What's Happening at the Hive

Issue #9

The Buzz

Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends,

Welcome back from the Winter Break! It was so wonderful to see so many of our students returning today, some bounding through the doors with tremendous energy and excitement to reconnect and re-engage and others a bit sleepy and maybe readjusting slowly to alarm clock wake ups again.

I hope that the time away from school offered you all some opportunities for rest, reflection, and connection and that you and your families stayed healthy and safe throughout the break.

Coming back from the break we will spend some time revisiting routines and re-establishing expectations so that we can continue to shore up the foundation for all of the academic and social stretching and growth that will take place over these next 7 weeks until the February break. As we come back together I wanted to share just a few reminders that will help us be set up for success during this next chunk of the school year:

  1. Regular consistent attendance at school is critical to student success. Please make every effort to support your child(ren) in getting to school on time (by 8:00a) and avoiding absences and early dismissals. If you need support in helping your child(ren) get to school on time and/or address school avoidance behaviors, please reach out to your child(ren)'s guidance counselor(s) and grade level vice principal(s)
  2. Communication is another key component to student success. Be in touch with and respond to the educators here at FRR frequently. Ask questions, seek clarity, and engage in discussions as we work in partnership to support your child(ren).
  3. Building community is all of our collective responsibility. As we strive to strengthen our relationships and build a safe and inclusive space for all, I invite you to be thoughtful about positive ways to contribute to and uplift our community.
  4. Celebrate the victories and joy in each day. As a high achieving community we are always focused on continuous improvement and setting and attaining the next goal. Sometimes we can lose track of all the amazing things that happen each day that deserve to be celebrated. Being mindful of these moments and pausing to reflect on these successes will help fuel us for the next big goal we are working towards and bring moments of happiness and joy to each day.

I look forward to reconnecting with you all and hopefully seeing you at our upcoming family workshop on January 26th.


Rock Garden Redesign

As you may have noticed if you've been by the school grounds within the past few days, our rock garden is being redesigned for safety. Alexandra Vecchio and her amazing team at the Parks and Recreation Department in Brookline are working with us to make some changes to the design and features to support safe play. It will be a multi phased process which will likely be completed during the summer months.

The first phase was to remove all of the smaller rocks and replace with mulch as a place holder. This phase was completed over the Winter Break. The next phase will be to explore sustainable designs, choose a design, and then implement.

For safety reasons we are asking that everyone remain OFF OF THE MULCH and leave the mulch in the space. We will be practicing and previewing this during the school day and ask that you support this as well outside of school hours.

Let's Talk About It: January 26th

Join us and be part of an important conversation happening at FRR.

How can we support and empower students to design a more inclusive and kind community at school?

In this hands on, interactive, parent-led workshop, you will...

  • HEAR directly from students about the challenges they face

  • PARTICIPATE in group discussion and activities

  • DESIGN potential solutions as a parent community

  • SHARE solutions with students to get their feedback

The mission of this evening is to come together as a parent community in support of ALL children. While we will not be talking about specific instances or personal stories, we will be discussing hot topics informed by FRR students, including, but not limited to: unkindness, teasing, bullying, and exclusion.

When: January 26th 6:00 - 7:30pm

Where: Florida Ruffin Ridley School Library

Childcare is provided thanks to our amazing 8th graders and families. RSVP for the event here.

Arrival and Dismissal Reminders

As the weather is getting colder (and snowier) we are noticing an increase in students arriving late to school and vehicles entering the front loop in the morning. A few reminders:

  • School starts promptly at 8:00a. The doors open at 7:55a and close at 8:05a. Students who arrive to their classrooms after 8:05a are marked late. It is disruptive to the class and difficult for students to start their day smoothly and supported if students are arriving late to school.
  • There is NO DRIVING in the front loop from 7:45a - 8:15a. Families who need to drive to school should utilize the rolling drop off lane on the LEFT side of Stedman street in the morning. If you arrive after 8:05a you will need to enter in the main entrance off Harvard Street. Between 8:05 - 8:15a please do not drive in the front loop for late drop offs. Park on Harvard Street and either drop your student off or walk them to the entrance.
  • School is dismissed at 2:30p Mondays - Thursdays and 1:40p on Fridays. The front loop is closed to traffic from 2:15p - 2:45p Mondays - Thursdays and from 1:25 - 1:55 on Fridays.
  • All students must be dismissed to an adult if they are leaving early from school. Students who need to go home because of illness will have their families contacted by our nurses Brianna Cormos and Jana Young. Please do not text or call your children during the school day to make arrangements for early dismissals. You can reach the office at 617-879-4400 and we will be able to get a message to your child(ren).

REMINDER School Meals

Please find the below information (from our Family/Student Guidebook) regarding meals at FRR

Purchasing Meals

Breakfast and lunch is available to students at Florida Ruffin Ridley. For the 2022-2023

school year, one breakfast and one lunch will be provided free of charge; however, additional

breakfasts or lunches will be provided at cost ($4.25 per lunch).

Menus can be found on the Public Schools of Brookline website.

Families can prepay for their children's meals by writing a check in advance and sending it to the main office or directly to the cafeteria staff. All checks are to be made out to “Brookline Food Service.” Please make sure to put your checks or cash in a clearly marked envelope with your child's name on it. Payment can also be made online through the Titan Family portal.

FRR School Picture Retake Day is January 12th

Middle School Review Website

As you are hopefully aware of from the district updates, the Public Schools of Brookline is partnering with New Solutions K12 to highlight and elevate effective components of our current middle school model, better understand areas of need and potential improvement at the middle school level, and clearly define the district’s approach to middle school schedules going forward and the types of experiences students and families can expect from grades 6-8.

To learn more about this work and progress towards achieving the above stated goals, please check out the Middle School Review website where you will find a timeline of the work and periodic updates as progress continues.

Two Week Calendar

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