NES WEEKLY UPDATE
Monday, March 8, 2021
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. While chilly, it was great to have the sun out for both days. I am very excited at the thought of warmer temperatures coming this week. Just a reminder that this Sunday, March 14 represents Spring Ahead and we must turn the clocks forward. For me, it will also feel good to have more hours of daylight.
As you may have been hearing, there is new guidance being considered for K-5 students to have access to in person learning. While we are awaiting the directives from the Commissioner of Education for Massachusetts, NES and NIS are beginning to create plans for this to happen in the next several weeks. No plans are final yet, but we will be sending a survey to each of you very soon to get your thoughts on whether you want your children to be all in person or all remote. As of right now, while we still have our in person waitlist, we are unable to move students to different cohorts right now. More information to come for sure.
The Friends of Nantucket Public Schools is hosting an evening presentation with Phyllis Fagell for parents, caregivers and educators. Here is the Smore flyer with details and information.
Who: Phyllis Fagell, Licensed Counselor, School Counselor, Author & Journalist
When: Tuesday, March 16th
Where: Virtual Meeting link
I was in communication with a couple of parents last week regarding information about travel. My messages that have been in this S'more for months was not as explicit as the Superintendent's message last Sunday evening. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused. To that end, I asked the Superintendent for one message that all of the school's could share regarding travel, testing, and quarantines. Here it is:
From the Superintendent's Office:
Per Governor Baker's COVID-19 Travel Order, individuals must either quarantine for 10 days or have a negative COVID PCR test (NOT a rapid antigen test) within 72 hours of returning to the state of Massachusetts from any state that is not deemed "lower risk". For children under the age of 10, a parent/guardian with whom they traveled must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of returning to Massachusetts, or the child must quarantine for 10 days. If parents, guardians or children are waiting for COVID test results, they must quarantine at home until the results are available.
The Nantucket Public Schools are not responsible for enforcing the MA Travel Order; however, if a parent/guardian chooses to disclose to the school district an intention to travel internationally or to any high-risk state, we expect that they will follow the law and abide by the COVID-19 Travel Order and the school nurse or district COVID Liaison may follow up with the parent/guardian.
New guidance for school bus ridership: DESE recently changed its guidance on school bus protocols for transporting children, which lifts restrictions on seating space. If all other safety protocols are adhered to (i.e., windows open 2 inches, masks worn at all times, assigned seating, cleaning/disinfecting/hand sanitizing), the buses will be able to transport more students. Thank you to Linda Barrett from Cape Cod Collaborative along with our front office ESPs who have been working on a new schedule that adds in children who were currently on the waitlist for transportation. We also hope that as the vaccination rollout continues, we will be able to put another bus on the road for our students within a month or so. Below is the link for the newest Bus Routes!
It is so important that the children come prepared to be outside. This means wearing boots, gloves, hats, warm coats, and snow pants. It is important that children have these and a change of clothes (in case they do not have snow pants and clothes get wet.) We follow the guidelines of having students go outside if the temperature feels like 15 degrees or higher. The warm clothes are necessary for sure!! But I am hopeful, as the sun is rising earlier, we will be having better weather soon.
I am leaving these reminders listed below as they are so important for keeping our students safe. These reminders have come from our School Resource Officers, our NES School Council, our NES Staff members, and other parents. They are related to safety and student success. These have been shared before, yet they need to be repeated because these actions have started again.
1. The parking lot on First Way behind the school is ONLY for staff. Student drop off or Parent Parking back there is NOT permitted. All of the spots are numbered and assigned to staff. When parents park back there, our staff are unable to get into the building to be ready for working with students. All the spots are assigned. There are no extra spots. This is no place for students to be walking. It is incredibly unsafe.
2. If you are driving into our drop off lanes from Backus Lane, the driver MUST STAY in the car. The child should get out of the car on the right side.
3. Cars should not pull around other cars on the left side in the circles. It is important to model safety and patience. We have observed so many near accidents.
4. If you wish to get out of the car, please park in the lot on Backus Lane and walk your child to their class line.
5. If you leave the state of Massachusetts, your child must receive a COVID-19 negative test result in order to come back to school. If you do not want to have your child tested, they must stay home for 10 days. We have had no school spread because people are adhering to these safety protocols.
6. Attendance =
a.virtually present means the child is online off and on all day, not just for morning meeting
b.virtually absent means the child is not signing on for remote learning
c. physically present means the child is in school present for the day
d. physically absent means the child is not in school at all for the day
7. When children are working remotely, they may need a parent to assist them in signing on. We know you have been doing this. We would ask finally that you allow the children to answer questions. It is okay for them to make mistakes.
I continue to be grateful for all of your support in this very challenging time. I know that this is hard for all of you as it is for us too. I keep reminding myself that things will be better soon. I want to reiterate our need for a partnership in this pandemic. It is critical for you to respond to teachers' emails, phone calls, and remind messages. They know how hard it is for you. They are trying to keep you updated as often as they can. The favor of replies to their efforts to reach out to you would be greatly appreciated.
Our second trimester comes to an end on 3/19/21. Report cards will be shared on 3/26/21.
Kimberly Kubisch, Principal NES
Our School Counselors and Social Worker (our Student Support Team) have asked me to share this information with you. We are hearing from so many of you about the struggles students are having with remote learning. Here is an article with some friendly suggestions and helpful hints!
https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/family/2021/01/at-home-tools-to-help-kids-manage-their-emotions Also, please visit current and previous SEL playlists in Schoology. There is lots of information about how to help children manage their emotions!
Children with any illness symptoms
Know that we understand and appreciate when you choose to keep your child at home because they have one of the symptoms or don't feel well, not necessarily COVID-19 positive but run down as happens to us all. With a bit of notice and clear communication to your child's teacher, they can work with you to determine the child's participation in synchronous and/or asynchronous work.