December 11, 2020
Thank you for your collaboration and support of safety over the past two weeks while we temporarily pivoted to remote instruction after Thanksgiving. Milestones is looking forward to resuming onsite programming on Monday. In addition, we wanted to share an exciting and rewarding update with you about tentative plans for an onsite visit from Governor Charlie Baker.
- (1) Tentative Plans for Governor Baker to Visit Milestones on Thursday afternoon, 12/17: We were notified this week by the Senior Associate Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that Governor Baker is very interested in visiting an approved special education school that has been highly successful with onsite learning during the pandemic. We are delighted to share that DESE identified Milestones as their first choice for an onsite visit! DESE is impressed with the extent of our current onsite instruction, the high quality of our reentry plans and school operations, and our successful programming for our student population which they expect will offer an impactful representation. We and DESE view this recognition as a significant honor, especially as Commissioner Jeff Riley chose to visit Milestones just last year.
- (2) Preparing for the Tentative Visit: We are waiting for additional details and confirmation from Governor Baker’s office, but our Milestones task force met multiple times this week to consider preliminary plans for a safe and informative onsite visit. During our homeroom block on Monday, staff will preview tentative/hopeful expectations with students including that Thursday’s schedule may have small changes to accommodate this anticipated visit (ex: scheduling lunch early to allow for the visit to overlap with instructional time). Faculty will also preview that we understand that Governor Baker’s schedule is very busy so we recognize that his plans may need to change.
- (3) Opportunity to Contribute a Quote About Your Perspective on the Benefits of Onsite Instruction at Milestones: We would like to offer Governor Baker input from our students, faculty, and parents/guardians about the importance and strengths that you see with our ability to offer onsite instruction. Next week our ELA teachers will work with students to gather their perspectives. If parents/guardians would like to contribute insight, you are invited to please add brief thoughts to the following link by early next week: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSde930ML6Q3tOILE1aikgChnBMKf50GSMo944C8WKkV45LVDA/viewform?usp=sf_link
Although plans are tentative, we hope that this announcement will bring pride and excitement to your family. Together with you we have worked so diligently to best support our students during this unprecedented period. Next week we will follow-up again as soon as we have additional details, and please note that we shared safety protocol information with the agency liaison as this visit would be thoughtfully structured as an approved exception to our current visitor restrictions.
Have a wonderful weekend,