October 18, 2020

Important Dates:

  • October 23 - You must submit your decision on Hybrid or Remote Learning, and whether you are taking the bus or driving to school. Please go to your child's PowerSchool; on the left-hand side of the menu, click on forms to access the survey. HYBRID COHORTS WILL BE MADE AFTER THIS DATE AS DETERMINED BY THE DISTRICT.
  • October 28 - Dawson SIMCO Meeting at 4:00
  • October 29 at 7:00 -8:00 - VIRTUAL DAWSON FAMILY BINGO NIGHT with PRIZES - FREE - BINGO REGISTRATION - deadline to the registrar is 10/26.
  • November 3 - No School
  • November 4 - FULL DAY OF SCHOOL
  • November 11 - No School
  • November 12 - Parent - Question and Answer on HYBRID Learning via Zoom at 7:00 pm. (link will be coming)
  • November 17 - Quarter One Marks Close
  • November 18- Hybrid Begins (Note: this is a Wednesday and Wednesdays are full remote so cohort B will begin 11/19)
  • November 23 - Reports Available on Powerschool
  • November 25 - 27 - No School - Thanksgiving Break


Dear Dawson Community,

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Sunday. I am watching football all day and gearing up for a full week ahead.

Dawson staff is working extremely hard getting the building ready for the Hybrid date of November 18th. Please make sure you complete the survey by 10/23 so I can begin creating cohorts and plan for arrival and dismissal. I will begin creating cohorts once the survey is closed by the district. Once Central Office gives the approval to share what cohort you are in I will tell you immediately.

The following points are all the safety precautions we will adhere to once we start Hybrid:

- Dawson students will need to wear a mask (see below on mask-wearing). We have students and staff members who are in need of wearing a mask due to health reasons.

- There are decals 6 feet apart on the floors throughout Dawson. All students will stand on the decal for bathroom lines, dismissal lines, and going to the cafe or gym for lunch.

- All bathrooms have dividers between sinks and urinals. One or two children at a time can go in the bathroom at a time.

-All water fountains have been turned off. I encourage you to supply water in a personal water bottle every day.

- Lunch will be 20 minutes and your child will sit either in the cafe or the gym. In the cafe, the children will have individual desks all facing one direction. The Dawson cafe can only fit 35 desks at 8 feet apart ( 2 ft. personal space and 6ft. apart). In the gym, the students will sit at each end of the table all facing the same direction. Lunch will look very different as the students will not be able to socialize like in previous years due to the distance between students.

- Recess will be 30 minutes but the children have to stay with their classmates and also adhere to the six feet rule. This will be a mask break for students. There will be areas designated for students to be during recess. Here is the guidance from MA DESE:

Masking for RECESS: If students are outdoors and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet, consider using recess as an unmasked time. Otherwise, monitor for adherence to masking requirements and at least 3 feet of distancing.

-Music and art will be in the children's classrooms and the gym class (if not a nice day) will also be in the classrooms.

- Gym guidance from the Department of Education:

This section contains guidance for physical education classes during the school day. With physical activity, individuals tend to breathe more heavily and speak louder, which increases the potential for dispersal of respiratory droplets. Physical education classes should follow these guidelines:

· No physical education classes can have activities with close physical contact.

· Physical education should prioritize activities that do not require shared equipment. For example, consider agility training exercises, bodyweight strength training (such as push-ups), yoga, track and field, running, step aerobics, or racquet activities (as long as racquets are disinfected before and after use).

· Prioritize outdoor activities, whenever possible.

· Students should wash or sanitize hands before and after physical education. Particular attention should be paid to washing and sanitizing hands before and after masks are removed and put on, if applicable.

· No sharing of water bottles, towels, mouth guards, helmets, or other equipment that comes into contact with the nose or mouth is allowed.

· As part of the school cleaning/disinfecting protocols, frequently clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces (e.g., any equipment used) between uses and at least daily.

For physical education activities:

· If outdoors, without masks, these activities can occur with 10 feet of distance between individuals.

· If outdoors, with masks required, these activities can occur with 6 feet of distance between individuals.

- The K- 5 classrooms have been set up with a max. of 14 students. The student desks are 3 ft apart. All classrooms K-5 have individual desks that will be shared between cohorts. The student's personal belongings will be stored when not in school.

- Only staff and children are allowed in the building. At this time, there will be no volunteers at Dawson.

- When entering Dawson you need to stop and talk through the NEW PLEXIGLASS window.

-Please watch the video on the NEW nurse pick up procedures.

Massachusetts Department of Education: COVID-19 Guidance/On the Desktop Messages

The Dawson staff is looking forward to welcoming the students back to school. Although this year will look very different, the Dawson staff is COMMITTED to high-quality and safe education of your child (ren)


Melissa Wallace, Principal

New Nurse Pick Up Procedures


Dear Parents,

To help families prepare for the eventual return to in-person learning, it is important that the following information pertaining to student illness is reviewed before students start school. As the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the medical community learn more about COVID-19, it is possible that this guidance will change. The information below is based on the most recent, reliable medical guidance.

Parents whose child has one or more of the following signs/symptoms of illness, that are also associated with COVID-19, should keep their child home from school. It is also recommended that parents contact their primary care physician for further evaluation:

  • Fever of 100.0° F or higher accompanied by chills

  • Persistent cough that is not due to another known cause such as chronic cough

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Headache in combination with other symptoms listed here

  • Muscle aches or body aches

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

  • Fatigue in combination with other symptoms listed here

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose that is not due to other known causes such as allergies and is in combination with other symptoms listed here
    Click here for the CDC’s COVID-19 Information Page

The following information, related to when child(ren) may return to school, is based on the WRSD School Reopening Plan and Department of Health guidance:

  1. If a student is referred for further medical evaluation for symptoms of illness, they may only return to school with a note from their doctor or following a 10-day quarantine IF symptoms have improved AND they are fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

  2. Close contact is defined by the CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
    If a student is considered to be a close contact, they may only return to school following a 14-day quarantine period, even if a negative COVID-19 test result is received.
    It is recommended that anyone who is considered close contact gets tested for COVID-19 four to five days following exposure.

  3. If a student has tested positive for COVID-19, they may return to school 10 days following documentation of the start of symptoms if they are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication AND if their symptoms have improved.

  4. Important: All documentation must be faxed or emailed to the health office prior to returning to school.

As the District refines and finalizes school reopening plans, it is understood that there may be situations unique for families that require further discussion. Your child’s school nurse is available to discuss these situations, as well as to provide further explanation for the protocols outlined in this message. Please be aware that the WRSD school nurses have been integral in shaping the District’s protocols and procedures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are a valuable resource for parents and guardians.

I appreciate the questions and concerns that have arisen in our outreach to the families of students. Our ability to work together and collaborate during this difficult period of time is integral to our success.


Mrs. Wallace


Hello Dawson Families,

Face masks have become the new normal in our society. As we reopen schools, facemasks are one of the main aspects for limiting the spread of COVID-19. From the CDC, DOH, and medical directors, we know that face coverings are key, but having these items become part of our new pandemic culture, especially for our younger learners, is not an easy task. Please be sure that your child's mask is either cloth or disposable and fully covers their nose and mouth while fitting securely over their face. Gaiters and valve masks are not safe for school use. Please send your child with a spare mask in their backpack. If needed, we will have spare masks available for students.

I am encouraging students, and families to use time at home to prepare for full-time mask-wearing. As much as you can, give kids time to practice wearing their masks before they might need to wear one outside of your home. Teach them how to put them on and take them off. Create “mask times” during the day. Examples can be while students are playing board games, reading a book, utilizing an electronic device, etc.

Modeling is one of the most effective ways to teach children how to wear masks. While wearing masks, consider looking in the mirror and having conversations with your children. But perhaps the two most important tools to utilize are:

1. Use positive reinforcement when they wear a mask. Use praise or small rewards.

2. Be patient. Young children are looking for ways to be independent and may want to leave their mask on.

Here are a few other ideas that you may want to explore.

Encourage kids to decorate their mask. This might help them feel a sense of ownership and control over the situation. A personal touch can help make it more of a normal part of their routine, and make it more likely they'll want to wear their mask. Depending on the type of mask, kids can draw on it with markers or put stickers on it. Draw masks onto pictures of their favorite characters: superheroes, cartoon characters, athletes, toys, etc.

Make them together. If you make masks or cloth face coverings at home, let older kids help you. There are no-sew masks that are easy to make, often with materials you probably already have (T- shirts, bandannas, etc.). If you sew masks, maybe kids can select the fabric or patterns for the masks they'll wear.

Help make it fun. With younger kids, introduce a sense of play. Kids can pretend to be a doctor or nurse while wearing their masks. They might want to use a doctor kit and "take care" of a stuffed animal or doll.

Have a few masks handy while kids play. This lets them use their imagination about how to use them during playtime. It also helps make masks a more normal part of their everyday world. You can ask your child to put a mask on a stuffed animal, and then ask follow-up questions about why the stuffed animal is wearing the mask. Depending on your child's response, you can clear up any confusion and offer reassurance.


Mrs. Salvadore


Hello Dawson Families!

First I just want to thank parents for supporting all your young artists at home this year! I know it hasn't been easy figuring out how to take pictures of artwork and correctly upload them into the various platforms, so I appreciate your help and patience.

This week I will be starting a mask-making project with the whole school! Students will have the option of making masks with materials they can find around the house (paper, cardboard, fabric, etc) OR on a paper template that will be shared through Google Classroom and Seesaw. It can be printed at home or picked up from Dawson in a small white bin at the front of the building. Students can draw on these templates and upload the image to Artsonia, where families can purchase custom fabric masks with your child's artwork. This is intended for fun, and as a fundraiser for the art program here at Dawson, which as you can imagine will look a little different as we return to school this year! The art program receives 20% of the proceeds from Artsonia sales. You are absolutely not required or expected to buy anything, and doing so will not impact students' grades. Please contact me directly with any questions about this, or anything art-related!

Colorfully yours,

Casey Hickey

Artist Teacher