Dear SAU 70 School Community,
I hope you are all well as we complete the third week of remote learning and begin April Break. While this break will amount to a "staycation," I know it will be a much-needed respite for many of our teachers and families. For those of you who may be concerned that we are taking a break just as we've begun to develop new routines, we have compiled some extended learning opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students that we've posted on our web site. I'm sure your principals will be sharing these links as well, along with additional school-specific updates.
Earlier today, Governor Scott extended the Vermont stay at home order until May 15th, and New Hampshire's will be re-evaluated on May 4th. We have been told by Commissioner Edelblut that we should be getting more guidance about the NH school closure order prior to that date, but that was all he offered. We still face a bit of uncertainty with VT having closed schools through the remainder of the academic year and NH having left open the possibility of a return sometime in May. I posed this conflict to both Secretary French and Commissioner Edelblut, and both men offered to grant us a waiver to allow us to follow whichever state's directives make the most sense for us. This latitude will allow us to maintain uniformity of services across the SAU.
This week, rumors spread that a decision had been made about grading at Hanover High School. The HHS faculty and administration did forward a recommendation today for a credit/no credit grading system for the fourth quarter that I will be reviewing over the break, along with input that I’ve received from students and parents. One element of that recommendation is that third quarter grades would be maintained in our traditional format. How they will be included on or with transcripts is yet to be determined. Before we finalize this important decision, we will be further researching college admissions ramifications and the emerging practices of similar high schools. I anticipate a decision during the week following break.
Finally, some of you expressed concern that we have not closed our grounds or athletic fields. In consultation with our Hanover Public Health Officer and Town Manager, we have agreed to keep them open, but again remind you to practice appropriate social distancing while you exercise. We will be posting these facilities with reminders that anyone using them does so at their own risk. With recent news about the apparent effectiveness of our collective efforts to contain the outbreak in both NH and VT, we need to stay the course! I will share any important school-related news that arises in the next week. A big thank you to our entire school community for making this enormous change work as well as it has so far!
Please have a safe and healthy April Break!