Friday Notes

September 4, 2020

What is Friday Notes?

This is the first edition of our weekly publication of Friday Notes! Typically, the first edition is released after our first successful week of school. Given the unique start to our academic year, we felt it was prudent to release our first edition in advance of our first week; there's a lot to plan for and communicate! For our new families, Friday Notes is the primary tool we use to communicate updates, reminders, and school news all in one spot! Friday Notes will be delivered to your inbox each Friday and we also post Friday Notes on our website under the Current Families tab, for your reference.

*NEW* daily update

New this year, we will be emailing a Daily Update Monday through Thursday each afternoon. The Daily Update will look similar to Friday Notes with regard to format, but it will provide our families with a sneak peek into your student's day from a classroom perspective. Not welcoming families into our building at drop off and pick up is a significant departure from what we have always enjoyed in previous years. It is our hope that the Daily Update will give our families "conversation starters" and will provide a bit of reassurance that while our year may look a little different, your children continue to be engaged in enriching and meaningful experiences.

School Supplies

No doubt, this weekend, you will be picking up last minute school supplies in preparation for the school year. While many teachers have made specific requests to keep their classrooms sanitized and healthy (thank you for your help!), we would like to offer a few additions for your consideration:

  • Thermometers: while we will take your student's temperature upon arrival, we recommend families take their child's temperature before leaving the house. This helps to identify a fever before arriving at school.
  • Extra facial coverings: your child should have an extra facial covering with him/her each day. We anticipate facial coverings could become soiled, wet, or lost as we get used to them.
  • Water bottle: we will close the drinking fountains, but will keep the refill stations open.
  • Hats: with an increase in outdoor learning, a labeled hat will keep your child's head and face protected from the sun.

inahlers and epipens

If your child requires an inhaler or epipen, please be sure to provide these UNEXPIRED items at drop-off on your child's first day (please label the item(s) with your child's name). If you are entering the building with a PK3, PK4, or K student, you may leave the item(s) with your child's teacher. If you are not entering the building, you may give the item(s) to your child's health screener.

PK3, PK4, and K Parking

Parents and guardians of PK3 and PK4 students will park each day at drop off and pick up and enter the building, after completing a health screening. These families should park over by the PK and ASP entrance.

For the first two weeks of school, K parents and guardians are permitted to park and enter the building after completing a health screening at drop off. These families should park at the front of the soccer fields and enter through the main entrance of the school.

Health Screening Update

In order to be in compliance with state regulations and to keep our school community healthy, all families must complete the following health screening questions with their child(ren) each morning before departing for school. When you arrive, your child's health screener will ask, "Were you able to answer NO to each screening question this morning?"

Here are the questions we require you to complete with your child(ren) each morning before arriving at school:

  • Does your student have an abnormal temperature (100.4° or higher)? The health screening team will take temperatures of everyone before they enter the school; we recommend families take their student's temperature before departing for school.
  • Was your student administered fever-reducing medicine this morning (including cough medicine)?
  • Does your student feel unwell or have any of the following new or unexplained symptoms that are not due to another condition: cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, chills, recent loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
  • In the past 14 days, did your student come in close contact with anyone that you know has COVID-19? Close contact is currently understood to be within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes.
  • Did your student make any non-essential trips to a yellow or red zone area in the last 14 days as defined by the State of Vermont?

help us keep our school safe and open

We are one of a handful of schools who can offer five days of in-person instruction - let's keep it that way! Here is how you can help:

  • Answer the health screening questions honestly. While keeping your child home for a day or two is inconvenient, it's better than spreading germs and viruses.
  • Follow the Vermont guidance that relates to travel and quarantine. Please refrain from large gatherings and non-essential travel out of state to locations that require quarantine upon return. Click here for the latest updates regarding travel.
  • Please keep your child home if he/she is not feeling well. In the past, parents may have encouraged their student to "give it a try" with the promise of an early pick-up if the child continues to not feel well. We ask parents to adjust this practice and to keep your student home if he/she is not feeling well.

Nursing Update

We are pleased to announce that we have hired Christine Yates as our part-time nurse! Chris will work Monday-Friday at BJAMS from 7:30 am - 9:30 am and will provide healthcare related support for students, staff, and families. Please join us in welcoming Chris to our school community! Also, a big thank you to Katie Marvin, MD, for her incredible help throughout this process!

Have a question about what the school year will look like?

Is there something you are still wondering about our reopening plan? Not sure what dismissal will look like? Where do I put that car magnet anyway? Please be sure to check out our CoVid 19 web page on our website. There you will find our BJAMS Reopening Guide for Parents, our Q&A video, our video "What Will School Look Like?" and much more!

breakfast and lunch update

Breakfast (formerly known as "snack"), milk, and lunch will be delivered to classrooms each day (our menu for both is attached). Please take the time to pre-order breakfast, milk, and lunch - up to a month in advance. This helps our kitchen staff plan accordingly. Homeroom teachers will verify orders each morning, to account for absences and last minute changes. Please be sure to read the letter directly below this update to learn exciting details about our program this year!

Here's how to order breakfast, milk, and lunch:

  • Log into Family Portal
  • Click on the 3 bars in the upper left corner
  • Click on Student in the left margin
  • Click on Lunch
  • Click on Create Web Order at top of page
  • Enter the quantity next to each item you want to order (please choose which type of milk your student will want with lunch - pre-k can not choose chocolate and grades 5-8 can order 2 milks)
  • Please be sure you are aware of the date you are ordering for and if you have more than one child, you need to order for each of them individually.
  • Click on Order Items at the bottom of the page

After School Program

We are sad to share that Casey Dewey, our longtime ASP co-director, has decided to step away from her role. We are thankful for her dedicated service and wish her well! We welcome some new faces to our program: Michelle Tomlinson, Mark Stein, and Emma Frost will join our returning ASP helper, Cassandra Morgan. There will be lots of new activities and events happening with our program; keep your eye out for future Friday Notes for updates and upcoming events. An important reminder: pre-registration is REQUIRED for ASP attendance - space is limited! You can find the pre-registration forms here. We are approaching capacity!

athletics update

We are still firming up details with regard to what our fall sports might look like. We will host a virtual fall sports meeting, date to be announced soon. While we all crave the normalcy of life, pre-COVID-19, our priority is to keep our school open for in-person learning five days per week. We are working hard to try and avoid anything that might compromise that; as such, our game schedules will likely be impacted.

We would like to begin training, however, and will begin the process of identifying volunteer coaches for outdoor soccer. Please email our Athletic Director, Brian Buczek, with questions or to express interest in volunteering: Please note that all volunteers must complete an Agency of Human Services Background Check, concussion training, and child protection training (called VIRTUS) before working with our students.

Upcoming events

September 8 - First Day! Families of students in PK3, PK4, and K, please see teacher communication regarding the unique first week's schedule for our youngest learners.

September 14 - Picture Day (forms will be sent home via backpack mail)

September 17 - Fire Drill (weather dependent)

September 24 - Clear the Halls Drill

October 5 - No School