document updated at 9:03 pm – March 17, 2020
Greater New Bedford Regional Voc-Tech High School District
is enacting a closure of school from March 16 – April 7, 2020 and school-related activities.
The information detailed in this document (underneath the black dotted line) is intended to provide guidance for this period. It is important to note that this is a fluid situation and so this document will be regularly updated and modified and it is recommended that you revisit frequently for the latest updates and information.
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Are the days during the three week closure counted as “school days?”
No. These are non-school days. These days will essentially be considered a three week school closing period (March 16 – April 7). We currently expect the last day of school to be June 22nd, though the situation is fluid and can change based upon state guidance and regulations.
Are there expectations around Distance and Online Learning Expectations for Students or Teachers?
We’re currently in the process of developing distance and online learning opportunities for students
What resources are available for teachers, parents, and students to enrich learning during this period of closure?
We are compiling resources and links for all students and will share that information on this document as it’s updated.
Given a three week closure, what happens with the MCAS test for students?
At this time we will not be in school during the previously scheduled ELA MCAS window. We expect to hear more from DESE in the coming days on this topic as a great many schools are in the same position.
What is going to happen in regards to graduation?
As this situation is ever changing this decision will be deferred until a later time based on the guidance and directions provided by the state.
What are my responsibilities as a special education teacher/related service provider, for the students on my caseload during this three week closure?
These are non-school days for all students. The district will be sharing enrichment and academic resources in the coming days.
Has the schedule for AP testing changed?
When will report cards be posted?
Trimester 2 report card will be available five school days after school is back in session.
Which Day and Cycle will it be when school is back in session?
You can expect information via SchoolMessenger, district website, district social media, and GNBVT app in the days prior to a return to school that will clearly identify the cycle/day for student schedules.
My child is on an IEP or 504 Plan, and I am concerned about the implications of the closure on my child’s educational progress.
Upon the conclusion of the closure, and the re-opening of the district, IEP teams will be available to convene to determine what type of impact the closure had on your child’s educational progress, and make individualized team based decisions as needed.
My child is on an IEP and receives “services only” (i.e. speech/Language counseling etc.). Will my child receive these services during the closure?
Services will not be provided during the closure, consistent with how this is handled on snow days.
Will my child’s special education liaison, related service provider, and Director of Special Education be available if I have a question during this three week closure?
Yes, special education teachers, related services providers, and the Director of Special Education will be available to assist with specific questions as needed. You can expect a “check in” from your child’s liaison, in the form of a phone call or email during this time as well.
I have made a request for an Initial Evaluation on or after March 16th. What should I expect?
Any timelines associated with an initial evaluation request received on March 16th or during the closure, will be processed using day one of the timeline as the date the district re-opens. For example, if the district re-opens on April 7th, that would count as day one associated with the timeline for an initial evaluation request.
Activities, Events, and Athletics
Are there any athletic, club, or activity events happening during this period of closure?
No. All school-related events are canceled during this period.
Are Spring Sports delayed?
Yes. After much discussion, the MIAA BOD decided to delay the start of the 2020 spring season to April 27, 2020. Respecting the fluidity of this situation, this decision will be revisited.
How will the days of a three week closure count against school days?
Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech District will be in school through June 22, 2020 which is our regularly scheduled 185th day. It’s an ever changing situation and we may be receiving additional guidance from the state.
Currently the schools are closed through April 6, 2020. Will this be extended? How will we be notified?
Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech District will continue to monitor this fluid situation and will make the best determinations in the best interest of the students and staff. Information will continue to be provided via SchoolMessenger, on our website, social media, app, through email, and on all major news outlets.
What will happen to April vacation (April 20-24)?
At this time the April vacation week is scheduled as planned. However, given these unexpected school closures the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) may revisit the need for additional school days and this will be revisited in the near future with guidance from DESE.
Will there be access to any school buildings during the March 16 – April 6, 2020 closure?
At this time the building is closed. Teachers and Staff will have access to the building on Wednesday, March 18th and Thursday, March 19th to collect any personal or professional belongings, and after that only essential personnel will have access. Faculty and Staff must park outside of Door #20 and wait to be escorted by someone in Facilities.
COVID-19 Resources and Support
How do I protect my family?
Yes. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education writes:
During this period, it is critical that students and their families, as well as school staff, stay home as much as possible. If you leave your home, it is essential to strictly follow social distancing guidelines by avoiding crowds, canceling social gatherings, and maintaining a safe separation of at least 6 feet from others. Restricting access to school buildings will have little impact on public health if these best practices are not followed in good faith.
Please refer to this CDC webpage for other recommendations to prevent illness:
Where can I get more information on COVID-19?
As this public health crisis continues, the amount of information and news surrounding this topic is increasing dramatically. During this time, false information and misleading claims and advice are rampant. Take the time to look at the sources of what you are hearing and/or reading. If the “study” you are reading about is not scientific (following guidelines for scientific studies) or it is produced by a company making a claim for a cure and selling a product, the information may not be reliable. Reliable sources of information come from organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Public Health (DPH/MDPH) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has a site dedicated to daily updates on the Coronavirus outbreak, their web page also has a link to the Center of Disease Control’s site. Here are a few resources for talking with children about Coronavirus. This will be a challenging time for all of us, keeping yourself informed and knowing how to protect yourself and your family will give you the confidence to weather this storm.
What does “social distancing mean”?
The single most important factor during an outbreak is to stop the spread of the germs that cause the virus. Coronavirus (COVID-19) is thought to spread between people (within about 6ft) via tiny respiratory droplets (such as from a cough or sneeze). The term social distancing refers to keeping yourself away from others to halt the spread of germs. The best way to prevent the spread of germs between people is to physically distance ourselves from the public. In this instance, the public refers to outside of your home. This concept is best explained in a recently published article in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) and best practice for prevention of disease transmission. “Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day”. In our social world the concept of isolating ourselves feels contraindicated, the good news is that we have many ways to connect with each other virtually. Now is the time to explore ways to be social without being face to face.
Grab & Go Meals
Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech Students have been welcomed to participate in NBPS’s ‘Grab and Go’ meals during school closure — Beginning on Wednesday, March 18th, during school closure days and until further notice, “grab and go” pre-packed school breakfasts and lunches will be available FREE to all GNB Voc-Tech students.
Students 18 years and younger may take one (1) lunch and one (1) breakfast for the next day. Meals will be available 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the following serving locations:
- Alfred J. Gomes Elementary School
- Campbell Elementary School
- Carney Academy Elementary School
- Hayden-McFadden Elementary School
- Keith Middle School
- Lincoln Elementary School
- Roosevelt Middle School
All meals must be taken and consumed offsite.