Superintendent Gives Update On Reopening Schools

By: Greg Lane, Hingham Current Staff, August 23, 2020  
Foster Elementary School Playground [Hingham Current News File Photo / Greg Lane]

Parents facing the challenge of what to do with their kids as Hingham Public Schools return to hybrid learning this fall are happy they received an update on Friday night.

To ease the burden and stress of facing that challenge, Superintendent Paul Austin, Ph.D. updated parents with key dates as reopening nears for district schools.  

  • New Teacher Orientation:  This Monday, August 24th, we will welcome 15 new teachers to the Hingham Public Schools for two days of orientation prior to the return of our teaching faculty. We are particularly grateful for the expert teachers who volunteered to support our newest educators through the New Teacher Mentoring program.  

  • Convocation & Professional Development: On Wednesday, August 26th, we officially mark the beginning of the school year with our annual Convocation for all teaching faculty.  Over subsequent days, the district will host an intensive program of professional development and curriculum workshops.  Focus topics will include safety protocols, best practices in hybrid/remote learning, technology integration, social-emotional learning, differentiation, Special Education, and discipline-specific curriculum work. 

  • Schedules/Cohorts:  K-12 principals and administrators continue to work on schedules, cohorts  and bus assignments.  K-5 principals plan to announce elementary cohorts this coming week, to be followed by class lists the week of August 31st.  Due to the complexities of the HMS and HHS schedules, the secondary team will require additional time to issue information on cohorts and schedules.

  • Health and Safety Protocols:  This week, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that all students will now be required to receive a flu vaccination on or before December 31, 2020. As this requirement has just been announced, we encourage anyone with questions to contact their physician for more information.  

The Hingham Public Schools also launched a website to provide updates to the public concerning their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic threat.  The school district’s website is https://hinghamschools.org/district-reopening-2020-2021/?fbclid=IwAR24tVcJZA-LKOr1bnqPfGv-jzzE3mbc8J9nSFic788Gmn4_zIDBt4UurDk.  Through the website, the administration has centralized information related to the school district's re-opening plan.

It has been an exciting and busy week for administrators and educators as they work to address the details that must be determined before schools can reopen. 

"I am drawing inspiration from the traditional end of summer activities that signal the start of a new school year," said Austin in his weekly update to families.