Letter to CoaH Families – March 20, 2020

Dear CoaH Families:

I am writing to provide an update on City on a Hill’s response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to invite you to complete this family technology survey to help us assess your need for a chromebook. As a reminder, all of our previous messages are archived here.

We know that there continues to be many questions that you may have about how we are preparing as a community. The Senior Leadership Team has extended our FAQ to help address your questions:

What about Distance Learning during the shutdown? 

CoaH students in both Boston and New Bedford have been given assignments to complete through March 27. Assignments are by grade level; students should only do the sections for their specific classes. Students will receive credit for completed assignments.

Boston Students: Student assignments are available on our website by grade level. If your student is unable to access the assignments online, please email covid19@cityonahill.org with your students’ name(s), grade(s), and mailing address as soon as possible so that we can make arrangements to send them to you. 

New Bedford Students: All students should have received their assignments. 

We will share more updates in the following weeks with distance learning and assignments for the week of March 30.

What about students who are part of the Learning Network?

There are packets specifically for students who are members of our Learning Network. If your child is a member of the Learning Network and you have not received this packet, please reach out to covid19@cityonahill.org. We are currently working with our charter peers in Massachusetts and nationally on strategies to ensure that we will be able to continue meeting all IEP, 504, and EL service delivery requirements, particularly in the event of a long term closure. 

How do I return the completed assignments to my student’s teachers?

Rather than mail each completed grade level packet, we ask that students scan and return them to their teachers. The email addresses of our teachers were included on the cover page of each section of the grade level packet (e.g., English, math, history, etc.). 

There are several free scanning resources available for iPhone and Android smartphones students can take advantage of.

Boston Public Schools are providing technology for students; what is CoaH doing?

Charter public schools operate independently from traditional school districts so we will not have access to the technology that BPS is providing. 

We are, however, working through the logistical hurdles of lending chromebooks to City on a Hill Students who need them. We anticipate providing guidance in the next family communication on Tuesday, March 24. 

In the meantime, we ask each family to complete this family technology survey to help us assess your individual technology situation.

How do these changes impact my students’ Q3 grades and transcripts? 

Quarter 3 was scheduled to end in April, but like other schools, we are reassessing the end time of the quarter and start of the new one. More information will be forthcoming when final decisions have been made.

What about MCAS and AP tests?

DESE Commissioner Riley has previously indicated that the MCAS window would be pushed back. This test is part of Massachusetts’ federal and state education requirements and any changes to the test window and/or cancellation would have to be negotiated by the respective legislators. Other states are wrestling with the same issue.

Similarly, the College Board has posted a message on its website saying that Advanced Placement tests may be moving in the direction of take-home tests.

As a reminder, the MCAS and AP tests are not specific to City on a Hill. We will update guidance as soon as we receive more information.

Is there a list of resources that have previously been shared?

Here is a sampling of some of the resources that we’ve included in previous messages:

As we have said repeatedly, we recognize that this is unprecedented and that this closure will be a significant burden for a number of our families. Please know that we remain committed to supporting you to the greatest extent possible during this time.

Thank you once again for your help to keep our community healthy and safe. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email covid19@cityonahill.org.


Kevin T. Taylor

Chief Executive Officer

To read our most up to date information, please visit the Our Response to COVID-19 page.

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