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Urgent News

Update Center

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Maryellen Brunelle

Superintendent

May 19, 2020

Important Information: Bus Fees and Completing a Form

As noted in yesterday’s One Call voice message, due to the extended school closure, the Auburn School Committee voted to reduce the bus fee for the current school year to $75 per student as opposed to the original fee of $100 per student.  For families who paid the maximum of $250 for 3 or more children, the total fee for this school year has been reduced to $200.

If you paid for your child or children to ride the bus during the current school year, please complete one of the forms below, depending on which statement best describes your current situation:

  • If you have not yet paid for your child to ride the bus next school year, but did pay for your child to ride the bus during the current school year, please complete this quick Google form:
  • If you already paid the $100 fee for your child to ride the bus next school year and you paid for your child to ride the bus during the current school year, please complete this quick Google form:

Thank you for completing one of the above forms this morning so that we can complete the important next steps.

Please stay well, continue to practice all of the guidelines, including wearing a face covering while in public, practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently and refrain from gathering in groups of 10 or more.  Together, we will get through this.  Stay Auburn Strong and thank you for your continued support of the Auburn Public Schools.

Yours in education,
Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 

May 14, 2020

Last Day of School, District Wellness Challenge and a Letter from the Commissioner of Education

Dear Families and Staff,

Similar to how I start each communication, first and foremost, we hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well and staying healthy. With the warmer weather and brighter skies, I am hopeful that you are able to find time each day to spend outdoors.

Last Day of School
At their meeting yesterday afternoon, the Auburn School Committee approved the last day for students in grades Preschool through 11 as Friday, June 12th, this based on updated guidance from the Commissioner of Education.  Staff members’ last day will be Monday, June 15th, with Seniors’ last day being Friday, May 15th. Thank you all for your ongoing efforts in supporting our students in their remote learning.

District Wellness Challenge
The Auburn Wellness Department has issued a District-Wide Wellness Challenge to us all and we are hoping that you will accept the challenge.  All of the details are included in the attached documents, but basically each of us is challenged – as a family – to walk or jog 26 miles over the next 26 days. Further, to celebrate the Class of 2020, our goal is for members of the school community to log a total of 20,200 miles.

Please read the attached and let’s all accept the challenge: STAY AUBURN STRONG!

Marathon Challenge: https://tinyurl.com/y84wgrnz

Mileage Log: https://tinyurl.com/y9js3la6

Conversation Starters: https://tinyurl.com/y96tgbk5

Letter to Families from Commissioner of Education Riley
Attached is a letter to families from Commissioner Riley, followed by a two-page School Connectedness document that helps to explain the expectations around remote learning and describes where additional support is available in a variety of areas. Translated versions of these document have also been posted on the DESE website. 
https://tinyurl.com/y7z8lytc

From the Community…For the Community
Town Election Day

The Annual Town Meeting has been postponed until June 2, 2020 (more details to follow soon from Town Manager Jacobson), but the Annual Town Elections will continue to be held at Auburn High School on Tuesday, May 19th.  The polls will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Gymnasium at Auburn High School.  You also have the option to vote early by mail.  Please visit auburnguide.com for details on how to do so.

As stated previously but continues to be true, please let your children know that we miss them terribly and we look forward to when we can be together again.  In the meantime, please continue to follow all of the recommended guidelines, including practicing social distancing, wearing a mask when you leave your home and washing your hands regularly, take care of yourselves and your loved ones, check in on your neighbors (remotely) and please stay well.  STAY AUBURN STRONG!

Yours in education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

 

April 22, 2020

School Fields and Grounds are Closed, Effectively Immediately

The Auburn Public Schools and the School Committee continue to work together to respond to issues related to the COVID-19 crisis, with the safety and well-being of our students, families and staff at the heart of all decisions. In response to situations of which they have recently been made aware, at their meeting earlier today, the Auburn School Committee voted to CLOSE all school fields, playgrounds and grounds, effective immediately. This vote was taken after much careful consideration, the primary concern being the health and safety of all. Governor Baker, the Mass Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have issued consistent guidelines designed to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and this vote was a direct response to that expert advice.

The guidelines clearly state that social distancing of 6 feet or more, along with hand washing and limiting groups to 10 people or less, are three of the most important actions we can take to slow the spread of this potentially life-threatening virus. Observed at the Auburn High fields in recent days and over last weekend, were crowds of 40+ individuals in relatively close proximity. As a community, it is critically important that we all do our part to limit the impact of this virus, hence the School Committee’s decision to close all school fields, playgrounds and grounds, effective immediately. As a member of the Auburn community, we appreciate your understanding and support of this decision.

Please know that the School Committee did not take this vote lightly as they have great respect and appreciation for the support we receive from the Auburn community. However, the School Committee felt this was the decision that had to be made to ensure that the Auburn Public Schools does its part, as a responsible influence in the community, to protect the health and safety of all.

We thank you in advance for your understanding as we continue to navigate this ever-changing situation and we thank you for your continued support of the Auburn Public Schools.

 

April 21, 2020

Good afternoon, Auburn families and staff,

Similar to how I start each communication, first and foremost, we hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well and staying healthy in the “new normal” in which we are currently living. We truly will get through this and we will do so together.

As you have likely heard, earlier this afternoon Governor Baker announced that schools in Massachusetts will remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. While perhaps not unexpected and certainly a decision that we support as safety must come first, it brings with it much sadness, just the same. We desperately miss our students and staff because, after all, ours is a “people business” that is strengthened by the daily interactions and connections we have with each other and our amazing students, your amazing children. But, as declared by the Governor, we will not reopen this school year, therefore it is incumbent upon all of us to continue to do our best and I am confident we will do just that!

Commissioner Riley has promised that updated remote learning guidelines will be shared on Friday, so please know that, once in hand, we will again work diligently to update our remote learning plans, sharing the same with you once prepared.

We also recognize that students and staff may need to access our buildings to gather personal belongings, learning materials and the like. Please know that we will be working on a plan to allow that to happen, in accordance with all of the guidelines of gathering in groups of less than 10 and maintaining social distancing and, once devised, we will share those plans with you. Our goal will be to have that plan in place by early next week.

As stated in my April 2nd communication but worth reiterating here, parents, we fully appreciate that you, like us, are juggling demands that as recent as six weeks ago we may not have thought possible: some of you are working from home while trying to care for and educate your children; some of you may have been laid off, potentially bringing financial concerns front and center; and some of you, profession-dependent, may be required to work even more hours outside of your home. And, if we are all practicing social distancing - as I sincerely hope we are - you are not able to spend time with loved ones and friends outside of your household, except for work requirements...and that is hard on all of us. But if we all commit to continuing to do the best we can, we will get through this together.

Please watch for a communication to come next week, but in the meantime, please continue to have your children complete the work that their teachers and staff are providing, with staff continuing to engage and support students to the absolute best degree we can. We fully recognize the challenge this has placed on all of you and on our staff. We also know that TOGETHER, we can do great things...after all, WE ARE AUBURN!

Please continue to follow all of the recommended guidelines, including practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly, take care of yourselves and your loved ones, check in on your neighbors (remotely) and please stay well. STAY AUBURN STRONG!

Yours in education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

‚ÄčSuperintendent of Schools

 

April 10, 2020

Good afternoon, all,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones continuing to do well and staying healthy!

This afternoon the Auburn School Committee held a remote meeting and voted to alter the 2019-2020 school year calendar, at my recommendation, eliminating April Vacation so that remote learning continues and is not interrupted.  With schools being closed through May 4th, per Governor Baker, and the other guidelines still in effect - including practicing social distancing and staying at home with your immediate family as much as possible, except for essential employees - this seemed a prudent recommendation. Further, with remote learning plans now in place, we did not want to create another interruption in our students' learning as these updated plans were only recently launched.  Please know that there will be no remote learning on Monday, April 20th as that is Patriots’ Day, a state holiday, but remote learning will take place on Tuesday through Friday, April 21st through the 24th.

For your planning purposes and with that vote now taken, please be advised that students’ last day of school for the 2019-2020 school year will be Monday, June 15th, with APS staff members’ final day being Wednesday, June 17th.

Many people have asked me whether we will return to school this year or not and my honest answer is, “While I certainly hope so, that is a decision that Governor Baker is undoubtedly giving serious consideration, so we will need to await his decision.”  I can promise you that when I know, you will know as soon thereafter as possible. Suffice to say, though, as per the many videos that have been shared, we desperately miss our students and staff, but fully understand that the safety and well-being of all is - and has to be - the priority at this time.

THE EASTER BUNNY IS COMING TO TOWN:  On a lighter note, the Easter Bunny, with the support of Auburn’s Fire and Police Chiefs, will be visiting neighborhoods across Auburn on Saturday, April 11th from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.  To learn all about this, please visit their Facebook page, where all of your questions will be answered:  

https://www.facebook.com/EasterBunnyVisitsAuburn/?modal=admin_todo_tour 

In this time of uncertainty, how wonderful to be able to share - as the Auburn community - in this fun-filled event and I sincerely thank those who are spearheading this initiative!

Please continue to follow all of the recommended guidelines, including practicing social distancing and washing your hands regularly, take care of yourselves and your loved ones, check in on your neighbors (remotely) and please stay well.

Yours in education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

 

April 2, 2020

Good Morning, Auburn Families,

Similar to how I start each communication, first and foremost, we hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well and staying healthy in the “new normal” in which we are currently living.  We truly will get through this - resuming our “old normal” - and we will do so together.

As shared previously, on March 26th, Commissioner Riley outlined a set of Remote Learning Guidelines which we fully support.  With those guidelines in hand, we have been working diligently to update our plans and below you will find some general, District-wide expectations for remote learning.  As indicated in my recent OneCall phone call to you, at approximately noontime today, Principals will send out their building-specific plans that were carefully crafted to include robust and engaging activities for our students.  We hope these help to guide you and your family through this new learning experience and should require, per the guidelines, approximately 3-3.5 hours a day to be completed. Providing educational support through these means is new to us, just as it is to you, so we ask for your patience and flexibility  If you have questions, please reach out to your child’s teacher or principal - or to any of us - as we are here to help in any way we can. 

Parents, we fully appreciate that you, like us, are juggling demands that as recent as a month ago we may not have thought possible:  some of you are working from home while trying to care for and educate your children; some of you may have been laid off, potentially bringing financial concerns front and center; and some of you, profession-dependent, may be required to work even more hours outside of your home.  And, if we are all practicing social distancing - as I sincerely hope we are - you are not able to spend time with loved ones and friends outside of your household, except for work requirements...and that is hard on all of us. But if we all commit to doing the best we can, we will get through this together.  

As educators, we know that a regular school day cannot be fully replicated - nor are we trying to do so - but instead, through the learning activities that will be provided and the outreach we will be doing, we will strive to more fully reconnect with our amazing students - your amazing children - bringing some of the school day routines and familiarity to their day, helping to assure them that we are still here, we still care greatly about them and that we will get through this together.  So, let’s all do our best and, based on my many years of experience in working in the awesome community that is Auburn, I suspect we will all do quite well indeed!

What follows are the general tenets of the District Remote Learning Plan, but again, please watch for specific plans to soon follow from Auburn’s Principals.   The Google Suite (Prek-12), along with Schoology (Grades 6-12), will be the platforms utilized for communication.  Students are expected to participate in these services regularly, to the extent possible, and will be graded on a credit/no credit basis. Specifics will be detailed in each school’s remote learning plan.   

Should staff make calls to families, they may appear as Restricted/No Caller ID as we do not expect our teachers to share their personal phone numbers with families.

In accordance with state and federal laws, including the Massachusetts Wiretapping Act and FERPA, parents and students must refrain from recording any and all remote assignments/activities. In addition, while parents/ guardians are permitted to observe online assignments/activities in a non-disruptive manner, to the extent that remote learning opportunities provide access to confidential student information, all participants agree, by participating in this remote learning opportunity, to refrain from disseminating any confidential student information about other student participants with any and all third parties. By participating in the remote learning opportunities, consent to this request is hereby provided.

Similarly, we ask everyone in our school community to recognize that video conferences and other online services will be taking place in the homes of the educators and students who participate in the calls, and to be mindful of everyone’s right to privacy. To that end, we remind our students to dress and speak appropriately and choose an appropriate location in their home from which to participate in any and all remote learning opportunities, particularly those with a video component. Parents/guardians should take all precautions to safeguard personal or private information that they do not wish to be disclosed.

Students will be expected to behave in accordance with school rules of conduct while participating in remote assignments/activities. Cyber-bullying, harassment, discrimination and abuse of the remote learning process will not be tolerated and may result in suspension from remote learning, as well as additional consequences when school resumes.  

By accessing these services, the District recognizes that you and your child consent to access online instruction and agree to fully comply with the requirements of this document.

If your child has an IEP, please know that you will receive a communication directly from Mrs. Rosemary Reidy, Director of Pupil Services, with more detailed information later today.

In closing, we thank you for your support during this school closure and we hope sincerely that we will resume “normal” schooling again soon.  As noted above, we fully recognize the challenge this has placed on all of you and our staff. We also know that TOGETHER, we can do great things...after all, WE ARE AUBURN!  Please watch for an email from your child’s school regarding the specifics of the school-based learning plan and again, thank you for your continued support of the Auburn Public Schools.  Please practice social distancing, take care of your families and please stay well.

Yours in education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

March 30, 2020
 

Dear APS Families and Staff,

Notification from: Auburn Public Schools - Central Office

We hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well, staying healthy and adjusting to the new circumstances in which we all find ourselves. Thinking back to March 12th when we were last together as a school community, so much has changed, but the one thing that has not changed is the commitment of the Auburn Public Schools to the well-being of our students and staff; there is no greater priority.  As a District, we are committed to responding to this unprecedented moment in history, making the most of our time apart, providing meaningful learning activities for our students and providing support to you as well.  We are so appreciative of the support we have received from all of you and we know that TOGETHER, we will get through this.  Auburn is truly a special place.

It seems that each passing day brings new updates, with Governor Baker, on March 25th, announcing the closure of schools through May 1st - hopefully reopening on May 4th; Commissioner Riley sharing remote learning expectations on March 26th; and President Trump, just last evening, extending the federal social distancing guidelines through at least April 30th.

The recommendations from DESE related to remote learning opportunities continue to develop and as they do, our plan for our students is evolving as well.  During the first two weeks of closure, many web-based resources and other enrichment opportunities were provided to students and their families, but with the closure extending an additional 4 weeks (not counting the April Vacation week), and to quote Commissioner Riley, “districts, schools and communities have an obligation to engage students in meaningful and productive learning opportunities through an appropriately structured educational program.”  Working together, we intend to do just that, with the guidance provided by Commissioner Riley - and which was supported by education-affiliated organizations from across the Commonwealth - providing us direction. Immediately upon receiving those recommendations, please know that Principals began working with teachers from their respective schools to more specifically define expectations as those will vary by level; watch for additional guidance to come from your child’s Principal in the coming days.

We have attached a letter from Commissioner Riley that outlines his vision for remote learning in Massachusetts for families.  We are in full support of this vision and have outlined below some common commitments that will be present in the school-based remote learning plans that will be shared in the coming days.  The school-based plans for the secondary level will also provide detail on how credit bearing classes will be addressed in light of Commissioner Riley’s recommendation for classes to be graded as "no credit" or "credit." We believe, as a district, that working together, we can do anything.

The Auburn Public Schools commits to:

  • Providing each student with remote learning opportunities for a period that reflects half of the regular school day;
  • Providing each student with a daily schedule of assignments/activities to define the learning time;
  • Ensuring that each student has the option for a “live” connection with their teacher via Google Hangout on a regular basis;
  • Providing all students with feedback on a regular basis based on assignments and/or class activities;
  • Providing guidance and direction for students to stay physically fit and to access the arts during this closure; and
  • Providing the opportunity for students to connect with classroom teachers, special educators, guidance counselors, specialists and, when appropriate, instructional assistants, ABAs, school psychologists, social workers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and even their Principal. 

Finally and as stated previously, the Auburn Public Schools is committed to supporting our students and families during this extended closure and through these challenging times.  If you are NOT ALREADY enrolled in the Meals TO GO food program that has been running on Mondays and Wednesdays from Auburn Middle School and would like to be, please complete this brief Google form and we will be back in touch with you,  https://forms.gle/W8YHP41jy6zdBYws8.   

Working together - home, school and community - we will continue to do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support. To that end, please practice social distancing, wash your hands often and follow the other recommendations from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and, most importantly, please stay well!

Yours in education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

March 19, 2020
 

Dear APS Families and Staff,

I sincerely hope this email finds you and your family doing well during this most unusual time.  I also hope that you are finding ways to stay positive, to care for family and friends and to outreach neighbors who may need some support, even if that support comes from six feet away.

As part of our ongoing efforts to stay with previously established schedules, please know that elementary report cards are being mailed to families later today, with the families of students in grades 6 through 12 being able to access their children’s report cards on Friday, March 20th through your PowerSchool login.  If you have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to email your child’s teacher or principal as all would be happy to help. Additionally, if you are a non-custodial parent who typically receives a copy of your child’s report card via US mail, you are asked to email Dr. Chamberland, Assistant Superintendent, and she will take care of this on Monday; she can be reached at echamberland@auburn.k12.ma.us. She will need your name and mailing address, your child’s name, grade and teacher.  Because we do not have access to files in schools currently, we do not have a complete listing, therefore your assistance will be much appreciated. 

Please be reminded that it is critical that students and families do their best to refrain from meeting in large groups and practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC.  Finally, attached is a reminder of some simple steps we can all take to try to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus on our families and community...thank you for doing your part!

We will be in touch with another update early next week, but until then, please know that we remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness. Working together – home, school and community – we will continue to do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support.

Yours in Education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

March 18, 2020
 

Good Afternoon, Everyone, 

I hope this message finds you well given the current circumstances. Suffice it to say, we are experiencing a period in the United States that is unprecedented. We continue to confront COVID-19 and the associated “what about” questions that accompany an event of this magnitude. Dr. Brunelle and Dr. Chamberland have been working alongside the Leadership Team to receive and process all of the information coming into us. It is a dizzying pace to say the least. Information is coming from federal, state, and local agencies, and in some cases, changing within hours of a prior briefing by government officials. Dr. Brunelle has provided updates via OneCall email, phone, FaceBook, and the District website, as appropriate. As we receive pertinent information it has been shared with you in the quickest manner possible. Our first priority, as always, is the safety and welfare of our students. 

With respect to the educational part of this crisis, we, and other school systems across Massachusetts, are taking our cues from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The best way to think about it is the “pause” button has been pressed here and across the country. DESE’s guidance at this time is to provide students with suggested enrichment and self-study options, while being available to answer questions regarding material as necessary. Due to the nature of the unprecedented circumstances facing us, teachers are not lesson planning, providing regular instruction, or formally grading students’ work. These activities are strongly suggested, but not required. Teachers are starting to push activities out to students through Schoology and other platforms; however, they are facing the same challenges as you right now with respect to elder care, child care, personal care, and so on. Everyone’s circumstances are different at this time. I suspect many of your workplaces are in similar situations.

As stated in my opening, our greatest concern right now is the safety and well-being of our kids during this time. We want to make sure that we are supporting them socially and emotionally to the extent we can in this situation. In addition to communications from teachers (students need to check their emails), I am also communicating with students regularly on Google Classroom about all sorts of things to stay connected with them. For students who are not on Google Classroom, they need to go to the page and enroll. The code is xjjwg73 and they can only enroll with an Auburn email. If they are getting the announcements they are all set. If they are having a problem, Mr. Kennard is the Google Classroom guru. Email him at skennard@auburn.k12.ma.us. 

To our seniors and families, I understand the increased anxiety you are facing as spring nears. I have a senior, too. I truly wish I had answers for you about how we will finish the academic year, spring activities, senior events, prom, and graduation. We have an anticipated return date of April 6th. That is what we are going with right now. I will be working with Dr. Brunelle, Dr. Chamberland, and our faculty, as necessary, to create a plan of action for an April 6th return for students. If that date gets revised we will alter our plan based on advisories from federal, state, and local officials. If you do not hear from me, or the Central Office administration, consider it rumor. I implore you to please refrain from consuming information from non - Auburn Public School administration sources and/or posting it on social media sites. 

As always, please reach out with questions or concerns; however, if I have not mentioned it, that means I do not know the answer at this time. We are actively working behind the scenes within the framework we have been provided right now by DESE to keep moving forward to the extent we can, given the information being received. Thank you for your support thus far, and thank you for your support as we continue to navigate the complexities of this situation. Please take good care of yourselves, your families, and each other. 

Sincerely, 

Casey J. Handfield, CAGS

Principal

March 17, 2020
 

Coronavirus Update

Good morning,

Working together to navigate through our current circumstances, please know that we will continue to provide regular updates via email, with occasional phone calls made as well.

In recent days, emails have been sent to families on March 16th, March 13th, March 12th and March 10th.  We have recently learned, however, that some families did not receive those emails.

If you did not receive those emails – and please check your SPAM folder to ensure they did not go in there – please email your child’s principal letting her or him know.  Also, if you know of any families who did not received the emails, please ask them to do the same. The principal will need your email address, the names of your children and the schools they attend.  Our goal is to get any omissions added as soon as possible so that complete and updated information can be provided to all.

Also, in yesterday’s email there was a link to a survey regarding several items that will assist us in our planning.  If you have not yet taken that survey, please do so as soon as possible to assist us in our planning. Depending on your responses to those questions, you will be outreached with more specific information, however at this time, please do not go to your child’s school to collect an iPad; we will notify you when they are ready for pick up, again based on your survey results.

Thank you for your continued support, please stay positive and know that we will get through this together as a school community. 

Yours in Education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

March 16, 2020
 

Coronavirus Update

Notification from: Auburn Public Schools - Central Office

Dear APS Families and Staff,

Thank you for your patience as we work together to maneuver through these very unique circumstances.  What I believe to my core, though, is that if we work together - as the incredible Auburn community, as the awesome APS Team, and as a society as a whole - we will figure this out together and we will all be better off for having done so.  

As we have shared previously, we intend to provide all families with regular communications throughout this unprecedented school closure.  It is our hope that the information shared here and in the coming days can help you to provide continued learning for your children and a sense of normalcy in this unusual time.  

First and foremost, we want to ensure that families who need it have access to food, with two means to do so currently in the works.  Through our Food Service Department, we will be preparing food that families can pick up a few days each week. While this program is primarily designed for those who qualify for free or reduced lunch, we will not turn anyone away.  The details are being ironed out, but we hope to have this up and running within the next day or so...more details to follow soon.

Secondly, the Food Pantry at Auburn Youth and Family Services is available.  If you need to access it, simply email or call AYFS and they will schedule an appointment for you:  admin@ayfs.org or 508-832-5707, ext. 10. If you are unable to go to AYFS, a delivery can be arranged.

Many have outreached to inquire about how you can help - thank you! - and we hope to be in touch once plans are solidified.  If you would like to donate food or other items to AYFS, Sally has indicated that the following would be appreciated: cereal (mini boxes are great), spaghettiOs and the like, canned soups, bread, peanut butter, jelly and pre-packaged deli meats, as well as cleaning supplies.  You may leave those in the vestibule of AYFS between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

To help us in our planning efforts, please find below a link to a survey we would like all families to complete today.  The survey will provide us with information for three important areas of support. The survey asks if you are interested in receiving Grab & Go Meals from the Auburn Public Schools; if your child will need a device in order to access technology while school is closed; and if you need access to any prescription medication we may have in our nursing office that you need to support your child at home. Respecting the Governor’s dictate, we are trying to balance the needs of some students to come to school to gather items that are critical for your child to have in the coming weeks (i.e. iPad, medication that your child needs during the closure period or instrument), while keeping group sizes to 25 or below. Auburn Middle School, SWIS, Pakachoag and Bryn Mawr will be open today from 2:00-6:00 p.m. and again tomorrow from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.  Auburn High School will be open tomorrow from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. only. Please note that in the event more than 25 people are at a school to retrieve critical items, we may have to limit entry on a staggered basis.

Please follow the link below by the end of the day today so that we have the information we need to best support our school community.

https://forms.gle/S6CxJgfjz5BcVPS98

In an effort to ensure all families have access to the internet for continued learning and enrichment, we are providing a link with more inhttps://medium.com/@ariadnelabs/social-distancing-this-is-not-a-snow-day-ac21d7fa78b4https://medium.com/@ariadnelabs/social-distancing-this-is-not-a-snow-day-ac21d7fa78b4formation as to how families can receive additional access to the internet.

https://www.cnet.com/news/carriers-are-suspending-internet-data-caps-during-coronavirus/ 

In keeping with our commitment to families, students and our community, our staff is preparing a list of resources to support students and families throughout the coming days.  The staff is collaborating with one another, electronically, to identify websites and activities that are appropriate for each grade level or content area. Building principals will be sharing information related to enrichment activities directly with families in the next day or so.  

Some have outreached and asked about how to talk to your children about the coronavirus, so below is a link to an article that some have found helpful:

https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

Finally and to reiterate Governor Baker’s message about the critical importance of social distancing, we share the below article with you.  Together - if we all do our part - we can help to slow the transmission of this disease, thereby hopefully keeping everyone safe. Thank you in advance for doing your part. 

As always, we remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness. Working together – home, school and community – we will continue to do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support.

Yours in Education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

March 13, 2020
 

Coronavirus Update

Dear Members of the APS Community,

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we navigate through the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis together. As always, supporting our students and families is our primary concern. As you know, the response to this pandemic has been very rapid and ever-changing by the hour.

After conferring with local and state officials throughout the day regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to close the Auburn Public Schools for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 27th, has been made. We hope to return to our regular operations at the end of this two-week period, but we will evaluate conditions at that time and communicate our plans to you about next steps.

The decision to close school was not made lightly or in isolation. This is an ever-evolving and unprecedented situation that will have a tremendous effect on all of our families, and we feel strongly that this step is necessary for the protection of our community.

All school activities and events planned for the next two weeks are canceled - no exceptions. We hope to reschedule as many of these events as possible to a future date. Our school facilities will be closed to the public and, with only a few exceptions, to our employees.

It is important to understand that closing schools is only a part of the broader solution to prevent community spread of the virus. If students and families continue to meet together in large groups outside of school, this initial two-week closure may not have the desired impact. It is critical that students and families do their best to refrain from meeting in large groups and practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC.

Please be advised that I will be in touch again early next week with an update. Our intention is to provide supplemental materials so that your children can engage in activities that will reinforce learning during this two-week period. To that end, please continue to monitor your emails and our website as we communicate about these and other topics.

As always, we remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness. Working together - home, school and community - we will continue to do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support.

Yours in Education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

March 12, 2020
 

Superintendent's email addresses school virus policy

Coronavirus Update
Please be advised that after much careful consideration, the School Committee voted at its meeting of March 11, 2020 to suspend numerous upcoming activities, as noted below.  This decision was based on guidance from Governor Baker who has recently declared a state of emergency, guidance from Commissioner of Education Riley and in concert with local Town officials who have taken similar actions by suspending planned activities of the Senior Center, Auburn Public Library and Auburn Recreation and Culture programs until revised guidance from the State is received.  This continues to be an evolving situation which requires us to respond accordingly, with student and staff safety always being the top priority.  Please know that in the coming days, we will provide additional and more specific updates with regard to planned trips and programs, to include potential alternate opportunities. As always, it is important to us all to maintain a high quality learning program for our students and we will work to ensure that continues to be the case.

  • All out-of-state field trips have been cancelled, with principals providing more specific updates in the coming days;
  • All large group gatherings that include individuals beyond those in our schools on a daily basis, namely students and staff, are suspended until further notice.  In light of this, please note that the All-Town Band Concert scheduled for tonight, Thursday, March 12th, has been cancelled, with more information to follow in the coming days regarding other upcoming events;  
  • All local field trips have likewise been cancelled;
  • International travel has been cancelled, with the Costa Rica trip having been postponed to April 2021.

We are all deeply saddened by the need for this but these are unchartered waters.  As you’ve likely seen, organizations and groups across the country are taking similar measures that many of us may have otherwise thought unlikely only a few short weeks ago.  As this situation evolves, though, so, too, must our response.  Should the Governor's guidance change, the above items may be reconsidered by the School Committee. 

As shared previously but worth reminding us all again, there are general precautions we should all take, as per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), to remain as healthy as possible:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If unable to wash with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not with your hands);
  • Stay away from people who are sick; and
  • Stay home when you are sick and please keep your children home from school when they are sick.

On behalf of the School Committee and the Leadership Team, we remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness. Working together – home, school and community – we will continue to do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support.

February 28, 2020
 

Superintendent's Letter regarding Flu and Coronavirus

Dear Auburn Families,

As many of you are aware from various media outlets, there is a heightened focus on the "Coronavirus" which has been officially named by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as COVID-19 (Corona Virus Infectious Disease identified in 2019). The CDC continues to report that the immediate risk to the general public remains low; however, as with seasonal flu and strep infections, there are general precautions we should all take, as per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), to remain as healthy as possible:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If unable to wash with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve (not with your hands);
  • Stay away from people who are sick; and
  • Stay home when you are sick and please keep your children home from school when they are sick.

The Coronavirus is an evolving situation that we are following closely. As we do throughout the year, and particularly when there are health concerns, we remain in close contact with Auburn's Board of Health, as well as staying abreast of guidance being provided by the Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Our custodial team, under the direction of Mr. Joe Fahey, Director of Facilities, vigilantly sanitizes our educational spaces, as is typically done during cold and flu season and throughout the year, and we follow all recommended guidelines to ensure the safety of our students and staff.

Regular updates and recommendations on the Coronavirus are provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Mass Department of Public Health. Please click on the following links to stay updated: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov and www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus. In addition, please visit the District's website where these links are likewise posted, as well as other pertinent information that you may find helpful, www.auburn.k12.ma.us.

As always, we remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness. Working together - home, school and community - we will continue to do our very best to keep everyone safe and healthy and we thank you for your continued support.

Yours in Education,

Maryellen Brunelle, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Additional Resources

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention