BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

January 7, 2022

Superintendent's Office

Updated CDC/DPH/DESE COVID Protocols

In case you missed my email from December 31, 2021, I wanted to reshare with you the latest COVID protocols as updated by the CDC, Massachusets Department of Public Health, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Please click here to review this updated information.


Additionally, our BBRSD School Nurses put together a very informative informational piece on COVID protocols. Please review that document here.


Vaccination Clinic for 2nd Doses

The MA DPH will be returning to Tahanto (auditorium) on Monday, January 10, 2022, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. to offer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine for those who were vaccinated at our first clinic on December 17, 2021. For more information please see the Pupil Personnel Department section of this newsletter.




Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Business Office


School Bus Transportation Update

Like many of our staff and students, NRT Bus has been hit hard by the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Please click here to read a letter from their management explaining the challenges they have been facing.


Their Hudson terminal which services Berlin-Boylston and nearby school districts had 23 drivers out this past week, more than 10% of their drivers. In addition, two of their five dispatchers, who coordinate and make changes to the routes were out sick. The dispatchers are expected to return very soon and will help ensure that our district receives timely notifications when drivers are out, with updates on coverage plans.


This past week was a huge challenge due to the number of staff out; we worked diligently to send out timely notifications to students and families, in coordination with NRT Bus and will continue to do so.


Update for next week

Berlin routes (BMS and Tahanto):

The driver for bus 1 is expected to be returning on Monday, so there should be a return to normal routes. A message will be sent out Sunday evening or Monday early morning if we hear otherwise.


Tahanto Boylston routes:

The combination of bus #4 and bus #5 routes will continue this week. NRT Bus is sending a larger bus with more capacity to ensure all riders can be seated on the busiest days. Boylston Bus 4’s route will start 18 minutes early. Bus 5 will complete Route #4 FIRST AND CONTINUE DIRECTLY ONTO Bus 5’s usual route. Bus 5’s pick-up times maybe a few minutes later than published times, but very close to its regularly scheduled pickup times.


Boylston Elementary bus routes:

With the driver of bus # 4 still out, we will continue the next couple of days with the same plan but are looking to make a change later in the week, as noted below.


MONDAY and TUESDAY –Bus 4 students will be picked up at regularly scheduled times by Bus 2. Bus 4 Students will be dropped off at school before Bus 2 proceeds to its own route.

Boylston Elementary route 2 will be delayed by a few minutes, due to the above.


Boylston Elementary route 5 should run its regularly scheduled route, with a possible delay of a couple of minutes due to the combined Tahanto route.


WEDNESDAY (TENTATIVE TARGET DATE)

We have asked NRT to combine route #2 and route #4 into a single route, with no interim stop at the school between routes. Due to the limited time to implement, this is the simplest solution. When there is more time for NRT to do a thorough review, we will ask them to review the routes and see if certain stops can be moved to other Boylston Elementary routes, to balance out route times.


Please keep an eye out for further communication next week.



Robert Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department

Vaccine Clinic- Second Dose

Purple Shield will be returning to Tahanto on 1/10/22 from 3-7 pm to administer the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for students and families who received their first dose at our clinic in December. To sign up for a vaccine, Please use this link: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/purpleshield?calendar=de28b1ea-3c92-4320-9692-efb866999359


For those who are not able to make the clinic on Monday, the Nashoba Board of Health has 4 clinics set up in Lancaster. For more information: https://www.ci.lancaster.ma.us/board-health.



Karen Molnar

Director of Pupil Personnel

kmolnar@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School

Office Barbato-BES SRO

I am happy to announce that the new Police Chief (John Annunziata) reached out to me this week to share that he has assigned Officer Rob Barbato as the School Resource Officer (SRO). You may have noticed Officer Rob at drop-off this week. He is making a concerted effort to be a visible and friendly person in our school community! We are grateful for his efforts and for him! If you see him, please be sure to wave and say "hi" and encourage your children to do the same.


Parent Math Webinar

Last month, our math coach, Joey Flournoy started his math talk series. Well, he's at it once again and has asked me to share information about it with all of you. I'd encourage you to check it out!


"Have you heard comments, seen posts, or watched a celebrity as they talk about "New

Math" but didn't quite understand what they were on about? Have you seen your students solving math problems by drawing visuals, breaking numbers apart, or using other ways that are different than how we once learned? If you are hoping to get a better understanding of what these strategies are and how to use them, this is the spot for you!


For our next Partnering with Parents Math Session, the topic will be "New Math" with the focus on Grades 2 and 3. We will meet via Zoom on January 26, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. The sessions are brief (30 minutes) with an open-ended questions session at the end. I hope to see you all there!"



Worcester Railers Game

The Chorus is going to the Railers Game! You may have heard that the 4th and 5th-grade chorus has been invited to sing at the Railers hockey game on Saturday, January 15th. And we're inviting everyone to come along and listen and watch the game. The Railers really seem to like us :)

Tickets for the event can be ordered online here. Tickets cost $15 to sit in the same section as other BBRSD members, but you do not need to purchase these specific tickets to attend/participate. Did I mention it is Marvel night?



The electronic folder


The week ahead:

  • Monday (1/10)

    • School Council

  • Tuesday (1/11)

    • School Committee

  • Wednesday (1/12)

    • Early Release at 11:45 for PD

  • Saturday (1/15)

    • Chorus perform at the Railers

  • Monday (1/17)

    • No School MLK Day



Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

BES Office: 508-869-2200

Berlin Memorial School

Welcome Back

It’s been a great first week back! We have some information from Nurse Ana regarding updates to our COVID protocols, and a few items of interest.


Notes from Nurse Ana

Dear parents/caregivers,

Happy New Year! Vacation time provides everyone an opportunity to rest and recharge. I hope that was the case for you and your family this past holiday break. We have completed the first full week of school in 2022, and what a week it has been. I’m trying to catch my breath. It’s hard to believe this virus is still causing so much disruption and chaos in our lives.


As you may have heard, there are new protocols for covid exposures, covid symptoms, and return to school. Basically, isolation and quarantine are shortened for everyone and we can now accept PCR, antigen, and covid home tests. For details, see the DESE/DPH Protocols. Some may think the changes are crazy, others that this is a step closer to normalcy and yet others just don’t know what to make of all of this. My goal as your school nurse is to keep our school community as healthy as possible and keep staff and students in school. I cannot do this without your help, and I have to say the Berlin community has been proactive and extremely supportive. So, thank you for keeping your children at home when they are not feeling well and reaching out to me when you have questions about illness and return to school. This will continue to be the most important factor in moving forward. Other things that will help keep our school open:


  • Let me know if your child has had confirmed out-of-school exposure to a positive individual (ie household member, sports team member, family member, etc), as your child may need to quarantine at home if they are unvaccinated.

  • If your child has covid-like symptoms and is waiting for test results, keep your child home.

  • If your child tested positive for COVID during the winter holiday break, please let me know and forward test results so I can update their school health record.

  • If you have had your child vaccinated for COVID, please forward me a copy of their vaccination card.


FYI: COVID Vaccination Clinics near you!

The Nashoba Board of Health is hosting two January Covid Vaccine Clinics and two February Covid Vaccine Clinics in Lancaster. For more information click here. Be sure to pre-register.


Lastly, the winter and snow are here…With the weather becoming increasingly colder and inclement, it is critical that students come to school with the proper winter apparel. Families, I ask for your help in ensuring that your child arrives at school with a winter coat, hat, and gloves/mittens. If they plan to play in the snow, they need snow boots and snow pants as well. Layers are perfect. If you need help acquiring these items, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.


Thank you again for your continued support. Please call or email if you have any questions or concerns.


Kindly,

Nurse Ana


Singing at the Railers Game!

As I mentioned last week, the elementary Chorus groups in Berlin and Boylston will be singing the national anthem at the Worcester Railers game on Saturday, January 15th! When my son was in third grade (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) he had this opportunity with his school, and he still remembers the event fondly.


Let’s all turn out to support our kids! At $15 a seat, it’s cheaper than the movies. You can purchase tickets online through this link - https://fevo.me/3neYdt5


Professional Development Day - Jan 12, 2022

Just a reminder that next Wednesday, January 12th, is a half-day for students! Dismissal starts at 11:45 AM, and lunch will be served to students.


Lacrosse, anyone?

I heard from Kim Theriault, who serves on the youth lacrosse board (Guardians Youth Lacrosse) that represents Berlin, Boylston, Clinton, and West Boylston. She asked me to share this informational flyer with you for anyone interested in spring lacrosse.



John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

978-838-2417

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School


Welcome, 2022!!

As we begin a new year and soon a new semester, I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday and winter break filled with positive memories and experiences.


Coming back from winter break has certainly been challenging with the increase in COVID cases. This can be a very stressful and emotional time for parents, students, and staff but we need to pause and take a deep breath and remember that we are all in this together. Our administrative team, nurse, and administrative assistants have been working tirelessly to test, track and notify families impacted by COVID 19. This is an enormous amount of work on top of ordinary day-to-day job responsibilities. I am asking everyone to please be patient, kind, and understanding in their communication with school staff. Please know that our number one priority is to ensure the health and well-being of the entire Tahanto community. Response times to emails, phone calls, etc. may be delayed, but be assured that someone will respond to you as soon as possible.


In order to control the spread of COVID-19 and communicate effectively with families please remember the following:

  • Please sign up for Test and Stay. Not signing your child up until your child is a close contact may delay the test by 48 hours and increase the workload for those contact tracing, checking immunization status, etc. Test and stay sign-up must be done for each individual student (not one form for all children in the district).


BBRSD COVID-19 Test and Stay Program

1. Letter regarding Test and Stay COVID-19 Program

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FzNLTefNy4qjKgtMDASxKlD7GTGKnB2GdYjWNH1V8Uk/edit?usp=sharing

2. Student Consent Form

https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma#consent


  • If your child is not feeling well, please do not send them to school. Call the school nurse and leave a message with specific information as to the symptoms your child is experiencing and the nurse will contact you regarding recommendations.

  • With the new CDC guidelines if an asymptomatic COVID positive student returns after 5 days they MUST wear a mask at all times for an additional 5 days.


Mask Wearing

Prior to vacation administration met with the entire student body to remind them of expectations around mask-wearing. Masks MUST cover both the nose and mouth. A majority of our student body does an excellent job with this, however, we do have some students who have to be constantly reminded to pull their masks up. A warning has been given to all that if reminders continue, detentions will be given to those not following the requirements.

I think we can all agree that no one wants to have to wear a mask but we all must do our part to keep everyone safe and be in compliance with the state mandate.

Please make sure that your child(ren) has a mask prior to leaving for school. The school does have extras for those whose masks break or get soiled at school, but we are not able to provide masks to those who forget theirs on a daily basis.


Upcoming events

  • January 12th: Early Release

  • January 17th: No School

  • January 18th-21st: Midterms grades 9-12

  • January 21st: End of Q2

  • January 28th: Term II & Semester grades posted to PowerSchool


Grades 9-12 MIDTERM EXAMS January 18-21

Students in grades 9-12 will be taking midterm exams from January 18th-21st. Since it has been two years since students have taken midterm exams, I wanted to communicate the expectations and exam schedule to everyone.

  1. Exams must be taken according to the students’ schedule and when the exam is scheduled.

  2. If a student has a free period or does not have an exam, they do not have to report to school. If they do not have an exam first period but have a second exam they may come in late and sign in at the main office.

  3. Students may be dismissed after their last exam of the day at the end of the exam period, without penalty. In order to cut down on interruptions, all students must remain in the exam room until the end of the period.

  4. Student dismissals must be in the form of a note, signed by a parent/guardian. No phone call or email dismissals will be accepted. Students should hand in their dismissal notes to the office when they arrive at school.

**transportation to and from school for late arrivals and early dismissals is the responsibility of individual families.

  1. If a student misses an exam due to medical reasons, COVID included, the nurse should be contacted and the student should reach out to their individual teachers to schedule an exam make-up. Due to COVID, we are allowing the make-up of exams to be extended until February 4th. Students will receive an incomplete until the exam is made up.


2022 Midterm Exam Schedule


Art News

In December, Art 8 students learned about installed community art projects "CowParade" and "Sharks in the Park" for which artists took replicated sculptures and designed them in their own style. Using the installed community art projects as inspiration, Art 8 students painted ceramic stag ornaments however they wished and installed them in the 8th-grade hallway for the Tahanto community to enjoy.

For more information about the community art installations CowParade and Sharks in the Park, please see the links below.

CowParade Information

http://www.cowparade.com/our-story/

Sharks in the Park



Music Department News

The Tahanto Music Department presents

A Winter Concert

RADIO SHOWS

Links to the Radio productions will be posted on

the Tahanto Music Website on December 23, 2021


HELP THE HOMELESS BY DONATING WARM CLOTHES

Please consider donating new or gently used sweatpants or sweatshirts for the Lion's Club clothing drive. Boxes can be found at BES and Tahanto through January 23.



PTO Donations Accepted

Unfortunately, the PTO was not able to have our annual Wreath Sale Fundraiser this year due to supply chain issues. This is one of our main fundraisers and will leave a hole in our finances.

Please consider donating in lieu of the usual wreath sale. Thank You!!!


YEARBOOKS

Don't miss out! Yearbook orders are due by 1/10/2022 and are $65. All orders MUST BE pre-ordered. Each Senior will receive a FREE yearbook, sponsored by the Class of 2022. Please reach out to Mrs. Esposito with any questions or email at besposito@bbrsd.org

Do you have a senior student? Parents can send their child some well wishes by purchasing a Parent Ad. See Mrs. Esposito with any questions or email at besposito@bbrsd.org


Middle School Counseling News

Managing Middle School

Hello everyone!

Somehow a holiday break is right around the corner. This can be a really tough time for many families, so if there is anything we can do to support your student in the coming months, please let us know. This is the end of a long stretch of school so many students are feeling the strain and we often see behaviors pop up this time of year. Keep an eye out for anything that seems out of place and let us know how we can help.


What’s happening now?


6th-grade Counseling Class

6th-grade classes were swapped in the rotation, but we’re still hoping to get some time with the students before the new year. It will look a little different, taking place during Quest block, but this allows us to connect with students on a more personal level. We’re really looking forward to connecting with the students!


7th grade

Our 7th-grade lessons have begun in Ms. Hutchinson’s classroom. We started our conversation by going over how to identify and deal with bullying and mean behavior. We are moving towards talking about common stressors for middle schoolers and will be identifying strategies to deal with them. By the time we finish in a few weeks, we will also have touched on morals and ethics, philosophy, community, and good citizenship.


8th grade

We’re planning on meeting with the 8th-grade class right after the holidays to discuss the transition to High School at Tahanto. We will also be introducing them to Naviance, which is a tool they will get to know quite well during the college application process.


IMPORTANT

Assabet applications and all required paperwork are due January 15th, 2022. That feels like a ways away, but these next few months can fly! Tahanto has little to do with the application or school tour process, so if you have any questions about Assabet, please reach out to them!




Athletic News

GUARDIANS YOUTH LACROSSE

SPRING REGISTRATION IS OPEN!

WE OFFER THE FOLLOWING TEAMS FOR BOYS Grades 1-8:

U9 – Grades 1 & 2

U11 – Grades 3 & 4

U13 – Grades 5 & 6

U15 – Grades 7 & 8

No experience is necessary at ANY level!

Register at www.guardiansyouthlax.com by February 1st!

If you have any questions please reach out to guardiansyouthlax@gmail.com Guardians Youth Lacrosse is a town-based youth sports program, for boys from Pre-K through 8th grade in

Boylston, Berlin, West Boylston, and Clinton


Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org


Tahanto Regional High School

1001 Main Street

Boylston, MA 01505

50) 869-2333

The Berlin-Boylston Regional Public Schools do not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, disability, veteran status, genetic information, homelessness or any other class protected by state or federal law.