Dear SPS Families:

As I begin my fourth week as your Superintendent, I have truly enjoyed meeting everyone and visiting the schools. I have visited all five elementary schools, preschool, and the middle school so far and look forward to visiting the high school soon. The football games have been great but I want to spend some time at Stoughton High School during the day visiting students and teachers. Everyone has been welcoming and all of the parents and students waved hello in the morning during drop off. During my visits to the classrooms, the most often asked questions were whether or not I could touch the ceiling and how tall I was. Great fun! On Saturday, I attended the Trunk or Treat at the Wilkins School and the combined South and Dawe, “Fins and Flames” Trunk or Treat later that same afternoon. The hard work of the PTOs at each school was evident. It was great fun and the creative costumes from both the students and parents were impressive.

As we head toward the end of October, I am mindful of the impact COVID-19 is having on all of us. We have all learned to cope with the everyday stress of life and have been forced to include new terms such as “contact tracing” and “close contact” and “social distancing” into our vocabularies as if they have always been there. I remember a time when these terms weren’t even on our collective radar. Things that stressed us all prior to COVID seem to be a distant memory only 18 months later. COVID-19 is in the news every day and we are all navigating what seems like an endless amount of information that can sometimes seem in conflict. I truly appreciate everyone’s patience, understanding and support.

In order to provide a consistent response here in Stoughton, we have been following the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education health and safety guidelines for COVID-19 in schools. The latest FAQ from DESE is here. We are committed to providing the most up to date information. Please know that The Stoughton School District is not receiving any funding to encourage vaccination or pressure anyone into it. Vaccination is your choice. Our protocols allow us to protect everyone regardless of vaccination status. We are receiving state resources to implement the Pool Testing program. Many families have opted into this program and it’s not too late to join. Please visit our website for more information. A letter explaining the program and consent form are available there.

As a reminder, The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is no longer allowing remote learning as we did last year. In the event of a quarantine imposed by the school, livestreaming will be made available in this instance only. These are limited circumstances.

Working together, I am confident that we can continue our excellent response to COVID-19 and keep our infection numbers low. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your school nurse or building principal if you have any questions or concerns.

Very truly yours,

Thomas R. Raab, Ed.D. Superintendent of Schools