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SPS COVID-19 Update - May 14, 2020

Dear Shrewsbury Families & Colleagues,

I am communicating updates to you through this email and through this four-minute video I recorded earlier today.

There were several items of interest discussed and voted at last night's School Committee meeting, which can be viewed in its entirety here

Please note:

1) Last night, I announced that Dr. Jane Lizotte, our Assistant Superintendent for Community Partnerships & Well-Being, will serve as acting principal of Paton School next year.  I did not feel it was advisable to conduct a search for a new principal under our current circumstances, and given the unpredictability of what school will look like next fall, having a leader with Dr. Lizotte's experience and skill will ensure that the Paton community will be in excellent hands, as Wendy Bell moves on to her new role as the principal of the Memorial School in Upton after her distinguished, two-decade career as a teacher and principal at Paton.  Dr. Lizotte's primary responsibility next year will be serving in this critical role, which will unfortunately slow down or pause some important initiatives she began this year.

2) Last night, the School Committee voted to refund fees and tuitions paid for services that we were not able to provide due to the closure of schools, prorated according to the amount of service lost.  This includes proportional refunds of tuition for preschool, full-day kindergarten, and Extended School Care; fees for After School Activities Program sessions that were not started or completed; and $100 per transportation fee paid.  For more details, see my memorandum to the School Committee.  Families, I ask for your understanding that, due to the processes we must follow for any disbursement of public funds, these refunds must be provided by a check mailed to you rather than crediting back a payment made via our online payment system, SchoolPay.  Because of these processes and the thousands of different refunds we will be providing, we expect it will take about six weeks to issue checks.  Your patience is appreciated.

3) The School Committee also heard a report from Amy Clouter, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment, regarding the feedback that families provided through the surveys on our remote learning program.  You can view her presentation slides, her report, and the results from each of the nine school surveys here, along with all other materials referenced at last night's meeting.  Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.

4) Please keep logging your minutes of physical activity as we attempt to reach the goal for our community to complete 2,002,000 minutes of physical activity during the month of May to honor the great SHS Class of 2020.  Click here to check out the SHS Physical Education faculty's promotional video and click here for the link to quickly log your minutes (you can make entries for previous days as well). We've hit the 250,000 mark, but we need your help to reach our goal: Let's go, Colonials!

Thanks for your continued support of our schools.


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools