Lowell Public School Return to School Parent/Guardian Survey
Dear Lowell Public Schools Community,
Our district’s Return to School Task Force has been hard at work designing plans for a successful school opening this fall. Keeping safety at the center of our planning, the Task Force - comprised of principals, teachers, support staff and parents - are contemplating different strategies and solutions, focusing on safely returning as many students as possible to in-person settings. We recognize the importance of a stable school schedule for families who are juggling work and reliant on childcare and we also acknowledge the challenge of parents facilitating remote learning while juggling other everyday tasks. There is much we still don’t know yet around what the climate and conditions will be when we start the school year, and there’s no way of knowing how conditions will be when we end next school year, not to mention everything in between. But with the multiple planning scenarios we are developing, we will be ready to provide the very best instruction to our students no matter how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves over the next 12 months.
Yesterday we received updated guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on recommendations for developing a plan for an in-person return to school. And given that local conditions could change at any point in the school year, districts have also been instructed to develop and submit viable plans to DESE for both a full remote learning model and a hybrid model, which is a model that combines in-person and remote learning. According to DESE’s guidance document, this recommendation was made after weeks of discussion with their Return-to-School Working Group, infectious disease physicians, pediatricians, and other public health experts. DESE indicated a consensus response from education and medical groups, stating that districts must keep in mind the risks associated with COVID-19 as well as the challenges and consequences of keeping students out of school.
This said, Lowell Public Schools is releasing a survey today and requesting your feedback on some of the options we can consider putting into place for the upcoming school year. You can access the link here, until Wednesday, July 8:
(Please note that SurveyMonkey is performing scheduled maintenance on Friday, July 3 starting around 11am that is expected to last 12 hours, so the survey will be unavailable for much of the day on Friday).
Choose your language below to take Part 1 of the survey:
- English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII
- Arabic: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII?lang=ar
- Khmer: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII?lang=km
- Portuguese: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII?lang=pt
- Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII?lang=es
- Swahili: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII?lang=sw
- Vietnamese: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Return_To_School_Parent_Guardian_Survey_PartII?lang=vi
In the district survey, we are looking to gauge your comfort levels and ability to implement various actions needed for a successful and safe school opening. This includes new and novel solutions such as developing an online school as an option for those families who are able to make arrangements for supervision during the school hours. Another reality we may have to face is the reduction of transportation resources as a result of safety guidelines that are cost prohibitive in some cases. In other cases we may not be able to reasonably ensure all safety guidelines can be followed in such close quarters with a large rider volume. In this case, we may have to consider school assignments that center on a student’s ability to walk to school if transportation services are not able to be provided.
We will review your survey feedback as an important first step toward planning a school opening that will meet your family’s needs. Following analysis of the survey, we will hold several virtual community forums across the city and in various languages to ensure that you have the opportunity to ask questions, share comments, and ultimately shape a school opening plan that will meet the varying needs of families across our city.
Part of our responsibility as educators, administrators, and parents is to do all that we can to help our children during this difficult time. It will take some out-of-the box solutions and all of us working together to make this a success. By following a comprehensive set of critical health and safety requirements set forth by medical officials, we can bring our students, staff, and families safely back to school.
I look forward to hearing from you and working together to plan for our children’s safety and success in the coming year. While everyone would like to return to pre-Covid conditions, we know that’s not possible. We have no choice but to adjust to the new circumstances and you can rest assured that our decisions will be rooted in data, research, medical advice and recommendations that have been provided to us by Governor Baker, DESE and our local health department to assist us in planning that keeps our children’s health and wellness at the forefront.
Dr. Joel D. Boyd
Superintendent of Schools