July 23, 2020
Dear Members of the Malden Public Schools Community:
First and foremost, thank you for your patience and understanding as we go through this uncharted territory together as a community. As of this morning, we have set up a page on our district website (www.maldenps.org/reopening) as a central location for updates and information around the reopening of school in the fall. We will continually update this during this reopening phase. There you will find:
● The guidance documents provided to school districts by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education thus far, including COVID-19 symptom response
● The results of the initial parent/guardian survey on reopening
● Zoom links to upcoming community forums
There is a lot of work underway, and still a great amount of work to do over the next few weeks. We know that there are still likely to be more questions than answers, and will be depending on family and community input as we enter this next phase of planning. Our work to date includes:
● Completing walk-throughs of all school buildings to determine needs for possible reopening under health and safety guidelines
● A commitment to health and safety by adhering to the 6 feet as our social distancing threshold (as opposed to 3 suggested by DESE), and the inclusion of masks for our student population in grades 2-12 and strongly encouraging Pre K, K and 1 to wear masks, with the notable exception of people who will need accommodations because of sensory or medical issues that preclude them from being able to safely wear a mask.
● We have been assessing and improving our ventilation and air circulation systems in the school buildings.
● We have begun to order PPE, and protective barriers to help keep people safe when we return to school.
● We know that no matter what scenario the district elects to participate in, the probability is that remote learning will be a component at some point of any scenario. In order to do that we want our students in grades K-12 to have access to their own Chromebook if they don’t have one already. We hope to have a 1:1 (1 chromebook per student) in the district for the beginning of the school year.
As a district, we are still required to develop three separate plans:
● one for return to full in-person instruction with safety requirements,
● one for full remote learning, and
● one for hybrid learning that combines in-person and remote learning.
I want to thank our Re-Entry Advisory Task Force Team for the work that they have done with me over the month of July. The team consists of:
● Kelly Chase, Assistant Superintendent
● Michael Wood, Assistant Superintendent
● Toni Mertz, School Business Manager
● Ashley Pierre, Human Resources Director
● Leonard Iovino, School Committee
● Adam Weldai, School Committee
● Peg Crowe, City Council and Malden YWCA director
● Eric Rubin, Director of Public Facilities
● Deborah Gesualdo, Malden Education Association President
● Caitlin Filteau, Malden Food Service Department
● Patricia Tramondozzi, Director of Nursing for the Malden Schools
● Charlie Conefrey, Director of Athletics, Phys. Ed., and Health
● Pam Skinner, Forestdale educator and MPS grandparent
● Robin Doherty, Malden High School educator
● Marie Motley, School Adjustment Counselor
● Adrienne Desantis, Linden Educator
● Denise Keating, MPS parent
● Salima Slimane, MPS parent and President of Malden SEPAC
● Daniel Gilligan, MHS student
● Lynn Sarah Georges, MHS Student
● All 7 MPS building principals: Peter Dolan, Kariann Murphy, Abdel Sepulveda, Don Concannon, Ray Garcia, Van Huynh, Chris Mastrangelo
● Chris Webb, Malden Board of Health Director
● Captain Glenn Cronin, Malden Police Department
The team has focused their work on evaluating safety guidelines and developing scenarios for each of the three scenarios required by DESE, and we will be releasing those draft plans to you next week. In the meantime, we want to hear from you! Please consider joining us for one of our community listening sessions next week. They will be held via zoom, and the link will be posted on the maldenps.org/reopening website. They will be held on:
● Tuesday, July 28th, 7-8:30pm
https://zoom.us/s/91555359191 or Join by Telephone @ +1 312 626 6799 or +1 929 436 2866 (Webinar ID: 915 5535 9191)
● Thursday, July 30th, 5-6:30pm
or Join by Telephone at +1 312 626 6799 (Webinar ID: 934 4963 6894)
● Friday July 31st, 12-1:30pm
or Join by Telephone at +1 312 626 6799 (Webinar ID: 986 6306 5997)
We will briefly review initial survey results, share updated safety regulations, and preview draft plans for reopening scenarios – but mostly we want to have an open forum to hear from you directly. What are your thoughts, concerns, and ideas about reopening? We know we don’t have all the answers but want to get as much input as we can from our major stakeholders – our families. We hope you can join us! We also encourage you to send any questions or concerns to our dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.