BWRSD Community Update 11/20/20

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

Dear BWRSD community,

Thanksgiving is a time to remember what we are grateful for in our daily lives. We are grateful for family and friends; their health and well being, and the love and support we provide to each other. This year, we are especially grateful for our students and the hard work of teachers, administrators, support staff, clerks, and custodians in opening schools and classrooms for both in person and distance learning students in light of this historic pandemic. Many of you have shared your appreciation, as well, and we are thankful to know that the work we are doing each day is making a difference in the lives of our students, our staff, and our community.


We are so appreciative of our students, our staff, our parents and families, and our community partners, for working together to provide a healthy and high quality educational experience for all students in BWRSD. Please know that our continued vigilance and work in this area is critical so that we can continue to open our schools for in person instruction in the upcoming days, weeks and months.


Thank you all, and may you have a happy Thanksgiving. Be well, be safe, be healthy.


Sincerely,


Jonathan Brice, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Bristol Warren Regional School District

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Contents of this Update:


1. Ventilation Update from Thomas Wood, Director of Facilities

2. Distance Learning Days at KMS & MHHS - Monday, 11/23/20 & Tuesday, 11/24/20

3. Elementary Trimester 2 Placements

4. Note from District Nurses

5. Food Assistance at the East Bay Food Pantry

1. Ventilation Update from Thomas Wood, Director of Facilities

Automatic Temperature Controls (ATC) conducted field tests at all buildings to check the operational condition of all mechanical units associated with providing airflow to spaces within each building. The intent was two fold.


First, to make sure the existing systems were operating properly. This resulted in the following:


  1. Replacing belts and filters and performing routine maintenance as needed.

  2. Cleaning coils to get maximum performance.

  3. Repairing or replaced actuators, dampers, pulleys, motors, etc. as needed.

  4. Cleaned exhaust vents to reduce restrictions.


Second, measurements were taken with the windows closed to determine proper air flow after repairs and maintenance work was performed. Air flow readings were conducted after existing systems were repaired and with windows closed in the individual room and recorded.


ATC identified that all elementary classrooms are able to have windows closed with air purifiers installed. RIDOH has adjusted their guidelines and lowered the standard to three (3) Air Changes per Hour (ACH), however, we are holding ourselves to the original standard of four (4) ACH threshold. BWRSD has prioritized spaces for installation of air purifiers as follows:


  • Stage One: Installation of air purifiers in all classrooms
  • Stage Two: Installation of air purifiers in offices and teacher support spaces
  • Stage Three: Large community areas (gyms, libraries, band rooms, cafeterias, etc.)
  • Stage Four: Small meetings rooms and individual offices


As part of the routine maintenance of current HVAC systems at KMS & MHHS, ATC identified six (6) to eight (8) small classroom unit ventilators that need the motors replaced at KMS and two (2) large exhaust fans at Mt. Hope High School. This work is to ensure maximum performance of existing systems and will be completed next week. In order to facilitate their uninterrupted access to the buildings, which includes the use of a crane at MHHS, Dr. Brice has moved KMS and MHHS to distance learning for students and staff on Monday, November 23, 2020, and Tuesday, November 24, 2020. Schools are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday the remainder of the week.

2. Distance Learning Days at KMS & MHHS - Monday, 11/23/20 & Tuesday, 11/24/20

Monday, November 23, 2020 and Tuesday, November 24, 2020 will be distance learning days at Mt. Hope High School and Kickemuit Middle School to provide time for ventilation upgrades to be completed in some areas of each school.

3. Elementary Trimester 2 Student Placements

Families will be receiving a confirmation of their request for a change in their child’s placement for Trimester 2 early next week. Requests that were made after the close of the survey will be reviewed by Principals and the Superintendent to determine if we can accommodate the requests while still maintaining six (6) feet of distance between desks in classrooms.

4. Note from District Nurses

The Rhode Island Department of Health has tasked school nurses with monitoring all probable cases in our school community. This surveillance will allow us to identify any potential trends or outbreaks in our classrooms, school, and community so we can respond quickly to keep us and our family members safe.


Parents/guardians, grandparents/emergency contacts and students can email or call individual school nurses anytime to report probable symptoms, positive cases of COVID 19, and close contacts of a positive case of COVID 19. It is very important that your school nurse is informed of all probable and positive cases. Please be advised of the following from the RIDOH website:


To schedule a test, call the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service at 844-857-1814, seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. This service line is only for K-12 staff and students who have symptoms or who have been identified as a close contact of a positive case. Services are available in multiple languages. Notify the representative if you are requesting a COVID-19 test for a student with special healthcare needs. Test site staff will be made aware of any accommodations in advance.


All State-operated COVID-19 testing sites will close at noon on Wednesday, November 25, and will be closed all day on Thursday, November 26 for Thanksgiving. Testing sites will resume their regular hours of operation on Friday, November 27.


You will receive an email or text when your COVID-19 test results are ready. Results can be accessed at portal.ri.gov/results. If you need help finding your test results, call the K-12 COVID-19 test scheduling service at 844-857-1814 seven days a week between the hours of 7:30 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. Please wait 8-12 hours after your test appointment to call about the result of your rapid test and 48 hours to call about the result of your PCR test.


For more information, please visit: https://health.ri.gov/covid/testing/k-12/. For information including signs and symptoms of COVID 19, please visit: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/ncov2019/

5. Food Assistance at the East Bay Pantry

As a community, we have many families who may be struggling. We want to make sure you are aware of the help that is available at the East Bay Food Pantry. Attached below are two (2) flyers with information about the food programs. Any family in Eastern RI in need of food can go to them for help, free of charge.


The East Bay Food Pantry is located at 532 Wood St., Bristol, in the basement of the Franklin Court Independent Living building.


If families need help for the holidays (or anytime), anyone who shops at the Food Pantry in November or December will automatically receive an extra bag with holiday foods. There is no need to sign-up in advance.


They will be closed from noon on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 through Friday, November 27, 2020 for Thanksgiving, and from 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 through New Year's Day.


If you have any questions, you can contact the East Bay Food Pantry directly at 401-396-9490.

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.