RO Newsflash

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

#1 Question from Parents (and teachers)

The most common question we have been fielding from parents over the past week has been, "Can my child come to school for 4 days?". To provide some clarity around this understandable question, I offer the following:

First, the interest from parents in sending their child to school for four days has grown considerably since August. This is a credit to the considerable safe practices that our district has put in place including: six foot spacing in all classrooms, masks worn by all (without a single issue thus far this year), air purifiers in all classrooms, multiple outdoor breaks per day, frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing, rigorous disinfecting protocols each week, ample PPE for staff, fewer students on busses, vigilance in contact tracing between the Board of Health in Easton and Easton Nurses and Administration, and tremendous flexibility and cooperation from parents adjusting their entire lives to accommodate a very different school schedule to allow for all of the above. We are collectively doing all we can to mitigate this virus within our schools and will continue to look for ways to improve as science continues to evolve and provides more guidance.

Second, the short answer to the "4-day Question" is that we can only fit 13 students in each classroom at RO and maintain 6 foot spacing between all students and staff. Many of our cohorts are at 13 students. We are also mindful of the 120 remote only learners that, according to the district's reopening plan, will have the opportunity to 'opt-back-in' in mid-December. Obviously, the size of our classrooms will not change. If 6 foot spacing continues to be mandated by our health experts to keep everyone safe and healthy, then we will not be able to move beyond that maximum number of 13 students per classroom.

Students who do attend 4 days are students with high learning or social/emotional needs. There are also some children of Easton Public School teachers and children of teachers from surrounding towns that have been allowed to attend school four days a week to, consequently allow that teacher to be present in school all week. The Easton Public Schools did enter into a partnership with several surrounding districts to provide this accommodation to teachers. However, if a classroom cohort is at the maximum of 13 students, or close to it, we are being conservative with granting a 4 day placement request for any student, regardless of circumstance.

I will close by stating that remote learning is a challenge for any elementary aged child. We all agree that asking a student, particularly younger students, to follow along with their classroom from their laptop, in their homes, is not ideal. We are doing the best we can during a very challenging time. We will continue to put the health and safety of our students, teachers and families at the top of our priority list, no matter what. We are a month into our school year with students back in schools and our cases have been minimal. This is, in part, a result of the 6 foot spacing. What we are doing is keeping our schools open. We don't want to do anything to jeopardize this.

If you have a specific concern about your child's school experience, please reach out to your child's teacher and we will work together to do the best we can to meet your child's academic and social needs. Thank you.

COVID Symptom Checklist

Please see the following link for a COVID symptom checklist which is helpful when deciding whether it is appropriate to send your child to school. COVID Symptom Checklist
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We're starting to get a ton of essays for our "United We Write" Challenge.

Students are doing an amazing job writing about what they would do as

President of the United States.

Afternoon Pick Up/ Dismissal Time

If you pick up your child this year, you know what our car line looks and feels like from 1:00 - 1:15. We have heard concerns from the fire department about vehicles waiting in the car pick up line along Lothrop St. during this time. This long line of cars does present a challenge for fire trucks if there was an emergency. We are asking parents to make sure their vehicle is as far to the right of the road as possible while waiting. We are also reaching out to the Easton Police Department to see if they can provide a detail at that intersection from 1:00 - 1:30. In particular, when leaving RO, it is a RIGHT TURN ONLY. There is signage stating that. Taking a left turn when leaving RO greatly slows down the car line and creates a safety risk.

Another solution to this issue is asking parents to arrive closer to 1:00 and not much earlier. We have several parents getting to RO as early as 12:00 and this creates a long back up by 1:00.

Another solution is considering having your child take the bus if they are eligible. Our busses have room on them, will have assigned seats with 6 foot distancing and are all running on time.

Thank you for your help as we work together to make our dismissal as safe and quick as possible for all of us.

Drug Take-Back: Saturday, October 24th

Please see the link about the Drug Take-Back Day in Easton on Saturday, October 24th.

Drug Take Back Day

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This is what our physical education class looks like these days. Students have defined squares and Ms. Raby really gets them moving in those squares! Kids (and grown ups) need to move and we are doing our best to embed movement throughout the school day.

Music Department Newsletter

Please see the following link to the Music Department's Newsletter.

October Newsletter - Music Department

YMCA Afterschool Program - Available Spots

Please see the following link from the YMCA. YMCA Registration
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We are working on building stamina within our students to work independently. This allows the teacher (seen above) to be able to provide more 1:1 instruction to students and small groups. You can see this teacher conducting a writing conference with a student while others write (at home and at school).

Mark Your Calendar!

Tuesday, October 27 - Black & Orange Day (for Cohort A)

Friday, October 30 - Black & Orange Day (for Cohort B)

Monday, November 2 - Boosterthon Kick Off

Tuesday, November 3 - No School - Staff Professional Development

Wednesday, November 11 - No School - Veteran's Day

Friday, November 13 - Boosterthon Dance Fit - Cohort B

Monday, November 16 - Boosterthon Dance Fit - Cohort A