Parent Communication - Thursday, April 9, 2020
April 9, 2020
At 4 p.m. this afternoon, the Governor announced that schools will remain closed for another month. Distance learning will continue through May 20, 2020. Needless to say, there continues to be a lot that we now need to consider moving forward. We anticipated this update, and we had already begun discussions at all levels as to the implications of this announcement.
While the entire remainder of the school year has not been cancelled at this time, we know that our high school seniors immediately come to mind for all of us. How will we plan graduation? How will we honor their years of accomplishments in our community? Please trust that we have already started thinking about unique ways we can make this a special time for these students. We plan to continue to reach out to class representatives to brainstorm and plan. Being mindful of the social distancing requirements, we will make every effort to make this graduating class’ experience be one that will be the talk of reunions to come.
As for the other grades and students, during April vacation, the Central Office administration will be drafting plans as to the next leg of our distance learning journey. In order to do so with the best information and knowledge at hand, we are asking families to complete a survey. More on the survey is below.
Please know that we will review the survey information and use it in our planning process to the best of our ability. We are all in new territory. We are confident in our teaching staff and their ability to make this successful. We also are so proud and grateful for our students’ and families’ hard work and commitment. Your support is what keeps us striving to improve ourselves and what we do. We will not let you down.
As we close another week of distance learning, we continue to make adjustments to assist our students and families manage the workload that comes with learning at home. As we all head into a much needed break, we are asking all families to take a few minutes to fill out a brief survey regarding distance learning. This will provide helpful information for us as a district to continue our planning to make this a positive experience for all our families and staff. As each child’s experience is unique, we are asking that you fill out the survey for each one of your children. At the end of the survey you will see a link to add another response. We appreciate you taking the time as your feedback is extremely valuable.
Surveys will close on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 11 a.m.
Health Tip for the Week
As families continue to stay safe during the COVID19 crisis, grocery shopping is a continued necessity. Sue Pallotta, the nurse at Stevens Elementary School, has provided this information for families to review as you continue to navigate supermarkets.
If you are a Wallingford resident and have a child who turns four in the calendar year 2020, he/she is eligible for the Four Year Old Preschool Program in Wallingford Public Schools. Due to the school closure we will utilize a lottery system to create our classes for the Fall of 2020.
If you would like your child to participate in the lottery for the four year old program this fall, visit the Preschool Information page on our district website, www.wallingford.k12.ct.us and sign-up for a slot in the lottery. Or click on the following sign-up: Four Year Old Preschool Program Lottery Sign-Up
The sign-up will close on April 24, 2020. District staff will draw the lottery the week of April 25th. You will be notified of your son or daughter's position in the lottery on May 1, 2020. Please Note: All children who completed a preschool screening in March 2020 and/or had an appointment for a screening that was cancelled will automatically be enrolled for the lottery and do not need to sign up again.
Wallingford Public Schools uses electronic registration for all new students entering Kindergarten. In order to be eligible to register for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year, your child must be five years old before January 1, 2021 (born on or before January 1, 2016).
To register your child for Kindergarten please go to the Wallingford Public Schools website, www.wallingford.k12.ct.us and select student registration under the District Information tab.
Due to the school closure and uncertainty in terms of COVID19, we are cancelling the three year old screening for the 2020-2021 school year. All children registered for the screening will have a slot in the lottery. School staff will draw the lottery the week of April 20, 2020. You will be notified of your son or daughter's position in the lottery by April 25th. If you have not enrolled your child in the lottery, you may do so by filling out the form. If you have any questions please contact Aimee Turner.
Individual Learning Plans were sent to parents this week. The plans outline the specific supports students will receive during the closure. If you have a question regarding your child’s plan, reach out to your child’s case manager.
The Wallingford Family YMCA has launched a "Letters of Kindness" project to help connect our youth and our seniors during this time of social distancing and isolation. They are asking kids to create messages of kindness, support, and hope for older individuals and hospitalized individuals who are in tremendous need of social connection during this time. They have partnered with Gaylord and Masonicare, and will be sharing student artwork with each.
With the need growing, they would like to open this effort up to the community, bringing all Wallingford children together to create Letters of Kindness, artwork and more.
To participate,they ask that letters and artwork be dropped off in the mailbox labeled "Letters of Kindness" on the front porch of our Rotary Teen Center, 55 S. Elm St., next to the East Side Y, or sent electronically to Amber Albe at email@example.com.
Words of affirmation, drawings, colors, stickers, smiles are all welcome. They hope to spread joy from those creating these letters to those receiving them. You can see some of the Letters of Kindness on our homepage, https://www.wallingfordymca.org/.
Food Collection for Those in Need
The annual Bread of Life Food Drive will run from Wednesday April 8th through Friday, April 24th. This food drive benefits Masters Manna in Wallingford. Since the traditional food drive cannot occur due to social distancing, this year there is a GoFundMe page to collect donations.
The link to donate can be found here: gofundme.com/f/BOLD-Masters-Manna
For those of you unfamiliar with the BOLD drive, it is a joint effort by Lyman Hall’s National Honor Society, the Agricultural Science Department and the Notre Dame Alumni Club of New Haven to provide much needed food for the less fortunate members of our community. Last year, the BOLD drive raised over 3,000 food items that were donated to local food pantries.
This year’s goal is $1,500 in donations over the next two weeks, which is about half of what we traditionally collect.
We will not be serving on Friday April 10 (Good Friday)
Please note that we will not be distributing meals during the school spring break From April 13 through the 17. The care packages distributed on Thursday, April 9 were to help families with some food for vacation week.
Meal service will resume on the week of April 20th, on each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the usual three locations:
Lyman Hall High School- In the rear of the building adjacent to the football field
Parker Farms Elementary School- In the parking lot
Hubcap Community Center- In the rear of the building
The IT Department is continuing to support staff and families with equipment and technical issues. At the beginning of this event it was assumed it would be for a short time and families were told that only one device could be loaned out per family. Now that the time has been extended, we have relaxed these rules and you may now borrow 1 device per student. Middle school students who did not pick up their chromebook, you can still pick it up by contacting your building principal to set up a time.
If you have found you are in need of additional devices for your student please fill out the form here: Tech Support Form
For those families that do not have Internet Access, we do have additional hotspots available to borrow (please fill out the form above). Equipment is handed out by appointment only to avoid lines or interactions with others. We make every effort to ensure that equipment is distributed safely with no contact between parents and WPS Staff.
Help Local Businesses
Wallingford Center Incorporated and the Economic Development Commission are working with local businesses to help them during this difficult time. They have a flyer sharing the businesses that remain open and a special offer they are providing citizens.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday and vacation.
Please stay safe and healthy.