BWRSD Community Update 10/1/20

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

Dear BWRSD community,

Today, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) notified BWRSD that an individual at Kickemuit Middle School (KMS) tested positive for COVID-19. RIDOH has identified and spoken with the close contacts of the positive case and implemented actions based on their guidance. A close contact is defined as person(s) who were within 6 feet of an infected person (with or without a mask) for at least 15 minutes, or having close contact with another person with confirmed COVID-19 during the infectious period (i.e. an infected person coughs in another person’s face).

The past several weeks we have observed universal implementation of the COVID-19 protocols at our schools, and want to thank the community. We must remain vigilant in adhering to the protocols to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including:

  • All students and staff wearing masks when on school grounds,

  • Parents/guardians and staff completing daily COVID-19 attestations,

  • Students and staff staying home when sick,

  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer,

  • Students remaining in stable pods (elementary and middle school) to minimize exposure to larger numbers of students,

  • Adhering to the guidance that student and staff desks remain six feet apart to ensure social distancing,

  • Conducting classes outside when possible,

  • School custodians implement enhanced cleaning procedures for any impacted classroom.

We will continue to provide you, students, and staff with all available information about our plans and response to COVID-19 incidents in our schools.

Jonathan Brice, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools


Contents of this Update:

  1. School Reopening Plan

  2. Distance Learning

  3. Employment Opportunities

  4. Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

  5. Good Vibes: Celebrating Distance Learning Teachers!

1. School Reopening Plan

The reopening of schools has been a relatively smooth process due to the extensive

planning and preparation carried out by our administrators and school staff. In the past few weeks we have made adjustments to the School Reopening Plan in the following areas:

  • High School Schedule Change. Students will now attend school two days per week, 50% of students on Tues and Wed, and 50% on Thurs and Fri. Monday is a virtual support day for all students. After minor adjustments to room scheduling, were able to increase the number of students in school while still adhering to the RIDOH guidelines.

  • Superintendent’s Directive: Mask Requirement. This directive clarifies the requirement that all students and staff must wear face masks at all times while on school property.

  • Ventilation and Air Quality. Based on recommendations from ventilation experts and the RIDOH, we have purchased 400 CADR rated air purifiers to increase air circulation and filtration in our schools.

2. Distance Learning Update

We are extremely proud of the 17 teachers serving as K-5 Distance Learning teachers. With the support of Tom Driscoll, our Digital Learning Director, Beth Roman, Guiteras Principal, and Andre Audette, Hugh Cole Assistant Principal, these teachers have created virtual learning environments that engage students in BWRSD curriculum through innovative tools and technology.

Some students at the middle and high school levels are also participating in distance learning, through classes taught by teachers within their school. At the middle school level, there are separate classes for distance learning students, while at the high school level distance learning students join their regularly scheduled classes virtually.

All of our staff have worked exceptionally hard to develop the expertise to teach our curriculum within virtual and hybrid learning environments. We appreciate the support and positive feedback we have received from families, including the comments shared in the Good Vibes section below.

3. Employment Opportunities

  • BWRSD Vacancies

We currently have openings for Teaching and Learning Fellows, Lunch Monitors, Teacher Assistants, Substitute Custodians, and Substitute Teacher and Teacher Assistants. All open positions are posted on School Spring. Any interested and qualified individual should submit an application. If you have any issues, please reach out to Tina Fogell, Chief Operating Officer, at

  • Teacher Assistant Training

Teacher assistant training begins in October at the East Bay Educational Collaborative. Interested individuals can apply here.

4. Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Every October, schools and organizations across the country observe National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage schools, communities and organizations to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying and put an end to hatred and racism by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of all forms of bullying on all children of all ages. Please be on the lookout for information and activities throughout the month.

Bullying awareness and prevention resources

5. Good Vibes: Celebrating Distance Learning Teachers!

From a grandparent:

Mrs. Viera, you are doing an amazing job teaching the 2nd graders remotely. I realize exactly what you are doing; you are running a classroom remotely to resemble a real classroom in a school. That is a monumental task and you are fantastic with this task. DL is not an easy task for teachers, children, or parents. Teaching is a challenge in normal times. My feedback is a reflection of being a teacher, parent, and now assisting my granddaughter to learn remotely. It is a commitment and parents need to understand this commitment. Learning remotely means a child is in the classroom and there is a routine to follow and subjects to learn. You are committed to this challenge and I thank you for it.

From a parent:

I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how incredibly awesome Ms. Lavey and Mrs. Cotoia have been these past two weeks. My boys love their teachers and are loving distance learning with them. Both of these teachers are going above and beyond for my boys. They love the live lessons and the independent work assignments. I wanted you both to know that although I would love for my kids to be in person, I feel that they are getting exactly what they need academically. Thank you and enjoy your weekend!

From another parent:

My three children are having very different, but successful, distance learning experiences. The teachers seem to have found that balance of kind understanding and push for rigor that my kids need, and they are feeling engaged and challenged. My high schooler, in particular, is enjoying his learning so much...he’s thriving, not surviving for sure! Congratulations and thank you for pulling off the impossible in unimaginable circumstances. Our family is so grateful.

BWRSD Back To School

Visit our website link above to view more information about the following: 1. BWRSD Reopening Plan 2. BWRSD Distance Learning Plan 3. Parent Resources for Google & Seesaw Classrooms 4. COVID-19 Information 5. BWRSD Community Updates