I hope you each had a productive week. I wanted to check in on several key fronts. First, we continue to be on a positive trajectory with regard to COVID-19. Case counts are down and vaccinations are becoming more widespread. As of today, more than 60 percent of our staff have received at least one shot, with dedicated days for public educators coming up on 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, and 4/11. Please don’t forget to let us know if you have been vaccinated by completing our online form.
I also want to acknowledge all of the work our entire team is putting into the upcoming transitions to full, in-person schedules during the month of April. All of this planning is occurring while we are supporting students in our current hybrid/RLS models. I know we are all stretched thinly right now and your efforts are greatly appreciated by our community.
Finally, I want to also address the challenging week we had in response to our hosting of an affinity space last week for Asian and Asian-American students and staff. This healing space was organized in direct response to the growing violence and incidents of hate directed at this community. Unfortunately, some of the explanation of this activity has been taken out of context and twisted into fuel by individuals who oppose our equity agenda and openly use hate speech. Members of our staff have been the target of messages and postings that are too awful to repeat here. We have worked with the WPD to document all of this and will continue to take steps to support our staff and protect our schools as a safe space to work and learn.
As challenging as all of this has been, we will not be dissuaded from our efforts to make our district a place where everyone is included and feels a deep sense of belonging and support. That is the collective work to which we all must be committed. I ask that we each engage our students in these important conversations and that we continue to look out for them, our families, and each other, as we navigate through these challenging times.
Thanks for all that you do for our students and for each other. Enjoy the weekend!
3/30/21 – School Committee Meeting – Remote Online – 6:30 pm
3/31/21 – 1/2 day Remote Learning for Elementary/Full Day-in Person Cohort B for WMS and WHS
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
4/26/21 – Annual Town Meeting Begins
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!
RecTrac Upgrades 3/29 through 3/31/21
Our on-line payment system, RecTrac, will be going through a system upgrade next week. The system will be offline next week from Monday (3/29) at 8AM through Wednesday (3/31) 7PM. This upgrade impacts WPS and the Town Recreation sites since we share the system.
Once the system upgrade is complete, you will need to access RecTrac through the website as there will be a new web address/link. All data will be converted to the new system and our logins will be seamless. Should you run into any problems after the conversion is complete, please reach out to Denise Forte (email@example.com).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.