Wednesday, February 10, 2021

February Break Travel Advisory

February Break Travel Advisory:  I am reaching out to ask for your assistance in keeping our schools safe for students and faculty. Currently, Massachusetts residents are urged to limit any out-of-state travel to states designated as COVID-19 lower-risk States.  If you have traveled during the holiday break, I ask that you take note of and adhere to the State of Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order.

As a preventative measure, MERSD is asking all faculty, staff, and families to complete a MyMedBot survey on Monday, February 22nd.   You will receive an alert on your app and an email reminding you to complete the survey.  Collecting information while we are on a remote day will allow our nursing team to proactively review the data and consult with faculty, staff, and families who may be subject to the Massachusetts Department of Health requirements for testing and quarantining after traveling to states designated high-risk. 

If you need assistance in interpreting the guidance, please reach out to our nursing team.  They are well versed in the regulations and a great resource if you have any COVID related questions.

Thank you for your cooperation, and I hope you have an enjoyable and safe February Break.   

Monday, February 8, 2021

MERSD Vision of the Graduate & Strategic Planning

I am very pleased to share that we are relaunching our strategic planning process that was interrupted by the onset of the pandemic last winter. 

2020 was a unique and challenging year for MERSD.  The onset of the pandemic forced a school closure that lasted from March 12, 2020, to October 20, 2020, when the first students returned to campus for hybrid learning.  Throughout this period, MERSD spent significant time and effort assessing the needs of students and families and redesigning instruction to meet the needs of remote and hybrid learners.  The result was a flexible model that not only allowed us to provide the structure and engagement of a traditional school day but also allowed us to easily transition between in-person and remote teaching.

The pandemic has required us to make frequent changes to how our schools operate; however, always at the forefront has been our goal to deliver a high-quality learning experience for each of our students.   The Manchester Essex Regional School District continues to be recognized as one of the highest performing school districts in Massachusetts.  I am very proud of the wonderful work our dedicated faculty and staff do every day to support the social, emotional, and intellectual growth of our students, and I am very excited about MERSD’s future.

Looking to build upon the success of our program and to prepare students for the workplace of tomorrow, MERSD has begun a two-year strategic planning process to define our roadmap for creating a future-focused education program.  Following the blueprint from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), MERSD has outlined a Vision of the Graduate (VOG).  The VOG defines what students should know and be able to do as a result of a Manchester Essex education and examines the question - What are the skills and dispositions students will require to find success?   This profile will serve as the driver for the development of a multi-year plan that establishes a set of goals and strategic initiatives to achieve the Vision of the Graduate.  

Steering Committee

MERSD is establishing a Steering Committee to facilitate the strategic planning process, listen to stakeholder input, and provide actionable recommendations to the school committee and administration.  We are seeking volunteers who are collaborative, team-oriented, and creative problem solvers.  The committee will be comprised of a teacher and a parent representative from each school, two school committee members, and three school leaders.   Our kick-off meeting will be held virtually on Wednesday, March 3rd from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm with a training session facilitated by our coaches from the Creative Education Foundation.  Future meetings will follow an event-based schedule with Wednesday evenings being our designated meeting time. 

If you are interested in serving on this team please complete the application form by February 15thMERSD Strategic Planning Steering Committee Application

Community Input

MERSD will engage the community in a conversation about our future needs through a series of Virtual World CafĂ© Focus Groups in April. This will be an opportunity for all stakeholders to learn, ask questions, and provide feedback about the future of MERSD.   Dates will be announced at the beginning of March.

Friday, February 5, 2021

MERSD Integrated PreK Fall 2021 Enrollment

MERSD Integrated PreK Fall 2021 Enrollment is Open

The integrated preschool program is designed to serve three to five-year-old children in Manchester and Essex.  It is located in the Memorial Elementary School, which re-opens with two new state of the art preschool classrooms in fall 2021. 

Integrated preschool students have access to an outdoor playground for gross motor opportunities in a safe and secure environment.  The program is open from 8:30 am-3:00 five days per week and offers two classrooms staffed by a certified teacher, teaching assistant, and shared monitor.  Maximum class size is 15 students. 

The preschool follows the district’s school calendar. 

school hoese

Visit the MERSD Integrated PreK Page for more information.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Elementary Hybrid Expansion

I am happy to report that at its February 2nd meeting, the MERSD School Committee approved our proposal to expand in-person learning time for K-2 students.  Through the collaborative efforts of our Elementary Principals and Facilities Manager, we have found a way to reorganize space to accommodate early elementary grade levels at the six-foot social distancing guideline.  This will allow for both cohorts to attend school at the same time Tuesday through Friday with Monday remaining a remote learning day.  

K-2 Expanded Hybrid Schedule

  • Monday Remote Learning Day
  • Tuesday – Friday In-Person Learning
  • Bus service available daily Tuesday – Friday
  • Transition Schedule
    • Friday 2/12 - K-1 Asynchronous (Essex Only)
    • Monday 2/22 - Asynchronous K-2 (Essex & Memorial )

Unfortunately, we have currently exhausted all possibilities to bring back grades 3-5 at the six-foot standard and concluded that we are not able to do so until the social distancing guidelines can safely be reduced.   It is our plan to use the month of March to study social distancing options and identify conditions under which our current six-foot standard may be reconsidered.   Updates will be given at our School Committee meetings on March 2nd and 16th.

We are very excited about this opportunity to expand in-person learning, and we remain committed to finding a pathway forward to make increased on campus time accessible to the upper elementary grades as well.  

As always, we appreciate your patience and support as we navigate this next transition.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

MERSD Fall 2021 Kindergarten Registration!

Fall 2021 Kindergarten Registration will be held remotely and in-person by appointment only, during the week of February 22, 2021.  Please visit our Kindergarten Registration page for information on how to enroll your child

Click Here for the Kindergarten Registration Page