BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update
March 26, 2021
Our return to five-day in-person instruction is just around the corner. Elementary students will return on Monday, April 5 while the Middle/High School returns on April 12.
ELEMENTARY STUDENTS ONLY: Friday, April 2 will be a half-day of asynchronous learning. Students in both Cohort A and Cohort B should not attend in-person, as all students will be learning remotely. This will allow elementary teachers a half-day to prepare their classrooms in anticipation of their full return on April 5. Please check with your child's school for more details in the coming weeks.
MIDDLE/HIGH STUDENTS ONLY: Friday, April 2 will be a half-day. Students in Cohort B should attend in-person, while Cohort A follows their regular remote learning half-day schedule.
Tahanto will also plan for a half-day (morning) live streaming learning day on Friday, April 9th so teachers may take the afternoon to prepare for their return to school on Monday, April 12th. Please check with your child's school for more details in the coming weeks.
On March 22, Governor Baker replaced his COVID Travel Order with a Travel Advisory. On February 9 the BBRSD School Committee voted that BBRSD's travel policy will mirror the state advisory, which can be found here.
Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools
School Committee News
Moses Reed Tyler Scholarship Application
The 2021 Moses Reed Tyler Scholarship Application for eligible Berlin residents is now available. **Please note the early deadline of March 31, 2021**.
The district’s bus vendor, NRT Bus, is working to develop revised consolidated bus routes (combining cohorts) for all three of our schools. The elementary routes are nearly complete, with additional riders being added based on the recent survey results. They will be posted early next week, and a School Messenger email will be sent out to families when they are posted.
There is a possibility that bus assignments may change if we need to re-balance routes to ensure on-time arrivals. We will limit those changes to the extent it’s necessary.
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.
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.
Pickup times this week will be offered Monday 11:00am-1:00pm, Tuesday 12:00pm-1:00pm, Wednesday 10:00am-1:00pm, Thursday 12:00pm-1:00pm, and Friday 12:00pm-1:00pm. 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. Alternative to weekly pickup, a single breakfast and lunch are available daily between 12:00 pm-1:00 pm M-F at Tahanto, no registration required. Please call 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 upon arrival.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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!
Any questions or concerns can be directed to Lauren Staples, Food Service Director 508-869-2333 ext. 2346.
Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations
Boylston Elementary School
It was another great week at BES! We are counting down until we have everyone back together again. Five more days for those who weren't sure. I hope the children enjoyed our cookouts on Monday and Thursday. I sure did. I'm always flattered by how much the kids enjoy my burgers. You could say there is something about cooking them over the grill or just the idea that the Principal made them but they sure seem to gobble them up!
Looking ahead to next week, we have a special surprise replacing our typical Wednesday enrichment blocks. The PTO has contracted with Hollyrock Entertainment to provide grade-level virtual assemblies. We have had them in the building before and everyone had a blast. It may just rival my rendition of Bobcat Family Feud. I hope to be able to share links on Tuesday evening. For your planning purposes, they are scheduled around grade-level learning blocks as can be seen below. It is important to know this is in the place of our typical 8:45 enrichment block.
1st grade - 8:30-9:15
2nd grade - 9:15-10:00
Kindergarten - 11:00-11:45
3rd grade - 11:45-12:30
4th grade - 12:30-1:15
5th grade - 1:15-2:00
Next week, as we gear up for our full return on April 5th I would like to practice our new drop-off and pick-up procedures. I'm calling it a "soft opening" at half capacity. This will give us a chance to iron out any wrinkles we find too. As with all new procedures, after time they benefit from adjustments. Please remember to be kind to staff and to each other. Let people in and be patient. You are all here for the same purpose, to safely drop off and pick up children.
The general traffic pattern will remain the same.
All students in 1st through 5th grades will unload and depart from the recess area behind the school.
The first 10 or so cars with students in 1st through 5th grades will pull up all the way to the end of the blacktop and students will disembark/embark together.
Once all the cars in this "batch" have safely exited or entered, they will be waved on before the next batch is called up.
Grades 1,2,3 will enter the building opposite the nurse's room and Grades 4,5 will enter the door closest to the art room.
The green wing will be dismissed through the side door between Ms. Keane and Mrs. Wheeler's classes.
Kindergarten parents will have a second lane to bypass this drop-off area if they do not have students in 1st through 5th.
When leaving the blacktop area, 1-5 parents should stay to the right to bypass waiting K cars. Please drive slowly.
Kindergarten students will arrive and depart from the side of the gym.
Kindergarten parents should stay to the left once they have departed the blacktop. This is a lane for possible overflow of kindergarten parents.
When there is room in the Kindergarten drop-off area, cars will be waved into the area on the side of the gym where their student can hop out or in.
Please be careful as you pull out of the Kindergarten area.
For those visual learners, I have once again filmed a short YouTube tour of the procedures.
The Week Ahead:
Enrichment courtesy of the BES PTO (See schedule above)
Asynchronous day for Cohort B
Ace Thompson, Principal
BES Office: 508-869-2200
Nothing says spring in New England like grilling next to a snow pile!
Drop Off and Pick Up Procedure
Watch Mr. Thompson's video for the drop-off and pick-up procedures here!
The PTO has contracted with Hollyrock Entertainment to provide grade-level virtual assemblies.
Drop Off and Pick Up Procedure
Berlin Memorial School
We continue to plans for a full return to school on Monday, April 5th. Thank you to everyone - we had a 100% response rate to our survey!
We met as a staff on Wednesday to continue to identify the next steps in our preparations for all students to return! I was delighted to see that over 96% of our students will be returning live instruction!
We are preparing a “return to school” guide to be released soon!
This Wednesday, March 31st, will be our last “Enrichment Wednesday”. I’d like to thank all of the teachers who had to take the time to develop these state-mandated experiences and all of you for helping your children to access these events. Our last one, which will be an all-school meeting, begins at 8:45. You can find the link to that Zoom here.
A Note From Nurse Ana
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
The warmer weather is upon us, and so is allergy season. Trees started to bud in early March (Juniper and Elm are in full swing), followed by grass in May, weed pollen in July, and ragweed in late August. Unfortunately, allergy symptoms do overlap with COVID symptoms. So please keep in mind that we are still required to follow COVID protocol when staff or students experience symptoms that mimic COVID. We ask that everyone continue to refer to the Daily Screening Checklist before coming to school.
On a positive note, medical allergy experts are stating “Masks mean less inhalation of pollen through the nose or mouth, and that may translate to decreased symptoms for some sufferers.” This is great news and even more so of a reason to make sure masks fit properly over the nose and mouth and snugly around the face without gaps. For more information on How to Improve How Your Mask Protects You, click here.
A few reminders:
Nicer weather means outdoor gym and daily outdoor recess. Please help your child stay hydrated throughout the day by sending them to school with a water bottle filled with water. If room allows in the backpack, an extra water bottle is helpful as well. Drinking fountains are still closed, but students may use the water bottle filling station to refill.
Please be sure to send your child with extra face masks. . With more outdoor active play and exercise, face masks get wet and sweaty so having an extra dry face mask handy is ideal.
The cold mornings and warm afternoons call for layered clothing. Be sure your child can remove clothing layers if they feel warm while at school, for example, a t-shirt under a sweatshirt.
Lastly, if your child is returning to full in-person learning on April 5 and you think they may need medication (inhaler, EpiPen, daily prescribed meds) while at school, please have their physician fax a medication order to the BMS Health Office (fax 978-838-0278) and contact me to schedule a time to drop off your child’s medication.
Stay well, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.
Ana Amaral, BSN, RN, NCSN
BMS School Nurse
Dates to Remember
Friday, March 26th - Report Cards home - Cohort B
Monday, March 29th - Report Cards home - Cohort A
Friday, April 2nd - Remote half-day - all lessons asynchronous (on-line)
Monday, April 5 – Everybody back to school!
John Campbell, Principal
BMS Office: 978-838-2417
Tahanto Regional Middle/High School
Tahanto Full Re-Entry Information
We appreciate all of the responses to our questionnaire regarding modes of learning and transportation as well as plan for our full re-entry on April 12, 2021. We are compiling all of the data and have begun preparing classrooms and lunch schedules to ensure a smooth transition.
Important Clarification for Attendance Beginning April 12th
Beginning April 12th students who have chosen to learn in person are expected to attend school 5 days per week. In-person learners will not have access to live streaming if they are absent from school (unless COVID-related). Students who are live-streaming must follow the schedule and attend the entire class with their cameras on.
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 a live streaming student misses a class due to illness a parent must email an excusal note to Mrs. Boudreau at email@example.com.
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:
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent Volunteers Needed
Have you ever dreamed of overseeing 120 teenagers while they are eating lunch? Well, have we got an opportunity of a lifetime for you!
We are looking for parent volunteers for the remainder of the school year to help with lunch monitoring throughout the week. In order to keep a 6’ distance between students while eating, we need to create 4 lunch periods each day. Because of this addition, we are in need of lunch monitors to help with monitoring student safety and sanitizing spaces in between lunch periods. Lunches are 30 minutes in length and begin at 10:30 a.m. and end at 12:30 p.m. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Sue Boudreau at (508) 869-2333 or via email at email@example.com.
The high school student council will be holding a clothing drive until Tuesday, March 30th. Please bring in any items you may have and put them in the boxes near the front office. We will also be in competition with West Boylston for this event! The school which brings in the most items will be awarded the FIRST EVER “Tahanto V.S. West Boylston Clothing Drive Championship” trophy (and bragging rights of course).
Let’s show the Lions that the STAGS are superior!
Counseling Office News and Resources
High School News
Ms Ford’s virtual office - A great place to find coping strategies
Science in Action
The Honors Physics class participated in an egg drop challenge in which each team was required to build a device that would keep a raw egg from cracking when dropped from at least 12 feet. If successful from 12 feet, the devices were then tested from the top of the Common's Bridge. Winners for Cohort B were Paige Money, Ryan Walton, and Matt Muldoon on Team 1, and Dan Simler and Hannah Wyatt on Team 2. From Cohort A the winning team was Jake Gross and Caden Cogswell.
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:
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:
Questions? Contact Janet Sequeira, School Nurse at (508)869-2333 ext. 2303
SPRING ATHLETIC SEASON STARTS MONDAY, APRIL 26.
Please make sure that student-athletes have Covid related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their gym bags.
FREE SCHOOL LUNCH
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.
Tahanto Regional High School
1001 Main Street
Boylston, MA 01505
Diane Tucceri, Principal
Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal
Tahanto Office: 508-869-2333