CANTON — Interim Superintendent Derek Folan would like to share with the school community updates and information provided at the Oct. 15 Canton School Committee meeting.
A recording of the full meeting can be viewed here.
Dr. Michael Green has joined the Luce school as the Interim Principal. He has experience as a former Superintendent in Easton and a former elementary school principal and teacher. Dr. Green started in this role on Tuesday, Oct. 13 and will serve as the on-site administrator at the Luce school while Principal Yeshi Gaskin Lamour continues to serve as principal remotely.
Canton High School Assistant Principal Kelly Cavanaugh has been named the Remote Learning Pathway Administrator for K-5. As announced at the Oct. 1 School Committee Meeting, the RLP Administrator will work to support educators, families and students who are on the RLP this year. Middle school and high school students and parents/guardians should still contact their building principal for RLP matters. In addition, Courtney Song, currently a kindergarten educational assistant, will assist Cavanaugh as the RLP Communications Liaison.
Families and staff are urgently reminded of the importance of self-screening for COVID-19 symptoms. Staff and students must screen each day for these symptoms by filling out the COVID-19 screening form 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.
QR codes that connect to each screening form are also available on infographics here.
COVID-19 and Health Updates
Update on COVID-19 Data
As was announced last week on Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Town of Canton has moved into the “Red” high risk category based on the average daily incidence rate for the town per 100,000 residents over the course of the past two weeks. A letter was sent to the school community on Oct. 14 that explained the data and its influence on the District’s decisions and potential impact on schools. At this time, the District remains in the Hybrid Model.
This data is one of many metrics for determining how the District moves forward. In following DESE guidance, the District will examine the data and other metrics for a three-week period. The District will closely examine student and staff attendance and continue to consult with the nursing team and health department.
The District recognizes that any shift in numbers can cause concern and anxiety for families, students and staff. It is important for families to know that CPS administration meets daily with the Health Department to review the town’s data, discuss any impact to the schools, and consider recommendations for overall safety. Student and staff safety remains the top priority.
View the full community letter here.
JFK and CHS Remote Learning
Throughout the last week, as a District and in consultation with the Health Department, JFK Elementary and Canton High School were designated to participate in remote learning for a temporary period. JFK is currently in remote learning through Oct. 21 and will resume hybrid learning on Oct. 22. This decision was primarily due to the staffing issues that resulted from quarantining needs and adherence to additional safety protocols. There have been no additional cases or a greater need to quarantine.
Canton High School was placed in remote learning on Tuesday, Oct. 13 due to a house party that took place over the previous weekend. Through an investigation, and in consultation with the Health Department, the school was cleared to open on Wednesday, Oct. 14 for SATs and for a return to the Hybrid Model Thursday, Oct. 15. Canton High School administration will be addressing the concerning aspects of the house party.
The Health Department determines close contacts of a positive case by conducting an interview and analyzing the interaction between people. Key considerations include 6-foot distancing, proximity for a duration of 10-15 minutes, whether the persons were indoors or outdoors and whether mask-wearing occurred. Close contacts, when identified, need to quarantine for 14 days in accordance with the District’s COVID-19 protocols. Close contacts of close contacts do not need quarantine.
Additional information about the protocols for COVID-19 scenarios, including close contacts, can be found here.
Town COVID-19 Call
During a Town COVID Task Force Meeting last week, Dr. Daniel Muse reviewed data around COVID-19 and discussed the challenges of the coming months. Most importantly, it was stressed that community members cannot let their guard down. With the change of the season, students and staff will be moving indoors more often and normal cold and flu symptoms will arise. Dr. Muse also stated that it is as important as ever that members of the community wear masks, socially distance, continue to practice proper hand hygiene and monitor themselves through self-screening. Following these public health guidelines is a full-time commitment and a shared responsibility.
In collaboration with CVS Healthcare, flu clinics were held the first week of October in four CPS buildings for staff, students and families. These clinics were planned to help assist families in meeting the new Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s influenza vaccine requirement for all Massachusetts PreK-12 students. Students are expected to receive the vaccine by Dec. 31 unless a medical or religious exemption is provided. This requirement is an important step in reducing the number of respiratory illnesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional Building-based and Activities Updates
The air purifiers have been received by the District. As was discussed at the Sept. 17 School Committee Meeting, all rooms occupied by students and staff will receive an air purifier prior to the beginning of the “heating season.”
Open House Dates
All Open Houses will be held virtually this year. Building principals will be sharing the dates and links for open houses with families soon.
School Resource Officers
The Canton Police Department announced that School Resource Officers (SRO) Jonathan McCourt and Tim Taylor have been promoted to the detective ranks. Following an extensive interview process, three new SROs have been selected for the elementary and middle school levels.
Officer Michael Brady will be the Galvin Middle School SRO. Officer Brady has been with the department since 2008. Officer Eric Kascavitch and Officer James Galanis will share the SRO duties at the elementary schools. Officer Kascavitch has been with the department for five years and Officer Galanis has been with the department since 2014.
Recognition of Educators
The District would like to recognize all of the educators for their ability to find creative and engaging ways for Canton students to continue to access the curriculum, learn and thrive during these times. Educators have made an incredible commitment to their students, the profession of education and overall excellence. They have worked tirelessly to manage students in two places, design lessons that actively engage students in learning and create a sense of belonging.
Conditions for Learning: Parent/Guardian Survey Results
The District this week received and analyzed the parent/guardian responses to its first survey of the school year. Parents/guardians were asked to rate their experiences thus far regarding safety, teaching and learning, social-emotional learning and well-being, structural supports for students, and technology and digital learning. Overall, the District received largely positive responses.
Among the trends in the feedback were concerns about student screen time, the need to focus on teaching and learning as the District continues in the Hybrid Model for both students and staff, continued emphasis on safety measures, and a focus on social-emotional well-being and connections.
The District will now complete an analysis of student and staff survey responses. From there, the District will distribute a grade-level and school-based survey if needed and assess possible adjustments based on the feedback from the surveys.
A summary of the survey results can be found here.
The next Canton School Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, Oct. 29. Each meeting is available to watch via Zoom and upcoming meetings are listed on the District website.