Letter to CoaH Families – March 27, 2020

Dear CoaH Families:

I am writing to provide an update on City on a Hill’s response to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a reminder, all of our previous messages are archived here.

Shout-out to the New Bedford Team: Yesterday’s chromebook distribution went well. Thank you to Callie, Dr. Dion and the team of volunteers who made it possible. We now turn our attention to distributing chromebooks in Boston. There are no further updates in this message for New Bedford families.

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:

When and how will chromebooks be distributed in Boston? 

An email was sent from covid19@cityonahill.org on Thursday afternoon, March 26 to all families who indicated that they needed to borrow a chromebook to complete school work at home. 

The email stated that chromebooks will be distributed on Monday, March 30 between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Tuesday, March 31 between 2-6 p.m by appointment only. The pick-up location is City on a Hill Lower School Campus, 58 Circuit Street, regardless of which Boston school your student attends.

What are the pick-up procedures?

  1. SIGN UP for a time slot. Type in the student’s first and last name in the comment field. 
    1. We are allowing a maximum of six pick-ups per 20 minute interval
  2. Review and sign the attached chromebook loan agreement
    1. Students and/or parents/guardians will be asked to sign upon receipt of the chromebook
    2. If a parent/guardian is not present, please sign at home and take a picture of the agreement and send it to covid19@cityonahill.org
    3. If you can, please bring a pen to sign the agreement
  3. Persons walking: Person responsible for picking up enters Forum through one set of doors, picks up chromebook, and exits through another set of doors
  4. Persons driving: Text 857-229-9849 when you arrive and a staff volunteer will bring the chromebook to your car

What safety precautions are being implemented to avoid the potential spread of coronavirus?

  • For your safety and for the safety of others, please do not pick up a chromebook if you are feeling sick, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have family members that have been exposed to COVID-19, or have compromised immune systems
  • Chromebooks will be distributed to families during their designated time slot only
  • Please make sure to come during your designated pick-up time to facilitate social distancing
  • Chromebooks will be wiped down (exterior plus screen and keyboard) prior to distribution. 
    • If you would like to clean them at home, please use non-bleach or non-peroxide products (e.g. Lysol wipes or 40-70% rubbing alcohol)
    • DO NOT use any bleach, peroxide, or water as they will damage the Chromebooks
  • Weather-permitting, students/parents/guardians will be asked to wait outside, spaced 6 feet apart
    • In the event of inclement weather, those picking up during their designated time slot will wait in the Forum, spaced 6 feet apart. 
    • All others will be asked to wait outside
    • At no point will there be more than 10 people in the building
  • Restrooms WILL NOT be open to the public and students WILL NOT be able to access their lockers or other materials
  •  If you have additional questions, please email covid19@cityonahill.org 

What if I can’t come during the pickup window?

If you or your designee are not able to between Monday, March 30 between 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. or Tuesday, March 31 between 2-6 p.m., please send an email to covid19@cityonahill.org with the students name and grade so that we can assess how many families are impacted and plan our response accordingly.

I missed the deadline to complete the technology survey? Is it too late to complete it?

We have received nearly 300 total responses (Boston plus New Bedford) to the family technology survey

Priority is being given to families who completed the survey by the deadline, Wednesday, March 25 deadline. City on a Hill will make reasonable efforts to accommodate requests after that time, in accordance with Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory, 

I missed the packet deadline; how can my student obtain a packet?

Because of Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory, student assignments are available for download on our website by grade level. 

All mail requests received as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, have been fulfilled and should arrive via USPS to the addresses on file.

Unfortunately, packets will not be available for pickup during the chromebook pickup windows on Monday-Tuesday, March 30-31.

When do packets need to be completed and how do I return them?

Packets are to be completed by Friday, April 3.

Rather than mail each completed grade level packet, we ask that students scan and email 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.

What else do I need to know about City on a Hill Boston?

In addition to our COVID-19 response, the Senior Leadership Team has been collaborating with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to begin next steps of our City on a Hill Circuit Street charter renewal and City on a Hill Boston consolidation processes. 

The Senior Leadership Team has drafted a separate letter which describes the outcomes of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) meeting in which the Board voted to accept the Massachusetts Commissioner of Education’s recommendation that the City on a Hill Circuit Street charter be renewed on probation with conditions and that our consolidation be approved. You can read that letter here.

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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