COVID-19 Community Update #4 – March 19, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Thank you very, very much for contributing to our very positive distribution of student learning materials, technology equipment, and meals yesterday.

Your positive spirit demonstrated in the amazing response (all but about 15 families were able to pick up yesterday) and encouraging comments (many thank you’s and expressions of concern for district employees) was nothing short of inspirational.

Here’s the latest info from the district:

Administrator Schedules.  Administrator schedules are being staggered to maximize social distancing; administrators will be working from home at times.  We will be meeting at least twice weekly to ensure coordination of programs for our students.  However, all district administrators will continue to work full time and can be reached on any school day via email.

Cleaning.  Our custodial staff is working daytime shifts and conducting a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all spaces within the schools.  Spaces that are used regularly throughout the remote learning period will be cleaned and sanitized daily.

Hot Spots.  For families who do not have internet access, we placed an order with Atlantic Broadband for mobile hot spots last weekend and were told that we’d have the equipment on Tuesday; however, we’ve yet to see the equipment.  We are working with Atlantic Broadband to get this equipment here asap; we’ll be in touch with impacted families as soon as the hot spots arrive in Pittsfield.

Learning Materials.  For those families who were not able to get to the schools for pickup yesterday, we will be delivering the materials via school bus at mid-day today.  Additionally, we will be establishing Thursday’s as our materials distribution day beginning next week and extending for as long as we’re in a remote learning mode.  We’ll be providing additional details as we move ahead.

Meals.  We will be continuing to provide meals for students who are eligible for free / reduced price meals.  We had a number of pick-ups yesterday and will begin to provide either the pickup option or delivery option (via school bus) to our qualifying families.  We anticipate that deliveries will be made between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily and will include the day’s lunch and the next day’s breakfast.

If your family qualifies for these meals and you have not added your name to our delivery list, please respond to the questionnaire that was previously distributed electronically or simple call the school office (PES, 435-8432; PMHS 435-6701).

Additionally, we’ve had questions regarding menu; please be assured that the menu will be varied.

Our PES and PMHS food pantries for those in need will continue to function during the period of remote learning.  Please contact Melissa Brown at 435-6701 or call either school office to arrange for service from our food pantries.

PMHS Senior Events.  Our annual prom and senior class trip are postponed; no decisions regarding graduation or other senior events have yet been made.

PMHS Seniors.  Our Career Readiness office will continue to function.  Seniors’ transcript requests, scholarship support, and all other operations will continue to function.  Students or parents with questions or concerns are asked to call or email our Director of Career Readiness, Melissa Brown, to resolve any issues or concerns.

Remote Learning Term.  At present, the state is directing remote learning to continue through Friday, April 3.  However, everything that we know at present indicates that it is likely that the state will extend this period.  We’ll stay in touch regarding future plans.

SAT’s.  We have been advised that spring SAT’s (Scholastic Aptitude Tests) are being rescheduled.

School Board Meeting.  Tonight’s (March 19) School Board meeting is cancelled.  Updates regarding Board meetings will be provided in advance.  We have been told that community members are interested in providing input to the Board regarding the warrant article regarding high school options.  The Board will provide advance notice of the meeting during which this issue will be discussed to allow for input from interested community members.

School and SAU Offices.  School and SAU offices will remain open at this time; however, they’ll be operating on a reduced schedule.  Offices will be staffed for phone calls between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily; we will, however, be routing school office calls through one of the offices only, usually the PMHS office.  We request that you avoid coming to the offices in person but rather call or email offices or administrators directly.

Special Education Services.  Services to students with special need will continue through the remote learning period; this includes para-educator support and related services for students who have such provisions in their IEP’s.

State Testing.  The Department of Education has not yet made a decision regarding the delay or cancellation of our annual spring testing regimen.

State-Level Support.  FYI, the New Hampshire Department of Education has been conducting conference calls to keep all districts informed with the latest guidance; these calls are scheduled for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Tech Support.  We provided tech support to a large number of families yesterday who were having difficulty getting started with remote learning, particularly with new devices and with connecting to the district with personal devices.  If you are in need of tech support, please email:

Finally, we’d like to express our appreciation to our school district staff who are stepping up in response to deeply altered expectations.  We are fortunate to have so many caring and committed folks supporting our students and families.



John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations