NES WEEKLY UPDATE
Monday, June 7. 2021
It sure felt a bit like summer is arriving over the weekend! Despite sunscreen, I got my first sunburn of the season yesterday.
Saturday was a beautiful day for Town Meeting under the tents outdoors. The budget for our schools was approved. This will mean seven teachers per grade level in Kindergarten, First and Second grades next year. In addition, we will be hiring a math interventionist, an additional English Language Learner teacher, two new special educators, and several more teaching assistants.
Thank you to those of you who participated in the Summer Reading Presentation last week. For those of you who could not make it, I am sharing the links for the recording of the presentation and the powerpoint from the presentation. Recall that our two Reading Interventionists, Helaina Jones and Andrea Maher, shared information about supporting your child with fun ways to do reading, writing, and mathematics in the summer.
This is the link for the presentation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YpEj5sBliYEsWPlGhWmbrA9WMCHGBy2H/view?usp=sharing
Tonight, you all have a wonderful opportunity to watch the High School Musical! The staff and students at NHS have done a virtual performance of the musical Honk! This is the musical version of the Ugly Duckling! It is a heartwarming story of acceptance. Since singing indoors without a mask is not allowed, we have created for you a "staged" version, with costumes and microphones, high lighting the amazing cast of this very special show.
We will be streaming the performance on Monday, June 7th at 7 pm. Here is the link to access the performance. You will need to purchase a "ticket" from this link, and you will receive a code in order to stream.
The cost of each ticket is $5 with an additional $2.72 fee for the streaming. The proceeds from the ticket sales enable NHS to continue to do performances each year.
Thank you for your support!
Erin MacIver, and the Fabulous Cast of Honk!
Maisie Cocker, Keith-Anne Maynard, Caroline Harding, Chloe Girvin, Olivia Davis, Natalie Mack, Julia Marks, Ella Scott, Mo Pelissier, Mitzi Espinoza, Claire Martin, and Benton Killion
We are also looking for one parent or community member to join our School Council for a two year term beginning September, 2021. I have attached a link for the nominating form. While this form says we do not need any new members, one of our members is leaving as her son is a second grader and he is moving away. Please consider volunteering by nominating yourself or someone else!
Dr. Hallett did send an email to all families with the most recent information regarding COVID protocols. These include:
- Updated COVID-19 guidance from DESE: as outlined in this document, all public school students and staff are expected to maintain all mitigation strategies throughout the school year. For Nantucket, this means all students and staff must wear masks indoors until the end of the school day on June 25, and we must maintain 3-6 feet of distance in our classrooms. It is important that we finish the year off strong and support our students and each other to maintain our safety protocols... they have served us very well, so let's keep it going until the end!
- What to expect for next year: according to DESE, all emergency protocols will be lifted by the start to the 2021-22 school year. All schools will be in session in-person, 5 full days a week with no option for remote learning (Cohort D) with very specific exceptions (see the last paragraph of the linked document above).
Our School Resource Officers have asked that I share another safety reminder. The bus drivers have expressed significant concern recently. Apparently, there are students who are darting out of the parking lot on Surfside Road or getting out of cars that are dropping them off in the front parking lot. The students are going to both schools, but they are not safe there. This lot on Surfside road is for NIS Staff parking only. The circle is only for bus drop off between the hours of 7:15 am - 8:15 am and between 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm. Please use Backus Lane for dropping your children off or picking them up.
Construction on Surfside Road this week includes:
Weekly Construction Hours: Monday-Thursday evenings: 4pm-2am Fridays: 9am-2pm (trench paving)
Current Road Closures: Monday-Thursday evenings: Full road closure between Bartlett Rd. and First Way Fridays: Single lane closure during trench paving activities.
This week’s construction details: Monday thru Thursday: Continue installation of gravity sewers, progressing north on Surfside Road from Maclean Lane towards First Way. Friday: Trench paving.
Plan your travel to and from school accordingly. Here is the link to the project that will update weekly. www.nantucket-ma.gov/SurfsideRoadSewer
SAVE THE DATES!!
- June 18, 2021 Last day of PreK
- June 21, 2021 Field Day (raindate June 22, 2021)
- June 23, 2021 Last day of Kindergarten
- June 25, 2021 Last Day of School 12:00 pm dismissal
Counselors' Information (most recent on top)
5 Parent Tips to Keep Children Engaged at the End of the School Year
The last few weeks of school can seem like a marathon! Here are five things parents can do at home to keep their children motivated in the classroom through the end of the school year.
Click on the link below or copy and paste it into your browser!
With the help of these movie lists, you can enjoy quality family time, and create opportunities for meaningful conversations at home! See charts below - some great suggestions!!
Transitions can be tricky! As we head into the last month of school, it is great to have a variety of calming down strategies to share with children. Here is a great list to choose from:
5/17/21 - There are many kinds of self care! Find what works for you on any given day and go for it! Check out the picture below for more information!!
5/10/21 - Bullying - See chart below
Our School Counselors will be wrapping up bullying in all grades. If you hear your child talking about bullying, that is great because they have been listening in SEL! Below you will find a good reference to guide these conversations with your child since mean behavior may not be true bullying. Please feel free to refer to SEL playlists for more information and additional practice. Also, be sure to reach out to your school counselor if you have any questions or concerns.
Jeanne Clark works with Kindergarten and the following grade 1 classrooms - Ms. Listernick, Ms. Hasler, Ms. Myers and Ms. O'Banion
Lisa Hood works with Grade 2 classrooms and the following grade 1 classrooms - Mr. Perry, Ms. Golding and Ms. Collins
5/3/21 - For Parents - How to Raise Inclusive Kids (see charts below)
4/26/21 - Parent Calming Techniques - click on this link for some ideas to assist at home if needed. https://drive.google.com/file/d/11K51TOU1YGLZL9Zmhv73NBiRsjGvxst2/view?usp=sharing
4/12/21 So many things cause our students, and ourselves, to experience strong emotions. Whether it’s losing a game, getting into an argument with a friend, or a disappointment, having intense feelings is part of the human experience. While we can't prevent our children from feeling these emotions, we CAN give them tools to process and cope with what they are experiencing.
One of our favorite tools to use for this is the circle of control. It’s a great way to encourage children to focus on what they can control instead of dwelling on the things that they can’t. Use the graphic below to help your child get a better understanding of what they can and can't control. Then have them come up with their own examples! This can be great for adults too!
4/5/21 Here is a wonderful article on self care for parents and caregivers! 10 helpful tips to follow to be sure you are taking care of yourselves too!!
3/22/21 As you know, we are using the Second Step program in your child’s classroom. The Second Step program teaches children important skills for getting along with others and doing well in school. It also helps our school be a safe, respectful place where everyone can learn.
To further help our school be a safe and respectful place, we are also going to use the Second Step Bullying Prevention Unit. In the lessons, your child will learn specific skills to help stop bullying. We anticipate beginning these lessons in Grade 1 and 2 next week and in K shortly thereafter.
Students will learn how to:
• Recognize when bullying is happening
• Report bullying to a caring adult
• Refuse to let bullying happen to themselves or others
• Be a bystander who stands up and is part of the solution to bullying
Home Links will continue to be sent home with your child to help you understand what your child is learning about bullying at school. They also give your child another chance to practice skills for handling bullying. We need your support! Make sure your child knows to tell you or someone at school if he or she is being bullied. And give your child the clear message that it is never okay to bully others.
If you have any questions about the Bullying Prevention Unit or the Second Step program, please reach out to your child’s teacher or school counselor. Thank you for helping us make our school a safe, respectful place where everyone can learn.
3/15/21 Jeanne Clark and Lisa Hood, our school counselors, are excited about the progress with the Second Step Lessons this year in SEL! All grades will be finishing up the Problem Solving Unit in the next few weeks. Be sure to check out your child’s weekly playlist for the weekly lesson and supplemental activities for extra practice. Feel free to reach out to your child’s school counselor if you have any questions or if they can support you in any way.
Holly McGill, our School Social Worker, continues to work both with individual students and small groups focusing on specific Social skills, such as being a kind friend, coping skills and problem solving. If your child works with Ms. McGill be sure to ask them to share what they are practicing!
3/1/21 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!
Nurse’s Corner (most recent on top)
Check out the poster below! There will be a community conversation about vaccines on June 9, 2021 from 7-8 pm. Registration is required.
Now that we are closing in on the end of the school year and spending more and more time outside, it is time to do tick checks. The recent research by Sam Telford from Tufts University showed a surprising number of ticks. The Lone Star Tick has also been found, a bite from this tick can cause an allergy to red meat along with other tick borne diseases. Please be sure to check your children daily for ticks.
When out in the woods be sure to stay on the trails, and wear long pants (tuck your pants into your socks) and wear long sleeves.
Below is information from the town on prevention of tick bites.
There was a lot of big news this week from Governor Baker. Starting on Saturday May29th everything is open again with a few exceptions.
(see https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusett link) and the state of emergency ends on June 15th.
For our students, when outside for recess, outside for PE, or doing youth sports outside, they do not need to wear a mask and they would not be considered a close contact while outside during recess if they were in contact with a person positive for covid 19. Please see the link below for full details.
Link from Dr.Hallett:
Nantucket Public Schools has updated its Safety Protocols document with the newest updates (click here) to reflect the most recent changes. As always, it is our number one priority to ensure the safety of all NPS students and staff.
Stay safe and healthy and get vaccinated!
5/17/21 As we head into summer and spend more time outside, be sure to remember sun protection and tick checks are very important. The sun damage done at a young age can cause skin cancer as adults. Please be mindful of time outdoors and wear sun protection either clothing or sun block. Tick checks are also important as we spend more time outdoors. Remember to make sure to check for ticks every day and especially after spending time in the woods or tall grass.
5/3/21 As we get closer to the end of the school year, please continue to remember to screen your child daily for symptoms of COVID. If your child is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID or has been tested due to an exposure or symptoms, please keep them home. Children who are awaiting test results should remain home until results are in. If your child is positive they will need to stay home, they can return with a negative test result. Staying home when we are possibly ill, hand washing and wearing masks are our best defense and will keep our school safe. Thank you for doing your part to keep the schools open.
4/12/21 Spring is here and with that comes more pollen, if your child has a history of seasonal allergies this time of year, please let us know. This is not always noted on physical exam forms. Also with the warmer weather be sure to be using sunblock on your children and doing tick checks nightly! It is a great time to be outside more and please still follow social distancing and mask recommendations.
4/5/21 Spring is here and COVID is still here. We are all so happy to see all of our students today! Now that we are all back in school full time it is even more important to keep your children home if they are sick. NPS still encourages testing after travel even though the state has lifted the travel restrictions. We all want everyone to stay in school for the rest of the year and to do that we need to continue to be safe, including wearing masks, hand washing, not traveling and testing when you are sick. Please help us to keep our schools safe and open.
3/29/21 As the weather gets warmer it is important to get into the habit of daily tick checks. We are all spending more time outside and the ticks are out there. Not only do we have deer ticks but also the lone star tick has been found on Nantucket. A bite from the lone star tick can cause an anaphylactic allergy to red meat in addition to other tick borne illnesses. Please be sure to daily check for ticks on your children.
As we approach April vacation and full in person school, please continue to be mindful of travel, testing, handwashing and wearing masks. There is currently a spike on the Cape and it is important we do what we can to ensure we can remain in person for school.
March is here and spring and summer are around the corner. Before things start to get busier it is important to make sure your child has an appointment for their yearly physical and be sure they are up to date on their immunizations.
As far as COVID, we are not out of the woods yet! The guidelines for travel are changing and as of today, no test is needed if traveling to Washington, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Missouri. Be sure to keep an eye on this prior to any April vacation travel!
PREVIOUS REMINDERS (but still relevant)
Dismissal on Wednesdays is 11:50 am. Please be timely for student pick up. We have minimal coverage for students.
- I have been asked to share a safety reminder for vehicle drop off in the morning. If you are driving through using the Cross Campus Road, please have your students get out on the Driver's side of the car. It is not safe for them to get out on the passenger side as there is no waiting area. If you are using any of the circles, the children should be getting out on the passenger side of the vehicles. I cannot stress enough, if you have to get out of your car to escort your child to their class line, YOU MUST PARK YOUR CAR. YOU SHOULD NOT GET OUT OF YOUR CAR IN ANY OF THE CIRCLES. We have staff ready to open car doors to let your children out safely.
- In addition, the parking lot on First Way is only for staff. No parents should be in that lot in the morning or in the afternoon. We have had staff have to wait for their assigned parking spot in the morning, because a parent was parked in their spot. In the afternoon, more than 200 students walk near the First Way lot to meet the club crossing. While we have staff who escort them, there are families who are trying to pick up kids in the back lot. This is incredibly unsafe to have moving traffic back there.
- Know that parking is at a premium all around the campus. We have even had to assign staff spots in the Backus Lane lot just to account for all staff. It may be a great time to think about using the bus if you are eligible, especially in light of the sewer construction project.
- As a reminder for the parents and guardians of our newest entrants, the second graders and preK students line up outside our front door. Kindergarten and first grade line up in the K circle at the back of the building. No adults are allowed in the building at this time, which means students get dropped off at their class lines.
- As of now, having all of our students in person, there will be no google links for people to log on unless the child is in quarantine. Teachers and staff are really trying to put their energy into teaching all students in the room and not be splitting their attention with screens. We all know in person teaching is the most impactful instructional delivery mode for children to learn. In addition, we want to reduce the amount of screen time for our students.
- The schedule for both groups (cohort A and D (all remote)) beginning 4/5 will be full days Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays (7:45 - 2:20) and half day Wednesdays (7:45 - 11:50).
- As part of the safety protocols, if your child has been tested for COVID, they must stay home until they receive negative test results (see Nurse's note below). No child or adult should enter the school while they are still awaiting test results please.
Parking and Driving on Campus
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.
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.
Kim Kubisch and Kim Albertson
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.