School Closing in Fall Mountain

This letter was sent to the families of students in our school district.  Becky Sethi asked that I share it here as well since many of us would not receive the letter.  Thanks, Becky and thanks Fall Mountain for all you do. – Lil


To: Fall Mountain Families and Staff

From: Lori Landry, Superintendent

Date: March 15, 2020 Subject: School Closure due to COVID-19 Virus

Dear Fall Mountain Families and Staff,

As our community, state and country are responding to the ongoing and rapidly changing COVID-19 pandemic our administrators have been meeting to determine the best course of action to keep our students and staff safe while continuing to provide learning opportunities for our students. We believe a preemptive school closing that maximizes the effect on preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus is the best option for our school and community. Our Fall Mountain Regional School Board met this morning and made the decision to close all Fall Mountain schools to students effective Monday, March 16 for the next two weeks.

We recognize that closing is extremely difficult for many of our families, as well as our community as a whole. Our goal is to ensure that we have a comprehensive and sustainable plan for instruction and services in place for all of our students while also keeping our staff and students safe.

Continued Learning & Instructional Delivery  On Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18 all staff will report to their schools and worksites as they normally would on a regular workday. Monday, March 16 will be a teacher inservice day and Tuesday, March 17 will be a teacher planning day. These will be regular work days for paraprofessionals. On these days, teachers and paraprofessionals will be preparing instructional materials and strategies for continued learning but will also be making plans for how to engage with students and families while buildings are closed.

On Wednesday, March 18 we will transition to remote learning. We encourage students and families to engage with teachers on this day. More information will be shared by building principals.

On Thursday, March 19, we will be fully engaged with remote learning from 8 am to 3 pm and no teachers, paraprofessionals or students will be permitted in buildings unless authorized by the building principal. Please contact your building principal if you will need authorization.

Grade PreK-4 instructional materials will consist of instructional paper packets while grades 5-12 will be through either online opportunities (Google Classroom, Google Drive, etc) and/or instructional paper packets. Instructional material to be prepared will not be new instruction, but maintenance of already learned concepts and skills. We understand that not all courses are conducive to home/remote learning, especially over long periods of time. Teachers for these content areas (i.e. music, art, PE, health, CTE, etc) will be meeting with building principals to develop alternative plans and will communicate those with families and students.

Administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals will also be developing a plan to monitor and document student work, including being available to students/families to answer questions, provide guidance and support home practice via Class Dojo, email, Google Classroom, etc. More information will be shared by your building principals as it becomes available.

Dissemination of Instructional Materials le.Instructional materials will be available for families to pick up on Wednesday, March 18 at each building. Building principals will be setting a schedule for each building and will share that information with families as soon as it becomes available. Information on picking up a Chromebook for families with students in grades 5-8 will be posted on the district website and communicated via SchoolMessenger.

Our transportation department is working on a schedule to deliver instructional materials that are not picked up by families to designated drop off sites. As we finalize these plans, information will be posted on our district website.

If students have any personal belongings that need to be picked up from the school, we ask that families call ahead to ensure someone will be there to assist you.

Implementation of a 1-1 Laptop Students in grades 5-8 who need a Chromebook will be permitted to take their individually assigned Chromebook home during the school closure. Attached is a document entitled Chromebook 1-1 Guidelines. It outlines the expectations and provides general information for families. Parental permission will be necessary and a signature will be required for a Chromebook to be released. More information will be posted on our website including a schedule for extended evening hours for families to pick up a Chromebook.

Technology Accessibility A technology accessibility survey is available on our district website or can be accessed here Based on the outcomes of the survey, our Information Technology team will identify ways to address the technology gaps that exist in our communities.

For those who do not have internet access or the ability to access the internet, copies of the survey will be available at each school site on Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18.

Technology Support Our Information Technology staff (ITS) will be available to support students and staff while swchools are closed.

ITS will be offering daily remote workshops to include Google Classroom, Google Meet, and other remote learning topics for staff and students. A schedule of topics with dates and times will be posted on the website.

Families or staff with a remote technology issue or that need remote technology assistance and support can submit a request through a link located on the district website’s homepage. An ITS person will call you and remotely assist as needed.

Special Education Services The Student Service Department wants to reassure our families of children with individualized educational programs (IEPs) that their children’s learning needs will not go unmet during this period of time when we are implementing remote instruction. Our staff has been working diligently this past week to develop materials that can be implemented within each child’s home. The materials being sent home are designed to provide each child with lessons that can assist in the maintenance of their skills. Our special educators and related service providers will continue to collaborate regularly with our regular education staff and our children’s families. Collaboration may be achieved through online communication and/or telephone calls.

School Meals Abbey Group, our food services company, will continue to prepare breakfast and lunch for any family that would like these meals. Meals will be available for pick up by any district student at VMS, CMS, NCCS, NWS, and WES daily beginning Tuesday at 10:00am and 2:30pm.

We will offer meal pickup in Acworth from a school vehicle at 9:00am at the Village Store and 9:30 at Town Hall.

We are also ready to use our bus drivers to deliver meals to families that cannot get to our school buildings to pick up meals. If you need this delivery service please let your school principal know and arrangements will be made.

Important: To help us with food preparation counts, please complete this survey if you are interested in picking or receiving these meals.

Decision to Reopen Schools We will continue to update you and disseminate information as it becomes available. We will reevaluate the practicality of resuming school as normal and make that announcement, widely known, by Thursday, March 26.

On behalf of the Fall Mountain Regional School Board and Administrators, we thank you for your understanding and your cooperation during these difficult times. We will get through this together.

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