Our beautiful weather yesterday and today reminds me that spring is on its way! More importantly I am remembering that it was one year ago on this date, that we were among the first districts in Massachusetts to announce that we were closing due to the coronavirus. What we thought would be a two-week closure morphed into something I never could have imagined.
I am feeling a number of different emotions today. The first is a profound sense of loss. More than 500,000 Americans have died as a result of the virus. That number is staggering and almost unimaginable. That loss is further amplified by so many other areas of lives that have been affected, particularly as we consider our work in schools. The loss of time with our students, and their loss of time with each other, is something I think about each day. I’m not talking about academic time. So much of the learning in schools is interpersonal, as students learn to manage relationships with each other and our staff. School is inherently about human connections, which simply cannot be replicated through a screen.
The second emotion I am feeling today is gratitude. I am so incredibly grateful for the work of our educators and staff over the past year. We have had to reinvent education on the fly in the middle of a pandemic. It is a testament to your expertise and, most of all, to your commitment to our students, that we have been able to perform our work amid such challenging circumstances. I am also grateful to our community and to the many volunteers, whose hands have helped lift us up throughout this crisis.
And finally, today I am also feeling a sense of hope. As we work to return to a sense of normal in our lives and at school, I am feeling hopeful that we will each reflect on the past year, take fewer things for granted, delight in being present to talk and embrace, and perhaps all strive to slow things down and appreciate the people around us.
Thanks for all that you do for our students and for each other. Enjoy the weekend!
3/14/21 – Daylight Savings Time Begins – Spring Forward!
3/30/21 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
4/02/21 – Good Friday – No School
4/13/21 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
4/19-4/23/21 – April Vacation – No School
The Second Annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge is Coming . . .
The Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion will launch the second annual 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge from April 5- 29. The 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge (aka the Racial Equity Challenge) is simple: You (along with thousands of other people across the US) commit to deepening your understanding of and willingness to confront racism for 21 consecutive days. At the very least, the Challenge will raise your awareness. But for many participants it goes beyond that and changes the way they see and interact with the world. Commit to this year’s challenge here, and SAVE THE DATE to return to our website on April 5 for Day 1!
The WebTrac Online Payment System will be down from March 28th through April 3rd for upgrades.
Questions Concerning Your Payroll Check or Deductions?
Questions have been raised concerning the changes in the amount received in payroll checks. Please note that for Massachusetts state tax purposes, only the first $2,000 of your retirement is deducted pre-tax each calendar year. When the $2,000 pre-tax limit is reached, all remaining amounts are taxed. The pre-tax amount is usually reached by the end of January.
If you have questions regarding your paycheck, please email the WPS Payroll Coordinator directly at email@example.com. Please do not respond to the email that is sent forwarding your payroll notice of direct deposit.
Timeline for WPS Enrollment of Faculty Children
Children of Units A and B members residing outside of Wellesley shall be entitled to attend Wellesley Public Schools without charge for tuition on a space available basis (Article 12, WTA, Unit A and B Contract). Below is the timeline for submitting applications:
- March 1st: Interested applicants can submit a letter of intent with the one-page application to Asya Kibko, District Registrar, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: You must be logged into a @wellesleyps.org google account in order to complete the form. You will receive a confirmation email with a copy of your response. The application will be available on the District website starting on March 1st. Forms are accepted starting March 1st until April 30th. Late applications will not be accepted. Placement decisions will be made at the end of May. Once notified of a determination, applicants will be provided an enrollment packet to be completed and submitted to the District Registrar.
If there are any questions, please reach out to Asya Kibko, District Registrar, at email@example.com. A survey will be sent out in March to confirm currently enrolled faculty children will be returning in school year 2021-2022.
Salary Lane Change Process Reminder
Effective November 1, 2020, a teacher must submit a Course Approval Form (CAF) if: 1) a course may lead to a lane change; or 2) a course is paid by District funds. Forms should be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the expected start date of the course. Course approvals are active from the date of approval through June 30th of the following school year (e.g., approved 1/20/2021 for a course starting 3/1/2021 would be active through 6/30/2022). Approvals are based on the course title and course description and cannot be exchanged for another course without prior written approval of the Superintendent or designee. A teacher has until June 30th of the following school year from the course completion date to submit the transcripts (e.g., course ended 4/1/2021 transcript must be submitted by 6/30/2022).
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.
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.