Coronavirus Information

We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available. All communications emailed to families will be posted below.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dear Caregivers and Students:

We would like to thank the entire Essex North Shore community for your continued understanding and cooperation as we have shifted to remote learning using our Instructional Continuity Plan in response to the Coronavirus situation.  As a school community, we remain committed to providing alternative learning opportunities for our students, which we believe offers them structure and consistency during these challenging times.

Governor Baker has extended the date for all Massachusetts schools to remain closed through at least Monday, May 4th, 2020.  In response to this announcement, our plan is to continue with remote learning for all Essex North Shore students.  In addition, please be assured that we are working diligently to support students as they begin to participate in remote learning and to help them in any way that we can throughout this period.

 

SCHEDULE 

We will continue expecting students to log in through their Chromebook, iPad, or other device every school day and, depending on which cycle they are in, go to their Aspen or Google Classroom page for their different classes.  It is important to keep in mind that we will follow the established school calendar for blue/green days for the duration of this learning phase from now until May 4th.  In addition, we will have no school on Friday, April 10th and vacation as planned from Monday, April 20th until Friday, April 24th. We will continue to have One Boston Day on April 15th where students can participate in kindness activities for their family.  Officer Chase will provide more details in the near future.

During this time, we will continue to follow our early-release schedule below:

Block A: 7:50-8:26 am
Block B: 8:31-9:07 am
Block C: 9:10-9:46 am
Block D: 9:49-10:25 am
Block E: 10:28-11:02 am

Teachers will be available online for any student questions and support (via email, Google Meet, Google Classroom, etc.) during these official class times.

 

STUDENT LEARNING

As we move into the third week of remote learning, we are asking you to check in with your child daily on assignments that are due or questions they may have. You are an essential member of the remote learning team!  You can help by reminding students that their teachers are accessible online to students every school day.  Teachers will continue to post all instructions, assignments, and learning materials to Aspen or Google Classroom. Teachers will continue to answer any email within 24 hours.

We strongly recommend caregivers to sign up for Aspen notifications when students are not submitting their work. You can easily do so following this link.

Students are expected to log in every school day to access teacher instructions, assignments, and learning materials in either Aspen or Google Classroom. If students have questions, they need to email their teacher through school email, and these emails are then shared through Aspen.

 

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

Student attendance will continue to be taken based on participation in online learning.  Some teachers may continue to ask students to join a virtual class on Google Meet, reply to an update or forum on Aspen or Google Classroom, participate in a chat on a Google doc, submit an assignment, or simply respond to an email. Teachers will record their student class attendance as a participation assignment in Aspen. Keep in mind that teachers know to be flexible with attendance because for some students, for a variety of reasons, they will not be able to be online at the same time.

If a student is not turning in assignments, teachers have been asked to make the first contact with BOTH the student and caregiver and then to refer any instances where they do not hear back to the student’s school counselor for follow up.  For students receiving special education services, their liaison will continue to reach out to them and, if necessary, to their caregiver.

 

STUDENT SUPPORT

Students need to know that their general education and special education teachers and paraprofessionals are all working together to ensure that student learning needs are being met and that modifications and accommodations are being provided whenever necessary.  For more information regarding Student Support Services please click here.

As always, we truly appreciate your support and partnership as we continue the learning for your child. We hope you are all well, and we will continue to update you regularly.

 

All the best,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Instructional Continuity Plan Reminder 

Good Evening, Caregivers!

I am sending you this message to remind you that our Instructional Continuity Plan will begin tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18th. To clarify, teachers will be available to students following the 11:02 release schedule. Students can complete their work any time during the day to receive attendance credit. For more details, please review the Instructional Continuity Plan here.

As always, we appreciate your support and assistance during this time.

 

Sincerely,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

Sunday, March 15, 2020 

Instructional Continuity Plan & School Closure Update

Dear Caregivers and Students:

We would like to thank all of the Essex North Shore staff, students, and families for their understanding and cooperation over the past days as we manage and respond to the dynamic Coronavirus situation.  We will continue to keep you apprised as we receive information, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate these uncharted waters. Please check your email regularly as this is our primary source of communication.

In light of Governor Baker’s press conference on Sunday evening, March 15th, school will be closed through Monday, April 6th, 2020. While new information is coming in daily, we are not aware of any changes to April vacation at this time.

We realize that students may have left personal belongings or items that they need in school.  If you need to pick up these items, the building will be open on Tuesday, March 17th from 10:00 am-1:00 pm.  Please understand that picking up your items is not mandatory.  This is just an option should you need these items for online learning.

As a follow-up to our announcement last Friday and with the Governor’s announcement today, Essex North Shore will remain closed through Monday, April 6, 2020.  Based on this updated information, we want to let you know more about our Instructional Continuity Plan. First, this is a remote or online learning plan for all Essex North Shore students, who would otherwise be in school, that starts THIS Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

SCHEDULE 

Students will be expected to log in through their Chromebook, iPad, or other device on Wednesday morning and, depending on which cycle they are in, go to their Aspen or Google Classroom page for their different classes.  On March 18th, students in grades 9 and 11 will be in Academics and students in grades 10 and 12 will be in Career Technical Education (CTE) and Wellness.  

We will follow the established school calendar for blue/green days for the duration of our online learning.  The only schedule change is for March 24th and March 25th, there will be no MCAS English Language Arts testing, so these days will be regular online learning days for grade 10 and grade 12 students.

Friday, March 20th was scheduled to be a Professional Development day for staff and there was to be no school for students. We will keep to this schedule; therefore, students will not be required to log in or complete online learning on Friday, March 20th.

Teachers will be available online for questions and support (via email, Google Meet, etc.) according to the 11:02 am early-release schedule below:

Block A: 7:50-8:26 am
Block B: 8:31-9:07 am
Block C: 9:10-9:46 am
Block D: 9:49-10:25 am
Block E: 10:28-11:02 am

At this time, all student activities and athletics are on hold.  This includes captains’ practices, tryouts, conditioning, and team practices.

STUDENT LEARNING

Our teachers will be sharing their learning assignments for students to do online. While our students already know how to log into Aspen or Google Classroom and check for assignments, what will be different for them is that they will be given directions from their teachers on video clips to watch, texts to read, and then students will be expected to post their ideas and responses to these clips and texts online. Teachers will direct students to post through either Aspen, Google Classroom, or some other site, and they will provide clear directions to do so.

Here is an overview of what we expect from students and teachers to make this online learning happen, beginning on Wednesday, March 18th.

Students need to know that their teachers are expected to be accessible online to students every school day.  Teachers will post all instructions, assignments, and learning materials to Aspen or Google Classroom. Each week, teachers will post an update with an overview of the learning objectives and expectations. It will help to be overly clear with students. Teachers will answer any email within 24 hours.

Students are expected to log in every school day in the morning to access teacher instructions, assignments, and learning materials in either Aspen or Google Classroom. If students have questions, they need to email their teacher through school email and these emails are shared through Aspen.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE

Student attendance will be taken based on participation in online learning.  Teachers may ask students to join a virtual class on Google Meet, reply to an update or forum on Aspen or Google Classroom, participate in a chat on a Google doc, submit an assignment, or simply respond to an email. Teachers will record their student class attendance as a participation assignment in Aspen. Keep in mind that teachers know to be flexible with attendance because for some students, for a variety of reasons, they will not be able to be online at the same time. If a student is not turning in assignments, we have asked teachers to contact the student’s school counselor for follow up.  For students receiving special education services, their liaison will reach out to them and, if necessary, to their caregiver.

STUDENT SUPPORT

Students need to know that their general education and special education teachers and paraprofessionals will be working together to ensure that student learning needs are being met and that modifications and accommodations are being provided whenever necessary.  For more information regarding Student Support Services please click here.

We thank you for working with us to support student learning over the next two weeks.

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Caregivers and Students,

We want to reach out to let you know that Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School (ENSATS) is collaborating with other North Shore superintendents to make a timely and unified decision about school closure that we feel is in the best interests of our faculty, staff, students, and families in dealing with the Coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has this week labeled a global pandemic.

We are one of 28 North Shore public school districts that have mutually decided to close schools through at least Friday, March 27, 2020.  This will allow us time to perform a deep cleaning of the school facilities that will have a positive impact on preventing the spread of this virus.

As a participant in the Alternative Learning Pilot (ALP) with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Essex North Shore will shift to our Instructional Continuity Plan (ICP) where students will learn remotely.  Beginning on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, instructional staff will post online assignments for students.  We understand that this transition process will take time to connect with students and to direct them to online resources. Students will be given support from school counselors and, if they are receiving special education services, we will continue to assist students in their learning. We will be sharing more information about the ICP early next week.  It is important to note that the Commissioner of Education supports the use of this ALP for ENSATS, and our students will not be held beyond 185 days which is June 19, 2020.

We also recognize that some students may need food services during this closure. We ask that you contact us if you need assistance.  We have a plan for providing some food support beginning early next week to our students in need. If you need assistance, we encourage you to contact our Director of Food Services, Grace Clarke, at (978) 304-4700, extension 2008 or email her at [email protected].

Please know that we are committed to seeking ways to offer you our ongoing support. As always, we appreciate your understanding.

 

Sincerely,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

Thursday, March 12, 2020

No School 3/12/2020

Dear ENSATS Community,

In light of the news of a presumptive positive case in the town of Danvers, we will be canceling school tomorrow for students only.
We will continue to monitor this fluid situation and update you regularly.
Thank you for your understanding.
All the best,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

 

Thursday, March 12, 2020 

Early Release 3/12/2020 

Dear Caregivers:

Students will be released at 11:02 am on Friday, March 13th. We will follow our 11:02 early release bell schedule and no lunch will be served. However, there will be a limited number of bagged lunches available for students who need it. No afternoon activities will occur.
This release will provide time for staff members to prepare instructional materials should the need to activate our remote learning plan arise.
At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 involving any students or staff. We will reassess the situation after Commissioner Riley’s conference call at 8:30 am tomorrow and will continue to update you.
Sincerely,
Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director 

Tuesday, March 11, 2020 

Dear ENSATS Community,

In light of Governor Baker’s State Of Emergency announcement yesterday, we are responding to frequently asked questions regarding scheduled events and operational changes at Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School.

  • We are committed to following the clearly defined recommendations from public health officials, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control, and the Governor’s office.
  • These recommendations include no international student travel and no out of state student travel.
  • For recommendations that are less clearly defined, we are seeking further clarification regarding possible cancellations of large school-related gatherings.
  • Please keep in mind that this situation is fluid and decisions to cancel or reschedule events may be made the day of the event.
  • We ask that everyone remain understanding as we adjust our practices based on future public health recommendations.

We continue to:

  • Perform detail-cleaning of all contact surface areas, including door handles, handrails, and fixtures in all high-traffic areas. This includes the use of several Electrostatic Sanitizing machines, disinfecting wipes, and the use of other traditional methods.
  • Remind staff and students to follow good hygiene practices as identified in this poster. These posters have been displayed throughout the building in high-visibility locations and shared through our digital signage.
  • Increase fresh air makeup.
  • Increase our custodial cleaning shifts on the weekends.

Updated information as of 3/11/2020:

  • All out of state field trips and international trips have been canceled as directed by Governor Baker.
  • In-state field trips, depending on location, will be rescheduled, if possible.
  • Clinical work for Dental Assisting and Health Assisting classes have been suspended until further notice.
  • CTE programs that provide services to the general public, including the Maple Street Bistro & Bakery, Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Automotive Collision Repair, and Animal Grooming will be closed to outside guests.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued advisories on the Coronavirus as well as communicated preventative measures to reduce the spread of the flu and COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based gel.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs and countertops, with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Ideally using a tissue or your inner elbow and not your hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Please keep in mind that our concern is always for the wellbeing of our students, staff, and community members. We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.

 

Sincerely,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

Friday, March 6, 2020 

Dear ENSATS Community,

I am writing to share an update regarding Essex North Shore Agricultural & Technical School’s efforts to protect our students and staff in response to the evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Based on the recommendation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Governor Baker, we continue to follow their advice regarding precautions that we can take to protect our school community.

 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has issued advisories on the Coronavirus as well as communicated preventative measures to reduce the spread of the flu and COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based gel.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean things that are frequently touched, such as doorknobs and countertops, with household cleaning spray or wipes.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Ideally using a tissue or your inner elbow and not your hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Think ahead about how you take care of yourself and your loved ones in the event that there is news of community spread of the virus.

 

Efforts since our last update to combat the spread within our school include:

  • Our facilities staff are regularly detail-cleaning all contact surface areas, including door handles, handrails, and fixtures in all high-traffic areas. This includes the use of several Electrostatic Sanitizing machines, disinfecting wipes, and the use of other traditional methods
  • Staff and students have been urged to follow good hygiene practices as identified in this poster. These posters have been displayed throughout the building in high-visibility locations and shared through our digital signage.
  • We have modified our HVAC system to take in more fresh air.

 

Parents and guardians are reminded to keep their children home if they are ill and to notify the Attendance Office.

 

We will continue to monitor and update you as new information becomes available.

 

Sincerely,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director

 

Friday, February 28, 2020 

Dear ENSATS Community,

We are reaching out to provide information about the respiratory disease COVID-19 or the “Coronavirus.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are 62 confirmed cases in the United States with one case in Boston. Currently, exposure risk remains low for individuals who have remained in the U.S. and who have not traveled abroad to countries where the virus has spread. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html)

Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School is in communication with local health departments and the Massachusetts Executive Offices of Health and Human Services Department of Public Health (DPH), and according to the DPH, contracting the flu is a more prevalent concern for Massachusetts residents than COVID-19.

While students were on break last week, Essex Tech performed a deep cleaning consisting of dusting and sanitizing all horizontal and vertical surfaces including lockers, door handles, and plumbing fixtures; scrubbing and sanitizing floors; disinfecting all desks and chairs; and using an electronic sanitizing system on all surfaces. Director of Facilities Joseph St. Pierre also increased the fresh air makeup in the school’s buildings, and the school has been wiping down surfaces that are regularly used. Essex Tech has also provided disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for every classroom and office area at the school, with recommendations to clean often. Parents and guardians are reminded that, in an effort to prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as the flu, respiratory viruses, and gastrointestinal illnesses, students need to be free from fever, vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours before returning to school if they have been sick.

We also wish to provide students and their families with the following recommended actions from the DPH to prevent infectious diseases from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently, with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • When sick yourself, stay home to protect others.
  • Always cover your cough or sneeze

Furthermore, rapid flu and strep testing can help diagnose and treat illnesses both curing disease and shortening duration. The CDC (www.cdc.gov) recognizes that prevention efforts offer the strongest protection from all illnesses including the Coronavirus.

We hope that this information allows you to make informed choices regarding you and your family’s health and wellness.

Sincerely,

Heidi T. Riccio, Ed.D.
Superintendent-Director