BWRSD Community Update 5/22/20

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

Dear BWRSD families,

I continue to be in awe of the tremendous work our teachers are performing as we implement distance learning for our students. Their efforts are laudable as they consistently go above and beyond to help our students learn. On a daily basis, I receive emails about the wonderful lessons, words of encouragement, and positive spirit they bring to work each day. Please know that the School Committee, all administrators, the community, and I are grateful for their service.


While we recognize the work our teachers are doing each day, we also must adhere to statutory requirements. School districts in Rhode Island must notify teaching staff if they will be laid off by June 1st of each year. School superintendents lobbied to have the notification date moved to July 1 but the proposal was not approved. As a result, some BWRSD staff were notified that they would be laid off at the conclusion of the school year. These layoffs are precautionary in nature due to the budget uncertainty at the state level. While the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) fully funded our budget for next school year, we are waiting for definitive information about revenue from state and local governments, final budget savings for this year due to COVID-19, as well as potential costs associated with COVID-19 related to reopening procedures, to inform our decisions moving forward.


The news that the district may have to implement layoffs is disheartening given all that we have endured to make distance learning successful. Our budget planning requires us to plan for the worst case scenario while hoping for the best scenario. It is my hope that in mid June school districts and local governments will have a clear picture of their revenue for next fiscal year and that schools are held harmless to the greatest extent possible.


I want to thank our teachers and staff for everything they do to support our students, our schools, and each other. By continuing to work together, we will be able to navigate our way through this uncertain budget season.


Sincerely,


Jonathan T. Brice


Jonathan T. Brice, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


Today’s update has information about the following topics:

  • MHHS Graduation Update: Crossing the Stage
  • MHHS Senior Visual Art Virtual Showcase
  • Extraordinary Kids Summit
  • Bristol Health Equity Zone Available Services and Programs

  • BWRSD Online Tech Support for Families

  • Student Support for families

  • Special Education Access to Student IEPs and Meeting Documents

  • Meal Distribution Update


MHHS Graduation Update: Crossing the Stage

Check out this update for Crossing the Stage from Dr. DiBiase regarding graduation filming. https://www.smore.com/pms7q


MHHS Senior Visual Art Virtual Showcase

Opening Celebration on May 28th from 5:30 - 8:30 pm and streaming as part of Art Night Bristol Warren Virtual Art Night.


Extraordinary Kids Summit: Teaching Kids to Be Calm, Strong and Unstoppable in School and in Life.

During this FREE SERIES, experts will share their best approaches to the challenges we are facing and how to overcome them. As they share their wisdom, you’ll also walk away with free gifts – free classes, webinars, e-books and PDFs – full of the knowledge, games, strategies, tips and practices that you can use immediately to cultivate the calm you crave, the focus kids need, and the emotional support we all must feel to come out of this stronger. Register now and discover:

  • The neuroscience of learning – the most important skills aren’t what you might think!

  • How to rewire your brain so you access more joy and happiness – even in challenging times

  • How to use mindfulness practices to cultivate calm, grow gratitude, and feel better!

  • What co-regulation is and why it’s so crucial for kids’ health and well-being

  • What our kids most need from adults right now and how to do it

  • Strategies and tools you can use to virtually to connect with your kids

  • How to manage social media and digital learning with your kids during this time

  • Step-by-step advice on how to self-regulate when overwhelmed, frustrated, or stressed

  • How to use improv games and the innovator’s mindsets to increase empathy and communication skills

  • When to back off when kids are struggling and when to push in

  • Why brain states are crucial to understand and how to change them

  • How to navigate challenging behaviors and get kids back on track

  • Sign up here now. www.extraordinarykidssummit.com


Bristol Health Equity Zone Available Services and Programs

Included below are flyers with information about current services and programs available in our area during this difficult time.


BWRSD Online Tech Support for Families

If you experience any issues with your student’s device or while working on certain applications online, please send an email to our Technology Helpdesk at BWRSDTech@bwrsd.org for tech and software application support. The email account is accessible 24 hours per day, and you can expect a response within 24 hours Monday-Friday. Thank you for your patience.


Student Support for Families

If any parent of a student with an IEP, 504, ELL or other concern have any questions about student assignments, services, or support, please contact the Office of Student Services and Support at: bwrsdstudentsupport@bwrsd.org


Special Education Access to Student IEPs and Meeting Documents

Special Educators, specialists, and staff have been uploading IEPs and other documents into Aspen for parents to view. The IT Department has provided the following steps for parents to use to access these documents.

  1. Log into your Aspen parent account (email portal@bwrsd.org if you need help).

  2. Click on the Family top tab.

  3. Click on the Documents side tab. Any documents uploaded for your student will be here.


Meal Distribution Update

Please be advised that meals will be distributed at Colt Andrews School, Kickemuit Middle School, and Hope & Main as usual this week. However, there will be no meal distribution on Monday, May 25, 2020 as this is the Memorial Day holiday.

BWRSD Distance Learning Plan/COVID 19 Info

Visit our website link above to view more information about the following: 1. BWRSD Distance Learning Plan 2. Parent Resources for Google & Seesaw Classrooms 3. COVID-19 Information 4. BWRSD Community Updates