Photo: Online initiative set to start in Belmont next week. (Pexels photo)
The Belmont school district next week will launch an online initiative to help students retain learning they were taught during the school year while enriching that experience since being away from the classroom due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Following the lead of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MDESE), the district’s Leadership Council and teachers are creating a plan to provide to students and families online options “to practice, deepen, and enrich what has been taught,” said Belmont Superintendent John Phelan in an email dated Wednesday, March 18.
The plan will include practicing skills and content already taught, deepen students understanding of the content, and enrich what they have learned.
In addition, the initiative will give students and teachers an opportunity to meet each other again since last Friday when district schools shut down and provide “some sense of social interaction and connection in this time of physical distancing,” said Phelan.
What this plan is not is “distance learning”, said Phelan, who is following the MESE guidelines. “We are not teaching new content or skills,” said Phelan.
Teachers will be updated on the plan as of Wednesday, March 18, and principals will contact families on Thursday, March 19. Teachers will then connect with families between Friday morning, March 20, and Monday afternoon, March 23.
Additional news from Superintendent Phelan:
- MEAL DRIVE-THRU HOURS: Meal pick-up window for Wednesday, March 25 will be 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. “We want to emphasize this is a drive-thru service and advise families to stay in cars. We’ll load goods into trunk/backseat. This is for our students who access free and reduced lunch.”
- “I would like to thank our Food Service leaders Dustin O’Brien and Gail Mulani and their team for all their hard work,” said Phelan.
- BELMONT HOUSING AUTHORITY: The Belmont Public Schools is happy to announce that the Belmont Housing Authority will be providing a free “grab and go” breakfast and lunch, daily from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. The BHA is located at 59 Pearson St. These are free meals for all community members 18 and younger. Many thanks to Jackie Martin and her staff.
Social distancing towards stronger communities.
“It is with great emphasis that I state to our community the importance of physical distancing. The goal of reducing the spread of COVID-19 within our community and our country rests in our hands. However, during this physical distancing we encourage to appropriately socialize via phone or text. Please check in on a family member or neighbor who may be fragile or lonely. This is a time when strong neighborhood relationships make strong communities; which in- turn, can positively influence the culture of kindness in our society,” said Phelan.