BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

February 12, 2021

Our next newsletter will be on February 26, 2021

Superintendent's Office

I would like to thank all that attended our Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee meeting on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Please see below the update to the BBRSD Travel Policy that was voted on at that meeting.


Updated Travel Policy from BBRSD

The BBRSD School Committee voted on February 9, 2021, to amend the Travel Policy to align with the Commonwealth of MA Travel order.


Please click here to see the travel addendum (last paragraph) to the COVID policy and click here to see Governor Baker's Travel Order


Quarantine Guidance

Please see the link here to the state guidance in respect to close contact quarantining for those who may have been exposed to a person infected with the COVID virus.


Re-Entry 2.0 Quick Survey

Under separate cover, you should have received an email with a link to BBRSD Planning Survey we request be completed so we can gather data on our return to full, in-person learning. Please complete the survey no later than Monday, February 22.


Winter Break

Winter break is this coming week, February 15-19. It is my wish that our students, families, and staff enjoy this time and get plenty of rest and relaxation.


Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Department of Teaching and Learning


Newsletter Information from the Department of Teaching & Learning:

This report provides information presented to the School Committee and Superintendent of Schools for the February 9, 2021, School Committee meeting.


Annual School District Report Cards for 2020: The annual District Report Card will be distributed electronically to families and to the community by February 28, 2021. The Report Card will also appear on the district website. Please contact your school if you would like to have a hard copy of the report sent to you.


Changes to the SAT: The College Board recently announced that it was discontinuing the SAT Subject Test and the optional SAT essay. According to the Board, the decision was based on the premise that there is an expanded reach of AP courses (i.e. AP Computer Science Principles, AP Capstone) made available to all students, particularly low-income students and students of color, and that the Subject Tests were no longer necessary for students to show what they know.


In considering the removal of the SAT Essay, the Board recognized other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing, specifically the SAT Reading and Writing Language tests.


Grant Updates

Two additional grants have become available to the Berlin Boylston School District:


CRRSA Act - Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER II) Fund Grant - A continuation of the initial ESSER grant. This grant, in the amount of $127, 408, provides supplemental funding for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER II Fund) to help K-12 educational entities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of COVID-19. MA Education Commissioner Riley has added an additional $10,000 for each district into that grant to use for student mental health supports. Funds are also available for learning loss remediation.


FY21 State Coronavirus Prevention Fund Program Grant - An amount of $35,450 that the District may use for additional assistance to support coronavirus prevention efforts and to maintain and increase educational quality during the pandemic has been made available. Eligible uses for these funds include, but are not limited to, personal protective equipment, hygienic supplies, costs associated with socially distanced onsite learning, remote learning, or hybrid approaches as determined by the District. In addition, the District can also use their funds for any expenses required to ensure that low-income and other vulnerable students receive assistance and support. This support includes equal access to educational opportunities, including but not limited to, assistance overcoming technological hurdles to learning and access to social services, mental health, and behavioral health resources to address the potential trauma and other effects of the pandemic on students.



Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

ccostello@bbrsd.org

Business Office

Remote Meals!

Remote meal pickup will be offered over Winter Break on Monday 2/15 and Wednesday 2/17. Each child is eligible for 5 days of meals to cover what they would typically be offered during the normal school week. Weekend meals may also be requested by emailing Lauren Staples, Director of Food Services (lstaples@bbrsd.org).



This week we are mixing things up and introducing Anytimers meals (see photo below)

in combination with our newly made frozen meals: Popcorn Chicken, Mac n’ Cheese, Fish Sticks, Pasta with Meat Balls, French Toast Sticks, Pulled Pork Sandwich. A bag of fresh produce will also be offered to each household (as supplies last)!

Pickup times for the holiday week will be offered Monday 11:00am-12:00pm, 12:00pm-1:00pm and Wednesday 11:00am-12:00pm, 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. Alternative to weekly pickup, a single breakfast and lunch is available on Monday 2/15 and Wednesday 2/17 from 12:00pm-1:00pm, 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: lstaples@bbrsd.org 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




Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Technology Department


Just a short reminder to say that as the year progresses should your child’s District-owned Chromebook fail or be in need of service, please bring the device to the school’s main office.


There they will swap out the non-working device for a spare Chromebook. Repairs will be made if possible and the unit returned to the main office for pickup.


Please also know that if your need for a district-owned device has changed we will make sure your student has a device to access

their school work.



Paul Mara, Director of Technology

pmara@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


February break is here! I hope students, families, and staff are able to unplug and relax next week.



What a new year it has been! We start off remote and once we get back we have snowstorms. Valentine's day celebration wasinterrupted for Cohort A and another picture re-take day must be rescheduled, again. Wow! Nothing comes easy this year but we're getting through it together. In regards to this week's cancellations, don't worry, teachers will still celebrate Valentine's day with Cohort A when we return after the break. Picture retakes have been rescheduled for 3/9.



In other big news, this week's School Committee meeting was well attended and covered some important topics. Mr. Zanghi renewed his commitment to bringing all students back into the school five days per week after staff has the opportunity to be vaccinated. The Committee also reviewed the policy around traveling. Previously, the committee had put into place a policy that anyone traveling out of Massachusetts, unless the state deemed it a low risk, would be subject to a 14 day quarantine period before being allowed back into the school. With dropping rates and updated information from the district lawyer, the policy has now been updated to follow the State requirement. Families traveling outside of Massachusetts (unless it is to Hawaii) now have the options to:

  • Quarantine for 10 days prior to their return.

  • Produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered up to 72-hours prior to arrival in MA.

  • Or quarantine at home until a negative test is obtained.

  • NOTE: Testing for children, 10 years old 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 their return to MA.


Please be cognizant of these requirements. When students come in and discuss their vacations families may receive a call from the nurse to make sure these requirements were met. We want to keep everyone safe and continue in-person learning.



Please check the Electronic Folder


The weeks ahead:

  • Feb 15th - 19th

    • No School February Break

  • Wednesday (2/24)

    • 8:45 All School Meeting (This is in replacement of the Enrichment block) Link here.




Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School

We have finally arrived at the Winter Break. Given all that has gone on over the past few months, the break couldn’t come at a better time. With (perhaps?) more snow in the forecast while we are out of school, I hope everyone gets time to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. I have just a couple of notes for you...


Student Council News


Our Student Council is still working on their Massachusetts Safe Routes to School-Yard Sign Design Contest: We would like to have entries from BMS and will use submissions for our own contest. They recorded their video this week, and will be sharing it out when we return to school!


From Nurse Ana

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 aamaral@bbrsd.org prior to returning to in-person learning. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Stay well, have an enjoyable February break and safe travels.

Ana


John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School


This Week’s Schedule

VACATION: Relax and unwind


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


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


Academic Support

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

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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!


Click below for the most recent information from the Counseling Office

Counselor's Corner


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


Class of 2022 Chipotle Fundraiser

When: Tuesday, February 23rd between 4-8 p.m.

Where: Chipotle 237 Boston Post Rd W in Marlborough

Just tell the cashier you are supporting Tahanto Regional Middle/High School or order online for pick up and use code Y7NJZPX before checkout in the “promo” field and 33% of the proceeds support the Class of 2022


News from the Science Department

Using safe and social distancing protocols....AP Biology students engage in active learning by modeling difficult concepts. Creating models is an important science skill allowing students to transfer knowledge and apply concepts.



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!



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


Drama Club News

The Tahanto Drama Club is planning to perform a one-act play," Home of the Brave" in February.

We also are looking for a student who is interested in supporting the technical needs of putting on a virtual play.

Please contact Mrs. Gustavson directly at lgustavson@bbrsd.org to apply.


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:


  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.


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 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

Town of Boylston News

The Town of Boylston Master Plan Committee, which includes Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee Chairman James Spencer, has asked me to share the Master Plan Committee Survey with Boylston residents. The data they receive from this survey will be important to the town's future, as well as the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District.


The survey is open to Boylston residents through Monday, February 22.



Town of Boylston Master Plan Update Survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BoylstonMPSurvey

BBRSD 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