May 28, 2020
Dear MTSD Staff and Parents,
To say the last several months have been a whirlwind is an understatement. As a school district, we were compelled to pivot our model of teaching and helping students to learn in a remote, online environment. While initially seemingly insurmountable, the task was fully embraced by all. I have seen countless examples of quality instruction, of authentic engagement, compassionate communications and simple acts of kindness.
With just about 2.5 weeks left in the school year, I want to reflect upon the journey we have traveled together as a school community and share some thoughts on what school might look like when we open the 2020-21 school year.
The district has been engaged in both tactical and strategic approaches to not only navigate the uncharted waters of COVID-19, but to also position Mansfield for continued education on behalf of the almost 600 students we serve. From ensuring students and staff alike are provided with:
- Technology and know how to effectively meet the demands of online learning through a comprehensive continuity of learning plan
- Mental health and wellness support
- Lunch to ensure no child has to deal with food insecurity (food services and BackPack program)
- Clean, disinfected and maintained facilities
- Comprehensive budget for (2020-2021) that preserves high-quality programs and services
In terms of our schools reopening, I must admit I have some concerns about the mandates and the practicality of some of the models being mentioned to reimagine education. However, please know and have confidence that there are many people working on countless “what if” scenarios, ranging from the “traditional model,” to a hybrid model (combination of onsite and online), to even the possibility of remaining completely online. Gov. Murphy is to be making an announcement mid-June.
I am desperately hoping for the return to in-district classes, recognizing that certain parameters to preserve safety will be warranted. I am extremely confident that our students are ready and capable of adhering with social distancing protocols, wearing face covering, and practicing good disinfecting and cleanliness habits.
While I am hopeful by my personality, but also practical when I think of the bigger picture. I have personally committed countless hours to participate on local, regional, and national committees that are scouring all states to identify proven practices and to even learn from their failures. As the superintendent of Mansfield, I am fully committed to our implementation plan.
I firmly believe that any reopening plan should begin with two goals in mind. First, the physical school environment should embody public health guidelines to prevent a COVID-19 resurgence and additional closures. Second, the plan must produce enough confidence that families, students, and educators feel ready for face-to-face teaching in school.
We were hoping to use the provision of summer school as an opportunity to pilot social distancing methods, but the recent Executive Order from the Governor dictates that all summer programming shall be via online.
The multipronged challenges we must encounter and transform into opportunities entails:
- The accommodation of high quality educational experience
- Honoring the need for ongoing social interactions between students
- Accounting for health and safety precautions within the limitations of school facilities
While as a district we will have to comply with the governor’s orders, please know we are strongly advocating that schools reopen in the fall. We recognize space and staffing limitations may necessitate both onsite and offsite instruction, but our goal will be to maximize onsite for all students with a strong emphasis on our youngest students, those with greatest need for in-person provision of services, addressing learning gaps, and providing social emotional support.
My Administrative Team has worked countless hours with me to initiate feasibility analysis, including classroom spacing for social distancing, disinfecting and personal protective equipment, curricula offerings and scheduling, transportation, and the other many logistical nuances that provide a quality school experience. We will continue to finetune our plans based upon the Executive Orders given by the Governor.
Next week the teachers will be in the buildings gathering your child’s belongings in preparation for the week of pick up. We have been asked the question: “Will teachers be at school when the kids come to get their belongings? We would like to say goodbye or leave a small gift.” If a teacher is there, you can leave the gift at table three where the teacher will be. Or you can mail the gift to school if it is a gift card or something that can be dropped in the mail.
From the beginning of the crisis, we will continue to communicate with you as our plans for the fall evolve. School principals will continue to share information regarding year-end celebrations and recognitions. We are particularly excited about the sixth grade promotion plans being developed by administrators, staff and students to provide the members of the MTES Class of 2020 at the end of the academic year. More information will be forthcoming from Mr. Kershner.
Now that we finally have some nice sunny weather, I ask that you continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols in your engagement with family and friends. Continue to encourage your children, our students, to remain academically engaged.
I thank you for your ongoing support of our efforts. This is truly about collective work. We are working diligently to ensure Mansfield continues to be as awesome as ever!
Stay healthy and well!
Tiffany J. Moutis, Superintendent
May 28th Parent Update: Please see letter above.
May 21st: Please see the above letter from the Superintendent.
Friday, May 8th Parent Meeting Survey
Time: May 8, 2020 01:00 PM
JHES Teacher of the Year: Sara Giunta (right)
JHES Education Service Professional of the Year: Julie Katz (left)
MTES Teacher of the Year: Kelley Tellefsen (right)
MTES Education Service Professional of the Year: Elise Szeker (left)
Registration for the 2020-2021 Preschool Integrated Program is now OPEN.
Information about the Preschool Integrated program is listed under the Departments page on the website.
JHES and MTES School Hours
Regular Day 9:10-3:25
Regular Day for Half-Day Students 9:10 - 11:40
Early Dismissal 9:10-12:55
Regular Day 8:40-3:25
Early Dismissal 8:40-12:55
2 Hour Delayed Opening Schedule
STUDENTS NEED TO GET TO BUS STOP 2 HOURS LATER THAN ORIGINAL BUS STOP TIME.
There is NO AM MVP and Half Day PreK on a delayed opening.