Hello Upham Community,

I hope that you are doing well. It seems as the virus continues to ramp up we are getting hit with things from all angles. No matter the situation we plan to keep moving forward. I shared some of these ideas earlier in the year and wanted to expand some of them. Also, you will find at the bottom of this missive the WPS travel guidelines and COVID-19 Travel Orders. If you have any questions please contact the office. Robin (outstanding school secretary) or I will contact you immediately. Please note the following guidance:

Successful Routines for BOTH in-person and at-home learning: 

  • Establish consistent routines and schedules around bedtime/sleep so that your child(ren) has a good night’s sleep and is ready each morning for their learning.
  • Be sure your child(ren) eats a healthy breakfast.
  • Establish a quiet place for your child(ren) to complete any homework; away from distractions and unnecessary technology (e.g. TV, cellphones). 
  • Encourage your child(ren) to be as independent as they can when working on any homework. 
  • Support your child(ren) only when they ask for help; resist the temptation of being too involved in their work. Consider yourself their “consultant” rather than trying to “fix” the situation or “take over” as the teacher. 
  • If your child(ren) become overly frustrated with an at-home assignment, allow them to take a break or to put it aside; encourage them to seek help when they see their teacher next; refrain from trying to solve their problem and/or teaching your child(ren) how to complete the assignment
  • Reach out to their teacher(s) when there are concerns or worries. 

Successful Routines for In-Person Learning

  • Arrive at school on time with your mask on and iPad/device fully charged.
  • Adhere to the safety and health protocols around mask-wearing, physical distancing, and hand hygiene. 

Successful Routines for At-Home Learning

  • Eat breakfast and be dressed appropriately for remote learning sessions. 
  • Establish a quiet place for students to engage in at-home learning; away from other people, distractions & unnecessary technology (e.g. TV, cellphones). 
  • Consider headphones or earbuds so that students can be closely attentive to their teacher/classmates. 
  • Have students log on with their own device 3-5 minutes before the Zoom session begins; students should NOT be logging in on shared devices with any peers
  • Caregivers (e.g. parents, nannies, tutors) must resist the temptation to sit close by and “listen-in” to students’ remote learning sessions; give students space and opportunity to be as independent as possible
  • Caregivers (e.g. parents, nannies, tutors) may NOT interact with the classroom teacher during remote learning sessions. 
  • Support your student(s) only when they ask for help; encourage them to be independent as much as they can and to seek help from their teacher(s). 

Required Attendance in the Hybrid Learning Model: 

  • In-person learning is an essential part of the WPS hybrid model. Students should be in school on their designated hybrid day unless there is a documented, approved reason for them to remain at home. Parents need to follow their school’s procedure for reporting an absence. 
  • In some instances, a student may be sick (e.g. cold, sore throat) and still healthy enough to access their learning from home. These situations must be coordinated/approved in advance and through consultation with the teacher, school nurse, assistant principal, and/or the school principal. Your school nurse is an excellent resource if you need any guidance or direction when making this decision.  
  • Students/families should not opt to be remote for reasons of convenience (e.g. vacation/travel plans, family visits, student preference). 
  • If a student/family opts to be remote on one of their designated in-person learning days without an approved reason, the student may be marked absent (unexcused absence)  — even if/when they Zoom into their class. These absences will appear on their report card and in their cumulative record. 
  • The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires all districts to track and report student attendance. They state, “being chronically absent can have a significant impact on a student’s ability to read at grade level, perform academically, and graduate on time.” 

Travel Guidelines (WPS site)


MA Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 Travel Orders


Upcoming Dates

December 24 – January 1 End of the Year Vacation

Thank you for your support.

Dare to Dream,

Mr. Dees


Principal’s Message
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