Alison Villanueva, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Friday, July 16, 2021
Dear Watertown Faculty, Families, and Students,
We had a lovely turnout to our Summer Stressbuster Session this past Wednesday. The Sound healing and Reiki sessions were a good reminder of just how important self-care is. At the same time, our district is busy with summer cleaning and events. A big shout out to our tremendous admin, faculty, and staff who dedicate their time through the summer months!
Happenings and Useful Information
On July 13, 2021 an extension of the Governor’s executive orders were released. Click here to read the full document, “Extension of Declaration of Civil Preparedness and Public Health Emergencies”
CSDE and DPH Joint Statement on CDC Guidance Released on July 9, 2021
A few hours ago, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their “Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.” DPH and CSDE are reviewing this guidance and will be assessing Connecticut’s current and future guidance for schools in light of the CDC recommendations.
On initial review, DPH and CSDE strongly endorse and support the guidance’s emphasis on the importance of in-person learning, and on vaccinating the maximum number of students and staff eligible. We also note the emphasis on “layers” of in-school mitigation strategies, and the importance of taking a measured approach when considering the removal of mitigation strategies based on local conditions. We will consider these and other recommendations as we work towards release of Connecticut specific guidance for schools in the coming days.
Our children benefit most from in-person learning, and our priority of a safe return to in-person instruction this fall can be achieved by remaining vigilant on what we know works. In that light, we want to remind educators and parents with children 12 and up that getting vaccinated remains the leading public health prevention strategy to protect against COVID-19.
Joint Statements on Culturally Responsive Education
On July 13, CEA President Jeff Leake and AFT CT President Jan Hochadel released a statement on (Click link) "Academic and Educational Integrity" .
On July 14, CT Association of Schools, CT State Department of Education, CT Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), CT Association of Boards of Education, AFT and CEA released a (Click link) "Joint Statement on the Importance of a Culturally Responsive Education".
Free Online PD
Educators interested in taking part of a free online PD Summit July 16-18, here is the link! A free online PD called "Teachers Matter". This is obviously completely optional as it is the summer...but in case you were interested the link is above!
Quote of the Week
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~Charles Darwin