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Urgent News

Update Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Dr. David Thomson

Superintendent of Schools

May 28, 2020

Norwood Public Schools Health Requirements for School Attendance

During these unprecedented times many parents have contacted the school nurses with questions concerning immunization and physical examination requirements for registration and for when we eventually return to school. This week we began phase I of the Governor’s reopening process. Included in phase I is the ability for health care providers to begin offering in-person health services. Specifically noted in the Department of Public Health Guidance document was the need to prioritize pediatric care especially immunizations. If your child is missing immunizations, overdue or due for a physical examination now is a good time to contact your pediatrician and plan for a visit. Physical examinations and/or immunizations are required for school entrance and in grades 1, 4, 7 and 11. The school nurses are working and any documentation of immunizations or physical exams may be mailed, faxed or scanned and emailed to them at any time. Please see the school health services page for requirements and how to contact your child’s school nurse. You may also contact school nurse leader Jill Driscoll at jdriscoll@norwood.k12.ma.us or 781-440-5843.

 

April 22, 2020

Norwood Public School Buildings Closed For the Rest of the 2019-2020 Academic School Year

Per order of Governor Charlie Baker, all Massachusetts schools will be closed for the rest of the academic school year.  Remote learning will continue in the Norwood Public Schools.  Please read Superintendent David Thomson's press release regarding the closure:

Superintendent David Thomson Statement

April 11, 2020

Norwood Public Schools Cancels April Vacation.  Last Day of School Now June 22, 2020

Dear Families,

I am writing to you with an update on the determination regarding April Break.  After weighing our options and conferring with stakeholders, Norwood will be continuing our Remote learning over the period that is normally April Break.  We will not be taking a vacation from April 21- 24. Patriots Day, Monday, April 20th will remain a holiday and no instruction will occur on Patriots Day.  

Although there were multiple considerations in this decision at the forefront was the desire to continue the momentum we have established in our remote learning efforts, continue to provide structure to our students during this difficult time, and continue our work to reduce regression due to the continued disruption in our regular education structure.

This will mean that we will now have our final day of school on Monday, June 22, 2020, as we will count the four days we are using in April to walk back from Friday, June 26, 2020.

In closing, I am happy to report that we are seeing great work and effort in our remote learning lessons.  Please remember that these remote learning activities are required and we are moving the curriculum forward to progress and lin turn lessen the learning gap that would exist if we did not provide instruction.

Thank you, stay safe and healthy! and please continue to practice social distancing.

Sincerely,
 
Dr. Thomson
Superintendent of Schools



Letter to Parents Regarding Special Education Services

April 3, 2020

Update From NPS Special Education Director Regarding Student Services

Please read the latest update from NPS Student Services Director, Lori Cimeno, regarding special education services during the school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Letter to Parents Regarding Special Education Services

April 02, 2020

Updated Norwood Public Schools Remote Learning Plan

Dear Families,

I am contacting you to discuss our work on developing our Remote Learning plan for the Norwood Public Schools.  A week ago new guidance based on new interpretations of existing educational laws and regulations were issued by the federal and state government enabling a change of approach in these unprecedented times.  This change now allows us to develop remote learning that moves students forward in essential learning and progress in the curriculum. This work will be required and count towards credit moving forward. 

Please know that this is a significant change in how education has operated, our teachers are quickly learning a new medium, software options, and how to teach and foster learning in a virtual learning environment.  To address this abrupt learning curve we have developed resources, online tutorials, and professional development to meet the need. This will be a process and I would ask everyone’s patience as we work to develop skills and aptitudes in these areas.

I am sharing two documents that summarize the district’s work in Remote Learning.  One is the expectations for remote learning and the other is our guidelines for video conferencing.  I would ask that each family review these documents with your students prior to Monday, April 6th.  Your school principals will also be sending an email with notice regarding video conferencing, please read this immediately and respond if you have concerns prior to Sunday evening April 5th.

In closing, please know that our students’ safety, well being, and continued development are our utmost priority and we look to continue to partner with you on this journey. 

Thank you,

Dr. Thomson

Norwood Public Schools Expectations For Remote Learning
Norwood Public Schools General Guidelines for Video Conferencing

March 25, 2020

All Norwood Public Schools Closed Until Monday, May 4th

Per the order of the Governor of Massachusetts, all Norwood Public Schools will be closed until Monday, May 4th due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For more informaton please click the link below for our latest press release:

Press Release Update - 3/25/2020

March 22, 2020

Update From NPS Special Education Director Regarding Student Services

Please read the update from NPS Student Services Director, Lori Cimeno, regarding special education services during the school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Letter to Parents Regarding Special Education Services

 

March 22, 2020

Grab and Go Lunch Pickup Expanded to All Elementary Schools 

Starting tomorrow our grab and go lunch and breakfast program will expand to distribution at all of the elementary schools in town.  Again anyone 18 years of age and under can stop by for grab and go meals from 11 AM until 1 PM.  Meals will provided at the following sites and times as follows:

Balch Elementary School, 1170 Washington Street, Norwood, MA
Callahan Elementary School, 90 Garfield Ave, Norwood, MA
Cleveland Elementary School, 33 George Willett Parkway, Norwood, MA
Oldham Elementary School, 165 Prospect Street, Norwood, MA
Prescott Elementary School, 66 Richland Road, Norwood, MA

Lunch will be served from Monday, March 16, 2020 through Tuesday, April 7, 2020 from 11:00am to1:00pm.

Breakfast & Lunch Meals will be bagged and ready for Grab and Go service. All teens and children 18 years of age and younger are eligible to get a free meal from the listed sites and take it with them for off-site consumption.  Below are the menu options:

Grab and Go Breakfast Menu
Grab and Go Lunch Menu

 

March 22, 2020

New Mustang Technology Website for Families

The Norwood Public Schools has launched a new website dedicated to providing technology resources and updates during the school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This website seeks to provide a one-stop location for families to find information about school online enrichment plans, information about Chromebooks and supplemental educational resources.  The website will be continually updated throughout the school closure.  To access the website please click on the following link: 

https://sites.google.com/norwood.k12.ma.us/mustang-technology/home

 

March 19, 2020

Update from the Superintendent

Dear Families,

I am writing to update you as we move through these unprecedented times.  Our staff has been working to transition into this extended closure.  I have met with our union representatives and district leaders to define and set expectations moving forward.  I will remind everyone that originally we were looking at only one week of closure.  

Please know that we will continue to offer remote learning opportunities, however, these cannot replace the time spent in a classroom with our dedicated teachers and staff.  We are working to update and expand on the information shared with you last week and plan to have new information available to you by next Wednesday.  However, I will also invite you to visit your child’s school website for additional learning options already posted.  The district will be working to expand these offerings both in breadth and depth moving forward.  Many of these materials will be shared digitally, thus it is important that if this is an issue for your family you contact your student’s school.  

To remain within our current union contracts we will be treating 4 days like snow days, meaning teachers are not expected to perform duties as they will be making up these workdays.  These days will be the next three Fridays 3/20, 3/27, and 4/3.  A fourth day will be determined at a later date.  The state has determined that each district shall not be required to go to school beyond the scheduled snow days or 185th day.  In Norwood, that day will be Friday, June 26th.

I will also remind everyone that we are offering grab and go breakfast and lunch options for any person 18 and younger at the Balch and Callahan Schools from 11 Am to 1 PM.

Again I would ask for your patience as we all, both at home and in the workplace, struggle to adjust to the new challenges.

Sincerely,

Dr. Thomson

 

March 16, 2020

Norwood Public Schools Urges Social Distancing During Break From School

Please read the following release from Superitnendent David Thomson regarding the school closure:

Latest Update - March 16, 2020 

March 14, 2020

Grab and Go Meals Being Provided by the Norwood Public Schools

Good Afternoon, This is Dr. Thomson with an update;

During the school shut down due to COVID-19, The Norwood Public Schools will be providing Grab & Go lunches at selected sites. These meals will be provided to all teens and children, 18 years of age and younger without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Meals will be provided at the following sites and times as follows:

Balch Elementary School, 1170 Washington Street, Norwood, MA
Callahan Elementary School, 90 Garfield Ave, Norwood, MA

Lunch will be served from Monday, March 16, 2020, through Friday, March 20, 2020, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Meals will be bagged and ready for Grab & Go service. All teens and children 18 years of age and younger are eligible to get a free meal from the listed sites and take it with them for off-site consumption. 

If you are planning to pick up Grab & Go meals from the Norwood Public Schools this week, please fill out the following order form:

NPS Grab & Go Meals Order Form

March 12, 2020

All Norwood Public Schools Closed Beginning March 13th until March 23rd

Dear Families,

This is Dr. Thomson calling to inform you that as we await further guidance from the State health and education officials I will be closing school starting tomorrow Friday, March 13th, through at least Friday, March 20th.  Please know that we recognize that the time to act is now so that we can have a greater and more positive impact on public health and safety in Norwood.  I would respectfully ask that all students exercise social distancing and refrain from group in-person interactions to reduce the opportunity to spread the virus.   To be clear, this is out of an abundance of caution, particularly out of sensitivity to families and staff who have underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to complications should they become infected.

Our teachers and staff will continue to develop distance learning options during this time to continue our student’s learning.  I would ask for patience while we continue to work on these learning opportunities.  Please note that these will not totally replace classroom instruction but will endeavor to ensure knowledge is retained and academic progress continues. 

 Finally, be aware that this school closure period of time may be extended or shortened should state authorities so direct.  Please look for school-based instructions on access to distance learning options early next week.  

March 12, 2020

Talking to Children About COVID-19 - A Parent Resource

Concern over this new virus is making everyone feel a little anxious. As we know children take their cues
from the adults in their lives, watching carefully both what we say and what we do. The most important
message to share with your children is that the adults in their lives, both at home, at school and in our
community are working hard to keep them safe and healthy. Please see this article that offers some
great tips to help you talk with your child about this virus, your child’s concerns and your child’s feelings.

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (English)
Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Spanish)

March 11, 2020

Norwood Public Schools Events That Have Been Postponed 

Out of an abundance of caution, we are postponing some school events while we await further guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  We are focusing on events that have participants from outside the school community and are large in size.  I want to stress that right now we are not looking at internal events such as rehearsals and athletic events.  We are currently a few weeks away from games so we will hopefully have some definitive answers by then.  The following events are postponed until further notice

This list is updated as of 1:00 PM 3.12.20


3/12/2020 - Oldham Math and Science Night
3/12/2020 - Bond Ballers Basketball: Open Gym at the NHS
3/12/2020 - NPS World Culture and Language Night
3/12/2020 - Norwood SEPAC Meeting
3/13/2020 - Prescott Elementary Grandparent's Day
3/13/2020 - Balch Third Grade Wax Museum
3/13/2020 - Balch Italian Dinner
3/13/2020 - NHS Visual Arts Field Trip: Peabody Essex Museum Salem, MA
3/19/2020 - Prescott 5th Grade Pasta Dinner

We will announce when any of these events are rescheduled.  In addition, all out of state student field trips have been cancelled for this school year. This list will be continually updated as needed.

March 10, 2020

Town of Norwood Coronvirus Situation Update #6

https://jgpr.net/2020/03/10/update-6-720-p-m-town-of-norwood-provides-update-on-coronavirus-situation/

March 10, 2020

Superintendent Communication Update

Good Evening,

This is Dr. Thomson calling with a quick update on the coronavirus.  The schools have created a page on our website with pertinent information and town information releases.  The latest update has been shared on our Facebook page and Twitter feed as well.   As you know Gov. Baker has declared a state of emergency and asked that all out of state, as well as international travel, be canceled.  We will continue to work to ensure we follow all guidelines to ensure our students' safety.  

On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for the good wishes and I am still working from home and symptom-free.  

http://www.norwoodma.gov/departments/health/coronavirus_(covid-19).php

https://www.norwood.k12.ma.us/updates

March 10, 2020

Norwood Public School Nurse Leader Updated Letter Regarding Coronavirus FAQ's for Parents

NPS Nurse Leader, Jill Driscoll, has released an updated letter answering common parent concerns about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.  Please click on the link below to read the letter:

Letter Regarding Parent Concerns About Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation

March 7, 2020

Superintendent's Communication About Norwood Covid-19 Situation

This is Dr. Thomson Superintendent of the Norwood Public Schools sharing with you an update on the Corona Virus situation here in Norwood.  

I am informing you that I have been notified that I may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus last Sunday, March 1st and have been asked to remain quarantined.  Currently, I am healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness due to this fact, I will not be tested for COVID-19 unless symptoms develop.
I will work from home next week and will be able to return to school when the self-quarantine period ends on Monday, March 16, as long as I remain symptom-free.

The district has worked closely with our town health department officials and they assure me that there is no current cause for concern for students when it comes to attending school in Norwood. All Norwood Public Schools will be open on Monday, March 9, and will be operating in the normal fashion.  If there are any changes to that sentiment we will certainly let parents and the school community know as quickly as possible.

Out of an abundance of caution, the district is taking the opportunity while the schools remain empty this weekend to call in custodial staff to sanitize and disinfect all Norwood schools and the district office. Additionally, the schools will continue to be diligently cleaned as they routinely are during the cold and flu season.

I would like to share the following important information from the Norwood Health Department Director Reiss:

Q: Should the children of the people who are under self-quarantine come to school?
A: Yes. Just because a person is under self-quarantine does not mean that they have the novel coronavirus. It is a precautionary measure and does not necessarily mean that someone has or will exhibit symptoms of illness.

Q: Is the district canceling after school activities?
A: No. At this time there is no reason to do so.

Q: Is the district changing any large group activities or trips?
A: Per CDC guidelines and by the recommendation of Governor Charlie Baker's office, school trips to Italy and France in April have been canceled and may be rescheduled for later in the year. All local school activities and events in Norwood, and domestic school trips, will still go on as planned.

Please know that I am feeling healthy and will be able to easily work from home next week and expect this to have no impact on school operations.  As always, we will continue to monitor the situation and make changes and adjustments as needed.  The town website will continually be updated and contain resources to answer your questions. 


Thank you, and remember to cough into your elbow and wash your hands!