Westfield schools prep for year’s end, graduation and beginning of 2020-21

May 27, 2020 | Dennis Hackett

WESTFIELD – With the school year ending, the Westfield Public Schools are preparing for graduation, three potential learning scenarios for the fall, and letting students into the buildings to collect their belongings.

As part of the end of the year preparations, Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski said the district is currently formulating plans to allow students back into the buildings to collect their belongings.

He said, “Most of the elementary schools will be done this week and Fort Meadow and Westfield High School too. At the middle, intermediate, and Tech Academy they did not take their belongings and so we are working out ways to do that by following all of the guidelines during the week of June 1.”

He added that the plan for the middle school was already approved, the district was just waiting on confirmation for Westfield  Technical Academy and Intermediate School.

He added that the district is also looking into ways to celebrate the seniors at both Westfield High School and Westfield Technical Academy. “Our hope is that we’ll be able to have as much of a traditional graduation as we can but we don’t know what the guidelines will be or what phase we’re in. If it has to just be us and the graduates that might be an option.”

Czaporowski explained that the district does have a committee of students, staff and a school committee members looking at ways to host the graduation ceremony.

In addition to the ceremony the district is trying to pull together, Czaporowski said they are also trying to find a way to celebrate the 10 graduates heading into the military before the current dates. The district will also be celebrating seniors by putting signs up with their names and pictures in the city’s green.

Rather than asking students to return the nearly 1,600 Chrome Books the district distributed as part of its remote learning program, Czaporowski said they are allowing the students to hang onto them in case they need to use them in the fall. “We didn’t think it made any sense to collect them all now and then turn around and redistribute them in August,” he said.

With so much uncertainty up in the air about when life can return to normal, Czaporowski explained that the district is preparing for three different scenarios for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. “We are planning on putting our own groups together to be prepared for any number of scenarios, either all remote learning, having the kids back in school or having some combination of both,” he said, “I think it’s important to plan for all three scenarios because eventually the kids are going to be coming back and so I think it’s good for us to start thinking about what that would look like.”

He also said that while they are formulating their own plans, the district will fall in line with any plans the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education decides on.

Despite all of this year’s changes, Czaporowski said he was happy with the way the district responded to the crisis but will be looking for feedback from families about how to improve remote learning if it is necessary in the fall with a district-wide survey. He said, “I think we’ve done very well given the circumstances. I say that because of the feedback I’ve received from parents who have sent very positive emails about staff going above and beyond. I think its important to assess how we did from the perspective of the students, the teachers and the parents.”

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