NSBORO News - June Edition
Superintendent's Message
Strategic Plan - Vision 2026: Educate - Inspire - Challenge
Fall Reopening Guidelines - Update
School Start Time Change - Fall 2021
Superintendent's Message
"Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple."

Maya Angelou

Dear Parent(s) and Guardian(s):

Over the past several weeks I have received many communications from students, alumni, and parents calling the District to action. The communications have been thoughtful, purposeful, and direct and have centered around the District's work with our students around combating hatred, racism, and intolerance. I'd like to share an excerpt from a recent email, "...we hope to not only educate our community about the widespread impact of racism in American society but to actively make anti-racist changes. As Angela Davis, Professor at University of California outlined in a recent interview, this work 'will allow us to envision the possibility of a society that is free of racism and sexism, and homophobia and transphobia." Most of the communications identified a collective response, which is essential as we continue the work of preparing our youth for the world of college, career, and citizenship. We are looking forward to engaging in this work as is clearly articulated in the DIstrict's reauthorized strategic plan.

At the June 24, 2020, Northborough-Southborough Regional, Northborough, and Southborough Combined School Committee meeting the committees shared a Statement of Justice and Equity , and asked that I form a Equity Task Force to undertake a close assessment of all aspects of the District’s policies, practices, systems, curricula, and schools' culture and analyze the District’s Strategic Plan, Vision 2026: Educate - Inspire - Challenge through the lens of equity, tolerance, and diversity and identify further action steps that need to be taken. I will communicate with the community regarding the Task Force and how to get involved in this important work, by Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

Lastly, I encourage families to review the District's Strategic Plan, Vision 2026: Educate - Inspire - Challenge closely, as it outlines the important work that lies ahead. I'd also like to thank the members of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee for their participation in the development process.

Gregory L. Martineau
Superintendent of Schools

(Click on the image below to access Vision 2026)
School Start Time Change - Fall 2021
After a multi-year process and study, I am pleased to share that the Nortborough-Southborough Regional, Northborough, and Southborough School Committees voted to approve the Start Time Task Force's proposal to start school later at Algonquin Regional High School (8:00 AM). The voted changes will not be implemented until the 2021-2022 academic year. There will be no changes to the school start times for the 2020-2021 academic year. More information will be communicated about the changes early this fall. I'd like to thank the Start Time Task Force for its dedication, commitment, and work to bringing the goal to fruition. It is an excellent example of the power of a task force

(Click on the image below to access the Start Time Task Force Presentation)
Fall Reopening Plans - DESE Guidelines Released
On Thursday, June 25 2020, Jeffrey Riley, Commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) issued requirements and guidance to Massachusetts public school districts regarding the reopening of schools in the fall. Governor Baker also spoke about school reopening guidelines at his Thursday, June 25, 2020 press conference. DESE's comprehensive, 28-page document, which can be found on our website here , includes the following:

• Based on current medical research, and if current positive public health metrics continue, the intention is to have in-person school with preventive measures in place in order to better serve the holistic needs of students.  

• School districts will be required to plan for three types of scenarios: in-person; a hybrid of in-person and remote learning; and a fully remote learning option so that districts can respond to changing circumstances regarding the virus if necessary.

• Face masks/coverings will be required for all staff and for students in Grade 2 and above, and students younger than second grade will be encouraged to wear them.

• Based on medical research, a minimum physical distance of three feet is established, in conjunction with other preventive measures.

Our District will be reviewing this State guidance and incorporate it into our planning for next school year. This is a very complex situation, and your patience is appreciated. There are many questions still unanswered, and Commissioner Riley indicated that DESE will be providing more information on other aspects, such as bus transportation requirements, in the coming weeks.  As a District, we continue to plan and prepare and will communicate more District specific reopening plans once finalized. Again, this is a very complex situation, and your patience is appreciated. 
Having a Safe Summer
With the warmer weather upon us, getting outside with your children while staying at a safe distance from others will help keep everyone both physically and emotionally well. We encourage everyone to go outside to get some fresh air and exercise. Please remember it is critical that we continue to adhere to the Governor’s “safer at home” advisory and social distancing guidelines. We are all still potentially infectious, so please avoid gathering in large crowds, wear a mask in public and help stop the spread. The latest trends show that what we’ve been doing is working, but we are nowhere near the finish line. It is imperative that we continue to distance as much as possible.  

The benefits of being outside

Getting outside provides more than a fun break for children and teens. It is also good for their physical and mental health and development. For example, children and teens who spend time enjoying nature can be:
  • Physically healthier. Children play harder outdoors than indoors. Especially without the structure of preschool, school or afterschool activities, children especially need opportunities to move. Children who spend more time outdoors have improved motor development. More outdoor time is linked with lower obesity rates.
  • More engaged in learning. Playing outside promotes more curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Studies have found that children who spent more time in nature exploration had improved learning outcomes.
  • More positive behavior. Research has found that when children spent time in natural settings they had less anger and aggression. Impulse control also improves. This might be especially important when normal routines have changed for children.
  • Mentally healthier. Stress and depression are reduced for all people who spend time in nature. Children show increased focus and reduced symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Tips to help explore nature while social distancing:

Nature all around us. Nature exploration with proper social distancing can happen in your yard, a table-top garden, or even virtually (though not with all of the benefits).

  • Nature sculptures can be built with twigs, leaves, cones, rocks and more by sticking the collected items into a play dough base. Help your child put objects in the play dough and notice what kind of patterns are created by different items.
  • Hold a nature scavenger hunt for the family. Include categories like plants, trees, animals, birds. Who can create the longest list of the signs of spring that they find? How many different flowers can you photograph?
  • ​Playing in the sand or mud is very fun for young children and helps them develop their senses and motor skills. You can give your child old pots, pans, utensils, and other household tools to move, pour, and squish the sand and mud.

Challenge older children and teens.

  • Stay engaged with the outdoors as a family. Take advantage of this time to bond over activities everyone enjoys.
  • Biking with the family in your neighborhood can be a good option if you can keep your distance from others during your ride. Remember to wear bike helmets. 
  • Create a nature journal so they can describe what they see from a comfortable spot outside. Encourage them to write how that makes them feel or draw what they see.
  • Have a ball. Kicking a soccer ball or playing catch together can be fine if you don't share any sports equipment with others outside your household.
  • Enjoy a hike. Find a new trail, revisit an old one, stroll around the neighborhood.

If you can not maintain the 6 foot distance from others- please wear a mask. This will prevent you from spreading the virus to others.

Enjoy this time with your family; remember to practice hand hygiene and keep your hands away from your face. Don’t forget the sunscreen and insect repellent! Have a fun and safe summer!


Dr. Safdar Medina
District Physician

Mary Ellen Duggan, RN
District Wellness Coordinator
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