BWRSD Community Update 5/8/20

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

Dear BWRSD families,

This week was Teacher Appreciation Week. Each day, I observed caring messages from students, administrators, and others about the work that our teachers perform. BWRSD is fortunate to have great teachers, and their efforts during distance learning have been extraordinary. One of our caring educators lost power and wifi at her home because of a storm. Her students needed her so she went over to her parents house, sat in the driveway, and used the wifi to connect with her students. This is merely one example of the lengths to which our teachers have gone to continue teaching and learning.


I am incredibly proud of our BWRSD teachers, teacher assistants, and other staff that work with our students. You are truly making a difference in our student’s lives. Please join me in thanking our teachers and teacher assistants for everything they do for our students.


Happy Mother’s Day. I hope you enjoy your special day.


Sincerely,


Jonathan T. Brice


Jonathan T. Brice, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Today’s update has information about the following topics:


  • Teacher Appreciation Week Thank You Notes & Tributes

  • Project ACES Video by Elementary P.E. Teachers

  • RIDE Distance Learning Survey for Families

  • RI Healthy Schools Coalition Newsletter

  • Audubon Nature Center Update

  • Send a Smile Newsletter Link for Families from Chartwells/Compass USA

  • BWRSD Online Tech Support for Families

  • Student Support for families


Teacher Appreciation Week Thank You Notes & Tributes

This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week and May 6, 2020 was Nurses Appreciation Day! While we at BWRSD are appreciative of our teachers every day, we are especially cognizant of the hard work and dedication teachers have shown throughout the distance learning period. Here are some “thank you” videos and notes from students, parents, and district administrators shared with teachers and staff this week:


  • Mt. Hope students and staff celebrated their teachers with this video

  • Here is a video from students and parents for the teachers at Rockwell School!

  • The Kickemuit Middle School teachers and staff are finding ways to alleviate stress during distance learning! Enjoy this video from them to their students and families. Hey KMS! What have you been doing?

  • Enjoy this song, Good Job, by Alicia Keys, that captures our sentiments during Teacher Appreciation Week, honoring all that you do.

  • “I appreciate everything that teachers across the district do everyday, and more than ever during these last few months of distance learning. It has been so impressive to see you learn and grow together as you created learning environments that focus on high academic standards while also supporting the unique needs of students and families. You have exceeded the boundaries of everyone’s vision of distance learning.” - Dr. Diane Sanna, Assistant Superintendent

  • “Being new to the district, I was immediately impressed with the professionalism and caring that the special educators in Bristol Warren showed each and every day. I didn’t think that I could become more impressed by a staff member, but distance learning has proven me wrong! The dedication and ‘never say die’ attitude that you take towards the learning and emotional needs of these children is beyond impressive. I’m honored by the fact that I get to work with such caring professionals every day!” - Mr. Edward Clarke, Director of Student Support Services

  • “Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to the outstanding teachers and staff at Colt Andrews School. I appreciate all that they do each and everyday to make a difference in the lives of our students. With the abrupt end to the physical school year, our teachers and staff members have risen to the occasion and have done even more to continue education with virtual lessons and distance learning. It's in these challenging times that I truly recognize and appreciate how our teachers have worked so hard and adapted to providing this new learning environment for our students. I am truly blessed to work beside all of the teachers and staff at Colt Andrews and am extraordinarily grateful for their dedication, passion, perseverance and excellence! You are truly remarkable. Thank you for continuing to keep our Colt Andrews School community Anchored in Excellence!” -Mrs. Deborah Kearns, Colt Andrews Principal

  • “Everyone’s a learner - Everyday!” This has been our motto at Rockwell School. That has never been more true than right now. I’m sending a giant thank you out to the Rockwell Staff. They are stepping up in every way to learn new skills, share new ideas and just plain figure things out to make sure all our students are continuing to learn everyday. You Rock!” -Mrs. Tara McAuliffe, Rockwell Principal

  • “I would like to express my appreciation to our Library teachers! Each one demonstrates that they are life-long learners and are excited to teach our staff and our students. Laura, Nicole, Kathi, Pam and Courtney are fantastic teachers and are truly appreciated! Thank you so very, very much!” - Ms. Rose Muller, Director of Information Technology

  • “Ali Lewis has been a rock for our student-athletes, helping to reach out to students and families who seem less connected. She is empathetic and fair and has great connections though ASP is not currently running! Above and beyond might be her middle name!” -Christina Houghton Belisle, Athletic Director

  • “Artists are inspired to create for reasons far and wide. As a musician, Andre mentioned that this terrible crisis has inspired him to create music. That inspiration also moved him to inspire students - who then inspired all of us! The KMS community is appreciative of the very fine teacher, Mr. Andre Arsenault!” - Dr. Rosemary Burns, KMS Administrator

  • I just want to say thank you to the KMS staff for going above and beyond during this challenging time. I have spoken to many colleagues in other districts and we are truly the front runners with online teaching/learning. I have felt the stress you have been under along witnessed the strength displayed to overcome huge obstacles! Thank you for always finding the strength.” - Mr. David Patota, KMS Administrator

  • We would like to give a big shout out to our specialist teachers at Hugh Cole - Courtney Bosco, Tracy Earl, Allison Lewis,Tracy Lima, Shelby Marum, Andrew Sabourin, and Elizabeth St. Pierre. As with all of our staff, they have had to navigate how to teach content that is often hands-on through online assigned activities, recorded lessons, and Zoom/Google Meets sessions. Our specialists have learned to innovate, collaborate, and stay connected with homeroom classrooms. students, and families while also holding whole-grade meet-ups! Our specialists have also been a big part of keeping our whole community connected through school-wide activities and videos. Way to go, and thank you for making a difference!” -Mrs. Miranda Carpenter, Hugh Cole Principal, and Dr. Andre Audette, Hugh Cole Assistant Principal

  • “Since the beginning of distance learning the staff at Guiteras has been focused on the social emotional well-being of our kids in addition to providing live standards-based, engaging learning. From grade level lunch bunches to Kindergarten family science zooms; from small group reading instruction to whole group fraction lessons on google meet; from school wide talent shows to art showcases; from endless screencastify lessons to daily phone calls supporting parents so they can help kids, this staff has proved how much they care. Guiteras teachers have risen to meet the needs of students and families in more ways than I can count. I feel very privileged to work among these professionals and proud to be the principal at Guiteras:) Thank you Guiteras! -With Incredible Appreciation, Mrs. Beth Roman, Guiteras Principal

  • Shout out to Jeff Grifka at KMS for going above and beyond and bringing his personal basketball hoop to a high school athlete’s house during COVID to keep his spirits high and out of the closed parks!” -Christina Houghton Belisle, Athletic Director

  • A Special thank you to our K-12 reading specialists, ELL specialists, and math coaches for their hard work and dedication to our students, families, and school community. Like all our great BWRSD teachers, they continue to inspire and blaze a passion for teaching and learning, always with a gracious heart, fierce intelligence, and brave spirit. Kudos to ALL!” -Ms. Mary Almeida, Director of Literacy & Title I

  • Thank you to the 27 educators representing all six schools that are part of the Promising Practices in Distance Education group. They have shared effective strategies, created powerful resources, helped colleagues in their schools, and have helped lead the way throughout our transition to distance learning. Thank you for all you do to help our students as well as other teachers in our BWRSD community, we appreciate you!” -Mr. Thomas Driscoll, Digital Learning Director

  • We want to thank our teachers and acknowledge all that they are doing everyday to make a positive impact on the students in front of them. For every split second decision they make, for putting the needs of their students before their own, for reassuring and supporting students during this difficult and stressful time, for reaching down deep and discovering new and previously hidden talents to teach in a virtual learning environment, and most of all for being a strong Husky Team; we applaud them all during this Teacher Appreciation Week!” -Dr. Deborah DiBiase, MHHS Principal; Mrs. Michelle King, MHHS Assistant Principal; and Mr. Robert Hanlon, MHHS Assistant Principal

  • On behalf of the Class of 2020, I wanted to take some time to thank all of you for your continuous hard work and dedication especially through these difficult times. Our High School experience would have not been the same without each and everyone of you. We are all forever grateful for the close relationships we have developed with you all over these past four years. But, rather than hearing it all from me, here are some student messages that have been collected over the past few weeks. We miss you! -The Class of 2020


Project ACES Video by Elementary P.E. Teachers

Here is a video created by the elementary physical education teachers for Project ACES. Enjoy!


RI Healthy Schools Coalition Newsletter

This month’s focus areas include: Kids Have Stress Too; Dance, Dance, Dance; and Grant Opportunities.


RIDE Distance Learning Survey for Families

RIDE is trying to collect information about how families feel about distance learning in each school district. Please complete the RIDE Distance Learning survey for Families by May 15, 2020.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeIGt6QuDAGPJp1O-atP29URPfAmoPO0ClUJQ7hPxlHYEnVbQ/viewform


Audubon Nature Center Update

All the Audubon refuge trails are open for walking, birding, photography and the general enjoyment of nature, fresh air and sunshine. The Audubon Nature Center trails and gardens at 1401 Hope Street in Bristol are open every day dawn to dusk with access from the bike trail and plenty of parking. The Touisset Wildlife Refuge trails are accessible from the parking lot next to the Touisset Fire Station. Other refuges can be found on our website, www.asri.org/hike/.


Audubon at Home is a new on-line page offering videos of our animal ambassadors, stories, backyard investigations, behind the scenes tours of our exhibits, resource pages and more. Lots of ideas for both sunny and rainy days! The weekly themes include Owls, Frogs, Backyard Investigations, Turtles, Earth Week and Birds, with more to come. https://asri.org/audubon-at-home/resources.html


Also, if there are teachers looking for a live on-line science presentation for their students, we are offering Owls of RI programs via the learning platform of their choice. We have program scholarships that will cover the cost if need be. One 30-40 minute program is $80.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to Lauren Parmelee, Senior Director of Education, Audubon Society of Rhode Island, at lparmalee@asri.org or 401-949-5454 ext. 3111.


Send a Smile Newsletter Link for Families from Chartwells/Compass USA

One of the most inspiring things we’ve seen over the last month and throughout our COVID response is the way our communities have come together to support each other. For Chartwells, that has meant partnering with groups across schools including transportation teams, school staff, and volunteers so that we can continue to serve meals to students and share some smiles along the way.


Even though it’s something we don’t regularly discuss, it is worth sharing that Chartwells is part of the Compass Group community. In addition to schools, our fellow Compass companies serve everywhere from hospitals and corporate cafes to senior living communities.


In the spirit of continuing to bring people together and help our communities, we had an idea and hope you’ll join us in our effort to bring more people a smile. In our Morrison Living senior communities, extra precautions are in place which does not allow residents to receive visitors or gather in groups. We’re working to rally children across the country to help “Send a Smile” that will be delivered to seniors with their meals.


We’ve developed a fun activity packet for students to print at home and have some fun with. The packet features spaces for students to introduce themselves, draw a picture or write a letter. Once completed, students and families can simply drop it in the mail and our team will take care of delivering it to brighten a senior’s day.


I am hoping your district’s families will join us in our project, I am wondering if you would share the “Send a Smile” newsletter link through your school communications channels, be it through teachers, district wide communication or a school newsletter. We think this could make a great class project or similar initiative as well.


Send A Smile Newsletter Link for families: https://conta.cc/3b9PJdk


Morrison Living serves more than 475 communities across the country and over 70,000 residents! We think that’s a lot of people who deserve a smile. Our hope is that we can collectively deliver thousands and thousands and thousands of letters across the country. We’d love to have your children share even more SMILES!


BWRSD Online Tech Support for Families

If you experience any issues with your student’s device or while working on certain applications online, please send an email to our Technology Helpdesk at BWRSDTech@bwrsd.org for tech and software application support. The email account is accessible 24 hours per day, and you can expect a response within 24 hours Monday-Friday. Thank you for your patience.


Student Support for Families

If any parent of a student with an IEP, 504, ELL or other concern have any questions about student assignments, services, or support, please contact the Office of Student Services and Support at: bwrsdstudentsupport@bwrsd.org.

BWRSD Distance Learning Plan/COVID 19 Info

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