July 28, 2020

Dear Metcalf Families,

I hope you are well and finding ways to enjoy the summer months. It is certainly a different kind of summer that we’re all experiencing where we try to find creative ways to enjoy our beautiful state. That being said, we are also anxious about the coming school year and working hard to find answers to our questions. I thank you for your patience and understanding as we’ve worked together to create the first draft of the Metcalf reopening plan in hopes of providing some of the information you need. I also thank you for completing the parent surveys that Superintendent Erinakes sent your way so we can begin to get a sense of how our families feel, the questions and suggestions you have, and the information that you still need.

In the coming days/weeks we will receive feedback from RIDE regarding the reopening plan and make the necessary adjustments. We will also analyze the recent parent survey results to make changes that reflect the needs specific to Metcalf School and the district as a whole. I am providing the following link if you have not yet completed the most recent survey: https://forms.gle/1saxypm6idgAfQfJ8.  Please note that there will be an opportunity for you to provide us with your final decision in August regarding schooling your child(ren) based on the updated information from RIDE, decisions on reopening schools from Governor Raimondo, and our reworked reopening plan. In the meantime, please know that we are working incredibly hard to address all questions and concerns in a timely fashion. 

Additionally, the team at Metcalf has been hard at work all summer. We have spent time carefully researching Distant Learning (DL) platforms in an effort to find one DL program to ensure we all “speak the same language” across our schools, grade levels, classrooms and families. We will be providing more information and family tutorials on this topic, as well as “video tours & welcomes” to our students as opening day approaches. I hope these things will help ease anxiety and keep things running smoothly in the event we need to implement DL during the school year.  

Our team is also working to create class lists that equally balance our Exeter and West Greenwich students across classrooms. This will allow us to implement the Partial In-person Learning Plan, if directed to do so by Governor Raimondo, with minimal disruption to the Metcalf community.  With changes to schedules and routines likely, we are also committed to placing grade level siblings in the same class to ensure consistency for families during the upcoming school year. I hope these bits of information help alleviate some of the unsettled feelings you may be having this summer. 

Again, I want to thank you all for your support during these unprecedented times. I will continue to keep in touch and share updates as more information becomes available.  While it is not easy to plan for the unknown we are all fortunate to be part of such a wonderful and caring school community.  

Kind regards,

Laurie Ratigan