I hope everyone is settling into our new schedule this year. I write to provide you with an update on a number of school reopening topics:
Dressing for Cooler and Inclement Weather: Because our students are spending more time outside and we are maximizing ventilation in our classrooms, please be sure your student(s) are coming to school dressed appropriately. This includes raincoats and appropriate footwear for wet days and layers that will allow them to adjust comfortably to cooler/warmer situations throughout the day.
School Calendar: As we are making adjustments to our calendar in weeks with holidays or special events, in order to maximize in-person learning time, it will be more important than ever to be familiar with the SY2020-21 Academic Calendar, which is posted on the WPS website. For example, Election Day will fall on Tuesday, November 3rd, which will be our half-day / remote learning day that week. On Wednesday, November 4th, we will follow our Tuesday (Cohort B) schedule.
School Meals: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the nationwide waiver allowing school food service sites to offer free meals. All K-12 students, regardless of a family’s financial means, can access free school meals until the end of SY2020-21. Our website has more information on how to order meals at each grade level.
Viral Testing: Thanks to the generosity of the Wellesley Education Foundation and the support of a dedicated group of volunteers, we have begun phasing in a weekly surveillance testing program for all staff that will expand to include our secondary students at WMS and WHS. Using a take-home saliva kit, we will be collecting samples each week that will be pooled by our laboratory partner, Mirimus, with results provided within 24-48 hours. Please see the Frequently Asked Questions document posted on our website for more details.
Additionally, we will be hosting a webinar on this topic at 5pm on Tuesday, October 27th, to provide an overview of this program and to answer any questions. Please join the webinar using this link: (Click here for Zoom link.) To submit questions in advance, please use this link: (Click here to submit questions.)
COVID-19 Dashboard: Each week the state is reporting important metrics related to the coronavirus in Massachusetts. The Town of Wellesley Coronavirus Information Hub is a great place to review these updated metrics, including those being used by WPS to inform our practice. This dashboard will be updated each Thursday to reflect the new data from the state.
School Facilities Projects: We have several critical school facilities projects moving forward. On Monday, October 26th, our Middle School Building Systems (MSBS) project will be presented to Special Town Meeting for funding which, if approved, will allow this project to be completed this summer. (Funding for the chiller unit at Sprague will also be presented for funding.)
With votes now complete by the School Building Committee, School Committee, and the Board of Selectmen, we will be presenting our community’s recommendation to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) to move forward with a new elementary school on the Hardy site. Coupled with the Hunnewell project, we now have two new elementary school projects moving forward with an anticipated Fall 2021 timeframe for requests for construction funds. This is very exciting and represents another step forward on these much-needed facilities.
Thanks to all of our staff, parents, and volunteers for your ongoing support this year under such challenging circumstances. Have a great weekend!
Reminder to All Staff: Please drop off your COVID saliva sample at your school by 9 am on Monday.
10/31/20 – All Staff Mandatory Training Deadline
11/01/20 – Salary Lane Change Letters of Intent Deadline
11/03/20 – (Tues) – Election Day – Remote Learning Day Gr. K-12 (1/2 Day)
11/04/20 (Wed) – In-person Day for Students in Cohort B
11/10/20 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
11/11/20 (Wed) – Veteran’s Day – No School
11/24/20 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
Reminder: All Staff Mandatory Training Deadline October 31, 2020.
The Wellesley Public Schools are committed to maintaining a work and educational environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassing conduct. We expect all employees, students and other members of the school community to conduct themselves in an ethical and appropriate manner with concern and respect for all members of the school community and in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. To be in compliance, each employee must go through mandatory training as listed below. Please complete all of the training modules by October 31, 2020.
To access training modules:
- Log into your wellesleyps.org email account
- Launch a new tab from your browser and go to www.wellesleyps.org
- Under the Faculty drop-down menu go to Information > “Mandatory Training”
- Review all training modules
- Take the assessments
Salary Lane Change News: Letters of Intent to change lanes in SY2020-22 are due by November 1, 2020.
All professional staff who expect to receive a Masters, M+30, or M+60/Doctorate at the beginning of the next school year 2021-2022, must send formal notification of intent to change salary lanes to Addie Doherty firstname.lastname@example.org, no later than November 1, 2020. The notification should include: current lane, proposed lane, and the school year (2021-22) in which you hope to change lanes. This early notification deadline is required so that provisions for anticipated salary lane changes may be included within the new fiscal year budget. Please note: The list does not carry forward. You must provide written notice each year until you have achieved the desired lane change.
Signing in to WPS Buildings
You may have noticed signs at the entrance of our schools that look like the picture below. This is an electronic way of signing into the building and attesting that you are feeling well. Please take a picture of the sign. This will prompt you to fill out your information on a Google form attesting that you are well. If you do not have a cell phone, you will still be able to sign in to the building using the paper sign in log.
Fraudulent Unemployment Claims
Unfortunately, many of our employees have been affected by a data breach and false unemployment claims have been filed on their behalf. The Human Resources Office has contacted all employees who were impacted. If you have been contacted by the Human Resources Office and informed that your information has been used to file a false unemployment claim, please follow the steps below to report unemployment benefits fraud.
1. Report the fraud to the unemployment office.
2. Report it to your local police department.
3. Report it to the credit bureau.
4. Report it to the social security administration by calling 1-800-269-0271
Human Relations Services
The Human Relation Services (HRS) can help. Wellesley Public Schools has contracted with HRS to provide up to ten free counseling visits for you and/or your family members. This program is designed to help you deal with stresses of life and work –including personal and family issues, drug or alcohol problems, and job related tension. It offers prevention and intervention to reduce these stresses and improve coping skills.
HRS is located at 11 Chapel Place in Wellesley and can be reached at 781-235-4950. This is a confidential service. Wellesley Public Schools is not aware of the names of employees or their family members who utilize this service.
New DESE License Call Center Hours
The DESE Licensure Call Center will offer an additional five hours per week of service to educators and prospective educators. Effective Monday, January 6, 2020 the Licensure Call Center (781-338-6600) will be open each business day from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Almost 50 percent of the responses from a recent survey favored these new hours over other options.
Do you have a question for the WPS Human Resources Department? Email AskHR@Wellesleyps.org. The Human Resources Department is happy to assist you.
WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website
For all Internal Job Postings, please go to “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website.