Tuscan Tidings

Newsletter, Issue 1, Vol. 9 | 12.03.20

Virtual Return to School Town Hall | December 17th

Tuscan Tidings Updated: 12/04/20 1:57pm New Format & Date: Pre-Recorded Virtual Return to School Town Hall | Thursday, December 17, 2020

Principal's Message

The Thanksgiving Holiday was the perfect time for us to reflect on all that we are most thankful for in our lives. Our hope is that you and your family found new and creative ways to safely enjoy the break.

We are deeply thankful for the health, safety and well-being of our entire Tuscan School community of students, parents, teachers and staff. Please know that, in the midst of a global pandemic, you are doing an awesome job.

We are thankful for our beloved Tuscan students. Our students’ awesome attendance, pleasant attitudes, positive behaviors and good choices are noticed and appreciated.

Tuscan teachers, paras, and student teachers, are thanked for continuing to do the hard work of building a sense of community among students and keeping students meaningfully engaged in virtual learning! Now more than ever, the daily positive presence and warm smiles of our dedicated educators are essential and so heartwarming.

In this current virtual learning setting, our efforts on behalf of student learning are bolstered by the support and engagement of our Tuscan parent community. And yes, we know that, your work is so much harder. Please know that your efforts do not go unnoticed. We “see” you, we thank you and we deeply appreciate your hard work.

We also know that during these challenging times, each family is faced with a unique set of circumstances. Yet, the Tuscan School community is truly a resilient family that cares deeply for one another.

Thanks to the remarkable generosity of Tuscan parents, Tuscan’s PTA successfully and quickly raised funds to purchase grocery gift cards to give to Tuscan families in need. This outpouring of love and support made it possible for 45 Tuscan children and their families to enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving meal with dignity and grace.

We are immensely thankful for and amazed by your long standing dedication to giving generously in support of our Tuscan Family.

With heartfelt admiration and gratitude,

~Ms. Majeed

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The Best Children's Books of 2020!

The children's books on the websites listed below have been carefully selected by librarians, editors, and educators. Most of these titles are available at the Maplewood or South Orange Public Libraries or through MackinVIA or Epic!

The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2020

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) - Notable Children’s Books - 2020

The Best Books of 2020 from Bank Street College (There are several lists, divided by age level.)

The Best Books of 2020 from School Library Journal

The Best Books of 2020 from Kirkus Reviews (for grades 3 and up)

Additional Resources:

Anti-Racism Reading Lists
Social Justice Books
We Need Diverse Books

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Message from School Nurses: Understanding Contact Tracing

Understand Contact Tracing and help the Department of Health keep your family safe from COVID-19 spread

WHAT IS CONTACT TRACING? Contact Tracing is the long-standing Public Health practice used to identify those who come into contact with people who have tested positive for many contagious diseases; for example, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, and - recently of course - COVID-19. Contact tracing is a little like detective work: trained staff interview people who have been diagnosed with a contagious disease to figure out who they may have recently been in contact with. Then, they call those close contacts* and encourage them to quarantine to prevent spreading the disease. Think of it as part of public health work, part investigation.

If a resident of South Orange or Maplewood tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing begins:

  1. The local Department of Health (DOH) officers recommend that the COVID-19+ resident inform their close contacts of their positive result. *Close contact is defined as being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.

  2. The local DOH officers and/or trained professionals will:

  • Call that COVID-19+ resident to determine close contacts to whom they may have spread the virus; then they will get in touch with those close contacts
  • Give instructions about next steps, such as self-isolation for the COVID+ individual and quarantine for close contacts
  • Maintain confidentiality of the COVID+ individual
  • NOT ask for your Social Security Number, bank account or salary information, money, or credit card numbers.

We encourage you to answer the phone – the DOH may be calling you!

Be well. Be safe. Be part of the solution to keep your family and friends safe from COVID-19 spread.

SOMSD Mental Health & Family Resources and Counseling

The South Orange & Maplewood School District has compiled a list of resources and services available to students, families and staff. Including support groups, counseling services, remote therapy and more.

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