BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

December 4, 2020

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Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee Notice of Vacancy (BERLIN Resident)


The Berlin-Boylston Regional Transition School Committee is seeking a qualified candidate to fill one vacancy on the committee for the period January 1, 2021, through election day in May 2021.

Any interested candidate must be a Berlin resident and should submit a letter of interest and resume of relevant experience to Mr. James Spencer, Chair of the Berlin-Boylston Regional Transition School Committee no later than December 7, 2020, for review and consideration to either BBRSD School Committee, 215 Main Street, Boylston, MA 01505, or jspencer@bbrsd.org.


The Berlin-Boylston Regional Transition School Committee will interview all applicants at its regularly scheduled meeting on December 15, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. The successful candidate will be chosen by member vote at the December 15, 2020 meeting.


Any questions or concerns should be directed to Mr. Spencer at jspencer@bbrsd.org.

Superintendent's Office

Follow-Up to Our November Parent Survey


Parents, a very brief survey will be coming to you later today through School Messenger, related to a question that was asked in our previous survey to parents. In that survey, we asked a question that sought the input of parents about the possibility of a full-in return to school. The responses indicated that the majority of parents (more than 70% across the district), were in favor of a full return, however, there were numerous stipulations indicated around that return.


We would like to follow up on your responses and explore that topic further with additional questions to inform our decision-making. Therefore, we ask that you please complete the latest survey coming your way shortly by Thursday, December 10th.


Thank you, in advance, for your feedback.



Jeffrey Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Business Office


Transportation Update 1 – Seating assignments

Seating charts were developed by the bus company at our request, with assigned seats for each student. These seat assignments are for all routes in all three schools. The assignments were set up so that students sit in the same seat both ways to and from school. This will help in the event contact tracing is needed due to a COVID case with a bus-riding student. We are looking into getting bus monitors from the bus company to help implement this and get students into a routine.


This will be implemented over the next couple of weeks, so we wanted to give some advance notice to parents to alert them that this was occurring.


Transportation Update 2 – Seasonal stops

For any students with seasonal stops on Boylston elementary buses in the Morningdale area, those bus stops will be moving back to the intersection with Main St. shortly. The drivers will be notifying students when the transition will occur:

- Cohort A will be notified on Monday that the following day the stops will move back to the Main St. intersection.

- Cohort B will be notified on Thursday that the following day the stops will move back to the Main St. location


Weekly remote meal ordering form link:

https://www.bbrsd.org/Page/1583

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for each remote learning day.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Lauren Staples, Food Service Director 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 or lstaples@bbrsd.org.




Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


Welcome back from the Thanksgiving break! And just like that, we start to look towards the Winter break. Not because we can't wait to get there (well not totally) but because it is only a few weeks away. Just before Thanksgiving, Tahanto tried an adjustment in their schedule. The feedback was positive and we decided to do this district-wide leading into the Winter break. On Monday (12/21) we will host Cohort A students as we typically would. On Tuesday (12/22) we will host cohort B. This is to allow closure and an opportunity for typical celebrations this time of year to occur. We are trying to alert you now in the event child care issues need to be arranged.



The other conversation that December brings is staff gifts. I know some room parents are already getting organized. It's a good time to remind folks of the district policy. Individual teacher gifts should not exceed the threshold of $50. This is a cumulative threshold over the course of the year. In other words, one family can not gift a $30 gift certificate now and another one at the end of the year without violating the policy. A class gift, organized by parents in a room can be valued up to $150 (again a yearly cumulative threshold) and should be something that is used in and for the class. I know it sounds intense but the intention behind the policy is a good one. And full disclosure, some of my most treasured gifts over the years have been the ones kids made themselves. A kind note from a child has far more worth than $150. I read this teacher blog recently and if you want to read more about the struggle of teacher gifting it is a quick read.



Speaking of gifts (nice segway?), a reminder that the PTO is having their swag sale and those blankets make wonderful gifts! Seriously, I have two and love them! The PTO uses the funds from this type of sale to support students and teachers, provide luncheons, assemblies, and reimburse teachers for some out of pocket costs. It is a fantastic organization. Because they know times can be tough, they have scaled back their typical fundraising efforts to not cause undue stress on students and families. Another way they are doing this is through their effort to accept donations. If you'd like to become a kitten, a Bobcat, or (my personal favorite) a clowder of bobcats, simply make a donation. No trinkets you don't need and no pressure for students to sell. Flyers can be found in the electronic folder. As always, the PTO and I appreciate your support.



The electronic folder

A look ahead: Specials Week 1

  • Thursday (12/10)

    • Picture Make-Ups - Cohort A and Remote Bridge students wanting retakes are welcome to come in between 9:00 and 10:00. Please call the front office when you arrive and someone will meet you in the rear of the building (music room door) to let you in.

And looking further ahead:

  • Monday (12/21)

    • Cohort A in school

  • Tuesday (12/22)

    • Cohort B in school





Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School


Welcome to December!

The holiday season is upon us. Once again, I am reminded of the traditions we won’t be celebrating – no Holiday Concert, no last day sing-along, no school-wide assembly silliness. And yet, as I watch the kids at lunchtime (I’ve been the lunchroom monitor these past few days) I am reminded that we are so fortunate to live and learn in this wonderful, small community. Better days are ahead. While we wait for that day, here are some notes for your consideration.


Change in Schedule

Those of you who have students at Tahanto know that they took a different approach to scheduling in the days before Thanksgiving. We are going to steal that idea and apply it to the final days before the holiday break. On Monday, December 21 (the first day of winter) we will welcome Cohort A to school as usual. However, on Tuesday, December 22 Cohort B will attend classes. This will allow each group some closure and a proper send-off before the break. We are telling you this now (and will keep reminding you) so that you can make any necessary childcare plans.


Help Needed

As a small school with a dedicated staff, we do not make regular use of substitutes for absent staff. We have had a few adults that we have been able to rely on over the years to meet the needs of our school. With the pandemic upon us, we are struggling to cover for teachers and staff who are forced to stay home. As a result, we have a desperate need for adults to work in our classrooms.


If you have ever entertained the idea of working here as a substitute, this is the moment to do it. It’s not a hard job, and we will make sure you have everything you need to be successful. Set aside, if you can, memories from your youth of substitute teachers you saw tortured in high school. This is little BMS, and you will have a great time. Heck, I’ll even buy you lunch!

If you have any interest at all, know that your help will be greatly appreciated. Give school and call, and I can give you more information. (We really are having a difficult time, you would be helping us more than you know.)



A note from the School Nurse

Dear Parents/Caregivers,


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wanted to thank you for being our partner in keeping our students in school learning. It is because parents/caregivers have been so diligent about following all of the COVID-19 related protocols that we have been able to do so. We ask that everyone continue the great work in promoting a healthy environment for all students and staff involved with in-person learning throughout the pandemic and upcoming holiday season.


FYI:

For Massachusetts, testing sites click here.

For the Massachusetts interactive testing map click here.

A quick reminder for those that haven’t gotten their flu vaccines, Massachusetts requires that all students grades K - 12 receive the Flu (Influenza) Vaccine by December 31, 2020. Be sure to get documentation of your child’s vaccination. Here is a detailed letter from your Berlin-Boylston School Nurses.

Stay well, and as always if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.


Ana Amaral, BSN, RN, NCSN

AAmaral@bbrsd.org



John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School



Tahanto Today December 4, 2020


Dear Tahanto Families,

This Week’s Schedule


Week of 12/7/20-12/11/20 ODD WEEK (High School Only) *


Cohort A (Last name A-LeB) you are at Tahanto in person on Monday, Tuesday & remote Wednesday-Friday

Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z) you are remote Monday -Wednesday and in-person Thursday & Friday


Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


State Mandated Flu Vaccination

Please click Here for important information



The documentation deadline is December 31, 2020

Questions? Contact Janet Sequeira, School Nurse at (508)869-2333 ext. 2303


Athletics

Please make sure that student-athletes have Covid related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their gym bags.


Winter registration will open this Saturday, December 5th, for JV and varsity boys and girls basketball. As determined by the MIAA, cheer and middle school sports will not be offered this Winter.

Please go to the front of the athletic website, click on the Winter Registration link, and follow the directions for registration.

Please be sure that your physical is updated. It is valid for 13 months after being issued. Once it expires, you are not eligible to participate in athletics until it is renewed.


Tryouts will start Monday, December 14.

The athletic fee for basketball will be due after tryouts. Please do not make payments until this time.

Look to the athletic website for more updates for Winter sports as they become available.


Look to the athletic website for scores and updates. https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/



Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

Tahanto Regional

mporcaro@bbrsd.org




Edgenuity Information


Dear Tahanto Parents and Students,


At this time, we would like to invite any families who are interested in participating in the full-remote model through our partnership with Edgenuity to please notify Mrs. Beth Esposito in our Guidance Office via email (besposito@bbrsd.org) no later than Friday, December 11th so that we may begin to make the necessary arrangements. Edgenuity is available to all Tahanto students in grades 6-12 and provides full remote learning in the content areas. For further information or to ask any questions, please contact Mrs. Jessica Gallagher, our District Coordinator, at jgallagher@bbrsd.org.


Thank you,

Diane Tucceri

Jessica Gallagher

Beth Espositio

Carol Costello



Start Your Holiday Shopping Now!


Click on Tahanto Book Fair to start your shopping



Tahanto Ski/Snowboard Club

For information click https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pUE76ND5UTOye5-6YWWggyz6ZAefYK3x/view?usp=sharing

To Sign-Up click

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d1L2UrE24Y3vhXxt6V-xTeKzX0RM6dNA/view?usp=sharing



School Committee Policy Update on Travel during COVID

Please read the following update to the travel policy. TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker’s Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed “low risk,” staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.

Families, please contact the nurse if you have traveled outside of Massachusetts to a “high risk” state. Currently, the only state that is not deemed to be high risk is Hawaii. Now, if you are going to Hawaii there is also a policy stating that you must take the principal with you :)

These restrictions are put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to this.



Block 8-Revised

Revised Block 8-Support Block


As we move into Term II, we have collected data surrounding the need for additional support for students as they navigate through the hybrid learning model. Many students have expressed the difficulty they are having with time management and organization. Teachers have also expressed the desire to offer support with current academic assignments and curriculum. Because of this, we will be shifting the focus of Block 8 from remediation to meeting the needs of students in their current academic standings.


During this 90 minute block, teachers will be able to request that a student attend a virtual extra help session or connect with them via email. This block may also be used to make up assignments and assessments. Likewise, students may also request extra help during Block 8 from teachers in any of their courses. It would be beneficial for teachers to set up a system that students may use to request extra help so that it does not conflict with the support that the teacher may be providing to other students during that time.


In addition, we will be offering times for clubs and groups to meet in order to promote extracurricular activities throughout the term.


It is our intention to offer dedicated time, support, and access to our students so that they feel supported and successful in their courses and at Tahanto.


After School Extra Help & Late Bus

The hope is that it will provide a convenient option for students who might otherwise not be able to stay after school, to receive extra help from their teachers.

When will the bus run?

The bus will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with pickup at Tahanto at 3:15 pm. Travel time is estimated to be 30 - 35 minutes.

Where will the stops be located?

The bus will transport students to the following “cluster” stops in Berlin and Boylston:

  • Boylston Public Library (695 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Calliope Theatre (150 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Berlin General Store (19 Central Street, Berlin)

  • US Post Office (260 Pleasant Street, Berlin)

On Tuesdays – the bus will go to the Berlin stops first, and then the Boylston stops

On Thursdays – the bus will go to the Boylston stops first, and then the Berlin stops

**Please check your teachers’ websites and Google Classrooms for specific days that your child's teachers will be available after school. If extra help is needed on a Monday or Wednesday, personal transportation must be provided.


Every Tuesday after school in the Library Conference Room we are offering math support for all students in grades 6-12. No need to sign up, just show up!


Important Clarification for Attendance


This is a clarification for all parents/students. If you are scheduled to be in person for learning, you may not choose to learn remotely unless you are not feeling well in which case a parent would call the school nurse.


If a student stays home due to not feeling well, a parent may write a parental excusal which should be brought into the Main Office upon the student's return to school. If the nurse excuses the student's absence for the day and allows the student to study remotely, students in a different cohort should contact their teachers to let them know they are planning on studying remotely as they may not have access to the Google Meet links/materials needed to work remotely.



School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 12/31/2020, or until federal funding is depleted. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.


Counselors Corner

Please click HERE to view the latest information from the School Counseling Department

Parents of high school students, please make sure that your email address is up to date in Naviance. This will allow you to receive up to date information from Mrs. Rodman.


Ms. Ford’s Virtual Office

Ms. Ford's Virtual Office Link

I developed this Virtual Office to provide students with the opportunity to have fun while learning about different coping skills, relevant topics such as Anxiety, and space where they can explore content to help them strengthen their social-emotional skill set. I update the office with new links and content weekly and even have had some suggestions from students too. So far this has allowed me to interact with students in a different way while teaching them they can "virtually do anything". A lot of students and parents have recognized that it is hard to utilize coping strategies while at home or when they do not have immediate access to them. In this office, they can explore what meets their needs and gain insight on areas they need additional support and feel connected.


Powerschool

Are you or your child having trouble logging onto your PowerSchool? Parents, do you need an account set-up? We encourage parents and students to have their own accounts. With that said, please reach out to Mrs. Esposito with any account-related concerns at besposito@bbrsd.org. As a friendly reminder, we DO NOT send home report cards. All grades can be viewed on PowerSchool. If you have multiple children in grades 6-12, parents can view each of their child’s information from one account.


Have you logged into PowerSchool but are unable to see grades? At the very top of the screen, above the student’s name there is a tab for Grades and Attendance, select the tab for them to appear. (This is different from the tab on the left-hand menu bar). Anything in blue, you can click on and it will provide detailed information like classwork, grades for an assignment, and days absent from the class. Your child’s teacher email information is also provided, should you need to reach them with any questions or concerns.


Attendance Information/Clarification

School districts must take attendance for every student, every period regardless of the mode of learning. If your child is absent from school whether your child is remote or in person, please follow the same procedures:


  1. Call (508)869-2333 x 2303 to report your child absent. If your child is absent due to a medical appt. (doctor or dentist) please bring a note to the main office from the doctor’s office the next day your child is at Tahanto.


  1. If your child is going to be late to school for either remote learning or in-person please still call the above number and make us aware of this. Remote attendance will be taken within the first 10 minutes of class.


  1. Each student has 3 parental excusals that can be used during each semester for absences that are not subject to a doctor’s visit. To use parental excusal please write a note and have your child bring the note to the main office on the next day your child is in person at Tahanto.


If we do not receive a call notifying us of the absence, the secretaries in the main office will be contacting parents/guardians.


If you need further clarification or need to ask a question specific to your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Boudreau at (508)869-2333 or send an email to sboudreau@bbrsd.org.



Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally-Ann Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org