BWRSD Community Update 3/3/21

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

Dear BWRSD community,

Parents, educators, and community members often email or call me about a concern or want to share good news about a student they care about. These emails or conversations remind me that the BWRSD community is proud of our students, want all the young people of our community to grow up and become well rounded and productive members of our society, but that the vision for what success looks like is different from person to person and family to family. True success for our students must be individualized and built on a strong foundation of core academics. All students must achieve mastery of an academically rigorous curriculum that prepares them to learn, grow, and thrive in a world that will look different in 2025 from the world we grew up in. If you are interested in technology trends, please take a look at this The 4th Industrial Revolution video cnbc.


During the 2020-2021 BWRSD school year, we have nearly 50 teachers participating in a pilot for a new English Language Arts curriculum for grades K-8 that will meet the state of R.I. high quality standards. The pilot is funded through a $500,000 grant from the RI Department of Education (RIDE). We are also piloting a new math program at the high school that aligned to the program recently implemented by the middle school. All of these programs meet the RIDE criteria for high quality curriculum programs.


Working with our Diversity workgroup, BWRSD updated, in the aftermath of 2020 nationwide protests about the murders of unarmed African Americans by police officers or vigilante citizens, supplemental materials to our English Language grade 9 course, developed and gained approval of a new Social Studies course-Diversity in America, and provided Professional Development to staff about how to maintain and enhance classrooms that support all students.


Throughout the past year, technology has been used by teachers and students. Teachers have masterfully utilized technology to teach virtually, hybrid, and also use technology in the classroom. Students have participated in virtual lessons from reading to music, to physical education. Additionally, we have worked to strengthen our Career and Technical Education pathways. Please visit the CTE homepage at MHHS.


Our students must be prepared for the future. The strategic planning process will assist us in developing a shared vision for our community, the programs we must fund, and provide for our students.


Jonathan Brice, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Contents of this Update:


  1. Staff Shout-out: Highlighting our very own Kristen Kirwin as a True Hero

  2. Student Shout-out: Congratulations to our MHHS Gymnastics Regional Champions

  3. Strategic Planning - Request for Participation

  4. BWRSD Feedback - Distance Learning Days & 2021-2022 Proposed School Year Calendar Survey

  5. BWRSD FY22 Preliminary Budget Update & Upcoming Virtual Meetings

  6. The Grade Four Kid Wind Project is Back!

  7. MHHS Tree Event

1. Staff Shout-out: Highlighting our very own Kristen Kirwin as a True Hero

Congratulations to our very own Kristen Kirwin, who was highlighted on Channel WPRI 12 as a true hero making the best out of virtual learning during the pandemic for her efforts as a Distance Learning Teacher for 1st Grade students at Guiteras & Rockwell Schools this year.


Please visit this link to learn more about this story here: https://www.wpri.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-one-year-later/bristol-elementary-school-teacher-makes-the-best-out-of-virtual-learning-during-the-pandemic/

2. Student Shout-out: Congratulations to our MHHS Gymnastics Regional Champions

Congratulations to our MHHS Gymnastics Regional Champions! We are so proud of the hard work and dedication of our girls team and their coaches.

3. Strategic Planning - Request for Participation

BWRSD is embarking on the 2021-2026 strategic planning process that will result in operationalizing strategic plans using a project management charter approach. Read the BWRSD Strategic Plan 2021-2026 overview here for details.


Traditional strategic planning serves as a guide for what organizations want to do. Many organizations write strategic plans but few operationalize the document so that they are responsive to environmental, organizational, financial, and political decisions. In order for strategic planning to be successful, a methodology to operationalize the plan must also be included so that the plan is constantly reviewed and revised.


If you are interested in participating in this strategic planning process, please complete the following survey to participate. Each charter will have a maximum of 20 community members with parents/guardians representing each school.


Charter meetings will be held on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:00 p.m. beginning March 9, 2021. You will be contacted by email with information about your charter, meeting via zoom, and initial documents for review.

4. BWRSD Feedback - Distance Learning Days & 2021-2022 Proposed School Year Calendar Survey

The intent of this survey is to get feedback from families on distance learning days used for professional development or snow days. We appreciate your time to provide us your feedback. Please complete the survey by March 10th.


BWRSD DL Days & 2021-2022 Proposed School Year Calendar Feedback Survey Link Here: https://forms.gle/uQh8GGhsjetei6mT6

5. BWRSD FY22 Preliminary Budget Update & Upcoming Virtual Meetings

Upcoming Virtual Meetings regarding the BWRSD FY22 Budget:

  • Joint Finance Committee Virtual Meeting - Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 pm

  • Joint Finance Committee Virtual Meeting - Thursday, March 25 at 7:00pm


JFC Meetings will be live streamed via the District’s YouTube Channel.

6. The Grade Four Kid Wind Project is Back!

We are thrilled to partner once again with the Education and Engineering programs at Roger Williams University on the Kid Wind project. This multi-year project funded from a grant from the RI Foundation, addresses the grade four Next Generation Science Standards related to Force and Motion and the Engineering Design Process, engages teachers in professional development, and also introduces our students to wind energy and careers in the sustainable energy field. The work will begin in all elementary schools during the month of March.


Kid Wind involves RWU students enrolled in the Elementary Science Methods course with Dr. LiLing Yang and students in Dr. Maija Benitz’s Engineering course. RWU students partner to teach BWRSD students lessons from the KidWind curriculum and support our students in applying the engineering design process to design and test wind turbine blades. Although this year’s lessons will be virtual, they will still provide an engaging real world learning experience for students and teachers.

7. MHHS Tree Event

The Mt. Hope High School Environmental Club has partnered with the nonprofit organization, Tree-Plenish. They are hosting an event on May 1st, 2021, to offset the paper usage at the high school by planting trees. The MHHS Environmental Club will deliver (Bristol and Warren residents only) and plant the sapling on May 1st (adhering to all COVID-19 protocols). If you would prefer to pick up your tree (or live outside of Bristol or Warren), that is an option as well.


You can learn more about the 2 species of trees we are offering, to ensure you have the right space and environment for the tree, by visiting our website.


Each tree sapling (18-24 inches) costs $5. Please place your orders by April 1, 2021, through our Tree-Plenish MHHS website here: https://www.tree-plenishevents.org/hope


We appreciate your support as we work to build a more sustainable future.

BWRSD Back To School

Please visit our Back to School 2020-21 web page for important updates and links to our reopening plan and resources.