Category Archives: Superintendent

COVID-19 Community Update #22 – May 28, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Many of us never imagined a close to our school year quite like this one.  While we recognize that our remote learning format is not like our usual schedule, we have been able to move forward with student learning for a large portion of our school year.  We thank our students, families, and staff for your contributions to student learning under very challenging circumstances.

Reminder, bold titles indicate new information is contained in the bold sections.

This week’s updates:

Attendance.  Reminder to students and families that our teachers are taking daily student attendance during our check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Of course, non-attendance will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year; our younger students are particularly vulnerable.

As previously noted, the district is responsible for monitoring student attendance.  In situations where students and families have been absent and non-responsive, we are required to follow up.  We are working with the Pittsfield Police Department to conduct wellness checks under these circumstances and are making reports to the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families when necessary as required by law.

As always, we strongly encourage good school attendance and are very appreciative of Pittsfield families for your support of student learning and good school attendance.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  Virtual versions of several end-of-year transition celebrations, as well as several special events, are being planned.  Our general aim is to include all the traditional elements of end-of-year celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – 6:00 p.m., Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – 6:00n p.m., Thursday, June 11
  • PES Whole School Morning Meeting – 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 12
  • PMHS End-of-Year Assembly – 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 12
  • End-of-Year Staff Parade – 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 12

Access info will be provided as we approach these important transition events.  Also, see below for a list of senior events.

Exhibition of LearningWe missed our annual Exhibition of Learning this year due to the pandemic.  But, we’re happy to look at a range of evidence of student learning.

  • PES:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mYsmnH9Z6vq06fcvR_QNEvnAGBwT4uQdEnEqmdYRK2Q/edit?usp=sharing

  • PMHS (expecting additional projects to be posted):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kJZt8JHY9kmVvZTMho5OHLu8GS5wGRBOaxMLn7NDWIY/edit

To share feedback with students:  –https://forms.gle/qQkzhhRxy1axPka68

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  We plan to wrap up new instruction on Friday, June 5, and utilize the week of June 8 to June 12 to provide small group and individualized support for competency strengthening and course completion.  We’ll have more info as we get closer to these dates.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place next week, on Thursday, June 4.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up will be mailed to student homes on Friday; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Collection of learning materials for all students is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 15, and Tuesday, June 16.  Textbooks, science and art materials, and other district equipment will be collected at this time.

Except for graduating seniors, no student-issued computers will be collected at that time; students will be holding on to computers through the summer in anticipation of a potential need to utilize remote technology when school gets going again in August.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are also being provided upon request.  At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Good news about our food deliveries:  the state has received a waiver from the Department of Agriculture to continue our food distribution through the entire month of June and the summer months.  More details will follow.

Moving Out of Pittsfield.  Families who may be moving out of Pittsfield are reminded that families are required to return any district materials and complete a check-out process.  If you are planning to move out of Pittsfield, you are respectfully requested to initiate the check-out process by contacting one the district officials identified below:

Next School Year, 2020-2021:  Our next school is scheduled to get underway with our students on in late August.  What will it look like?  Well, we just don’t know yet.  Our New Hampshire Commissioner of Education has convened a task force to develop recommendations for local school districts regarding the fall and the eventual re-opening of our schools (see Survey Participation Request below).  The Commissioner expects to provide this guidance to school districts by the end of June.  We expect to have more information about our next school year at about that time.  In the meantime, we’ll be living with uncertainty about re-opening and the 2020-2021 school year.

PES Class Placement.  As always, parent input regarding class placement for our next school year is appreciated and is given consideration as we develop our new class groupings.  This year, we’re not quite sure about what our school opening will look like for our students and families.  Our plan is to solicit input from parents and teachers, but hold off on class development until we have a better idea of what our 2020-2021 opening will require.  Stay tuned for updates.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

PMHS Yearbooks.  Yearbooks may be picked up at PMHS from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 (Thanks, Ms. Massey!).  If you have not paid in advance, please bring your payment with you on June 4.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Retention:  Parents may be wondering about the achievement of grade level competencies and whether students may need to be retained in a grade.  We’ve learned from speaking with leaders from other New Hampshire school districts that remote learning has infringed on grade level learning for many, if not most, students.  Our teachers have adjusted their plans and curriculum content in response to our remote learning challenges.

  • Grades K-7: if teachers are recommending retention for any students in these grades, parents would have been notified by now.  If parents have not yet been notified, students and parents may assume that students will be promoted to the next grade.

It is our intent – and that of most schools nation-wide – to meet our younger students “where they are” in the fall; this means that we will be adjusting our curriculum and competency expectations next year (and possibly for another year, depending on school status next year) to ensure that students will progress through our curriculum and achieve competencies that build on prior learning.  We’ll all need to adjust our expectations in a transition back to on-site learning in our schools.

  • Grades 8-12: these grades are different from the earlier grades in that progress in courses and the awarding of course credit is dependent on achievement of course competencies.  a number of eighth grade students and their parents have been advised, beginning earlier in the school year, that students may be in danger of retention due to incomplete achievement of competencies.

 

Students in grades 9-12 will be granted course credit if required competencies have been achieved; for some students, this may require additional work next year on this year’s courses.  It is not entirely unusual for some students to need additional time to complete competencies during the summer or early fall.

 

Of course, carry-over in courses is less than ideal and requires students to assume a larger than usual work load.  Because of this, students in grades 8-12 are strongly encouraged to make every effort to complete current course competencies before the end of this school year next month.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, we have surveyed seniors regarding some preferences and are working with our senior class advisors, who play an important role in planning for graduation events.  Key details regarding senior events:

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Drake Field Posters: drive past Drake Field to see photos of our graduation seniors being celebrated on their individual posters on display
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): to be scheduled
    • Seniors voted overwhelmingly to wait until all can be together for our traditional ceremony at PMHS
    • However, it’s looking more unlikely that we’ll be able to conduct a traditional ceremony, even in August
    • We’re looking at additional options not previously considered; we’ll be working with seniors and senior class advisors to determine our next steps; stay tuned!
  • Last Day: the last day of school for our seniors is scheduled for Friday, May 29
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
  • Pittsfield Post: our Pittsfield Post will be devoting several pages to our graduating seniors in an upcoming issue
  • Senior Parade: scheduled for 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 6; details will be coming; all seniors and families are enthusiastically encouraged to participate
  • Senior Spotlight: see our district Facebook page for senior spotlights which include senior photos and brief biographical information on each of our graduating seniors
  • WMUR Graduation Special: WMUR has reached out to high schools for info on graduating classes in preparation for an hour-long special honoring the 15,000 New Hampshire graduates; PMHS will be participating in the special, which will be aired at 7:00 p.m. during the week of June 8; more info to follow

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

Summer Programs.  Unfortunately, the district’s plans for summer programs is disrupted by the pandemic; here’s the latest:

  • Drake Field Summer Program – cancelled this summer
  • Extended School Year Programs for Special Needs Students – individual plans to be developed; some on-site programs will be provided
  • K-Camp – annual program for incoming kindergartners cancelled this summer; an alternative, shorter program for August is being considered
  • PES Summer School – plans being developed for a shorter program to be provided in August; various formats being considered
  • PMHS Competency Recovery Programs – plans being developed for on-site competency recovery programs for students in need
  • PMHS Summer Academies – cancelled this summer

The district will follow CDC guidelines for on-site programs; more info will follow as planning progresses.

Survey Participation RequestThe New Hampshire Department of Education requests that interested parties complete a survey to assist the Department in re-opening of schools; the survey is due tomorrow, Friday, May 29, at 8:00 p.m. and may be accessed here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/C2WZ3PP

We close by wishing you all the best for a very positive, productive close to our 2019-2020 school year.

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

 

COVID-19 Community Update #21 – May 21, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Monday is Memorial Day, our national holiday that honors the men and women who have died while serving in the military of the United States.  It is a day to recall and reflect on the many thousands of veterans who lost their lives serving our nation, and specifically recall family members, friends, and neighbors who have died while in the military.

For citizens of our country, it is also a day of appreciation, appreciation for those fellow countrymen and countrywomen who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States.

A national moment of remembrance occurs at 3:00 p.m. (local time) on Memorial Day.  We encourage you to take a few moments at 3:00 p.m. on this coming Monday to pause and reflect on the sacrifice made by so many of our servicemen and servicewomen; and to consider the many benefits that we enjoy today as a result of their willingness to lay down their lives in defense of the freedoms that we enjoy.

Because of this important and solemn commemoration, Monday has been a national holiday for many years.  Classes will not be held in Monday, May 25; students and teachers will return to our usual schedule on Tuesday, May 26.

Reminder, bold titles indicate new information is contained in the bold sections.

This week’s updates:

Attendance.  Reminder to students and families that our teachers are taking daily student attendance during our check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Of course, non-attendance will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year; our younger students are particularly vulnerable.

As previously noted, the district is responsible for monitoring student attendance.  In situations where students and families have been absent and non-responsive, we are required to follow up.  We are working with the Pittsfield Police Department to conduct wellness checks under these circumstances and are making reports to the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families when necessary as required by law.

As always, we strongly encourage good school attendance and are very appreciative of Pittsfield families for your support of student learning and good school attendance.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  Virtual versions of several end-of-year transition celebrations, as well as several special events, are being planned.  Our general aim is to include all the traditional elements of end-of-year celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – 6:00 p.m., Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – 6:00n p.m., Thursday, June 11
  • PES Whole School Morning Meeting – 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 12
  • PMHS End-of-Year Assembly – 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 12
  • End-of-Year Staff Parade – 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 12

Access info will be provided as we approach these important transition events.  Also, see below for a list of senior events.

Exhibition Night. In place of our annual Exhibition Night this June, our students will be presenting a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled for next week, May 26 to May 29.  Our celebration will be a toned-down version of our usual Exhibition Night, which we look forward to renewing in the spring of 2021.  Watch for details.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  We plan to wrap up new instruction on Friday, June 5, and utilize the week of June 8 to June 12 to provide small group and individualized support for competency strengthening and course completion.  We’ll have more info as we get closer to these dates.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place next week, on Thursday, June 4.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up will be mailed to student homes on Friday; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Collection of learning materials for all students is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 15, and Tuesday, June 16.  Textbooks, science and art materials, and other district equipment will be collected at this time.  Except for graduating seniors, no student-issued computers will be collected at that time; students will be holding on to computers through the summer in anticipation of a potential need to utilize remote technology when school gets going again in August.  More info will follow as we get closer to the collection dates.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are also being provided upon request.  At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Good news about our food deliveries:  the state has received a waiver from the Department of Agriculture to continue our food distribution through the entire month of June and the summer months.  More details will follow.

Moving Out of Pittsfield.  Families who may be moving out of Pittsfield are reminded that families are required to return any district materials and complete a check-out process.  If you are planning to move out of Pittsfield, you are respectfully requested to initiate the check-out process by contacting one the district officials identified below:

Next School Year, 2020-2021:  Our next school is scheduled to get underway with our students on in late August.  What will it look like?  Well, we just don’t know yet.  Our New Hampshire Commissioner of Education has convened a task force to develop recommendations for local school districts regarding the fall and the eventual re-opening of our schools.  The Commissioner expects to provide this guidance to school districts by the end of June.  We expect to have more information about our next school year at about that time.  In the meantime, we’ll be living with uncertainty about re-opening and the 2020-2021 school year.

PES Class Placement.  As always, parent input regarding class placement for our next school year is appreciated and is given consideration as we develop our new class groupings.  This year, we’re not quite sure about what our school opening will look like for our students and families.  Our plan is to solicit input from parents and teachers, but hold off on class development until we have a better idea of what our 2020-2021 opening will require.  Stay tuned for updates.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Retention:  Parents may be wondering about the achievement of grade level competencies and whether students may need to be retained in a grade.  We’ve learned from speaking with leaders from other New Hampshire school districts that remote learning has infringed on grade level learning for many, if not most, students.  Our teachers have adjusted their plans and curriculum content in response to our remote learning challenges.

  • Grades K-7: if teachers are recommending retention for any students in these grades, parents would have been notified by now.  If parents have not yet been notified, students and parents may assume that students will be promoted to the next grade.

It is our intent – and that of most schools nation-wide – to meet our younger students “where they are” in the fall; this means that we will be adjusting our curriculum and competency expectations next year (and possibly for another year, depending on school status next year) to ensure that students will progress through our curriculum and achieve competencies that build on prior learning.  We’ll all need to adjust our expectations in a transition back to on-site learning in our schools.

  • Grades 8-12: these grades are different from the earlier grades in that progress in courses and the awarding of course credit is dependent on achievement of course competencies.  a number of eighth grade students and their parents have been advised, beginning earlier in the school year, that students may be in danger of retention due to incomplete achievement of competencies.

 

Students in grades 9-12 will be granted course credit if required competencies have been achieved; for some students, this may require additional work next year on this year’s courses.  It is not entirely unusual for some students to need additional time to complete competencies during the summer or early fall.

 

Of course, carry-over in courses is less than ideal and requires students to assume a larger than usual work load.  Because of this, students in grades 8-12 are strongly encouraged to make every effort to complete current course competencies before the end of this school year next month.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, we have surveyed seniors regarding some preferences and are working with our senior class advisors, who play an important role in planning for graduation events.  Key details regarding senior events:

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Check Out for Seniors: our check out process for seniors will be a bit different this year; look for check-out forms – which will require the return of equipment, settling of accounts, etc. – in the coming weeks.
  • Drake Field Posters: drive past Drake Field to see photos of our graduation seniors being celebrated on their individual posters on display
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled
    • Seniors voted overwhelmingly to wait until all can be together for our traditional ceremony at PMHS
    • However, it’s looking more unlikely that we’ll be able to conduct a traditional ceremony, even in August
    • We’re looking at additional options not previously considered; we’ll be working with seniors and senior class advisors to determine our next steps; stay tuned!
  • Last Day: the last day of school for our seniors is scheduled for Friday, May 29
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
  • Pittsfield Post: our Pittsfield Post will be devoting several pages to our graduating seniors in an upcoming issue
  • Senior Parade: scheduled for 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 6; details will be coming; all seniors and families are enthusiastically encouraged to participate
  • Senior Spotlight: see our district Facebook page for senior spotlights which include senior photos and brief biographical information on each of our graduating seniors
  • WMUR Graduation Special: WMUR has reached out to high schools for info on graduating classes in preparation for an hour-long special honoring the 15,000 New Hampshire graduates; PMHS will be participating in the special, which will be aired at 7:00 p.m. during the week of June 8; more info to follow

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

Summer Programs.  We’ve had questions about several of the district’s summer programs:  the Drake Field Summer Program, PMHS Summer Academies, and summer school.  We anticipate that the School Board may finalized decisions on summer programs this week.

Of course, Memorial Day also represents the unofficial start of summer.  Summer 2020 will be different from any that we’ve experienced, that’s for sure.  We wish you all the best for a fun summer nonetheless.

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

COVID-19 Community Update #20 – May 14, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Another great weather week! Hope that you’re able to enjoy it despite the black fly interference.

Reminder, we are putting the titles of any sections that contain new info in bold to help you focus on updates.  We’ll be keeping relevant old information on our Thursday messages.

This week’s updates:

Attendance.  Reminder to students and families that our teachers are taking daily student attendance during our check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  We’re observing an increase of daily attendance at PES and a decrease at PMHS compared with our first three weeks of remote learning:

  • PES
    • First 3 weeks of remote learning: 83.3% daily attendance rate
    • May 4-7: 87.6% daily attendance rate
  • PMHS
    • First 3 weeks of remote learning: 83.0% daily attendance rate
    • May 4-7: 78.3% daily attendance rate

Of course, non-attendance will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year; our younger students are particularly vulnerable.

As previously noted, the district is responsible for monitoring student attendance. In situations where students and families have been absent and non-responsive, we are required to follow up.  We are working with the Pittsfield Police Department to conduct wellness checks under these circumstances and are making reports to the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth, and Families when necessary as required by law.

As always, we strongly encourage good school attendance and are very appreciative of Pittsfield families for your support of student learning and good school attendance.

CARES Act Funds for Pittsfield.  The district will be receiving $264,000 in new funds authorized by the CARES Act.  The funds are intended to address spending needs that are being experienced by the district in response to the pandemic.  As you can assume, the district has expended funds for unanticipated emergency needs (such as technology) and anticipates additional expenses in the months ahead.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  Virtual versions of several end-of-year transition celebrations, as well as several special events, are being planned.  Our general aim is to include all the traditional elements of end-of-year celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – 6:00 p.m., Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – 6:00n p.m., Thursday, June 11
  • PES Whole School Morning Meeting – 8:30 a.m., Friday, June 12
  • PMHS End-of-Year Assembly – 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 12
  • End-of-Year Staff Parade – 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 12

Access info will be provided as we approach these important transition events.

Exhibition Night. In place of our annual Exhibition Night this June, our students will be presenting a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled during the short week of May 26 to May 29.  Our celebration will be a toned-down version of our usual Exhibition Night, which we look forward to renewing in the spring of 2021.  Watch for details.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  We plan to wrap up new instruction on Friday, June 5, and utilize the week of June 8 to June 12 to provide small group and individualized support for competency strengthening and course completion.  We’ll have more info as we get closer to these dates.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place next week, on Thursday, May 21.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up will be mailed to student homes on Friday; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Collection of learning materials for all students is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, June 15, and Tuesday, June 16. Textbooks, science and art materials, and other district equipment will be collected at this time.  Except for graduating seniors, no student-issued computers will be collected at that time; students will be holding on to computers through the summer in anticipation of a potential need to utilize remote technology when school gets going again in August.  More info will follow as we get closer to the collection dates.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are also being provided upon request. At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact. Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items. Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Good news about our food deliveries: the state has received a waiver from the Department of Agriculture to continue our food distribution through the entire month of June.

Moving to PMHS Webinar.  Due to our social distancing requirements, we will not be able to hold our usual in-person orientation for students and parents moving from PES to PMHS.  So, we will be conducting two orientation webinars to help ease the upcoming transition for both students and parents.  Mark your calendars for these two important events:

  • Grade 5 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 19
  • Grade 6 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 20

Access details will be forthcoming.

Moving Out of Pittsfield.  Families who may be moving out of Pittsfield are reminded that families are required to return any district materials and complete a check-out process.  If you are planning to move out of Pittsfield, you are respectfully requested to initiate the check-out process by contacting one the district officials identified below:

Next School Year, 2020-2021:  Our next school is scheduled to get underway with our students on in late August.  What will it look like?  Well, we just don’t know yet.  Our New Hampshire Commissioner of Education has convened a task force to develop recommendations for local school districts regarding the fall and the eventual re-opening of our schools.  The Commissioner expects to provide this guidance to school districts by the end of June.  We expect to have more information about our next school year at about that time.  In the meantime, we’ll be living with uncertainty about re-opening and the 2020-2021 school year.

PES Class Placement.  As always, parent input regarding class placement for our next school year is appreciated and is given consideration as we develop our new class groupings.  This year, we’re not quite sure about what our school opening will look like for our students and families.  Our plan is to solicit input from parents and teachers, but hold off on class development until we have a better idea of what our 2020-2021 opening will require.  Stay tuned for updates.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above. If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Retention:  Parents may be wondering about the achievement of grade level competencies and whether students may need to be retained in a grade.  We’ve learned from speaking with leaders from other New Hampshire school districts that remote learning has infringed on grade level learning for many, if not most, students.  Our teachers have adjusted their plans and curriculum content in response to our remote learning challenges.

  • Grades K-7: if teachers are recommending retention for any students in these grades, parents would have been notified by now. If parents have not yet been notified, students and parents may assume that students will be promoted to the next grade.

It is our intent – and that of most schools nation-wide – to meet our younger students “where they are” in the fall; this means that we will be adjusting our curriculum and competency expectations next year (and possibly for another year, depending on school status next year) to ensure that students will progress through our curriculum and achieve competencies that build on prior learning. We’ll all need to adjust our expectations in a transition back to on-site learning in our schools.

  • Grades 8-12: these grades are different from the earlier grades in that progress in courses and the awarding of course credit is dependent on achievement of course competencies. a number of eighth grade students and their parents have been advised, beginning earlier in the school year, that students may be in danger of retention due to incomplete achievement of competencies.Students in grades 9-12 will be granted course credit if required competencies have been achieved; for some students, this may require additional work next year on this year’s courses. It is not entirely unusual for some students to need additional time to complete competencies during the summer or early fall.Of course, carry-over in courses is less than ideal and requires students to assume a larger than usual work load. Because of this, students in grades 8-12 are strongly encouraged to make every effort to complete current course competencies before the end of this school year next month.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, we have surveyed seniors regarding some preferences and are working with our senior class advisors, who play an important role in planning for graduation events.  Key details regarding senior events:

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Check Out for Seniors: our check out process for seniors will be a bit different this year; look for check-out forms – which will require the return of equipment, settling of accounts, etc. – in the coming weeks.
  • Drake Field Posters: drive past Drake Field to see photos of our graduation seniors being celebrated on their individual posters on display
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled
    • Seniors voted overwhelmingly to wait until all can be together for our traditional ceremony at PMHS
  • Last Day: the last day of school for our seniors is scheduled for Friday, May 29
  • Lawn Signs: we’re looking into providing lawn signs for senior families to utilize to demonstrate our pride in the accomplishments of all our seniors to replace our lobby stars for this year’s grads
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
  • Pittsfield Post: our Pittsfield Post will be devoting several pages to our graduating seniors in an upcoming issue
  • Senior Parade: scheduled for 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 6; details will be coming; all seniors and families are enthusiastically encouraged to participate
  • Senior Spotlight: see our district Facebook page for senior spotlights which include senior photos and brief biographical information on each of our graduating seniors

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

Summer Programs.  We’ve had questions about several of the district’s summer programs:  the Drake Field Summer Program, PMHS Summer Academies, and summer school.  We have been advised that guidance on summer programs from our state Department of Education will be provided to districts by the middle of May, so we expect to have an update on our summer programs by the end of May.

As always, we greatly appreciate our family partnerships to support our students, but partnerships have never been more important than during this pandemic. We recognize that remote learning has placed additional stress on families.  Your commitment to partnering with teachers, paraprofessionals, counselors, and other school officials is vitally important for all our students.  We thank you most sincerely for your support.

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

COVID-19 Community Update #19 – May 7, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Haven’t we been fortunate to have some great weather this week!  We hope that you are enjoying it, whether indoors or out.

Reminder that we will be discontinuing our Monday communications at this time as we’re finding that very little is changing at this point between our Thursday messages and Mondays.

Also, we’ll be putting the titles of any new info in bold to help you focus on new information.  We’ll be keeping some old information on our Thursday messages as some information may be relevant as we move toward the end of our school year.

Below you’ll find today’s messages:

Attendance.  Our teachers are taking daily student attendance during our check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Non-attendance will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year; our younger students are particularly vulnerable.  As always, students are strongly encouraged to maintain good, responsible attendance.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  Virtual versions of several end-of-year transition celebrations are being planned.  Our general aim is to include all the traditional elements of these celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Virtual celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – Thursday, June 11

Exhibition Night. In place of our annual Exhibition Night this June, our students will be presenting a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled during the short week of May 26 to May 29.  Our celebration will be a toned-down version of our usual Exhibition Night, which we look forward to renewing in the spring of 2021.  Watch for details.

Field Day.  PES PE teacher Brandon Balser (Thank you, Mr. Balser!) has registered PES for participation in the National Open Field Day, which will take place tomorrow, Friday, May 8.
To get on board for this fun event:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXZJTyZPiSc7uYJUSHJRuxrGapPIYXILGOowTpUw_wo/edit?ts=5e9dee60.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  We plan to wrap up new instruction on Friday, June 5, and utilize the week of June 8 to June 12 to provide small group and individualized support for competency strengthening and course completion.  We’ll have more info as we get closer to these dates.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place on Thursday, May 21.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up will be mailed to student homes on Friday; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are also being provided upon request.  At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Good news about our food deliveries:  the state has received a waiver from the Department of Agriculture to continue our food distribution through the entire month of June.

Moving to PMHS Webinar.  Due to our social distancing requirements, we will not be able to hold our usual in-person orientation for students and parents moving from PES to PMHS.  So, we will be conducting two orientation webinars to help ease the upcoming transition for both students and parents.  Mark your calendars for these two important events:

  • Grade 5 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 19
  • Grade 6 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 20

Access details will be forthcoming.

National Honor Society.  A virtual NHS Induction Ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13; congratulation to our new NHS inductees!

Next School Year, 2020-2021:  Our next school is scheduled to get underway with our students on in late August.  What will it look like?  Well, we just don’t know yet.  Our New Hampshire Commissioner of Education is forming a task force to develop recommendations for local school districts regarding the fall and eventual re-opening of our schools.  The Commissioner expects to provide this guidance to school districts by the end of June.  We expect to have more information about our next school year at about that time.  In the meantime, we’ll be living with uncertainty about re-opening and the 2020-2021 school year.

PES Class Placement.  As always, parent input regarding class placement for our next school year is appreciated and is given consideration as we develop our new class groupings.  This year, we’re not quite sure about what our school opening will look like for our students and families.  Our plan is to solicit input from parents and teachers, but hold off on class development until we have a better idea of what our 2020-2021 opening will require.  Stay tuned for updates.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Retention:  Parents may be wondering about the achievement of grade level competencies and whether students may need to be retained in a grade.  We’ve learned from speaking with leaders from other New Hampshire school districts that remote learning has infringed on grade level learning for many, if not most, students.  Our teachers have adjusted their plans and curriculum content in response to our remote learning challenges.

  • Grades K-7: if teachers are recommending retention for any students in these grades, parents would have been notified by now.  If parents have not yet been notified, students and parents may assume that students will be promoted to the next grade.

It is our intent – and that of most schools nation-wide – to meet our younger students “where they are” in the fall; this means that we will be adjusting our curriculum and competency expectations next year (and possibly for another year, depending on school status next year) to ensure that students will progress through our curriculum and achieve competencies that build on prior learning.  We’ll all need to adjust our expectations in a transition back to on-site learning in our schools.

  • Grades 8-12: these grades are different from the earlier grades in that progress in courses and the awarding of course credit is dependent on achievement of course competencies.  a number of eighth grade students and their parents have been advised, beginning earlier in the school year, that students may be in danger of retention due to incomplete achievement of competencies.

 

Students in grades 9-12 will be granted course credit if required competencies have been achieved; for some students, this may require additional work next year on this year’s courses.  It is not entirely unusual for some students to need additional time to complete competencies during the summer or early fall.

 

Of course, carry-over in courses is less than ideal and requires students to assume a larger than usual work load.  Because of this, students in grades 8-12 are strongly encouraged to make every effort to complete current course competencies before the end of this school year next month.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, we have surveyed seniors regarding some preferences and are working with our senior class advisors, who play an important role in planning for graduation events.  Key details regarding senior events:

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Check Out for Seniors: our check out process for seniors will be a bit different this year; look for check-out forms – which will require the return of equipment, settling of accounts, etc. – in the coming weeks.
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled
    • Seniors voted overwhelmingly to wait until all can be together for our traditional ceremony at PMHS
  • Last Day: the last day of school for our seniors is scheduled for Friday, May 29
  • Lawn Signs: we’re looking into providing lawn signs for senior families to utilize to demonstrate our pride in the accomplishments of all our seniors to replace our lobby stars for this year’s grads
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
  • Pittsfield Post: our Pittsfield Post will be devoting several pages to our graduating seniors in an upcoming issue
  • Senior Parade: stay tuned for details
  • Senior Spotlight: see our district Facebook page for senior spotlights which include senior photos and brief biographical information on each of our graduating seniors

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

Summer Programs.  We’ve had questions about several of the district’s summer programs:  the Drake Field Summer Program, PMHS Summer Academies, and summer school.  We have been advised that guidance on summer programs from our state Department of Education will be provided to districts by the middle of May, so we’ll have more information on our summer programs in a few weeks.

Finally, we wish all our Pittsfield moms a very Happy Mothers’ Day!

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

 

COVID-19 Community Update #18 – May 4, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

We received some good news from our governor at the end of last week with re-opening schedules for many New Hampshire businesses and recreational facilities. We are indeed fortunate that we are able to get outdoors, unlike people in some other countries.  Our weather certainly has encouraged outdoor time over the weekend, despite the coming of the black flies!

Here are key messages for today:

Attendance.  Our teachers are taking daily student attendance during our check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Non-attendance will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year; our younger students are particularly vulnerable.  As always, students are strongly encouraged to maintain good, responsible attendance.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  Virtual versions of several end-of-year transition celebrations are being planned.  Our general aim is to include all the traditional elements of these celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Virtual celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – Thursday, June 11

Exhibition Night. In place of our annual Exhibition Night this June, our students will be presenting a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled during the short week of May 26 to May 29.  Our celebration will be a toned-down version of our usual Exhibition Night, which we look forward to renewing in the spring of 2021.  Watch for details.

Field Day.  PES PE teacher Brandon Balser (Thank you, Mr. Balser!) has registered PES for participation in the National Open Field Day, which will take place this Friday, May 8.  For more info on this fun event:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXZJTyZPiSc7uYJUSHJRuxrGapPIYXILGOowTpUw_wo/edit?ts=5e9dee60.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  We plan to wrap up new instruction on Friday, June 5, and utilize the week of June 8 to June 12 to provide small group and individualized support for competency strengthening and course completion.  We’ll have more info as we get closer to these dates.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place on Thursday, May 7.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up will be mailed to student homes on Friday; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are also being provided upon request. At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact. Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items. Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Good news about our food deliveries: the state has received a waiver from the Department of Agriculture to continue our food distribution through the entire month of June.

Moving to PMHS Webinar.  Due to our social distancing requirements, we will not be able to hold our usual in-person orientation for students and parents moving from PES to PMHS.  So, we will be conducting two orientation webinars to help ease the upcoming transition for both students and parents.  Mark your calendars for these two important events:

  • Grade 5 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 19
  • Grade 6 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 20

Access details will be forthcoming.

National Honor Society.  A virtual NHS Induction Ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13; congratulation to our new NHS inductees!

Personal Belongings.  Because of the continuation of school closure through the end of the school year, district staff are collecting all personal belongings of our students – from classrooms, lockers, etc. – and ready belongings for pick-up by students and parents.  Pick-up for PMHS students is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at PES.

PES Class Placement.  As always, parent input regarding class placement for our next school year is appreciated and is given consideration as we develop our new class groupings.  This year, we’re not quite sure about what our school opening will look like for our students and families.  Our plan is to solicit input from parents and teachers, but hold off on class development until we have a better idea of what our 2020-2021 opening will require.  Stay tuned for updates.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above. If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, we have surveyed seniors regarding some preferences and are working with our senior class advisors, who play an important role in planning for graduation events.  Key details regarding senior events:

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled
    • Seniors voted overwhelmingly to wait until all can be together for our traditional ceremony at PMHS
  • Last Day: the last day of school for our seniors is scheduled for Friday, May 29
  • Lawn Signs: we’re looking into providing lawn signs for senior families to utilize to demonstrate our pride in the accomplishments of all our seniors to replace our lobby stars for this year’s grads
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
  • Pittsfield Post: our Pittsfield Post will be devoting several pages to our graduating seniors in an upcoming issue
  • Senior Parade: stay tuned for details
  • Senior Spotlight: see our district Facebook page for senior spotlights which include senior photos and brief biographical information on each of our graduating seniors

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

Summer Programs.  We’ve had questions about several of the district’s summer programs:  the Drake Field Summer Program, PMHS Summer Academies, and summer school.  We have been advised that guidance on summer programs from our state Department of Education will be provided to districts by the middle of May, so we’ll have more information on our summer programs in a few weeks.

As we have settled in to our remote learning status over, we’re finding that twice weekly messages have become less necessary, with main news items being published in our Thursday messages. Because of this, we will be scaling back our Community Updates to one day per week, Thursdays.  If we have critical news to share in between messages, we’ll be sure to reach out to you in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

 

COVID-19 Community Update #17 – April 30, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

We are hope that all our Pittsfield families are doing well this week.  Again, we recognize that remote learning is providing another stress in our usually busy lives.  Our teachers are working to minimize the heaviness of the lift required by our Pittsfield parents.  It’s a challenge to strike a balance between the responsibilities of our educators to provide learning opportunities and the reasonableness of the demands of our programs.  Your support, positivity, hard work, and understanding are all greatly appreciated.

Today’s news:

Attendance.  As has been our practice, the district is taking daily student attendance during our check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Non-attendance will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year; our younger students are particularly vulnerable.  As always, students are strongly encouraged to maintain good, responsible attendance.

CARES Act.  You may be familiar with recent legislation to provide funding to local school districts to support students during remote learning.  It looks like our district will receive more than $200,000 for this purpose.  Among planned use:  technology needed to support remote learning, meals for students, summer programming to support struggling students, and other program components.  This support is greatly appreciated.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  Virtual versions of several end-of-year transition celebrations are being planned.  Our general aim is to include all the traditional elements of these celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – Thursday, June 11

Exhibition Night. Our very popular and well-attended annual Exhibition Night, scheduled for Thursday, June 4, will not be held this year.  In its place, our students will be presenting a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled during the short week of May 26 to May 29.  Our celebration will be a toned-down version of our usual Exhibition Night, which we look forward to renewing in the spring of 2021.  Watch for details.

Field Day.  PES PE teacher Brandon Balser (Thank you, Mr. Balser!) has registered PES for participation in the National Open Field Day, which will take place next week, on Friday, May 8.  For more info on this fun event:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXZJTyZPiSc7uYJUSHJRuxrGapPIYXILGOowTpUw_wo/edit?ts=5e9dee60.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  We plan to wrap up new instruction on Friday, June 5, and utilize the week of June 8 to June 12 to provide small group and individualized support for competency strengthening and course completion.  We’ll have more info as we get closer to these dates.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place on Thursday, May 7.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up will be mailed to student homes on Friday; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are also being provided upon request.  At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Good news about our food deliveries:  the state has received a waiver from the Department of Agriculture to continue our food distribution through the entire month of June.

Moving to PMHS Webinar.  Due to our social distancing requirements, we will not be able to hold our usual in-person orientation for students and parents moving from PES to PMHS.  So, we will be conducting two orientation webinars to help ease the upcoming transition for both students and parents.  Mark your calendars for these two important events:

  • Grade 5 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 19
  • Grade 6 Move-Up Orientation Webinar: 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 20

Access details will be forthcoming.

National Honor Society.  A virtual NHS Induction Ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13; congratulation to our new NHS inductees!

Personal Belongings.  Because of the continuation of school closure through the end of the school year, district staff are collecting all personal belongings of our students – from cubbies, classrooms, lockers, etc. – and ready belongings for pick-up by students and parents.  Pick-up for PMHS students is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at PES.

PES Class Placement.  As always, parent input regarding class placement for our next school year is appreciated and is given consideration as we develop our new class groupings.  This year, we’re not quite sure about what our school opening will look like for our students and families.  Our plan is to solicit input from parents and teachers, but hold off on class development until we have a better idea of what our 2020-2021 opening will require.  Stay tuned for updates.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

School Re-Start.  Of course, we don’t completely know what challenges we’ll be facing when we come to the end of August and the start-up of our 2020-2021 school year.  A broad range of approaches are on the table at present, depending on the status of the pandemic by late August.  Our state Department of Education is planning to provide districts with guidance on school re-start by the end of June, so we’ll just have to wait a bit longer before we can provide concrete plan for start-up in late August.

School Year.  We’ve had some questions about wrapping up our school year earlier than planned.  With our calculations of “school year” as defined by our state Department of Education, we will need time during the week of June 8 to conclude our school year and meet the requirements of our Department.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, we have surveyed seniors regarding some preferences and are working with our senior class advisors, who play an important role in planning for graduation events.  Key details regarding senior events:

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled
    • Seniors voted overwhelmingly to wait until all can be together for our traditional ceremony at PMHS
  • Last Day: the last day of school for our seniors is scheduled for Friday, May 29
  • Lawn Signs: we’re looking into providing lawn signs for senior families to utilize to demonstrate our pride in the accomplishments of all our seniors to replace our lobby stars for this year’s grads
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
  • Pittsfield Post: our Pittsfield Post will be devoting several pages to our graduating seniors in an upcoming issue
  • Senior Parade: stay tuned for details
  • Senior Spotlight: see our district Facebook page for senior spotlights which include senior photos and brief biographical information on each of our graduating seniors

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

Summer Programs.  We’ve had questions about several of the district’s summer programs:  the Drake Field Summer Program, PMHS Summer Academies, and summer school.  We have been advised that guidance on summer programs from our state Department of Education will be provided to districts by the middle of May, so we’ll have more information on our summer programs in a few weeks.

Thank you for all you are doing to support the continuing of learning of our wonderful students.  Enjoy your weekend!

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

COVID-19 Community Update #16 – April 27, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

We hope you are weathering the pandemic “storm” in good health and in good spirits.  We’ll get through this challenge; we appreciate all the support that our students are receiving, despite our new and daily challenges.

A little news for today:

Attendance.  Reminder to families that the district is taking attendance during our daily check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Non-participation will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year.  As always, students are strongly encouraged to maintain good, responsible attendance.

Colleges and Universities.  Upper level students and families may be concerned about the potential impact of remote learning on post-secondary plans.  Please rest assured that this has been a concern of us as well.  Melissa Brown, our Director of Career Readiness, has participated in conversations with college and university admission officials, organized by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

We are happy to report that the admissions officials recognize that these are unusual times and that all upper level high school students are in the same boat.  With this conclusion comes assurances that students will not be penalized, in terms of post-secondary plans, by the nature of school learning at this time.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  In addition to our PMHS graduation ceremony, several other end-of-year transition celebrations are being scheduled and planned.  Given our present circumstances, these celebrations will likely be conducted remotely.  Our general plan is to include all the traditional elements of these celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – Thursday, June 11

Exhibition Night. Our very popular annual Exhibition Night, scheduled for Thursday, June 4, will not be held this year.  In its place, our students and teachers will be planning a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled at about the same timeframe.  Watch for details.

Field Day.  PES PE teacher Brandon Balser (Thank you, Mr. Balser!) has registered PES for participation in the National Open Field Day, which will take place on Friday, May 8.  For more info on this fun event:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXZJTyZPiSc7uYJUSHJRuxrGapPIYXILGOowTpUw_wo/edit?ts=5e9dee60.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  Reminder that next year’s calendar has also been established by the Board and is posted on the district website.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place on Thursday, May 7.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up on Thursday’s will be mailed to student homes on Friday’s; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are now being provided upon request.  At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

National Honor Society.  A virtual NHS Induction Ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 13; more details will follow for members and new inductees; congratulation to our new inductees!

Personal Belongings.  Because of the continuation of school closure through the end of the school year, district staff are collecting all personal belongings of our students – from cubbies, classrooms, lockers, etc. – and ready belongings for pick-up by students and parents.  Pick-up for PMHS is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, our PMHS administration reached out to seniors and their families this week.  Key details shared regarding senior events.

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
    • Other June 6 celebrations under discussion
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

We wish you the best for a happy, positive week!

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

COVID-19 Community Update #15 – April 23, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

What a time!  While we acknowledge that we need ongoing support from family and friends all the time, our need for support is magnified as we add new stress in our lives.  We sincerely hope that you are taking care of your needs and remind you that our children and youth have resources available via our school counselors and new district social worker.  We invite and encourage you to access district resources as may be helpful to you, especially as the pandemic, social restrictions, and other instabilities impact our lives.

Here are your updates for today:

Attendance.  Reminder to families that the district is taking attendance during our daily check-in’s with students and through student participation in learning activities.  Non-participation will result in significant “learn loss” according to education researchers, with some students potentially erasing all gains made in the first portion of the academic year.  As always, students are strongly encouraged to maintain good, responsible attendance.

Colleges and Universities.  Upper level students and families may be concerned about the potential impact of remote learning on post-secondary plans.  Please rest assured that this has been a concern of us as well.  Melissa Brown, our Director of Career Readiness, has participated in conversations with college and university admission officials, organized by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

We are happy to report that the admissions officials recognize that these are unusual times and that all upper level high school students are in the same boat.  With this conclusion comes assurances that students will not be penalized, in terms of post-secondary plans, by the nature of school learning at this time.

CRTC.  PMHS students participating in CRTC (Concord Regional Technical Center) programs are advised that the CRTC will be taking April vacation (next week) as scheduled.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  In addition to our PMHS graduation ceremony, several other end-of-year transition celebrations are being scheduled and planned.  Given our present circumstances, these celebrations will likely be conducted remotely.  Our general plan is to include all the traditional elements of these celebrations to the greatest extend possible.  Celebrations are scheduled as follows:

  • Kindergarten – Monday, June 8
  • Fifth Grade – Tuesday, June 9
  • Sixth Grade – Wednesday, June 10
  • Eighth Grade – Thursday, June 11

Exhibition Night. Our very popular annual Exhibition Night, scheduled for Thursday, June 4, will not be held this year.  In its place, our students and teachers will be planning a virtual Celebration of Student Learning, which will be scheduled at about the same timeframe.  Watch for details.

Field Day.  PES PE teacher Brandon Balser (Thank you, Mr. Balser!) has registered PES for participation in the National Open Field Day, which will take place in two weeks on Friday, May 8.  For more info on this fun event:   https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cXZJTyZPiSc7uYJUSHJRuxrGapPIYXILGOowTpUw_wo/edit?ts=5e9dee60.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  Reminder that next year’s calendar has also been established by the Board and is posted on the district website.

Learning Materials.  Learning materials pick-ups are scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will take place on Thursday, May 7.  Remember also that all pick-ups are scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up on Thursday’s will be mailed to student homes on Friday’s; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district and our food service contractor are utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

Weekend meals are now being provided upon request.  At present, the district is providing about 200 meals to students on a daily basis, with our Friday meal count at around 600 meals, which include weekends.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff for supporting our students in the pandemic!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Medications. Since our schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year, our two school nurses have been contacting families this week to make arrangements for the pick-up of any and all prescription medications now in custody of our health offices.

National Honor Society.  A virtual NHS Induction Ceremony is being planned; details will be forthcoming.

Personal Belongings.  Because of the continuation of school closure through the end of the school year, district staff are collecting all personal belongings of our students – from cubbies, classrooms, lockers, etc. – and ready belongings for pick-up by students and parents.  Pick-up for PES occurred today, and pick-up for PMHS is scheduled for Thursday, May 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Remote Learning Term. Governor Sununu has announced that our remote learning format will continue through the end of our 2019-2020 school year.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, our PMHS administration reached out to seniors and their families this week.  Key details shared regarding senior events.

  • Awards Night (virtual): Friday, June 5
    • Traditional line-up of Awards Night activities and presentations
  • Photo Opportunities: Saturday, June 6
    • Seniors and families schedule time for professional photos at PMHS
    • Other June 6 celebrations under discussion
  • Graduation Ceremony (in-person): as soon as can be scheduled

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

A lot of detail for today, all in the interest of keeping us together as a school community as we navigate our changed ways of life.

We wish you the best for a happy weekend!

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

COVID-19 Community Update #14 – April 20, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Last week’s announcement by our governor that schools are to remain closed for the remainder of the school year was disappointing, but not surprising. We are hopeful that our fourth quarter of student learning will be beneficial for all our students.  Parents are reminded that contact teachers directly with questions about course content or procedures.

Here are your updates for today:

Attendance.  Reminder to families that the district is required to take attendance during our daily check-in’s with students. Because of this, we encourage good attendance during our remote learning period.

CRTC.  PMHS students participating in CRTC (Concord Regional Technical Center) programs are advised that the CRTC will be taking April vacation as scheduled.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  In addition to our PMHS graduation ceremony and other senior activities, we have begun to discuss possibilities for our other traditional transitions:  kindergarten to first grade, fifth and sixth grade to PMHS, and eighth grade promotion.  We’ll have details to share as plans are finalized.

Last Day of School.  The Pittsfield School Board has established Friday, June 12, as the last day of school for our 2019-2020 school year.  Reminder that next year’s calendar has also been established by the Board and is posted on the district website.

Learning Materials.  Reminder that materials pick-ups are now scheduled for every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will be this Thursday, April 23.  Remember also that all pick-ups will be scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up on Thursday’s will be mailed to student homes on Friday’s; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day.  Be assured that the district is utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

We are currently finalizing arrangements to provide weekend meals as well. More information will be provided later this week as plans are finalized; we expect weekend meals to get under way next weekend, the weekend of April 25-26.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact. Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items. Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Medications. Since our schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year, our two school nurses will be contacting families this week to make arrangements for the pick-up of any and all prescription medications now in custody of our health offices.

Personal Belongings.  And also because of the continuation of school closure through the end of the school year, district staff will be collecting all personal belongings of our students – from cubbies, classrooms, lockers, etc. – and ready belongings for pick-up by students and parents.  We’ll be starting with our kindergarten classrooms and moving up the grades from kindergarten.  Family members will receive a message on Wednesday of this week advising of the availability of personal belongings.

At this time, we’re planning for pick-ups to take place on Thursday’s from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; this week, pick-ups will take place at PES. We may also schedule late afternoon / evening pick-up sessions if needed.

Playgrounds.  In the interest of minimizing potential coronavirus spread, the Pittsfield School Board has closed the district’s playgrounds (Drake Field and PES), as well as the basketball court and tennis courts at Drake Field.  We are sorry for this inconvenience and look forward to the reopening of the district’s playgrounds.  Drake Field itself is remaining open, with the caution that citizens practice safe social distancing while at the field.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above. If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Remote Learning Term. Governor Sununu has announced that our remote learning format will continue through the end of our 2019-2020 school year.

Seniors.  Regarding graduation and senior activities, our PMHS administration will be reaching out to students and families this week:  please stay tuned for this important info update coming your way!

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

We are so grateful for our students, families, and school staff for supporting student learning with our new restrictions. Certainly, these restrictions have added to the usual stress of everyday life for most folks; we wish you the best for good health and happiness.

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations

COVID-19 Community Update #13 – April 16, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

We hope that you and your family are enjoying good health; we thank our many Pittsfield families for stepping up in your strong support of Pittsfield students.  We recognize that the pandemic is creating a stressful burden for many of our families, and we appreciate your commitment to collaboration for our students’ benefit.

In a phone conference with school leaders earlier today, both our governor and commissioner of education shared very complimentary observations and thank you’s to New Hampshire students, families, and staff for your work with remote learning.  Governor Sununu talked about his own challenges with remote learning for his family, illustrating his own commitment to remote learning.

Here’s the latest district news:

Attendance.  Reminder to families that the district is required to take attendance during our daily check-in’s with students. Because of this, we encourage good attendance during our remote learning period.

CRTC.  PMHS students participating in CRTC (Concord Regional Technical Center) programs are advised that the CRTC will be taking April vacation as scheduled later this month.

End-of-Year Transition Celebrations.  In addition to our PMHS graduation ceremony and other senior activities, we have begun to discuss possibilities for our other traditional transitions:  kindergarten to first grade, fifth and sixth grade to PMHS, and eighth grade promotion.  We’ll have details to share as plans are finalized.

Learning Materials.  Reminder that we are moving to materials pick-ups every two weeks.  Our next pick-up will be Thursday, April 23.  Remember also that all pick-ups will be scheduled for PES, regardless of the grade.  Materials not picked up on Thursday’s will be mailed to student homes on Friday’s; an exception would be for tech equipment or other large materials, which will be delivered by school bus during daily food delivery runs.

Meals.  The district is providing meals to all students upon request.  Meals are delivered between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily or between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon for families who opt to pick up meals at PES.  In addition to lunch, meals include breakfast for the following day with varied menus for each.  The district is utilizing meal delivery best practices to minimize the danger of potential danger of exposure to the virus.

We are currently finalizing arrangements to provide weekend meals as well.  More information will be provided as plans are finalized; we expect weekend meals to get under way for the weekend of April 25-26.

Families who receive meal deliveries are requested to leave a cooler or box at your door to minimize personal contact.  Derek Hamilton is coordinating food deliveries; questions and requests should go to Derek vis email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org).  Thanks to our outstanding food service staff!

Our PES and PMHS food pantries continue to function during the period of remote learning, offering personal toiletries in addition to food items.  Please contact Mike Curtin via email (mcurtin@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to arrange for service from our food pantries.

Preschool and Kindergarten Registrations.  Families who would like to have your preschool children entered into the annual lottery for preschool slots are requested to complete a pre-registration form at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf63irLZKfIRr6DWQ65g9PFmVs2Klcc-ChVo5Co90AsweJ_gA/viewform

Families who are anticipating that a child in your household will begin kindergarten next year – reaching the age of 5 years old by September 30, 2020 – are also asked to complete the pre-registration form linked above.  If you know of other families who may be interested in kindergarten registration, and who may not be receiving this message, please pass along this information.

Related Services.  Though we have initiated a 4/1 schedule of instruction (instruction to all students on Monday’s through Thursday’s; Friday’s utilized for office time, individual help, small group work, etc.), our related service providers (speech and language and other therapeutic services provided per individual student plans) will continue to provide services on Friday’s due to scheduling requirements.

Remote Learning Term. Governor Sununu has announced that our remote learning format will continue through the end of our 2019-2020 school year.

Seniors.  Thank you to our seniors who responded to our survey regarding graduation; the overwhelming majority of seniors favor the scheduling of our usual formal ceremony during July or August, as soon as we are able to get together.  We are also planning for some events to occur in early June; more information will be coming within the next week or so.

School and SAU Offices.  Reminder that we ask that our school and SAU offices not be visited; please email individuals with whom you would like contact.  We will do our best to respond to email messages within twenty-four hours during the week.

These are truly stressful times for us all, more for some folks than others.  Please know that we are here to support our Pittsfield students and families in any and every way that we can.  We hope that you enjoy your weekend; Sunday’s weather looks gorgeous!

Sincerely,

 

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations