Dear Monty Tech Community,
As always, I open with the hope that everyone in our community is safe and healthy as we continue to face the challenges of COVID throughout our district. Of course, the forces of nature have not exactly made things any easier as we seem to be stuck in a recent routine where we have at least one snow or ice storm every week. As I write this Principal’s Update, we are about one month away from the start of spring, and its arrival will certainly be welcomed with open arms.
In terms of the snow, while we recognize that some families would prefer that we implement traditional snow days, I should remind everyone that we are still on target to finish the school year on June 9th which would bring an exceptionally early start to nearly everyone’s summer vacations. We also feel that it is essential to keep consistent instruction going now as Sophomore and Junior families should keep in mind that MCAS exams will be administered in May so it is important that we take advantage of as many days of preparation as possible.
With that said, I certainly recognize that our wonderful Seniors are disappointed because they are not getting any specific benefits from the use of remote learning days instead of snow days. I know that the perception is that this is one more Senior event that they will be missing out on. However, as I said to the members of the Class of 2020 last year, I want to assure our Seniors that I am committed to holding as many of the Senior spring traditions as possible including a potential Prom. However, obviously, many of these decisions are currently out of our control due to things like state-mandated gathering limits. Nevertheless, as we learn of adjustments to those restrictions, we will strive to do as much as we can for our Seniors.
A small step in that direction will occur throughout March as our Student Council will be holding “March Madness” during the whole month. This will involve a series of theme days and spirit weeks as we bring back some of the traditional fun that we have not been able to hold earlier this year.
Of course, these events will likely be tied into our Fall II sports season, which begins the week after February break. Everyone at Monty Tech was disappointed by the postponement of our traditional fall sports season as we needed to focus on getting the school year started with our new COVID restrictions. However, we always knew that an opportunity would occur that we could still celebrate our fall athletes with the MIAA’s creation of the Fall II season. Thus, we are excited to see our athletes in Football, Field Hockey, Boys/Girls Soccer, Girls Volleyball, Golf and Cross Country compete over the next few months. With the added season, please keep in mind that our traditional spring sports will begin slightly later this year.
I am further excited to share that an additional event that typically occurs at this time of year, the district and state level SkillsUSA Competitions, will still be held this year although with some modifications. For example, District competitions this year will not be held at Bay Path Regional VTS. Instead, the Skills tests will be administered through online exams that many competitors will simply take at home. Meanwhile, as of this update, the State competitions in April are still planned except with the hands-on competitions occurring in smaller venues around the state. We look forward to sharing the successes of our SkillsUSA competitors later in the year.
While I am truly looking forward to these upcoming events occurring and bringing our school community a bit of normalcy, I must conclude with my traditional reminders that, in order to be able to sustain hybrid learning and hold these annual events, we must continue to implement our mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of the virus. With the winter holidays behind us, we have seen COVID related data turn in a much more encouraging direction across the commonwealth. Further, while the process is slow, the vaccination process has begun bringing an added defense against the virus. However, we cannot become lax in our responsibilities to each other. If you choose to travel during school vacation weeks, please be sure to follow the state’s travel requirements including necessary testing and quarantines. The requirements can be found at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order. Furthermore, we must remain committed to daily efforts such as properly wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and avoiding large gatherings including with extended family members. Lastly, we must continue our ongoing communication efforts between the school and our families. Families’ efforts to have the foresight to keep students home when they develop symptoms or when a family member has tested positive have undoubtedly been an essential tool in helping us limit the virus’ spread within our school building. As always, if a student or family member does experience symptoms, then please reach out to our Lead Nurse, Mrs. Reppucci, at email@example.com. Your efforts are tremendously appreciated.
For now, I hope that everyone in the Monty Tech community remains safe and healthy as we look forward to better days ahead.
Tom Browne, Principal