December 7, 2020
Greetings from the Health Office!
I want to thank the community for their diligence and for taking the steps necessary to keep the students and staff at MRE safe and healthy. We are finding that our protocols of hand sanitizing, distancing, wearing masks, and staying at home when not feeling well are working. We have not seen any in school transmission of COVID or other sickness this year. I am confident that families and staff will continue to act with caution if one has any of the following symptoms of COVID-19.
Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
Have you had a fever or felt feverish in the last 72 hours?
Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath?
Are you experiencing any new muscle aches or chills?
Have you experienced any new change in your sense of taste or smell?
Is your temperature at or above 100.0 Fahrenheit?
Have you nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?
If you answered YES to any one question above, please contact Nurse Lyndsey at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 978-365-5870.
If you have traveled outside of Massachusetts or outside of the country, you must quarantine for 14 days or get a PCR test administered up to 72 hours prior to arriving back in Massachusetts.
Thank you for following the state and school guidelines. Your continued support will help keep the school hybrid program open and safe for all.
As a reminder, all children at MRE must wear a face mask to school with the exception of those students who are unable to safely wear one due to a medical condition. We ask that you provide your child with a daily supply of 1-2 extra masks in case their mask gets dirty. Cloth face masks should be washed daily and surgical face masks should be discarded after daily use. Please visit the following website for information on how to wash & store face masks:https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html
As you may be aware, influenza (Flu) vaccinations are now mandatory for all children in Massachusetts public schools. Children must receive their annual flu vaccination by December 31, 2020. This mandate includes both remote academy and hybrid students. Getting your annual flu vaccine is an important step in preventing flu- related illnesses this season. Once your child has received his/her flu vaccination, a copy of this record must be sent to the MRE health office. For questions regarding this influenza requirement, please visit https://www.mass.gov/news/flu-vaccine-now-required-for-all-massachusetts-school-students-enrolled-in-child-care-pre .
You may send in, email or fax a copy of these immunization records to email@example.com, or via secure nurse fax at 978-965-3967. Please don’t hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your commitment to keeping our MRE community safe this cold and flu season!
Winter Weather Apparel
The winter weather has arrived and the week ahead looks to be chill, windy and cold. We intend for students to go outside as much as possible this year. This included mask breaks during the day as well as for recess. With that in mind, please help your child have all the necessary clothing for cold and snowy weather.
We will send the students outside as much as possible. As a guideline, MRE will have indoor recess if the temperature is below 20 degrees or if there is heavy precipitation. Students do go out if there is light snow happening.
Please make sure students have boots, a coat, gloves or mittens, snow pants, and a hat for the winter. Students may not be allowed to play in the snow without boots and snow pants but the structure of recess does not allow for students to always be on the pavement. It should be assumed students be in the snow. As students get older, they like to wear sweatshirts instead of jackets. With wind and snow, this is not considered a jacket. Sweatshirts also get wet quickly.
Please talk with your child daily about what is appropriate to wear to school. Take into consideration that the predicted temperature is not assured and that the wind chill often drops the temperature by five to ten degrees. It does get particularly windy on the playground with very little to break the wind coming across the fields. With a 10 mph wind, a 45-degree day quickly becomes 33 degrees just above freezing. Many students want to wear shorts to express their independence and individuality. Please have thoughtful conversations with them each morning about what they wear. If the temperature is near 45 degrees and windy, let your child know that they may be asked to wear pants and a warm jacket out to recess
Student Use of Technology
With the year well underway, we are finding our students are becoming very comfortable with using technology. There are many platforms and programs that they have become familiar with this year. Our primary platform is Google. At the lower levels Seesaw is used as well. In the upper levels, students use Google Classroom for almost all their assignments. Overall, Google Learning Suite is the primary tool for communication and learning. This includes Google Meets, Google Doc, Google email, and many more Google tools. The online tools in apps like Jam Board and Google Hangouts or chats.
At the beginning of the year students received instruction and discussed expectations on how to use the technology tools they were given. I am asking that families review these expectations and appropriate technology use with their children. We will be doing the same at school. Recently, we have seen students using email and the chat program to engage each other in communications and conversations unrelated to their school work during scheduled school work time. Sometimes the communication was itself or contained language that was inappropriate for a school setting. Teachers at school will be working with their classes to review the use of email as well as that the chat function is not to be used. Generally, we do not want students using Google Chats.
Below are two sections of the Nashoba Procedures and Guidelines for Chromebook Use The District Acceptable Use Policy also covers the areas below.
Appropriate Uses and Digital Citizenship
● School-issued Chromebooks should be used for educational purposes and students are to adhere to the Nashoba Internet Policy at all times.
● Students will not share passwords with anyone other than their teacher (if requested) and parent / guardian.
● Students issued Chromebooks are to be used only by the student and not to be shared with family, friends, classmates or others. The only account that should be used on the issued Chromebook is the student’s own NRSD account.
No Expectation of Privacy
● Students have no expectation of confidentiality or privacy with respect to any usage of a Chromebook, regardless of whether that use is for district-related or personal purposes, other than as specifically provided by law. The District may, without prior notice or consent, log, supervise, access, view, monitor, and record use of student Chromebooks at any time for any reason related to the operation of the District. By using a Chromebook, students agree to such access, monitoring, and recording of their use. Teachers, school administrators, and the technology department staff may use monitoring software that allows them to view only the screens and activity on student Chromebooks and/or Google Apps for Education accounts. Monitoring software that accesses the camera or microphone of a student Chromebook will not be used by any Nashoba faculty, school administrators or technology department staff.
● Students are expected to share their username and password with parents / guardians to ensure access to student work and assignments.
Please help us remind students that technology is a powerful tool for learning, productivity and connecting with others. We want our students to become proficient in the use of technology in a positive and productive way. Helping us monitor their emails and chats will help them understand the parameters and appropriate use of the technology they have available to them.
https://forms.gle/PmvYd6MrKjwjWF4k6 (must have a gmail account to complete)
Please have your student bring the picture packet that you are not keeping with them to the photo retake. They may keep their class picture.
For order questions and customer service, please call 800-736-4753. Our Picture Day ID is: EVT8CP9RG. You can also go to the website at mylifetouch.com.
Enrichment Help Needed
One of the qualities that make the Mary Rowlandson School a wonderful community is the opportunity for students to participate in activities through enrichment programs. In a time where there have been daily changes and routines have been turned upside down, our children need these programs more than ever and we are looking for your input. The venue and format by which the programs will be implemented may be changing, but the faces and minds behind those cameras will be the same. We are asking you to tap in to those creative minds to assist with developing some fun, exciting, and most importantly, community-engaging activities for the children of MRE. Perhaps you never had the time in past years to commit to an "in-person" program...well, here's the chance to do it from the comfort of your home. In the past, students have had a wide range of activities to choose from both during and after school hours. Enrichment opportunities have included Lego Club, Chess Club, Soda Making, Crochet, Acting, Crafts, Creative Writing, Painting, and Computer Programming. These activities are funded through the PTO by a generous donation from a parent.
If you have a particular area of interest and want to share that with students, this is your chance to lead a small group in an activity. The school is preparing for a winter session of remote-based enrichment activities. It is anticipated the winter session will run for 8 weeks from January 8th to March 5th. It is anticipated the programs will be held on Wednesdays. Sessions can be scheduled weekly in 30-45 minute blocks from 11:30 until 4:00 based on your availability. If you are interested in running an enrichment activity for students, please fill out the following form. Please consider sharing your time and talents with the students of the Mary Rowlandson School.
Student sign up for enrichment activities will be sent out the week of December 18th