COVID-19 Community Update #25 – June 18, 2020

Pittsfield Families,

Thanks to the flexibility, cooperation, and kindness of so many, our students have concluded the district’s 2019-2020 school year.  These have been an extraordinary few weeks, and the positive, can-do spirit of our Pittsfield school community has contributed to making these last few months as productive as possible for the learning of our district’s children and youth.

Reminder that headings in BOLD indicate that new or updated information is contained in that section.

Last Day Parade.  Thanks to our many students and families who commemorated last Friday’s last-day-of-school parade through Pittsfield.  Your friendly greetings, enthusiastic waving, and your thank you signs were so appreciated by our parading staff.

Thanks also to our Pittsfield Police and Fire Departments for helping us celebrate; that a great, positive afternoon it was!

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.

Meal service will continue throughout the summer.  If you have been receiving meals, but do not wish to do so any longer or will be away from your home during the summer, please contact Derek Hamilton via email (dhamilton@pittsfieldnhschools.org) to modify your service schedule.

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!

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.

Several activities are scheduled for July and early August to plan for the fall.  These include evaluation of the Commissioner of Education’s Task Force recommendations, the Governor’s guidance, CDC guidance, teacher and staff input, parent input via surveys, and guidance from a broad range of other sources.

We will be continuing our regular messages to you through the summer months.  We will continue our weekly messages through the end of June.  We will then schedule semi-monthly messages in July and August as plans become established and to keep you informed of district events.

Parent Surveys.  We will respectfully request parents complete a brief survey about your child/youth’s experiences with remote learning.  Your perspective will help us to evaluate our work of the past few months and to plan for the fall.  Parents can expect to see these surveys by the end of the week; your help will be appreciated.

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.  Our seniors have enjoyed a series of graduation events; among our highlights have been the photo opportunities at PMHS, senior awards, and the senior parade.  Thanks to all for your wonderful support of our graduating seniors  Key details regarding remaining senior events:

  • 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): this year’s ceremony is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, at Delta Dental Field in Manchester.  Detailed plans for entering, attending, and leaving this event is being provided to seniors and their families.
  • 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.

School Board Meetings.  With the relaxing of the governor’s Stay at Home order, the Pittsfield School Board will resume on-site meetings beginning with tonight’s meeting.  The Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the PMHS lecture hall with the request that participants follow social distancing guidelines when entering and exiting the meeting as well as during the meeting itself.

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 are being developed; some on-site programs will be provided; dates for our on-site programs: July 13 to August 6
  • K-Camp – annual program for incoming kindergartners cancelled this summer; an alternative, shorter program for August is being considered; families will be contacted later in the summer
  • PES Summer School – our teachers have made recommendations for students to attend a pre-school-opening summer session; this session is scheduled for August 10 to August 20; our hope is that all our students will be prepared to get a good start to our new school year; information will be provided to families
  • PMHS Competency Recovery Programs – plans being developed for on-site competency recovery programs for students in need; more info will be forthcoming
  • PMHS Summer Academies – cancelled this summer

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

Again, we’ll keep these messages coming throughout the summer; look for #26 next week; we’ll then be switching to a twice-per-month schedule over the summer to keep you informed of key district events and decisions.

Sincerely,

John Freeman, Superintendent of Schools

Derek Hamilton, Dean of Operations