January 28, 2021
We hope that you are doing well as we begin the second half of the school year and look with hope toward a better 2021.
While we continue to learn and deepen our understanding of remote learning, we are also taking steps to bring our next group of learners back to in-person learning. As a result of collaboration with the Malden Education Association, we have worked toward this shift and look forward to reopening our schools to provide in-person teaching and learning for our PreK-2 students, beginning on Monday, February 1.
Over the past several weeks, we have taken steps to ensure that we are ready for this next shift. Our principals have been working around the clock to develop cohorts of students. Guiding our work is our core belief that the relationship among students, their families, and their teacher is the most important ingredient in a positive school experience. To that end, our principals have done their absolute best to keep students with the same teachers they have had since the beginning of the school year; this has been incredibly challenging given the strict guidelines we must follow to ensure everyone’s safety, but developments such as live streaming have allowed us to make great progress in this area.
There are challenges that we must share with you, however. While keeping students with their teachers was possible in the vast majority of instances, there were a few cases across the district where it was necessary to have the classroom teacher work remotely. In these situations, we have contacted affected families and offered them the choice of staying fully remote with their current teacher or sending their child for in-person learning with the assistance of a qualified substitute who will work in concert with the regular teacher. Regardless of the choice made, it is important to remember that ALL students will be with the regular classroom teacher (teacher of record) on days when they are not in-person. Please remember that only families affected by this situation have been contacted.
We also ask for your grace and patience as we make this next shift. It’s another first for all of us, and there are bound to be bumps along the way. The “growth mindset” that we constantly remind students of is a concept that we must all embrace during this time. Teaching and learning will not look exactly as it did when we closed our buildings almost a year ago. The physical set up of the classroom will look different, masks and social distancing will continue to be the norm, and the delivery of instruction will be adapted to fit this new model. What hasn’t changed, however, is the love we have for our students; they bring the joy to our work and we cannot wait to see them!
Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to be the best partners possible in your child’s education. We know that it has been far from easy and we are so very appreciative of your efforts to juggle the many demands of everyday life and school in your home.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s principal. Once again, thank you for your understanding and support.
John Oteri, Superintendent
Malden Public Schools