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On Friday I shared with you a decision made by the Merrimack Valley Superintendents’ Association to close school for two weeks. As many of you know, on Sunday Governor Baker mandated a shutdown of all public day schools until at least April 7, thus extending our original shutdown to that date. This shutdown is one of the many steps aimed to combat the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
Over the past 24 hours, our leadership team has been in close collaboration with the Commissioner of Education, Jeffry C. Riley, as well as Superintendents state-wide to help navigate this extended closure and public health crisis. We understand that you have many questions, and we will continue to provide answers as we plan and adjust to daily state guidance.
As of today, school is closed for the next three weeks, until Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has waived the 180-day time on learning requirement, thus bringing our last day of school to Tuesday, June 23, 2020, regardless of any additional school closure dates that may arise as a result of this public health crisis. During this time, parents can expect outreach to occur from the building level, as well as enrichment activities and home learning resources to be shared from our Central Office in the near future. This week our school staff are diligently working to create opportunities for our students, for the purpose of keeping students engaged in an attempt to provide continuity in learning.
The WPS Food Services staff will provide bagged lunches for our students in need that will be distributed from Westford Academy starting on Thursday, March 19 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Sign up here.
We understand that there are many specific questions that you may have regarding the school closure and this FAQ document has been created to answer questions that you may have. We will continue to work closely with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the other district leaders throughout the state to address the many questions that are unanswered at this juncture.
We thank you for your patience and cooperation during this unprecedented time. –Everett V. Olsen, Jr., Superintendent of Schools