• Shawsheen Valley Technical High School

    Principal's Update

    Monday, August 17, 2020


    Dear Shawsheen Students and Parents/Guardians,


    This past Friday, Superintendent-Director Dr. Brad Jackson wrote to all of you regarding adjustments to our hybrid model for fall reopening, which will now have students 100% in-person during shop weeks, and 100% remote during academic weeks. Under this model, we will still identify a group of high needs students who will have the option of 100% in-person instruction during academic weeks, and parents/guardians will still be able to opt for 100% remote instruction for their child on both weeks. I am writing today to follow up on a number of topics related to the preparation and reopening of school for students four weeks from today. The reopening plan that was shared on Friday, August 14 can be accessed at the following link: Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical School District Reopening Plan – Fall 2020.


    Changes to the School Calendar & Freshman Orientation

    We have adjusted the school calendar to best support the changes to our hybrid model for this fall. We will start on a Week 2, instead of a Week 1A, which means that students in grades 9 and 11 will report to school that week for shop while students in grades 10 & 12 will connect to their academic classes remotely. We will send information to students in grades 10 & 12 prior to the first day of school so they will be prepared to connect to all of their classes using Microsoft Teams during the first week of school. We have removed the potential Freshman Orientation series from the calendar from September 8-11. Instead, we will conduct essential freshman orientation activities while they are in the building the week of September 14. The updated school calendar can be viewed at the following link: SVTHS School Calendar.


    Parent Forum - Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 1:00pm

    Dr. Jackson and I will be co-hosting a Parent Forum, as a live event using Microsoft Teams, to answer your questions about our fall reopening plan this Wednesday at 1:00pm. The Parent Forum can be accessed at the following link: SVTHS Parent Forum - Wednesday, August 19, 2020. You can connect to the forum through a web browser - you will not need to download any program/software to participate. The following 58 second video shows you how to connect to a live event with Microsoft Teams: How to attend a live event with Microsoft Teams. The forum will be recorded and posted online for you to view at your convenience if you are unable to attend at 1:00pm on Wednesday. We look forward to the opportunity to answer your questions. 


    Process for Opting Out of the Hybrid Model -- 100% Remote for Both Shop and Academic Weeks

    For those families who do not want their child participating in the in-school portion of our hybrid model, a 100% remote option is available. In order to finalize our plans for those students, we need to know which students will be opting for 100% Remote Instruction. Please fill out the following form as soon as possible if you plan to have your child receive 100% remote instruction when we return to school on September 14: SVTHS Parent Form - Opting for 100% Remote Instruction. We will  share our plans for these students once we receive the data and are able to finalize our plans around that information. It is imperative to recognize that while we will do everything possible to make your student’s experience as close to the in-person experience as possible, as a vocational school it is possible that we may not be able to recreate an equivalent shop experience through a remote model.


    Remote Learning Under the Hybrid Model

    I recognize that many families and students have concerns about what remote learning will look like during the fall. What we experienced during the spring was a period of emergency remote learning with very different standards compared to what we will have in place for the coming school year. Educators did not have time to prepare for that switch and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) had a different set of expectations for schools and how curriculum and instruction was delivered. When we return this fall, our standards and expectations under remote learning will reflect (to the extent possible) those of a normal school year: educators are expected to deliver educational experiences that adhere to state and local standards for student learning, growth, and achievement; students are expected to attend classes following the bell schedule; attendance will be taken, monitored, and followed up on; work will be graded and students will be provided with feedback; and supports will be put in place to help students throughout the duration of remote learning. We are working to put the best plans in place for the start of the school year and are committed to continually assessing and adjusting those plans as the school year progresses. Additionally, as is outlined in our Fall Reopening Plan, we are in the process of identifying students who should be prioritized for in-person learning, based on the criteria issued from DESE, and will be in contact with parents/guardians with additional information in the coming weeks.


    Parking Passes for Eligible Students 

    Parking passes will be provided to eligible students at no cost for the 2020-2021 school-year. Parking passes will be distributed to students when they report to the school on August 31, September 1, and September 2 after they take their school photos and return the books/materials owed from the 2019-2020 school year. In order to receive a parking pass that day, students must complete the following by 2:00pm on Thursday, August 27, 2020:

    • Fill out and submit the Parking Pass Form: SVTHS Parking Pass Form - Fall 2020 (students must be logged into their Microsoft 365 accounts to complete the form).
    • Email Ms. Lynne Melaragni at lmelaragni@shawtech.org with:
      • A copy of a valid driver’s license.
      • A copy of your vehicle registration.

    All eligible students, regardless of grade-level, will be provided with parking passes for the start of the 2020-2021 school year since we will have enough parking spaces under the hybrid reopening model we have in place. Students are subject to rules outlined in the Student Handbook or their parking privileges may be revoked.


    Student Forum & Other Supports

    We will be hosting a student forum to answer questions and concerns before students resume school on September 14 and will communicate information on the forum by sometime next week. We are also putting together other resources and tutorials to provide students so they will be prepared to connect to classes remotely when school begins.


    Reminders: Important Dates

    • ASAP = contact Ms. Schrimp at aschrimpf@shawtech.org (if you have not done so already) if your child will need to borrow a laptop from the school.
    • August 24 = Last day for seniors to register for the Emergency SAT date on September 23, 2020 - Please email Mr. Baione at mbaione@shawtech.org if you have questions.
    • August 24 & 25 = Freshman Photos from 9:00am - 12:00pm - Click here for more information.
    • August 31 & September 1-2 = Photo and Book Return Days for Students in Grades 10, 11 & 12 from 9:00am - 2:00pm - Click here for more information.
    • September 14 = First day of school for students.



    Jessica Cook