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Here you’ll find a directory of support resources that we hope will help meet the needs of our school community and greater Easthampton during the COVID-19 pandemic. Si usted habla español favor de comunicarse con Sindy Mojica al 413-977-6267 o puede enviarle un correo electrónico a smojica@epsd.us. This is a dynamic resource, designed to change to respond to the evolving needs of our time. If you have additional resources to add, or any corrections or feedback please use our Feedback Form or contact Julie Anne Levin jlevin@epsd.us. We are a community working together to find ways to support each other. 

 

[Last Updated: 3/22/21]

 

School Information

Contact Information

Maple Elementary School 

  • Principal Judy Averill: javerill@epsd.us 
  • Maple Main Office: Martha Jenkins 413-529-1550

Center Pepin School

  • Principal Dr. Jill Pasquini-Torchia: jpasquini-torchia@epsd.us     
  • Assistant Principal Andrea McCallum: amccallum@epsd.us
  • Center Main Office: Shelby LaBumbard 413-529-1540
  • Pepin Main Office:  Nichole Jolicoeur 413-529-1545

White Brook Middle School

Easthampton High School

  • Principal Bill Evans: wevans@epsd.us
  • Assistant Principal Sue Welson: swelson@epsd.us
  • Easthampton High School Main Office: Jennifer Hamilton 413-529-1585

 

Key Communications from the Schools 

 

Remote, Hybrid and Full Return Teaching and Learning Models 

  • As of 3/15/2021, the district is currently in a hybrid learning model. Students are attending in-person alternating weeks, 5 extended half days, and finishing the day remotely from home. Students will go home with lunch and the next day’s breakfast meals.
  • On 3/09/2021, the Easthampton School Committee directed Superintendend LeClair to submit two waivers to DESE requesting 1) delay the return of full day in person learning in grades K-4 from April 5 to April 26 and 2) delay the return of full day in person learning in grade 5 from April 5 to April 26. As of 3/18/21 the first waiver was denied and the second was approved. The district is required to begin full-time instruction on 4/5/2021 for K-4, and 4/26/2021 for grades 5-8 and 9-12. 
    • Families have the right to choose to stay remote for the remainder of the year. 
    • This change means that the hybrid model (½ in person, ½ remote) will no longer be offered, and students will be fully in person or fully remote only. 
    • Families are asked to submit a Return to Full Day In Person Survey. If you have already and want to change your survey response please contact your building principal by 3/22/2021. 
    • Responses received after 3/22/2021 may mean your child will not be able to start on 4/5/2021. For planning purposes, administrators need a minimum of two weeks to switch students back from remote to in person until the end of the school year.
    • Full Return Update Message from Superintendent LeClair (sent via email 3/12/2021)
  • Current Hybrid Learning FAQs and schedules
  • For technology support click here

 

School Bus Information

  • In-person Learning Bus Schedule and Routes
  • Bussing is available to students in grades K-12 that live 2 miles or more from their school.
  • Students on busses will be required to wear masks and follow instructions of the bus driver.  Windows on the busses will be opened at least 2 inches to allow for proper air flow. If you have a question about bussing please contact Dayle Doiron ddoiron@epsd.us

 

 

Technology Information

Hybrid and Remote Learning Technology Support

 

Supporting Learning from Home

 

Comcast’s Internet Essentials Program

  • Low-income families may be able to receive two free months of internet service if they apply and are approved by June 30, 2021. Households with past-due Comcast bills may also be eligible. Learn more on the website or call 1-855-846-8376.

 

Spectrum Internet Assist

  • The Spectrum Internet Assist program provides reliable, high-speed internet access at an affordable price for those who qualify.
  • Eligible low-income households can receive discounted 30 Mbps high-speed internet, along with Security Suite and an internet modem, at no additional charge.
  • This offer is not available to current internet subscribers.

 

 

COVID Resources 

Easthampton Public Schools COVID Information

COVID-19 Return to School Update (February 23, 2021) from Superintendent Allison LeClair.  For more up-to-date COVID-19 check the district website.

Pooled Testing and BinaxNOW rapid testing 

  • FAQ: Pooled Testing (Updated 3/12/2021)
  • Preguntas frecuentes: pruebas agrupadas en español (Actualizado 12/03/2021)
  • Pooled Testing Consent Form  The EPS district will begin Pooled Testing the week of March 15th.  Please complete the consent process for each of your children to participate in testing. The access code is element-east  Click here for instructions to guide you through the consent process.
  • What is Pooled Testing? 6 min video from EHS Principal Bill Evans (Cómo activar los subtítulos en español en youtube)
    • Pooled testing is a form of surveillance testing. Surveillance testing is the routine testing of asymptomatic individuals to identify those people who may be carrying the coronavirus before they become symptomatic. Because the virus has a long incubation period and is highly contagious, and because more than 50% of coronavirus transmission occurs from people who didn't know they had it, surveillance testing is a really important tool in preventing spread within communities.
    • Pooled testing is a subset of surveillance testing that saves resources by "pooling" the samples of multiple people. It is more cost effective.
    • We are fortunate that the city and state have invested in pooled surveillance testing. By providing consent for your student to participate, you are helping us detect the presence of coronavirus early -- before people know they have it -- and keep it from spreading through our community.  It is vital that we have a large majority of our students and staff participate in pooled testing.  
  • This How to do a nasal swab for kids video shows kids how simple it is to do a quick covid test.  
  • Follow-up Rapid Testing Consent Form:  BinaxNOW Student Consent form permission slip that allows the school to administer a rapid test to your student if their pool test comes back positive or if they demonstrate symptoms of COVID-19 while at school. Please return signed consent forms into school with your student. 
  • For further information regarding Pooled Testing please contact Lindsey Broussard BSN, RN at 413-529-1585 ext. 2049

COVID-19 Daily Symptom Screening

  • Each day, families and staff will be asked to conduct a self-health evaluation to ensure that only healthy people attend school.  A home/school health contract will be sent home on the first day of school, families must participate in self-health evaluations each day before attending school
  • To participate in self-health daily evaluations staff and students have two options. 
    • The EPS Health Service COVID-19 Daily Screening Questionnaire is designed to be put on the refrigerator and referred to daily to assess your student’s health to determine whether it is safe to go to school.
    • Frontline Health Symptom screener app is a simple and reliable way to track your self-health. To use the Frontline Health symptom screener click here for directions on activating your account.  You can access your account via the Frontline Health web portal or download the mobile app ( iOS or Android). For directions on how to submit a  COVID questionnaire using the Frontline Health web portal click here. You will need to activate your Frontline account using your personal email that was provided to the school district during your student registration with the district. If you have problems activating your Frontline Health account contact your building principal or refer to the Frontline Health Management Help Center for Families and Staff site.
  • If you aren’t sure when to stay home, when to get a COVID test or how long to quarantine after possible COVID exposure, use the EPS Health Services Quarantine Algorithm.

Ventilation Assessments

Ventilation Assessments for each school building can be found on the EPS District Site. Click on the Colliers Covid 19 Report for the school you are interested in. 

 

Vaccine Information

 

COVID Testing

 

COVID Community Resources

Cooley Dickinson Hospital estará en su comunidad con recursos gratuitos de COVID-19 el 26 de marzo de 2021 en el Easthampton Community Center de 10 am-11am y en el Northampton Survival Center de 12: 30-1: 30 p.m. Damos la bienvenida a todos, incluidos aquellos que no tienen seguro. No hacemos preguntas sobre el estado migratorio. Los recursos disponibles incluyen: kits de cuidado COVID (mascarilla, jabón, desinfectante de manos), Ask-a-Doctor: Profesionales de la salud disponibles para responder cualquier pregunta sobre el virus y la vacuna, médicos bilingües y biculturales y otros trabajadores de la salud estarán a bordo y folletos con pautas de seguridad y preguntas frecuentes sobre la vacuna en varios idiomas.

COVID-19 recursos en su comunidad PDF March 26, 10:00am-11:00am

COVID-19 recursos en su comunidad PDF March 26 12:30pm-1:30pm

Cooley Dickinson Hospital will be in your community with free COVID-19 resources March 26, 2021 at the Easthampton Community Center at 10am-11am and the Northampton Survival Center at 12:30-1:30pm. We welcome everyone, including those who do not have insurance. We do not ask questions about immigration status. Available Resource include: COVID care kits (mask, soap, hand sanitizer), Ask-a-Doctor: Health professionals available to answer any questions about the virus and the vaccine, bilingual and bicultural doctors and other healthcare workers will be on board and Brochures with safety guidelines and frequently asked questions about the vaccine in multiple languages.

 

COVID Prevention and Care

 

Hampshire HealthConnect (Health Insurance)

Helps uninsured and under-insured Massachusetts residents access health coverage. Click here to access Hampshire HealthConnect resources in English, Español, 中国人 and ខ្មែរ

 

State and Federal COVID Information

 

 

Food Resources

Chartwells Free Meal Program 

  • There is no charge. There is no application. A student does not need to be enrolled in school yet or enrolled in Easthampton schools. Anyone can pick up meals on behalf of any child. This program will be in place until the end of the school year. Lunch and breakfast for Monday and Tuesday can be picked up on Monday. Lunch and breakfast for Wednesday and Thursday can be picked up on Wednesday. Lunch and breakfast for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday can be picked up on Friday. 
  • UPDATED TIMES AND LOCATIONS: Grab and go meals are available at Easthampton High School and Maple Elementary School on Monday,  Wednesday, and Friday between 11am and 1pm for all children and youth aged 0-18.  
  • Menus for each month will be posted here: EPS Grab & Go Menus
  • In the event of a snowstorm that causes the closure of 50 Payson Avenue, there will be no meal pick-up available that day, but meals will be available at the schools the very next day instead. If a storm occurs on a Friday, meal pick-up is cancelled altogether and will be available on the following Monday.
  • If you have any questions, please contact Dayle Doiron at 529-1500, ext. 128 or ddoiron@epsd.us.  Likewise, contact her if you need meals but find it impossible to arrange to pick them up.

 

State and Federal Food Assistance

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • You may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) administers SNAP benefits. SNAP provides a monthly benefit to buy nutritious foods. To get SNAP, you must be low-income and be a U.S. citizen or legal noncitizen (restrictions apply). Eligibility for SNAP benefits depends on financial and nonfinancial criteria.
  • Am I eligible for SNAP?

Pandemic-Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)

  •  P-EBT was created in spring 2020 to help families buy food while schools were closed due to COVID-19. The Federal Government has extended P-EBT benefits through summer 2021.
  • If your student qualifies for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, you got P-EBT benefits while your student was in a hybrid or in a fully remote program. 
  • You can use P-EBT and still get school meals. P‑EBT benefits supplement grab and go student meal sites. You can use P-EBT wherever SNAP is accepted.
  • If you think your student qualifies but you have not received a card or a letter in the mail, call the DTA Assistance line at 877-382-2363. 
  • If you have lost or misplaced your P-EBT card, request a replacement card here: https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov/pebt or call the DTA Assistance line at 877-382-2363
  • Before returning to in-person learning, students were getting money on P-EBT cards monthly - up to $1350 since last March depending on the learning situation.
    • Students in hybrid learning situations were getting $68.20/month and students in fully remote situations were getting $136.40/month, prior to the return to full in-person instruction.
  • Families who have not activated their card(s) may have a decent amount of money on their P-EBT cards that they can use now! Any funds already loaded on a PBET remain to be spent for 365 days. If children with cards have returned to in person learning, families can exhaust funds loaded on the cards.
  • P-EBT will be available in the summer too - activate your card so you can get the funds!
  • P-EBT Frequently Asked Questions
  • P-EBT Information in المعلومات باللغة العربية, 中文信息, информация на русском, español, and ព័ត៌មានជាគីឡូម៉ែត្រ, and other languages.
  • How to activate your card: English, المعلومات باللغة العربية, 中文信息, информация на русском, español.

 

Women, Infants & Children Nutrition Program (WIC)

  • WIC is a nutrition program that provides healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services, free of charge, to Massachusetts families who qualify. WIC is available regardless of immigration or citizenship status
  • Apply for WIC online, or find out if your family is eligible. 

 

Pioneer Valley Power Packs

  • Pioneer Valley Power Packs, is a non-profit that provides free backpacks with enough non-perishable food for a school child for the time they leave school on a Friday to when they return to school the following Monday during the Academic School Year.
  • No eligibility requirements. 
  • To sign up, please contact your building principal or assistant principal and let them know you’d like to be added to the program, and include all children who live in your home.  

 

Easthampton Community Center (12 Clark Street) 

Outdoor food distribution each week on Monday and Wednesday from 9:00am-12:00pm and 4:00pm- 7:00pm. Included in this distribution is a bag of food for the week (breakfast, lunch and snacks) for each child in the household up to the age of 18. No pre-registration is required. All are welcome. Staff can also assist with applications for SNAP benefits. Emergency distributions can also be made by contacting Robin Bialecki, Director of the Easthampton Community Center, at 413-527-5240. 

 

Mobile Food Truck Program (Our Lady of the Valley Parish, 33 Adams Street) 

Outdoor food distribution on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month from 1:00pm-2:00pm. No pre-registration is required. All are welcome. 

 

Food Cupboard at the Easthampton Congregational Church (112 Main Street) 

Indoor food distribution with safety precautions on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 10am-12pm. You must be a resident of Easthampton; please bring an ID. (The church also has a thrift store next door named Parson’s Closet that is open on Thursday and Fridays from 10am-7pm and on Saturday from 10am-2pm.) 

 

Brown Bag: Food for Elders Program (Western Mass Food Bank) 

A bag of groceries provided to eligible recipients on the first Tuesday of the month at the Easthampton Community Center (12 Clark St.) between 10:30am-12:30pm. To be eligible, you must meet certain income guidelines and be either over the age of 55 or under the age of 55 receiving SSDI. To apply, visit https://www.foodbankwma.org/get-help/brownbag-food-for-elders/ 

 

Easthampton Council on Aging Meal Distribution

Easthampton Council on Aging provides contactless, drive-up take out meals on Mondays and Fridays to Seniors 60+. Suggested donation: $3, or what you can. To sign up you must call Jenna Ferguson, 413-527-6151 ext 136, ECOA Outreach Coordinator, by noon time at LEAST ONE WEEK IN ADVANCE to schedule your meal. 

 

Project Bread's Food Source Hotline

Food assistance hotline (1-800-645-8333) is toll-free and confidential. Hours are Monday-Friday, 8am – 7pm and Saturday, 10am - 2pm. Counselors assist callers with SNAP (information, eligibility screening, and over-the-phone application assistance) and with help finding meals. 

 

Small Oven Bakery Bread for Friends

A loaf of bread for whoever is in need of it. Every other Monday, 12pm-2pm. First come first serve. One loaf per household. 36 Union Street in Easthampton, MA.

 

 

Community Resources

Easthampton City Government 

 

Housing Support

  • The City of Easthampton offers an Emergency Rental Assistance Program, a support for renters experiencing COVID-related income hardships. Maximum amount per household is $3000.  Short term assistance for eligible households can be applied to past-due rent and/or current rent. For more info and to apply call Community Action Pioneer Valley at 413-475-1570. 
  • New England Farm Workers’ Council provides Housing and Shelter Support for at-risk families. Contact Joel Cox, jcox@partnersforcommunity.org or call 413-272-2275
  • Emergency Shelters 
    • Grove Street Inn: Northampton, MA (413) 586-6001 -For men and women
    • Family Place: Holyoke, MA (413) 536-2787 -Family shelter and housing support services
    • Worthington House: Springfield, MA (413) 734-3310 - Women’s shelter
    • Safe Passage: Shelter for adults and their children who need to flee abuse and get safe from violent and life-threatening domestic violence situations. Hotline: 413-586-5066

 

Family Connectors

Elementary school families can contact their teacher to be connected to another parent/caregiver in their child’s class. Family Connectors are volunteer parents/caregivers of a child in the same class or grade level as your student, and are here to support your family during this remote schooling time (and beyond!). Their goal is to bring you relevant resources and updates that pertain to your child’s classroom, and to connect families with each other for mutual support along the way. Contact your child’s teacher or one of the Family Connector Organizers: Jean Libby jsimonalibby@gmail.com or Jen Sandler at jen.sandler@gmail.com 

 

After School Programming 

Easthampton Enrichment After School Program (EEASP)

Students attending Maple in 1st-4th grade are eligible to sign up for Easthampton Enrichment After School Program (EEASP). The beloved after school program is being held virtually this year. There are still some spaces available. Program costs are flexible depending on each family’s ability.  For more info contact Marcia LaRocque Levy mlevy@collaborative.org 413-221-9425.

 

Childcare 

The New England Farm Workers’ Council Child Care Resources

Helps families locate high-quality, affordable childcare that works for them, through its database of over 1,200 licensed childcare providers throughout western Massachusetts, many of them bilingual. While responsibility for selection remains with the parents, counselors help assess needs, review available options, and provide child-care referrals, at no cost. Instructions for beginning your search are on the NEFWC website; you can also call Sue Hamlett at 413-272-2207.

Local Daycare Providers

  • Our Lady's Child Care Center (35 Pleasant St) offers a School Age Program for children Kindergarten to 10 years of age. The program provides before and after school care as well as during non-school days. The provider also participates in a subsidized child care program. Call for information (413) 527-6133
  • Young World offers School Age Care for children under the age of 11. Care is provided before and after public school and on public school vacation weeks, curriculum days, etc. Supervision is provided to and from Center and Pepin Schools. Young World only accepts enrollment for 4 or 5 days per week in the Kindergarten and School Age programs. For information call 413-527-3983
  • All About Children serves children between the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years old, and offers before and after school care for school age children. Call for information 413-527-8200

 

 

Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Support for EHS

Mental Health Support for EHS is a website where you can access local and national resources that are supportive of mental health and well being. If you have any questions or need additional support, contact Ms. Metzger, School Adjustment Counselor and LICSW. 

Email:  jmetzger@epsd.us, Instagram: @mindfulnessatehs

 

Easthampton Elementary Outreach and Support

If you have concerns about your elementary school student, you can contact school counseling staff here. On the Easthampton Elementary Outreach and Support website caregivers and parents can access updates, resources, videos, and strategies to help support the social and emotional well-being of Center-Pepin and Maple students and families. Caregiver resources can be accessed here.

 

HandholdMA.org  

Easy to use website helps families figure if their child’s behavior is something to worry about and if so, what next steps can they take. Is your kid just being a kid, or is their behavior something to worry about? Use the simple tools on the site to help you learn what signs to look for to tell the difference. Information available in many languages. 

 

The Gándara Center 

The Gándara Center provides mental health, substance abuse, and preventive services for children, adults, and families in the Pioneer Valley. Learn more on the website and request support through their online form.

 

Clinical & Support Options

Clinical & Support Options emphasizes open-access, trauma-informed care. Even if you aren’t sure what specific support services you or your family might need, you can get in touch and they’ll help you figure it out. Learn more on the website or call 413-773-1314.

 

ServiceNet

ServiceNet serves people who are living with mental illness, developmental disability or autism, brain injury, substance use or addiction issues, or homelessness. Learn more on their website or call 413-584-6855.

 

Safe Passage

Safe Passage’s hotline counselors help people in crisis, as well as those seeking support or information about domestic violence.  Call our hotline for support or information (413) 586-5066 | (888) 345-5282 (toll-free)

UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, our hotline hours have been altered. The Safe Passage hotline is currently available Monday through Friday from 11am-7pm.  For some survivors, calling the hotline is the first step towards seeking counseling or shelter. For others, the hotline is an important source of emotional support they might call weekly or just once in a while. If you are in immediate physical danger, call 911. 

 

Love is Respect

Love is Respect is the national resource to disrupt and prevent unhealthy relationships and intimate partner violence by empowering young people through inclusive and equitable education, support, and resources. They offer confidential support for teens, young adults, and their loved ones seeking help, resources, or information related to healthy relationships and dating abuse in the US. Available by text (“LOVEIS” to 22522), call (866.331.9474), or live chat online.

 

Grief Groups and Resources

Grief, Loss, and Missed Milestones During COVID.  This site features articles, tips, and support groups available to families, parents, teens, and children who are grieving during this pandemic. 

 

 

Financial Resources

Stimulus / Economic impact payments

  • Get My Payment To check the status of your Economic Impact Payment or “stimulus” payments. 
  • If you didn’t get the full Economic Impact Payment, you may be eligible to claim the Recovery Rebate Credit The IRS and Treasury have issued all first and second Economic Impact Payments. If you didn’t get any Economic Impact Payments or got less than the full amounts, you may qualify for the Recovery Rebate Credit and must file a 2020 tax return to claim the credit even if you don’t normally file. See Recovery Rebate Credit for more information. Most filers who are eligible received their funds directly via an online bank deposit, or a check. Some received prepaid debit cards. 
  • Non-filers register for Economic Impact Payments here:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments
    Registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return.
  • How to use your Economic Impact Payment prepaid debit card without paying a fee.

 

Tax Filing

  • As of 2/28/2021, the tax filing and payment deadline for your 2020 return is April 15, 2021. 
  • State Income Tax information (Mass DOR): https://www.mass.gov/info-details/current-tax-filing-season-overview
  • Federal Income Tax Information (IRS):
  • Community Action Pioneer Valley, VITA Free Tax Assistance Program. https://www.communityaction.us/freetaxassistance 
    • CAPV VITA Free Tax-Assistance Program helps taxpayers with lower incomes maximize their tax refund or reduce their taxes due. Prepared by IRS-certified volunteers, taxes are filed electronically, allowing most taxpayers expecting refunds to receive their money within 5 to 10 days of filing. Volunteers are trained to look for specific eligibility requirements in order to help participants take advantage of the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit, and more -- credits that can garner significant refunds for working families and individuals. Services are offered February through April. This program is available for residents of Franklin County, Hampshire County and the North Quabbin towns of Athol, Petersham, Royalston, and Phillipston. To request an appointment: All taxpayers must be screened by phone to receive an appointment, even if we have done their taxes before. Call 413-376-1136 or complete the form at the Community Action webpage.
  • Free Tax Filing Tools https://www.masscap.org/freefiletaxes/#own

 

Student Loans

 

Small Business Resources

Western Mass List of Business Resources: Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire Counties To best view this site, it’s recommended to use full-screen view, and the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate the resource list. 

 

Income Replacement Help

 

Financial Resources for People with Disabilities and Chronic Health Issues

 

Site developed in collaboration with the Equity Steering Committees and generously funded by Easthampton Learning Foundation (ELF)