The MSB Weekly Parent News June 17, 2021


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Message from the Superintendent

We officially wrap up the end of the 2020-21 school year this week on Friday, June 18.  After another very challenging school year, I think it goes without saying that we are all ready for summer break!  We made it, and summer is finally here!

We hope you were able to join us for the commencement ceremony for our Class of 2021 on Monday. We were so pleased to be able to host a live and in-person graduation for our 15 graduates and their families. It was a very special evening.  If you missed our live broadcast, you can view the recording here MSB Class of 2021 Graduation

Congratulations again to the Class of 2021 and thank you to the senior class advisors,  committee and volunteer staff who assisted with the planning of the program and the ceremony.  

Tonight we will celebrate our Pre-K and Kindergarten students in a virtual Early Learning Closing Ceremony.   If you want to join in the Zoom meeting:

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94966911858?pwd=RWU1ZXZJY2pGMTlZakg4L3hJNCtPUT09

Meeting ID: 949 6691 1858  Passcode: MSB

On Saturday we celebrate Juneteenth. 156 years ago on June 19, the announcement of the end of the Civil War & slavery reached Galveston, TX. Since then, this day represents freedom for African-Americans. The end of slavery is often recognized as when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1863; however, Juneteenth recognizes when the last slaves were actually told about the president’s order.

In 1979 Texas became the first state to officially establish Juneteenth as an official holiday. 

Governor Hogan announced today that Maryland will recognize Juneteenth as a legal holiday this year. On June 15, 2021, the Senate unanimously passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday; it subsequently passed through the House of Representatives by a 415–14 vote on June 16.  President Biden is set to sign the bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday.  

Juneteenth National Independence Day will become the 12th legal public holiday, and the first new one since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was signed into law in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan.

This is the last newsletter until we return in August for another school year.  Enjoy your summer!!!  

NEWS FROM THE HIVE

Fall 2021 Announcement 

This school year has been a challenging one for students, staff and families. After more than a year of virtual followed by hybrid classes, we have learned that our community is strong and resilient. 

Through ESY, July 6 – July 30, 2021, MSB will move fully into Tier 4, with ESY students attending each week of the program, 5 days per week.  We will continue to offer a virtual option for our students for the duration of ESY. 

Over the past few months, the instances of infection and transmission have dropped dramatically and MSB, like many schools, has had no on-campus transmission of the virus. With all this in mind, beginning with the start of a new school year, MSB plans to enter Tier 5, with return to regular, 5-day a week on-campus instruction for all students with no option for hybrid instruction. We will continue to follow all necessary safety and mitigation strategies in order to keep our entire community safe and healthy. 

If you have questions, please contact Joshua Irzyk at 410-444-5000 ext. 1410 or joshuai@mdschblind.org.

Mask Mandate

Gov. Larry Hogan announced lifting most statewide restrictions and orders related to the pandemic. The state’s mask order — which requires face coverings indoors at schools, day care centers, medical settings and on mass transit — will expire on July 1.

Hogan said local businesses can set their own rules on mask wearing.

However, MSB has not made any decision on whether we will lift our own mitigation measures at this time. With the risk presented to some of our medically compromised students and their families, we will need the guidance from our medical advisors before making any changes to our current plan since there are still a significant number of staff and students who have not received the vaccine. 

Please stay tuned to MSB’s updates as we will announce changes to our procedures well in advance.

2021-2022 Registration Materials 

Registration materials for the 2021-2022 school year will be mailed home soon. Please be on the lookout for the packets and return the required documents as soon as you are able. 

The forms can also be accessed on the MSB website by following this link https://www.marylandschoolfortheblind.org/my-msb/registration-and-school-forms/

If you have any questions, please contact the school.

RESOURCES

Compensatory Education/Recovery Services

As schools and communities are just beginning to return to more normal operations, The Maryland School for the Blind is committed to mitigating the negative impacts of students not having access to in-person instruction for an extended period of time. In addition to in-class strategies to get all of our students back to school routines, MSB staff are also analyzing the data of all students to determine the extent of the impact.

Student-centered teams of teachers, related service providers and residential staff are looking at student learning over the time of the pandemic. The data analysis is starting with where a student was at the time of campus closure*. We are looking at all progress made over this time and considering where progress was not made as expected and any areas a student may have regressed.

We are in the process of assessing all students, those on campus and those attending virtually, to determine the impact, if any, that the time away from the classroom and related services has had. All assessment and data analysis currently being conducted will be completed by early June. Information will be shared with families during the summer and fall months. If you have any questions before that time, please contact your child’s principal or Joshua Irzyk, Director of Education at joshuai@mdschblind.org or 410-444-5000 ext. 1410. 

NEW: EMERGENCY BROADBAND BENEFIT

The FCC recently announced that eligible households will be able to apply for the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
 
In announcing the official launch date, Acting Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, stated, “Families in every corner of the country have been struggling to get online throughout this pandemic. For those families, we now say help is around the corner. In less than two weeks, we will have a new way for disconnected Americans to access the internet to carry out their day-to-day life, so they can reach the virtual classroom, take advantage of telehealth, and seek new employment opportunities.” 
 
The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands.
 
Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. Learn more about the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
 
Beginning on May 12, 2021, households can apply in three ways: Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it, along with proof of eligibility to
Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Important Dates

June 17 – Early Learning Closing Ceremony (Virtual) – 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/94966911858?pwd=RWU1ZXZJY2pGMTlZakg4L3hJNCtPUT09

Meeting ID: 949 6691 1858  Passcode: MSB

June 18 – Last Day of Classes – Happy Summer!

SUMMER PROGRAMS

MSB Camp Abilities will be held on the MSB campus from June 21 – 25.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, camp will be limited to 15 students from ages 12-17.  Camp is FULL.

MISLE (Mastering Independence Skills Through Living Experiences) will be held on the campus of MSB from July 6 – 30.  This program is a work-based residential (M-F) program for students ages 16-21.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the program is limited to 7 students. To apply go to 2021 MISLE Registration 

TRECCK FOR SUCCESSStill has openings!!

In Person Program (no cost): Parents must provide transportation to and from MSB. Courses will include coding, physical education, ECC instruction, social skills and more. This is a four week program for students in 1st-12th grades and will be held daily from 9 am – 3 pm.  10 students max will be accepted 

July 6-9:  Elementary- beginner coding skills 

July 12-16: Middle/high School – intermediate/advanced coding skills 

July 19-23: Middle/High School – Expanded Core Curriculum Skills 

July 16-30: MIddle/High School – Advanced coding skills 

For more information and registration, click on this link: https://forms.gle/1zztJChGMmgXMatV8

TRECCK for Success Virtual Programs (no cost):

Astronomy and Space

Middle school and High School: July 6, 13, 20, 27

Elementary: July 8, 15, 22 and 29

Lego Braille Bricks Fun (English and Spanish) Course time: 11 am Tuesdays in English: July 6, 13, 20, and 27 Wednesdays in Spanish: July 7, 14, 21, and 28

Journalism for Blind and Low Vision Students For middle and high school students July 7 & 9, July 14 & 16, July 21 & 23, July 28 & 30 Course time: 1 pm

For more information and registration, click this link: MSB 2021 Summer Programs 

ESY – ESY Services will be provided July 6th through July 30, 2021, 5 days per week, each week.  There will not be an A/B week schedule.  Parents have the opportunity to choose between direct in person instruction or virtual instruction for their child/children.  Once they select an option, it must be adhered to for their child’s full ESY service.

Daily Health Screenings

Reminder: Parents, when your child is scheduled to be on campus for school, please complete your child’s health screening each day. This applies to summer programs as well!

If you are not getting a daily text or email reminder and link, please let the MSB Health Center know as soon as possible. 410-444-5000, ext 1238

Please remember to complete the daily wellness screening on the PinPoint App each day before your shift begins.  We are not getting 100% participation and this is extremely important, especially as we all return to campus!

2021-22 SCHOOL CALENDAR 

The 2021-22 School Calendar has been released and is now posted to the MSB website.  To view the calendar files go to https://www.marylandschoolfortheblind.org/welcome/current-events/

Parent Town Hall Meetings

The final parent town hall meeting for the school year was held on June 8.  

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can view the recording here Parent Town Hall 6.08.21

All Parent Town Hall meetings are recorded and can be accessed on the Parent/Family Portal of our website 

https://www.marylandschoolfortheblind.org/student-family-portal/

This is a password protected page and the password is: covid19

COVID19 NEWS

CURRENT METRICS

Statewide

COVID19 Snapshot as of 6.17.21

Positivity Rate: .76%  (Metric:<5%) 

COVID-19

Daily new case counts per 100,000 people (7 day moving avg.):   1.5 (Metric <15) 

Lowest: Queen Anne’s County: 0.6

Highest:  Talbot County: 3.8

Communities around MSB:

Date2/263/43/123/194/14/94/164/234/305/75/145/205/276/36/106/17
Balt.City:  11.512.115.720.333.739.143.135.125.120.715.39.29.42.82.61.9
Balt. CO: 12.114.415.816.926.532.035.331.025.518.012.07.57.33.32.01.3
AA CO: 14.216.414.315.321.521.723.820.717.612.610.97.44.83.11.71.0
Harford CO: 11.510.814.316.629.233.532.025.216.810.48.57.25.02.61.91.1
PG CO: 19.016.916.015.919.220.020.616.415.113.29.18.65.53.92.42.2

CDC established indicators of community transmission defined as “total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days (low, 0-9; moderate, 10-49; substantial, 50-99; high, ≥100) and percentage of positive tests in the past 7 days (low, <5%; moderate, 5-7.9%; substantial, 8-9.9%; high, ≥10%).While risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in a school may be lower when indicators of community spread are lower, this risk is also dependent upon the implementation of school and community mitigation strategies, including requiring universal and correct use of masks, physical distancing handwashing and respiratory etiquette, cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, and contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine. (rev. February 2021)

Laboratory Confirmed COVID-19 Cases on Campus

There were 0 confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus during the week ending June 17

Date:2/263/53/123/194/14/94/164/234/305/75/135/205/276/36/106/17
Confirmed cases:0102002200100000

MSB Return to School Plan 

MSB School Calendars 

MSB Strategic Plan  

Have a great weekend and a safe summer!

Rob