Sisters and Brothers,
I appreciate the compassion, concern, and dedication to our community and our students that so many of you have shown by your thoughtful comments, questions, and suggestions to me over the past several days. I have done my best to respond to each of them as best I can individually, though I’d like to address a few recurring themes:
Educators are being ASKED TO:
- VOLUNTARILY report to work on Monday and Tuesday (either in-person or remotely) to receive the latest information from administration and to coordinate lessons, plans, and/or strategies to offer take-home and/or online academic activities for students who are able to use them and continue some semblance of education during this time.
- VOLUNTARILY check work emails and communicate regularly with principals to be aware of updates and changing protocols.
- VOLUNTARILY be present at any of the 4 lunch distribution sites (Consentino, Nettle, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club) from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Staff will not be expected to handle meals, but it is hoped that familiar faces will help students to feel reassured during this confusing time.
During this shut down, teachers, ESPs, and all non-essential clerical staff (those who would not report to school on a snow day) are NOT REQUIRED TO:
- Report to work either in-person or virtually.
- Explain your absence. (Doctors notes are required only if you are ordered by the Department of Public Health to self-quarantine now or in the future.)
- Work from home or take any work-related materials home with you.
- Complete grades, reports, or any other work-related tasks at home (though these tasks will be awaiting your return).
Please remember, DO NOT enter your school if you:
- Care for or live with someone who is elderly or may have a compromised immune system.
- Feel sick and/or have a fever above 100°.
- Were or may have been exposed to someone who presumably has the virus.
At no time should any child enter the buildings. If you do not have child care, please stay home. Only HPS employees should be entering the building over the course of the next two weeks.
The vast majority of our members have committed themselves to and are already doing all they can to support their students and neighbors throughout the closing. In addition to those requests of the school district above, the HEA would like to be proactive in making sure our most vulnerable students and families have access to food, services, support, and child care, and will be reaching out to other community groups to coordinate these efforts. Many of our members have asked how they can support families who may need help with these challenges over the coming weeks. If you are intersted in joining the HEA Volunteer Corps, please fill out this form. By tackling these challenges together we will continue to prove why educators are the HEArt of Haverhill!
As we rally around each other and our community many have also suggested that we show our solidarity and commitment by wearing our “Red for Ed” gear whenever we are out at the schools during this shutdown – especially on Monday and Tuesday.
Send us your photos (no group shots – practice social distancing!) to share how the #HEArtOfHaverhill is still beating strong during these challenging times!
Anthony J. Parolisi
Haverhill Education Association