Letters from the Superintendent
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Meeting ID: 835 3502 8303
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Santina has also held positions as a Clinical Social Worker, Coordinator of the Parent/Youth Mediation Program, Guidance Counselor, and Relief Worker for Harbor Homes in Nashua, NH.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
May 14, 2020
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
May 3, 2020
It is the first week of May, and hard to believe we have been in remote learning for almost two months. On April 13th and 14th we made a significant shift from Blizzard Bags to online learning for our K-5 students. A huge shout out to our Elementary staff for taking on such a significant task, with such a steep learning curve. They have done a fantastic job! I also want to say a special thanks to our Food Service Department for continuing to serve thousands of meals to families each week, and our technology department for all the support they have given to everyone district-wide. We appreciate you all so much.
Per the orders of Governor Sununu, we are still under a stay-at-home order. Our teachers, staff, students, and families continue to do incredible work to advance learning this school year, and I want to express tremendous thanks to everyone for making this unprecedented situation such a great success. We have much to celebrate amidst a very difficult and challenging time.
END OF THE YEAR CALENDAR
Remote learning will continue in accordance with our school calendar. The last day of school for students in Pre-K-12th Grade is May 29th.
We want to give students time to finish projects and assignments before the last day of school. It is important that students complete their assignments. We will be working as a district leadership team on a year-end calendar for these assignments, which will be communicated to families via the School Administration.
Some schools have already provided opportunities for students to pick up personal belongings. To provide students/families closure to the School Year, summer “Send-off” events are planned for Friday, May 29th at the elementary schools. Principals will be providing further communications regarding this moving forward. Please stay tuned!
CLASS OF 2020
Detailed plans to honor our Class of 2020 graduates and their families, along with final decisions regarding graduation will be announced by the 15th of May. A celebration that allows for physical distancing is being planned for June 8th; however, we are still hoping to hold a traditional graduation if safely possible this summer.
No new assignments will be given to our seniors after Friday, May 22nd; however, seniors who still need to finalize their course work are expected to fully engage the following week.
Senior scholarship awards as well as the junior, sophomore, and freshmen awards will be presented through a virtual video presentation; those dates are TBD.
Milford Middle School Updates:
Plans for virtual celebrations for our 8th Graders as they transition into Milford High School are in the works. We look forward to celebrating this important time for our incoming 9th Grade Class.We are in the final phase of the search for the next Milford Middle School Principal. I want to personally thank Mr. DeMarco for his extraordinary leadership. He will be missed! Two finalists will be presented to the community in the coming week, with faculty and community forums planned for the week of May 11th. We hope to have a new Middle School Principal appointed by the end of May.
Transition Meetings and Transition Opportunities
Each year careful consideration goes into transitioning students successfully between grade levels and schools. This year, the Student Support team, principals, teachers, and school counselors are also considering the unique challenge of transitioning students back to school from extended remote learning. Lots of creative discussions and plans are underway with tentative thoughts for late summer step-up days, teacher meet and greets, school visits, and parent information nights.
With support from building principals, the special services department adds an additional layer to the work being done to support all of our students as they transition. Our special educators and related service providers of those students transitioning to a new school in the fall meet together to share current progress, as well as helpful hints to ensure our students have the best possible start to the new school year. We have set aside time in mid-May for this collaborative work.
Summer Learning Opportunities and ESY services for Special Education Students
During our Commissioner’s Call last week, we were informed that State guidance will be forthcoming on May 15th. We will communicate more concrete plans following that guidance on topics of summer learning. These topics include: Title I camps, Kindergarten “Blast Off”, Extended School Year (ESY), and other summertime activities.
Planning for Next School Year
Plans for next school year are underway. K-8 families, we appreciate the input we have received regarding student placement. Principals will continue to communicate regarding scheduling, etc., in the coming weeks. We have been able to participate on conference calls with the Governor, and the Education Commissioner. Governor Sununu has been very frank about the situation we face, and the reality is that we may not have a vaccine until sometime next summer. The virus will be circulating in our communities until a vaccine is discovered and distributed. We all need to plan for a long duration event and a longer economic recovery. As he has stated over and over, we are in this for the long haul, and it is not going to fade away easily, so we will continue to proactively plan for such events. As such, we will be working diligently as a leadership team, and as a School District to be as forward thinking as possible as we move into the next School Year. State, Local, and Department of Education guidance will be critical to this work.
In light of these difficult times which have changed nearly every aspect of our daily lives, there is a lot of good that has grown from this. Our teachers and administrators have created inspiring videos showing all of the fantastic learning happening across the district. Our parents and community continue to express their thanks to our teachers and staff which is greatly appreciated. We’re so proud of our district and appreciate the patience, flexibility, and support of everyone.
Please continue to practice the repeated health and safety recommendations – Stay at home, wash your hands and practice strict social distancing.
There are many resources available online for your health, safety and mental wellness. Milford School District has a hub of resources related to remote learning, and Social and Emotional Supports information to assist students, families, and teachers. These resources can be found on our website. Additionally, please see our latest Social Worker’s Newsletter attached.
We hope everyone is safe, healthy, and doing well. We miss our students and staff very much, and appreciate everyone’s support during this time.
April 16, 2020
April 14, 2020
Dear Milford Community:
It’s hard to believe we are about a month into our remote learning system. Again, I just want to express my heartfelt thanks to all the students, families, teachers, staff, and our administrative team for all the tremendous work that has been done to ensure that we continue to provide excellent educational services to students during this time. I want to say a special thanks to Bill Cooper and our Maintenance and Custodial staff for the exceptional job they have done in deep cleaning our buildings. Also, a tremendous shout out to our Food Service staff for continuing to prepare and serve thousands of meals each week to our families.
If you haven’t followed our District Facebook page, Instagram, or Twitter, please check us out on our handle @WeAreSau40. There are so many wonderful videos, clips, and information that celebrate many incredible moments throughout our learning community, despite this pandemic.
I’m writing with some important updates to share with you regarding the remainder of the School Year. As always, if you have any questions or need of support, please reach out to your child’s Teacher, Case Manager, or Principal. If you have any District level questions, don’t hesitate to contact the SAU.
19-20 School Year
Last night, the Milford School Board voted to continue remote learning through Spring Break, and for the remainder of the school year. This means students will not return to the school buildings, and will remain in remote learning until the end of the year. The Board also voted to end the 19-20 school year on Friday, May 29th for all students. This includes Seniors.
We understand that this has been a very difficult way for all of our students to end this school year. This holds true most especially for our Seniors who are missing many moments that are so anticipated, and we empathize. We will continue to brainstorm as a leadership team, creative ways to celebrate and provide opportunities for the Class of 2020 to end their High School years in the best possible way.
20-21 School Year
The Milford School Board approved the 20-21 School Year Calendar last evening. Please see the district website later this evening for the final calendar, which will be posted then. Staff will report Aug. 24th – 25th. The first day for students is Aug. 26th. The last day for students is June 11th.
Student Services Department
Last night, the Milford School Board voted to retitle the Director of Special Services to “Executive Director of Student Support Services.” The person will lead, operate, and manage all aspects of the Student Support Services department, including all schools and special programs. This position requires a systems-level/district leader to effectively integrate several student services and programs. The purpose of this re-titling and 2-year restructuring process is to more clearly define roles, responsibilities, and reporting structures of Student Services. It also formally defines 504, Out of District Placements, Counseling, SEL/Mental Health, Nursing, English Language Learners, and McKinney Vento Homeless as part of Student Support Services. This will also require the retitling of the Assistant Director of Special Services to “Assistant Director of Student Support Services”, and Director of Student Services at MHS to “Director of School Counseling.”
Grading and Reporting – Remainder of the 19-20 School Year
- Continued focus on the most essential knowledge and skills during this remote learning time.
- As required by law, assessment of student learning during this remote period will occur to gather evidence of progress with recognition that students have received varying levels of home support.
- Ongoing feedback to students and parents regarding progress made and areas for growth.
End-of-Year Report Cards - Elementary
- Teachers will provide parents with a narrative that will accompany the end-of-year report card. The narrative will share which concepts and skills were addressed through remote learning as well as individual student progress.
- Teachers will complete the 3rd trimester report card to the extent possible including focus areas during remote learning. Any areas that are not addressed, or unable to be assessed will be noted.
• Continued focus on the most essential knowledge and skills during this remote learning time.
• Assessment of student learning to gather evidence of progress made.
• Ongoing feedback to students and parents regarding progress made and areas for growth.
• Qtr. 3 – Recognizing the end of Q3 was a transitional period from classroom to remote learning, students will only be able to improve the grade they had from previous to the start of remote learning. Any missing assignments will be marked with an “M” in PowerSchool and ample opportunity will be allowed for student to complete, redo (if desired), and turn-in work.
• Qtr. 4 – Grading will take place as usual with grace and flexibility granted to students for assignment completion and opportunities to retake assignments without penalty for lateness.
- Any Q4 assignment not turned in will be marked “M” for missing in PS until an earned grade is entered.
- At the end of Q4, an “M” in PowerSchool will be calculated as a minimum score of 55%.
- Continued focus on the most essential knowledge and skills during this remote learning time.
- Assessment of student learning to gather evidence of progress made toward course expectations.
- Ongoing feedback to students regarding progress made and areas for growth.
- FINAL GRADES: Teachers have the utmost flexibility with the gradebook so that the final grade will be the most accurate portrayal of student’s learning for the semester/term, which will be reflected in one final grade on the student transcript.
- Grace and flexibility will be granted to students for assignment completion without penalty for lateness. Student will have opportunities for rewrites/retakes for earned grade.
- Any assignment not completed and turned in will be designated as “missing” in PS, which calculates as a zero in the gradebook until an earned grade is entered.
- A “Special Grade Consideration” process has been established to address equity and equal access.
- At the end of the term, a student/parent or teacher may submit a form requesting special grade consideration.
- The form will allow them to explain the special circumstances that led to the grade.
- This form will be submitted to the School Counseling Department.
- School counselor and/or teacher will present a recommendation to the Review Team.
- If the Review Team requires more information, a meeting with the student/parent will be requested.
- Possible outcomes may include a pass/fail grade, course marked incomplete with remediation, or remove the course from transcript.
A friendly reminder that local, state, and federal authorities continue to promote Social Distancing as a key means to flattening the curve and spread of the corona-virus. Please keep that in mind during your daily activities and those of your students.
We hope you and your families continue to be healthy, safe, and well. I know all of us at SAU 40 miss our students, and our colleagues. We look forward to resuming our regular school operation in August. In the meantime, we will continue to update you with the latest information we have.
Have a wonderful day,
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
April 2, 2020
Dear Milford Community:
It’s hard to believe we have been at remote learning for two and a half weeks now. I hope everyone continues to be safe, healthy, and finding bright moments during this disruption to our daily lives. Personally, I have enjoyed resurrecting my cooking skills, planning family dinners, and having time together that always seemed to take second place to something else. I have also seen first-hand with my own middle schooler the challenges, stressors, and difficulties this pandemic has created. I am in awe of all of our parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and our students for the amazing work they continue to do on a daily basis during this time.
Our remote learning roll-out has been a tremendous success thus far. Last Friday and Monday, we did our second deployment of our Elementary Blizzard Bags. Thank you to all the administrators, staff, and volunteers who made the process so seamless. Thank you to all of the parents who dropped off completed bags from the first week and a half of our remote learning model. A lot of good work and learning was accomplished during that time. I also want to thank all of our families district-wide for supporting your child's learning at home while juggling a million other things.
We have received hundreds of responses from our parent survey, and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Some highlights were: the majority of students and families seem to have found a working structure and schedule to their day, feedback on district, school, and staff communication was excellent, and the workload for the majority of students has been within the exact range we would expect. We will continue to work through the feedback we have received to improve our remote learning system. I am incredibly proud of our administrative team, our teachers, staff, students, families, and partners. It has been a true team effort. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their feedback and thoughts with us.
There are understandably questions regarding grading, graduation, placements, hiring, services, summer options, and what may lie ahead for the rest of the year. These are just a few examples amongst many other things that we are working through at this time. Our team appreciates the patience, understanding, and flexibility of everyone as we move through this journey together.
Here are some quick updates for you for this week:
Most of the kitchen staff continues to package approximately 1500 meals weekly for our drive-through pickup on Mondays. We have also been delivering food to families with the support of the SHARE program volunteers. The food service department continues to work through new applications for our food program, and processing them within a day.
We are doing all we can to help our families during these challenging times, and SHARE has been a tremendous partner in assisting us. SHARE is now taking grocery lists through their website. If someone needs food, they can go to www.sharenh.org. There is a pop-up on the home page and info on their “NEED HELP” page.
A reminder to all families, you can apply anytime online for Free/Reduced meals.
Please contact Maryann Gallagher for assistance:
603-673-4201 Ext. 3473
In order to provide more equity and access in regards to remote learning, we have opened district internet access - Wifi in the football field area. This is set to turn on at 8:00 am and off at 8:00 pm every day. Students or staff can park by the field, access Wifi, and complete their work.
Virtual Enrichment Offerings via the Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club is planning to offer to our community a variety of virtual enrichment offerings accessible through the club website www.svbgc.org and Facebook page (Boys & Girls Club of Souhegan Valley). The club has created an activities page where the staff post fun things and some challenges that the kids can do at any point in the day, and they can go on the page and share. We are also doing Zoom lunch chats with the children everyday by age group. If you are interested in any of these programs, or you would like more information, please contact Caitlin Hunter Ross, Director of Operations: Boys & Girls Club Souhegan Valley at firstname.lastname@example.org
All buildings (if they haven’t already) will be sending home updates to parents on our school-week. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Principals with any questions, and/or support needed for your student, family. We are here to help in any way we can. Again, I just want to give a huge shout out to our teachers and staff. There have been such wonderful things happening across the district such as virtual clubs, evening sing-a-longs, new practices, and videos. We certainly have a lot to celebrate as a community during this challenging time.
Thank you again for all of your support! Be well and stay safe.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
March 26, 2020
Good Afternoon Milford Community:
This afternoon at 3 pm, Governor Sununu held a press conference to provide a COVID-19 update to NH constituents. At that time, it was announced that Remote Learning will continue in New Hampshire until May 4th.
As I shared earlier this morning, we have already begun planning in anticipation of this decision. Please take a moment to share your feedback with us, as we continue to support this disruption to the normal school year.
We are so grateful for your support during this unprecedented time, and look forward to continuing to support our students, families, and staff.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
March 25, 2020 9:41 AM
Dear Milford Community:
I hope this email finds everyone happy, safe, and healthy as we continue navigating this “new” normal of remote learning. We are almost a week and a half into this transition, and I just want to echo all the tremendous feedback we’ve received on our roll-out. Our administrative team, teachers, and support staff have done exceptional work as we continue to maintain high quality teaching and learning to our students. As the Vice-President said the other day, “New Hampshire is setting the pace on remote learning,” and Milford is a leader in New Hampshire. We are incredibly proud of our community, and thank you for the continued support as we progress in this journey.
Please read this message closely, as it contains important information on next steps in our remote learning roll-out. As you know, the Department of Education and the Governor’s office has designated April 3rd as the date of the re-evaluation of our current status. However, the Commissioner has indicated that we should prepare for the possibility of remote learning being extended further. As a result, our leadership team has been working hard to prepare for that in the event the State of New Hampshire takes that course of action.
One major change if this is the case, is that we will be moving to a hybrid-online model for elementary students. This move to a hybrid model would take place April 13th. Elementary School Principals put out a technology survey last week. Please take a moment to complete that if you are a family in need of technology support.
Phase 2 of Remote Learning
Friday, March 27th will begin Phase 2 of our remote learning deployment.
Elementary Blizzard Bag deployments will follow the following schedules:
Friday, March 27th, 3pm - 7 pm
Monday, March 30th, 8am - 2:30 pm
Principals will provide specifics in their communications regarding the pick-up and drop off process. Secondary Staff have been provided schedules by their Principals for time to pick up any materials and resources needed for Phase 2.
Many of our staff have participated in Professional Development over these past two weeks on how to enhance online learning, and engage students through Google Classroom, Zoom, and other technology tools. We are so proud of our teachers and staff for the way they have tackled this challenge. They have done an outstanding job!
If you child is not feeling well, and will be absent from their remote learning for the day, please call the school and report your child absent. We are following our regular district procedures for absences.
On Friday, President Trump shared that his administration will waive the federal requirement for standardized testing for students in Kindergarten - 12th grade. However, we have not received word from the NH Department of Education as to what their stance on this is yet. As soon as we receive word, we will communicate that to our staff and parents.
As I mentioned in our update last week, we would like to gather some feedback from the community on our remote learning deployment and your experience with remote learning thus far. Please take a moment to complete this very short survey to share with us what has gone well for you, and what areas we can continue to improve upon through this process.
Milford Middle School and Milford High School will be sending out a student survey on their remote learning experience next week.
Special Education/Services Updates
Families of students who are identified by IDEA should be receiving weekly communication from their child’s special education teacher/case manager. Both case managers and related service providers will be providing instruction and support within our remote learning model. Our wellness team, which emcompasses school counselors, social workers, and Licensed Mental Health Counselors are developing strategies to help support families and children as we transition to this remote learning experience.
The Food Service team wishes to thank everyone in the Milford Community for their patience and understanding as we navigate this situation together. We appreciate the wonderful support our staff has received.
Please read the below information carefully, as we’ve made some important changes to our meal distribution process to ensure safe contact between staff and families.
Starting Monday March 30, 2020
Five Breakfasts / Five Lunches per child will be available for pick up on Monday between the hours of 8:00AM and 3:00PM.
Please remain in your car, someone will be there to greet you.
As a reminder, if your income has changed for any reason, please go on the MSD website and fill out an application for Free/Reduced meals. This takes only a few minutes to complete and submit. Our food service director will contact you once your application has been submitted. This can be done in a matter of an hour from start to finish.
If you have any other questions please contact:
Food Service Director
Milford School District
603 673-4201 Ext 3473
We also want to make families and caregivers aware of another service that is here to support you as we navigate this pandemic. The SHARE program is a wonderful partner and non-profit that can help with food and financial assistance for those who qualify. If this is something you would like more information about, please reach out to SHARE directly.
Monday - Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Generally first and third Wednesdays
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
(Please call ahead to make sure they are open.
Food Pantry and financial assistance are by appointment only).
Call the main office to schedule:
1 Columbus Avenue
Milford, NH 03055
Preparations for Next Year
In addition to making such a significant shift to remote learning, our leadership team has also begun preparations for next school year. Principals will share in their communications that they will be seeking parent input for student placement for Grades K-8 in the coming week or so.
Thank you for your continued support for the Milford School District. We are incredibly proud of our community, and all that has been accomplished in such a short period of time.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga – Superintendent
Mrs. Christi Michaud - Assistant Superintendent
March 24, 2020
March 20, 2020
Dear Milford Community:
I hope this update finds each one of you healthy and safe. These are certainly very different and challenging times, but I know we are going to get through it together. I have just a few updates for you and some thoughts as we move into week two of our remote learning plans.
First, I want to say that I have heard amazing stories from across the district from staff, from parents, from our administrators on the amazing job everyone is doing to ensure that we are continuing high quality educational services to our students. We have shared how important it is to put in place consistent routines at home. Our schools continue to support this with morning messages, and schedules. A great example is Jacques Memorial School who puts their morning message video each day for children and families. Mr. O’Connell has even had a read aloud for the children. Mr. DeMarco has continued his responsive advisory group via google hangouts. Our staff have created google hangouts to support each other in this learning process. It has been amazing to witness this transformation. I cannot say enough about our Leadership Team, and our entire staff. Thank You to everyone.
We continue to hear reports that there is the possibility we will continue with remote learning beyond April 3rd. As a result, we will need to make some adjustments to ensure both teachers, and students have the access and support to continue to engage in excellent teaching and learning. Parents and Staff will be receiving updates from their schools in the next couple of days with important information as we move into the next phase of this process.
Milford School District Remote Technology Update
Attached to this message you will find our Acceptable Use Policy form for the district, as well as our District Policy 2295 which refers to Acceptable Use for Computer, Network, and Internet use. Please review these expectations, and discuss them with your children as we continue developing our online model.
The initial rollout of chromebooks and Google Classroom has gone very well. In the event the time spent remote learning gets extended, we will be making the following changes to help enhance student engagement.
On March 30th, the IT department will enable email for all students, including elementary grades. This will allow easier remote communications as well as streamline more of the Google Classroom features. Elementary and middle school students will only be able to send or receive email from within the school district. We will provide student email addresses and passwords to parents for any newly created accounts. Once the new accounts are created, we will be implementing a blended learning model, which includes both technology and printed material, for the elementary grades. We have already begun to offer training to elementary teachers in google classroom, and will continue to prepare for this blended model in the coming week.
We will also expand the use of our Google Classroom environment to include the use of video. This will allow students and teachers to see each other using webcams. The webcams will be enabled on Monday, March 23. It is important to understand that the state has a strict two-party recording law that prohibits teachers, students or parents to record these lessons without consent. “In New Hampshire, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record communications, whether they're wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of everyone taking part in the conversation.”
To provide users with the best and most reliable experience, we recommend teachers and students primarily use Google Hangouts, Chat or Meet, to communicate. However, we have heard there has been great success with Zoom, and will continue to monitor that further as a good tool to develop our virtual learning model.
Special Education/Special Services
Over the last few days the members of our special education/special services team have been working diligently to connect with students and families across the district. Students have demonstrated their willingness and excitement in connecting with staff through remote learning. We continue to see the relationships between our staff and our students being stronger than ever. It is great to see students able to access the curriculum utilizing previously taught strategies and assistive technology.
In the next few days the special services administration will be formulating a process for initial and re-evaluations in order to maintain state and federal guidelines. For those parents who have students in the evaluation process, please be looking for correspondence from your child’s case manager and/or district coordinator. Guidance around delivery of special education services continues to be fluid from the State. We will update case managers, related service providers, and families as more information comes to us.
As of yesterday, we served over 400 meals to families across our community, and packaged at least 1000 meals. I want to thank our Food Service department, and our volunteers that have made this possible. If you are in need of support, please reach out. We want to be able to support you.
Please contact Maryanne Gallagher at: 603 673-4201 or Maryanne.gallagher@
Our Food Service Schedule this coming week will be as follows:
Two (2) Days’ worth of meals will be distributed in the same manner as previously explained.
Three (3) Days’ worth of meals will be distributed in the same manner as explained above
This will be the schedule going forward each week until further notice. In order to keep everyone safe we do ask that you stay in your car.
Virtual Enrichment Offerings via the Boys and Girls Club
We continue to encourage families to engage in enrichment activities as part of the daily academic routine. The Boys and Girls Club is planning to offer to our community a variety of virtual enrichment offerings accessible through their website. Some of these fun experiences may include a virtual STEM program, dance, theatre, art programming, online gaming, and much more. We are excited to partner with them to be able to provide such a rich array of offerings to round out our student’s day. If you are interested in any of these programs, visit the Boy’s and Girl’s Club website http://www.svbgc.org. If you would like more information, please contact Caitlin Hunter Ross, Director of Operations: Boys & Girls Club Souhegan Valley at email@example.com 603-672-1002 x16
Building and Grounds
Our building and grounds team has worked incredibly hard to deep clean and sanitize all of our buildings. By the end of next week, we are on target to complete that task. I want to send a huge thank you to Mr. Bill Cooper, and our entire B&G team for their incredible work.
In conclusion, we are grateful to everyone in the Milford community for their tremendous understanding, patience, and flexibility as we are moving through this complete shift in our educational model. We have much to celebrate, and much to continue to learn and improve upon. Here are some thoughts from our leadership team on what they have experienced, and witnessed on this journey from our students and staff.
"The resilience and perseverance of both staff and students through this new educational world has been monumental. The pride I feel in our community of learners is endless." Beth Gibney, Curriculum Coordinator - MMS
“Staff has come together as never before. All working together for the benefit of our students and families. Teachers, Paraprofessionals and Administration working collaboratively in a completely new and non traditional manner. We are all learning new things and thinking differently for our students. It has been awesome to watch.” Tony Demarco, Principal - MMS
“Whenever there is a task at hand, Heron Pond comes together and gets it done. Our staff took a deep breath, rolled up their sleeves, and dove right in. The teamwork witnessed this past week was beyond extraordinary. It was "all hands on deck" no matter the task, role, or person. It was truly an awesome sight to behold.” - Meg Peterson, Curriculum Coordinator - HP
“As the parents were picking up their Blizzard Bags at Jacques Memorial, the look on their faces were of relief. The parents and staff of Jacques Memorial truly came together to get the job done!” - Tim O’Connell, Principal - JMS
“This has been such a new learning for me. I hate not being with kids but they are doing a fantastic job so far and I have to say that our Project Drive team is the best!!” - Beth SanMartino, Teacher - DRIVE and MMS
“Project Drive staff has stepped up and, like the rest of the teachers in the district, has gone above and beyond. They are reaching out to students and ensuring that connections are made on a regular basis. They are trying new and innovative techniques to engage and instruct the students and their creativity is outstanding. The students are engaging with staff and having fun with this new process while admitting they miss their teachers, but asking staff to not pass that along. Smiles” - Hillary Laquerre, Secondary Special Education Coordinator.
“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play” ~H.E. Luccock..."We can hear the Milford orchestra loud and clear! Well done Milford!!!" - Leslie Brigagliano, Curriculum Coordinator – JMS
"At Milford High, the level of teacher and staff camaraderie and collaboration was outstanding. Teachers came together to share ideas, electronic materials, and their computer expertise. In a short period of time teachers and related services got their google classrooms ready to go. The administrators and their support staff kicked into high gear, setting up the cafeteria with the textbooks, supplies, and chromebooks students needed to do their work. While we will continue daily to work out the details of running a high school in remote learning mode, I am thrilled at the "can-do" spirit shown by all. I would be remiss if I didn't lend a special shout-out to the custodial department and food service department. They have worked tirelessly to meet the needs of the building and the students. " - Chali Davis, Principal - MHS
“The Kitchen Staff stepped-up to make sure all of our students that may be “food compromised” are being fed. I could not be prouder of each and every one of them. So far, the Staff has packaged over 1,000 meals and will continue to produce this amount weekly. Our families have been so appreciative of all that is being done.” - Maryanne Gallagher, Food Service Director
Quotes seen around Milford:
"I have to admit that when I heard my elementary student was getting a "blizzard bag" I rolled my eyes. After taking the time to review the material she came home with I am incredibly impressed. Very thorough and grade level appropriate. I also appreciate the remote learning for my middle schooler. What I appreciate the most is the personalized communications that included, "I miss your smiling face." We are living in extraordinary times and I am grateful that Milford has extraordinary educators." - A Parent
By the end of next week, we will be sending out a short remote learning survey to Parents, Staff, and Students to determine what is working, what is not working, and what we need to improve upon to continue high quality delivery of curriculum, and instruction across the district. If you find yourself in need of wrap-around or counseling services, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s counselor, school-social workers, and/or Principals. We are here to assist you in any way we can. If we do not have the answers, we will assist you in finding them. As more information comes to us from the State level, we will communicate those to you. Please stay tuned.
Thank you for your continued support for the Milford School District.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
March 18, 2020
March 17, 2020
Dear Milford Community:
This message is meant to provide updates and helpful tips as we move towards our roll-out of remote learning tomorrow. By this time, you should have received messages from your child(ren’s) schools with important information regarding this transition. Schedules for deployment were sent out to families last night, and will take place this evening and tomorrow. We will continue to share updates as we have them.
After visiting all schools across the district, we can't tell you how impressed we have been with the TEAMWORK, collaboration, innovation, preparation, and thought by our staff to prepare for this. Everyone has rallied to ensure that we are able to continue high quality services and support to our students and families. Yesterday and today have been excellent days of preparation. All district staff have been provided with expectations for schedules, and communication with families throughout the duration of this disruption.
Our expectations have been exceeded with the planning, new learning, and readiness of our district to launch to remote classrooms tomorrow. We are well ahead of many districts, and it truly is due to the leadership and dedication of our staff. Everyone, at every level of our organization has been absolutely extraordinary. A HUGE thank you goes out to ALL of our staff in the Milford School District for their tremendous efforts as well as to several parent and community volunteers who have provided support as well.
Remote Learning Launch begins Wednesday, March 18th!!
Blizzard Bags, technology, textbooks, and supplies will be distributed across the district tonight, while many online classrooms have already been launched by our secondary teachers. We have one small shift in our schedule tomorrow as we will be closing access to our school buildings to all but essential staff. Office hours remain the same for buildings at this time: 8 am - 3 pm. Remote learning will remain on schedule.
Access to Counselors
Please do not hesitate to contact your student's school counselor if you become concerned about any emotional issues your child may be exhibiting, or any challenges they are having with remote learning.
High School Counselors:
A - E - Kiersta Stallman - kiersta.stallman@milfordk12.
F - L - Liz Kulikowski - liz.kulikowski@milfordk12.
M - Ss - Melissa Minery (Long-term sub for Jenn Duval)- melissa.minery@
St - Z - Paul Christensen - paul.christensen@milfordk12.
High School Social Worker - Heather Fortin - heather.fortin@milfordk12.
Guidance: Wendy Vaupel – firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidance: Emily MacDonald – emily.macdonald@milfordk12.
Social Worker: Erin Richardson – erin.richardson@milfordk12.
Guidance: Sherry Houle – email@example.com
Guidance: Christine Garner – Christine.garner@milfordk12.
Social Worker: Stephanie Bielik – Stephanie.bielik@milfordk12.
Guidance: Sue Burns – firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Worker: Tracy Holland – email@example.com
Licensed Mental Health Counselor: Lisa Girouard-lisa.girouard@
Due to the limited access of staff to our buildings, we will no longer be inviting students to receive their related services at our school sites, as was previously planned. We will continue to provide remote learning opportunities, and instructional supports for those students. Our special education teachers and related service providers will be in regular contact with you and your child. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to those staff members, or the Director of Special Education, Mr. Mike Hatfield at mike.hatfield@milfordk12.
If your student experiences technical challenges with their online learning during this time, please contact your child’s teacher. We have set up a help-desk for the staff to ensure they have access to online support throughout this remote learning process. Our technology team is prepared and ready to ensure their success.
Virtual Enrichment Offerings via the Boys and Girls Club
The Boys and Girls Club is planning to offer to our community a variety of virtual enrichment offerings accessible through their website. Some of these fun experiences may include a virtual STEM program, dance, theatre, art programming, online gaming, and much more. We are excited to partner with them to be able to provide such a rich array of offerings to round out our student’s day. If you are interested in any of these programs, visit the Boy’s and Girl’s Club website http://www.svbgc.org. If you would like more information, please contact Caitlin Hunter Ross, Director of Operations: Boys & Girls Club Souhegan Valley at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are continuing to work on our plan for food services for our families. More information will be forthcoming. If you haven’t taken our food service survey, please visit our website @ www.milfordk12.org to do so, and let us know how we can best support you during this time. For more information or to share your needs with us, please contact Maryanne Gallagher @ Maryanne.Gallagher@
Tips for Parents
Several of you have found yourselves in a position of working from home, caring for children, and even possibly other adults throughout an entire day; all while trying to support your child through new remote learning experiences. We understand that while this may be an opportunity for families to spend enjoyable time together, there may also be frustration and challenges ahead. Please consider a few tips below that may assist during this period of time.
- Create a daily schedule - a predictable daily schedule may provide all family members with a sense of routine and comfort. Our staff have worked to help provide you with support and sample schedules.
- Plan breaks - physical and brain breaks are an important aspect of staying healthy and self-regulated, especially during uncertain times.
- Engage in fun family activities such as family walks and movies, cooking, arts & crafts.
Talking to Your Child about COVID-19
Social media, TV and radio news coverage, overhearing adult conversations, as well as disruptions in regular routines can heighten anxiety, cause confusion, and stress for children and adults. It’s important to sit down with your children and help to address feelings of discomfort during this time and in the days ahead. Discussions including ways that germs are spread, proper handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and use of hand sanitizer are helpful. Be a good role model, invite questions, and provide lots of encouragement to your child. There are several excellent resources available to assist parents and guardians with discussions. Please see the Blackboard message attachment and the resource links below.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate these new waters together. Even for us, there are many questions that remain unanswered, however, the more we learn through this process, the better we become. If there are any concerns that you may have that have not been addressed, please reach out directly to the appropriate staff member. Thank You for your support during these unique times.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga, Superintendent
Christi Michaud, Assistant Superintendent
March 15, 2020 - 7:22 PM
Dear Milford Community:
This message is to communicate the plan to move to remote learning in the Milford School District. As ordered by Governor Sununu this afternoon, students will not return to school, and remote learning will be launched from March 16th until April 3rd. As stated by Commissioner Edelblut today, this will be re-evaluated by April 3rd. We ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility as we navigate this uncharted situation as a community.
This past Thursday, the State Board of Education passed an emergency rule giving schools greater flexibility to move to remote instruction. This emergency rule outlines the expectation for remote learning, which can take place in a variety of forms, from online to traditional paper/pencil activities. According to this emergency rule, “A school district may conduct instruction remotely. The district shall create a plan that shall include procedures for participation by all students. Academic work shall be equivalent in effort and rigor to typical classroom work. There shall be an assessment of all student work for the day.”
Starting Monday, March 16th through April 3rd, we will be moving to a standard school day for all staff. Those hours will be 8:00am - 2:30pm. On March 16th and March 17th staff will be involved in preparation and training for remote instruction deployment.
By tomorrow night, March 16th, families will receive an informational email from their child’s Principal. This email will communicate specific details about remote learning plans/expectations, the deployment of Blizzard Bags, and/or information about online learning for Middle and High School students. Students will also receive a schedule to retrieve necessary materials from the school buildings.
**Only the parent or listed emergency contact will be able to pick up their child’s Blizzard Bag at the time of deployment.
**Medication pick up for parents - Parents should contact the school nurse to arrange a time Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday to pick up their child’s medication.
Wednesday, March 18th will be the first official day of remote learning for all students in the Milford School District. This first day of remote learning will be “supported.” Staff will deploy remotely from the schools to ensure they have the technology and administrative support on our first day of online/remote learning. District staff will be available to support teachers in supporting students to successfully access their remote learning plans. Parents are encouraged to follow daily routines with their students. Sample daily schedules will be provided to assist with this.
Starting on Wednesday, March 18th, parents and students can expect staff to be available via email/online during those hours to support their respective remote learning plans. SAU and school building office hours will be from 8:00am - 3:00pm.
Technology Support and Chromebook Distribution
The Milford School District Technology department will be distributing loaner Chromebooks to pre-approved families for students in need to participate in digital distance learning.
The Chromebooks will be available for pickup at the Middle School and High School buildings during the times designated for the pickup of materials necessary during this time (hard copies of lessons, textbooks,etc.). A responsible parent or guardian will be required to sign a release form.
The Technology department will be available for ongoing technical support during regular school hours.
The devices are only available for use during the current crisis and must be returned in good condition when schools return to normal operation.
Technology Resources for Parents
Parent’s guide to Google classroom:
Google Classroom Tutorial for Students and Parents:
Special Education and Related Services: Special Education teachers, Related Service Providers, and School Counselors will assist teachers in reviewing remote learning plans, planning and preparing for appropriate accommodations and/or modifications per student IEPs and 504s, and planning for students who will require support or assistance while learning remotely (ie: daily check-ins, etc).
Special education service delivery will be considered under the following options:
- Can the 504’ accommodations, IEP service or Specially Designed Instruction be delivered remotely?
- If we cannot deliver services remotely, we will bring those students into the building and deliver those services in small group or individual sessions.
- If the risk is too high, then we will consider compensatory services, and or look to ESY options.
We understand that food services may be of concern to families during this time. We are currently developing communications to families that outline the sign-up process, offerings, distribution plans/options that will continue our federally funded school lunch program. If you would like to take part in this, or would like more information please contact Maryanne Gallagher @ Maryanne.Gallagher@
Access to Buildings
As a leadership team, we have broken down closures/staff expectations into four levels depending on the circumstances. Monday- Wednesday of this week we will be at a level one. From Thursday, March 19th through April 3rd, we will be operating at Level Two.
- NORMAL: Regular School Day Schedules
- LEVEL ONE - School Closed for Students Only - March 16th - March 18th.
- LEVEL TWO: Essential Staff Only - March 19th - April 3rd (**this could be subject to change depending on guidance from local and state officials).
- LEVEL THREE: Buildings Empty with Exception of Buildings and Grounds.
- LEVEL FOUR: Buildings empty (outside cleaning services are enlisted).
Beginning Monday, March 23rd, all buildings with exception of the High School and JMS will be closed to non-essential staff, with exception of those days that buildings will be opened to replenish remote learning options (these dates will be communicated to parents and staff by the Building Principals). Milford High School will be utilized as the central hub of the district for Food Distribution. Special Education related services will be provided at either Jacques Memorial or Milford High School. Families whose students can be provided related services onsite, will be contacted by their child’s case managers.
We understand there are many questions that remain unanswered, however, more detailed communication will be coming from your building principals over the next 24 hours. If there are any concerns you may have that are not addressed by your building principal, please reach out directly to them. We want to thank you for your support during these unique times.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
March 15, 2020 - 12:35 PM
March 12, 2020
- We have restricted access to our schools by outside organizations, and limited large group gatherings (over 75 people) involving the public in our schools until further notice. We will address future after-school activities, athletics, field trips, and events on a case-by-case basis as they draw near. We are continuing with regular NHIAA, and school-sponsored athletic events for our students at this time.
- Maintenance and custodial staff have been trained in effective cleaning procedures and are implementing those within all of our school buildings daily.
- If you are a student or a parent of a student with a specific concern about COVID-19, please contact your principal or school nurse to discuss your concerns.
Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and support as we navigate this situation together.
March 6, 2020
Mar 6, 2020, 2:23 PM
Dear Milford Community:
I’m writing to give you a brief update on the Corona-Virus. The CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/
The State Department of Education has also asked us for an inventory of all field trips out of state, and out of the country. We are in the process of compiling that list now. There may be the need to cancel upcoming trips depending on recommendations from both state and federal authorities. Please know we will continue to keep you updated as more information comes to us. Additionally, in the spirit of being proactive, we will be sending out a secondary staff survey to assess our ability to conduct online learning in the event we were to have to cancel school. The probability of this is very small, however, the information regardless will be helpful to assess our capacity and bandwidth in regards to online learning.
District-Wide we are working to keep our schools as clean as possible. Our custodial staff has been directed to disinfect all surfaces each day, especially desks, doorknobs, handrails, and other high traffic areas. We have also provided disinfecting wipes to the classrooms. We again remind everyone to follow the recommended hygiene practices as outlined by the CDC and the New Hampshire Department of Health.
We thank the entire community for its flexibility and continued attention to this situation. Be assured that we will continue to update you with any changes. Thank you again for your support and cooperation.
Dr. Jessica Huizenga
March 1, 2020
Mar 1, 2020, 6:10 PM
Dear Milford Community:
Welcome back from February vacation! I hope it was a time to rest, and to have some fun time with family and friends.
As you know, there has been increasing concern globally regarding the recent outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or COVID-19. While there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hampshire, we are going to be proactive in taking appropriate steps to prepare ourselves in the event of an issue.
Tomorrow morning, Mr. Cooper and myself will be meeting with Town Officials to coordinate a collaborative plan in the event the virus impacts our community.
As of today, in the US, there are only slightly over 70 cases confirmed. At the same time, the risk for the influenza virus is very high. It is important to note that residents are much more likely to become sick with a cold or the flu than to be exposed to COVID-19. Some have asked, “What are common symptoms of COVID-19 and how is it prevented or treated?”
According to our latest COVID-19 update from the State Department of Education, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms typically include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent infection with this virus, and there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended once infected. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
As with seasonal flu and strep infections, there are general precautions we can all take to remain as healthy as possible.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. You can also cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid sharing drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, dishes, towels, water bottles, or other items. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water after use.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick whenever possible.
- Stay home from school and work until the sick individual has been fever free for at least 24 hours off any fever reducing medication, or signs of a fever (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance), respiratory symptoms are improving, and they are feeling better.
- Practice other good health habits: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces within your home.
It is important to keep children home from school when they are ill. If your child has any of the following symptoms please keep them home from school: temperature greater than 100.4, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, any rash not yet diagnosed by a physician, red or pink itchy eye, and/or drainage from eye, and any contagious illness such as strep throat or flu. Please report your child’s absence to the school office.
We want to let you know that we are following our regular protocols for respiratory illnesses and we are working closely with town and state officials. The Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) has provided guidance for school districts that we are following carefully.
In addition, you can expect the following actions from our school system in the short-term:
- We will be instructing our school nurses to remain vigilant at sending students home who present with respiratory issues or a fever;
- We will be focusing our custodial efforts on cleaning commonly used surfaces (such as desks, door handles, etc.) on a daily basis;
- We are in constant coordination with local, State, and Federal agencies, as needed; and,
- We will continue communication with you about any local developments or changes to our protocols.
For the most up to date information about this situation, you can visit the Center for Disease Control’s website at:
The World Health Organization’s website at:
The NH DHHS website at https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/
While this is a public health concern, the CDC continues to report that the immediate risk to the general public remains low at this time. Yet, in today’s connected world, the potential for infectious disease is always of concern.
The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is an evolving situation that we are following closely and will continue to update you as information is shared with us. Please rest assured that we are monitoring student health concerns.
According to the health department, people who have returned from mainland China are being monitored by public health authorities and must stay home for 14 days after their travel. People who have returned from other locations with travel notices for COVID-19 may continue to attend work and school. Travelers that develop symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, or shortness of breath), should:
- Take their temperature with a thermometer.
- Stay home and avoid close contact with other people.
- Seek health advice by phone from either a healthcare provider or the NH Division of Public Health Services at 603-271-4496 (after-hours: 603-271-5300).
- Before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell the provider or office about recent travel and symptoms.
- Practice strict respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene including covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- If available, wear a surgical mask when traveling outside of the home (e.g. to a doctor’s office)
Two resources that may be helpful in talking to children about COVID-19 are listed below:
We remain deeply committed to student and staff wellness. We will continue to monitor the situation, and prepare with state and local officials. Additionally, we will share new information with you as it comes to us. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse, building principal, or myself at: email@example.com
Dr. Jessica Huizenga - Superintendent of Schools