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Myth Busters: Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) Advice for the Public

 

 

Community Letter 6-3-20/Announcments

Posted on: June 5, 2020 - 2:44pm

June 5, 2020

Dear Members of the Hull Public Schools Community,

As I’m sure it was for all of you, the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police last week was difficult for me to watch on many levels. On behalf of the Leadership Team, I condemn the actions of the Minneapolis police officers that led to the senseless loss of Mr. Floyd's life. What took place in no way represents what the Hull Public Schools stands for. We have always taken great pride in being a district of inclusion, kindness and togetherness, and are continually seeking to further strengthen these values in any way we can.

Many of you are familiar with our district’s Core Values, Mission and Vision statements. At the heart of these is citizenship where we are committed to promoting a culture that encourages collaboration, respects diversity, is inclusive, and empowers students with the rights, privileges and duties of a citizen of our school community. These are not just words. We do whatever we can to foster these values at every level of our district.

We all work hard to extend this idea beyond our schools and into the greater Hull community, where we partner with several local groups and organizations. Chief among them is the Hull Police Department, and we are proud of the strong relationship we have with our School Resource Officer. I applaud our Police Chief, John Dunn, in denouncing the actions of the officers in Minneapolis and reaffirming the Hull Police Department’s commitment to protecting and serving each and every member of our community equally and without prejudice.

We must continue to do what we can to make our district a safe and welcoming place for all. I encourage parents and guardians to listen to their children’s questions and their feelings during this difficult time, and to answer them in an honest, developmentally appropriate way. To our students, I ask that even though we are engaged in remote learning, take the time to have conversations with your teachers and stay connected.  They are here to support you!

Please do not hesitate to reach out directly to me or the principals if you have any questions during this time. Thank you for everything you do to make the Hull Public Schools a welcoming place for all students, families, faculty and staff.

With peace and hope,
Judy

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Fall Reopening of School

During the week of June 15th, the DESE will provide districts with information containing comprehensive protocols for reopening school. To prepare for the reopening of school, a committee comprised of the HTA Executive Board, teachers from each building, the Leadership Team as well as a custodian and nurse has met and will continue to meet on a regular basis during the summer. This group will work together to unpack the guidelines. In addition, smaller building based groups will be established to create a plan for each building and feedback will be sought from parents.

Opening of Community Walking Track and Field

The Community Track and Field will be open Monday through Friday starting on June 8th from 6:00am to 6:00pm as part of the phased reopening plan established by Governor Baker. The Hull Board of Health has given permission to open with social distancing protocols in place which are posted at the complex and provided below. As exciting as this news is to allow our community to participate in healthy outdoor activities, it is important that all appropriate guidelines are followed when using the facility. 

Community Track and Field Guidelines due to Pandemic

  • No Contact Sports Allowed
  • No Pick-Up Games Allowed
  • No Organized Games Allowed
  • No Sharing Equipment Allowed
  • Always Practice Social Distancing
  • Face Coverings Required Where Social Distancing is Not Possible

Community Track and Field Closure

  • For Town Meeting June 12th, 13th, 14th
  • For High School Graduation August 7th, 8th

Best Use of Facilities Study

At the June 15th School Committee meeting, the MARS Group will present their final report on the Best Use of Facilities study.

Parent Feedback on Remote Learning

The district is seeking feedback from families regarding their experience with remote learning.  Please contact your child’s principal to participate in a group discussion or for an opportunity to have a one to one conversation with them on this topic. This feedback is essential as we work to strengthen our remote learning platform.

Help with P-EBT Card Use

The Department of Transitional Assistance is now working to set up a way for people to quickly and securely get access to their case number to PIN the P-EBT card. For now, families can call DTA's Assistance Line at (877) 382-2363 and press 6. Their staff can help families to get the case information. 

Thank You

Nicole Nosek and I wish to thank Jennifer Whelan, Sharon Froio, Robin Reilly, Sharon Striglio, and Michelle Lanner for organizing the uplifting senior parade and for arranging the banners celebrating each senior.  In addition, we would like to thank all the teachers, staff, students, and families that attended the parade to support the class of 2020.

Summer KidsCare

As you may have heard, due to the pandemic, unfortunately, there will be no KidsCare this summer.

All Schools End of Year Activities

The principals and teachers have worked together to provide virtual end of year experiences for our students.  I have provided an outline of these events below and please contact the principals for additional information.

June 4 – HHS virtual scholarship and awards ceremony livestreamed at 2pm and posted on HullTV.net

June 5 & 8 – HHS Senior Exchange days – curbside pick up/drop off of items owed, caps and gowns, blue envelopes, class mug, student records, and locker contents

June 11 – MMS Grade 5 Transition

June 12 – JES Virtual Field Day 

June 12 – HHS annual awards ceremony livestreamed at 12:00 and posted on HullTV.net

June 15 – HHS Junior Exchange - curbside pick up/drop off of items owed, locker contents, summer work

June 15 & 16 - JES Pick Up Parades

June 16 and 17 – MMS Pick Up Parades

June 16 – HHS Sophomore Exchange - curbside pick up/drop off of items owed, locker contents, summer work

June 17 – HHS Freshmen Exchange - curbside pick up/drop off of items owed, locker contents, summer work

June 17 – JES Last Day of School – Virtual Assembly and Virtual Meetings to meet next year’s teachers

August 6 – HHS Prom (tentative) at Lombardo’s in Randolph.  Waiting for guidelines from the governor and Lombardo’s on how to proceed

August 8 - HHS Graduation ceremony at 10am on turf field

 JES, some of the end of the year activities are videos.  The links will be sent to students and families (Virtual Art Show and Virtual Library Tour)

No Dates Yet

End of August – Freshmen Orientation 

*TBD – End of Year Athletic Awards  - this will be virtual and Boosters is still planning


Teacher Parade - Remote Learning - Senior Banners

Posted on: May 12, 2020 - 5:07pm

May 12, 2018

Dear Hull Community,

Good afternoon.  I hope this finds each of you healthy, well and in good spirits! 

Strengthening Our Remote Learning Experience

Commissioner Riley provided new guidance on remote learning with a deeper focus on two areas:

• Further defining the recommended elements of a quality remote learning program, including a focus on teaching the content standards most critical for student success in the next grade level. 

 • Encouraging districts to move all students towards successful engagement in remote learning, with a focus on addressing fundamental needs.

In response to the new guidance, the district has updated our remote learning plan and any changes made to the plan are in italics for easy reference. In addition, the Commissioner released an updated guidance for families which helps explain the strengthened expectations around remote learning. With that being said, I want to assure you that our current remote learning structure will remain the same at all levels.  The updated remote learning plan and family guidance document are attached to this email.

Remote Learning Survey

Our remote learning family survey will close on Friday.  Your feedback is extremely beneficial as we continue to strengthen our remote learning experience for students and families. Below are the links to the survey by building.

Jacobs School Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F9TRTPF

Memorial School Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FDLFWMK

Hull High School Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FDXTJBT

Teacher Parade Thursday May 14th at 1:00

In an effort to boost morale and bring the community together (6 feet apart of course), there will be a parade for all families to cheer on their teachers along the parade route going through town on Thursday, May 14th. The parade will begin at 1:00pm at HHS and will end at the Nantasket Ave/George Washington Boulevard fork in the road. The rain date is May 15th.

Important Information for pedestrians watching the parade

People watching the parade should be curbside and should not be making any close contact to those in the vehicles. 

It is encouraged that pedestrians also should be wearing masks as they watch the parade per the Governor's order and maintain social distancing.

This is going to be a fun event for all involved!!! We hope to see you along the parade route.

See parade route directions below.

Donations for Senior Banners

Parents have organized a special tribute to the class of 2020!  A banner for each senior will be displayed on the light posts throughout the town at the end of May.  Donations are being accepted to help with the cost of the banners.  If you wish to donate, please contact Sharon Striglio via email.  [email protected]

In closing, our goal continues to be to ensure that all students carry on with learning and are engaged during the closure. I am confident we will accomplish this together.

In the spirit of hope, kindness and community,

Judy Kuehn
Superintendent

Parade Route Directions:
Start at HHS
South on Main Street
Left on Nantasket Ave 
Left on Harborview (wrap around Jacobs) back onto Nantasket Ave 
Continue on to Fitzpatrick Way back onto Nantasket Ave 
Right on N Street
Left on Central Ave 
Left on A Street (Cross Nantasket Ave) 
Right on Manomet
Right on Revere St
Right on Samoset
Left on A Street
Left on Nantasket Ave
Right on Newport Rd
Left on Kingsley Rd 
Left on Nantasket Rd 
Right on Nantasket Ave


Community Letter April 29th

Posted on: April 29, 2020 - 12:20pm

April 29, 2020

Dear Hull Community,

I hope this email finds you well.  We are approaching the end of the seventh week of remote learning and it’s hard to believe it has been a week since Governor Baker announced that students and educators would not be together within the school buildings to finish the 2019 – 2020 school year.  With that said, students, families, faculty, and staff have done a tremendous job of working together to embrace remote learning and I recognize that this is not an easy adjustment to make! I am extremely proud that meaningful learning continues to occur each day and that maintaining essential connections between students, families and staff remains paramount. 

Family Survey

As we continue to listen and learn from families about their experience with remote learning, we are conducting a quick parent/guardian survey to better understand the day-to-day successes and challenges our families and students encounter by building.  We will use this data to strengthen our remote learning plan.  Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey.

Jacobs School Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/F9TRTPF

Memorial School Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FDLFWMK

Hull High School Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FDXTJBT

DESE Strengthening Our Remote Learning Experience

Commissioner Riley released new guidance which builds on those released on March 26.  We will take some time to process the guidance and determine ways to enhance our existing remote learning plan in the weeks to come.  The guidance shifts to teaching the content standards most critical for student success for the next grade level “power standards” and a deeper focus on engagement of students who are currently disengaged or partially engaged. It was reassuring to learn that many of the areas outlined are currently being implemented, but there is always room for improvement.

It is important to share that DESE is listening to health experts in the possibility that re-entry to school might require social distancing and hygiene measures to ensure the safety of students and staff.  DESE is working with health experts, educators and stakeholders to begin preparing for re-entry possibilities and will share more information in the coming weeks.

Class of 2020

The graduation ceremony will be moved to August 8, 2020.  The plan is to have a live ceremony on the new turf field, but if there are still social distancing practices in place, a virtual ceremony will take place on that same date.   Plans are in process to secure a prom date that same week in August.  Prom will most likely be held on August 6, 2020.  A virtual Scholarship and Awards Ceremony for seniors will be scheduled in early June.  This will provide senior students with important information about awarded scholarship money as they plan for college in the coming weeks.

Parents have organized a special tribute to the class of 2020!  A banner for each senior will be displayed on the light posts throughout the town at the end of May.  Donations are being accepted to help with the cost of the banners.  If you wish to donate, please contact Sharon Striglio via email.  [email protected]

In closing, our goal continues to be ensuring that all students continue to learn and are engaged during the closure and I am confident we will accomplish this together.

In the spirit of hope, kindness and community,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


School Closure

Posted on: April 21, 2020 - 2:13pm

April 21, 2020

Dear Hull Community,

Today Governor Baker declared that all schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year across the Commonwealth.  This is unfortunate as we were hoping to have school in session for the last few weeks of the year. Therefore, this means Hull Public Schools will continue with remote learning for the rest of the 2019 - 2020 school year.  At the end of the week, the Commissioner of Education will release new guidelines for remote learning and we will update our current remote learning plan as appropriate.  In addition, to improve our remote learning capabilities, I plan to send a survey to families this week to obtain feedback on areas where the district is doing well and where the district might improve in the area of remote learning.

I am also working with the principals and technology department to deploy more devices to students across the district.  Families will be contacted with a date and time to pick up devices at Central Office as soon as they are available. 

We are all in this together and our students continue to benefit from our collective efforts. I continue to greatly appreciate and recognize the remarkable efforts and changes families have had to make within your own households to support your children. All of us remain highly committed to staying connected to our students and families.

I wish you good health and peace as we continue to work as a community to get through this challenging time together.

Kind regards,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


Remote Learning Plan Attached and MCAS Cancellation

Posted on: April 11, 2020 - 1:22pm

April 11, 2020

Dear HPS Community,

First and foremost, thank you!! Your patience and understanding during this challenging time are greatly appreciated. I hope this finds you and your family healthy and well.

Hull Public Schools Remote Learning Plan

This week the principals and I completed the remote learning plan for the district.  The goal of the document is to place information related to remote learning opportunities during the closure in one location. The remote learning plan is a living document and will be updated as appropriate. I have provided the plan as an attachment and it will be posted on the HPS website.   

Legislation Passed to Cancel MCAS

Previously, a waiver from the federal government to waive the federal requirement for annual statewide student assessment was granted. Yesterday, Governor Baker signed state legislation waiving the MCAS testing requirement for the remainder of the 2019 – 2020 school year. As a result of the federal and state actions, the Commissioner of Education cancelled this spring’s regular administration of grade-level MCAS testing for students in grades three to ten. 

In addition, the legislation allows the DESE upon the Commissioner of Education’s recommendation, to modify or waive the competency determination requirements for high school graduation in order to address disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 or the state of emergency. The Commissioner is considering various options and further guidance will be provided.

Thank you for your continued support of the Hull Public Schools.

Kind regards,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent

 


April 8th Community Letter

Posted on: April 8, 2020 - 3:35pm

April 8, 2019

Dear Hull Community,

I hope this email finds you healthy and well. Our goal continues to focus on maintaining connections between staff and students to support their social and emotional well being and to improve our ability to offer learning opportunities PreK – 12 that maintain and deepen the learning that has occurred during the 2019 – 2020 school year.  Over the past week, our principals and I have collaborated to create a remote learning plan for the district based on the Guiding Principles for Remote Learning provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  We will present our remote learning plan at the School Committee meeting on April 13th and will also share it with you.

The current conditions for teaching and learning are vastly different from anything we have experienced before and we ask for your continued patience while we work creatively to improve the remote learning opportunities for all students.  We are all in this together and our students continue to benefit from our collective efforts. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your child’s principal or teacher for assistance.

 Good Friday

This Friday, April 10th, is Good Friday and will be an observed as a holiday as planned. No new work will be assigned this Friday.   

April Vacation

We continue to do our best to make this experience as productive and positive as possible for our students and we believe it is important to maintain routines and continue the momentum we have established with home learning.  Therefore, I am recommending to the Hull School Committee with the Hull Teacher’s Association support, that we continue home learning during the week that is planned for April vacation.    Monday, April 20th (Patriots Day) would still be considered a holiday with no new work assigned.  By working four days during the planned April vacation week, the last day for the 2019 – 2020 school year would be Wednesday, June 17th.   If anyone has plans for that week (e.g. Driver’s Education, family needs, etc.), please contact your child’s principal to make arrangements and we will be flexible.  The School Committee will vote on this proposed calendar change at their next meeting on April 13th.

Free and Reduced Meals Information

Wellspring continues to deliver a five day supply of breakfast and lunch meals for each child every Tuesday between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm.  If your family has recently become unemployed due to Covid-19 please use the link below to fill out the meals delivery form and the free/reduced meal application. Once the delivery form is completed, you will immediately be placed on the Wellspring list to receive Tuesday weekly deliveries.  The completed free/reduced meal application can be sent to Patty Gardiner at 18 Harborview Road in Hull. If you have questions about the meals program please contact Wellspring Director, Vinny Harte at - [email protected] / 781-925-3211 x110 or contact Maggie Ollerhead at the Superintendent’s office at – [email protected]/781-925-4400 x1118.

https://www.hullpublicschools.org/district/families-students/pages/freer...

2020 Census Reminder

This head count happens once every decade and is vital as it determines federal and state funding, which go to services that we rely upon every single day including education, public health, public transportation, and services that will benefit our children for the next 10 years.  We want to stress the importance that every person in your household be counted, including newborns and the very young.  The next opportunity to secure more funding for these services will be another decade from now.  If you haven’t had the opportunity to respond, please take a few minutes to respond online at my2020census.gov.   Thank you for your assistance.

Remote Learning Expectations for Students

Student Expectations:

  1. Find a space that is quiet and away from distractions
  2. Mute yourself upon entry into a remote meeting and stay muted unless speaking
  3. Classroom and school rules still apply
  4. Respect each other
  5. One person talks at a time
  6. Raise your hand if you have a question or need to respond
  7. Do not record, save, share or post the session
  8. If you or your parents do not agree to these rules, please disconnect from the session and contact your teacher to receive an alternative learning opportunity

STOP BLOCK and TALK: Internet Safety Training for Children and Families

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office has created internet safety programming for youth, parents, and professionals to ensure that everyone understands the risks that exist online for people of all ages – but especially for children.  The education program STOP BLOCK and TALK empowers children and families to be safe and kind online.

https://www.suffolkdistrictattorney.com/s/Stop-Block-Talk_Parents_Guardi...

https://www.suffolkdistrictattorney.com/s/Stop-Block-Talk_Kids_2019-1-2.pdf

https://www.suffolkdistrictattorney.com/s/Stop-Block-Talk_Teens_2019-2.p...

In closing, thank you for your support and patience as we continue to strengthen and improve our provision of remote learning experiences to all students. We appreciate and recognize the remarkable efforts and changes you have had to make within your own households to support your children. It is important to continue to follow the social distancing guidelines we have been given and do our part to keep everyone safe. I wish you good health and peace as we continue to work as a community to get through this challenging time together.

Kind regards,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


Massachusetts DESE Letter to Families

Posted on: March 31, 2020 - 3:00pm

March 30, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians:

First and most importantly, I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. As the commissioner of K-12 public education in the state and a parent of two public school kids, I know that these are unprecedented times, and many of you are being asked to step into unfamiliar roles. I understand the extraordinary pressure you are facing as you balance caring for children, helping them learn, and, in many cases, continuing your own work. I want to assure you that we are working hard to provide your school leaders with the necessary guidance to support students and families during these difficult times. We are all in this together, working on behalf of our children.

On March 25, the Governor announced that public and private schools in Massachusetts must remain closed for in-person instruction until Monday, May 4 in order to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The order does not include residential schools for students with disabilities. As we get closer to May 4, we expect to have more information about whether schools will reopen as planned.

I am writing to you today to inform you about the steps we are taking to support students while schools are closed. Your school and district leaders and teachers will be in touch with you as additional information becomes available. For now, the following may be helpful:

Remote Learning: I understand that nothing can replace the in-person interaction and learning experience of being in school. All the students and educators with whom I have spoken with sorely miss learning in person as part of a community. While we do not expect remote learning to replicate the traditional school day, schools will use remote learning tools and instructional materials to develop and provide students with appropriately structured and supported ways to keep learning.

Remote learning can encompass a wide variety of learning opportunities. While technology can be a supportive tool, districts and schools should also consider ways that student learning can continue offline. This could include exploring the natural world, activities to support students’ local communities (with appropriate social distancing) and engaging hands-on projects and artistic creations that stem from students’ own passions and experiences.

Examples of remote learning tools include large-group video or audio conference calls, 1:1 phone or video calls, email, work packets, projects, reading lists, online learning platforms, and other

resources to effectively engage with students. These tools could be used to deliver lessons, provide individual student support, provide resources (including instructional material and student assignments), connect students to each other and the teacher, and provide feedback on student work.

I also recognize that schools across the state have been operating with a variety of remote learning models for their students. We worked closely with many stakeholders to develop guidance that will serve as a baseline model for schools to use or modify based on their unique situation. These recommendations are guided by three core beliefs:

Health, safety, and wellness are our top priorities.

Schools should be mindful of equity concerns and work to reduce the potential disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable populations.

We are committed to maintaining connections between school staff and students and helping all students continue their learning

With these beliefs in mind, the recommended remote learning model highlights the following:

We recommend that schools support students to engage in meaningful and productive learning for approximately half the length of a regular school day. We expect this learning to take place via a combination of educator-directed learning and student self-directed learning.

We recommend that remote learning focus on reinforcing skills already taught this school year and applying and deepening those skills. We recognize, however, that in some cases, teachers and students may wish to continue with new material, particularly at the high school level. In those cases, schools should consider equity of access and support for all students.

We recognize that the individual student experience will vary depending on student age, individual and family needs, access and capacity for remote learning (including access to technology and the internet), and the ongoing health of students, families, and staff.

Above all, I recognize that schools and teachers are best positioned to develop plans to meet their students’ needs and that these needs may change over the course of this extended closure.

To further expand learning opportunities for students, we have partnered with public broadcaster WGBH and its partner station WGBY to provide resources for use by students who are learning at home. The resources include the stations’ newly launched online distance learning center (https://www.wgbh.org/distance-learning-center) with lessons for every grade level and free access for educators to PBS LearningMedia (https://mass.pbslearningmedia.org/). Middle and high school students also have access to more educational programming on the WGBH and WGBY WORLD Channel from noon to 5 p.m., and younger students can tune into other public broadcasting channels such as WGBH Kids for educational programming. Other supplemental educational resources have been posted on our website (http://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/ed-resources.html).

Required days of school: Schools do not have to make up days that are cancelled due to the public health emergency, beyond the previously set aside five snow days. The state is not requiring any school to go beyond its previously scheduled 185th day of the school year, although each school district could decide to go longer.

MCAS testing: We understand that educators, parents, and students are anxious to know more about testing. Please keep in mind that annual testing is required by both the federal and state government. At this time, we have received an initial waiver from the federal requirement and are working at the state level to explore options that are in the best interest of students. We will decide as quickly as possible about this year’s tests and the Competency Determination required for high school graduation.

Special education: On March 21, the U.S. Department of Education issued a fact sheet to clarify what the federal special education law requires for students with disabilities while schools are closed in this public health emergency. In particular, the guidance made clear that schools must provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities consistent with need to protect the health and safety of students, educators, and service providers. In these exceptional circumstances, special education services will be provided differently than they are when school is fully operational.

Meaningful learning opportunities and ongoing connections with teachers and service providers are vitally important for students with disabilities. During the coming weeks, schools will continue to develop and expand ways to provide special education services remotely. If your child has Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) should expect that members of your child’s special education team will check in with you to help you and your child access these services.

Your child’s participation in the activities and supports provided by the school will not result in changes to your child’s IEP. IEP meetings are not needed in order for the school to provide services remotely. When school resumes, your child’s IEP team will follow up as necessary to determine next steps in supporting your child’s progress.

We encourage families, school administrators, and teachers to work together to find the best ways to support each child during this challenging time.

English learner education:  The Remote Learning recommendations acknowledge that equity needs to be a top consideration in local planning efforts and that districts need to support students to engage in meaningful and productive learning with the understanding that the individual student experience will vary depending on various factors. Federal civil rights laws require schools to take appropriate steps to address the language barriers that prevent English learners from meaningfully participating in their education and to support local planning. We will soon issue further guidance on ways to support English learners during the extended school closure.

Residential schools for students with disabilities: The Governor’s March 25 order extending school closure does not apply to residential schools for students with disabilities. These schools are consulting with local boards of health and the state Department of Public Health to make decisions about how to deal with their specific situations. We are in close communication with these schools to support the continuity of services to the maximum extent possible and to support the health and safety of students and staff.

School meals: We are working with schools and other community-based organizations to help get food to students who may need it. There are over 1,000 meal sites open across the state. To find a site near you, please visit the Project Bread meal site finder online at https://meals4kids.org/schoolclosure or contact them by phone at 800-645-8333.

Preventing and Stopping Bullying and Harassment

COVID-19 is not at all connected to race, ethnicity, or nationality. Bullying or harassment related to

COVID-19 that is based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, or disability will not be tolerated. It may result in a violation of state and federal civil rights laws.

If you believe that you or your children have experienced bullying or harassment related to the COVID-19 outbreak, or if this happens in the future, please contact your school’s civil rights officer, principal or your superintendent’s office. You may also contact our Problem Resolution System Office at 781-338-3700 or [email protected].

For more information, please visit the following COVID-19 websites:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/index.html)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (www.mass.gov/covid19)

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (http://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/emergencyplan/covid19.html)

Also, the National Association of School Psychologists has advice on how to talk about the virus with children (https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podc... safety-and-crisis/health-crisis-resources/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-%28coronavirus%29-a- parent-resource).

I know that to support our children well, we all need to maintain our own mental health. I encourage you to examine resources available to support your own health and well-being (https://www.mass.gov/info- details/maintaining-emotional-health-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak).

We will provide additional information about MCAS and graduation requirements soon. If you have questions that are not addressed here, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (781) 338-3700.

Thank you for all you are doing to support your children during these challenging times. Sincerely,

Jeffrey C. Riley Commissioner


Remote Learning Recommendations during Covid-19 School Closure

Posted on: March 31, 2020 - 1:53pm

    News from Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley & the
    MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

On the Desktop – March 26, 2020

Remote Learning Recommendations During COVID-19 School Closures

Dear Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, Assistant Superintendents, Principals, and Teachers Unions,

Following the Governor’s announcement that schools will not re-open before May 4, 2020, we are issuing additional guidance regarding district and school remote learning plans. Throughout the initial weeks of this crisis, our educational community has prioritized the health, safety, and wellness of students, families, educators, and staff. At the same time, districts and schools across the Commonwealth have been operating with various remote learning models for their students, with significant variation from one district to the next.

With the extension of this closure, we believe students, families, educators, and staff in all communities will benefit from the clarity of statewide recommendations as educators and others continue to support their students during this crisis. In developing these recommendations, DESE consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Charter Public School Association, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association. 

Below, we have developed a short set of guiding principles for our priorities as an educational community in the coming weeks, as well as specific recommendations regarding remote learning.

Remote learning cannot replace students’ experiences in school communities with their teachers, administrators, and support staff.  All of the students and educators with whom I have spoken this week sorely miss learning in person as part of a community. That said, we must all pull together – parents and caregivers, students, the community, and of course, our educators and staff – to help students continue their learning over this extended period.

Please note that the guidance below is a set of recommendations and does not constitute a requirement for any district or school. We encourage districts and schools to view the remote learning guidance below as a baseline or starting point that they can modify in collaboration with local stakeholders to fit their unique contexts, capacities, and needs. We expect that you will customize our recommendations for individual districts and schools and for individual students within them.

We will continue to issue guidance to support districts and schools in their implementation of remote learning, including specific recommendations related to students with disabilities, English learners, and high school students. We will also send a letter to families that reflects the content in this memo.

I understand that superintendents, principals, educators, other school staff, and families are working hard to support students during these difficult times and are responding to evolving conditions with remarkable care, flexibility, and creativity. Thank you for your tireless work on behalf of our students.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey C. Riley
Commissioner of Elementary & Secondary Education

I. Guiding Principles: Supporting Student Learning and Holistic Needs

Districts and schools must continue to focus on the holistic needs of the educational community:

The safety and well-being of students, families, and staff has been and must continue to be our top priority as an educational community. We are focused not only on physical health, safety, and nutrition, but also on social-emotional and mental health needs, which could intensify during this time.

This crisis disproportionately affects our most vulnerable students in terms of their physical and mental health, as well as academically. Equity needs to be a top consideration in local planning efforts, especially as districts and schools make plans to manage an extended closure. To support these efforts, DESE will issue further guidance on how best to support special populations, including students with disabilities and English learners.

Maintaining connections between school staff and students is paramount, particularly for the most vulnerable members of our school communities. These connections will provide natural conduits to guide districts and schools in addressing students’ specific needs.

At this time, districts and schools must also work to adopt a remote learning model:

Nothing can replace the in-person schooling experience, and we should not expect that remote learning can replicate the traditional school day.

At the same time, with school closures now extended, districts, schools, and communities have an obligation to engage students in meaningful and productive learning opportunities through an appropriately structured educational program.

Remote learning is not synonymous with online learning. Remote learning can take place in a multitude of ways, including by helping students engage with resources in their everyday lives and in the natural world around them. Remote learning also provides unique opportunities to further engage students in the arts or interdisciplinary work. Finally, we must be conscious of the effects of increased screen time and seek balance between learning through technology and remote learning that happens offline to support students’ curiosity and understanding.

II. Specific Guidance on Developing and Implementing Remote Learning

Planning for and implementing a remote learning model:

If districts/schools have not already developed a remote learning model, they should take time to engage in a thoughtful planning period with local stakeholders in order to launch in early April. This planning should include an assessment of the district’s or school’s capacity and resources to support a remote learning model.

Some districts and schools have already implemented remote learning plans, particularly those districts and schools that had previously developed the capacity to shift learning to a remote model. We strongly encourage all districts and schools to consider the recommendations in this guidance document, but ultimately, we recognize that individual districts and schools maintain local authority to design their remote learning models as they see fit.

Above all, we recognize that districts, schools, and teachers are best positioned to develop plans to meet their students’ needs and that these needs may change over the course of this extended closure.

Recommended remote learning model: 

We recommend that districts support students to engage in meaningful and productive learning for approximately half the length of a regular school day. We expect this learning to take place via a combination of educator-directed learning and student self-directed learning.

We strongly recommend that districts and schools focus on reinforcing skills already taught this school year and applying and deepening these skills. We recognize that in some cases, teachers and students may wish to continue with new material, particularly at the high school level. In these cases, districts should consider equity of access and support for all students.

The individual student experience will vary depending on student age, individual and family needs, access and capacity for remote learning (including access to technology and internet), and the ongoing health of students, families, and staff. 

Definition and scope of remote learning:

Remote learning can encompass a wide variety of learning opportunities. While technology can be a supportive tool, districts and schools should also consider ways that student learning can continue offline. This could include exploring the natural world, activities to support students’ local communities (with appropriate social distancing), and engaging, hands-on projects and artistic creations that stem from students’ own passions and experiences.

Examples of remote learning tools include large-group video or audio conference calls, 1:1 phone or video calls, email, work packets, projects, reading lists, online learning platforms, and other resources to effectively engage with students. These tools could be used to deliver lessons, provide individual student support, provide resources (including instructional material and student assignments), connect students to each other and their teacher, and provide feedback on student work. Districts and schools should ensure all online learning platforms meet confidentiality and student privacy standards.

Components of a remote learning schedule:

We recommend the following routine and structure for remote learning, recognizing the need for flexibility for individual districts and individual students within them:

Opportunity to connect with one or more educators multiple times per week. For students who are at higher risk of learning loss, such as students with disabilities or English learners, we recommend that educators provide additional opportunities for connection.

Access to multiple hours per day of academic content directed by educators, which should focus on reinforcing skills already taught this school year and applying and deepening those skills.

Time each day for physical activity based on recommendations from educators.

Additional daily time for enrichment activities such as the arts (dance, media arts, music, theater, and visual arts). 

Feedback on student work and grading:

To the extent practicable, teachers should provide feedback on student work completed at home. That said, if districts and schools have not already implemented policies regarding credit-bearing courses (determining credit for academic work at home), we strongly recommend that academic content be graded as “credit/no credit” so as to incentivize continuous learning while acknowledging the challenging situation we face. Non-credit bearing courses, such as those for elementary and middle school students, could incorporate other incentives to keep students motivated to continue their learning. 

Before moving forward with any determinations of “no credit,” we strongly urge districts and schools to consider whether the students have had equitable access to learning opportunities during this closure, keeping in mind the variety of technology, health, disability, and language challenges that could occur.

We are grateful for educators’ continued dedication to their students and for caregivers who have embraced the challenges of helping students learn at home. We are all juggling unusual responsibilities. Although remote learning is new and challenging, we believe that students will benefit both from engaging with their caring school community and from continuing to learn.

Hull Public School Closure Extended Through Month of April

Posted on: March 27, 2020 - 11:36am

Gov. Baker Announced Extended Statewide Closure of Schools Until May 4

HULL -- Interim Superintendent Judith Kuehn announces that, in accordance with an order from Governor Charlie Baker, Hull Public Schools will remain closed through the end of April as a precaution against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statewide closure of schools, originally set to end on April 7, has been extended to end Monday, May 4.

The closure of schools is an unprecedented step by the state that is seen as vital to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and to continue the practice of social distancing as more positive cases and deaths are announced in the state each day.

COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has moved the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global pandemic. President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency and Governor Charlie Baker earlier this month declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts.

"We are awaiting for additional guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), which we are promised this week, and we will share with you when available," Interim Superintendent Kuehn said. "In the meantime, our first priority continues to be maintaining consistent communication with all students, so relationships are maintained and they are supported socially and emotionally."

All athletics programs, events and after school activities will also remain suspended and fields, playgrounds and play areas will be closed until further notice.

While schools remain closed, the district's food pick-up service for students and families will continue on a weekly basis. For more information about these services visit the school website: www.hullpublicschools.org.

As a reminder, custodians and maintenance staff are in the process of completing a comprehensive and thorough disinfecting and sanitizing of all school and Central Office buildings to ensure a healthy environment once classes resume.

Interim Superintendent Kuehn and district leaders will continue to monitor the guidance and regulations of local, state and federal health experts as the situation evolves. The health and safety of students, parents, teachers and staff is the district's number one priority.

Social Distancing

Due to the evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Gov. Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory. This means all residents are advised to stay home during this time in order to curb the spread of this virus, with the exception of going grocery shopping or picking up medication.

Please continue to practice social distancing - maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from other people — and appropriate personal hygiene - with your children and explain to them the importance of doing so.

Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.

Children and COVID-19

Proper hygiene and prevention methods and social distancing efforts should continue until further guidelines are provided by state officials about the status of the virus.

Parents should not hold “play dates.” Clean and sanitize toys, video game controllers and all touch surfaces regularly.

Prevention Tips

Local, state and federal health officials are encouraging residents to take the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases, such as the flu and COVID-19, from spreading:

  • For a minimum of 20 seconds, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • If you are an essential employee who is continuing to go into work, stay home if you have a fever or are ill

COVID-19 Information Resources

Residents are encouraged to stay informed regarding COVID-19. The following websites are recommended for the most updated information:

  • Town of Hull Official Website: www.town.hull.ma.us.
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health: www.mass.gov/covid-19
  • Massachusetts 2-1-1 general COVID-19 information: Click here or dial 2-1-1 (24/7)
  • Sign up for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Text Message Notification System to receive important updates: text "COVIDMA" to 888-777
  • United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov

Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.


Extended Statewide School Closure through Month of April

Posted on: March 25, 2020 - 8:14pm

Hull Public School Closure Extended Through Month of April

Gov. Baker Announced Extended Statewide Closure of Schools Until May 4

Weekly Lunch Program for Free and Reduced Lunch Students

Lunches for students are available on a weekly basis and  lunches for all children in each family will be provided for a week.  Lunches can be picked up every Tuesday from 10:00 – 12:00 and distribution of the lunches is at the back of the Wellspring building.  Families that cannot make it to Wellspring to pick up weekly lunches are encouraged to notify us by using the following options so we can arrange home delivery:

Call Central Office (781 – 925-4400 ext.1118) and leave contact information
Email Maggie Ollerhead at [email protected]
Use this link https://forms.gle/cdwX61zjwkZNH5g78

We will be in touch with families to coordinate home delivery provided by a driver from Wellspring. 


Manet Community Health Center Remains Open and Ready to Serve

Posted on: March 25, 2020 - 8:54am

As people across our service area are adjusting to the “new normal” of social distancing and self-isolation for the greater good of helping to flatten the impact curve of COVID-19, Manet Community Health Center remains steadfast in its mission to serving our patients and communities.

Our dedicated providers (that include experts in infectious disease) and staff are working hard on the front lines to make sure our patients receive the care and information they need to stay well.

Behind the scenes, our health center is collaborating with local, state and federal officials, health departments, community partners, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and the National Association of Community Health Centers to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and communities.

How Manet is Responding

Manet has been responding nimbly to the rapidly changing COVID-19 public health emergency. Following are some of the actions we’ve taken:

Developed stringent screening and triage processes, including asking all patients about symptoms, exposure risk and travel history when they call the health center to make an appointment and screening everyone – patients, vendors, visitors and staff – prior to entering our health centers.

Created an isolated urgent response clinic at our North Quincy site to screen and test patients with suspected COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.

Offering video and telephonic telehealth services for patients who are not able to come to the health center for their scheduled visits, including chronic disease management, behavioral health and substance use disorder treatment visits.

Offering home delivery of medications via BMC Pharmacy at Manet.

Most important, all Manet sites remain open for in-person visits, including the Pharmacy in North Quincy. All sites are practicing enhanced daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures to ensure patient and staff safety.

How You Can Help Us

Like many health care organizations across the region, Manet is running low on personal protective equipment needed to safely test and treat patients with infectious diseases. Specifically, we are in immediate need of N95 respirators, surgical masks and face shields.

Please let us know if you have access to these materials and would consider donating them or please consider reaching out to your contacts (medical practices that are closed, hardware stores, demolition/construction contractors, hazardous waste removal companies, commercial painting companies, universities/vocational/technical schools or nail salons) to help us gather supplies.

We’ll get through this together!

During this time of uncertainty, please know that Manet is here and remains committed to our 40-year mission to ensure quality, comprehensive health care for all. We can all make a difference by abiding by the state's emergency order, maintaining social distancing and practicing good health hygiene. We can do this!

Wishing you good health,

The Proud Providers and Staff at Manet Community Health Center


Updates Second Week of School Closure

Posted on: March 22, 2020 - 6:12pm

Dear Hull Community,

As we prepare for the second week of school closure, I want to share the following updates:

Change in Lunch Support Schedule for Students and Delivery Available

Even though the district’s partnership with Wellspring to provide lunches to students on free and reduced lunch was a success last week, a schedule change is going to be made.  It was determined that the program would be more effective by switching to a once a week pick up schedule to support social distancing and it would be less of a burden for families to come on a weekly basis rather than daily.  The weekly pick up will provide a week of lunches for all children in each family.  The new schedule will be every Tuesday from 10:00 – 12:00 and distribution will remain at the back of the Wellspring building.  Until everyone receives the new schedule, Vinny Harte will make sure any family that comes for lunches this week Monday - Friday will be provided lunches and informed of the new schedule.

Families that cannot make it to Wellspring to pick up weekly lunches our encouraged to notify us by using the following options so we can arrange home delivery:

Call Central Office (781 – 925-4400 ext.1118) and leave contact information

Email Maggie Ollerhead at [email protected] 

Use this link https://forms.gle/cdwX61zjwkZNH5g78

We will be in touch with families to coordinate home delivery provided by a driver from Wellspring. 

Donations are still welcome to support this food program and all donations should be made directly to Vinny Harte at Wellspring.  Also, Stop and Shop and Village Market gift cards are another appropriate donation and can be dropped off at Wellspring. 

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Parent Letter

This week the DESE will finalize a letter to families and the Hull Public Schools will distribute the letter as soon as it is available.

MCAS

The DESE continues to explore all options and is working with the Governor’s office to file legislation that would allow flexibility around this year’s MCAS testing requirements.  To date, DESE has postponed the Grade 10 ELA assessment scheduled for March 24 - 25 and the opening of the grades 3-8 assessment window scheduled for March 10.

In closing, as I have previous stated, there are no simple answers during this unique time, but one thing I am certain of is that we remain committed to staying connected with students, families, staff, and faculty. I continue to wish you and your family good health, safety and peace.

Kind regards,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


Gratitude and Suggestions for Coping

Posted on: March 21, 2020 - 1:56pm

Dear Hull Families and Staff,

As I take time to reflect today, I am grateful for the flexibility, creativity, understanding, and support displayed last week as we worked together through the first week of unprecedented school closure. I am in awe and deeply thankful for the accomplishments achieved this week by teachers, paraprofessionals, special education support staff, custodians, leadership, families, and students. It is critically important that students continue to feel connected with their school and I was amazed at the creative and different ways staff provided opportunities to maintain these positive connections. I know there continue to be questions and concerns about the future and I remain committed to providing any new guidance shared by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as it becomes available.

With that said, today I am sharing a piece that Mara Trozzi, Co-Founder of the Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center and someone who has provided professional development in Hull wrote for districts across the state to share to help parents and guardians cope with the changes that have suddenly become part of our daily lives.  You will see Maria’s letter below and I hope you find some of the strategies she provides helpful.

Wishing all of you good health and safety!

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent

Dear Parents, Guardians and Childcare-givers,

As I sit in ‘self-imposed isolation’ at my laptop and feel on my skin what many Americans may be feeling during this challenging time, perhaps I can be helpful, drawing from nearly thirty years of experience guiding parents when their families face difficult times.

I have always believed that in a crisis lies opportunities for strengthening families, amplifying children’s coping skills and promoting resilience. 

I hope that by sharing with you some strategies that have helped children and families cope with crises, acute and chronic, you may be more fortified to cope with uncertainties ahead and will gain some measure of inner peace and community perspective- both will inform our ways going forward.

First, let’s remember - coping with change is hard for most people.  Not being able to plan for next week or even next month is uniquely hard. When we are required to face the unknown, not be in control, it’s normal for all of us, adults and children, to feel out of sync, hard to settle- psychological term is ‘emotional dis-regulation’.

Here’s what I have learned helps us and our families feel more calm, less irritable, as we learn incrementally how to live with the change of feeling  isolated and ‘too together’ all at once.

Your children are actively paying attention to how you feel, talk and behave.

Even very young children look to you first to know whether they should worry or not.  They listen to your words, your tone, watch your actions, react to your moods. They eavesdrop on your communications with others and come to their own (often mistaken) conclusions. 

That said, it’s pretty safe to assume that this pandemic is unique to all our experiences. It’s normal that as information is updated hourly, and recommendations change daily, adults may feel that our world is upside down and inside out- our anxiety is normal.

What CAN you do about it?

Talking with another caring adult about your feelings is helpful (out of the children’s earshot); reminding yourself of other times in your life when you have felt anxious and uncertain about the future can be reassuring; creating a plan for your family just for today and tomorrow may be productive and doable-   looking further down the road may not be possible and lead you to feel more out of control.

2. Create a routine for the day. Even a schedule, for example, when we will play together, and time to play independently.  (Of course, this will depend on your child’s age and capacity to play alone. A timer works well here).  Time for family mealtimes, clean up, predictable bedtimes, nap times (for both kids and grownups), some form of exercise, indoors or if possible, in your backyard. Other planned time for reading, screen time, family movie time, game time. If children are old enough, and you have enough band width, opportunities to help with meal preparation, clean up.

3. Limit your own access to media coverage.

Information, when delivered calmly and by a trustworthy source, typically helps us feel more in control.  It’s necessary to be informed so that we can keep up with the changes and required adjustments. That said, a steady diet of news, 24/7, creates its own layer of stress. Decide when and how often you will get your information from media sources. Choose from a host of other more soothing ‘background electronic wallpapers’ that may even entertain, inspire, educate. It is said that music calms the savage beast within….. I have my music favorites playing on Spotify as I write this.

4. Talk with your children about changes only as they affect your family’s day-to -day living.

Children by nature are egocentric.; for instance, “How will this affect me?” Knowing the new rules of the road for this unique family experience is important. Simple explanations are best. Letting children ask questions as they arise, rather than prompting them, or assuming their feelings, is helpful. Try not to anticipate how their lives may be affected weeks or months from now.  It’s about today.

5. Development matters. How your child understands and reacts to new information from you will vary but their age and stage will help guide you to understand their reaction(s):

*Very young children, 3-6 years old, require only the simplest of explanations about what’s happening today as it affects them… Remember that routines are reassuring to everyone, especially toddlers and preschoolers. “Mommy is working at home today,” is enough for many children.

*Early elementary age children may have more questions and concerns about the pandemic than their younger siblings. Let them lead you with their questions; answer simply and clearly, always reminding them that it’s your job to keep the family safe. Although the virus is unlikely to affect your family, you may make decisions to protect others in your community. (great lesson)

Words like ‘contagious, social distancing, quarantines’, may be unfamiliar to them.  It’s important to speak in a reassuring way that is clear and simple.; for example, “Staying home from school and work keeps the virus from spreading so we will be doing that. It just makes sense.”

Or, “I need to work from home and you have school work as well. Let’s talk about a plan for the rest of the day.”

*Late elementary/middle school children may worry about their older and extended family members, or threatening financial situations. They may feel it is ‘unfair’ if their friends are allowed to gather in small groups but you have said no.   Remind them that your rules are for their health and the health of others who may be more impacted; each family makes their own decisions for their own family’s well being.

*Adolescents are able to understand the unlikely but possible negative health and financial impact that the Corona virus may have on their family, their community, both local and national.

That said, cancelled school may sound terrific at first but it carries with it cancelled sport seasons, plays and concerts they have rehearsed for months, anticipated school vacation trips.  Without school and after school activities, they may feel depressed and anxious, isolated from their friends and routines. We know that adolescents fantasize about their ‘immortality’; be sure to concretize the risks of ‘not physically distancing’ and that they need to trust you to make the rules that will keep them safe from harm. Expect them to express their understandable disappointment, anger, confusion, worry, etc. (More) moodiness is pretty normal.

When you acknowledge their feelings and not attempt to minimize them, they may be able to sit with them, and even surprise you – by problem-solving ways to adapt? Isn’t that what we want for our adolescents? 

6. Consider the marathon, not the sprint

Drawing from my experience post-Katrina, Columbine, and 9/11, the first days and weeks of the crisis summon up enormous amounts of energy (albeit it anxious) in all of us. We listen and react to our leaders, both local and national, health care providers, educators and community helpers as they develop emergency plans, roll out procedures and problem-solve. 

If  history informs, I expect that very shortly, we will collectively feel as though we have hit a ‘wall of exhaustion’ as we sort out how to sustain difficult, if not, seemingly impossible changes in our families’ lives, no matter how long these changes last. We grieve our lives before and yearn for them.

Taking care for ourselves now seems prudent. You know how…. Practice healthy sleep hygiene, mindful breathing (five minutes a day is all it takes!), move our bodies, rest our minds, use technology to connect with others, discover ways to laugh, find meaning in sacrifice.

Maria Trozzi, M.Ed

Author, Talking with Children About Loss,Penguin-Putnam

Co-Founder, Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Program Director, Joanna’s Place
Psychotherapist/Grief and Resilience Specialist

Responses to: [email protected]  


2019-2020 School Calendar - Second Revision

Posted on: March 18, 2020 - 11:13am

Dear Parents, Guardians, Faculty and Staff,

Attached to this email is an updated 2019-2020 school calendar (second revision).  We have updated the calendar to reflect the recent changes.  This email is to inform you of these changes and to explain the reasons for the changes.

As you know, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all public school students have a 180-day school year.  At this time the Governor has closed all schools for three weeks which extends our original two week closure until April 6 (returning to school on April 7th).  With the five snow days, the last day of school will be Tuesday, June 23 which is our scheduled 185th day regardless of how many days we miss. During the three week closure, we have designated March 16, March 17, March 27, and April 3 as snow days which means there is no expectation for staff to work or be in contact with students or families on those days. 

I encourage you to call or email your child’s principal if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent

2019-2020_school_calendar_second_revision.pdf


Hull Community Update

March 17, 2020

Dear Hull Community,

On behalf of the Hull Public Schools, I hope this communication finds each of you healthy and that you and your family are doing well while coping with all the daily changes we are challenged with as this unprecedented situation evolves.   A lot has been going on in the schools to prepare for an extended period of school closure and I want to update you on our plans to date.  Please remember the importance of being flexible as these plans may change. 

At this time, you likely know that the Governor has closed all schools for three weeks which extends our original two week closure until April 6 (returning to school on April 7th).  With the five snow days, the last day of school will be Tuesday, June 23 which is our scheduled 185th day regardless of how many days we miss. During the three week closure, we have designated March 16, March 17, March 27, and April 3 as snow days which means there is no expectation for staff to work or be in contact with students or families on those days. 

All school buildings are closed, Central Office will be open for business and I encourage you to call or email your child’s principal if you have any questions or concerns. During this extended period of school closure, it is critical that students and their families, as well as school staff, stay home as much as possible. If you leave your home, it is essential to strictly follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowds, canceling social gatherings, and maintaining a safe separation of at least six (6) feet from others. Restricting access to school buildings will have little impact on public health if these best practices are not followed in good faith.

The custodians are working tirelessly and doing a fantastic job caring for our buildings. They continue to thoroughly disinfect and sanitize all areas of the buildings.  When each area is finished, it is designated as off limits to traffic. To support our ongoing efforts to increase fresh air in the buildings, we are adding an additional change of air filters to our normal maintenance schedule and classroom area rugs at the elementary school were professionally cleaned today.  We are grateful to our custodial staff for their continuous dedication and commitment.

The Hull Public Schools, in collaboration with Wellspring, will provide meals to students on free and reduced lunch.  The program began today and food pick up will be available Monday – Friday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.  Given the need for social distancing, families will drive behind Wellspring to pick up their meal packages.  Signage will be posted to direct the traffic flow. A big thanks to individuals who have offered to make a donation to support this food program and all donations should be made directly to Vinny Harte at Wellspring.  Also, Stop and Shop and Village Market gift cards are another appropriate donation method and can be dropped off at Wellspring. 

One thing that remains constant is that even though we will not be able to entirely replicate classroom instruction, it is critically important to find ways to stay connected to our students, not only by trying to offer meaningful learning experiences, but also finding ways to stay connected to our students by offering a social and emotional anchor through this uncertain environment.

Our plan is that staff will communicate with families and students on a regular basis by phone, email, Schoology, Google Classroom or other methods.  We are extremely fortunate that we have invested in one to one computing for students in grades 6 – 12 and starting tomorrow, teachers will begin to communicate and send out assignments. At the elementary level, teachers will check in with families to discuss the assignments sent home last week and the benefit of setting up a daily routine. Reading specialists, counselors, school psychologists, nurses, and special educators will also be in regular communication with students and families. 

Last Friday, Judi Saide made sure each teacher in grades 6 – 12 who needed a Chromebook to facilitate learning from home had one by the end of the day. Nicole Nosek and Tony Hrivnak tried to make sure each student left with a device.  If you have a student in middle school or high school that needs a device, please contact Judi Saide at [email protected], and she will arrange a time to pick up the device.

At the elementary school, Christine Cappadona and Kyle Shaw coordinated with teachers to send work home and connections were made to send materials home with neighbors and friends for those students who were absent.  Yesterday, they personally delivered materials to homes to make sure each student had their resources.

Additional Updates:

  • Principals will share weekly information related to their specific buildings.
  • As of today, there are no plans to cancel April vacation, but this could change if future events warrant it.    
  • WGBH is collaborating with DESE to provide educational programming.
  • All MCAS testing has been postponed and districts are waiting for guidance from DESE.
  • DESE is working with the College Board on AP exams and will provide guidance.
  • The final day of school will be Tuesday, June 23 regardless of how many days we miss.
  • The MIAA has postponed the start of the 2020 spring sports season until April 27, 2020.
  • Link to an offer from Comcast for free internet for 60 days:

             https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19

I want to thank each of you for your on-going support and flexibility during these uncertain times.  There are no simple answers and I remain committed to providing consistent communication.  I wish you and your family good health and peace.

With thanks and appreciation,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


School Closing Extended Until April 6th

Posted on: March 16, 2020 - 4:39pm

Dear Staff, Families and the Hull Community,

As you know, on Friday the Hull Public Schools announced schools would be closed until March 27th.  Due to the Governor's mandate, Massachusetts has extended the closing of schools until April 6th.  At this time the district is scheduled to reopen on April 7th.  We will keep you updated as this situation continues to evolve.

Sincerely,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


Meal Program for Students on Free and Reduced Lunch
Posted on: March 15, 2020 - 12:48pm

Dear Hull Community,

The Hull Public Schools has joined with Wellspring to provide meals to our students on free and reduced lunch.  The program will begin on Tuesday, March 17 at Wellspring.  This week food pick up will be available Tuesday – Friday and next week Monday – Friday between the hours of 10:00 and 12:00.  Given the need for social distancing, families will drive behind Wellspring to pick up their meal packages.  Signage will be posted to direct the traffic flow.

Donations are being accepted to support a food program while school is closed.  Please spread the word that these donations are welcome and can be made directly to Vinny Harte at Wellspring.  Also, Stop and Shop  gift cards are another appropriate donation and should be dropped off at Wellspring. 

I will continue to update you when new information is available and I hope that you and your families remain healthy and safe.

Kind regards,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


March 13, 2020

Dear Hull Community,

This message is to inform you that the Hull Public Schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27 due to the uncertainty regarding the coronavirus.  Over the next two weeks, we will reassess to determine if a longer closure is warranted and will communicate next steps by March 25. This decision was made earlier today in collaboration with local South Shore Superintendents.  We are working together to develop strategies for addressing the situation. 

Earlier this morning, district leaders along with two School Committee members participated in a conference call with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). On that call, we learned that the state is not recommending statewide school closure at this time, therefore, the decision remains in the control of each local district.  I believe being proactive in this situation is important. As always my top priority is the health and safety of Hull students and staff, and I believe that the decision to close the district is in direct alignment with this responsibility. 

Although I firmly believe this is the right decision at this time, it is not an easy one. Hull children and families rely on our public schools as a key component of their larger community. In addition to academics, students receive important special education, health, nutrition, and social service support from our schools. We are aware of the impact of interrupting these services and are actively planning for the provision of alternatives. We are also aware of the difficulty that many families will have, trying to balance daycare with their professional and personal responsibilities. In short, we know that closing schools is a major disruption in the community. 

As always, we are committed to sharing new information as it becomes available. Please look out for further communication as we navigate these very trying times.

Sincerely,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent 


March 12, 2020

Dear Hull Community,

As news of Coronavirus continues to evolve, I understand and share your concerns about the potential impacts on the Hull community.  Out of an abundance of caution the Hull Public Schools is reviewing upcoming events to ensure the safest and healthiest environment possible for our students, staff and community. 

At this time we have made the following changes:

Week of March 16 -20
March 16 – Grade 8 Parent Night – Evening event is cancelled, event materials will be provided at a later date

March 16-18 – All Adult Education classes for the week are cancelled

March 19 – Jacobs Talent show auditions are postponed

March 19 – Jacobs Parent Teacher Conferences – All Conferences will take place by telephone and NOT in person – further information will be provided

March 20 – Jacobs Spring Dance – The Shamrock Shake – Postponed

Out of state events
March 29 – MMS Grade 7 & 8 Chorus trip to Providence Bruins
– cancelled

We will continue to update the status of upcoming activities.  For the latest updates please click here to visit the website.

I know this is a difficult and trying situation for the entire community.  As parents, you may be wondering about the best way to talk to your child about the virus and the impact it is having on their world.  A number of resources are available on our website to help guide these conversations.   Click here to view.

We will continue to take proactive steps to ensure that our schools continue to be safe and healthy environments for all children and staff.

Sincerely,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


March 11, 2020

Dear Hull Families,

In the district’s commitment to give updates on a continuous basis regarding the coronavirus situation, the following information is provided:

The Hull Public School District, in conjunction with town officials, is continuing to closely monitor the spread of the respiratory disease, COVID-19, or the “coronavirus.” The Town of Hull’s working group meets regularly to ensure the town we will be prepared. All actions are being undertaken in accordance with the latest guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our number one concern at all times. 

On March 10, 2020, Governor Baker announced that executive branch employees should discontinue all out-of-state work-related travel, cancel conferences or hold them virtually, and not attend external work-related conferences, seminars, or events. While schools are not part of the executive branch, the Governor also urged employers and other large organizations to "limit or eliminate non-essential travel" and "limit or eliminate large events where possible." Therefore, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), advises districts to review what field trips and events are planned. Each situation is unique, and the district will evaluate the each field trip and event in collaboration with the school nurses and Hull Board of Health to determine whether to cancel.  If an event or field trip is cancelled you will be notified in a prompt manner. 

The schools regularly take preventative measures like cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms and health rooms, disinfecting high-traffic areas such as door handles, faucets and railings, and cleaning hard surfaces such as classroom desks and countertops. Custodial staff are trained to use disinfectants in a safe and effective manner and to properly clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluid spills. To enhance our routine of disinfecting and sanitizing, we purchased handheld electrostatic sprayers for the district.

The following precautions to help prevent colds and the flu can also help protect against COVID-19.According to the CDC, the spread of disease is prevented by: 

  • Proper hand hygiene
  • Covering your cough
  • Staying home when ill
  • Receiving preventative vaccines such as the flu shot 
  • Remaining six feet away from individuals who are sick

In accordance with DPH recommendations, the district continues to prioritize proper hand hygiene at all schools with signage and reminders.

Students, staff, visitors, and volunteers are reminded to:

  • Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

We continuously engage in regular communication with state and local departments of public health and safety officials. These updates and information on the coronavirus are used to guide school-based decisions surrounding the virus. The district will keep you informed of updates or changes as we are advised by our local and state departments of public health. For the latest information see Hull Public Schools (HPS)website, which also includes links to the Hull Board of Health (BOH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), MA Department of Public Health (DPH) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

HPS:    https://www.hullpublicschools.org/district/urgent-alerts/corona-virus-covid-19-updates
BOH:  https://www.town.hull.ma.us/home/urgent-alerts/covid-19-updates
CDC:   https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
DPH:   www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus
WHO: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus

If families would like more information or have specific questions or concerns please contact your school nurse.

Thank you for doing your part to implement these precautions and recommendations in your own household.

Sincerely,

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


Town of Hull - To All Residents
Coronavirus Statement

Posted on: March 3, 2020 - 7:13pm

TOWN OF HULL
Town Manager’s Office

To All Residents:

The coronavirus’ impact across the Globe is causing illness, anxiety and disruption to daily life on a level that has not been experienced in recent memory. As the effects of the virus impact the United States federal, state and local agencies are working together to coordinate an appropriate response to provide information and protection for the public.

The Mass Department of Public Health is the main agency charged with coordinating the state’s response with the federal government and to assist local board’s of health with any necessary actions on a local level.

In Hull we have convened a working group to insure that if the virus impacts Hull we will be prepared. The team includes, Public Health Director Joyce Sullivan, Public Health Nurse Joan Taverna of the Board of Health, Police Chief Dunn, Fire Chief Russo, Superintendent of Schools Kuehn, Council on Aging Director Lawlor, Town Counsel Lampke, Deputy Fire Chief Frazier, Deputy Police Chief Reilly, School Facilities Manager DeGennaro and Town Manager Lemnios.

The Mass Department of Public Health is the conduit that will provide us with information regarding any resident that may present a risk, either by traveling from an area that has already been impacted or by coming into contact with someone who may have tested positive for the virus. In the event we are notified of such a set of circumstances that individual will be assessed by our Board of Health staff to determine the appropriate action; most commonly a voluntary quarantine.  Federal and State law is clear that at no time can we release any information regarding the person that may be advised to self quarantine. Public health response is not designed to shun individuals but rather to create strategies to protect and effectively implement practices that can shorten the impact of any public health risk.

Federal, state and local public health professionals are actively monitoring the situation and seeking to identify any person that may present a risk. The appropriate medical response for each person that is at risk will be unique to that person’s situation.

If there is a risk level that requires broader measures, for instance limits on public meetings or adjustments to public programs, sporting events, etc the public will be advised as expediently as possible consistent with the level of risk.

The best protection for everyone at this point is still to take great personal care by following some simple yet effective steps:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

On behalf of our Team, Thank you,

Phil Lemnios
Town Manager


Community Letter - Coronavirus Information

Posted on: March 3, 2020 - 7:34pm
 

Dear Hull families, 

The Hull Public School District, in conjunction with town officials, is continuing to closely monitor the spread of the respiratory disease, COVID-19, or the “coronavirus.” 

The Town of Hull has convened a working group to ensure that if the virus impacts our town we will be prepared. The team includes: myself, Public Health Director Joyce Sullivan, Public Health Nurse Joan Taverna Board of Health, Police Chief John Dunn, Fire Chief Christopher Russo, Council on Aging Director Barbara Lawlor, Town Counsel James Lampke, Deputy Fire Chief William Frazier, Deputy Police Chief Neil Reilly, School Facilities Manager David DeGennaro and Town Manager Philip Lemnios.

At this time there are no confirmed or suspected coronavirus cases in Hull.

Continuously updated information on the coronavirus can be accessed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and the new MA DPH website which also offers printable handouts in multiple languages:  

CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.htm
DPH:  www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.

Hull Public Schools are following the state-level guidance directions regarding the virus. If students, staff or volunteers go to the nurse’s office with a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND have traveled from China in the last 14 days, OR are ill with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing AND had recent close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or had recent close contact with someone under investigation by public health authorities for COVID-19, the following steps will be taken:

  • Place the individual in a private room, ask them to wear a face mask and close the door.
  • Ask the individual about symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). Other symptoms could include: chills, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. Anyone in the same room as the individual will wear a face mask and stand at least 6 feet away.
  • If the individual requires immediate medical care, call 911 for an ambulance, inform EMS of the individual’s recent travel to China.                                                      
  • Consult with DPH Epidemiology and the local board of health.

Preventative Measures 

The precautions to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect against COVID-19. According to the CDC, the spread of disease is prevented by: 

  • Proper hand hygiene
  • Covering your cough
  • Staying home when ill
  • Receiving preventative vaccines such as the flu shot 
  • Remaining 6 feet away from individuals who are sick

The recommended precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease are being followed by Hull district nursing and maintenance staff. Many of these directions were already regular practices.

DPH recommends that schools continue education about good hygiene. The district is prioritizing proper hand hygiene at all schools with signage and announcement reminders. Students, staff, and volunteers are reminded to:

  • Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Singing the “ABC” song is helpful in estimating the timing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

We continue to take preventative measures like cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms and health rooms, disinfecting high-traffic areas such as door handles, faucets and railings, and cleaning hard surfaces such as desks and countertops. Custodial staff  are also trained to use disinfectants in a safe and effective manner and to properly clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluid spills. We have purchased handheld disinfecting and sanitizing sprayers for each building to speed up the disinfecting process and hand sanitizer will be provided in each classroom and common area.

We continuously engage in regular communication with state and local departments of public health and safety officials. These updates and information on the coronavirus are used to guide school-based decisions surrounding the virus. The district will keep you informed of updates or changes as we are advised by our local and state departments of public health.

Thank you and we hope that this helps you make informed decisions about the health and wellness for you and your families.

Sincerely, 

Judy Kuehn
Interim Superintendent


Message from HPS About Coronavirus

Posted on: February 26, 2020 - 3:53pm
 

Dear Parents/Guardians,

With the CDC's updated recommendations regarding the respiratory disease COVID-19 or the “Coronavirus.”  I am writing to let you know that the Hull Public Schools is in communication with town officials including the Board of Health and I am attending a planning meeting on Tuesday morning to create an action plan should there be an outbreak of the virus.  To be proactive, the Hull Public Schools continues to disinfect all areas of the schools and to speed up this disinfectant process we have purchased hand held disinfecting and sanitizing sprayers for each building.  In addition, hand sanitizer for each classroom will be provided as well as in common areas.   

Furthermore, The CDC (www.cdc.gov) recognizes that prevention efforts offer the strongest protection from all illnesses including the Coronovirus. These efforts include vaccination, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, washing objects/surfaces and staying 6 ft away from individuals who are sick.  

I will keep you informed of updates or changes as we are advised by our local and state departments of public health.

Be well,

Judith E. Kuehn
Interim Superintendent

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