Important Notifications and Required Paperwork for the Fall

August 20, 2020

Dear families,

As tomorrow marks our last day of summer programming, we are delighted to reflect back on such a positive experience that sets us up for ongoing success this fall.  Our full school community has embraced our core values of safety, respect, and responsibility to the greatest extent, and our reopening back to school has shown to be smooth and effective to date.

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We recognize that parents/guardians are receiving substantial information as we prepare for all fall reentry, and we appreciate your attention.  **This memo includes several important notifications including required fall paperwork.  Please take time to review these updates prior to our fall reopening on Tuesday, September 8th to ensure that your student is in compliance and ready for our first week back to school.

  1. Leadership Team Announcement:  We are very pleased to welcome Tim Mahoney to Milestones.  Tim is taking on the role of Assistant Principal/Curriculum Director.  He joined the Milestones’ team in early August, and has been observing classes and meeting with teachers as we make preparations for the fall.  Tim comes to us from the Landmark School, another MAAPS/766 school, where he worked for over 20 years.  During his tenure at Landmark, Tim filled many roles:  teacher, case manager, Assistant Academic Dean, and Academic Dean/Assistant Head of High School.  For 17 years, he was in a supervisory role where he supervised a wide array of faculty, and oversaw the direction of Landmark’s academic program which included the scheduling of classes and implementation of the school’s curriculum. While his primary job responsibilities were administrative in nature, Tim still remained close to the day-to-day operations and continued to teach a class every year.  Tim is enthusiastic about his time at Milestones thus far and looks forward to collaborating with our families as a valuable member of our leadership team.

  2. Required Forms for Families to Complete for the Fall:

  • Permission Forms For Fall Onsite Learners Who Did Not Participate in Milestones’ Summer Programming:  If your student is scheduled to participate in fall onsite instruction and did not attend our onsite summer programming, there are 2 one-time-only required forms to complete on or before your student’s first onsite day. These attached forms include a: (1) Consent to Participate Onsite and (2) Acknowledgement of Risk.  Tomorrow morning (August 21st) applicable families will be emailed electronic forms by our Executive Assistant, Brittany Asselin, which can be submitted online anytime before your student’s first onsite day.  Alternatively, you may return completed paper-based copies with your student on their first day of onsite instruction. These forms are not required for families whose students participated in summer onsite instruction, as requirements have been previously fulfilled.

  • Continued Daily Health Attestations for All Onsite Learners:  This fall Milestones is continuing to require daily health attestations for all onsite learners and staff.  We will follow the same process that worked successfully this summer, although the fall attestation form (see attached revised version) has been slightly updated to reflect revised fall DESE guidelines.  On each school day when your student is scheduled onsite, parents/guardians are expected to take a student’s temperature and respond to a series of health screening questions to confirm your student’s safety to attend school.  Families may complete an online attestation form each morning by 7:30am or complete a paper-based form that your student will turn in upon arrival to school.  Online forms are sent to families within 24 hours of your student’s scheduled onsite days. If a student is ill or does not satisfy all of the qualifying health requirements to attend onsite school on a scheduled day, please notify our school nurse (Lyn Ross: lross@advancingmilestones.com) and your student may participate in remote instruction instead.

  • 2020-2021 Chromebook Take Home Policy for All Families (Onsite and Remote Learners):  All families are requested to please complete and return a Chromebook Take Home Policy (see attached) that reflects your understanding of Milestones’ expectations regarding the safe and responsible use of a school sponsored device. Tomorrow (August 21st) all families will be emailed an electronic policy form that you may submit online.  Alternatively, you may complete and return a paper-based form by mailing it to Milestones (Attention: Brittany Asselin) or returning it with your student on their first onsite day.

  1. Updated requirements from DESE/DPH including a Flu Vaccine by 12/31/20:

  • Protocol Revisions: Earlier this week the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a joint statement that included some revisions to schools’ health-related protocols as it pertains to COVID-19. Milestones will follow these updated changes and considers this joint statement as a supplemental Appendix to our comprehensive fall reopening plan.  For your review, we have attached the DESE/DPH joint statement as well as a brief powerpoint slide deck that summarizes these changes.

  • New Flu Immunization Requirement by 12/31/20:  To support wellness within schools, DESE/DPH announced a new requirement that students must receive a flu shot for this school year prior to 12/31/20.  Families are encouraged to have your student receive an annual flu shot at the earliest opportunity that is available in your local community, and documentation must be submitted to our school nurse (Lyn Ross: lross@advancingmilestones.com) by this deadline.  We will provide families ongoing reminders this fall regarding this new safety guideline, and you are invited to contact our school nurse if you have questions regarding this requirement.

  1. Cafeteria Will Open For Students With Restrictions Beginning September 14th (2nd Week of Fall Programming):  Milestones will be reopening our school cafeteria this fall with restrictions.  The cafeteria will open to students starting on Monday, September 14, 2020 (second week of school); therefore, onsite students should please come to school with packed lunches and snacks for the first week of school.  Students will not be permitted to purchase breakfast items but will have a variety of lunch options available. The only exception is students on the free or reduced breakfast/lunch program, in which case they will still be provided with daily breakfast and lunch. There will be several changes to the cafeteria to promote health and safety.  Faculty will be previewing the following changes with students during our first week of school in September.

  • #1: Students will not be permitted in the cafeteria. Their lunch (if ordered through the cafeteria) will be brought to them by an adult in paper bags marked with their name and homeroom at lunchtime.

  • #2: Menus will be available and posted online one month at a time. However, the first menu for September is attached to this email and also posted online (see www.AdvancingMilestones.com’s homepage, scroll to the bottom, and it’s on the right side under “find it fast”). If your family has difficulty accessing the computer, please let your case manager know and s/he will send a paper copy home with your child.

  • #3: If students want to purchase lunch, they must make selections each Wednesday for the entire following week. Students may opt to buy lunch only on certain days and bring lunch on others. They may also elect to purchase part of a lunch (e.g., a cookie, fruit, or juice, etc.). Each week students will have class time to fill out a paper menu for the following week. Please make sure to review with your child the food options you agree upon as Milestones staff is unable to make choices for your child.  A sample student selection form is attached to this email.

  • #4: The cafeteria will no longer accept cash.  The only form of acceptable payment is a credit card (Visa, MC, AMEX, or Discover). Attached to this email is a form to enter your credit card information if your child wants to purchase items from the cafeteria. Students who qualify for the free and/or reduced lunch program do not need to provide a credit card.  Based upon your child’s menu, your credit card will be charged on the Wednesday when his/her order is placed.  If your child is absent any day that following week, Rita’s Café will still charge your student as their food is pre-accounted for when your child’s order is placed. We are pleased that the price of a school lunch will remain at $3.75 for the 2020-21 school year.

  • #5: A school lunch consists of a choice of a hot or cold entrée, milk or juice, vegetable, a fruit, and sometimes a treat! Your child is always permitted to purchase an adult lunch at adult prices (which vary) and consists of “grab and go” sandwiches, salads, soup, yogurt cups, muffins, hard-boiled eggs, drinks, cookies, chips, and other snacks. In the past, some students have desired larger quantities and have ordered more than one item (e.g., 2 hotdogs instead of 1.  They will still be able to do this on their weekly order form, however you will be billed for the extra items). Even if your child is purchasing lunch from school, we strongly recommend bringing from home multiple drinks as our water fountains and Britta’s are closed for safety.  Gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options are always available.  If your child has other allergies and would like to eat from the cafeteria, please contact Alex Smith-Michaels (COO) at: Alex@AdvancingMilestones.com.

  • #6: As always, students are permitted to bring snacks, lunch and multiple beverages from home each day. If a student accidentally forgets to bring lunch, Milestones has ready made lunches available such as cheese sandwiches a­­nd Lunchables.  Thank you for your understanding and patience while we strive to bring back the cafeteria in a safe and thoughtful way. Should you have any questions regarding the cafeteria, please email Alex Smith-Michaels (COO): at Alex@AdvancingMilestones.com.

We truly appreciate your ongoing collaboration and consideration to our reentry procedures.  We hope that your families enjoy a fun and safe end of the summer vacation period, and we will look forward to welcoming our students back (both onsite and remotely) on Tuesday, September 8th. Should you have any questions regarding our schoolwide policies, you are invited to contact me: krockers@advancingmilestones.com. In addition, all families will be provided individualized student-specific scheduling information from your case manager before we leave for vacation.

Kind regards,

Kim