NIS Weekly News

Nantucket Intermediate School - May 3, 2021

We Appreciate Our NIS Staff!!!

Dear NIS families,

Today marks the beginning of staff appreciation week! Each week we write a staff update including a reflection often centered around teaching and learning. This week our reflection attempted to capture just how amazing our staff is and how hard they are working. Here is an excerpt from that reflection that hopefully encourages you to recognize all that makes our staff so special!

"Wow! Once again (through evaluation) we have this incredible opportunity to recognize the complexities of your unique roles and the immeasurable challenge this school year has added to your workload. Whether you are a TA, teacher, therapist, SEL team member, facilities team member, school nurse, front office staff, tech staff or food service provider you have been asked to engage in a tremendous amount of new learning and logistics training to not only do your job, but reinvent your job and reprioritize your professional responsibilities. Not one single role in our NIS family escaped this 20-21 COVID inspired reality! Despite all of the challenges, the uncertainty, the angst, and the blood, sweat and tears every single one of you kept putting one foot in front of the other and showed up for our kids and each other."

We are celebrating our staff with coffee and pastry today, lunch on Wednesday, and little surprises the rest of the week. More heartfelt than that are often the notes of gratitude, especially those received from students and families. Please consider having your child write a note of thanks to all of the special NIS staff in their life this year.

Thank you for recognizing just what an incredible school year it has been and how hard our NIS staff have worked. Your support of our staff this year is truly appreciated too!

Kindest regards,

Evemarie McNeil, Principal & Donna Johnson, Assistant Principal

Sewer Project - Traffic Delays Possible


This week's update includes:

5/2 - 5/7 • Sunday thru Thursday: Complete installation of force main pipeline to Miacomet Ave. Continue gravity sewer installation on Surfside Road, progressing north towards Backus Lane • Friday: Trench paving

Here is a link to visit for the project webpage that has very detailed information. They will regularly be updating this project webpage (weekly).

Important Student Drop Off Information

Students are to be dropped off for school using the entrance off of Backus lane only. Using the surfside road entrance poses a safety issue for students, therefore should not be used in the morning to drop students off.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

Spring Newsletters from Our Social/Emotional Learning Team

We are so grateful for our school counselors' and social worker's expertise! Check out their newsletters to learn more about what our students are learning, and how you can support your child at home and at school.

Upcoming Children's Clothing Drive

Big picture

Contact Tracing

Now that our desks are 3 to 6 feet apart in classrooms, if there is a positive COVID case in the classroom those seated around that student will likely be within 6 feet and thus deemed a close contact. We are diligent in checking classroom seating charts not only for homerooms, but also in specials classes. Additionally, we talk to the educators to learn as much as we can about a student's or adult's close contacts. If your child is deemed a close contact, either Nancy Small, NIS school nurse or Sarah Brooks, NPS COVID nurse will call you directly and talk to you about next steps.

In the event there is community spread in a classroom, it is most likely that the entire classroom would have to go to remote learning for a period of time. This would be communicated to those impacted as soon as possible.

NIS Nurse Notes: Nancy Small, RN

Hello Families!

It sure is great to have a full house again. Our students have been doing so well following the rules of wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing. I feel our protocols will keep us all safe and healthy. As I stated last week, it is allergy season and allergies and covid have very similar symptoms. With that being said, if your student has a documented history of allergies and takes medicine for them, please let me know. Your physician can fax or email me stating the history of allergies. Having this information will allow your student to stay in school and not have to get tested for covid if they present to me with any symptoms.

Please keep safe and healthy,

Nancy Small RN

NIS Safety Protocols - Revised

Our NIS safety protocols have been updated.

NIS Safety Protocols - Revised

Healthy Bodies Support Healthy Minds

Reminder: No shared food to NIS for student birthdays

We know that children's birthdays are special and that they want to share their special day with the class. This year especially, and going forward students should not bring in food items to share with the class (cupcakes, cookies, chips etc.). Most of you have been so supportive with adhering to this change in support of healthy student bodies.

If your child desires to share something with classmates for their birthday consider any one of the following: special pencils, stickers, painted shell or drawing(s). Another idea is to purchase a book for the classroom or school library in honor of your child's birthday. This is a lasting way to celebrate!

MCAS Testing at NIS

Currently, the Department of Education is requiring MCAS testing at our grade levels this school year. They have reduced the amount of testing by half for our students and promoted the idea that this year's testing is for diagnostic purposes to better understand where students are with their learning given the last year of disrupted education. This month we will thoughtfully plan our grade level testing dates. All 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are expected to engage in MCAS testing and there is no official "opt out" option for parents in Massachusetts.

Tentative Testing Dates:

May 11 - Gr. 3 ELA

May 13 - Gr. 4 ELA

May 18 - Gr. 5 ELA

May 20 - Gr. 3 Math

May 25 - Gr. 4 Math

May 27 - Gr. 5 Math

June 3 - Gr. 5 STE

Here is a link for more information about MCAS testing: MCAS Resources for Parents/Guardians

For 2021, students will only take one session for each subject area test.

MCAS Subject Area Test for Grades 3–8

Recommended Testing Times *All tests are untimed


2 to 2 ½ hours


1 ½ hours

STE for Students in Grade 5

1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours

COVID-19 Travel Advisory - Still in effect

As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory:

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result.
  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours
    • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours
    • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work.
    • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms.

    All travelers are encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.

    May NPS Calendar

    Attached below you will find the May calendar.

    Here are some specific family engagement opportunities:

    Thursday, May 13th

    *NIS School Council 3pm

    *NIS Principal’s Coffee 5:30pm

    *EL PAC Meeting 6:30pm

    Tuesday, May 25th

    *Superintendent’s Coffee 5:30pm

    Schoology Support for Parents/Caregivers

    Our NIS in house Schoology trainers are Grade 5 teacher Taylor O'Brien and Library Teacher Olivia Myers who have both expressed their availability to parents for Schoology questions. Here is their contact information:

    Taylor O'Brien:

    Olivia Myers:

    Please see attachments below for more information in English and Spanish.

    Free and Reduced Lunch News

    Even though meals are free to all, families who are Directly Certified or Approved via a paper application for Free or Reduced lunch can use their letter for:

    Please contact the Central Registrar Sarah Erichsen if you have questions by calling 508-228-7285 x1149 or emailing

    NIS School Improvement Plan 20-21

    NIS Return to School Safety Protocols

    NIS Family Handbook 2020-2021

    For NPS District Information

    Be sure to check the website for specific District communications and updates.