Superintendent Updates

March 17, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Celebrations and Upcoming Events

  • Congratulations

  • Registration

  • FY24 Budget 

CELEBRATIONS AND UPCOMING EVENTS

Author Astrid Sheckels will be at AEL to read a book from her Hector Fox series on March 22.  In addition to reading to our students, she will draw one of the characters from the story.  

GMS welcomed students and families for our first-ever Family STEM night on 3/15. Teachers and staff led stations where families launched a rocket, built boats, and created hoop planes! Many thanks to the GEF, the GMS PTO, and our Title I program for sponsoring the event! 

PK – GRADE 12 STUDENT REGISTRATION

Student registration for the 20023-2024 school year has begun for all grades, including preschool through grade 12. We are asking for the families of any incoming kindergarten students to please register for school as soon as possible so we can determine class sizes. 

Evening hours will be available by appointment by contacting Andrea DiTullio at 772-1323.  

We will also have registration events at Leyden Woods on March 16th from 4 pm – 5 pm and at Oak Courts on March 16th from 5 pm – 6 pm.  The registration evening scheduled for Tuesday evening for Greenfield Gardens will be rescheduled. 

A reminder to families – a birth certificate or other original proof of age, immunizations and proof of residence in Greenfield are required for registration.

FY24 BUDGET 

The School Committee voted to approve the FY24 budget reflecting a 10.35% increase over last year’s request to the City.  The majority of this increase reflects the hard work done by all of the negotiating committees on behalf of our staff and the School Committee.  It is our priority to retain highly qualified staff in all positions district-wide. 

The budget hearing was recorded and is available on GCTV. In addition, all of the FY24 budget materials are on the home page of the district’s website and will be updated throughout the process. 

The FY24 proposed budget does reflect some reductions.  These include:

* eliminate an unfilled Assistant Director of Special Education

* eliminate an unfilled custodial float position

* eliminate academic coach/interventionists from the grant

* eliminate an unfilled nurse float position

* eliminate the district registrar

* eliminate Grade 4 band 

* reduce technology grant money from approximately $950,000 to $520,000

* reduce textbook grant money from $300,000 to $100,000

The budget will now move to the City side for review by the Mayor and the City Council. I will provide updates as information becomes available. 

GREEN WAVE STORE

We have opened a new school store for Green Wave gear. Please check it out!

https://greenwavespring23.itemorder.com/

Take care 

Christine


March 9, 2023

Good afternoon,

Please find below this week's Parent Update. I also included a reminder about math night tonight in my text :)

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Celebrations
  • Congratulations
  • Policy Update
  • Registration
  • FY24 Budget Hearing

CELEBRATIONS

Congratulations to the Greenfield High School Boy's Basketball team for making it to the state tournament Sweet 16.  It was a great season!

Please check the GHS website for the spring athletic schedule.

GHS took part in Wellness Week this week in collaboration with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG).  Students are participating in a variety of health and wellness-related activities including some trivia during lunch.  Some positive data regarding our students’ health and wellness practices were also shared through posters across the school.

CONGRATULATIONS

We are pleased to announce that we have hired our new Director of Technology – John Grimaldi, who joined us this week.

We also hired our new Director of Early Childhood, Meril Miceli. Meril will begin in Greenfield following the April vacation.

We would like to congratulate Dr. Janet Dickinson, our Director of Pupil Services on her upcoming retirement, effective June 30.

POLICY UPDATE

The School Committee voted to revise policy IHBG Home Schooling. The revision allows students who are home-schooled to participate in extracurricular activities, including athletics. Students who are interested in participating in extracurricular activities will need to provide proof of residence in Greenfield and completing any required documentation for participation.  For extracurricular activities, please contact the building principal. For athletics, please contact the Athletic Director.

PK – GRADE 12 STUDENT REGISTRATION

Student registration for the 2023-2024 school year has begun for all grades, including preschool through grade 12. We are asking for the families of any incoming kindergarten students to please register for school as soon as possible so we can determine class sizes.

Evening hours will be available by appointment by contacting Andrea DiTullio at 772-1323. 

We will also have registration events at Greenfield Gardens on March 14 from 4 pm – 5 pm; Leyden Woods on March 16th from 4 pm – 5 pm and at Oak Courts on March 16th from 5 pm – 6 pm.

A reminder to families – a birth certificate or other original proof of age, immunizations and proof of residence in Greenfield are required for registration.

 

FY24 BUDGET HEARING

The budget hearing is scheduled for March 10, 2023 virtually at 11:30 am. The Zoom link and budget materials can be found on our website under School Committee, Meetings as well as on the front page of the website. We have created an FY24 Budget Information section of the home page and all budget updates will be added there for easy access.

The Budget Subcommittee meeting recording from February 28 is available on the GCTV website if you’d like to review the discussion.  The Superintendent’s Budget as presented at the subcommittee meeting remains the same for the Budget Hearing on March 10.

Take care,

Christine


March 2, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Celebrations
  • Registration
  • Summer Eats Survey

CELEBRATIONS

Congratulations to the Greenfield High School ice hockey team who won their third consecutive western Mass championship!  While they are not advancing in the state playoffs they had an amazing season.

Also, congratulations to our boys basketball team on a fantastic season! They also are in the state playoffs and play round two tonight at GHS, 6 pm.

Please check the GHS website for the athletic schedule.

STUDENT REGISTRATION

Student registration for the 20023-2024 school year will be starting March 2 with evening kindergarten registration.  The dates can be found on the district website, an ad will run in the Greenfield Recorder and we are working with the City to enhance distribution of the information. 

Kindergarten registration at our elementary schools and registration for any other incoming student will open March 2.  Information about for registration will be shared in the Parent Updates and included on our website and in the Greenfield Recorder.  Evening hours will be available by appointment by contacting Andrea DiTullio at 772-1323. 

We will also have registration events at Greenfield Gardens on March 14 from 4 pm – 5 pm; Leyden Woods on March 16th from 4 pm – 5 pm and at Oak Courts on March 16th from 5 pm – 6 pm.

A reminder to families – a birth certificate or other original proof of age, immunizations and proof of residence in Greenfield are required for registration.

SUMMER EATS SURVEY

Our Food Service department is planning for our summer meal program and would greatly appreciate feedback to help in planning.  Please take the short survey so we can try to plan a program that best meets the needs of our community.

Summer Eats Survey

Take care

Christine


February 17, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • “Swatting” Incidents
  • Registration
  • Attendance

UPCOMING EVENTS

A reminder that we have February break from February 20 – February 24.  Offices will be closed on February 20 due to Presidents Day.

Read Across America will be from Feb 27 – March 3.  Please look for more information coming from our schools about the ways in which we will celebrate reading!

“SWATTING” INCIDENTS

This week, Greenfield High School was among a number of schools in Massachusetts that were victims of “swatting” calls - a call someone makes to the police that is later determined to be a hoax with the goal of getting a large police response. These swatting calls caused incredible stress to our students and staff, and counselors have been and continue to be available to support members of the GHS community who would like to talk about the situation and their feelings.

As with any situation that occurs in our schools, we are reviewing the incident to identify all of the positive steps that were taken as well as modify any pieces that can be done differently.  Student and staff safety is always our priority and we will continue to review, update, and practice all of our security and safety measures.

STUDENT REGISTRATION

Student registration for the 20023-2024 school year will be starting March 2 with evening kindergarten registration.  The dates can be found on the district website, an ad will run in the Greenfield Recorder and we are working with the City to enhance distribution of the information.  The Academy of Early Learning will host an open house in February so please check the website for updated information in the next week. 

Kindergarten registration at our elementary schools and registration for any other incoming student will open March 2.  Information about for registration will be shared in the Parent Updates and included on our website and in the Greenfield Recorder.  Evening hours will be available by appointment by contacting Andrea DiTullio at 772-1323. 

We will also have registration events at Greenfield Gardens on March 14 from 4 pm – 5 pm; Leyden Woods on March 16th from 4 pm – 5 pm and at Oak Courts on March 16th from 5 pm – 6 pm.

A reminder to families – a birth certificate or other original proof of age, immunizations and proof of residence in Greenfield are required for registration.

 

ATTENDANCE

We would like to remind all families that it is critically important for our students to be in school every day.  There are some legitimate reasons for students to miss school, such as illness, but we need all of our students to attend on a regular basis.  If your child is having challenges getting to school on a regular basis, please reach out to the building principal, social worker or nurse.  We look forward to working with you to support your child’s success in school.

Take care and enjoy the break,

Christine


February 10, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Strategic Planning Surveys
  • Wellness Committee
  • Attendance

UPCOMING EVENTS

Student registration for the 20023-2024 school year will be starting shortly.  The Academy of Early Learning will host an open house in February so please check the website for updated information in the next week. 

Kindergarten registration at our elementary schools and registration for any other incoming student will open March 2.  Information about for registration will be shared in the Parent Updates and included on our website and in the Greenfield Recorder.  Evening hours will be available by appointment so please watch the website for contact information in the next few weeks.

A reminder that we have February break from February 20 – February 24.  Offices will be closed on February 20 due to Presidents Day.

Read Across America will be from Feb 27 – March 3.  Please look for more information coming from our schools about the ways in which we will celebrate reading!

STRATEGIC PLANNING SURVEYS

This is the last week that our strategic planning surveys will be open. Thank you to all of you who have already taken the survey. The links can also be found on the district and city websites.

Click here for the survey in English: 

Click here for the survey in Romanian 

Click here for the survey in Russian

Click here for the survey in Spanish

WELLNESS COMMITTEE

ere at Greenfield Public Schools we believe we have a responsibility to improve the health and well-being of our students and school community.  To make our school environment healthier, our school district is forming a Wellness Committee. 

The purpose of the committee is to bring together representatives from the school community who can assist with addressing issues facing the health and well-being of our students.

Along with school staff members, administration and School Committee members, we are looking for 3 or 4 parents, guardians and caregivers to participate. 

We are committed to making positive changes in policies and programs that affect the health of our students and staff.  

Our first meeting will be held after school in March. We anticipate holding meetings every six weeks during the school year.

If you are interested or have any questions, you are encouraged to contact Melissa Bednarski, GPS District Nurse Leader, at 413-772-1317 or email melbed1@gpsk12.org.

ATTENDANCE

We would like to remind all families that it is critically important for our students to be in school every day.  There are some legitimate reasons for students to miss school, such as illness, but we have students who are not attending on a regular basis.  If your child is having challenges getting to school on a regular basis, please reach out to the building principal, social worker or nurse.  We look forward to working with you to support your child’s success in school.

Take care

Christine


February 2, 2023

Good afternoon,

Below is the Update sent home.  Superintendents use a chart with information from various agencies to determine whether the temps are safe, either heat or cold.  Based on the forecast including windchill, the guidance does not indicate a closure.  I understand some families may choose not to send their children and we respect that decision.

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Cold Weather Tomorrow
  • Strategic Planning Surveys
  • Registration is Coming

UPCOMING EVENTS

The Greenfield 101st Annual Winter Carnival will be held Feb 3-5th.  GPS-specific events are:

Title I booth with take-home activities 9:30 am – noon Rec Dept, 24 Sanderson St.

FREE STEM laser light show 1:00 pm Greenfield Middle School auditorium

Give away books/flashcards 8:00 am – 10:00 am Adams Donuts 348 Federal St.

COLD WEATHER TOMORROW

Tomorrow’s forecast is for very cold temperatures and an added wind chill.  This means our students really need to be dressed for the weather especially with multiple layers and hands covered. We will not have outdoor recess at our elementary and middle schools.  If our buses encounter issues, which is not expected, I will send a message in the morning.  If your child will not be in tomorrow, please just remember to contact their school to let us know they will be out.

STRATEGIC PLANNING SURVEYS

As we continue the work of creating a multi-year, district-wide plan, we need your input.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.  The survey form includes the opportunity to provide contact information if you are interested in participating in focus groups and/or interviews. We have extended the closing date for the survey for one more week.

Thank you to all of you who have already taken the survey. The links can also be found on the district and city websites.

Click here for the survey in English: 

Click here for the survey in Romanian 

Click here for the survey in Russian

Click here for the survey in Spanish

REGISTRATION IS COMING!

Student registration for the 20023-2024 school year will be starting shortly.  The Academy of Early Learning will host an open house in February so please check the website for updated information in the next week.  Kindergarten registration at our elementary schools and registration for any other incoming student will open in March.  Information about evening hours for registration will be shared in the Parent Updates and included on our website and in the Greenfield Recorder.

Thank you for your assistance.

Take care

Christine


January 26, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Weather Related Decisions
  • Winter Carnival
  • Strategic Planning Surveys
  • Reminder from the Nurse Leader

UPCOMING EVENTS

A reminder that there will be no school on Friday, January 27 due to staff professional development

The Greenfield Health Department is hosting a flu and COVID vaccine clinic on January 25 from 9 am to noon at the Greenfield Health Department, 20 Sanderson St.  MA residents who get a COVID vaccine are eligible to receive a $75 gift card, while supplies last.  Please see the City of Greenfield website for more information.

WEATHER-RELATED DECISIONS

It has been a rough week for weather this week!  I can’t wait for warm weather and flowers.  I realize that weather-related cancelations, delays and early dismissals create hardships for some families.  My decisions are made after carefully weighing the information I have and after discussions with a meteorologist, DPW and neighboring superintendents and the situation in their districts as that can impact our staff.  The decisions are made based on the forecast at the time, and unfortunately, sometimes the forecast does not hold and conditions vary from what was predicted.  Please know that I always make decisions intended to keep our students and staff safe. I realize you may not always agree with my decision but appreciate your understanding as I share in the frustration when conditions do not work out as predicted.

WINTER CARNIVAL

The Greenfield 101st Annual Winter Carnival will be held Feb 3-5th.  There will be events scheduled all over the City. Flyers are going home with our students and will be posted on the district’s website.   We will have Title I-sponsored free, take-home winter family activities.  The GPS Title I table will be at 20 Sanderson Street on Saturday from 10 am – 12:30 pm.

STRATEGIC PLANNING SURVEYS

As we continue the work of creating a multi-year, district-wide plan, we need your input.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.  The survey form includes the opportunity to provide contact information if you are interested in participating in focus groups and/or interviews.

Thank you to all of you who have already taken the survey. The links can also be found on the district and city websites.

Click here for the survey in English: 

Click here for the survey in Romanian 

Click here for the survey in Russian

Click here for the survey in Spanish

REMINDER FROM THE NURSE LEADER

In order to minimize the number of children that are ill, we ask you to please follow these guidelines when making your decision to send your child to school or return to school after an illness. 

Fever free for 24 hours If your child had a fever greater than 100 ˚ during the day or night before school, they must stay home the next day and may not return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-suppressing medication. Giving your child Tylenol or something similar and then sending them to school is not appropriate. It temporarily masks your child’s illness and does not indicate recovery from an illness. 

No vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours. If your child vomits, they need to stay home. Vomiting is a significant indication of illness, regardless of whether the child states they feel better or not. Diarrhea is described as loose, runny, frequent stool. A stomach virus is often accompanied by diarrhea. Students must remain home until diarrhea has stopped without the use of diarrhea-suppressing medication. 

Communicable diseases. Any illness diagnosed as communicable requires a doctor’s note for re-admittance. For those illnesses not necessarily requiring a doctor’s visit (such as chicken pox), school exclusion guidelines established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and our local Board of Health will be used to determine a re-admittance date. Please contact your student’s school nurse if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your assistance.

Take care,

Christine


January 24, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Weather Related Decisions
  • Congratulate Coach K
  • Strategic Planning Surveys
  • Reminder from the Nurse Leader

UPCOMING EVENTS

A reminder that there will be no school on Friday, January 27 due to staff professional development

The Greenfield Health Department is hosting a Flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinic on January 25 from 9 am to noon at the Greenfield Health Department, 20 Sanderson St. MA residents who get a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to receive a $75 gift card, while supplies last.  Please see the City of Greenfield website for more information.

WEATHER-RELATED DECISIONS

As you know, we have had a number of bad weather days here recently and it continues.  I am watching the weather very closely and need to remind everyone that you should have plans in the case of an early release.  The timing of tomorrow’s weather is unfortunate as it is anticipated to impact dismissal time.

Overall, I make weather-related decisions after discussions with a meteorologist, DPW and neighboring superintendents and the situation in their districts as that can impact our staff.  Please know that I always make decisions intended to keep our students and staff safe. I realize you may not always agree with my decision but appreciate your understanding.

CONGRATULATE COACH K

Congratulations to our athletic director and football coach, Mike Kuchieski, on being named to the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame! Coach Kuchieski has been a part of Greenfield’s success on and off the field since he was a student here. He returned in 2004, winning a total of 137 games with Greenfield and with the co-op team he helped get off the ground in 2020, including wins that led the team to the 2021 state tournament. Most importantly, though, he’s always put our students first, focusing and helping them develop into the best young adults they can be. In Coach Kuchieski’s own words: “We don’t coach for the wins and losses. We coach to create young men and women and create memories for them.”

Congratulations, coach. We’re proud of you and lucky to have you!

STRATEGIC PLANNING SURVEYS

As we continue the work of creating a multi-year, district-wide plan, we need your input.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.  The survey form includes the opportunity to provide contact information if you are interested in participating in focus groups and/or interviews.

Thank you to all of you who have already taken the survey. The links can also be found on the district and city websites.

Click here for the survey in English: 

Click here for the survey in Romanian 

Click here for the survey in Russian

Click here for the survey in Spanish

REMINDER FROM THE NURSE LEADER

In order to minimize the number of children that are ill, we ask you to please follow these guidelines when making your decision to send your child to school or return to school after an illness. 

Fever free for 24 hours If your child had a fever greater than 100˚ during the day or night before school, they must stay home the next day and may not return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-suppressing medication. Giving your child Tylenol or something similar and then sending them to school is not appropriate. It temporarily masks your child’s illness and does not indicate recovery from an illness. 

No vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours. If your child vomits, they need to stay home. Vomiting is a significant indication of illness, regardless of whether the child states they feel better or not. Diarrhea is described as loose, runny, frequent stool. A stomach virus is often accompanied by diarrhea. Students must remain home until the diarrhea has stopped without the use of diarrhea-suppressing medication. 

Communicable diseases. Any illness diagnosed as communicable requires a doctor’s note for re-admittance. For those illnesses not necessarily requiring a doctor’s visit (such as chicken pox), school exclusion guidelines established by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and our local Board of Health will be used to determine a re-admittance date. Please contact your student’s school nurse if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your assistance.

Take care,

Christine


January 13, 2023

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Strategic Planning Surveys

UPCOMING EVENTS

A reminder that there will be no school on Monday, January 16 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr Day. 

Each elementary school will be hosting a Bingo for Books night for students and their families on Wednesday, January 18 from 5:30 - 6:30 pm.   

The Greenfield Health Department is hosting a flu and COVID vaccine clinic on January 25 from 9 am to noon at the Greenfield Health Department, 20 Sanderson St. MA residents who get a COVID vaccine are eligible to receive a $75 gift card, while supplies last.  Please see the City of Greenfield website for more information.

STRATEGIC PLANNING SURVEYS

As we continue the work of creating a multi-year, district-wide plan, we need your input.  Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.  The survey form includes the opportunity to provide contact information if you are interested in participating in focus groups and/or interviews.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate. The links can also be found on the district and city websites.

Click here for the survey in English: 

Click here for the survey in Romanian 

Click here for the survey in Russian

Click here for the survey in Spanish

Take care,

Christine


January 6, 2023

Good Evening:

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Staffing 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Each elementary school will be hosting a Bingo for Books night for students and their families on Wednesday, January 18 from 5:30 -6:30 pm.   Transportation will be provided to any family who needs it. Please call the main office of your child’s school by Thursday, January 12, 2023 to set up transportation, if needed.

Greenfield High School’s Winter Band Concert will be held Thursday, January 12 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the high school auditorium.  Come and enjoy a night of musical entertainment!

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers, substitute bus monitors and substitute instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page. 

Hope everyone had a Happy New Year!

Karin Patenaude


December 15, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Health Information
  • Weather

HEALTH INFORMATION

We will be hosting a vaccine clinic on December 20th from 3:30 – 6:30 pm at Newton School in the cafeteria.  Covid and flu vaccines are both available. The Health Department has $25 gift cards available for approximately 125 people who come in for COVID vaccines.  Pre-registration is required so please see the banner on the district website to sign up. 

We are also able to offer transportation for families to and from the clinic.  We need to have families sign up for transportation by 3 pm Monday December 19 so we can plan for the appropriate number of people needing the transportation.

WEATHER

We are all watching the forecast very closely and the reports show that we are looking at a wide range of snowfall amounts.  The snowfall amounts vary for Greenfield depending on what website or news station you look at.  I’d like to share the factors being considered for Friday.

First, the road conditions and anticipated road conditions.  I work with DPW to evaluate the road conditions and also consider the forecast and their plan for clearing or treating the roads in Greenfield.

I also consider the duration of the storm.  If weather conditions are predicted to change during the day and transportation both to and home from school may be of concern, then that is also considered.

Finally, one of the considerations for this storm specifically is the ability of staff to get into work. Our staff lives in locations across western Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.  Some of these locations are expected to get more than one foot of snow in this storm.  Given the challenges we have faced with illness and staff absences recently, the storm may result in Greenfield needing to close due to staffing. This will be monitored closely this evening as the districts with the greatest snowfall predicted may begin to make decisions.

I will decide about school before 5:30 am Friday taking all of those factors into consideration.  I realize any days out of school can be inconvenient for families but I will make the decision I believe to be the safest for students and staff.  I appreciate your understanding and appreciation of the issues with weather related decisions.

Take care

Christine


December 8, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Kids Night Out
  • Health Information
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS and CELEBRATIONS

We have a short month for December!  A reminder that schools are closed for the winter break starting with a half day on December 22 and we reopen on January 3, 2023.

The Greenfield Middle School held a Cookies and Cocoa event on December 1 with over 50 families in attendance.  Folks were able to decorate cookies and take pictures in the photo booth.  Thank you to Musica Franklin and Strings for Kids for the musical entertainment.

The elementary schools will be sending home a Reading and Math Bingo challenge for students during the winter break. Please watch for that information.

KIDS NIGHT OUT

Greenfield High School Student Council is holding a Kids Night Out.  This provides an opportunity for caregivers to have a few hours when students are entertained by GHS Student Council members.  They will have activities and a movie.  The registration link is on the front page of the GPS website on the banner and cost is $20 per child (cash only).

HEALTH INFORMATION

We will be hosting a vaccine clinic on December 20th from 3:30 – 6:30 pm at Newton School in the cafeteria.  Covid and flu vaccines are both available. Pre-registration is required so please see the banner on the district website to sign up. 

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers, substitute bus monitors and substitute instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care,

Christine


November 17, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Health Information
  • School Closures or Delays
  • Heating Assistance
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

There will be no preschool on Nov 23 – 25; early dismissal on Nov 23 for students grades K – 12 and no school Nov 24 and 25 due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  District offices will follow the same schedule as our schools.

Next week some of our buildings will have a Turkey Trot! Staff and students will have the opportunity to engage in fun activities geared to increase relationships and build on positive climate. The weather looks promising for our Turkey Trots! 

HEALTH INFORMATION

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing no cost, at-home COVID tests for staff and students.  They will be distributed before the Thanksgiving break and are intended for use before returning from Thanksgiving and the Winter Breaks.  Folks will be able to accept or decline the available tests.  Our middle and high school students will have the opportunity to take a kit as they leave the building and elementary students will be provided with kits.  If you do not wish for your child to get a kit, please reach out to your child’s teacher or building administrator.

For anyone who is interested, you can find information on how to access free at-home COVID tests below.

https://www.cms.gov/how-to-get-your-at-home-OTC-COVID-19-test-for-free

SCHOOL CLOSURES OR DELAYS

It is only November but we already had a close call with the forecast.  At times, I may decide to close schools, have an early dismissal or delay the opening due to weather or other factors.  Any school closures will be shared through School Messenger as well as on TV and the district website. It is very important that you keep your contact information updated.  Please contact the school office if you need to provide a phone number or email change.

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Custodians and Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers, bus monitors and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care and I hope everyone is able to spend time with family or friends during the upcoming holiday. I will not send a Parent Update next week due to the brief school week.

Christine


November 10, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Health Information
  • COVID Tests
  • School Closures or Delays
  • Heating Assistance
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

There is no school tomorrow, November 11 in recognition of Veteran’s Day. 

This is a reminder to families that there will be an early release for students on Nov 23 and no school on Nov 24 and 25th for the Thanksgiving break.  There is no preschool on November 23. 

HEALTH INFORMATION

The district will continue to provide helpful information for families on the website, under Departments, Health.  Please take a few minutes to check the website as we enter the cold and flu season.

COVID TESTS

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing free at-home COVID tests for students and staff.  The district expects to have them for distribution the week of November 21.  The tests are intended to be used no more than 24 hours before return to school following the Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks.   Testing is not required to return to school following these breaks.

SCHOOL CLOSURES OR DELAYS

Like it or not, winter is rapidly approaching!  At times, I may decide to close schools, have an early dismissal or delay the opening due to weather or other factors.  Any school closures will be shared through School Messenger as well as on TV and the district website. It is very important that you keep your contact information updated.  Please contact the school office if you need to provide a phone number or email change.

HEATING ASSISTANCE INFORMATION

We have included information about home heating assistance on our website. 

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Custodians and Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care and I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

Christine


 

November 4, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Health Information
  • School Closures or Delays
  • Heating Assistance
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

This is a reminder to families that there will be no school next week on Tuesday, Nov 8 for elections and on Friday, Nov 11 in observance of Veterans’ Day. 

HEALTH INFORMATION

The district will continue to provide helpful information for families on the website, under Departments, Health.  Please take a few minutes to check the website as we enter the cold and flu season.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing no-cost, at-home COVID tests for staff and students.  They will be distributed before the Thanksgiving break and are intended for use before returning from Thanksgiving and the Winter Breaks.  Folks will be able to accept or decline the available tests.

SCHOOL CLOSURES OR DELAYS

Like it or not, winter is rapidly approaching!  At times, I may decide to close schools, have an early dismissal or delay the opening due to weather or other factors.  Any school closures will be shared through School Messenger as well as on TV and the district website. It is very important that you keep your contact information updated.  Please contact the school office if you need to provide a phone number or email change.

HEATING ASSISTANCE INFORMATION

We have included information about home heating assistance on our website. 

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Custodians and Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care and I hope you get the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend!

Christine


October 28, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Celebrations and Upcoming Events
  • Health Information
  • Re-envisioning our School Facilities
  • Safe Routes to School Survey
  • Heating Assistance
  • Staffing

CELEBRATIONS and UPCOMING EVENTS

Please join us in congratulating the Greenfield High School students who were inducted into the National Honor Society on Tuesday evening.  Induction into NHS reflects that students have met qualifications under the four pillars of NHS: Scholarship, Service, Leadership and Character. 

There is a vaccination clinic (flu and COVID) on Oct 28th from 3 pm – 5 pm in the Greenfield High School cafeteria.  Information will be available on the website.  

HEALTH INFORMATION

The district will continue to provide helpful information for families on the website, under Departments, Health.  Please see the links below for information about hints for staying healthy and also about COVID or illness in general.

Staying Healthy

Covid and Illness Information

RE-ENVISIONING OUR SCHOOL FACILITIES

Our parent/community meetings have concluded at this time.  A summary of the pros, cons and outstanding questions or concerns from those meetings will be summarized and shared with our staff.  The information will be shared with the School Committee at a future meeting for their ongoing discussion.

We would like to thank the folks who came to those discussions and offered valuable feedback.

If you need a copy of the report, it is available on the district website or you can request a hard copy from the Superintendent’s office. A summary document is also on the front page of the website. The Summary is available in Spanish, Russian and Romanian.  Moldovan translation is on its way!

SYMPTOMATIC COVID TESTING CONSENT

Our nursing staff will be able to conduct COVID testing for students or staff who develop signs of illness during the school day for parents/guardians who provide written consent.  Please use the link for testing on the district website under Departments and Health and Wellness. 

SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL

The Greenfield Schools are working with the Department of Public Works and the City to apply for a Safe Routes to School grant.  This would provide funding for sidewalk replacement around Greenfield Middle School. The program goals are to make walking and biking to school safer and a more appealing way to get to school.  We need your help to provide information for the grant.  Please take a minute to complete the survey through the link below.  We’d appreciate your feedback by November 10.  

Safe Routes to School Survey

HEATING ASSISTANCE INFORMATION

We have included information about home heating assistance on our website.  Please see the link below for more information.

Home Heating Resources

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Custodians and Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care,

Christine


October 20, 2022

  • Celebrations and Upcoming Events
  • Re-envisioning our School Facilities
  • Symptomatic Testing Consent
  • Drills
  • Staffing

CELEBRATIONS and UPCOMING EVENTS

We are pleased to share that our GMS physical education teacher and GHS softball coach, John Hickey was named the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) 2021-2022 Coach of the Year for softball.  Please join us in congratulating John for this honor!!!

Students and staff in the district participated in Unity Day on Wednesday. Unity Day is recognized by wearing orange to bring awareness to anti-bullying and to promote inclusivity.  We had great participation.

There is a vaccination clinic (flu and COVID) on Oct 28th from 3 pm – 5 pm in the Greenfield High School cafeteria.  Information will be available on the website.  

RE-ENVISIONING OUR SCHOOL FACILITIES

The last family meeting scheduled to discuss the options for Re-envisioning our School Facilities (redistricting) is October 25 at 6 pm in the cafeteria at Federal Street School

If you plan to attend and need transportation, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 772-1310.

We are also providing child care at that meeting. Please contact the Superintendent’s Office if you will need to access child care.

If you need a copy of the report, it is available on the district website or you can request a hard copy from the Superintendent’s office. A summary document is also on the front page of the website.

SYMPTOMATIC COVID TESTING CONSENT

Our nursing staff will be able to conduct COVID testing for students or staff who develop signs of illness during the school day for parents/guardians who provide written consent.  Please use the link for testing on the district website under Departments and Health and Wellness. 

We will not be able to accept consent over the phone if your child becomes ill during the day so please submit permission through this link or send a letter to school with your child. 

Please do not send your child to school with symptoms of illness in order for them to be tested by the nurse.  We need students who are sick to stay home and get tested outside of school.

Please contact your school nurse or Melissa Bednarski, nurse leader at melbed1@gpsk12.org with any questions.

DRILLS

The district is participating in safety and security procedure drills on Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21.  These are opportunities for practice and review of ways that we work to keep our students and staff safe.  The drills are facilitated by Jim Carmichael, formerly of the Mass State Police, who has done this work with the district for a number of years, but now works for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.  Drills will occur periodically during the year. We’d like to thank the students and staff at AEL, Greenfield Middle School, and Greenfield High School for their great work today!

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Custodians and Instructional Assistants as well as substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care,

Christine


October 14, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Re-envisioning our School Facilities
  • MCAS Reports
  • Symptomatic Testing Consent
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are vaccination clinics (flu and COVID) on October 17th from 3 pm – 5:30 pm at Greenfield Middle School in the cafeteria and October 28th from 3 pm – 5 pm in the Greenfield High School cafeteria.  Information is available on the website here.  

RE-ENVISIONING OUR SCHOOL FACILITIES

The last two family meetings scheduled to discuss the options for Re-envisioning our School Facilities (redistricting) are listed below. 

October 20th at 5:30 pm in the community room at Oak Courts

October 25th at 6 pm in the cafeteria at Federal Street School

We will provide transportation for the meetings held at Greenfield High School and Federal Street School.  If you plan to attend either of these meetings and need transportation, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 772-1310.

We are also providing child care at those two meetings. Please contact the Superintendent’s Office if you will need to access child care.

If you need a copy of the report, it is available on the district website or you can request a hard copy from the Superintendent’s office. A summary document is also on the front page of the website or can be accessed here:

View the Summary of options for Re-Imagining our school facilities

MCAS REPORTS

The student MCAS performance reports were just received by the district and will be sent home by Wednesday, October 19th.  It is important to remember that the MCAS score is only one data point when we talk about student or even district performance.  If you have questions when you receive your child’s report (if they took MCAS last year), please contact your child’s teacher or the building administrator.

SYMPTOMATIC COVID TESTING CONSENT

Our nursing staff will be able to conduct COVID testing for students or staff who develop signs of illness during the school day for parents/guardians who provide written consent.  Please use the link below to submit consent for testing.  We will not be able to accept consent over the phone if your child becomes ill during the day so please submit permission through this link or send a letter into school with your child. The consent form is also available on the website under Departments, Health and Wellness.

Please do not send your child to school with symptoms of illness in order for them to be tested by the nurse.  We need for students who are sick to stay home and get tested outside of school.

Please contact your school nurse or Melissa Bednarski, nurse leader at melbed1@gpsk12.org with any questions.

CONSENT FOR SYMPTOMATIC TESTING 

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Instructional Assistants across all grade levels and substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care,

Christine


October 7, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events and Celebrations
  • Re-envisioning our School Facilities
  • MCAS Reports
  • Affordable Connectivity Program
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS and CELEBRATIONS

A reminder that schools and offices are closed in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, Oct 10th.

Thank you to all who were able to attend our Open Houses last evening. 

The first Strategic Planning meeting was held this past Wednesday and we are very excited about this important work.  Please keep watching the Parent Updates for information about the process as it moves along this school year.

National School Lunch week begins Oct 11th!   The theme is “Peace, Love & School Lunch”.  There will be a lucky plate giveaway on Thursday, Oct 13th for students who participate in school lunch that day. A huge THANK YOU to all of the staff that make our school lunch program possible for our students.

After-school clubs started this week at GMS and GHS.  Please have your child check in the school offices if they are looking for information about after-school activities.

The Greenfield Middle School school-wide social contract will be signed Oct 11.  The staff appreciates and looks forward to the support from families in reinforcing these agreements at GMS.

An Ice Cream Social will be held at Federal Street, Newton, and Discovery School at Four Corners on Thursday, October 13th from 5 pm – 6 pm.  We hope all elementary students and families can join us!

There are vaccination clinics (flu and COVID) on October 17th from 3 pm – 5:30 pm at Greenfield Middle School in the cafeteria.  The vaccination clinic scheduled at GHS for Oct 21 needs to be postponed to Oct 28th from 3 pm – 5 pm in the Greenfield High School cafeteria.  Information will be available on the website.  

The National Honor Society Induction at Greenfield High School will be held on Oct 20.  Congratulations to all students being inducted!

For any folks looking for a family event for this evening, our varsity football team plays tonight at home against Palmer – 7 pm

RE-ENVISIONING OUR SCHOOL FACILITIES

The Greenfield School Committee representatives of the Re-envisioning our School Facilities (redistricting) subcommittee are pleased to announce the following dates and locations for community members to discuss the options shared in the NESDEC Best Use of School Facilities study:

October 11 at 5 pm in the cafeteria at Greenfield High School

October 13 at 1 pm in the community room at Leyden Woods

October 20 at 5:30 pm in the community room at Oak Courts

October 25 at 6 pm in the cafeteria at Federal Street School

We will provide transportation for the meetings held at Greenfield High School and Federal Street School.  If you plan to attend either of these meetings and need transportation, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 772-1310.

We are also providing child care at those two meetings. Please contact the Superintendent’s Office if you will need to access child care.

If you need a copy of the report, it is available on the district website or you can request a hard copy from the Superintendent’s office.

MCAS REPORTS

The student MCAS performance reports were just received by the district and will be sent home shortly.  I will be presenting an overview of the district’s performance at the School Committee meeting on Oct 12th for any who are interested.  It is important to remember that the MCAS score is only one data point when we talk about student or even district performance.  If you have questions when you receive your child’s report (if they took MCAS last year), please contact your child’s teacher or the building administrator.

AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM

Families may be interested in learning about offers related to your Internet costs.  Please check the following link to learn more:

https://www.educationsuperhighway.org/acpbenefit/schools-toolkit/

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Instructional Assistants across all grade levels and substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care,

Christine


September 29, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Re-envisioning our School Facilities
  • Strategic Planning Parent Representatives
  • Eligibility Letters
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

There are vaccination clinics (flu and COVID) on October 17th from 3 pm – 5:30 pm at Greenfield Middle School in the cafeteria and another on October 21 from 3 pm – 5 pm in the Greenfield High School cafeteria.  Information will be available on the website.  

Family newsletters will be sent home from all of the schools in the next few school days. Please watch for those and the upcoming events in each.

RE-ENVISIONING OUR SCHOOL FACILITIES

The Greenfield School Committee representatives of the Re-envisioning our School Facilities (redistricting) subcommittee are pleased to announce the following dates and locations for community members to discuss the options shared in the NESDEC Best Use of School Facilities study:

October 11 at 5 pm in the cafeteria at Greenfield High School

October 13 at 1 pm in the community room at Leyden Woods

October 20 at 5:30 pm in the community room at Oat Courts

October 25 at 6 pm in the cafeteria at Federal Street School

We will provide transportation for the meetings held at Greenfield High School and Federal Street School.  If you plan to attend either of these meetings and need transportation, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 772-1310.

We are also providing child care at those two meetings. Please contact the Superintendent’s Office if you will need to access the child care.

If you need a copy of the report, it is available on the district website or you can request a hard copy from the Superintendent’s office.

STRATEGIC PLANNING PARENT REPRESENTATIVES

Thank you to those of you who volunteered to participate in our Strategic Planning.  We would love to have parent representatives from Greenfield High School, Greenfield Middle School and Discovery School.

ELIGIBILITY LETTERS

Our Food Service department will send home letters to those families who are eligible for free or reduced meals.  While these letters are not needed for school meals this year, families should keep these letters as they may be helpful for other opportunities.

STAFFING

The district is still looking for Instructional Assistants across all grade levels and substitute teachers and instructional assistants.  If you are interested, please check the website and click the “Click here for employment opportunities” bar on the front page.

Take care,

Christine


September 15, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • Re-envisioning our School Facilities
  • Illness and Mitigation Strategies
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

We are pleased to share that this year we will try an elementary Open House.  The event will be on September 29 from 5 pm – 6 pm.  We will evaluate parent/guardian interest and then determine if this should be considered as a regular addition to the school calendar.

There is also a link to the athletic schedules on the high school page of the website.

RE-ENVISIONING OUR SCHOOL FACILITIES

The Greenfield School Committee representatives of the Re-envisioning our School Facilities (redistricting) subcommittee are pleased to announce the following dates and locations for community members to discuss the options shared in the NESDEC Best Use of School Facilities study:

September 21 at 5 pm in the community room at Greenfield Gardens

October 11 at 5 pm in the cafeteria at Greenfield High School

October 13 at 1 pm in the community room at Leyden Woods

October 20 at 5:30 pm in the community room at Oat Courts

October 25 at 6 pm in the cafeteria at Federal Street School

We will provide transportation for the meetings held at Greenfield High School and Federal Street School.  If you plan to attend either of these meetings and need transportation, please contact the Superintendent’s Office at 772-1310.

We are also working to provide child care at those two meetings and will share sign-ups once that has been confirmed.

ILLNESS AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES

The Massachusetts Department of Education has reminded us there is no longer a mask mandate except in school health offices and there are no testing requirements for schools. That said, we support anyone who wishes to wear a mask.  Below is a link to the recent joint memo from the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/2022-0815covid19-guide-update.docx

The City of Greenfield recently provided information about testing options which can be found on the City’s website at https://greenfield-ma.gov/

STAFFING

We are pleased to share that Melissa Bednarski has joined us as our Nurse Leader.  She will be sharing information through these Parent Updates as well as in the school Newsletters.

Take care,

Christine


September 9, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Upcoming Events
  • School Messenger and Contact Information
  • Safety Protocols
  • Illness and Mitigation Strategies
  • Staffing

UPCOMING EVENTS

District-wide, we continue to focus on routines and students and staff getting to know each other, however, instruction is in swing. Our elementary and middle school classes have begun using our new English Language Arts materials and have started year two with the math resources.

We are in the process of scheduling meetings to discuss the Re-envisioning the Use of our School Facilities (redistricting) and those meetings will be announced as soon as possible.

Please keep watching the school newsletters, website and my Parent Updates for information throughout the year about other family events at the schools.  There is also a link to the athletic schedules on the high school page of the website.

SCHOOL MESSENGER AND CONTACT INFORMATION

It is extremely important that families update their phone numbers and email addresses so you are able to get communication from the schools, especially via School Messenger.  Please remember to change your contact information with the schools when you make changes in your phone number or emails.

SAFETY PROTOCOLS

At times, students may use language that suggests unsafe topics, such as violence or threats. We have unfortunately found that students are using this language causally and do not understand the impact of their words.  Regardless of the context, the district takes these matters seriously.

Any time we are made aware of unsafe language, we utilize the following steps as a guide for response:

·         Students are removed from others

·         Searches are conducted

·         Administrators investigate

·         Safety assessments are conducted by school staff or outside providers

·         Parents/guardians are contacted

·         Police and other authorities are contacted if needed   

We follow up with students to make sure they understand the impact of their words and collaborate with families to avoid those types of situations going forward.  We appreciate your help with ensuring students understand the impact of what they say and do.

ILLNESS AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES

The Massachusetts Department of Education has reminded us there is no longer a mask mandate except in school health offices and there are no testing requirements for schools. That said, we support anyone who wishes to wear a mask.  Below is a link to the recent joint memo from the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/2022-0815covid19-guide-update.docx

The City of Greenfield recently provided information about testing options which can be found on the City’s website at https://greenfield-ma.gov/

STAFFING

The Greenfield Schools are experiencing a staff shortage, particularly with our Instructional Assistant (IA) positions.  We continue to interview and have filled some positions in this past week, but still there are still roles that need to be filled. If anyone is interested in applying to be an Instructional Assistant or a teacher or IA sub, please visit the home page of the website and visit the “click here for employment opportunities” link.

I hope everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the Fair this weekend!

Christine


September 2, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Celebrations and Upcoming
  • School Messenger and Contact Information
  • Handbooks
  • Illness and Mitigation Strategies
  • Staffing

CELEBRATIONS AND UPCOMING

Welcome back to school for the new school year.  The first week of school has gone very well for our students and staff.  Generally, we are focused on establishing routines and a feeling of community with students and staff getting to know each other and learning the rules and routines of the various areas of each of their schools.  The Meet and Greets were attended by many students and their families. Please keep watching the school newsletters and my Parent Update for information throughout the year about other family events at the schools.  There is also a link to the athletic schedules on the high school page of the website.

SCHOOL MESSENGER AND CONTACT INFORMATION

School, district and emergency communications are most often sent through the School Messenger program.  We are including all families in the School Messenger list at the start of school.  If you do not wish to receive these communications, you will need to contact the school and request to opt out.

Please seriously consider this decision.  Communication about emergencies, weather related closures or unanticipated early school dismissals would all be communicated in this manner, as will attendance calls if your student is absent but we have not received a call or note from the parent/guardian.  Given this important information, we strongly urge you to remain subscribed to School Messenger.

It is also extremely important that families update their phone numbers and email addresses so you are able to get communication from the schools.  Please remember to change your contact information with the schools when you make changes in your phone number or emails.

HANDBOOKS

Updated Family/Student handbooks are available on the district website under each school page.  A handbook acknowledgement form was sent home for all students and we ask that you review the handbook and return the signed acknowledgement form. 

ILLNESS AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES

The Massachusetts Department of Education has reminded us there is no longer a mask mandate other than school health offices and there are no testing requirements for schools. We support anyone who wishes to wear a mask.  Below is a link to the recent joint memo from the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/2022-0815covid19-guide-update.docx

The district is working with the Greenfield Health Department regarding ways to mitigate the spread of illness, not just COVID 19.  We will continue to encourage and schedule opportunities for handwashing or use of hand sanitizer, continue use of classroom air purifiers when the windows are not able to be open and encourage all students and staff to remain home when they are ill.  Our discussions with the Health Department are ongoing and will continue throughout the year as we work collaboratively regarding all illness including, flu, norovirus, Chickenpox, measles etc… should they occur.  Updates to this information may be made and I encourage families to keep checking Parent Updates and the website as the year progresses. 

The City recently provided information about testing options which can be found on the City’s website at https://greenfield-ma.gov/

STAFFING

The Greenfield Schools are experiencing a staff shortage, particularly with our Instructional Assistant positions.  We are working to fill as many positions as possible as quickly as we can.  If anyone is interested in applying to be an Instructional Assistant, please visit the home page of the website for the “click here for employment opportunities”.

Unfortunately, with the educator shortage impacting not just Greenfield, but the entire region, we still have some changes in staffing.  All district administrators are continuing to recruit and interview applicants so we have positions filled.  This can take some time as the applicants are typically employed in other districts and required to give notice before they leave.  We realize changes can be difficult for some students and we are working to get any openings filled as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Take care,

Christine

 


August 16, 2022

This week’s Parent Update will include:

  • Welcome Back
  • An Apology
  • Administrator Communications
  • Inclement Weather or School Cancellations
  • School Messenger and Opt Out
  • Illness and Mitigation Strategies

CELEBRATIONS AND UPCOMING

Welcome back to school for the new school year. We are so excited to get ready for a new school year. I am sending this to provide some basic information as we look to the first day of school. Principals will send school-specific updates to families later this week.

AN APOLOGY

It was brought to our attention that one of the communications used in our Summer Eats advertisements was racially insensitive. That was not our intention. We reviewed the promotional materials through some lenses but we needed to view the materials through others. I apologize for this, we are learning from this mistake and will do better moving forward.

ADMINISTRATOR COMMUNICATIONS

The principals will send information to parents regarding the start of school for each building later this week. They will be sending communication to families each month with specifics related to their buildings and upcoming events. Please check your emails and the school websites for those communications close to the first of each month.

I will be resuming my weekly Parent Updates after the first day of school. My updates will generally include district-related information and will also be added to the website for reference.

SCHOOL MESSENGER

School, district and emergency communications are most often sent through the School Messenger program. We are including all families in the School Messenger list at the start of school. If you do not wish to receive these communications, you will need to contact the school and request to opt-out.

Please seriously consider this decision. Communication about emergencies, weather-related closures or unanticipated early school dismissals would all be communicated in this manner, as will attendance calls if your student is absent but we have not received a call or note from the parent/guardian. Given this important information, we strongly urge you to remain subscribed to School Messenger.

Weather-related school closures will also be available on WWLP, Western Mass News, NECN and 98.3 WHAI as well as posted on the district website.

ILLNESS AND MITIGATION STRATEGIES

The Massachusetts Department of Education has reminded us there is no longer a mask mandate other than school health offices and there are no testing requirements for schools. We support anyone who wishes to wear a mask. Below is a link to the recent joint memo from the Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health.

https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/2022-0815covid19-guide-update.docx

The district is working with the Greenfield Health Department regarding ways to mitigate the spread of illness, not just COVID 19. We will continue to encourage and schedule opportunities for handwashing or use of hand sanitizer, continue use of classroom air purifiers when the windows are not able to be open and encourage all students and staff to remain home when they are ill. Our discussions with the Health Department are ongoing and will continue throughout the year as we work collaboratively regarding all illness including, flu, norovirus, Chickenpox, measles etc… should they occur. Updates to this information may be made and I encourage families to keep checking Parent Updates and the website as the year progresses.

NESDEC PRESENTATION

The district is in the process of scheduling community-based discussions about the options for use of our facilities provided in the NESDEC report. The dates, times and locations will be provided to the community as soon as a final schedule has been identified. The goal is to schedule these community discussions now through the fall. A copy of the report can be found on the GPS website.

If anyone requires a printed copy of the report, please contact Lauren at the Superintendent’s office at lauric1@gpsk12.org.

Take care,

Christine