- Health Update - May 4, 2020
- Health Update - March 31, 2020
- Health Update - March 27, 2020
- Health Update - March 23, 2020
- Health Update - March 20, 2020
- Health Update - March 13, 2020
- Health Update - March 10, 2020
- Health Update - March 5, 2020
- Health Update - February 28, 2020
I hope this note finds you and your family well. As we being our sixth week of Distance Learning, I know that students, teachers, and parents are struggling to adjust to the “new normal.” We do not yet have a school re-opening date, but I do expect an announcement from the Governor in the near future. In the meantime, I wanted you to know that the school district’s staff is developing the re-entry plan to meet the needs of the students when we do return.
We know that our curriculum will need adjustment in the fall to ensure all key areas of learning are met. The district has curriculum teams that will review and revise lessons during the summer. We plan to assess student progress at the beginning of next year and accommodate lessons to adjust to any learning gaps.
We are also providing significant professional development to enhance teachers’ ability to provide online learning in the future. We are committed to building a strong Distance Learning system, which may be needed in the future.
I am delighted to report that the construction of the new middle school is on schedule. We anticipate that the building will be substantially complete on June 30. Groton Middle School will open on September 1 as planned. A video tour of the new building was recently recorded and is posted on our website at https://www.grotonschools.org/gms . We are extremely grateful to the construction crew who have persevered through this pandemic and continued its work without interruption.
Over the last few weeks, I have spoken to numerous students, teachers, and parents, and I am extremely pleased with the progress we seem to be making under these difficult circumstances. As soon as I hear any word about school re-opening, I will let you know immediately.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Groton Public Schools
March 31, 2020
I wanted to update you regarding the district’s efforts to continue our instructional program while the schools are closed. Groton Public Schools will be providing instruction for our learners in a variety of ways and through different learning platforms. While the schools are closed, we plan to provide regular classroom instruction as well as special education services, Section 504 accommodations, and/or related services in individual, small group, and whole class settings. We will use Google Classroom, Schoology, or other digital tools.
The instructional methods used by your child’s teachers may include multiple students participating at the same time. We encourage you to have your child participate in a quiet location. Your child’s teacher may determine that your child’s participation in a virtual lesson needs to be modified to promote an appropriate learning environment.
The confidentiality of all students must be respected at all times when participating in distance learning. Parents are required to maintain the confidentiality of any and all information that is obtained about any student other than your own child. Parents and students are prohibited from video or audio recording any portion of any lesson.
If you do not wish for your child to participate in the district’s distance learning plan, please provide written notice to your child’s principal via the email below by April 3, 2020 and we will determine a different means by which to address your child’s educational needs. Please include your child’s first and last name, grade level, and your first and last name in the written notice.
We look forward to working with you and your child.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Superintendent of Schools
Principal, Robert E. Fitch High School
Principal, Cutler Arts and Humanities Magnet Middle School
Principal, West Side STEM Magnet Middle School
Principal, Dr. Charles Barnum Elementary School
Principal, Claude Chester Elementary School
Principal, Catherine Kolnaski STEAM Magnet School
Principal, Mary Morrisson Elementary School
Principal, Northeast Academy
Principal, S. B. Butler Elementary School
Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff:
I wanted all parents, students, and staff to know that the Groton Board of Education revised this year’s school calendar. Groton Public Schools will not have an April vacation this year; we will use distance learning during the week of April 13 to April 17. As a result, the school year will end on June 12, 2020.
Starting on Monday, March 30, we will switch entirely to distance learning; the high school will provide lessons via Schoology and the elementary and middle school students will use Google Classroom. We will not use live classroom video conferences initially until we work out privacy concerns.
The district has established a technology help line for parents, which can be found at https://www.grotonschools.org/covid19/technology
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Groton Public Schools
Here is the latest update regarding our response to the Coronavirus. Over the weekend, the district moved quickly to facilitate the distribution of the Chromebooks to all students who need them. Our original plan was to contact parents on Monday and Tuesday to determine who needed the devices and then distribute them on Wednesday and Thursday. However, we saw the Governor’s executive order requiring non-essential workers to stay home after 8:00 p.m. Monday, so we realized that we needed to act immediately.
On Saturday, the principals coordinated an effort to contact the parents and have them identify their tech needs. Early Sunday morning, the school administrators, head custodians, tech staff members, and a secretary met at the schools to dismantle computer carts, assign computers to individual students, and place them in envelopes with power cords. By Sunday afternoon, many parents came to the school to collect the devices. We will continue the distribution today; we are also ordering “hot spot” devices for children whose families do not have Internet access in the home. The goal, of course, is to ensure each child has a computer and Internet connection so he or she can access the distance learning.
Needless to say, I am inspired by the dedication, resourcefulness, and sheer hard work of our school teams. The effort over the weekend took a great deal of coordination and clear thinking; our children will be the beneficiaries of this effort.
Alice Walker, the author of The Color Purple, wrote that “Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” In the spirit of her comment, I offer my heartfelt thank you to the crew who supported the effort to get the kids the equipment they need.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Groton Public Schools
I want to provide an update regarding our plans for continuing instruction. As a first step, the schools are working to ensure that each student has access to a computer and the internet. You will receive a phone call from your child’s principal asking you if you need a computer and/or a device to access the internet. Please email your response as soon as possible or phone the school Monday morning if you need the technology equipment.
We are planning to provide online distance learning, so it is essential that the children have access to instructional technology. Next week, students will be expected to work on the learning materials distributed earlier. Beginning March 30th, our schools will shift entirely to distance learning. Details of online lessons will be made available by the teachers next week. This new learning system is a huge change for everyone, and we know how disturbing it is to the children and their families. The entire professional staff in the Groton Public Schools is working diligently to provide the best possible learning opportunities for your children under these difficult circumstances.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Groton Public Schools
Quiero proporcionar una actualización con respecto a nuestros planes de instrucción continua. Como primer paso, las escuelas están trabajando para asegurar que cada estudiante tenga acceso a una computadora e Internet. Recibirá una llamada telefónica del director de su hijo preguntándole si necesita una computadora y/o un dispositivo para acceder a Internet. Por favor envíe su respuesta por correo electrónico tan pronto como sea posible o llame a la escuela el lunes por la mañana si necesita el equipo de tecnología.
Estamos planeando proporcionar aprendizaje a distancia en línea, por lo que es esencial que los niños tengan acceso a la tecnología educativa. La próxima semana, se espera que los estudiantes trabajen en los materiales de aprendizaje distribuidos anteriormente. A partirdel 30 demarzo, nuestras escuelas se trasladarán por completo al aprendizaje a distancia. Los profesores de la próxima semana pondrán a disposición los detalles de las lecciones en línea. Este nuevo sistema de aprendizaje es un gran cambio para todos, y sabemos lo inquietante que es para los niños y sus familias. Todo el personal profesional de las Escuelas Públicas de Groton está trabajando diligentemente para proporcionar las mejores oportunidades de aprendizaje posibles para sus hijos en estas difíciles circunstancias.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Escuelas Públicas de Groton
March 13, 2020
I am writing to inform you that the Groton Public Schools will be closed until further notice effective this evening at 5:00 p.m. At a minimum, schools will be closed for two weeks. Please be aware that as guidance is updated, this may need to be extended.
On the advice of our local health departments, the school superintendents in southeastern Connecticut have come together to make a decision to put the health of our community (both our school community and the community at large) at the center of our decision to close schools. We have been advised by local health authorities that the implementation of social distancing measures is a proven science-based intervention that has been shown to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with communicable disease outbreaks. In the past, communities in which schools closed were able to positively impact and reduce the spread of disease. We felt compelled to make this decision to prevent the spread of illness among our students, staff, and our communities.
We also clearly heard that we cannot confirm that this illness will run its course in two weeks; in fact, it is not likely that it will. We made the determination to make this closure “indefinite” based on that information. This decision was made in consultation with and with the support of the health departments, elected officials, and emergency management professionals.
There has been much discussion about the concept of distance learning during prolonged absences. At this time, the Connecticut State Department of Education has discouraged districts from utilizing this approach due to concerns over instructional consistency, especially in the early grades. We will continue, during this school closing, to seek ways to provide supplemental education to our students. Should we be able to utilize a distance learning model, we will notify parents, students, and staff members of how this will be implemented.
At this time, we have no other information to share but will continue to communicate as we receive updated guidance from our public health officials, the CDC, and state officials. Please continue to monitor your email to ensure receipt of the most current information. I will send regular updates to parent, students, and staff each Friday while the school closure lasts.
We know that students may need access to their school to retrieve medications, books, or other materials. On Monday, March 16, all our schools will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and the school nurses and other staff will be available to assist you.
Today, the school teaching staff has developed learning activities to engage students during the school closure; these activities are meant to be supplemental and designed to build academic skills and can be accessed on each school’s website.
Our Food Services Department received approval to operate a meals program throughout the community for all students eighteen years old or younger for the duration of this school closure. The distribution sites will be West Side Middle School, Mary Morrisson Elementary School, and the Groton Public Library. The staff will provide a package which will include a healthy breakfast and lunch; these meals will be distributed between 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Mondays through Fridays.
I am sure this school closure will result in significant adjustments for all families. I will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Groton Public Schools
13 de Marzo de 2020
Escribo para informarles que las Escuelas Públicas de Groton permanecerán cerradas hasta nuevo aviso esta noche a las 5:00 p.m. Como mínimo, las escuelas permanecerán cerradas por dos semanas.
Por consejo de nuestros departamentos de salud locales, los superintendentes de la escuela en el sureste de Connecticut se han unido para tomar la decisión de poner la salud de nuestra comunidad (tanto nuestra comunidad escolar como la comunidad en general) en el centro de nuestra decisión de cerrar Escuelas. Las autoridades sanitarias locales nos han informado de que la aplicación de medidas de distanciamiento social es una intervención basada en la ciencia probada que ha demostrado reducir la morbilidad y mortalidad asociadas a los brotes de enfermedades transmisibles. En el pasado, las comunidades en las que las escuelas se cerraban eran capaces de impactar positivamente y reducir la propagación de enfermedades. Nos sentimos obligados a tomar esta decisión para prevenir la propagación de enfermedades entre nuestros estudiantes, personal y nuestras comunidades.
También oímos claramente que no podemos confirmar que esta enfermedad seguirá su curso en dos semanas; de hecho, no es probable que lo haga. Tomamos la determinación de hacer este cierre "indefinido" sobre la base de esa información. Esta decisión se tomó en consulta con y con el apoyo de los departamentos de salud, funcionarios electos, y profesionales de gestión de emergencias.
Se ha discutido mucho sobre el concepto de aprendizaje a distancia durante ausencias prolongadas. En este momento, el Departamento de Educación del Estado de Connecticut ha desalentado a los distritos de utilizar este enfoque debido a preocupaciones sobre la consistencia educativa, especialmente en los primeros grados. Continuaremos, durante este cierre escolar, buscando maneras de proporcionar educación suplementaria a nuestros estudiantes. Si somos capaces de utilizar un modelo de aprendizaje a distancia, notificaremos a los padres, estudiantes y miembros del personal de cómo se implementará.
En este momento, no tenemos otra información que compartir, pero continuaremos comunicándonos a medida que recibamos orientación actualizada de nuestros funcionarios de salud pública, los CDC y los funcionarios estatales. Por favor, continúe monitoreando su correo electrónico para asegurarse de recibir la información más actualizada. Enviaré actualizaciones regulares a los padres, estudiantes y personal cada viernes, mientras dure el cierre de la escuela.
Sabemos que los estudiantes pueden necesitar acceso a su escuela para recuperar medicamentos, libros u otros materiales. El lunes 16 de la mañana, todas nuestras escuelas estarán abiertas de 8:00 a.m. a 12:00 del mediodía, y las enfermeras de la escuela y el resto del personal estarán disponibles para ayudarle.
Hoy, el personal de la escuela estuvo desarrollado actividades de aprendizaje para involucrar a los estudiantes durante el cierre de la escuela; estas actividades están destinadas a ser suplementarias y diseñadas para desarrollar habilidades académicas y se puede acceder a ellas en el sitio web de cada escuela.
Nuestro Departamento de Servicios de Alimentos recibió la aprobación para desarrollar un programa de comidas en toda la comunidad para todos los estudiantes de 18 años de edad o menos durante la duración de este cierre de la escuela. Los sitios de distribución serán West Side Middle School, Mary Morrisson Elementary School y Groton Public Library. El personal proporcionará un paquete que incluirá un desayuno y almuerzo saludable. Estas comidas se distribuirán entre las 9:00 a.m. a 9:30 a.m., de lunes a viernes.
Estoy seguro de que este cierre de la escuela resultará en ajustes significativos para todas las familias. Seguiré proporcionando información actualizada a medida que esté disponible.
Dr. Michael H. Graner
Escuelas Públicas de Groton
March 10, 2020
I wanted to provide a detailed explanation regarding Groton Public Schools response to the Coronavirus concerns. A district task force has developed a series of recommendations in accordance with state, local, national health officials, and Governor Lamont. At this time, Groton Public Schools is taking the following actions:
- Groton Public Schools is attempting to minimize the chance of transmission by maintaining “social distancing.” We are encouraging adults, including volunteers, to not visit our schools until after April 20, 2020.
- All field trips have been postponed or cancelled until April 20, 2020.
- The State Health Department recommends postponing all gatherings of more than 100 people. As a result, all school sponsored activities, such as plays and concerts, have been postponed.
- The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) has cancelled all of its remaining winter tournament games.
- The elementary and middle schools’ parent/teacher conferences scheduled for April 1, 2, & 3 have been cancelled, and the children will have a full day of school on those days. We plan to provide an opportunity for parent/teacher contact later in the spring.
- Report cards will be issued in late March; if parents have immediate concerns, they may contact their child’s teacher.
- In accordance with CDC recommendations, those who may have been traveling abroad are being closely monitored.
- Custodial and maintenance staff are sanitizing classroom desks and other high touch surfaces.
- School buses will be disinfected after the morning and afternoon runs.
- Technology equipment will be sanitized daily.
- Custodians will use authorized disinfectant cleaning solutions to sanitize classrooms and cafeteria tables.
- Students are being encouraged to routinely wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds.
- Coughs and sneezes should be done into a tissue or an elbow.
- Hand washing posters will be displayed in school hallways, bathrooms, and on buses.
- While school attendance is extremely important, we want to encourage students and staff who are ill to remain home during this period.
Possible School Closure
- Our schools are preparing for a possible multi-day closure if needed. Teachers are developing on-line instructional experiences and learning packets in the event our schools may need to close for up to ten days
10 de Marzo de 2020
Estimados padres / tutores:
Quería proporcionar una explicación detallada sobre la respuesta de las Escuelas Públicas de Groton a las preocupaciones sobre el Coronavirus. Un grupo de trabajo del distrito ha desarrollado una serie de recomendaciones de acuerdo con los funcionarios de salud estatales, locales, nacionales y el gobernador Lamont. En este momento, las Escuelas Públicas de Groton están tomando las siguientes acciones:
- Las Escuelas Públicas de Groton están tratando de minimizar la posibilidad de transmisión al mantener el "distanciamiento social". Alentamos a los adultos, incluidos los voluntarios, a que no visiten nuestras escuelas hasta después del 20 de abril de 2020.
- Todas las excursiones se han pospuesto o cancelado hasta el 20 de abril de 2020.
- El Departamento de Salud del Estado recomienda posponer todas las reuniones de más de 100 personas. Como resultado, todas las actividades patrocinadas por la escuela, como obras de teatro y conciertos, se han pospuesto.
- La Conferencia Atlética Interescolar de Connecticut (CIAC) ha cancelado todos sus juegos restantes de torneos de invierno.
- Las conferencias de padres y maestros de las escuelas primarias y medias programadas para el 1, 2 y 3 de abril han sido canceladas, y los niños tendrán un día completo de escuela en esos días. Planeamos reprogramar las conferencias más adelante en la primavera.
- Las de calificaciones se emitirán a fines de marzo; Si los padres tienen inquietudes inmediatas, pueden comunicarse con el maestro de su hijo.
- De acuerdo con las recomendaciones del CDC, los que pueden haber viajado al extranjero están siendo monitoreados de cerca.
- El personal de mantenimiento y custodia desinfecta los escritorios otras superficies de alto contacto.
- Los autobuses escolares serán desinfectados después de los recorridos de la mañana y la tarde.
- Los equipos tecnológicos serán desinfectados diariamente.
- Los custodios utilizarán soluciones de limpieza desinfectantes autorizadas para desinfectar los salones y las mesas de la cafetería.
Cuidado de la salud
- Se alienta a los estudiantes a lavarse las manos rutinariamente con agua y jabón durante 20 segundos.
- La tos y los estornudos se deben hacer en un pañuelo o un codo.
- Los carteles de lavado de manos se exhibirán en los pasillos de las escuelas, baños y autobuses.
- La asistencia a la escuela es extremadamente importante, queremos alentar a los estudiantes y al personal que están enfermos a permanecer en casa durante este período.
Posible cierre de la escuela
- Nuestras escuelas se están preparando para un posible cierre de varios días si es necesario. Los maestros están desarrollando experiencias de enseñanza en línea y paquetes de aprendizaje en caso de que nuestras escuelas necesiten cerrar por hasta diez días
Throughout all Groton Public School buildings, our custodial team is continuing to implement best practices related to cleaning protocols. Our standard practice has always been to maintain the cleanliness of our schools at the highest level, to promote the health and safety of our students.
Each of our schools is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected nightly by our custodial team, with particular attention to treating high-touch areas such as desktops, backs of chairs, light switches, and door knobs. Groton Public Schools custodial supervisor is also working in concert with the staff at each school and visiting every building nightly.
We are also educating students on hand washing, which is one of the best ways to promote a healthy environment and prevent the spread of germs. Working in partnership with our nurses and using educational materials from the CDC, all of our schools are reinforcing regular hand washing by students and staff.
Across our district, we will continue to adhere to the recommendations and guidelines from the State Department of Public Health and Ledge Light Health District, to promote a healthy and safe learning environment for all students and staff.
As we move into the late weeks of winter, our school nurses are seeing cases of colds, flu, and strep throat among the student population. Front and center in the news these days is information regarding the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is an emerging and rapidly evolving illness first detected in Wuhan City, China. The Coronavirus has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including the United States. Symptoms of Coronavirus may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These symptoms are very similar to symptoms of the flu; therefore, it is important that individuals check in with their primary care physician if they are experiencing signs of illness. For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low.
Illness prevention is the first line of defense
The following are recommended measures that can lower the risk of illness, including COVID-19:
- Frequent and thorough handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is recommended.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces with a disinfectant product.
- Avoid sharing of drinking cups, food, and other personal items.
- Stay at home if you are ill to minimize the transmission of illness and disease.
It is important that parents communicate with their child’s teacher if they are out with illness.
Students should remain at home from school with the following symptoms
of common illness or disease
- Temperature of 100 degrees or greater. Students should be fever-free without use of a fever-reducing medication for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school.
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea. Students should remain at home until they have stopped vomiting for at least 24 hours and are able to tolerate fluids and solid foods.
- Sore throat that is accompanied by fatigue, body aches, and fever.
- A persistent/disruptive cough lasting for more than a few days or with fever.
- Eye discomfort with itching, redness, pain, and drainage.
- Skin rash suggestive of a communicable disease. Scroll down for more information on what to do if your child has been seen for a communicable disesase.
We request a physician note if your child has seen a physician and been out with a communicable disease. If the illness has been accompanied by a rash, we ask that any blisters or open sores be healed before returning to school. Presently, the evolving path of the Coronavirus is difficult to predict. Our District Medical Advisor, Dr. Michael Blefeld, the Ledge Light Health District, and the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health are available to assist us with any emergency planning as needed. Our intent is to stay current with the information and guidance given by the CDC, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and Ledge Light Health District.
For more information regarding the Novel Coronavirus,
please click on the below icons
Please note that the details surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak change daily