Principal's Newsletter



We were very happy to see our K-7 students back in our classrooms yesterday! Next Thursday, we finally can see our high schoolers! Fingers crossed that we can continue this path to normalcy. We worry about the mental health of our students. With the prospect of sports and a vaccine on the horizon we are hopeful, but also realistic. Our new testing protocol has gone well, with the majority of families taking part. A word of caution though.. a test result is a moment in time and weeds out those currently sick. We understand the fragility of in-person learning and unfortunately can not guarantee that we will need to return to virtual learning in the coming weeks.

In the past week, we have received survey results from HS parents/students regarding needs for Virtual Learning. We want to thank everyone who responded. We appreciate the kind words and encouragement many gave us regarding this time, but also shared the challenges with our staff. As educators, we take your comments seriously and will be thinking of them as we move forward.

At any other time in history I would have most likely started my newsletter, not about COVID, but about the impact news events have had on our messages to students. As I roamed the halls yesterday, I saw teachers carefully addressing the questions about current events. Please know that we at BIS are here for your children and understand the tightrope we MUST walk to uphold a fair and neutral message to our very impressionable children. Our message will continue to be reassuring and steadfast in our conviction for a more perfect Union.

Just a reminder... Testing for athletes will be available Monday afternoon, with Tuesday afternoon being for all high schoolers not tested.

Thanks for your support!

Have a nice weekend!


Free Lunch!

Benefits have been extended for all school children to continue with Free lunch until the end of the school year. As soon as we can gain a few weeks of normalcy in our in-person schooling, we will begin to order snacks for purchase. Stay tuned!!

New Playbook!

Since September the Department of Education, in combination with RIDOH, prints a Playbook for education with rules and recommendations to follow. Since September, we have had at least three playbooks. We read them carefully and refer to them daily as the rules change with new information. We recently found out that testing for athletes, as with our general student population, for IS NOT mandatory, as we had stated in our previous email, but we still think it is a really good idea!! Also, as the three day MLK weekend approaches and winter sets in, we wanted to share the latest guidance about travel out of Rhode Island with you. A major change is that International travel requires a 14 day Quarantine upon return to the USA. Below I have copied information from the Playbook that may be helpful regarding travel.

What are the quarantine options for someone returning to RI after traveling internationally?

•Anyone coming to RI from outside the United States is required to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

•There is no option to test out of quarantine.

What are the quarantine options for someone returning to RI after traveling to a US state where > 5% of COVID tests are positive? (click for list of states)

•Quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms

•As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to your arrival

•Travelers who receive a COVID-19 test during their quarantine period in RI and get a negative result (antigen or PCR) can stop quarantining

•However, they still need to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, wear a mask while near people who they don’t live, and follow physical distancing guidelines

•The preferred method is to quarantine for 14 days after returning to RI from travel to a US state where > 5% of COVID tests are positive

•COVID-19 can develop any time between 2-14 days after exposure

•A single negative test only indicates that you are negative at that point in time, but you could become infectious any time through day 14

Quarantining for 14 days before returning to school is the best way to reduce the chance of exposing the school community to COVID-19

A family went from their home in RI to their home in a high incidence state for the long weekend. They did not go out anywhere or see anyone while in the high incidence state. Do they have to quarantine?

•No, since they went from house to house and had no exposure to people or places in the high incidence state, they do not need to follow quarantine guidance

A family went from their home in RI to their home in a high incidence state for the long weekend. They went skiing while in high incidence state. Do they have to quarantine?

•Yes, since they went skiing and had potential exposures while at the ski resort
they do need to follow the quarantine guidance

A family went to a high incidence state for the weekend. When they went last week, the state was NOT on the list of states with greater than 5% positivity. Today the list was updated and now that state is on the list. Does this family need to quarantine?

•No, since the state was not on the list when they went to that state nor while they were there, then they do no need to quarantine.

Good News!

The School has received a grant for $16,340 to buy equipment to make a " Makerspace". A Makerspace is a shared space designed to give students access to cutting edge technology in order to design and build projects. These spaces promote important 21st century learning and are also known as Creation Stations, Tech Spaces, or STEAM labs. Skills developed in these spaces can help our Island school produce the workers of the future.

An excerpt from our grant application.... ".....the Block island School is a valuable community resource. We have produced doctor’s, engineers, teachers and artists. However, in this day and age when a college degree is seen as the Holy Grail of education, we are overlooking the less traditional student. Those whose path may not involve a four-year college degree. Concurrently, we are seeing our Island plumbers, and electricians, and carpenters retire without a new generation of replacements. Our Island-born skilled labor force is disappearing, causing a reliance on mainland workers. In order to fulfill the promise of education, we need to grow students to be prepared for our island's future, whether they choose college or not. Makerspaces foster such a preparation of the workforce of the future."