IX. Additional Supports
(edited for August 17 version - see Appendix A for a record of changes)
Somerville Public Schools is actively planning and partnering with Community Schools, the Somerville Parks and Recreation Department, and additional community providers to offer outdoor and remote enrichment opportunities to various populations of our students. We are in the process of solidifying details and schedules and will share this information with the SPS community in the near future.
The Community Schools Program is one of the larger district-led afterschool programs that offers programming to students in grades pre-K through 6 during after school hours, school vacation weeks, and summer. During the emergency closure, Community Schools continued to make available out of school time activities by school in a virtual format and also offered a virtual April Vacation Program. Community Schools staff also assisted as needed with parent outreach, translation and interpretation, and emotional support since program coordinators have built strong relationships with families. Currently, Community Schools is offering a hybrid summer model to students in the community. The program is operating under local health and safety guidelines and following guidance from the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) as well as from the CDC. Through their hybrid summer model, Community Schools is offering three days of in-person activities with current safety protocols in place, and two days of virtual activities. The program developed its own summer reopening plan for parents as well as a reopening plan for staff with mandatory health and safety virtual training.
During all remote periods in the 2020-2021 school year, Community Schools will continue to offer activities virtually following a similar model, but will also be looking for different funding sources to incorporate community organizations that offer more specialized instruction such as yoga, martial arts and parkour that we were not able to incorporate as much as we would have liked to during the emergency closure.
During in-person periods of the Phased Hybrid Learning Model in the 2020-2021 school year, the Community Schools Program is prepared to offer programming following the district’s cohort model. Currently, the program is conducting a survey of what parents’ needs are for out-of-school time for the fall. Students would be divided in after school as they are divided during the instructional day and would resemble to an extent the summer model of the adult-to-child ratio, maintaining the same group with educators with no floating from group to group. Supplies will be individualized per student and larger equipment or outdoor structures will be cleaned in between each use. This information as well as other health and safety guidelines will be included in the reopening plan for the school year.
Somerville Parks & Recreation
Somerville Parks and Recreation will be offering programming and free play five days a week for preK-2 students and 2-3 days per week for students in higher grades to help support the social emotional needs of students during the remote learning phase by providing opportunities for students to stay connected with their peers through safe social interaction. Details on times and locations will be sent to families prior to the start of the school year.
Other Community Partners
We are working with existing and incoming school community partners including Citizen Schools, Breakthrough Greater Boston, enroot, The Calculus Project, and Becoming a Man (BAM) to identify the services they are able to provide to SPS students enrolled in their programs given the unique current context. To offer a menu of additional outdoor activities, we are also exploring options with other community partners who provide youth services. Additional information will be shared with families as new program opportunities are identified.