Tuesday, January 26, 2021

January Board of Ed: updates on COVID

 on to Riley's updates
"continued to inform districts of new development in COVID-19" and state action
modify testing this spring: sampling approach and reducing time administering
accountability relief: no new underperforming and chronically underperforming schools this year
air purifiers: purchased by DESE, shipped to districts; 2 to 3 air exchanges
pool testing in process of being set up
six weeks of kits, support, and results for no cost to districts
rapid antigen test program as well for symptomatic individuals
flu vaccine removed as a requirement: mild flu season to date
request for flexibility around certain federal requirements
US Ed: defer requirement to ID comprehensive and targeted support
await more information
$800M in federal aid; $733M to districts directly, needs based
10% under DESE's control to ID needs throughout system
$5.6M to all districts and charters receiving some under formula grant (who otherwise wouldn't)
seeking more on Biden's proposed additional plan
SOA plans...were finally really due
high school teacher internships: professional development to begin later in February

Hills: federal flexibility: "there was nothing having to do with MCAS in Massachusetts"
Riley: awaiting any movement from the federal government
Hills: "trust me, I'm not looking for it"

and I think Fernández is asking a question we can't hear?
ACCESS testing query: reasonable cause to revisit EL requirements
DESE has extended window to take place to May
was recommendation to consolidate multiple tests
questions around not knowing how many children will show up; possible high numbers not
results might be incomplete or invalid
reluctance for families to send children into buildings
also relief on low participation
other options for determination of competency as is being done for seniors and MCAS
matters of practicality: some real challenges with transportation, technology, and staffing issues
recommend they be taken seriously
Riley: awaiting ground rules at federal and state level (state level?)
more coming

Lombos: want to fully support Fernández says
have made their cases; I don't think we have to rehash those points
want to revisit MCAS and ACCESS requirement 
"other ideas and ways...would love to have more conversation about"

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