Superintendent’s Letter to Families

Greetings Malden Public School Families,

We hope that this letter finds you well and ready to begin the school year. We begin our classes remotely, tomorrow, in all our schools. We want to update and remind you of a number of items for the upcoming school year.

School Calendar:
We have a new school calendar (HERE 2020-21 School Calendar) for this year. Classes for students begin on September 16. Since Commissioner Riley reduced the number of school days to 170, we will end the year on June 16 (the 170th day of school), barring any days that school is cancelled. There are four professional Development Days during the school year where there is no school. Those days are: November 3, February 12, March 12 and June 17.

Remote Learning:
As we announced last night at the School Committee meeting, we have an agreement in place with the Malden Education Association and we will begin with highest needs students attending school in-person on October 13. Teachers will begin remote teaching on September 16. All of our students in grades 5-12 have been issued a Chromebook and will be able to join their classes online tomorrow.

For our students in grades Pre K through 4, we are awaiting the delivery of our Chromebooks. Once we have the devices, we will set up a deployment plan to get them to you as soon as possible. This delay was out of our control and we are working diligently to secure Chromebooks as fast as we can.

In place of computers for Pre K-4, we have had paper packets printed that will be available for pick up at any K-8 school and at the ELC. You can pick up the packet beginning tomorrow at your own school or at the school closest to where you live. Teachers in grades PreK through 4 will be setting up meetings with your families both online and by phone. We will use the paper packet as the guide while we await our computer delivery. Families will also be able to access the packet materials on our website starting on Wednesday.

For our Pre K-4 families, we know that this is a particularly confusing and stressful time. Our teachers have been provided time to reach out to families over the past ten days to introduce themselves and welcome you to their class. Tomorrow, teachers will be asked to follow their building-based schedule. They will set up Google meets that can be accessed through a device or through a call-in feature. Teachers and building teams will follow up with families who are unable to connect by device or phone call-in feature. Our goal for tomorrow is to ensure that we connect with every family.

K-4 Curriculum Packet:
The K-4 Curriculum Packet is a large packet that has the following parts:
ESL – These are short activities that can be used for our English Language Learners in addition to the content areas.
Exploratory – These are art activities that can be enjoyed by all learners.
Science – The science pages are organized/labeled by grade level, starting with Kindergarten.
Social Studies – The social studies pages are organized/labeled by grade level, starting with Kindergarten.
Math – The math pages are organized/labeled by grade level, starting with Kindergarten.
Social Emotional Activities (SEL) – These are activities for all learners.
Physical Education – These are activities that are good for all ages.
Literacy – Literacy is a separate handout.

ALL K-5 activities are included in this packet. If you need a little practice, you can use the grade level below. If you need a challenge, you can use materials for the grade level above. Your teacher will help you work with the right materials.

Here are two ways you can organize yourself:
1. Pull the packet apart; separate each subject area so that you have one group for math, one for social studies, etc. You can then select the materials that belong to your grade level.
2. If you don’t want to separate the sections of your packet, use a sticky note / post-it to mark where your grade level subjects begin.

Your teacher will talk to you more about your packet of materials when you talk to them this

Breakfast and Lunch:
Starting on Wednesday, September 16, free breakfast and lunch for ALL students will be available for pick-up from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Forestdale, Beebe, Ferryway, Salemwood, Malden High School and Linden STEAM Academy. Students and families can pick up their food at any of these locations which is most convenient for them. We hope this will ease the burden of providing meals for families while students are in the remote learning mode. We encourage any and all families to pick a free breakfast and lunch.

Multilingual Help Desk:
We have set up an external Multilingual Help Desk support team to help families with tech questions. You will notice on all of our school websites there will be a phone number and a live chat box that families can use to connect with tech support. The chat box will only show up on the website if there is a live agent available to connect with them. The agent will be “live” on Wednesday, September 16, 7AM-7PM and available Monday through Friday.

This service is exclusively for families for Chromebook support. Translation services are available as a part of the program. This is specifically for families to help with their remote learning. The Helpdesk will assist parents navigate resources and navigate issues with WiFi or chromebooks. If the helpdesk cannot assist, the parents will then be connected with our school based tech team. We are very excited about this feature to help our families with technology. Malden Public School families can call 781-709-8080 for support.

Going Forward:
We are excited about the new school year. Surely, we know it will be different and it will be challenging. Our educators are more than up for the challenge–the challenge and the passion to work with our students in whichever way inspires and supports them are the reasons they became educators. With the newness of remote learning and the potential changes regarding transitioning to the next stage of learning, we understand the need to keep you informed. We will do so frequently during the school year as often as is necessary. Thank you for your patience and continued support. We look forward to partnering with you, even if we begin apart this year. Please stay well and be safe.

John Oteri