BWRSD Community Update 1/15/21

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

We wish our families and community members an enjoyable holiday weekend and time to reflect upon the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. whose words remind us that “the function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”


Contents of this Update:

  1. Welcome to Our New Coordinators!

  2. Travel Guidance for the Long Weekend

  3. Solve for Tomorrow: Middle School Award

1. Welcome to Our New Coordinators!

ELL Coordinator -- Laura Berard

Laura Berard has replaced Mary Almeida in her part time role of ELL Coordinator, working with teachers and families of multilingual learners. Laura’s experience within the district, ongoing participation in professional development, and credentials as an ESL Consultant will be invaluable to schools in meeting the needs of our multilingual learners. Here is a brief bio:

Laura has been teaching in the Bristol Warren Regional School District for 19 years. She began her career in the district as the kindergarten ESL teacher at both Hugh Cole and Byfield Schools before teaching 2nd grade at Colt Andrews She currently works at Guiteras as the ELL teacher where she has been working for the past 10 years. Before moving to RI, Laura was a first grade teacher in the New York City Public School System. It was there that her interest and passion for working with students from various cultures and languages began. Laura enjoys working with ELL students and their families and is excited to take on this new role as the coordinator for the district.

K to 8 Literacy Coordinator -- Mary Cabral

Mary Cabral has replaced Mary Almeida in her role as Literacy Coordinator. Mary is in the process of transitioning from her current position as a grade 8 ELA teacher at KMS. Her prior experience and work with the district over the past two years as a member of the RIDE Statewide ELA Curriculum Cohort will be a great asset to her role in supporting K-8 teachers and administrators through the process of researching, piloting, and implementing new ELA curriculum. Mary will also be working with schools in RtI process. Here is a brief bio:

Mary is in her 24th year of teaching. Over the course of her career as a high school and middle-level educator, she has worked with the East Providence School Department and Bristol-Warren to develop, align, and adopt curriculum. With Dana Center training and RIDE collaboration, she has gained expertise in designing and implementing a standards-driven approach to teaching and learning. In addition to teaching English Language Arts, Computer Science, and running the EPSD Gifted and Talented Program, Mary has worked with the leadership team on developing Personalized Learning models of instruction. Providing professional development for colleagues on literacy strategies, NECAP/PARCC, and RICAS frameworks for success, increasing student engagement, strategic teaming, and technology to advance student growth as part of her staff development projects. Mary is passionate about Problem Based Learning as she leads middle and high school students in annual competitions through NASA’s Go for Launch and Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow STEM competitions. Mary is also the proud mother of two BWRSD students!

2. Travel Guidance for the Long Weekend

Please be reminded of the following guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) regarding out of state travel. Your support in following these guidelines is essential to the health and safety of our students and staff.

The following has been taken from the RIDOH Outbreak Response Protocols: Pre K-12 Playbook (version 2.0 - Update January 6, 2021). Information on COVID-19 Testing Sites can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions - Travel (pgs. 38 - 43)

1. Quarantine - International Travelers (pg. 39)

  • 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.

2. Quarantine - Domestic Travelers (pg. 40)

  • 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

3. Preferred Quarantine Option for Students/Staff Who Travel (pg. 41)

  • 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

NOTE: These guidelines have NOT been updated. The Executive Order regarding quarantine after returning from domestic and international travel remains in place. Learn more at

5. Common Travel Questions (pgs. 42-43)

  • 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 not need to quarantine.

3. Solve for Tomorrow: Middle School Award

We are excited to announce that our Kickemuit Middle School's community problem was selected as a National Semi-Finalist in the Solve for Tomorrow Competition!

Our middle school team of 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will work virtually (or within the school's predetermined stable pods) over the next 8 weeks with their coaches, Mary Cabral and Patricia Fillipino, to engineer a rescue device for Ocean State beaches. Specifically, addressing the dangers of rip currents.

In this first round, KMS students have earned $15,000 in technology and school supplies for Kickemuit Middle School. Best of luck to our team in the next round!

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.