I hope you and your families and loved ones are well.
We are now in the third week of distance learning and we have learned several lessons from our students, their families, and our staff’s own experiences. We all are increasingly aware that our lives will be impacted by school closures and work from home requirements for some time in the future. While the most recent end date from the state is still April 20 President Trump used April 30 as a possible end date yesterday. We just do not know. We are beginning to plan for the likelihood we will not be back in school before the end of the year. Today’s email acknowledges both the lessons we are learning and the reality that we will be in distance learning for the long term.
We are going to maintain the adopted school calendar and have April vacation week. The last day of school before break is Thursday, April 9 (Friday, April 10 is Good Friday) and school will resume Monday, April 20. There had been discussions about canceling or shortening the break. However, the amount of stress already felt by students, parents, and staff, and the reality that the number of people with COVID 19 is projected to reach peak around April 14, are reasons to take the week off. The return date of April 20 is also the next projected date for students to physically return to school. That is unlikely. From April 20 to the last day of school, June 17 is over 8 weeks. That is a long stretch under these circumstances. We continue to emphasize that our top concern is the health and wellbeing of students and their families and our staff. That is why we are taking April break.
Meals will be served during April break.
Professional Learning Day, Friday, April 3, 2020
On Friday, March 27 the staff of the Fairfield Public Schools engaged in professional learning on technology, resources, and lesson planning. As we acquire technology skills and learn new resources there remains the need to support staff with more time to use these skills in their online instructional practices. In acknowledgement of the likely length of this closure we also are beginning to address how to best assess student learning online, how to provide grades towards online learning, and how to integrate small group instruction into the day. This Friday will be another professional learning day for staff. Time will be spent addressing these needs.
Meals will be served on Friday, April 3.
High School Schedule Update
Based on feedback from students, parents, and staff the high school schedule will be changing this Wednesday to coincide with the start of the last marking period. The change is being made to provide more time for students and staff between periods and to give a break for lunch. The new schedule is:
9:00-10:05 Period 1
5 min break
10:10-11:15 Period 2
30 min lunch
11:45-12:50 Period 3
5 min break
12:55-2:00 Period 4
Sonia Coelho, the school social worker at Fairfield Warde, has identified additional locations for students to receive meals during the school closure. Through the COVID-19 Community-wide Emergency Meal Program for Children our students can go to certain Bridgeport Schools between 9:00-1:00pm to get breakfast, lunch and dinner (lunch & dinner are hot meals that they can heat up). The meals are for any children under the age of 18. You do not need to live in Bridgeport to receive these meals. The locations of these schools will be posted on the district website https://www.fairfieldschools.org/covid-19-information-and-resources under the heading Community-wide Emergency Meal Plan for Children.
Please know that Fairfield continues to serve breakfast and lunch at McKinley, Holland Hill, and Roger Ludlowe Middle School between 8 am and 1 pm Monday through Friday.
To our IT staff for their tireless dedication to maintaining and upholding the integrity of our tech infrastructure, to responding to countless requests for online and in-person support, and for always being on the other end of the line for support. The simplest way to put this is we could not do this work without them.
Finally, if managing online learning is becoming difficult for you please reach out to your child’s teachers and their school administrator. Schooling is secondary to the needs of your family and you. We will work with you to accommodate your needs and timelines.
Take care and stay well, Mike
Superintendent of Schools
Fairfield Public Schools