BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

November 13, 2020

Superintendent's Office



Dear Families, Students, and Staff,


With the coming of the holidays, families across the state and the nation are beginning to make plans to visit with relatives and friends, and potentially travel to do so. The myriad of challenges in a year fraught with warnings and increased cases of COVID-19, only adds to the layer of stresses that already accompany the season.


Similar to many other school districts across the Commonwealth, the Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee voted unanimously on an addendum to the emergency interim policy under Travel at its Tuesday, November 10, 2020 meeting. While I typically would provide a link to the document, I have it included within my letter. It is extremely important that families and staff read through the policy in its entirety so that there is a clear and common understanding for all. I would urge everyone in our school community to adhere to the policy so that we may ensure not only the safety of all our children, staff and families, but your extended families and friends as well:


TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker's Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed "low risk," staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.


Please click here to read the EBC Supplement policy in its entirety with the travel addendum added at the bottom of the page.


It Can Happen to Anyone


In the days and nights of serving as a school district leader, the pandemic has managed to find its way into both my professional and personal life each and every day. No truer has that been than this past week when I tested positive for COVID-19. I want to be transparent about that information, knowing that it would have been my right to remain private about my health. I share this with all of you to remind us all, that it can happen to anyone. And so, while we continue to remain vigilant about keeping our schools safe and clean, wearing masks, and socially distancing, I again ask all of you to do what you can at home to protect yourself and your families. Even when we do so all that we are asked, the germs can still find their way into our bodies.


As a result, I am working from home for the necessary fourteen days of quarantine. Central Office, which has been closed Thursday and today, will reopen on Monday and will be staffed. If you need to contact me, please do so through email at jzanghi@bbrsd.org or through my assistant, Krist Turgeon at kturgeon@bbrsd.org.




Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Department of Teaching and Learning

November 13, 2020


Dear Families,


When we began the Elementary Bridge Remote Learning Program earlier in the fall, we offered an option for students to return in-person to the classroom in the hybrid model at the close of each trimester. We also would like to offer those families who currently are not part of the Bridge Plan to join this remote learning experience as well.


Our first trimester is scheduled to conclude on Friday, December 4, 2020, and so we wanted to extend an invitation to your child/children to return to school in-person on Monday, December 7, 2020 or to move into the fully remote Bridge Plan model. Please inform your building principal of your intentions via email by Friday, November 20, 2020 so that we may make the appropriate arrangements for your child/children with our staff, align cohorts with siblings, and, if necessary, the bus company for transportation. Please make sure your email includes your child’s name, grade, if they have siblings at Tahanto, and your preferred method of transportation for both arrival and dismissal. Thank you.


Also, for those in the Bridge Plan model, we have very good news to share! Mrs. Amanda Fallon will be returning as our ELA teacher for grades K-5 in the Bridge Program on Monday, November 30th. We would like to sincerely thank Mrs. Kathleen Murphy for taking over for Mrs. Fallon during her absence. Mrs. Fallon will provide ELA instruction in the morning and return to her responsibilities in supporting students through intervention in the afternoon. Both she and Mrs. Murphy will team together during the week of November 16th to the Thanksgiving holiday break to ensure that a smooth transition occurs for students. Mrs. Lorraine Sullivan will continue to provide instruction in Social Studies, using her background as a springboard for teaching and learning.


Thank you,


John Campbell, Principal, Berlin Memorial School

Ace Thompson, Principal, Boylston Elementary School

Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning





Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

ccostello@bbrsd.org

Business Office


Weekly remote meal ordering form link:

https://www.bbrsd.org/Page/1583


A breakfast and lunch will be provided for each remote learning day.


Any questions or concerns can be directed to: Lauren Staples, Food Service Director 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 or lstaples@bbrsd.org.



Berlin Memorial – Facilities Condition Assessment

A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the above project has been issued. The selected firm will conduct an evaluation of the existing conditions of the mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, structural, and building envelope systems, as well as examine accessibility, vertical lifts and possible hazardous materials within the facility.


The primary goal of the assessment is to identify all maintenance, repair and or replacement needs for both the short and long term, as well as recommend upgrades and repairs as necessary. The assessment will include an inventory of all maintainable equipment within each facility, noting any, and all information on the equipment, and outlining the projected life expectancy.


The most qualified consultant will be selected based on the evaluative criteria in the RFQ, and a fee will be negotiated with the selected firm, up to a maximum of $40,000. Similar sized projects for the firm will be used to ascertain a fair fee for this project.


A link to the full RFQ is here: https://www.bbrsd.org/Page/1090




Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department



The Berlin-Boylston SEPAC is part of the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District:

Berlin Memorial School
Boylston Elementary School
Tahanto Regional Middle High School

We are a group of parents, guardians, and community members that share information and support, not only for students with special needs but for ALL children in the district.



2020-2021 Online General Meeting

Monday, November 16th at 6:30 pm

All are welcome!

If you would like to participate, send a message to:
info.bbrsd.sepac@gmail.com to get a link for the meeting and more details.

For more information or to become a member: info.bbrsd.sepac@gmail.com or www.sepac-berlin-boylston.org






Karen Molnar, Director of Pupil Personnel

kmolnar@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


This week, we recognized our Veterans. One of the teachers shared this great resource to explain this reason behind this day of recognition. I'd encourage you to share it with your children. Link: https://youtu.be/CP40EFzPR5c





In meeting with Mrs. Sullivan (the librarian) this week, we realized that we lost a significant percentage of our library collection over the spring closure. We recognize the stress everyone is under and don't want to put additional on folks. However, if you could look through your child(ren)'s rooms and see if there are any books that belong to the school that would be great. We are hoping to make a last push before the Thanksgiving break so that we can plan to appropriately replace books lost in the collection. If you want to know if your child has any outstanding books, please email Mrs. Sullivan directly.



As we gear up for Thanksgiving, I have been blown away by the community members who have reached out with the desire to help our families in need. Due to COVID and safety protocols, we originally didn't think our annual Giving Tree would be an option. This outpouring of support gave us pause and Mrs. Sullivan has agreed to facilitate it a bit differently this year. Here is it in her own words.


The BES PTO has asked me to share ways that you could help out the school while doing your typical shopping. Box Tops for education have gone digital. Stop and Shop makes donations to us based on your purchases. Amazon Smile is actually very supportive and lucrative for the PTO. Did you know that if you signed up through the Smile program, 0.5% of your purchases come back to the school? Imagine the money that we can raise with all of those quarantine purchases and holiday gift shopping coming up? You can learn more about it on their link to the PTO website.


As we near the end of the first trimester (where did the time go!), it is a great time for us to reflect. It makes sense too for families to look at their decisions regarding learning modality and determine if it is still the best choice for their students. This communication is going out in many formats to give families many opportunities to see it. If you would like to make a change to your student’s current format (hybrid/fully remote), I ask that you email me by November 20th and be sure to include your child(ren)'s name, grade, if they have any siblings at Tahanto and your preferred method of transportation for both arrival and dismissal. The intention is to be plan-ful and arrange for this change beginning December 7th.



The electronic folder



The week ahead: Specials week 1





Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School


Remote Learning Update

If I had a dollar for every minute invested in planning for a transition to remote learning, I could afford to take that socially distant vacation I've been dreaming of! Still, when the day finally arrived, we discovered there were a lot of moving parts that had to be organized so that we could make the best out of the situation. The staff at BMS did an amazing job of coming together, creating plans, and then remaking those plans when new information came to light. We are indeed blessed to have such a committed staff working here. If they ever make a Hallmark Channel for education, we are going to be a movie of the week.

Remember that - barring some unforeseen change - we return to our hybrid model with Cohort B returning to school on Thursday, November 19th. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.


Looking at Remote Learning Options...

When we first developed our hybrid -vs- remote learning options, we promised to allow families the opportunity to reconsider their decisions at the end of the first trimester. That time has arrived. This communication is going out to give families many opportunities to consider this. If you would like to make a change to your student’s current format (hybrid/fully remote), I ask that you email me by November 20th and be sure to include your child(ren)'s name, grade, if they have any siblings at Tahanto and your preferred method of transportation for both arrival and dismissal. The intention is to be playful and arrange for this change beginning December 7th.


A note from Nurse Ana

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

As families make holiday and vacation plans for the next couple of months, I want to share with you the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District travel guidelines. In keeping with our reopening goal of creating the lowest risk environment for in-person learning, when students or staff travel outside of the lower risk states, the Berlin-Boylston Regional School District requires a 14-day quarantine regardless of testing.


We realize the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ travel order allows for proof of a negative test within 72 hours of arrival in Massachusetts or a 14-day quarantine. The Berlin- Boylston Regional School District does not allow for testing out of the 14-day quarantine. The reason for this is when traveling outside of your home community to an area of higher community spread, your risk of coming in contact with COVID-19 increases. The incubation period after exposure to the virus is from 2 -14 days. By enforcing the 14-day quarantine for travel outside of the lower risk states, we are promoting a lower risk environment for our in-school students and staff.


To minimize the spread of COVID-19 the State requires guests and MA residents traveling to and from higher-risk states also fill out a Travel Form, to limit gatherings at residences to 10 or fewer people. Here are a few reminders and Tips for Safer Gatherings.


We are hopeful that by following the above guidelines and continuing our protocols for cleaning, protective equipment, and daily staff and student checks, we will continue to maintain safe and healthy in-person learning environments through the upcoming holiday season.


If you have travel plans over the next couple of months and have questions, please reach out to our principal, Mr. John Campbell.


Thank you for promoting a lower risk environment for all students and staff involved with in-person learning.


Stay well and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


Ana Amaral, BSN, RN, NCSN

AAmaral@bbrsd.org

School Spirit Days

T-Shirts have arrived. They will be sent home in your child’s backpack when we return to school (Cohort A 11/23 & Cohort B 11/19)

T-Shirt Tuesday/Thursday will begin in December. Show your school spirit by wearing your class t-shirt or color on Tuesday/Thursday.


BMS Food Drive

The food drive is still on! The student council has been working hard decorating boxes and making posters and we still want to support the Berlin Food Party. We will collect donations from November 16th to 10 am on November 20th. The Pantry has provided suggested items (below).


Collection boxes will be outside the front door of the school during school hours (8-3). You can find the updated flyer here. Thank you for helping us support families in need.



John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle High School



Tahanto Today November 13, 2020


PTO ANNUAL WREATH SALE

Click Wreath Order Form to order your holiday decor now!


Schedule Change for November 23rd-November 25th

To ensure that both cohorts can access in-person learning for all classes, we will be following the schedule in the link below for November 23rd-25th.

Schedule for 11/23-11/25


School Committee Policy Update on Travel during COVID

Please read the following update to the travel policy. TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker’s Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed “low risk,” staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.


Important Clarification for Attendance

This is a clarification for all parents/students. If you are scheduled to be in person for learning, you may not choose to learn remotely unless you are not feeling well in which case a parent would call the school nurse.


If a student stays home due to not feeling well, a parent may write a parental excusal which should be brought into the Main Office upon the student's return to school. If the nurse excuses the student's absence for the day and allows the student to study remotely, students in a different cohort should contact their teachers to let them know they are planning on studying remotely as they may not have access to the Google Meet links/materials needed to work remotely.


After School Extra Help & Late Bus

The hope is that it will provide a convenient option for students who might otherwise not be able to stay after school, to receive extra help from their teachers.

When will the bus run?

The bus will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with pickup at Tahanto at 3:15 pm. Travel time is estimated to be 30 - 35 minutes.

Where will the stops be located?

The bus will transport students to the following “cluster” stops in Berlin and Boylston:

  • Boylston Public Library (695 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Calliope Theatre (150 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Berlin General Store (19 Central Street, Berlin)

  • US Post Office (260 Pleasant Street, Berlin)

On Tuesdays – the bus will go to the Berlin stops first, and then the Boylston stops

On Thursdays – the bus will go to the Boylston stops first, and then the Berlin stops

**Please check your teachers’ websites and Google Classrooms for specific days that your child's teachers will be available after school. If extra help is needed on a Monday or Wednesday, personal transportation must be provided.


School Lunch is FREE

School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 6/30/2021. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.


School Pictures

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 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


Counselors Corner

Please click HERE to view the latest information from the School Counseling Department

Parents of high school students, please make sure that your email address is up to date in Naviance. This will allow you to receive up to date information from Mrs. Rodman.


Ms. Ford’s Virtual Office

Ms. Ford's Virtual Office Link

I developed this Virtual Office to provide students with the opportunity to have fun while learning about different coping skills, relevant topics such as Anxiety, and a space where they can explore content to help them strengthen their social-emotional skill set. I update the office with new links and content weekly and even have had some suggestions from students too. So far this has allowed me to interact with students in a different way while teaching them they can "virtually do anything". A lot of students and parents have recognized that it is hard to utilize coping strategies while at home or when they do not have immediate access to them. In this office, they can explore what meets their needs and gain insight on areas they need additional support and feel connected.


Powerschool

Are you or your child having trouble logging onto your PowerSchool? Parents, do you need an account set-up? We encourage parents and students to have their own accounts. With that said, please reach out to Mrs. Esposito with any account-related concerns at besposito@bbrsd.org.


As a friendly reminder, we DO NOT send home report cards. All grades can be viewed on PowerSchool. If you have multiple children in grades 6-12, parents can view each of their child’s information from one account.


Have you logged into PowerSchool but are unable to see grades? At the very top of the screen, above the student’s name there is a tab for Grades and Attendance, select the tab for them to appear. (This is different from the tab on the left-hand menu bar). Anything in blue, you can click on and it will provide detailed information like classwork, grades for an assignment, and days absent from the class. Your child’s teacher email information is also provided, should you need to reach them with any questions or concerns.


Attendance Information/Clarification

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:


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


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 sboudreau@bbrsd.org.


This Week’s Schedule

Week of 11/16/20-11/20/20 EVEN WEEK (High School Only) *


Cohort A (Last name A-LeB) you are at Tahanto in person on Monday, Tuesday, and remote Thursday-Friday


Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z) you are remote Monday, Tuesday, and at Tahanto in person on Thursday & Friday


Monday, November 16th at 6:30 p.m. SEPAC Online General Meeting


Tuesday, November 17th:

End of Quarter 1

Cohort A School Pictures (Grade 6 students & any senior needing a portrait

After school bus for extra help at 3:15 pm


Thursday, November 19th: Cohort B School Pictures (Grade 6 students & any senior needing a portrait

After school bus for extra help at 3:15 pm



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.


Email: jsequeira@bbrsd.org

Health office fax: 508-869-6202

Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


Athletics

Please make sure that student-athletes have Covid related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their gym bags.


Look to the athletic website for scores and updates. https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/


Winter Sports Season

Winter tryouts will NOT start the first Monday after Thanksgiving.

Information regarding registration and tryouts will be updated as Tahanto is given more guidance from the State.


Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

mporcaro@bbrsd.org





Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally-Ann Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org