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Update from Principal Jessica Cook - October 28th

Dear Shawsheen Students and Parents/Guardians,


I am so proud of everything we have accomplished at Shawsheen since we returned to school in mid-September under a hybrid learning model for students. Everyone in our community – staff, students, and families – have worked diligently to make this as successful and safe as possible. When we first introduced our current hybrid model in August, Dr. Jackson and I shared that we would monitor its implementation and make adjustments as necessary to best support the learning of all students. I am writing today to make you aware of an adjustment we will be making during academic weeks and putting into effect the first week of the second quarter, which begins on Monday, November 16, 2020.


We highly value the model we have put in place for academic weeks, which puts students in front of their teachers for all periods of the day. Nevertheless, we have come to recognize the fatigue that can result from participating in online classes for eight periods each day, five days a week. We believe that adding an asynchronous day to the middle of the fully remote academic week will prove to be a more sustainable model for students, and that the additional supports we can provide to students on that day as a result will better support students to be successful this year.


Therefore, effective the week of November 16, 2020, Wednesdays of each academic week will be asynchronous, meaning that students will receive assignments for each of their classes each academic Wednesday but, other than logging in for morning attendance, students will not be logging into Microsoft Teams for each class period. Students will still be engaging in a full day’s worth of work each academic Wednesday. Additionally, students will be able to meet with teachers during office hours, schedule one-on-one meetings with teachers and guidance counselors, and receive one-on-one assistance from the Ed Tech department as needed. Please note that we will continue to follow the schedule that is in place for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday of each academic week. Additionally, we are not making any changes to the vocational week.


Schedule for academic Wednesdays, effective the week of November 16, 2020:


7:50am: Students report to first period classes in Microsoft Teams for daily attendance. This is required.


Expectations for Students: after morning attendance, students are expected to complete all work for their classes each academic Wednesday, and submit work due for those classes by the following morning. Students may also access a variety of supports during the day, as outlined below. Although students have flexibility as to when they choose to work on assignments throughout the day, if extra help is needed from teachers, students are expected to connect with them during office hours.


  • Office Hours with Academic & Support Services Teachers: Students can report to office hours with their Academic & Support Services teachers as needed, following the schedule outlined below. Teachers will provide students with links to their office hours in Microsoft Teams. Students should report to office hours if they are struggling in classes, have questions for their teachers, are unsure of how to complete the day’s assignments, or just want to make extra connections with their teachers.
    • 8-9am = English Teachers
    • 9-10am = Math Teachers
    • 10-11am = Science Teachers
    • 11am-12pm = Social Studies/Spanish/Digital Literacy/Financial Literacy Teachers
    • 1-2pm = PE Teachers
    • Note: Support Services Teachers will hold office hours during the time frames that correlate with their subject-areas. Each teacher will confirm those times with their students.


  • One-on-one check-ins with Related Teachers: Many students check in with their Related Teachers when they report to school in-person during shop weeks. Students and/or Related Teachers may also schedule remote one-on-one check-ins during academic Wednesdays as needed.


  • One-on-one check-ins with Guidance Counselors: Students and/or Guidance Counselors can schedule remote one-on-one meetings as needed on academic Wednesdays.


  • Ed Tech Support: Students can call members of our Ed Tech Department to receive support by calling the individuals listed below at the times indicated:
    • 8-9am = Mr. Bendel: 978-671-3783
    • 9-10am = Ms. McGinness: 978-671-3621
    • 10-11am = Ms. Wicks: 978-671-3620


You can view a visual of the new academic week schedule, which will go in effect the week of November 16, 2020, at the following link: Visual - Updated Academic Week Schedule Starting the Week of November 16, 2020

Thank you again for working with us to make this school year a positive and productive one for all students.



Jessica Cook