BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

February 5, 2021

Superintendent's Office


I would like to extend to all of you an invitation to attend our next School Committee meeting, this coming Tuesday, February 9th at 6:30 pm. At that time, I will present an overview of the District’s plans to begin returning our students to school in a full-in model. A formal draft plan will be submitted to the School Committee for a vote pending school committee request.


In addition, you will also be hearing from our three principals, Diane Tucceri, Ace Thompson, and John Campbell regarding the state of the schools in COVID times. Their presentations are based on a request from the School Committee in January to provide an update on several areas including academics attendance, and wellness.


To access the School Committee meeting, please use the following link: https://zoom.us/j/98126531457


All comments that will be given at the meeting must be sent to Mrs. Kristi Turgeon, Executive Assistant the Superintendent no later than 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Please include your Zoom handle so she may provide access for you to speak during the meeting.


Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you next week.


Respectfully,



Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Business Office


Remote Meals!

We will continue to offer remote meals for the days that students are in remote learning mode. BBRSD is excited to offer a complete breakfast and lunch meal for each remote learning day per week! (*3 breakfast and lunch meals for students attending in person 2 days a week*). Weekend meals may also be requested by emailing Lauren Staples, Director of Food Services (lstaples@bbrsd.org).

This week we are offering an assortment of ready to eat sandwich meals (Turkey and Cheese Sub, Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad, PBJ), in addition to newly made frozen meals (Pulled Pork Sandwich, Chicken Alfredo, Nachos (Beef), Pasta with Meat Sauce (Beef), Mac n’ Cheese, French Toast Bites), with a bag of fresh produce per household!

Pickup is at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School. Take the entrance nearest the softball/field hockey field, and idle at the cone near the dumpsters. Stay in your car, and the order will be brought to your vehicle.

Note: All children ages 1-18 in the local area are eligible for our free remote meals, regardless of their enrollment status in the district. The alternative to weekly pickup, a single breakfast and lunch is available daily between 12:00 pm-1:00 pm M-F at Tahanto, please call 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 upon arrival (no registration required for daily pickup).


Please fill out the form below (1 form per child) to specify your weekly order and pickup details. If you are unable to pick up during the available pickup windows please email: lstaples@bbrsd.org to arrange alternate plans. Pickup windows were created to reduce wait times, and improve traffic flow.

Participating in our remote meal program keeps our food service department working, so thank you in advance!

Weekly remote meal ordering form link:

https://www.bbrsd.org/Page/1583

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Lauren Staples, Food Service Director 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 or lstaples@bbrsd.org.


Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Services Department


Local Food Resources -USDA Food Boxes

In February the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation (MMSFI) will again partner with the Worcester Railers and the Sherriff’s Office and offer USDA Farmer’s to Families Food Boxes. We have been told that the food boxes are available to all area families, but need to be picked up in Worcester.


This effort will take place at the Railers Distribution Center at 90 Harding Street. It will take place on WEDNESDAYS; February 10, 17, and 24 from 9 to 11 am. Those people wishing to receive a 32-pound box of fresh food will need to register for each date. Here are the links to the February efforts:

https://usa4vets.formstack.com/forms/farmers_to_families_worcester_state_feb10

https://usa4vets.formstack.com/forms/farmers_to_families_worcester_state_feb17

https://usa4vets.formstack.com/forms/farmers_to_families_worcester_state_feb24



Karen Molnar, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

kmolnar@bbrsd,org

Big picture

Boylston Elementary School


I love the anonymous quote, "If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow." It seemed so appropriate this week as I watched the kids find joy outside and the groundhog promised six more weeks of winter. We started the week with an updated snow day plan and I hope cohort A students were able to find snow joy in the afternoon. I hope all of the asynchronous students had time to playing in the snow between assignments too. I'm sure some families in Cohort A worried this week that they may fall behind. In talking with staff about what they were able to cover I'm confident this will not be a problem. Plus, with another six weeks of winter, I am sure both cohorts will have an opportunity for a remote learning snow day.


I wanted to clear up some confusion about our new Time On Learning hours. These are designed for students on asynchronous days, including Bridge students. However, students can join if they are homesick, in quarantine, or if it doesn't interfere with their Bridge live sessions. Our goal is to maximize time with teachers and students, however, we also do not want to create additional stress for students and families by having too many zooms. These should also be a support for students not able to come into the building for any myriad of reasons, though it does not replace attendance in-person.


It’s hard to believe February vacation is right around the corner. As we prepare, please remember that the district still enforces the policy that students and staff traveling outside of the state (with the exception of Hawaii) must quarantine for 14 days upon their return. I'm still crossing my fingers that NH comes off the restricted list before then so I can use my season's ski pass. That being said, if you'll be like me, at home with no place to go, I came across these Virtual Field Trips to take with my son.


The week ahead: Specials Week 2

  • Monday (2/8)

    • School Council

  • Tuesday (2/9)

    • Picture Retakes

    • School Committee


Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School



With our first real storm of the winter behind us, just a quick reminder that kids who come with snow gear get to play in the snow! “Snow mountain” - always a winter highlight - has grown to 10 feet in height. The kids love climbing and playing on it. Make sure your child can enjoy the fun! Quick reminder - “snow gear” means boots, pants, coat, gloves, and hat.


Student Council News

Our Student Council has several events coming up that they want to share with everyone!

  • Student Council will be sponsoring a “get ready for break” Spirit week from Monday 2/8 through Friday, 2/12. The activities, from “Favorite Character day” to “Rainbow Day” and beyond, are meant to be fun, not expensive. Please don’t feel obligated to purchase anything. You can find the entire flyer here.

  • Thank You First Responders: The letters are still coming in and we are so excited. With the help of Officer Goulding, we will be presenting our “Thank You” to members of the Berlin Fire, Police, and EMS staff on Tuesday, February 23rd.

  • Massachusetts Safe Routes to School-Yard Sign Design Contest: We would like to have entries from BMS and will use submissions for our own contest. Watch out for our video coming soon!


From Nurse Ana,

It’s hard to believe February break is just a week away. In the past many families have traveled during February school vacation, often to warmer climates. This year due to COVID-19 many families have put those plans on hold. If you do plan on traveling out of state (all states are considered high risk at this time, except Hawaii), please remember your child will need to quarantine for a full 14 days before returning to in-person learning. We understand the state has an option to shorten quarantine when returning from travel outside of Massachusetts, but our district policy remains as a full 14-day quarantine regardless of testing. The policy can be found here (last paragraph).


However you plan to spend your February school vacation, please continue to be vigilant with your handwashing, physical distancing, and mask-wearing when with others not in your household, including in cars, and in any public areas. These mitigation factors can reduce transmission and keep your family healthy.


Stay well and as always, if you have any questions, please contact me.

Ana

Aamaral@bbrsd.org




John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School

Tahanto Today February 5, 2021


This Week’s Schedule

Schedule for 2/8/21-2/12/21


Term II & Semester 1 Grades

Term II and Semester 1 grades will be posted in PowerSchool on February 8th at 2:15 p.m. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's’ grades, please contact their teachers directly.


Academic Support

Do you need support in academic classes? If so, here are some reminders of support that is available to ALL students.

  1. Teachers are available after school 1 day a week to help students. Please email teachers to find out their availability.
  2. Block 8 on Tuesdays & Thursdays are times during the school day in which teachers are available for extra help. Your teacher may either invite you to an extra help session or you can reach out to your teacher and set up a time with them.
  3. Every Tuesday after school in the Library Conference Room we are offering math support for all students in grades 6-12. No need to sign up, just show up!


School Committee Policy on Travel during COVID

As we approach February break please be reminded of the district’s travel policy. TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker’s Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed “low risk,” staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.


Families, please contact the nurse if you have traveled outside of Massachusetts to a “high risk” state. Currently, the only state that is not deemed to be high risk is Hawaii. Now, if you are going to Hawaii there is also a policy stating that you must take the principal with you :)

These restrictions are put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to this.


Click below for the most recent information from the Counseling Office

Counselor's Corner


Senior Class Information

Class dues for Seniors are due NOW! Your dues are needed to cover expenses for yearbooks, prom, class gifts, etc. Please contact Mrs. Hutchinson if you do not know if you owe money.

Help the Senior Class of Tahanto Class of 2021 celebrate this Spring in style! We are hoping to bring some joy to the 84 graduating seniors by sponsoring a gift bag for each student.

You can help us reach this goal by contributing something through the links below OR by sending a check to Tahanto PTO 1001 Main Street, Boylston, MA 01505 OR by using Paypal OR Venmo:

PayPal https://tinyurl.com/y2ru98k4

Venmo TahantoPTO


Celebrate a Senior

Tahanto Gives

Over the past several months, Tahanto National Honor Society and Student Council have collected and raised funds for several organizations here at home, across the state and country. Below are just a few of those organizations. Thank you to all who donated food, money, and their time!


  • Home Base for Veterans

  • Boston Children’s Hospital

  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

  • Breast Friends Connection

  • The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

  • Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island

  • St. Jude Children’s Hospital

  • Christmas and Valentine’s cards for local seniors

  • Toys for Tots

  • Giving Tree Gift Cards

  • Tahanto Families in Need

  • Local Food Pantries



In collaboration with Tower Hill Botanical Garden, Tahanto Art presents Community, Connectedness, and The Legend of the Red String, an installation on view during the Yarnstorm Exhibition! Come view our school tree, which is adorned with student created Origami, in this yarn-bombing exhibition which runs from January 16th - March 31st, 2021. Please read our statement about this important work below:


Drawing on the Japanese Legend of the Red String and themes of community, connectedness, and collaboration, the students at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School have created a site-specific art installation for Tower Hill Botanic Garden's exhibition, Yarnstorm. The Legend of the red string states that every person's pinky finger is tied to an invisible red string that will lead him or her to another person with whom they will make history. Although the string may get tangled, contracted, or stretched, as surely often happens, it will never break. While community activities, and even art exhibitions, have been looking differently since the start of 2020, it is important to remind ourselves that we are all still connected to one another. Students created works of origami that symbolized their experiences throughout quarantine, and although our strings might all be slightly stretched right now, our community is intact and continuing to create light.


For more information regarding this exhibition, please visit: https://www.towerhillbg.org/yarnstorm/

To reserve tickets online (in accordance with social distancing guidelines), please visit:

https://www.towerhillbg.org/admissions-confirmation/



Mindmatters Club Is Back!

The Mindmatters Team is finally here! Our team goal is to provide ways to educate students and staff on issues and information relating to mental health. The core focus is promoting mental wellness and shattering the stigma often attached to mental health issues.

If any students in grades 9-12 would like to join this team, please email Ms. Gardner at dgardner@bbrsd.org. You will then be sent an email for a future google meet which will be held Wednesdays OR after school when you are home. I look forward to hearing from you!



Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


Immunization Requirements

The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health along with the MA Immunization Information Systems, will once again be surveying the complete immunization status of all grade 7 students. Please ask your child's doctor to fax (508-869-6202) your child's immunization record as soon as possible.

This year, the State will also be surveying the immunization status of grade 11 students. Please ask your child's doctor to fax that to me at 508-869-6202 which is a confidential/dedicated fax line.

Please click here for important information



Questions? Contact Janet Sequeira, School Nurse at (508)869-2333 ext. 2303


Athletics

Please make sure that student-athletes have Covid related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their gym bags.


https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/


Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

Tahanto Regional

mporcaro@bbrsd.org




Drama Club News


The Tahanto Drama Club is planning to perform a one-act play," Home of the Brave" in February.

Auditions are opening up again to fill our cast list; one main role and two supporting roles. We also are looking for a student who is interested in supporting the technical needs of putting on a virtual play.

Please contact Mrs. Gustavson directly at lgustavson@bbrsd.org to apply.


Important Clarification for Attendance

School districts must take attendance for every student, every period regardless of the mode of learning. If your child is absent from school whether your child is remote or in person, please follow the same procedures:


  1. Call (508)869-2333 x 2303 to report your child absent. If your child is absent due to a medical appt. (doctor or dentist) please bring a note to the main office from the doctor’s office the next day your child is at Tahanto.


  1. If your child is going to be late to school for either remote learning or in-person please still call the above number and make us aware of this. Remote attendance will be taken within the first 10 minutes of class.


  1. Each student has 3 parental excusals that can be used during each semester for absences that are not subject to a doctor’s visit. To use parental excusal please write a note and have your child bring the note to the main office on the next day your child is in person at Tahanto.


If we do not receive a call notifying us of the absence, the secretaries in the main office will be contacting parents/guardians.


If you need further clarification or need to ask a question specific to your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Boudreau at (508)869-2333 or send an email to sboudreau@bbrsd.org.


This is a clarification for all parents/students. If you are scheduled to be in person for learning, you may not choose to learn remotely unless you are not feeling well in which case a parent would call the school nurse.


If a student stays home due to not feeling well, a parent may write a parental excusal which should be brought into the Main Office upon the student's return to school. If the nurse excuses the student's absence for the day and allows the student to study remotely, students in a different cohort should contact their teachers to let them know they are planning on studying remotely as they may not have access to the Google Meet links/materials needed to work remotely.



School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 6/30/2021. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.


Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org

Town of Boylston News

The Town of Boylston Master Plan Committee, which includes Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee Chairman James Spencer, has asked me to share the Master Plan Committee Survey with Boylston residents. The data they receive from this survey will be important to the town's future, as well as the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District.


The survey is open to Boylston residents through Monday, February 22.



Town of Boylston Master Plan Update Survey:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BoylstonMPSurvey