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Published weekly since August 2017 and now daily during the Coronavirus school shutdown

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Schools in Connecticut learned yesterday they must stay closed until at least April 20. We weren't surprised and have lots of information about the planning for what we're calling our 'extended learning opportunities' that will be rolled out starting Thursday. Also in today's newsletter -- meet a tireless single mom who works as a nurse and comes home to her five now-homeschooled children. Like this newsletter? It's easy to subscribe. 
The Latest
The state desperately wants hospitals to increase their capacity to treat patients as the number of confirmed cases in the state surpassed 400 with many more expected. (The Manchester count didn't change yesterday.)
Extended Learning


Students have been keeping busy working on their own (and maybe with a push from their parents and guardians) but teachers like Waddell's Stephanie Case (left) will be in the mix starting Thursday. That's when the district will begin connecting through Google classroom and more. 
Here's the letter sent yesterday by Superintendent Matt Geary to parents and guardians. It's in Spanish, too, and includes info about: Geary also gave an update yesterday morning that covered a range of subjects and has been viewed more than 3,000 times on the district Facebook page.
Inside The Planning Process
District staff are holding endless planning meetings using mostly web- and phone-based conferencing platforms, but occasionally a small group assembles.
As an example, yesterday ...
At noon, a core planning team that includes (clockwise from left) Katelyn Miner, Matt Geary, Amy Radikas, Latasha Easterling-Turnquest, Sarah Burke, Josh Steffenson and Kerri Kearney were joined by another dozen staffers via teleconference. (Click here for who's who and more behind-the-scenes stuff.)

After that:
  • 2 p.m. -- The core team was joined remotely by 50 building-based leaders and others to hone next steps and review shared documents that had been developed.
  • 3 p.m. -- Some schools, including Illing, held school-level virtual staff meetings. IMS Principal Iris Gomero connected with about 160 staff via Google Hangout or phone.
  • 4:40 p.m -- Geary sent an email to more than 1800 BoE employees with the latest who's-to-do-what-when-hows.
  • 5:20 p.m. -- Geary sent this letter to parents and guardians of 6,200 students.
More School Stuff
POINT OF VIEW
MHS junior Aislinn Gara Grady is missing a favorite teacher and hoping their virtual reunion is a meaningful one. Click here to read her latest installment.
RED HAWK WRITING CONTEST
The theme is 'Unexpected' and to learn about the contest just click here.
STAYING CONNECTED
eREADING ACCOUNTS : There are special accounts for students in the district, pre-K to grade 12. Click here to see the links.
HIGH SCHOOL: The MHS website has lots of resources and learning opportunities and there's even more on the MHS Media Center page.
ALL AGES:
  • Manchester Public Library's database page includes a link to hoopla (download books and more for free), Pronunciator (learn another language) and more.
  • Audible is offering free books on tape in multiple languages for kids up through age 18. No subscription or login is necessary.
Come And Get It!
STUDENT MEALS: 
What:
Free ‘grab-and-go’ meals
When: Monday through Friday
  • Breakfast (8-10 a.m.)
  • Lunch (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Where: Four sites
  • Bennet Academy
  • Manchester Middle Academy
  • Waddell Elementary School
  • Squire Village
For more info:   Details are here.

ALSO
  • MACC CHARITIES: The Community Kitchen (466 Main Street) is giving out bagged lunches (1 bag per person) from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. No one will be allowed in the dining room to eat. 
  • SENIOR CENTER: Closed indefinitely but meals are being provided using a pick-up/delivery model.
This And That
Good Morning Manchester

The pandemic has people down and worried but our irrepressible town troubadour got the week off to a patriotic start yesterday morning. Check it out.
LOCAL NEWS
The Journal Inquirer and Hartford Courant both have regular town news coverage but monthly free-read limits -- although the Courant has removed the paywall from its main daily Coronavirus story. You'll also find stories in Manchester Patch
Modern Family 
From left to right are siblings Miguel, grade 9 at Manchester High; Jowell, grade 5 at Bennet Academy; Xiamara, grade 7 at Illing Middle; Logan and Kaisen, who are both kindergartners at Waddell Elementary and mom Liz, who is the latest addition to our 'Humans of Manchester' gallery. It's on Facebook and Instagram.
OneManchester is compiled by Jim Farrell of the school district's communications office and he can be reached at b11jfarr@mpspride.org or 860-268-6377. OneManchester has been published since August 2017, is always free, and has not been hacked since Sept. 12, 2019, Want to subscribe? Just click here.