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Family Communication 7.15.21

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Good afternoon, New London Public Schools families. I hope you are having a wonderful summer!  We were so excited to start our Summer School Programming this week.  It is great to see so many staff and students engaging in fun and learning in all our schools!   Please see some informational updates below.

District Improvement Plan (DIP) Results, New Goals, and Input on ESSER Fund Spending:
NLPS is seeking input on its current and future goals, as well as input on ideas for spending COVID-19 relief dollars to best support students, staff, and families moving forward.  Please click here to view the results of our District Improvement Plan goals and then click here to take a short survey to share your thoughts as we set new goals and program forward.  Thank you!

NLPS 2022 Teacher of the Year:
Please join me in congratulating Ms. Colleen Delaporta-Wells, a Special Education teacher at Nathan Hale Arts Magnet Elementary School, who after a rigorous multi-step process, was selected as NLPS’ TEACHER OF THE YEAR!!!  Colleen, we are thrilled to recognize you for this honor and thank you for all you do for our students, staff, and families!  Congratulations!!!

NLPS 2022 Paraprofessional of the Year:
Please join me in congratulating Mr. Eric Messick, a paraprofessional at the New London High School Multi-Magnet Campus, who after a rigorous multi-step process, was selected as NLPS’ PARAEDUCATOR OF THE YEAR!!!  Eric, we are thrilled to recognize you for this honor and thank you for all you do for our students, staff, and families!  Congratulations!!!

Summer Programming Events for Families!
Please join us this summer for a variety of combined student, staff, and family events.  All are invited and may sign up by clicking the link -Family Link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NLPSFamilyEngagement

Social-Emotional Supports Throughout the Summer:
Mental health supports continue to be available throughout the summer. If students and families are in need of crisis supports, counseling referrals, or housing/food/emergency assistance, please contact Carrie Rivera at riverac@newlondon.org, 860-447-6058.

Summer Meals:
New London’s Child Nutrition Program is continuing to distribute meals throughout the summer. Meal distribution occurs every Friday via school buses and vans to designated stops throughout the City. Please click here for more information about the distribution and to find the stop closest to you!

Early Childhood Expansion:
I am very excited to share that the City of New London is moving forward to purchase a new building, entitled the BP Learned Mission Building. (It is across from our Adult Education building.) We, the school system, continue to work in partnership with the City to support the development of a new, Birth to Age 8 Community Resource Center to be housed there. Additionally, this building will be a site for our 4 newly awarded Preschool classrooms. We are so excited to have the ability to double our ability (and now space) to serve our youngest learners and their families!  Our NLPS Preschool classrooms will be at Harbor School and the BP Learned Mission Building.  Buses are available if transportation is needed.  Families with preschool-aged students are welcome to apply for our district’s preschool program by clicking here

K/1 Multi-Aged Year-Round Schooling:
We are so excited to begin our new innovative schooling model, which is an option for our Kindergarten and First Grade students.  This model is receiving very positive feedback and interest from not only our school community, but from other CT State Department leaders, various CT school districts, and researchers at Columbia University.  Year-round schooling begins on Monday, July 19th.  Welcome to a new school year for these students and families!!!

School Uniforms:
Like last year, school uniforms will not be required during the new school year of 2021-2022.  Students may choose to wear uniforms only if they choose.  Each student is expected to follow the proper dress requirements outlines in each school’s Handbook, however.

Fall School Hours:
As a reminder, please click here to see the approved school start and end times, for all schools, which begin in September. Please note that a comprehensive Professional Development plan, for the added staff development times each Wednesday, will be forthcoming.

Before and After School Fall Programs and Hours of Operation:
We are thrilled that each of our six schools will continue to be able to host (optional) before and after-school enrichment programs, for grades K-12, throughout the next school year. 

Before school care is being offered through the New London Park and Recreation department.  There will be a minimal fee for this morning service, calculated on a sliding scale fee structure.  Please contact the Park and Recreation department for information.

After school programming for students in grades K-8 is being co-sponsored by both New London Parks and Recreation Department and New London Public Schools. There will not be a fee for after-school care during the 2021-2022 school year.  An after-school program Site Coordinator is planned for each building, as well as a team of enrichment staff to teach hands-on engaging classes to students before and/or after school hours.  Registration for after school programs starting in the fall will be sent out by the school district in August.  Please continue to watch out for our social media posts and district communications. 

The times for the fall before and after-school programs in each building are as follows:
Winthrop Elementary School:

*(fee based) before school care from Park and Rec. starts at 7:00 a.m.; (free) after school care will be from 3:30 until 4:45 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 2:50 until 4:45 on Wednesdays.

Jennings Elementary School:

*(fee based) before school care from Park and Rec. starts at 7:00 a.m.; (free) after school care will be from 3:30 until 4:45 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 2:50 until 4:45 on Wednesdays.

Nathan Hale Elementary School:

*(fee based) before school care from Park and Rec. starts at 7:00 a.m.; (free) after school care will be from 3:05 until 4:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 2:25 until 4:30 on Wednesdays.

Harbor Elementary School:

*(fee based) before school care from Park and Rec. starts at 7:00 a.m.; (free) after school care will be from 3:05 until 4:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 2:25 until 4:30 on Wednesdays.

Bennie Dover Jackson Multi-Magnet School Campus:

*(free) after school programming will be from 2:35 until 4:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 1:55 until 4:00 on Wednesdays.

New London High School Multi-Magnet Campus:

*(free) after school enrichment programming will be from 2:45 until 4:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 2:05 until 4:00 on Wednesdays. 

Starting this fall, after-school enrichment programming will be primarily aligned to the theme of each school’s Magnet Pathway, thus offering even more opportunities for students to engage in STEM, Arts, and IB World Education.  Please be on the look-out for our fall after school program registration form coming out in early August.

Return to Safe In-Person Learning Plan: 
Here you will find a state required COVID-19 District Reopening Plan. This plan is much more condensed that the original one submitted to the state department last July. You will find we plan to continue to implement the COVID safety and mitigation strategies in place, as aligned to the current Governor’s Executive Orders and guidance from our local health advisors. This plan is open for feedback and will be revisited and reposted every six months. Please utilize the assigned email address NLReopening2021-2022@newlondon.org to share your thoughts. Thank you! 

Mask Wearing:
As you are most likely aware, the CDC recently updated their Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. In line with these new recommendations, Connecticut’s new mask protocols took effect Wednesday, May 19, 2021.  Please note that, “Universal masking, regardless of vaccination status, will still be required in certain high-risk settings such as healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare facilities.”   As such, all students, staff, and authorized visitors will still be required to wear masks while on our campuses regardless of vaccination statusThere are some exceptions to this rule for students and staff only including:

  • staff directed scheduled mask breaks.
  • lunch and/or snack time (while eating)

Guidelines Regarding Use of Fans:
Window fans are permitted; however, they should blow out the window rather than in. Stand-alone fans that just blow air around should be avoided.

COVID-19 Data:
The week of July 4th – July 10th there were no COVID-positive cases reported to the district!!! The link to the CT COVID Data Portal for all CT schools can be viewed here.

Thank You,
Superintendent Ritchie