Principal's Weekly

Dr. Beth N. Choquette

Bridge Street School

2 Parsons Street

Northampton, Massachusetts 01060

413-587-1460 (phone) 413-587-1474 (fax)

Dr. Beth N. Choquette, Principal

Elizabeth Peterson, Administrative Assistant

Jordan Celino, Secretary

Nora DeJasu, Head Teacher

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Translation of the Principal's Weekly

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At the top of the weekly email, there's a link that reads "View it in your browser," click that and it takes you to the post on a webpage.

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Traducción del semanario del director

Le gustaría traducir esta carta de noticias? Aquí están los pasos para traducirlo:

En la parte superior del correo electrónico semanal, hay un enlace que dice "Verlo en su navegador", haga clic en eso y lo llevará a la publicación en una página web.

Desplázate hacia la parte inferior donde hay una barra de menú negra y elige la opción que dice "Traducir".

Seleccione el idioma en el que desea traducirlo y luego lo traducirá en la página web.

Bridge Street School Vision and Mission Statements

It is the vision of Bridge Street School to promote educational excellence and equity for ALL students. Promoting educational excellence and equity will prepare and motivate students to be engaged learners and critical thinkers who strive for high academic achievement, listen to all perspectives, value the multicultural and diverse world we live in, and actively participate in eliminating racial and social injustices so that all people are able to reach their full potential.

Bridge Street School’s faculty and staff, caregivers, and community are committed to providing educational excellence and equity to its students by challenging the injustices that create barriers to high academic achievement, to access and opportunities to learn, to high-quality teaching and learning, and to a climate of belonging. This commitment to educational equity, where all children are successful regardless of their personal, social, or cultural contexts, is at the core of our practices, structures, and policies.

A Message from Principal Choquette

Good afternoon. I hope you all enjoying the beautiful weekend. It was wonderful to welcome our new preschool and kindergarten students and families to BSS last week. It is such an exciting time.

This year all of my principal's weekly newsletters will also be emailed through the district platform that you receive district emails and robocalls from. This way if you somehow miss it one way, you will still receive it.

As you will see below in Dr. Provost's message, starting tomorrow (September 13th) all students will be required to wear their mask at recess again. Please speak to your children about the new change. I know it's hard to wear them outside when running around, but the majority of our students already are and it's what we need to do for the time being to remain safe from spreading the virus. Thank you for your cooperation with enforcing masks at recess.

Additionally, on Tuesday, September 14th, we will change our morning routine to help reduce the number of students entering the building at the recess doors. Starting Tuesday, only 1st-3rd grade students will enter through the playground doors. All 4th and 5th grade students will enter through the doors closest to the Union Street crosswalk. Please see the attached lining up document below and review them with your children. Students will still receive their breakfasts, but not until after they go to their hallways.

Although the days are still warm, this time of year the weather can be cool in the morning and warm in the afternoon. Grades 3-5 eat outside for lunch, so please have students dress appropriately for the weather. Having layers is best.

If you have not experienced it yet, parking for pick-up and drop-off is very difficult at BSS. Unfortunately, we can not have anyone park in the bus loop OR on Parsons Street (both sides). This is to allow for the buses to pull in and park. Caregivers may park on Bridge Street, Union Street, or any side streets near the school. I'm so sorry for any inconvenience. Also, if you pick-up your child, please go directly to the playground doors. Staff will not release students if the caregiver is not at the door to pick-up. If a caregiver is not at the back playground doors at the time of dismissal (2:10), students will be kept inside by the main office. We can not let students leave the building unsupervised.

Finally, I'd like to draw your attention to the newly revised district calendar. The last day of school has been moved to June 22nd and an additional professional development day was added on November 2nd. Also, the date change for our open house (TBD) is reflected in this calendar.

I hope you all have a wonderful week. I'm looking forward to getting to know our new students more and spending time in classrooms with all of our students. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me anytime. Stay safe and be well.

Thank you.

Important Covid-19 Update from Dr. Provost

September 10, 2021

Dear NPS Community:

Last night, the Northampton School Committee amended the district's Face Covering Policy. Under the revised policy, "if it is possible to enforce physical distancing during recess, masks may be optional. However, if students are within 6 feet of each other while playing, even for short times, masks must be worn." Our experience during the first weeks of school has shown that it is not practical to enforce 6-foot physical distancing while students are at recess. Given the change to the policy, the Northampton Public Schools will require students to wear face coverings at recess beginning on September 13th. The policy update also clarifies that the only acceptable masks are snugly fitting disposable surgical masks or cloth masks with two or more layers of tightly woven fabric.

Students will still be provided with mask breaks and be able to unmask during outdoor classes where teachers can provide physical distancing. At the same meeting, the School Committee also mandated that all district staff bę vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 22nd. Let us take the opportunity to once again encourage eligible students to be vaccinated. We have already experienced three COVID-related events in the schools this year. Vaccinated individuals have been able to return to school on an expedited basis. In addition to providing highly-effective protection against infection and serious illness, receiving the vaccine will minimize the interruptions to learning for students who have been exposed to the virus.

We would also take the opportunity to encourage participation in our COVID testing program. We are working with our testing vendor to set up schedules for those who have provided consent. If you have not already provided consent via the hard copy forms sent home at the beginning of the year, you will have another opportunity to provide consent electronically via a link that will be posted on our district website next week. We will begin routine covid safety check testing ( formally called pooled testing) by the end of the month, Our district will also be providing symptomatic testing with the Abbott Binaxnow antigen test. Further information will be provided to caregivers and staff closer to the implementation of the program.

We hope that future developments will bring new information that allows us to relax our health and safety practices, but our first priority is to do whatever it takes to keep our students and staff safe and to keep our schools open. We also know that our students have responded with grace and resilience to all that has been asked of them over the past 18 months. That gives us confidence that you will step up once again and do what needs to be done to keep our community safe.


John A. Provost, Ed. Superintendent of Schools

Lisa Safron, BSN, RN, NCSN Director of Health, Safety & Equity Programs

Safety and Health Protocols

I know we were hoping that things could be back to normal at the start of this school year, but unfortunately, there are protocols we still need to have in place in order to keep everyone safe. In addition to the letters attached below, there is also the student consent form that must be filled out in order to get tested. You will notice in the DESE letter that they discuss Test and Stay, but currently the district has put Test and Stay on hold which is stated in the letter from the district.

Things to Know:

  • No inside meetings for external groups including PTO. School Councils can meet in the building, but we will start the year via zoom.

  • No visitors, with the exception of student teachers and practicum students unless their colleges are locked down

  • No volunteers in the building

  • Team Meetings- Zooms preferred, in person if needed

  • K / PreK orientation - Outdoors

  • Caregivers have a right to request to observe classrooms. Need to follow the observation policy. Principal determines what is reasonable.

  • Contractors are allowed in the building

    • Garden

    • Hitchcock Center

    • Grow Food Northampton

  • No rugs in the classrooms

  • Maintain 3-feet of distance whenever possible

  • All students MUST have assigned seats in the cafeteria

  • All adults and students MUST wear a mask inside the building unless there are documented medical/behavioral needs that prevent the student from wearing a mask

  • The main office is open

  • HEPA filters MUST be on at all times

  • No Gaga Pit

  • 3 students allowed at a time in the club house

  • Once seated in the cafeteria, students should remain in seats except when needing to use the restroom. Adults will pick-up trash at the tables

  • Grades 3-5 will eat lunch outside under the tents when weather permits

  • Students do not need to wear masks outside, however, they should just keep them pulled down below their mouth so they do not lose them. Masks must be put on when students line up to come inside

From Nurse Jessica

Dear Caregivers,

We know that keeping your children safe and engaged in their education remains at the forefront of your thoughts right now. Like last year, we ask that we all work together in order for all to be safe.

As we prepare to start the school year, please know the following requirements we ask of you:

  • Send your child with a fresh mask every day. If your child’s mask gets soiled we can offer a fresh one. Please launder cloth masks regularly. Neck gaiters, scarves or masks with vents are not allowed.

  • Keep your child home when sick. Children with COVID-like symptoms will be sent home. Some of these symptoms are

    • Fever above 100 or chills

    • Cough

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache

    • Congestion or runny nose

    • Diarrhea, nausea, vomiting

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

    • Fatigue

    • Nasal congestion not related to allergies

    • Any new onset and persisting symptom

Students will continue to practice hand hygiene (hand washing or using hand sanitizer) throughout the school day.

We are confident that by implementing the health and safety requirements from the CDC and DESE that we will continue to minimize outbreaks of COVID-19 in our schools. Feel free to contact your student’s school nurse or Lisa Safron, Director of Health and Safety, with questions or concerns. We are here for you and your student.

Health Information

Your child may develop health issues during the school year. Many of you keep your child’s teacher apprised of this information but I urge you to also contact me so that I can record any new allergies, keep an eye out for possible infectious diseases, and offer support when I can. Feel free to send me an email if you’re not able to drop in. (

As part of DPH guidelines, I do vision and hearing screenings for all students as well as scoliosis checks on our 5th graders. However, if I have on file your child’s recent health form filled out by the pediatrician, he/she/they will not need to be screened. Always send in your child’s health form and vaccines so that I always have the latest health information. You may opt your child out of screenings with a written note to me.


Your children are active at recess! Students wearing sandals or flip-flips may not climb the structure at recess.


Bridge Street School does not permit food treats brought into the classroom for celebrations/birthdays because we have so many different types of life-threatening allergies.


While lice is nothing more than a big headache, it strikes fear into the hearts of most of us parents. I can't urge you enough to check your child’s head weekly. I do not check the heads of entire classrooms but I will check your child upon request. Please encourage your children to keep their hair pulled back and to avoid sharing brushes and/or hats.

Please come by and introduce yourself if you are a new member of our BSS family.


Nurse Jessica LaCroix

School Meals


Spread the meals are FREE for all students for the entire school year!

Attached is the menu for September. This menu and the current free/reduced price meals applications can be found on our website:

School nutrition programs continue to be impacted with supply chain shortages and delivery issues. Our menu options could change at short notice. We will do our best to keep the website updated when this occurs.

Important Dates and Date Changes

September 15th: School Council Meeting 3:30-5:00 (virtual-see agenda with link below)

September 16th: No School (Yom Kippur)

September 22: DATE CHANGE (was 9/23) Welcome Back Picnic

September 29: DATE CHANGE (was 9/30) Open House (TBD if we are having it). This has not been corrected in the district calendar yet.

Walking School Bus

The BSS Walking School Bus will start running this year on Thursday, September 8th. Due to the change in school start time, the Sheldon Field route will now leave the Route 9 commuter lot at 7:40 a.m. and the Lumber Yard route will leave the Lumber Yard courtyard at 7:30 a.m. The WSB operates each morning, rain/snow or shine. All students are welcome to participate in the WSB and no advance sign up is required.

More information can be found in the attached flyer or you can visit the WSB website. Email Stephanie Pouliot with any questions or if you would like to volunteer as a WSB driver.

Liftoff Learning Program (LLP)

Liftoff Learning begins this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 2:10-3:30 for students who received a letter of invite AND who confirmed that they will be attending. We currently have 56 students in the program. Teachers, paraprofessionals, and AVMR (math recovery) tutors will be working with our students in person and online using programs such as AVMR, Read Naturally, and Fundations. All students participating received a letter Friday with details. Please make sure that you pack an extra snack for after school. Transportation will be available for all students who meet the transportation regulation guidelines (live more than 1.5 miles from the school who currently have a bus pass).

BASE (Bridge After School Enrichment)

BASE is a fee based program only runs if we have people who offer programs for our students and students who sign up for the programs. If you are interested in being an instructor and have a special talent or hobby you'd like to teach please reach out to Shevaun Keogh Walker our new coordinator.

Please see letter from Shevaun Keogh Walker below.

Virtual Art Show

K-5 BSS Virtual Art Show 2020-21

Hello Bridge Street School Families,

Throughout this school year students at BSS have been working hard on their art

projects. The fifth, fourth and third graders began the year by creating a google slide

and added some of their original art work to it. If your child does not have their own slide

I have photographed some of their art work and added it to the grades sections.

Next year I plan to photograph all of the students’ artwork throughout the school year

and create another Virtual Art Show, as having an art show in person can be difficult

during these trying and uncertain times.

There are a lot of slides so be patient and let them download before opening it. If a slide

looks blank click on it to view the artwork.

Thanks! Enjoy!

Ms. Lilly