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Dear Canton Families and Staff,

Summer is here! 

Tuesday marked the end of the 2019-2020 school year, bringing closure to one of the most challenging experiences in our school community’s history. I write to you with deep appreciation and great pride as I reflect on our partnership to ensure our students were cared for and supported in a remote learning environment. 

The four-month stretch was exhausting and not easy, requiring all of us to engage in new routines and dynamics. The closure called for great collaboration, an unwavering commitment to teaching and learning, and a high level of resiliency and perseverance. And, we did it, and we did it well -- together. We rose to the occasion as a strong Canton community. Thank you!

I hope the summer brings incredible joy and well-deserved rest for you and your families. We all need it, and summer has a special way of re-energizing each and every one of us. Let’s enjoy it!

The Governor and Commissioner’s Message

As you may know, Governor Baker and Commissioner Riley announced today the publication of the document, DESE Initial Fall Reopening Guidance. The Commissioner provides some clarity on information previously shared (i.e., safety measures and supplies needed) that we have been preparing for and are well positioned to receive formally and utilize in our planning. 

In the document, the Commissioner did not provide a date for the reopening of school or detailed guidance on the structure of a plan to return to school. However, the Commissioner’s document calls for school districts to provide plans for three options: in-person/full opening with social distancing (no less than 3 sq. ft.), a hybrid model (some in-school and some at-home-remote learning), and a continuation of full-remote learning). The three options are designed to enhance a school district’s readiness for the medical variables in the fall and winter.

New information also includes funding opportunities attached to the draft plans. We will prepare the draft plans with our local Board of Health and to be shared with the School Committee and stakeholders for review and feedback (e.g., parents/guardians, staff, and students, as appropriate). From there, and in accordance with DESE’s requests (template for collection), plans for the reopening of the Canton Public Schools will be submitted. 

We anticipate a noon Press Release today of the DESE Initial Fall Reopening Guidance document. This document can be accessed through the Canton Public Schools website.

We also anticipate further information and context from the Governor and Commissioner regarding this new information. It is important to note that today’s document serves as the Initial Guidance for Reopening. The Commissioner states that the Comprehensive Guidance, which will include detailed protocols for safety and plans for important issues (i.e., transportation), will be published in the summer. The Initial Guidance aligns very well with our ongoing pre-planning and we will be well prepared for the Comprehensive Guidelines. 

Moving Forward

As we engage in summer programming and think about school in the fall, I want to assure you that safety and security of our students, staff and families will remain the top priority. We are in constant communication with our local safety and health officials, and we are deeply committed to the safety protocols and guidelines set in place for now and in the future. Today’s release of the DESE Initial Fall Reopening Guidance will further enhance our ability to provide the safest learning environment for our students. 

I also want to thank you for completing the surveys in a thorough and thoughtful manner. Your feedback is being reviewed comprehensively, and it will serve as key information to inform our decisions around the teaching and learning experiences for the upcoming school year. The school district has engaged in several planning sessions for the fall, preparing for the essential elements of any scenario that comes forward. The survey feedback has been incredibly helpful with our planning and with our desire to continuously improve. 

Moving forward, please be assured that we will continue to solicit input from all school community stakeholders, and we will continue our planning process in a collaborative and transparent manner. 

We will do this work together. 


Dr. Jennifer Fischer-Mueller
Superintendent of Schools