September 4, 2021
Dear Springfield Public Schools Community:
I hope that you are recovering from the impacts of the storms caused by Hurricane Ida. We understand many members of our community had significant damage to their homes, and some of our families have been displaced. If your family has been affected, please reach out to your school principal(s) so that we can identify how we might support you as we enter the new school year.
As I noted in the letter shared on Thursday, September 2, 2021, four of our five schools were not significantly impacted by the storms and will be ready to open and welcome students on Thursday, September 9, 2021, as previously scheduled. While we were sad to lose the meet and greet experiences, we are committed to providing our students the support they need on their first day, and continue to support students as they navigate the new school year.
The turf field at Jonathan Dayton High School was also impacted, and we will be dependent on the weather over the next week to guide when we will be able to resume practices and games on the field. In the meantime, we are working with neighboring districts to schedule games, and fully utilizing the other local fields that are accessible. Our athletic department will continue to communicate with families impacted by the necessary scheduling changes.
Edward V. Walton Early Childhood Center sustained the most damage from water entering the building. Clean up work on the building began early Thursday morning, and remediation specialists began more significant work yesterday. That work will continue through the weekend, and we will have a better understanding of when we will be able to use those classrooms early next week.
Due to the extent of the damage, we expect that we will not be able to utilize all of the Walton classrooms immediately, and we are working to identify alternative spaces for classrooms that are displaced. As noted in our previous communication, the first day of school for Walton students is anticipated to be Monday, September 13, 2021. Specific information regarding Walton school opening will be shared directly with the Walton school community.
We are incredibly grateful for the support of our community, including Senator Tom Kean, Jr., Mayor Chris Weber, and Deputy Mayor Alex Kaiser, who took time out of their schedules to tour Walton school and offer their support, and Board President Laura Gamarekian and Vice President Scott Silverstein who continue to donate their time and energy to supporting our work.
We are deeply appreciative of the incredible work done by custodial and maintenance staff over the last few days, so as you return to school, please take a moment to thank them for their incredible dedication and the work they have done to ready our schools.
Thank you for your patience and support as we work to welcome the new school year.
Superintendent of Schools
Cultivating compassionate and extraordinary learners!