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Vaccines, Engagement, Commissioner Accolades, High Schoolers Excelling

Dear parents, guardians, and members of the Newmarket community,

It has been quite a busy week filled with hope and optimism; vaccines, students engaged, accolades from the Commissioner, and high schoolers in the playoffs or finals. Life is Good!  

Vaccines. Both the President and the Governor announced school personnel will receive vaccinations before the end of the month. This will significantly reduce the likelihood we will need to pivot to a remote model of instruction for the remainder of the year. We have not received any information about the vaccination plan from the state, but we were told that they would provide us more specific information soon. We look forward to learning about the process and timelines for vaccinating our staff from our regional COVID 19 Incident Commander.

Impressive Work! I was able to observe several classes at the elementary school this week and was so impressed with the quality of remote instruction being delivered. Students had their notebooks filled with well-organized resources, graphic organizers, and materials and were attentively engaging with the teachers and support staff while viewing the remote version of a classroom white board. Though remote learning is not our preferred method of teaching and learning, our online instruction has evolved in a remarkable way in one year’s time. Quality learning requires thoughtful planning, preparation, and skilled staff. Remote learning requires even more preparation and parent support to do well. Thank you for being so supportive, flexible, and understanding; your children and our staff appreciate it!  

Emergency Order #85. The Friday before February break, the Governor issued a new Emergency Order (#85) that is scheduled to go into effect on March 8th. The new order directs schools to offer parents a choice between remote learning and in person learning at least two days per week.  It also states that Districts must seek a waiver from the Commissioner of Education if they need to shift all students to a remote model of instruction for more than two days. Many have wondered how this will impact us, if at all. After reviewing our plan and the order with the Commissioner, he felt confident that our plan and the work we are doing exceeds the requirements of this order. He was very complementary stating that we are “knocking it out of the park”. He also issued us a waiver to remain remote next week given the staffing shortages we are experiencing. We still anticipate that all in person learners will return to school on Monday, March 15, 2021. 

High schoolers excelling! More great news! Our basketball teams have started the playoff portion of the season.  Our girls had a great 54-29 win over a strong Portsmouth Christian team in the first round.  They played Epping last night and came away with a 34-27 victory and will play a quarterfinal game on Sunday at 5:00 in Farmington. Farmington will Live Steam the event using this link. The boys strong defense led to an impressive victory over Epping (40-24) in their first game.  They now advance to the quarterfinal round against Portsmouth Christian on Saturday at 5:00 PM.  The game will be Live streamed on the Newmarket Athletics Facebook page.  Connect through the Event that has been created for the game.

Last but not least, sophomore, Lilla Bozek, has moved on to the state Poetry Out Loud Competition finals. The competition will take place next Friday, March 12th.

Join me in congratulating and cheering on Lilla and our basketball teams as they compete in these upcoming events.

Have a wonderful weekend and please remember to cast your vote on Tuesday, March 9th between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM at the Town Hall Auditorium. 

Susan K. Givens, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools


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