5/25/2020 - LPS Task Force to Plan for 20-21 School Year
If you need this document translated, please call your child’s school principal - Si necesita este documento traducido, por favor comuníquese con la escuela de su hijo - Se você precisa este documento traduzido, entre em contato com a escola do seu filho - Si vous avez besoin de traduire ce document, s'il vous plaît contacter l'école de votre enfant - 如果你需要这份文件翻译，请联系您的孩子的学校 - ،إذا طفلتك/طفلك بمدرسة الاتصال یرجى العربیة اللغة إلى الوثیقة ھذه ترجمة إلى تحتاجین/ تحتاج كنت
Dear LPS Community,
The question on all of our minds is, what will public education in Massachusetts, and the Lincoln and Hanscom schools specifically, look like for the next school year? I would love to say that I have definitive answers to this question, I do not. That being said, we have begun considering possibilities and options for educating students in the coming school year. We are developing the LPS Education 2021 Task Force that will create the Lincoln Public Schools Plan for Education and Operations for the 2020 -2021 school year.
This coming week we will be vetting the structure of the Task Force and its charge with our district stakeholders. Every aspect of the district needs to be considered including: learning expectations and instruction; health and safety; transportation; business operations and facilities; schedules; student and staff well-being; technology; and a myriad of other details involved in operating schools and providing educational services to students. In order to carry out this work, a broad range of representation is needed on the Task Force. Our administrators and faculty will make up the majority of Task Force members. We will also include school community members who fill multiple roles. For example, a school committee member who is also a parent or a parent who is also a health care provider. We will begin our work, over the next few weeks, to prepare for the coming school year. We know that this will be an iterative process that will need to be adjusted as conditions change and guidance is provided by Governor Baker, Commissioner of Education Riley, and the Department of Public Health and our local board of health. We will strive to have a foundational plan by the end of June but, we expect planning to continue through the summer and be finalized in late July or early August.
Commissioner, Riley has constituted the Return-to-School Working Group made up of stakeholder representatives from across the state. The executive board of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) meets regularly with the Commissioner to collaborate and discuss topics and concerns that need to be addressed. The Commissioner has urged superintendents not to get out ahead of the Working Group. He expects that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will be providing clear directives to MA school districts regarding the operations of schools in 2020-2021 to ensure consistency and equity across the state. Guidelines from DESE are expected in mid-June. Superintendents are scheduled to participate on a call with the Commissioner this Wednesday afternoon. We hope to receive additional information about the guidance that we will receive. Our preliminary understanding is that the Working Group will provide clear directives for most of the planning for school operations. At this time, we do not know which decisions will be made by the Working Group and which decisions will be left to local districts.
We cannot wait until mid-June to get started. Starting now means that our plans will change along the way. We will do our best to gather input from the community regarding decisions that are designated as local decisions. And, we will inform you of the directives that we receive and must follow. In addition, I will be serving on the Town of Lincoln Reopening Planning Group that is beginning to meet this week. All plans pertaining to the schools will be coordinated with the work of the Lincoln Reopening Planning Group. I will provide a more comprehensive presentation regarding the LPS Education 2021 Task Force at the School Committee meeting this Thursday, May 28th. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to ensure that we are making the best possible decisions for the well-being and education of our students.
All the best,
Becky McFall, Superintendent