Update from Superintendent - March 19, 2021

Dear Weymouth School Community, 
Tomorrow marks the first day of Spring, the season of new beginnings, and nature’s reminder of how beautiful change can be. The onset of Spring could not be more timely as we prepare for our own new beginnings and develop plans to return to in-person instruction in the coming weeks.  We have so much to look forward to. 
As plans are approved, individual schools will be contacting (or may have already contacted) families who will be asked to make a decision on the learning model they wish to select for their child for the remainder of the school year.  The two selections are as follows:
Remote Learning - Families will have the option to keep their child enrolled in full-time remote learning through the end of this school year only.
Full-Time In-Person Learning - Families will have the option to return their child to school for full-time in-person instruction.  All students who choose this model will return to school five days per week, including Monday, which will be a half day in-person for all students, and remain a half day of professional development for staff through the end of this school year. 
All families will be asked to fill out a form, or will be contacted directly by their school Principal, to make a decision.  Once a decision has been made, any requests for a change in learning model will require proper approval during a reasonable transition period.  All requests are subject to the following conditions:
Change from Remote Learning to In-Person Instruction:  Any request to switch from remote learning to in-person instruction is subject to a reasonable transition to make preparations for factors including transportation and changes in learning spaces. 
Change from In-Person to Remote Learning: If a family feels that in-person learning is unsafe, they may request to move their student to Remote Learning for the remainder of this school year.  This request requires proper planning at the school level, and is subject to a reasonable transition period to allow preparations to comply with DESE in-person instruction regulations. 
Quarantine Order:  Following DESE COVID-19 health protocols, students may need to isolate or quarantine if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, are a close contact of someone who tests positive, or are awaiting test results. In these cases only, students will be allowed to learn remotely and have their time count towards learning time.  All requests are subject to approval by school personnel.  Any requests that do not meet the request protocols will count as absences. 
Free transportation is available to students in grades Kindergarten through six who live more than two miles from their school.  All students will be offered transportation through our Pay Rider program, and information regarding rates and applications will be included in next week’s communication. 
When selecting a learning model, families will also be asked if they plan to utilize school transportation this year.  Some families may choose to opt out of school transportation, and some schools may poll their community to better understand how students will arrive to and depart from school.  Please answer to the best of your ability so schools can make proper arrangements, and all families should plan for increased traffic during drop off and pick up times for the remainder of this school year. 
Wey Care will remain closed, and families who normally use Wey Care will need to continue with their alternative daycare plans through the end of the school year.  However, school officials are working diligently to prepare plans and meet the requirements to re-open Wey Care in September. We understand this creates hardships for some families, but the health and safety of our students, staff and families remains our top priority.  We look forward to welcoming students back to our program safely next school year. 
Thank you for your continued patience, understanding and collaboration as we prepare for a new beginning this school year.  We will continue to work in partnership with state officials, Mayor Bob Hedlund, the School Committee, Town Council, local health, public safety and facilities departments.  We value the input from our entire team-- from our administrators and principals to our teachers, nurses, custodians, bus drivers, traffic supervisors, and every staff member in our school community.  We are committed to opening our doors safely, and working with each and every family to meet their needs and advance the education of our students. 
We are beyond excited to welcome our students back, and look forward to watching them flourish in our school buildings once again.  
Thank you,
Kathleen Smith, JD