Greetings and General Update on Return to School Plans

Dear Gill-Montague Families,

In the chaos of the pandemic, I have not yet taken the time to reach out and introduce myself. I am very happy to be here as the new Superintendent and have deeply appreciated the support and direction of so many people working over the summer, including administrators, administrative assistants, participants on the Pandemic Response Advisory Committee and members of the School Committee.
I have been an educator in Massachusetts for 23 years, including the last 16 years as a high school/middle school administrator at Mohawk Trail Regional, Athol High School and Hopkins Academy.  I learned a great deal from students, parents, colleagues and the vast network of community agencies I have worked with in these positions. 
For parents, our greatest concern is how the schools will deal with re-opening in the fall. As you are aware, our Pandemic Response Advisory Committee includes parents and your individual contributions in surveys has been an exceptionally valuable source of insight, to inform the draft of our learning plans. While it is too early to release any details I can share this general summary of work to date and plans:
"	We are drafting and preparing to share 3 learning models for in-person, hybrid in-person/remote, and fully remote learning. These will be submitted to DESE and shared publicly in mid-August. These models are being developed using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Office of the Commissioner of Education.

"	Decisions regarding which model we will use to start the school year will be made with approval from local and state public health officials. That decision will be made as close to the scheduled start of the school year, as is reasonably possible, to ensure that we have accurate data on COVID -19.

"	Decisions on any learning model will also allow parents flexibility to keep their children and family safe, as long as public health agencies believe that COVID-19 remains a threat to the public.

I look forward to serving your children and hope that we will be able to see each other in person soon!

Brian Beck