March 25, 2020 - COVID-19 UPDATE

March 25, 2020 - COVID-19 UPDATE
Posted on 03/25/2020
March 25, 2020 (Via Robocall & Video Message)

Good evening, Worcester families,


This is your Superintendent of Schools Lou Taylor. As you have likely heard, our Governor and State Superintendent of Schools have extended the closure of our schools through April 24, to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease.  


We know that this news is disappointing to our students, staff and faculty who have been anxious to get back to the normalcy of everyday life, but we wholeheartedly agree that keeping our students, staff, and the families of Worcester County safe and healthy must be the priority at this time.  While we all take time to adjust to what will be a “new normal” for the next four weeks, I want to reassure you that our school system leaders have been hard at work to prepare in the case of a continued closure, and I would like to share some of those plans with you today. 


First, I am happy to assure you that our feeding sites will continue without disruption, and our school counseling remote services will expand throughout the next phase of this closure. I hope you will join me in thanking those food service workers and school counselors whose hard work have made these services so successful in meeting our students’ needs. 


And of course, I want to address what student learning will look like over the next few weeks. Throughout the past two weeks, we have developed plans in the event that an announcement like today’s occurred. That being said, our school system plans to shift from enrichment and extension activities to a more structured learning program using our online learning management system, Schoology 


Dependent upon a modification to our current school year calendar by the Board of Education, we anticipate students beginning online learning in the following phases: dual enrollment and advanced placement students will begin those classes on Monday, March 30; high school students will begin on Wednesday, April 1, and both elementary and middle school students will begin on Monday, April 6.  


Additionally, we want you to know that we also have plans to address the inequities in our county related to access to digital devices and internet connectivity. Your child’s school principal will be communicating with you soon about this, and we are asking our high school students who may have left their laptops at school to call the school main office to make arrangements to retrieve it. 


In the meantime, please know that even though our school buildings remain closed at this time, each and every one of you are in our hearts and minds. That fact is very clear to me when I see our teachers, our principals, coordinators and so many others reaching out through RemindClassDojo, or even through social media to show our students how much they are loved and missed.   


We are truly a family here in Worcester County, and this crisis has only made our connections more meaningful. So as we move forward today, know that we are thankful for your patience and understanding as we all embark on this journey of digital learning together.  


And I’ll close with the same sentiment I have shared before: take care of yourself and each other, and we look forward to seeing you in late April. 

Louis H. Taylor
Superintendent of Schools