Hi Drury Students!
I hope you are enjoying your summer. We have a couple of weeks before we are all back together, and I wanted to answer some questions and share some notes as we head into the school year:
Schedules: 2021-2022 schedules for all students will be visible in the PowerSchool parent portal and student portal by Wednesday, 8/25/21. Students in specialized programs may not yet have a finalized schedule, but all other schedules should be complete. If a student has a blank schedule or there is an error (a duplicate course, for example), contact head guidance counselor Kathy Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will distribute paper schedules to students on the first day of school.
Courses This Year: Ms. Kopala, Ms. Morgan, and I hand-scheduled every student based on their course requests, their grades and credits, and available sections. Students in grades 7 and 8 were scheduled in cohorts (they will be with the same group of students each day, with the same core classes, the same Health/PE course and the same enrichment course). Students in the 7-8 cohorts will move from classroom to classroom together this year (unlike last year where they stayed in one room all day). Students in grades 7-12 may not have been able to get into courses they requested, but we did the best we could, prioritizing student requests and balancing the requests with the graduation requirements of the student. We also tried to keep class sizes at 22 students or less whenever possible, and most courses close after 24 students maximum due to classroom size restrictions.
Bell Schedule: The Drury bell schedule is visible on the Drury website. We will continue with our 4x4 block schedule with four 89 minute periods per day plus a 30 minute lunch. The Drury doors open at 7:30am, and students will immediately report to their Period 1 class (which will also serve as their "Homeroom" -- and the "HR" or "Homeroom" will show up on the student schedule as well).
In-Person Learning: The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requires us to provide in-person learning 5 days per week for all students this year. There is no option for remote learning except in specific cases where a student is hospitalized or declared "home-bound" due to illness by a physician. The department of education has specific paperwork for the physician to fill out in such cases. If a student temporarily misses school due to illness or other documented absence, the student will be able to make up any missing work as normal. It is possible that there may be situations where a grade level or school "goes remote" temporarily, if directed to do so by the state, but that is something the department of education is trying to avoid this year.
Face Coverings: The school committee voted on 8/16/21 to require masks for all students in staff in all North Adams Public Schools. The text of the face covering policy is posted on the district website. Visitors will not be allowed into the Drury building without a mask, and students and staff must wear masks when they are inside the building. Students are also required to wear masks on the school bus and should arrive at school already masked each day.
First Days of School/Orientation: The first day of school for grade 7-8 students is Tuesday, September 7th, and the first day of school for grade 9-12 students is Wednesday, September 8th. Student ambassadors will provide orientation sessions for the grade 7-8 students on September 7th and the teachers and support staff will work with the students to acclimate them to the building and to the expectations for the school year. Students in grades 9-12 who are new to Drury will be invited to a special orientation session by the guidance department and student ambassador team also scheduled for September 7th.
School Supplies/Materials: Other than expecting students come to class each day with a writing utensil, we do not require families to purchase any specific school supplies for Drury students. If you would like to purchase notebooks, folders, and/or a planner for your students, you may certainly do so, but we will provide any required materials or supplies in our classes. Most of our curriculum and resources are available online and we will be using the Canvas platform for links to materials and assignment submission. We are currently working with the district technology department to ensure each student has access to a laptop/chromebook while they are in school each day. We do not yet know if students will be allowed to bring in personal computing devices from home, but I will let you know as soon as we determine our 2021-2022 procedures regarding personal devices.
Other Questions: If you have any questions about Drury or the start of the school year not already answered above, please fill out this question form and I will include my responses in a Frequently Asked Questions document prior to the start of the school year.
See you all in about 18 or 19 days!
Timothy Callahan, Ed.D.
Drury High School