• Dear Carlisle School Community,

    I hope the start to summer has provided you with the opportunity for some rest and relaxation, even during these challenging times.

    I am pleased to report that we held our first day of in-person summer school today and it was wonderful to see students getting dropped off for school, once again.  Our first day of summer school with all of our new protocols went well, and though there were new procedures and expectations in place for both staff and students, the benefits of in-person education for students were obvious.  I am looking forward to the continued success of the summer program and I know our experiences with this program will inform our reopening of school in the fall.

    You should be aware that our Back to School Task Force (BTSTF) is researching and planning for our reopening of school in the fall.  Two weeks ago, the Massachusetts DESE released their initial guidance for the reopening of school in the fall.  The DESE made a note to stress that the guidance was “initial” guidance, meaning that it is subject to change over the next weeks as the state moves through its four phase reopening plan.  The following are key highlights from the initial guidance. I have also attached the complete state guidance document in case you are interested in reading it.  We are making all of this information available on the Carlisle School website homepage.

    MA DESE Initial Guidance Highlights

    • The goal for this fall is the safe return of as many students as possible to in person school settings.
    • Require districts to plan for 3 possible learning models; in-person learning with new safety requirements, a hybrid of in-person and remote learning, and the continuation of remote learning.
    • The state provided data and research in support of in-person instruction for students with enhanced health and safety protocols and procedures.
    • Requires the wearing of face masks/coverings by all faculty, staff and students in grades 2 and above, unless there are mitigating health factors (acknowledging the need for breaks).
    • Physical distancing requirements have been adjusted to align with reduced susceptibility and levels of transmission in children.  The state encourages districts and schools to aim for six feet of distance between individuals where feasible. At the same time, they establish a minimum physical distance of three feet.
    • Districts should aim to keep students in the same group throughout the day, to the extent possible.
    • Parents should screen children at home and keep children home if they are not feeling well or experiencing any symptoms.  There will be no temperature screenings upon entry to school.
    • Hand washing and hand sanitizing are stressed, as is cleaning and disinfecting of the facility and everything within it.
    • The state also stressed the importance of communication among stakeholders regarding reopening plans and the need to survey families regarding their plans for the fall.

    As you can imagine, the state guidance documents contain much more information and supporting documentation than I have presented here, and as I said, it is attached in its entirety in case you are interested in reading it.

    Districts have been charged with developing plans for the three different possible learning models, and I can assure you this is challenging and multifaceted work, and I can also assure you that our BTSTF is working on developing plans that will be best suited for the Carlisle community.

    On a completely different note, I want to take this opportunity to introduce and welcome Anne Mahan, our new Business Manager.  Anne has been hard at work becoming familiar with our operations and our community since starting in her new position on July 1st.  We are fortunate to have Anne in this role, and I encourage you to take this opportunity to reach out to her and welcome her to Carlisle.

    Finally, the Carlisle School Committee is on their new summer meeting schedule, which has them meeting every other Wednesday morning at 8:30.  Their first summer meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, July 8 at 8:30.  Please check your email for the Zoom link.

    Warm regards,

    Jim O’Shea


    Initial Guidance from MA DESE