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COVID-19 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Answers to new questions will be posted daily. Please be sure to check the Q&A page for updates.

Please email any additional questions to questions@watertownps.org.


Will schools be open for me to pick up items left by my child?

  • All schools will be closed to all staff and students except those designated as essential personnel after Monday, March 23 in compliance with Executive Order No. 7H. In this Executive Order,  the Governor urges residents to Stay Safe, Stay Home in order to contain the spread of COVID-19 while keeping essential services running. As teachers are planning distance learning lessons, they know that many students do not have access to books that may have been left at school and are making sure that they have access to the resources needed to complete assignments.
  • During this period, we will continue to run the Grab & Go Lunch Program on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11am-1pm.

How will we meet the needs of students with IEPs when we shift to Distance Learning?

  • Our Director of Student Services and Special Education and Supervisors will have input in developing our distance learning model and will work closely with special education teachers to program for every child who has a disability to the best extent possible. More specific information will be shared with students and families late next week. Updates will continue while the distance learning model is in place.

What do we do if we have trouble accessing iReady at home?

  • Kindergarten students have experienced trouble accessing iReady due to a technical issue on the part of the company. This has since been rectified. New passwords for kindergarten students have been downloaded, and we will get these out to families as soon as possible. In the meantime, please make a selection from one of the many other options on the Bingo Boards that were sent home. A small number of students in other grade levels have experienced some issues accessing iReady, and this has primarily been the result of lost or forgotten passwords. If you are experiencing difficulty with this, please email either Elise Archibald at archibaldel@watertownps.org or Lisa Fekete feketeli@watertownps.org for assistance. Again, you are encouraged to select an alternate learning activity while we help you to rectify this.

Will the district be utilizing any of the April time to offset the days missed during this two-week period?

  • Administration has considered making this recommendation to the Board, but we are waiting for additional guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Education (CDSE) and from our local health department regarding the length of our closure. As COVID-19 continues to spread across the state, we are bracing ourselves for closures that extend beyond this two-week period. We will reevaluate the status of school closures and the latest guidance from the state on Friday, March 20th to determine how to proceed.

What if my graduating senior is scheduled to leave for basic training prior to June 30th?

  • We recognize that extending the school year may create significant challenges for students who are already scheduled to leave for basic training. High school administrators are willing to work with families as long as the student has met all of the graduation requirements prior to leaving for basic training. For more specific information, please contact your child’s counselor and assistant principal. For last names that begin with A-K, contact Mr. Hogrefe (hogrefeth@watertownps.org). For last names that begin with L-Z, contact Ms. Cote (coteni@watertownps.org).

When is graduation?

  • Setting the date for WHS graduation was an agenda item at the March 9th Board of Education meeting. After some discussion about possible dates, the Superintendent recommended tabling the decision to gather additional information from the WHS Administration regarding the final exam schedule. Additionally, the Superintendent wanted guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Education (CDSE) and from the local health department regarding potential COVID-19 related school closures. The Board will revisit the discussion about setting the WHS graduation date at their next scheduled meeting on March 23rd.

What about all of the required assessments at the end of the year?

  • Our district has been in contact with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CDSE) regarding flexibility for required end of year assessments (SBAC, NGSS and SAT). Testing windows for the SBAC and NGSS assessments will be extended to allow additional time. Currently, the testing window has been extended to June 5th but the CDSE is considering extending the window until June 30th if it becomes necessary.

What about students in AP classes?

  • Although AP exams are not required assessments, the CSDE has been working with the College Board to get guidance on how to proceed during this closure. Below is information that was sent to the district:
    • The AP Program is closely monitoring the updates and guidance about the coronavirus (COVID-19) provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading health organizations. Our first concern is for the health and safety of students, their families, and their school communities. To help schools and students, we’re focused on:
      • Supporting student learning of the remaining content and skills in the course.
      • Providing flexible and streamlined testing opportunities and partnering with colleges and universities to ensure that students can still receive the college credit they have been striving to earn all year long.

Additional information was shared with Watertown High School Administrators and our Director of Curriculum and Instruction. Going forward, they will work with teachers regarding ways to support students and will send updates as new information becomes available.