Good Evening, Everyone,
I hope that this message finds you in good health and preparing to enjoy the Labor Day Weekend! I wanted to provide you with an update of where we are related to the opening of the Auburn Public Schools.
Review of Information
The Auburn Public Schools Return and Readiness Guide has been available for review on our website during the month of August and officially adopted by the School Committee on August 26th as the guiding document for our return on September 16th. The situation we find ourselves in related to COVID-19 continues to be a dynamic situation. We will continue to make refinements as needed based on changing information from state and local authorities, or as specific situations necessitate within the school district. The Auburn Public Schools’ Return and Readiness Guide is current as of September 3rd. If you have yet to review it, you are invited to do so at your convenience.
Town Hall Presentations
Throughout the month of August, we have sent out introductory information and videos to acclimate families and students for a return to school. Town Halls have been held at each school building. Information is located on each school’s website. You are invited to take time and review this information at your convenience. There are a couple of videos still being processed but we aim to have them posted by the end of the day tomorrow.
As discussed for the past two months, we are accommodating the return to school needs of families and students the best we can under the circumstances. We are offering a hybrid model and remote model of instruction, while also trying to coordinate sibling requests, family requests due to childcare issues and transportation needs. The date for family selections to be complete was last Friday, August 28th in order to plan appropriately.
Staff in all buildings are scheduling students by hand in both hybrid and remote models due to the unique nature of the circumstances we are in due to COVID. That information then needs to be loaded into our computer systems in order to be live. This is a tremendous undertaking, as you might imagine. We are close to being complete, but I have asked our building principals to triple check information so that it is as accurate as possible upon release. We expect this information will be to you by the middle to end of next week or earlier if possible.
The same holds true for busses. Bus scheduling is being done by hand to mirror cohort assignments. That information will also be out middle to end of next week or earlier if possible.
It is our intention to begin after school care October 5th. We are continuing to work out logistics. We will have more information to share once the cohorts and busses are finished as that will dictate how we schedule students for the different programs across the schools.
K-5 iPad Distribution
Elementary principals are finishing their scheduling of iPad distribution for families. They will be sending separate messages regarding days and times next week that iPads can be picked up in the coming week. Every student will have their own iPad this year.
Bill and Liz Gribbons “First Day Program”
For the past 20 years Bill and Liz Gribbons have sponsored the “First Day Program” which helps underprivileged students in Auburn by providing them with new school supplies, backpacks and a new outfit. As you can imagine, the need is much greater this year. If you are able to help, please make your checks payable to Auburn Youth and Family Services with First Day Program written in the memo line and mail to Bill and Liz Gribbons, 7 Sunnyside Road, Auburn. No cash please.
On behalf of the administration, faculty, and staff of the Auburn Public Schools, I thank you for your continued cooperation, support, and words of encouragement. We are doing our best to meet this challenging time for our school community with the appropriate balance of care, caution, and educational excellence our students deserve. I look forward to communicating with you again on the eve of our students’ first day of school.
Casey J. Handfield, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools