Dear Hunnewell 

I extend my sincere appreciation to the entire Hunnewell community, which has come together at a challenging time to help one another in a myriad of ways. I also appreciate the many members of the Wellesley Public School community for their offers of emotional and material support. Our community partner, Matt Chin, Director of Wellesley Recreation Department, quickly garnered his team to develop a fabulous two-day camp option for the Hunnewell students who needed child care today and tomorrow, as well as to the Wellesley Public Schools for making this option free of charge to families. Finally, I thank the crew from ServiceMaster Restore and members of the Wellesley Facilities Department, including our own Larry Pellegrini and Tom Gillespie, for working long shifts to clean the building.   

I have some very good news to share. We will be able to re-open on Monday! First and foremost, the air quality reports came back negative for any contaminants and under the direction of Chris Estrella, IICRC Certified Project Manager, the building is being cleaned from stem to stern. There are over 40 workers deep cleaning every classroom. Every item in the classrooms is being wiped down to remove any residual soot, as is all duct work. While the deep clean is happening throughout the building, Joe McDonough, Facilities Director, has his team working with the Wellesley Building Inspector to ensure the safety of structural and electrical systems, including the smoke detectors and fire alarms. 

While you know 4G and 4P are off-line for the rest of the year. I have also learned the boys and girls’ bathrooms in the upper hallway are offline. It is unclear whether these two bathrooms will be able to reopen before the year end. With a great deal of thought, we have a clear plan that will support all of our children, especially those in 4G and 4P. For the next four weeks, Ms. Gamache will move to Ms. Finn and Ms. Forsythe’s classroom in the lower wing. Ms. Forsythe and Ms. Finn will continue to support students in the classroom and use other office space as needed. Ms. Perodeau will move right next door into Ms. Barry’s classroom. Ms. Barry will move her classroom into Ms. Moody, Occupational Therapist, and Ms. Lyons’ Physical Therapist, classroom. Ms. Moody will support students in the classroom and borrow office space as needed. Ms. Lyons will work with her students outside, which she often does in the nice weather, and in the gymnasium. I feel fortunate that our staff’s willingness to be flexible and keep student needs at the forefront.  

Additionally, the furniture in 4G and 4P is not usable and will need to be replaced in total over the summer. For the next few weeks, Mr. Pellegrini and the Facilities Management Department reached out to other schools to borrow the extra desks, chairs, and tables that they have in storage. All of that furniture will be moved into the new 4G and 4P after the cleaning is completed on Sunday morning. Our K-5 Curriculum Directors are working to replace any curriculum materials that were lost in the fire, and the technology department is replacing any lost technology, including ipads, laptops, and document cameras.  

Tomorrow Dr. Lussier will be joining the Hunnewell staff to plan for our opening on Monday. Dr. Megan Cassidy and Ms. Sara Sullivan, our school psychologists, Dr. Lussier and I will be working with the staff so we are prepared to welcome your children and make them feel safe, which is often best done by getting children back into a familiar and comfortable routine.  

On Monday morning, we plan to proceed with our Morning Mingle and I plan to briefly address the entire community before leading students into their classrooms. After morning routines are completed we will convene for an all-school meeting. We will use our work with 7 Habits of Happy Kids and our CARE values to guide this meeting. I will be sure to provide you with an update of the content of this meeting.

In closing, I thank the PTO, who provided coffee to the ServiceMaster crew today and for providing our staff lunch tomorrow. Your continuous generosity is very much appreciated. 

Please know I will continue provide updates after tomorrow’s staff meeting and throughout the weekend. We look forward to welcoming you all back to Hunnewell on Monday. 

Warmly,

Ellen


Update on Hunnewell

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