By now you have received an email update from Dr. Lussier about the fire at Hunnewell this morning. While it is disappointing that we will remain closed until Monday, May 20th, and the Fun Fair is postponed until Friday, May 31st, I know we are all grateful that at the end of the day, everyone is safe.
I also want to thank the Hunnewell staff and community, the Wellesley Police, Fire, and Facilities Management Department, and Town leaders and departments for their quick response this morning. The fire was contained quickly, which minimized damage. Having everyone on site to work through next steps, allowed us to make smart decisions about the next two days and tentative plans for the next several weeks. We do anticipate that both 4th grade classrooms will remain off-line for the remainder of the year. However, I am confident that we can reallocate space for the next few weeks to provide 4G and 4P with a classroom.
I am working with the technology department to reschedule Sessions I and II of the 4th grade MCAS, which were scheduled to be administered tomorrow and Friday and Session I of the 5th grade Science MCAS, which was scheduled for Friday. This and other technical challenges will be resolved, and I will communicate with you over the next few days to share updates.
We understand that our school’s closure for the next two days will create a hardship for families in need of childcare coverage. Our hope is that Hunnewell families will support each other as much as possible. We have also been working with the Recreation Department to offer an option for families with no other alternative. Matt Chin, Director of the Wellesley Recreation Department, has offered to run a two-day camp for Hunnewell students, modeled after typical camps in the summer. He can accommodate up to 100 students and space will available on a first-come, first serve basis. There will be no charge and the district will incur the costs. Information and registration are available at the following link: https://webtrac.wellesleyma.gov/wbwsc/webtrac.wsc/wbsplash.html?wbp=1 (Please do a search for Activity # 211303) Please note, parents should plan on providing snacks, bag lunch, and any necessary medications, including inhalers or epi-pens. No additional WPS staff, including aids, will be on hand, as the camp will be managed by the Wellesley Recreation Department.
As we supported each other when the column in the basement was compromised, we will support each other through this challenge and be a stronger community for it. I am also touched by the number of people across the district who have emailed or texted me to offer help and support. I have never been more proud to represent a community or the district.
Should you have any questions, I will be available on email throughout the evening and early tomorrow morning.