Remote Learning Task Force
June 26, 2020 Meeting Summary
Hello Heath School Families,
The Brookline School Committee's Ad Hoc Remote Learning Task Force met on June 26, 2020. Here are the main summary points from the meeting:
- DESE Releases Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance - As mentioned in Superintendent Ben Lummis’ latest email, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) released their much-anticipated initial guidance on fall school reopening. The guidance will be inspected carefully in the coming weeks by all who are working on Brookline’s fall school planning. One highlight is that while the guidance reaffirms that districts should plan for all-remote and hybrid schooling scenarios, it also clearly states that districts should prioritize “the safe return of as many students as possible to in-person school settings”. The guidance specifies that returning safely means “following a comprehensive set of health and safety requirements”. Examples of safety requirements include (but are not limited to) utilizing masks/face coverings and reducing the size and mixing of student groups by using cohorts. Districts are to submit their fall reopening plans to DESE in August, so there will be continued analysis and discussion of the guidance in the weeks to come.
- Expert Advisory Panel Updates - The co-chairs of all four expert advisory panels provided updates. Each panel sees their first role as being to provide advice and guidance on questions and issues that PSB working groups bring to them. For example, Panel 1 is considering the question of “What methods of instruction are families expecting to see? How will these methods support access for all families?” The panels’ second role is to provide an outside-in perspective by raising important topics or questions and providing an informed perspective on the topic. For example, Panel 4 recently shared a presentation on possible COVID-19 testing scenarios. All four panels have set up regular weekly meetings that are open to the public:
- Ad Hoc Remote Learning Task Force - Fridays 9:30 - 11:00 AM
- Panel 1: Educational Excellence and Equity - Thursdays 3:00 - 4:30 PM
- Panel 2: Support to Address the Whole Child Experience - Tuesdays 4:00 - 5:30 PM
- Panel 3: Remote Learning Capacity Building - Thursdays 8:00 - 9:00 AM
- Panel 4: Public Health, Safety, and Logistics - Fridays 3:00 - 4:30 PM
The Task Force and the expert advisory panels are expecting to continue to meet throughout the summer. Because of the holiday weekend, there will not be a Task Force meeting on July 3 and other expert advisory panel meetings may also be adjusted. The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for July 10.
As always, if you have a perspective that would be relevant to the Task Force, please do reach out to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share your thoughts.
Eli Silk, Heath School Parent Representative
** NOTE: Remote learning—and today’s home, school, and work environment more generally—presents a range of unexpected challenges that are unprecedented in our lifetimes. All stakeholders in our school district are working hard to serve our students as best they can, but the challenges are complex and the situation is continually evolving. The latest Remote Learning Task Force meeting was 90 minutes and included substantive discussions on a range of topics, but because the Heath PTO wants to keep you informed while respecting that you have many important issues seeking your attention, this summary is necessarily brief and simplified. If you would like to learn more, additional links are provided below. **
Want to dive in further? Here are some useful links:
Brookline School Committee
Massachusetts (MA) Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)