COVID-19 Community Update #3 – March 16, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Today, our school staff worked to make the shift to remote learning.  As you can imagine, this is quite a change from our usual way of designing learning experiences for our students.  Below you’ll find a status report on this important work.

Remote Instruction Plan.  Teachers worked today and will be working tomorrow to design our initial remote learning plans, including goals, competencies, a delivery plan, special education accommodations, and Title I support.  We anticipate our plan will be launched on Wednesday.

Teachers are designing instruction that is most appropriate to the age, knowledge, and skills of their students.  This instruction may take a number of forms including use of Google Classroom, classroom apps such as Lexia, email check-in’s, and teacher response to student questions and challenges.  Our teachers will also be accessing additional professional development activities to support their work in this new learning environment.

Again, it is anticipated that we’ll be up and running on Wednesday; you / your child / youth can expect to hear from teachers by Wednesday, if you haven’t yet heard.  We anticipate a pick-up of curriculum materials, books, equipment, etc. will take place in each school from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. this Wednesday, March 18.

PES students are asked to connect with your class dojo; students in grades 5 – 12 are asked to check your email often and regularly.  Info will also be shared via the Pittsfield School District Facebook page.

Special Education Services and Section 504 Plans.  Special educators are working with classroom teachers to integrate supports into classroom assignments.  Para’s and related service providers are making plans to continue to provide for student needs.  Students may be asked to come into school, either individually or in small groups, for some of these services.

Attendance.  Daily check-in for attendance purposes will be accomplished daily by PES Morning Meeting teachers and PMHS Advisory teachers.

School Offices.  School offices and the SAU office will be open during school hours this week; this schedule may be altered as we move forward.

Technology.  Thanks to families who responded to our recent Tech Survey.  The district will be providing loaner hardware and loaner hotspots for families who are in need.  It is anticipated that technology loans will be available on Wednesday as well; you can look forward to more info coming from the district if you are in need and responded to the Tech Survey.

Food.  We have been notified that the USDA has granted a waiver for regulations concerning free and reduced price meals.  Though many students qualify, we are not sure how many families will want to take advantage of school-prepared meals.  Therefore, you will be seeing a Food Survey coming your way very soon.

Additionally, we expect to continue operating our food pantries at both PES and PMHS.  Additional info will be forthcoming, with an anticipated pick-up day scheduled for Thursday’s.

School Cleaning.  Our custodians will be conducting a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the school building in anticipation of our students’ return.

School Board Meeting.  The Pittsfield School Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 19; the meeting will take place in the PMHS Lecture Hall to allow participants to keep a safe distance from each other.

I am pleased to report that our governor and state government has been very supportive and very helpful in this crisis situation.  The state Department of Education has begun to issue guidance on a number of issues, including special education services in the remote learning environment and others.  This support is much appreciated.

We will issue our next update on Thursday at the latest, with vital information being provided as needed.

Finally, we thank our Pittsfield families for your positivity and cooperation during this most unusual time.


John Freeman, Superintendent

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations