South Row's Home Link

Week of: January 17th, 2022

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Message from Mrs. Gilbert, Principal

Hello Families,

It has been a busy and challenging start to the year with the recent health trends. We hope you know that we are doing everything we can for the health and safety of our students. Your support and efforts at home have also contributed greatly to our success. Students are able to come to school daily, socialize and learn. In these difficult times we should all be very happy that we are still able to pull that off. Thank you!!


Week at a Glance

MONDAY (1.17.22)


TUESDAY (1.18.22)

  • Therapy Dogs Visit (Mathews, D'Amico, Bullock, Hodgkins, Sanborn)

  • WEDNESDAY (1.19.22)

    • Pool Testing

    • Kindergarten & First Grade Virtual Enrichment Program - Jack Hartman

    Thursday (1.20.22)

    • No events

    Friday (1.21.22)

    • Student Grade Level Meetings w/ Mrs. Gilbert & Mr. Ramalho

    Looking ahead

    • Kindergarten Registration (for Rising Kindergarten families): Wednesday, January 26th and Thursday, January 27th 9:00am-6:00pm. Be on the lookout for scheduling appointments at Central Office in the coming weeks.

    Reminders/ Updates for the Week

    Please take a few moments to review some fun challenges happening this month at South Row!

    • Door Decorating Challenge: As a schoolwide reward for reaching our mid-year goal with Pride Tickets, we are hosting a month long Door Decorating Challenge. Students and teachers will work together to come up with a plan based around the theme of PRIDE. We encourage classes to be as creative as they like. If you are interested in donating materials to be used for decorating please contact your child's teacher directly.

    • Math Fact Challenge: On Monday, January 10th we are kicking off our Math Fact Challenge. This schoolwide challenge is similar to the Reading challenge we hosted in the Fall. Each student will be sent home with one sheet of snowflakes. One snowflake should be filled out and sent back each time the student practices their Math facts for 10 minutes. Students can get additional snowflake sheets as needed. The grade level that achieves the most minutes by February 4th will get a prize. Thank you for supporting your student with this schoolwide challenge!!

    • The Great Kindness Challenge: The Great Kindness Challenge will take place the last week of January at South Row. We will kick off the week with an added "Kindness Shirt" spirit day on Monday the 24th. There will be kindness challenges each day as part of morning announcements and suggestions on kind acts students can engage in outside of school. Students will get a "surprise" as part of this challenge at the end of the week. We are looking forward to a wonderful week promoting kindness.

    Parent Discussion Night: Thank you to everyone who joined us for this event. For those that were not able to join us, below is a link to a recording of the event as well as a link to the slides shared by Katie Simes our Health/PE/Wellness coordinator on coping strategies and resources.

    Outdoor Recess Reminders:
    We continue to do our best to get students outside for recess as long as conditions and temperatures are safe for students. As a reminder, please be sure your child has a jacket, gloves, and a hat for outdoor recess in the winter months. Also, if there is snow on the ground, students must have boots on to walk on any snow covered area. Additionally, we recommend if your child brings in boots they also have sneakers, especially on days where your child has PE.

    Water Bottles: As a reminder, it is helpful to pack water bottles for students to bring to school daily. We have a couple hydration stations in the building where students can refill if needed.

    Science Fair: The 2022 Science Fair sponsored by the South Row School Council will be held virtually this year (similar to last). Please click on this link to review information on the fair. We are looking forward to seeing the amazing projects that our students produce.

    Upcoming Spirit Days

    • Update: We will be changing our spirit day on Friday, January 28th from Pajama Day to SPORTS DAY. Students are encouraged to wear their favorite sports team jersey, or a jersey from a sports/activity they participate in. This change was voted on by the 4th Grade Student Council and was changed as we just recently had a PJ day.

    Monthly Kind Act

    January: The Kindness Challenge Week ( 1.24.22-1.28.22)

    Nurses Corner

    Dear South Row Families,

    I know a lot has changed recently. Here’s what is new:

    If your student is fully vaccinated or signed up for Test and Stay and they are identified as a school based close contact, you will receive an email notification only. We will no longer be sending out notifications of positive cases that did not enter the building during the infectious period.

    • At this time, full vaccinated students and staff are exempt from testing and quarantine protocols for any exposure: school based, community, or household.

    • Fully vaccinated students are not eligible for Test and Stay.

    • Test and Stay students will be tested every morning before school for 5 days following the exposure, the day of exposure counts as day 1.

    • You should continue to monitor your student(s) for symptoms and keep them home if they are sick.

    • Students who have tested positive for Covid within 90 days of a new exposure are also exempt from testing and quarantine protocols.

    • The Health Office can now accept home Covid Test results. If your student tests positive, it is in your best interest to confirm the result so that it is reported to the department of public health.

    • Our protocols have changed for individuals who test positive for Covid and people who are identified as close contacts. See below.

    Individuals who test positive for Covid can now return on day 6. See protocol A below. During lunch, all students are advised to put their masks back on when they are finished eating.

    If an individual tests positive for Covid they should follow protocol A:

    Duration: Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset or after positive PCR or antigen test, if asymptomatic.

    Return to school: After 5 days and once they have:

    o Been without fever for 24 hours (and without taking fever-reducing medications); and

    o Experienced improvement in other symptoms; and

    o Following the 5-day isolation period, individuals must mask for 5 additional days when around others.

    Note: Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution. Repeat testing prior to return is not recommended.

    ***If an individual is a close contact outside of school they are not eligible for Test and Stay. Test and stay is only for unvaccinated in school exposures.***

    Individuals who are signed up for Test and Stay and have experienced an in school exposure will follow protocol B1:

    Duration of Test and Stay: 5 days from the date of school exposure

    Return to School: Close contacts can remain in school and do not have to quarantine, as long as they:

    o Are asymptomatic

    o Wear masks in school at all times, other than when eating or drinking. When these individuals cannot be masked (i.e., when eating or drinking) they should maintain 3 feet of distance from other individuals to the extent feasible.

    o Take a rapid antigen test (e.g., BinaxNOW) on each school day and receive a negative result. When the 5 days from date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, individuals should quarantine on weekends, and if they remain asymptomatic, upon return to school be tested immediately. If the individual remains negative, they can stay in school.

    o Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10, and self-isolate at home if symptoms develop.

    Note: If an individual has symptoms at the time they are designated as a close contact or develops symptoms during the Test and Stay period or the 10 days following initial exposure, they should follow the protocol for symptomatic individuals (Protocol C). If an individual tests positive at any time, they should follow the protocol for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 (Protocol A).

    If an individual has an outside exposure or they have an in school exposure and are not signed up for test and stay they will follow protocol B2:

    Duration: Quarantine is at least 5 days from the date of school exposure

    Return to School: After 5 days, returning on day 6, provided that they:

    o Remain asymptomatic

    o Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10, self-isolate if symptoms develop, and adhere to strict mask use for an additional 5 days

    o For those exposed, it is strongly recommended to test at day 5 after the exposure with a PCR or antigen test; a home test will be accepted but is not the preferred method.

    Note: If an individual has symptoms at the time they are designated as a close contact or within the 5 days following initial exposure, they follow the protocol for symptomatic individuals (Protocol C). If an individual tests positive at any time, they follow the protocol for individuals who test positive for COVID-19

    If an individual has symptoms from the Covid -19 Symptom List they follow protocol


    Duration: Dependent on symptom resolution

    Return to School: Individuals may return to school after they:

    o Have received a negative PCR or antigen test result for COVID-19. An antigen test may be self-administered and does not need to be proctored or performed by a healthcare professional. Note: So long as the individual is not a close contact, if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may use this recommendation (e.g., for influenza or strep pharyngitis) in lieu of a PCR test or antigen test.

    o Have improvement in symptoms

    o Have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.

    Note: If the symptomatic individual was a close contact to an in school exposure and they are not exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols, after symptoms resolve and they receive a negative PCR test, they should follow Protocol B-1 for Test and Stay.

    oIf family or individual chooses not to participate in Test and Stay, they follow Protocol B-2.

    Individuals who have symptoms but prefer not to test will follow protocol C-2:

    Duration: Isolation is at least 5 days from symptom onset

    Return to School: After 5 days, returning on day 6, assuming they:

    o Have improvement in symptoms

    o Have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.

    COVID-19 symptoms list:

    Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills

    Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

    New loss of taste or smell

    Muscle aches or body aches

    • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)

    • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms

    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms

    • Headache when in combination with other symptoms

    • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms

    • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms

    I know this is a lot of information. I apologize for that, but it is all important! Please bookmark or save this link so that you can refer to it later as needed.

    Feel free to reach out to me with questions or concerns. I am doing my best to promptly respond to emails and messages. If I do not respond to your email within 24 hours, please call me at the school. 978-251-5177 Option 2.


    Nurse V.

    Communicating Positive Cases & Other Information

    Due to the recent surge in Covid related illness, the health office is experiencing a higher than usual volume of calls, emails, and test related inquiries as well as office visits and covid testing procedures. Please note that the nurse may not be able to reply as quickly as has been past practice. We appreciate your support and cooperation as we navigate these challenging times.

    If you are leaving a phone message or email (email is the preferred method of communication) because your child has tested positive, please include the following:

    • Name of child
    • Grade of child
    • Date of symptom onset (if no symptoms were experienced, please note the date the test was taken)
    • Date of testing, type of test performed (home, PCR or antigen).
    • If the positive test was obtained from a home test, if possible, please schedule a PCR lab test to confirm.
    • Date the last time your child was present in school
    • Does your child attend school activities or sports and list the activity or team
    • Is your child vaccinated? ( you may elect not to share this information, if so, please indicate that you elect not to share.) If your child is vaccinated and the school does not have a copy of the vaccine cared, please upload the card using this link below.

    Important Links:

    *Please note, you must be logged into your student's CPS Lions Google Account to access these links for the Vaccination Card Upload and the Consent for Pooled Testing and/or Test and Stay.

    Vaccination Card Upload:

    Consent form for Pooled Testing and/or Test and Stay:

    CPS Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocol :
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    Counselors Corner

    Hello Parents and Caregivers:

    While we might expect rates of anxiety in children to rise during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a look at data in this area highlights that individual differences in children and families need to be considered when deciding who might need assistance coping (e.g., age, exposure to COVID-19 stressors, etc.). Some children have experienced elevated anxiety while other children have not experienced much of an increase in anxiety during the pandemic. It varies between children and families so increased anxiety may or may not be a concern for your child, yet it is helpful to know the signs of anxiety in children as well as interventions that have been shown to help. (JAMA Pediatrics; November 2021; Volume 175, Number 11).

    Below is a link from the National Association of School Psychologists that provides information for parents on Anxiety. Often, it is not easy to identify Anxiety in children or it may be mistaken for another problem, such as attention deficits, difficulties with learning, or lack of motivation. Left unidentified and untreated, it can worsen over time, causing more problems into adolescence and adulthood. Parents and teachers can be major sources of support for anxious children, helping to reduce the negative effects of anxiety and encouraging progress. (Huberty, T.J. 2022). Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like additional information or support.

    Dr. Linda Rich NCSP

    South Row School Counselor


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    PTO Corner

    Help Wanted

    There are a few roles that we are seeking volunteers for:

    Scholarship Committee

    South Row gives a scholarship to a HS senior each year. We were lucky enough to have a parent head this up for the past 7 years, but her youngest has moved on to McCarthy now, so we need someone new to take the reins. We usually have the scholarship application due the end of April. After that, the scholarship committee meets to discuss the applicant and choose a recipient. The recipient of the scholarship reads their essay at the 4th grade moving on ceremony. In past years we have had two or three parents and two or three of the 4th grade teachers on the committee. There is a minimal time commitment, and it really is enjoyable. The previous chair is ready and willing to walk our lucky volunteer through the process.

    Bylaw Review Committee

    Our bylaws state that every 5 years, we must conduct a bylaw review, and this is the year. This involves a committee reading the bylaws, and if necessary, proposing amendments that will be voted on at a PTO meeting. The committee MUST consist of at least 3 people, including one member of the Board and one staff member and one parent, neither of whom may be current members of the Board. The time commitment could be as little as one meeting, depending on how many proposed changes are found upon review.

    Board Positions

    Our May meeting with Board elections will be here before you know it! Each Board position (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer) are elected annually, so if any position interests you, don't hesitate to reach out to to learn more.

    Be on the Lookout...

    We are hoping to have an outdoor social event with sledding, snowperson making, and cocoa at some point this Winter. As this will be very weather dependent, we will likely not have a long lead time for this event, so be sure to keep an eye on Homelinks, our website, and our social media. Fingers crossed for well-timed snow!

    4th Grade Shirt Orders/Activity Fees

    If you are the parent of a 4th grader, please be sure that you have submitted your shirt order, as we will need to place the order for shirts soon in order to have them in time for the 4th grade group picture to be taken for the memory book. Paper order forms were sent home, or you can place your order online here.

    PTO Meeting

    If you were unable to join us on Monday for our PTO meeting, you can view the recording here.

    January 4th, 2022 School Committee Meeting

    School Committee: January 4, 2022

    Food Services


    Please send photos to Mr. Ramalho ( to be featured in our Home Link newsletter!

    Officer High Five Friday!!

    Pride Shout Outs

    Amazing art!

    School Spirit!

    Recess fun!

    Math lesson in 1D!

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    Winter Walking Tips from Chelmsford Municipal Safety

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    Contact the Main Office Staff