BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

November 6, 2020

Superintendent's Office



Please see below a clarification that was made this past week to all Superintendents and School Districts related to Governor Baker’s recent order:


The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has received questions about Governor Baker’s Revised Order Requiring Face Coverings in Public Places, COVID-19 Order No. 55, issued on November 2, 2020. In particular, school districts are asking whether and how this Executive Order – which generally requires all persons over the age of 5 years old to wear a mask or cloth face covering when in a public location – applies to schools. In response, DESE provides the following information:

  • The Executive Order provides a few exceptions based on sector-specific COVID-19 safety rules, including rules issued by DESE. As a result, public school districts, collaboratives, and approved special education schools in Massachusetts should continue to follow DESE’s requirements on masks, as set forth in the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance on June 25, 2020. Specifically,

    • Students in grades 2 and above are required to wear a mask/face covering that covers their nose and mouth.

    • Students in kindergarten and grade 1 should be encouraged to wear a mask/face covering.

    • Adults, including educators and staff, are required to wear masks/face coverings.

    • Exceptions to mask/face covering requirements must be made for those for whom it is not possible due to medical conditions, disability impact, or other health or safety factors.

    • Mask breaks should occur throughout the day. Breaks should occur when students can be six feet apart and ideally outside or at least with the windows open.

    • Masks/face coverings must be worn by everyone on the bus during school bus transportation.


Please see the Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance for more details.

  • Consistent with the Executive Order, if a student who is participating in in-person learning is unable to wear a mask or face covering because of a medical or disabling condition, the school may require documentation to verify the condition. Similarly, the school may require documentation from an employee or other worker who is required to wear a face-covering and requests an accommodation due to a medical or disabling condition.



Parent Feedback Surveys


Following Up on Parent Feedback Surveys: Thank you for your most recent responses to our schools’ Parent Feedback Survey. For Tahanto parents, this survey was re-distributed this Tuesday and will be due by Wednesday, November 11th.


Elementary school principals reviewed the results with the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning as well as teachers and identified both areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Please know that your responses and comments are being taken with appreciation and the intention to improve our instruction and procedures this year. The results of these surveys will be published after the School Committee as an opportunity to review and comment, and once all three surveys have been finalized.




Jeffrey Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Department of Teaching and Learning

Snow Day Procedures Update


A team of teachers and administrators are working to create an optimal Snow Day plan in preparation for the coming months. The team will be meeting again early next week and our intention is to have that available to the school community by next Friday. No snow in the forecast...yet!


Take a Trip to the Coral Reef with your Family


Thanks to Lisa Sequiera, Science Department Chair at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School, for sharing this link for students and families to learn more about the coral reefs. This event will be available from November 9th - November 19th, and includes live lessons, developed for various age levels, from the CARMABI research center on Curacao. The event is hosted by the Ocean Conservation Trust at the National Marine Aquarium in the UK and is sponsored by the AXA corporation.


https://encounteredu.com/live-lessons/axa-coral-live-2020



Carol Costello, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

ccostello@bbrsd.org

Business Office


A big THANK YOU to the volunteers who helped out in the Tahanto cafeteria this past week while Tahanto staff was quarantining. Lisa Hayes from Boylston Elementary led the crew, with help from central office staff Michelle Mancini, Cheryl Sharon, Wendy Hebert, and Dave McCarthy on the register. And Jenny Wright, Michelle Baird, and Nicole Savoie for coming over from the elementary school on Thursday to give the crew some relief to return to their regularly scheduled work!


Principal Tucceri and I really appreciated the help in getting the cafeteria up and running so we could offer lunches this week at Tahanto.



On a related note, if you know anyone who may be interested in serving as a substitute café staff member at any of our schools, please reach out to Lauren Staples, Food Service Director (lstaples@bbrsd.org).



Meals are free for all students through June 30, 2021. To order a meal for remote learning days, please use the remote meal order form.



Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Big picture

Technology Department

Hello from the Technology Department. Just a short note to say that as the year progresses should your child’s District-owned Chromebook fail or be in need of service, please bring the device to the school’s main office. There they will swap out the non-working device for a spare Chromebook. Repairs will be made if possible and the unit returned to the main office for pickup.


Paul Mara, Director of Technology

pmara@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


In case the snow last Friday and 60 degrees today weren’t evidence enough, we're into our "anything can happen with the weather" season! In a typical year, I try to get the kids outside as frequently as possible. This is even more so the case this year with mask breaks, tent times, and just the overall recommendations related to COVID. Please, send your students to school in layers. The day may start off cold and warm up quickly or it can be deceptively cold. In the past, I've been asked when it’s too cold to send the kids out. I use this handy chart as a guide. When it comes to precipitation...if I see drops in puddles we stay inside but if it is just misting we still try to get outside. I hope this helps.



On Wednesday, we did not hold our typical community Zoom meetings or have asynchronous work so the teachers could have professional development. The focus of our day was on Anxiety and its impact on the students and the classroom. There were many great takeaways. I wanted to share one here with you. The speaker, Sheila Gauch, spoke about grieving, and loss she shared the clip below from Inside Out. We have a proclivity to want to cheer people up and put a happy shine on issues of loss for kids and adults. However, sometimes it just takes an acknowledgment of this loss and the feelings around it to move forward. We all are losing so much during this pandemic, from celebrations to normal recess and everything in between. It's easy to try to turn it around or to be mad but what our kids really need right now (and us too) is just the acknowledgment that some of this really stinks. And it’s ok to feel that way. This too shall pass but it really stinks.



Have you found yourself wondering, "Whatever happened to that awesome BEF Bingo basket I contributed to last year?" Well, wonder no more! They are all safe and sound with the BEF and they are planning a fun way that you could possibly win one. Keep an eye out next week for a calendar raffle. They plan to have a quick two-week selling period followed by a month's worth of drawings. Multiple prizes will be awarded daily with a large prize every super Wednesday. What a great way to peak the week!



The Electronic Folder


The Week Ahead: Specials Week 3

  • Monday (11/9)

    • Patriots Jets! We need this one! Show some Patriot love!

  • Tuesday (11/10)

    • School Committee Meeting

  • Wednesday (11/11)

    • No School - Veterans Day

  • Thursday (11/12)

    • PTO

  • Friday (11/13)

    • If the Pats needed us on Monday they definitely need our support as they prepare to take on the Ravens!



Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle High School


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.

School Feedback Survey Extended

Surveys must be completed by Wednesday, November 11th at 12:00 pm. We look forward to learning from you. Thank you!

Tahanto School Feedback Survey


After School Extra Help & Late Bus

We are writing to share the news that Tahanto introduced an after school bus that started on November 3, 2020. 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 teacher's 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.



Did you fill out the required school forms?

Attention Parents and Students. If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to read our Handbook and sign off that you have done so. The Consent forms as well as the Health Screening forms should be signed off as soon as possible. If you have not returned the Extra-Curricular form, that also needs to be returned as soon as possible. We thank you for your attention to this.


School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 6-30-2021, or until federal funding is depleted. 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 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!


PTO ANNUAL WREATH SALE

Click STAAGS PTO Wreath Sale Order Information to order your holiday decor now!


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 in an effort 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 on a weekly basis 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

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:

  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.

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 sboudreau@bbrsd.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 streamed live.

This Week’s Schedule

Week of 11/9/20-11/13/20 ODD 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

Tuesday, November 10th: Afterschool bus for extra help at 3:15 pm

Wednesday, November 11: No school, Veteran’s day

Thursday, November 12th: Afterschool bus for extra help at 3:15 pm

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

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.


Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


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 personal 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

Tahanto Regional

mporcaro@bbrsd.org


For the latest information regarding fall athletics please click on the link below

Tahanto Athletics





Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally-Ann Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org