May 11, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer
With schools closed for the remainder of the school year, the Hingham Public Schools Leadership Team reached out to parents Friday night to provide an overview of their progress in updating the district's Remote Learning Plan. Information was also shared about their planning for the anticipated reopening of the schools.
The updated plan includes increased opportunities for live connection -- offered by classroom teachers, specialists, counselors, and special educators -- meant to "affirm the need for human connection, relationship building, and social-emotional engagement." The plan will also serve students who need instructional feedback and extra support.
Flexibility for students and families who may have conflicting commitments and work responsibilities during the school day is also built into the plan. Full implementation is expected no later than May 18.
The comprehensive guide to the Remote Learning Plan 2.0 will be released today and incorporates many of the creative suggestions offered by administrators and educators while at the same time addressing many of the concerns families shared through the survey and other communications. There were more than 1,800 responses, many requesting more live connection.
The administrative team and educators spent "countless hours" working collaboratively to refine the district’s Remote Learning Plan, factoring in their collective experiences to date, considering the results of the family survey, and reviewing updated guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The survey results allowed the leadership team "to capture the diversity of student experiences and family stressors," the letter states. ". . .The administration and staff of Hingham Public Schools remain committed to providing the most meaningful remote learning experiences for our students, while employing resources and strategies that best serve the academic and social-emotional needs of all students in our care."
The leadership team has continued to communicate with districts across Massachusetts to discuss and share best practices in an effort to learn more about the strengths and challenges of various remote learning models.
Although they are hopeful for a "quick return to normal" in the fall, that may not happen. That said, the leadership team will be working with the community to decide the most effective way "to educate our students in a safe, healthy, supportive, and enriching environment."