Pittsfield Public Schools planning for in-person learning

Berkshire County

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Pittsfield Public School’s superintendent announced that the transition to in-person learning with a hybrid model will begin in October.

The city schools opened remote learning on September 15, with in-person learning for a small portion of students enrolled in special education, vocational, and English language learner (ELL) on September 28.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Superintendent Jason McCandless, making the shift to in-person learning has many factors that include the health data of the community, students, families, and staff at the Pittsfield Public Schools.

The City of Pittsfield reported as of Wednesday, there are 230 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in Pittsfield, six deaths, and 23 active cases. There were 13,286 tests administered for residents of Pittsfield.

For more information, timelines, and answers to frequently asked questions visit https://sites.google.com/pittsfield.net/athomelearning

Pittsfield Public Schools transition to in-person learning

Bus Transportation

As the Pittsfield Public Schools prepares for students to return to school, it is important for the district to confirm the intentions of each student\family, associated with utilizing school bus transportation.

Each of the 2,400+ students\families in Pittsfield eligible for bus transportation are required to complete an online bus transportation questionnaire by Thursday, October 1, 2020.

For security purposes, the questionnaire has been emailed to each student’s email account.

Per state guidelines and PPS policy, a maximum of 25 students are allowed to ride on a school bus at any given time.  Each student will be provided their own bus seat, and will be physically distanced from others.  Masks are required to be worn at all times on buses.  Bus windows will be open at all times.

Completion of the Bus Transportation questionnaire is required by October 1, 2020, as the responses play an important role in planning bus routes, schedules, and accommodations that will meet the needs of our students and families.

Anticipated In-Person Learning Start Dates

As the Pittsfield Public Schools prepares for all students to transition to a hybrid model, which includes in-person learning as well as remote learning, the following dates serve as anticipated targets for resuming in-person learning on school campuses:

October 14      Grades PreK, K, 1, 2, 6, and 9            First Day of In-Person Learning

October 20      Grades 3, 4, and 5                               First Day of In-Person Learning

October 27      Grades 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12                  First Day of In-Person Learning

  • Each PPS Student Will Be Assigned Individualized In-Person Learning Schedules
  • In-Person Learning Schedules Will Either Be:

 “AM” (morning instructional time) or “PM” (afternoon instructional time)

Anticipated Notification Regarding Individualized In-Person Learning Schedules

As the Pittsfield Public Schools prepares for students to transition to a hybrid model, which includes in-person learning, students and families will receive information on individualized class schedules.

Students and families will be notified regarding individualized in-person class schedules and expectations by teachers and school administrators.

Each of the students\families eligible for in-person learning beginning on October 14th, will receive notification regarding their in-person class schedules on Thursday, October 8th or Friday, October 9th.

Parent\Guardian Information Sessions

As the Pittsfield Public Schools further prepares for students to commence in-person learning opportunities, the school district will be hosting multiple virtual meetings for parents and guardians. 

These meetings will provide an overview regarding the student transition to the hybrid learning model.

Parent\Guardian Informational Meetings Will Be Offered:

            Tuesday           October 6th      7:00 PM

            Tuesday           October 13th    7:00 PM

Additional information, and registration, for parent\guardian informational meetings will be posted on www.pittsfield.net.  Parents and guardians are encouraged to register in advance, in an effort to provide the school district an opportunity to address questions and concerns that are most common amongst students and families.

Breakfast & Lunch

Upon transitioning to in-person learning in the hybrid model, the Pittsfield Public Schools will provide breakfast and lunch to students in a “grab & go” bag.

PPS Virtual Academy

All Students\families that have registered for the PPS Virtual Academy have begun the 2020-2021 school year receiving education in their respective home schools.

Students that have enrolled in the PPS Virtual Academy will transition to the virtual learning academy commitments as anticipated.  For additional information about the Pittsfield Public Schools Virtual Academy, please contact Principal Carl Tillona at ctillona@pittsfield.net

Students and families are encouraged to frequently visit the www.pittsfield.net website for the most up-to-date information on each phase of the return to in-person learning.  Important information, timelines, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found at https://sites.google.com/pittsfield.net/athomelearning.  Additional press releases, associated with pertinent return to in-person learning information, will be made available as needed.

The ongoing commitment, perseverance, and sacrifice that our students, families, and staff are making to facilitate education in Pittsfield will pave the way to returning to a sense of normalcy.  As we re-envision the academic experiences of our student body during these unprecedented times, The Pittsfield Public Schools is grateful for the continued resiliency and spirit of our community.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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