updates Image:
Are there expectations around Distance and Online Learning Expectations for Students or Teachers?
These are non-school days and so there is only an expectation of continuation of learning. District and Building Leadership will work with the Cohasset Teachers Association (CTA) to discuss ways to maintain continuity of learning throughout the time away from school.
Students should not be completing assignments that are due to be graded and teachers should not be assigning new work or expecting students to submit work to be graded.
Any learning experiences that we suggest are not mandatory and are not considered instruction. For all students K-12, there will be no assignments or additional learning provided by the district or teachers. This is being done in the interest of ensuring equity of access to remain in line with our district core values. Additionally, at this time we are not allowed to provide any digital or remote learning opportunities to replace in-person teaching during this closure, based on guidance from the MA Commissioner of Education.
Given a two-week closure, what happens with the MCAS ELA test for sophomore students?
At this time, we will not be in school during the previously scheduled MCAS window. We expect to hear more from DESE in the near future on this topic as a great many schools are in the same position.
Are there any athletic, club, or activity events happening during this period of closure?
No. All school-related events are canceled during this period.
Are Spring Sports delayed?
Yes. After much discussion, the MIAA BOD decided to delay the start of the 2020 spring season to March 30, 2020. Respecting the fluidity of this situation, this decision will be revisited prior to March 30.
Music and Arts
Are All Town Chorus, All Town Band, and the all Art Shows cancelled?
Until further notice, all activities are cancelled.
Trips and Field Trips
Until further notice, all trips (international and domestic) and field trips have been cancelled.
Use of Facilities:
Until further notice, all contracts to use the Cohasset Public School Facilities have been cancelled.
Outside Presenters and Parent Volunteers:
Until further notice, no parent or community volunteers or outside presenters will be working in Cohasset schools.
We have worked with food services to continue our food service program during this crisis. We will be providing “Grab and Go” breakfast and brown bag lunches, which can be picked up at the back of Cohasset High School from 8-11 (CHS loading dock), starting Monday, March 16 for all Cohasset students. Students will be able to charge their accounts and Free and Reduced breakfast and lunch will be provided as usual. To get to the loading dock, please pass the middle school entrance and go around to the back of the building. There will be signs up showing the location. This service is available for all Cohasset students PK-12.
180 Day of School Rule:
How will the days of a two-week closure count against school days?
Cohasset Public Schools will be in school through June 24, 2020 which is our regularly scheduled 185th day.
Currently the schools are closed through March 27, 2020. Will this be extended? How will we be notified?
The Cohasset Public Schools will continue to monitor this fluid situation and will make the best determinations in the best interest of the students and staff. Information will continue to be provided via Blackboard Connect, on our website, via Aspen from the individual principals on Twitter, and on all major news outlets.
What will happen to April vacation (April 20-24)?
At this time, April vacation will continue as planned. However, this situation is fluid, so we will update you as information comes our way.
The Importance of Social Distancing
Please continue to practice social distancing. The article below provides useful information.
Important Information 3 15 2020.pdf
All Cohasset international and domestic trips have been cancelled until further notice. All Cohasset Public School Field Trips have also been cancelled until further notice.
We are cancelling the All Town Concerts that are scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18. We will inform the community if we are able to set make-up dates for these concerts.
Hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed at each entrance of every school and on all Cohasset buses
Classrooms will be provided with hand sanitizer
Buses and classrooms will be sanitized more regularly
Lunch tables will be wiped before and after lunches
As there is now a national shortage of hand sanitizer because of precautions being taken, we are respectfully taking donations to the schools of hand sanitizer. If you would like to donate, please bring hand sanitizer to the front office of your child’s school. Thank you for your help and support.