South Elementary Family Newsletter

Volume #2, October, 2020

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Monthly Message from the Principal

Dear South Families,

K/1 Hybrid learning students started back to school in-person this week! Please see all the Grade Level Sections below for updates and pictures specific to each grade. It was so wonderful to see the Kindergarteners and First Graders in school! Despite a few tears, every child made it through the entire day and wore smiles when they left. I can't thank all of you enough for your patience with all things Covid-related: remote learning, hybrid learning, cohorts, etc....It has been a little bit crazy at times but we are getting through it and the best part is seeing our students and families, who we have greatly missed!


Please review the attached SPS Health and Safety Handbook shared with our families and staff members. The handbook includes important information on face masks/covering (no neck gators or masks with vents, unless a doctor's note is sent in), travel restrictions (links in Parent Resources for Massachusetts Travel information), and keeping students home if students or their close contacts have COVID symptoms. Please model our values of being respectful, being responsible, and being safe, by adhering to these policies and guidelines. These policies have been put in place to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, and to keep our students healthy and safe. Keeping our 250 students, and 40+ staff safe is a collaborative effort and we are relying on our families to help us.


Please reach out to your child's teacher if you have any questions about their schedule.

Please let me know if you have any questions. We will have ALL grades in the building by the week of October 12th and I can't wait for that. I hope you all have a more relaxing, less hot and humid, and consistent October.


Aloha, Steph Brown

stephanie.brown@somersetschools.org

Important Dates

Monday, October 12th-NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, October 13th-4th/5th graders Cohort A start in person Hybrid learning; Cohort B starts Thursday, October 15th

REMIND app

Please click on this link if you would like to be updated through text with information from me.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16AdsbT9Z9D69twSx_HR2Las2wQjKUf86/view?usp=sharing

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Technology and Virtual Learning

There have been a lot of problems with students getting kicked off of their Google Meets, both in full class and small group, while using their school-issued Chromebook. The tech department is fully aware of the issue, but as of yet has no solution; in the meantime, to avoid the mounting frustration suffered by the students getting booted out, some parents have been putting their children online using personal devices. While it’s not an optimal solution, it is a tempmorary solution that will work until we can come up with a long term solution covering school devices. In order for this to work, however, a couple of things need to be set up properly. First, students MUST be using the Chrome Internet browser. When they start the browser, it should ask them to log in. They should click on the “Already a Chrome user? Sign in” link.


On the next screen, they should enter their entire username – xxfirst.last@somersetschools.org


And then enter their password:


On the next screen, it will ask if they want to link their data. Click on LINK DATA.


Finally, click on “Yes, I’m in.”


This should allow all of the district extensions (including GoGuardian) to load.

If their computer remembers all of their information already, but you can’t see them in GoGuardian, they need to click on the letter for their name in the top right corner.


Click on TURN ON SYNC on the window that appears.


Click LINK DATA here


Finally, click on TURN ON SYNC; you should now be able to see them in GoGuardian.


If you have other specific questions and are unable to resolve a technology issue with your child's Chromebook, please contact our Elementary Technology Specialists via email. If you are asked to come to school to exchange your Chromebook for a different one, please bring your other one with you.

Chris Green: chris.green@somersetschools.org

June Mitchell: june.mitchell@somersetschools.org

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Arrival & Dismissal

We did really well with arrival and dismissal the first week. Please be understanding as we work through any of the issues and know that this process will take longer during the month of October as the children come back in-person and get used to new routines. Thank you for all of your patience!


*Please do not get out of your car during arrival or dismissal unless it is absolutely necessary. If your child is in a booster or car seat, please have them practice at home with the buckles to become more independent. These things will help with traffic flow.


Arrival

-Starts at 8:40AM. No one should be dropped off before that time as there will be no supervision.

-School begins at 9AM.


Dismissal

-Buses at 3:15pm

-Parent Pick-up by library at 3:23pm *if you are coming to school on Read Rd. and headed toward County St, please go down and turn around to get in the pick up line.

-Walkers by side of building, behind gym/cafeteria door at 3:30pm


Please see below for the upper grade start dates for Cohort A. Cohort B starts in-person on Thursday and Friday of those weeks.

Monday, 10/5-Grades 2/3

Tuesday, 10/13-Grades 4/5

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From Ms. Bertrand, our school nurse

All students should be coming to school with a face mask unless they have a doctor's note. For the Somerset Public Schools Face Coverings Protocol. Click HERE.


If your child is ill, please keep them home and email our school nurse, susan.bertrand@somersetschools.org With remote learning, we will be able to provide your child with asynchronous assignments to help them not fall behind. Safety is our priority and we will work with you on how to keep your child and others healthy and safe.


Annual Physical Examination


Please submit your child’s updated, annual examination as soon as it takes place. All screenings are part of a physical examination, therefore, please make sure all are done for the appropriate age/grade and documented on the physical examination form. Screening will not be conducted in school at this time. You may have your child OPT OUT of screenings by writing and signing a letter and submitting it to the School Nurse.


The following are the screenings needed for your child annually:


SCREENING

GRADES

VISION

K - 5

HEARING

K - 3

BMI

1 & 4

POSTURAL

5


I hope everyone has a great and healthy new school year!


Ms. Bertrand

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South PTO

- South School Store is open till October 16th. Get all your Cricket gear to last the year! Proceeds of the sales go towards our school. https://stores.inksoft.com/south_elementary_school/

- South Water Bottles have been purchased for all students. Please wash these bottles by hand. They are not dishwasher top rack safe. They will be distributed within the classrooms once students return to in-person learning. Full remote families please contact the PTO directly at somersetsouthelementarypto@gmail.com to arrange for contactless delivery.

- Online Meadow Farms Fundraiser will be going on from 10/20 to 11/19. We'll share the link on the South Elementary PTO Facebook page once it becomes available. Get all your delicious goodies just in time for the holidays!

- Our first Spirit Week of the year will be the week of October 25! Favorite Book or Movie Character Day!

Cohort A - Tuesday, October 27

Cohort B - Friday, October 30

Full Remote - Send your photos to somersetsouthelementarypto@gmail.com or on Facebook and we will post them to our Facebook page throughout the week.

- Next PTO Meeting will be on Tuesday, October 20th at 6pm. Please join our virtual meeting to see all the exciting things going on at our school.

Meeting Info:

South Elementary PTO is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Monthly South PTO Meeting
Time: Oct 20, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every month on the Third Tue, until May 18, 2021, 8 occurrence(s)
Oct 20, 2020 06:00 PM
Nov 17, 2020 06:00 PM
Dec 15, 2020 06:00 PM
Jan 19, 2021 06:00 PM
Feb 16, 2021 06:00 PM
Mar 16, 2021 06:00 PM
Apr 20, 2021 06:00 PM
May 18, 2021 06:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82907330145?pwd=eUVVbDBlMUNKcFFROVVYUnN5ZnM5QT09

Meeting ID: 829 0733 0145
Passcode: crickets


- The PTO is only an email away. Don't hesitate to reach out to us at somersetsouthelementarypto@gmail.com

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Parent Resources

October Lunch Menu: please click HERE or try this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Sto3qMfOEgEJJLOaAaziTZXoRga8wQVQ/view?usp=sharing

Remember, all students eat free while the program lasts.

To create an account for the cafeteria, please go to MySchoolBucks. That link is HERE.


Conscious Discipline-Free Virtual Parenting Class

Click HERE for more information


PARENT Cafe Virtual Schedule

Grades 4 & 5, October 5th at 10AM. Link is HERE

Grades 4 & 5, October 5th at 6PM. Link is HERE


Somerset Public Schools, Revised Calendar: please click HERE


MA/COVID Travel Information

If you are planning on a family vacation or a visit out of the state, please review the Massachusetts Travel Order. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order.

This is pulled directly from the website:

Any employee or student who travels out of Massachusetts to a state that is not on the Lower-Risk States list must complete and submit the on-line Massachusetts Travel Form.

If any employee/student travels to a higher-risk state they must quarantine for 14 days unless they can produce proof of negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken not longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts. Tests that are acceptable to satisfy the 72-hour test rule are limited to the following:

The travel form requires individuals to certify that at least one of the following is true:

  • I have received a negative test result for COVID-19 on a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours prior to my arrival, consistent with Massachusetts Department of Public Health Guidance

  • I plan to get a test at my cost and will remain in quarantine until I receive a negative result

  • I have taken a COVID-19 test and am awaiting my result and will remain in quarantine until I receive a negative result

  • I will quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Massachusetts or for the duration of my stay if fewer than 14 days

Failure to submit a completed Massachusetts Travel Form, when required, or failure to comply with the quarantine requirement, if applicable, may result in a $500 fine per day. Additional information about both the Massachusetts Travel Form and the 14-day quarantine requirement can be found in this comprehensive guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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KINDERGARTEN

Our K teachers are Mrs. Borges and Mrs. Faria, who are supported by Mrs. Silva and Ms. Pretto.

Here's the K Update:

Kindergarten is so excited to be in school! We have been learning about how to be safe in our classroom and have fun together. We have been talking about how to make good choices and be bucket fillers. When doing this we make others and ourselves happy. Our in school days have been filled with opportunities to explore using different tools appropriately and playing with a variety of manipulatives. We have been discussing our families and how our classroom is a type of family. We have also been working on making rhyming words, identifying shapes, and working with the numbers 1-5. We look forward to a great year with great friends!


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GRADE ONE

Our First Grade teachers are Mrs. Brisson and Mrs. Griffin, who are supported by Mrs. Pimental.

Here's the Grade One update:


It was so great to have first graders back in our classroom! They came back excited and ready to learn! First graders have been focusing on adding numbers within 10. We have been learning about our Somerset community, too. Most importantly, we have been spending lots of time learning about each other and building a wonderful classroom community!!

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GRADE TWO

Our Second Grade teachers are Mrs. Proulx and Mrs. Teasdale, who are supported by Mrs. Youngquist and Ms. Annello. Here's the update from Grade 2:


Community building has been our SEL focus! In ELA, we have been working on our first story, Trouble at the Sandbox, with it’s focus on character traits and character perspective. Also building a foundation for narrative writing with strong character and setting Illustrations to catapult us into strong leads. We will be starting to add events with transition words (first, next, then, last). Word work has included a short vowel review with final consonant blends and CVe long vowel pattern. In math we have reviewed place value up to 100.


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GRADE THREE

Our Third Grade teachers are Mrs. Lopesand Mrs. Kela, who are supported by Mrs. Raposa. Here is what will be happening in Grade 3 during October:

The flip flops have been put away and now visions of pumpkins dance in our heads. Grade 3 students have been hard at work mastering our new technology platforms while building new friendships. In reading, we have focused on character development through read alouds, independent reading and discussing books with our friends. Third graders have been able to use those model texts to help guide their narrative writing. Soon each student will have a published writing piece that they will be able to share with their families and friends. In math, we have been reviewing double and triple digit addition and subtraction which will provide a great foundation as we transition into multiplication. During the month of October, we will continue with our social studies unit on Government as our nation leads into Election Day. We are all very excited to start our new science unit on extreme weather. Mrs. Lopes and Mrs. Kela want to thank all families for their support, flexibility and understanding during our remote only weeks and are very excited to welcome students back to class.


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GRADE FOUR

Our Fourth Grade teachers are Mrs. Oliveira and Mr. Rosa, who are supported by Mrs. Brimmer. Here is the update from Grade 4:

Grade 4 is off to a great start! We are taking time to build rituals, routines, and relationships. Fourth graders know that kindness is contagious as we work to fill buckets inside and outside of school. We have enjoyed the study of Pourquoi Tales which will lead us into rich narrative writing with strong setting and dynamic characters. Chapter 1 in Math brings a great review of place value. This week both classes will alternate with map skills in Social Studies and Earth Materials as Science topics. We look forward to gathering together in cohorts to really kick the school year off right! Thank you for all of your support!


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GRADE FIVE

Our Fifth Grade teachers are Mrs. Potvin and Mrs. McDonald, who are supported by Mrs. Rodrigues. Here is the Grade 5 update:

We have been to get to know our each other through different fun activities these first few weeks. In ELA, we are reading “Night of the Spadefoot Toad”, written by local author Bill Haley. The students are really enjoying the story of a boy named Ben who moves to Massachusetts from Arizona. In Math, we began with place value and are working on multiplication and equations. We are looking forward to see the students on Tuesday, October 13, 2020.