HAPPY FRIDAY! I hope everyone had a restful Spring Break. As always, there is a lot going on at HHS as we start on the final quarter and close out the school year. Today was an especially busy day as the school celebrated Earth Day. We have been meeting weekly with the COVID Task Force working out the details for all of the end-of-year activities and there is good news. I believe we will have a plan in place that will allow our seniors to have a prom and traditional commencement ceremony. We will be sharing details with the seniors (and families) next week.
PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS ENTIRE FRIDAY UPDATE
I would also like to thank the HHS Council members for all of their hard work this year. For those that don’t know, the Council is the governance body at Hanover High School and is made up of students and staff. Because of the Wednesday school schedule, Council has been able to meet and accomplish a great deal of important work that benefits the HHS school community. Please read the council updates in this week’s newsletter. For more information about the Council please visit BoardDocs and read policy JIBA-School Government - The Council.
COVID Vaccination update
Saturday will be an exciting day for many employees of the Dresden School District. Thanks to DHMC, SAU 70, and many advocates in the community, employees will be able to receive their second dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine on Saturday morning. We are all understandably happy and grateful, though we are also a bit nervous about possible reactions to the vaccine. Many recipients have reported strong adverse reactions, so much so that Lebanon closed 3 of its schools last Monday due to its inability to staff their schools after vaccination. While we are hopeful that we will not experience these results, we wanted to plan.
The SAU has asked for all staff suffering an adverse reaction to notify the district by 3 pm on Sunday, April 25th. After this time, we will make decisions on the viability of staffing at each school and inform parents/caregivers/students about plans for school on Monday, April 26th. We wanted to let you know that there is a possibility that some (or all) of the Dresden schools could close next Monday so that you can make plans. Just as with a forecast of a heavy snow, we are expecting the best-case scenario, but planning for the worst.
IF there is no school on Monday, all HHS students will report to in-person school on Wednesday. Students would follow the following schedule:
M April 26 Possible school closure Monday after staff COVID shot, families will be notified late Sunday or Early Monday (similar to snow day).
Tu April 27 Possible Monday Schedule - Periods 1, 2, 3, 4
HHS has received several emails about the Governor's directive for all schools to return to 5 days/week in-person schooling. The emails are both pro and con and a difficult position for us to be in. As indicated in previous Friday updates, Dr. Badams has requested a waiver requesting HHS be allowed to keep the current schedule. The DOE has indicated that if schools are able to meet the state's instructional hour requirement using their current model they would not need a waiver. Having calculated the instructional hours for HHS, we will exceed the state requirement.
Wednesday is still a school day and many students are in the building working with teachers and completing work in the library. Students are also working on a myriad of assignments from home and could be Zooming into classes. Remote Wednesdays also provide an opportunity for clubs and activities to meet in a safe way.
There are 7 more Wednesdays left to the school year and we plan on having all students in person on May 19th for this year's May Intensive and again on June 2nd following the Memorial Day weekend. Depending on what happens next week (See COVID Vaccination updates) that could mean 4 or 5 remote Wednesdays remaining. Pivoting the remote days to having the entire student body in the building would require a schedule change; we would not be able to offer the 7-period schedule that we currently run and clubs, namely Council, would not be able to meet. I believe the system has worked all year and changing it this late in the school year could cause confusion and raise anxiety levels for students and staff.
Have a restful weekend.
Jim Logan, interim principal