CANTON — Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Fischer-Mueller would like to share with the school community updates and information provided at the Sept. 17 Canton School Committee meeting.
Air Quality Updates
The district recently hired two companies to review the HVAC systems and test the air quality in each of the six buildings in the district. Overall, the evaluation process determined that the buildings are safe and well-maintained.
Every unit ventilator, which is a free-standing unit that provides air circulation and heat for a specific space, has been cleaned in preparation for building occupancy. The filters in each unit have also been upgraded and changed.
Additionally, the report includes a number of recommendations which the district will follow during the year. These include:
- All HVAC equipment will be set to maximize fresh air intake in buildings.
- Filters for all HVAC and exhaust equipment will be changed a minimum of four (4) times per year, which is twice as often as usual and twice as often as the equipment recommendation.
- Exhaust systems will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- HVAC equipment will run 24 hours a day, Monday-Friday and during weekend building cleaning. The equipment will be turned on two hours prior to school occupancy on Monday mornings.
- Windows will be opened during the school day and during weekend cleaning for the extent of the “non-heating” season.
- Air quality testing will be completed every other month, beginning in November.
- Spaces without any mechanical air circulation capabilities will be shut down for staff/student use.
- Spaces with mechanical air circulation equipment and without windows will receive an air purifier.
- All spaces occupied by nurses or where “close contact” between staff/students take place will receive an air purifier.
- All rooms occupied by students and staff will receive an air purifier prior to the beginning of the “heating season,” which is expected to be around Oct. 15.
First Day of School
The district had a positive start to the year on Wednesday. Administrators and committee members congratulated and expressed thanks to district staff for their commitment to the Canton Public Schools and its students.
Next Week, Sept. 21-25
During the week of September 21-25, CPS will continue the phase-in plan that includes in-person experiences for pre-K, Kindergarten, grade six and grade nine, and students with special circumstances in Category 1.
Pre-K will begin the Hybrid model which consists of in-person Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesday 9-11:30 a.m. Wednesday afternoon will be virtual. All kindergarten and sixth grade students will be in school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Ninth grade students in Cohort A will be in-person Monday and Tuesday, and Cohort B will be in-person Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday, Sept. 23 will be Remote Learning 2.0 for all students, except Category 1 students who will be in school during the morning and return home for the afternoon to complete work assigned by their teachers. The morning will feature synchronous Remote Learning 2.0 and the afternoon will feature asynchronous Remote Learning 2.0.
All grades aside from Pre-K, K, six and nine will follow the full Remote Learning 2.0 schedule for the entire week.
Students and staff are reminded that they must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the school buildings. Contact information for each school’s nursing office and instructions are available on the form for anyone who does not pass the symptom screening questionnaire.
All visitors will also be required to self-screen before entering school buildings.
Each schedule was designed with the guiding principles of creating the proper conditions for learning. The conditions include: safety, teaching and learning, social-emotional supports, structural supports for students, and technology and digital learning needs. Importantly, each school’s schedule can be re-evaluated and adjusted as the district moves forward in order to accommodate student or teacher needs.
A survey will be sent to staff, students and families on Friday, Oct. 9. The survey will serve as a first checkpoint for the year for the district to receive feedback on the first weeks of teaching and learning and student and staff experiences. The Conditions for Learning will serve as the framework for the survey.
The hybrid schedule for elementary students was created through collaboration between all three elementary schools. This year’s schedule was designed with an intentional focus on social-emotional learning and prioritizing relationship building since students have been away from school for a long time. Mask breaks, opportunities for movement, getting outdoors and time for special classes such as music or physical education are included to help provide some normalcy for younger students.
An example of the elementary schools’ hybrid schedule can be viewed here.
Galvin Middle School
The hybrid schedule for middle school students was created to provide an academic experience that both preserves rigorous academics and meets the needs of the current situation. The schedule minimizes the movement of students throughout the building by preventing the mixing of cohorts and the sharing of materials as best as possible.
The schedule also works to address the needs of the whole child. It balances academics, special classes and social-emotional well-being by providing time for live instruction, time for asynchronous work and mask, screen and movement breaks throughout the day. Additional time for socially-distanced arrival to and dismissal from school, and extra time to and from lunch, is also built into the schedule.
An example of the GMS hybrid schedule can be viewed here.
Canton High School
The hybrid schedule for high school students was created with health and safety as a top priority. The schedule maintains the depth and breadth of the high school’s instructional offerings, creates equitable experiences for students in the Remote Pathway and Continuum, and fosters students’ social-emotional well-being through connections with each other and with their teachers.
An example of the CHS hybrid schedule can be viewed here.
The next Canton School Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 1. Each meeting is available to watch via Zoom and upcoming meetings are listed on the District website.