BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update
October 9, 2020
Did you know that October is National Principals Month? They get a whole month because we know well that without their strong and consistent leadership, our schools would not be the welcoming learning communities that they are, especially here in our district.
That being said, I would like to thank and recognize John Campbell, Principal of Berlin Memorial School, Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal of Tahanto Regional Middle/High School, Ace Thompson, Principal of Boylston Elementary School, and Diane Tucceri, Principal of Tahanto Regional Middle/High School for their hard work and dedication, especially during these very challenging times. They have worked tirelessly throughout the summer and into the fall to ensure the safety and well-being of all of our students and staff as they returned to school, and continue to monitor instructional needs that are a result of our current situation. Please help us celebrate our amazing principals by dropping them a note from your family. I know that it will mean a great deal to them.
On another note, individual school check-in surveys will be coming out in our newsletter on Friday, October 23rd. The purpose of these surveys is to collect parent feedback on topics related to re-entry into our schools to date. We have just completed four weeks in our hybrid model, and we want to know how we can improve, as well as the positive experiences you have had in navigating the structures in place at each school. We have decided to generate these surveys by school so that we may have a more targeted response to the individual needs of each building. Survey topics will include instruction, technology, logistics such as safety precautions, arrival and dismissal, lunch, breaks, communication, and overall impressions of students and parents to the school day in the hybrid model. Please be sure to respond so that we are able to assess the information we receive and make adjustments accordingly. Also, please know that we will continue to provide check-in surveys on a continuous basis as we move through the school year and transitions we may experience along the way.
Thank you for your continued support of our school district, and enjoy the extended weekend.
Jeffrey Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools
Director of Curriculum and Grants
Tahanto After-School Bus Set to Begin
Plans are underway to return the after-school bus to Tahanto on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Tuesday, October 27th. The bus runs will afford us an opportunity to offer after-school academic support to our grades 6-12 students in both cohorts. We will also be providing an additional tutoring center during that time to reach students who may need additional and targeted assistance in specific subject areas. Further information will be coming out in the Tahanto Regional Middle/High School newsletter in the next two weeks.
Check out our District Website
Just a reminder that if you haven’t done so already, the technology section of our website offers all kinds of valuable information to help navigate the world of Google and in doing so, support your student. Most recently, a Google Commands short-cut sheet was added, providing a quick way to make changes to your assignments. It even comes in handy for teachers and parents!
Superintendent Zanghi’s message this week is to thank our principals for all that they do on behalf of our students and families in the district. I wanted to be sure to personally thank each one of them for being such amazing colleagues and team players. We spend so much time together daily, in person, and now on Zoom meetings, hashing out issues, problem-solving, agreeing, disagreeing, and everything in-between. This team has been together and stuck together for several years, making us more like family than co-workers. You make my work easier, and I am grateful for everything you do each day, including the ability to laugh and lift us up in these most trying times.
Carol Costello, Director of Curriculum and Grants
A couple of updates from the Business Office:
This is a reminder that we are now able to offer a FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH FOR ALL STUDENTS. This is for in-person meals and remote learning days.
The weekly remote meal ordering form is attached below. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for each remote learning day.
Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations
Boylston Elementary School
As we head into the long weekend I want to make sure everyone is aware of what this means for us as a school. First and foremost, the Norwegian heritage in me feels the need to remind everyone the Leif landed first. Of course, I married an Italian American so I won't be saying that at home. But on a more serious note, many people may be planning trips over the extended weekend and I wanted to remind everyone of the governor's orders around out of state travel. I've included it here. If you plan on traveling outside of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, DC, and New York you should plan accordingly. Also, at some point in the planning, it was communicated that days missed due to holidays would be made up on Wednesdays. A few weeks ago, the superintendent shared that this has since changed. When reviewing the total days over the course of the year there was not a large discrepancy between cohorts. It also became evident how difficult it would be to make up multiple days such as Thanksgiving week, and how crucial Wednesday planning is for teachers. Long story short...cohort A has one day next week and teachers will still have Wednesday for planning.
As we continue in the model, we are finding an increasing need to share materials with our families that are fully remote.
For those in the Bridge program, you should have received a notice from Mrs. Kuppens about Square 1 Art. We will be participating in this program this year. Students in the building will receive the necessary materials while here but for those at home, we will keep them on a table by the front door. Come by anytime but I'd recommend waiting until after arrival (normally clear by 8:45) and well before dismissal (I've seen cars out there as early at 2:30). I hope everyone enjoys the opportunity to celebrate their students' art!
Talk about burying the Lead! The biggest news this week was that Boylston will in fact have a Halloween. I have been asked to share the following with all of you:
Residents are requested to please bag candy beforehand and have it available outside, preferably on a table with some hand sanitizer available. It is encouraged for residents to enjoy the evening and observe the wonderful costumes during the event while maintaining a safe distance away from trick or treaters. The hours have been set from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
If you do not wish to participate in the activities, please leave your porch light off. The board asks all to respect the porch light and not approach a home unless the porch light is on. A printable PDF has been attached that residents can print out and hang on their front door if they choose not to participate. Also, it is worth noting that Halloween is over three weeks away. If the COVID-19 positive numbers begin to tick up in town, the town’s posture would change in order to err on the side of caution.
The Board of Health and the Board of Selectmen were in agreement that based on the CDC recommendations, lower risk and moderate risk activities would be acceptable. These activities are listed below and can be found on the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html#halloween:
Lower risk activities
These lower-risk activities can be safe alternatives:
Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house
Moderate risk activities
Participating in one-way trick-or-treating were individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing the bags.
A sign signifying your house is not participating can be found here.
The week ahead; Specials week 2
No School - Columbus Day
Wear Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month
School Committee Meeting
Teacher prep and meeting day
Wear Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness month
Ace Thompson, Principal
Berlin Memorial School
With the wind and rain on Wednesday, it sure is feeling more like fall!
Just a few quick items for you…
We are one week into our ordering period and are delighted to see such a strong response. Just as a reminder, we wear our t-shirts on special days, for Field trips (I hope!) and Field Day (also hopeful). Each grade is assigned a color, so each year the students will advance to the next color. We are using an online ordering system this year to make payment more efficient and hands-free. Please find your child’s grade and select the size you need for your child. We are having the shirts delivered to the school in bulk to save you the shipping cost and will send them home in your child’s backpack with an anticipated arrival by the 1st week of November.
The website is open now until October 15th!! The cost is $10. SOAR T-Shirt
As I mentioned earlier, it is our hope that every student has a shirt this year. If you are unable to afford this expense please contact John Campbell, Principal (email@example.com) or Linda Checola, School Psychologist (firstname.lastname@example.org).
After much discussion, we have decided that we can indeed hold our second annual Halloween Parade here at BMS! We will have a parade for each cohort of students, and it will be important for everyone to mask up and maintain a social distance but working together we think we can get it done. We haven’t finalized plans yet, but so many parents have asked, I wanted to put this out there to reassure everyone.
Remember that Monday is a holiday – enjoy the long weekend.
John Campbell, Principal
Tahanto Regional Middle/High School
Thank you to everyone who attended Tahanto’s Virtual Open House!
Please remember if you would like to schedule a meeting with your child's teachers, please email the teacher directly to set up an appointment.
Tahanto Class of 2021 had their first event on Wednesday, October 7th. The STAAGS PTO and the Junior Class sponsored the Senior Class Breakfast.
Thank you, PTO and Junior Class Officers!
School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 12/31/2020, or until federal funding is depleted. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.
This year school pictures will only be taken for incoming Grade 6 students, both remote and hybrid, new students to the district, and any senior needing a photograph for the yearbook due to COVID protocols and restrictions we have in place.
Grynn and Barrett will be at Tahanto on 11/17 and on 11/19 and will follow the schedule below.
11/17/20-Cohort A (Last name A-Leb)
8:30-9:00 Full Remote students in Grade 6
8:30-9:00 Full Remote students new to the district
9:00-9:15 Any Senior needing a senior photo
9:15-10:15 Grade 6 Cohort A In-person
11/19/20-Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z)
8:30-9:00 Full Remote students in Grade 6
8:30-9:00 Full Remote students new to the district
9:00-9:15 Any Senior needing a senior photo
9:15-10:15 Grade 6 Cohort B In-person
More information to come as we get closer to the date!
We are looking for parents to volunteer to serve on Tahanto School Council. The purpose of the School Council is to work with the Principal and Assistant Principal to develop a School Improvement Plan each year. The School Improvement Plan has the following elements: class size, student-to-teacher ratios, professional development for staff, enhancement of parental involvement, school safety and discipline, extracurricular activities, any further subject the principal, in consultation with the school council, shall consider appropriate.
Meetings have been held on the first Monday of the month at 4:00, but this is subject to change based on members’ availability. The council is composed of administration, teachers, students, and community members. We are looking for a Boylston parent and a school choice parent.
If you are interested in serving on the School Council, please email my administrative assistant, Jane Lavelle @email@example.com.
We know that attendance procedures during our hybrid model of learning can be confusing so we are hoping that this email helps to clarify attendance requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. Regardless of what mode we are in, hybrid, fully remote, or all in, attendance is treated the same way.
According to The Massachusetts Department of Education, “Schools and districts must take daily attendance whether a student is in person or remote.” Consequently, “Parents/caregivers are responsible for ensuring their child attends school every day, whether for in-person or remote learning. Schools and districts must continue to investigate extended absences and make and document reasonable efforts to locate the student and determine the reason for nonattendance.”
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.
I have attached a document that explains our attendance policy in detail from our 2020-2021 Student Handbook.
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.
Live streaming-Notice to Parents
Teachers may choose to live stream their instruction to students who are learning remotely. This means live video and audio coverage of a class would occur. Teachers have been instructed that the video is directed at them or their instructional tools. However, student voices and/or images may be heard and/or seen on the live stream during class instruction.
Teachers who choose to live stream will post a sign on their classroom door alerting students that audio recording will occur.
A disclaimer will be added to the Google Meet and/or Zoom when a class is being live-streamed.
October 12th: No School
October 15th: Midway mark of Term 1 (good time to check your PowerSchool Grades)
Week of 10/13/20-10/16/20 ODD WEEK (High School Only) *
Cohort A (Last name A-LeB) you are at Tahanto in person on Tuesday and remote Wednesday-Friday
Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z) you are remote Tuesday, Wednesday, and at Tahanto in person on Thursday & Friday
* Odd weeks are for high school classes that meet every other day and show on your schedule as meeting (7,8,10 or 6,8,9)
Please remember that whether you are in person or remote your classes will follow the same schedule. The school day runs from 7:35 a.m. until 2:15 p.m.
School Nurse Information
From the School Nurse:
State Mandated Flu Vaccination
Please click Here for important information
A reminder: All students in Grades 7 and 10 are required, by the state, to have an up to date physical on file in the Health Office. Please send one in with your child, or you can email or fax the physical as well.
A big thank you to all parents/guardians and students, for the constant vigilance that you all have shown in following the safety rules and guidelines. Parents are keeping their children home when ill, and are informing myself or the administration, of any concerning situations. Students seem to be settling in and becoming more comfortable, but still abiding by all guidelines. I have had many questions from parents and students and I welcome any you may have as we navigate through this time together.
If your student is not feeling well, and you are not sure what to do, please call so that we can talk about his/her illness and make a plan.
A student who is not feeling well enough to attend school but is able to participate remotely should email all of his/her teachers to let them know. The teacher will then adjust the attendance and will mark them remotely present. As long as they are marked present in classes remotely, they will not be marked absent for the day.
For important information to help you along the way, the nurses now have a District Health Services site. You can find it by going to the district page, clicking on the administration tab, and choosing the health services option. You can also find it here.
I hope your week is easier and is a good one for you.
Take good care,
Health office fax: 508-869-6202
Please make sure that student-athletes have COVID related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their personal gym bags.
Look to the athletic website for scores and updates. https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/
The Tahanto Booster Club is kicking off its 2020 Butter Braid and Cookie Dough Fundraiser. All Tahanto fall teams should be receiving a form from their coach but you can click on the link below if you need another copy.
The Tahanto athlete that sells the most will receive a Tahanto sweatshirt courtesy of the Booster Club. Orders are due by October 13th and can be placed, with a check written out to the Tahanto Booster Club, in the marked bin in the table outside the front office. Items will be frozen and need to be picked up after school on October 26th.
You can also support the Booster Club by donating to our Venmo account! Go to www.tahantoboosterclub.org for more info on what the Booster Club does for student-athletes at Tahanto. An online option for the Butter Braid fundraiser is available if you wish to provide MCM Fundraising with your email address. Contact the Booster Club at email@example.com and we can set that up for you. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BJy9HjqnRJiNsGmC1HHrg-rCyaEwRoup/view?usp=sharing
For the latest information regarding fall athletics please click on the link below
Diane Tucceri, Principal
Sally-Ann Stukuls, Assistant Principal
Class of 2021
The Tahanto Class of 2021 has its Senior Breakfast this week.
Help Prevent the Flu
Helpful Tips from Ms. Sequeira!
Hybrid Schedule week of 10/12/2020