BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

February 26, 2021

Superintendent's Office

Greetings,

This past week, MA Commissioner of Education Jeff Riley delivered a strong message to the Commonwealth regarding a return to in-person learning. Below is a link to that news conference as well as the most recent CDC guidelines. The news conference can be seen in its entirety here.


For those who have been following our school committee meetings, the Berlin-Boylston School District will be presenting its plan for re-entry this spring to the School Committee on Tuesday, March 9th. Please join us as we walk through our proposed steps to offering all families the opportunity to return our children to in-person learning at the elementary, middle, and high schools as well as providing options for families who choose not to do so.



Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Department of Teaching and Learning


This past year, we have been fortunate to collaborate with the Massachusetts Partnership for Youth with its many resources and networking capabilities. In addition to numerous webinar presentations that have been offered to our staff as part of professional development, we will also be hosting a live webinar for parents and caregivers of teens. This webinar addresses the warning signs and action steps of teen depression.


Please take a few moments to read the webinar description below as well as registration instructions, and feel free to share with other parents, caregivers, and/or educators you know. Also, please contact me if you have any questions at ccostello@bbrs.org.


Time/Date: Wednesday, March 17; 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Topic: Understanding Teen Depression (for parents, caregivers, and staff of teens and those entering their teenage years )

Our teens need caring and educated adults like you! Join us on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at 6:30 pm for the virtual workshop, Understanding Teen Depression. During this 90-minute event, licensed mental health clinicians, Ari Cohen, and Jessica Gibbons will discuss how to recognize depression in teens, when and where to get help, communication techniques, and available community resources. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.


This event is intended for parents, guardians, school professionals, and any caring adult interested in learning more about teen mental health. It is facilitated by Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA), a national nonprofit based in Waltham, Massachusetts. FFDA’s mission is to help families recognize and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides. To learn more about their work, visit www.familyaware.org.


Zoom Registration

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAuceyopzwiGdYEWVlbcVGTMnSPTx5RONwk


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Here are some quick links to materials that may be of interest: (from the FFDA)

· Managing Stress in the Workplace

· Resources for Coping with Stress: Fact Sheet and recorded webinars

· Overview of our Teen Depression Programs




Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

ccostello@bbrsd.org

Business Office


FY2022 Budget

The Open Hearing for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget (the school year 2021-2022) was presented at the School Committee Meeting this past Tuesday, February 23. Click here to see the presentation.


Remote Meals!

Each child is eligible for meals on the days they are remote learning, up to 5 days of meals to cover what they would typically be offered during the school week. Weekend meals may also be requested by emailing Lauren Staples, Director of Food Services

.

This week’s menu items include Cheese Calzone, American Chop Suey, Popcorn Chicken, Mac N Cheese, French Toast Sticks.


Pickup times for the week will be offered Monday 11:00am-1:00pm, Tuesday 11:00am-1:00pm, and Wednesday 10:00am-1:00 pm, and Thursday 12:00pm-1:00pm, and Friday 12:00pm-1:00pm.


Note: All children ages 1-18 in the local area are eligible for our free remote meals, regardless of their enrollment status in the district. An alternative to weekly pickup, a single breakfast and lunch are available on those days, no registration required.

Please fill out the form below (1 form per child) to specify your weekly order and pickup details. If you are unable to pick up during the available pickup windows please email: Lauren Staples to arrange alternate plans. Pickup windows were created to reduce wait times, and improve traffic flow.

Pickup is at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School. Take the entrance nearest the softball/field hockey field, and idle at the cone near the dumpsters. Stay in your car, and the order will be brought to your vehicle.


Participating in our remote meal program keeps our food service department working, so thank you in advance!


Weekly remote meal ordering form link:

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

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



Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


Everything has felt more fun this week coming out of the break. I've had the chance to join a Ball Bouncing music class and snowman fireworks in the library! And then, I had my own opportunity to host our first every Bobcat Family Feud. One of my great struggles this year is the inability to have whole school assemblies.


When the district procured the webinar Zoom licenses I knew I had my opportunity! We typically focus our assemblies on our Bobcat Be's in different environments and so for the purpose of this one we focused on being Safe, Respectful, and Responsible in remote learning.


I generated the responses by surveying the older students. Our participants were nominated by teachers and were invited from both cohorts and from the Bridge program. For those who didn't get a chance to watch at home, Family Cats (Will, Emily, and Addie) took the last-minute steal to edge out the Bob family (Natalia, Colin, and Sylvia) with 148 points to 117. You can see the "board" here. The kids asked if I was like Steve Harvey but I showed my age referring back to Richard Dawson. I thought the kids did a great job and I hope everyone enjoyed viewing from home!


Next week we will be back to our typical Enrichment blocks:

  • K through 2nd meeting at this link (hosted by BMS Principal Mr. Campbell)

  • 3rd through 5th meeting at this link (hosted by me).


Every year, schools and districts receive a "Report Card" from the state and despite the pandemic, we have received one as well. A formal letter is in the electronic folder for your review as well as on the website. You'll notice that the Accountability measures rely on previous years' data. They also do not have MCAS scores from last year to report on. Additionally, the state does not have the capability of reporting our testing scores as a school prior to regionalization in this format. However, most of the other data has been updated and I'd encourage you to take a look when you have a second.



The Electronic Folder



The week ahead: Specials Week 2


Read Across America Spirit Week!

  • Monday - Cat in the Hat Day AKA Crazy Hat Day

  • Tuesday - Green Eggs and Ham AKA wear Green

  • Wednesday - Crazy Hair Day

  • Thursday - Oh the Places You'll Go AKA Wear a shirt with the name of a place on it

  • Friday - Dress as your favorite book character!


  • Tuesday (3/2)

    • Virtual Community Reader Day!

  • Thursday (3/4)

    • PTO Meeting



Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School


Student of the Month


Here at Berlin Memorial, we celebrate the importance of hard work as a way to accomplish our goals. To this end, we recognize one student per grade as a Student of the Month! February’s honorees - Shealyn F., Danny C., Lucia B., Ella F., Aanya L., and Rain H. were recognized in our all-school meeting. Congratulations to them, and to all the hard-working students here at BMS



Thank you, First Responders


Our Student Council ran a “Thank you, First Responders” program here at school. Students were asked to write a thank-you note to our friends in the Berlin Public Safety departments. On Tuesday they delivered those notes, plus gift cards. Officer Goodie was there to act as an informal master of ceremonies, and the event went very smoothly. You can watch the Item for an article about this next week.




From Nurse Ana

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

I hope that everyone enjoyed a bit of rest, relaxation, and fun during the February vacation. It’s hard to believe that it is the last week of February.

I wanted to let you know that although we are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to COVID-19, we still have to be vigilant and protect ourselves and others. Please continue to use the DailyScreening Checklist before sending your child to school. If at any point you are unsure, feel free to contact me via email or phone.

The state of Massachusetts is slowly moving forward with vaccinating individuals against COVID-19. As more and more people become eligible for the vaccine, the sites below may be of use when booking your appointment. Patience is a must with this process!

Lastly, as you already know, the Berlin-Boylston School District is now following state guidelines for both close contact in quarantine and travel regulations. Be sure to check these sites frequently as guidance is evolving as we learn more about COVID-19.

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

Ana



John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School



This Week's Schedule/Odd Week


Check out Ms. Ford's Virtual Relaxation Room for amazing ways to help you relax and unwind


Drama Club News

The Tahanto Drama Club will present:

Home of the Brave by Lee Cataluna, performed with permission from Theatrefolk.com on Friday, February 26, 2021, at 7:00 pm in a virtual format.


Tickets must be purchased online from https://tahanto.booktix.com/ using a credit card (which means creating an account with an email to which the live stream pass will be sent). Information on how the live stream access may be reviewed here: https://booktixlivecdn.booktix.com/helpItems/1J9WTJrMpjBszkxWhMYfD5FuJ4TR5nTQEf3w09AC.pdf


Home of the Brave looks at how children in military families deal with their situation: constant moving, worrying about deployed parents, best friends whose families are transferred overseas, and never knowing how long they’ll be in a particular school. What is home when the home is always changing?


Jada and Johnelle are the “new kids” on the base. Jada wants to put up curtains and make their space a home; Johnelle doesn’t even want to unpack. Meanwhile, Marcus and Brady are dealing with their dad being deployed in the East China Sea, and Ty just wants a friend who will remember her. Each must learn that home isn’t necessarily a place. Home is where your heart lives.


If you have any questions, please email lgustavson@bbrsd.org.


Thank you for your support of the Tahanto Drama Club!



Free Teen Depression Webinar

Our teens need caring and educated adults like you! Join us on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 6:30 pm for the virtual workshop Understanding Teen Depression. During this 90-minute event, a licensed mental health clinician will discuss how to recognize depression in teens, when and where to get help, communication techniques, and available community resources. Participants* will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.


This event is intended for parents, guardians, school professionals, and any caring adult interested in learning more about teen mental health.


This event is facilitated by Families for Depression Awareness (FFDA), a national nonprofit based in Waltham, Massachusetts. FFDA’s mission is to help families recognize and cope with depression and bipolar disorder to get people well and prevent suicides. To learn more about our work, visit www.familyaware.org.


Zoom Registration

When: Mar 17, 2021 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAuceyopzwiGdYEWVlbcVGTMnSPTx5RONwk

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Academic Support

Do you need support in academic classes? If so, here are some reminders of support that is available to ALL students.

  • Teachers are available after school 1 day a week to help students. Please email teachers to find out their availability.

  • Block 8 on Tuesdays & Thursdays are times during the school day in which teachers are available for extra help. Your teacher may either invite you to an extra help session or you can reach out to your teacher and set up a time with them.

  • 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!


Counseling Office News and Resources

Middle School

Counseling Newsletter


High School News

Counseling Corner


Resources

Ms Ford’s virtual office - A great place to find coping strategies



Senior Class Information

Class dues for Seniors are due NOW! Your dues are needed to cover expenses for yearbooks, prom, class gift, etc. Please contact Mrs. Hutchinson if you do not know if you owe money.

Help the Senior Class of Tahanto Class of 2021 celebrate this Spring in style! We are hoping to bring some joy to the 84 graduating seniors by sponsoring a gift bag for each student.

You can help us reach this goal by contributing something through the links below OR by sending a check to Tahanto PTO 1001 Main Street, Boylston, MA 01505 OR by using Paypal OR Venmo:

PayPal https://tinyurl.com/y2ru98k4

Venmo TahantoPTO

Celebrate a Senior


Yarnstorm

In collaboration with Tower Hill Botanical Garden, Tahanto Art presents Community, Connectedness, and The Legend of the Red String, an installation on view during the Yarnstorm Exhibition! Come view our school tree, which is adorned with student-created Origami, in this yarn-bombing exhibition which runs from January 16th - March 31st, 2021. Please read our statement about this important work below:


Drawing on the Japanese Legend of the Red String and themes of community, connectedness, and collaboration, the students at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School have created a site-specific art installation for Tower Hill Botanic Garden's exhibition, Yarnstorm. The Legend of the red string states that every person's pinky finger is tied to an invisible red string that will lead him or her to another person with whom they will make history. Although the string may get tangled, contracted, or stretched, as surely often happens, it will never break. While community activities, and even art exhibitions, have been looking differently since the start of 2020, it is important to remind ourselves that we are all still connected to one another. Students created works of origami that symbolized their experiences throughout quarantine, and although our strings might all be slightly stretched right now, our community is intact and continuing to create light.


For more information regarding this exhibition, please visit: https://www.towerhillbg.org/yarnstorm/

To reserve tickets online (in accordance with social distancing guidelines), please visit:

https://www.towerhillbg.org/admissions-confirmation/



Mindmatters Club Is Back!

The Mindmatters Team is finally here! Our team goal is to provide ways to educate students and staff on issues and information relating to mental health. The core focus is promoting mental wellness and shattering the stigma often attached to mental health issues.

If any students in grades 9-12 would like to join this team, please email Ms. Gardner at dgardner@bbrsd.org. You will then be sent an email for a future google meet which will be held Wednesdays OR after school when you are home. I look forward to hearing from you!


From the Health Office

Revised: School Committee Policy on Travel during COVID

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

In case you are not aware, the Berlin Boylston Regional School District is now following Governor Baker’s Travel Order for all Massachusetts residents/visitors. If you are traveling across state lines be sure to know the guidelines before you go as they often change. You can find them on the state government website by clicking on the Travel Order.

At this time, if you plan to travel during February break, in order to return to school/work, you must do one of the following:

  • Quarantine for a full 10 days, or

  • Produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival. However, all such arriving travelers must immediately begin the 10-day quarantine until a negative test result has been received.

  • Testing for children, 10 years and younger, who are traveling with an adult from their household is not required as long as the adult provides their negative PCR test results within 72 hours upon arrival or return to MA

If you are traveling or if your student becomes ill over school break and/or your student or someone else within the household tests positive for COVID19, please be sure to notify me at jsequeira@bbrsd..org prior to returning to in-person learning. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me


Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


Immunization Requirements

The Massachusetts Dept.of Public Health along with the MA Immunization Information Systems, will once again be surveying the complete immunization status of all grade 7 students. Please ask your child's doctor to fax (508-869-6202) your child's immunization record as soon as possible.

This year, the State will also be surveying the immunization status of grade 11 students. Please ask your child's doctor to fax that to me at 508-869-6202 which is a confidential/dedicated fax line.

Please click here for important information



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.


https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/


Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

Tahanto Regional

mporcaro@bbrsd.org




Important Clarification for Attendance

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:


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.


FREE SCHOOL LUNCH

School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 6/30/2021. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.



Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org

School Committee News

Moses Reed Tyler Scholarship Application


The 2021 Moses Reed Tyler Scholarship Application for eligible Berlin residents is now available. Please note the early deadline of March 31, 2021.

Click here to download the application