It was with a heavy heart that we made the announcement this week that Wellesley High School would be transitioning to remote learning for the next two weeks. After everyone’s hard work, this felt like the exact scenario we had worked so hard to avoid. It felt like defeat.
As difficult as this news was to share, I also want to encourage us not to lose sight of some other important facts. First, our surveillance testing model works and helped us isolate a cluster of cases before potentially spreading to many more people. Second, we were able to take a targeted approach to a single school, rather than transitioning to remote learning for the whole district. And finally, because of the tremendous work of our staff, we were able to transition seamlessly to remote learning without missing a step. This is exactly the type of nimbleness we knew we would likely need this year.
I know we are all feeling a strong sense of anxiety at the moment with surging cases in Massachusetts and across the country. I don’t know exactly what the upcoming weeks will bring, but I have little doubt that we will see more cases and potentially 0 have to make more difficult decisions. While there is much we don’t know, one thing I hope you do know is that we will continue to put the safety of our students and staff first under any scenario. And I know that we will confront these challenges together.
Thanks for all that you continue to do for our students.
Reminder to All Staff: Please register (asap) and drop off your COVID saliva sample at your school by 9 am on Monday.
11/17/20 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 4:30 pm
11/24/20 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
11/26-11/27/20 – Thanksgiving Recess – No School
11/30/20 – Professional Day – All Remote
12/02/20 – Cohort A Will Follow Monday’s schedule
12/08/20 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
Clarification Regarding Use of Face Masks During Breaks
Please note that the Governor’s recent order requiring the use of face coverings in public places provides for exceptions in specific circumstances (see Section 2d of the Revised Order), including exceptions ordered by DESE which authorizes the removal of face masks during designated mask breaks that should occur throughout the school day.
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. 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.