Florence Sawyer School Happenings

Monday, March 16, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

I have always believed that it is in times of great stress and great uncertainty when the true nature of one's character is revealed. Over the past several days, I have been reminded over and over what an amazing community this is! So many of you have offered your support for our school, for our community and for our students and for that I am incredibly grateful and proud. None of us knows what lies ahead in the coming weeks but we know there may be members in our community that will need assistance. If you are aware of a family or individual that may have a need, please reach out to me directly or contact the Bolton Community Fund via Facebook. I remain confident that it is our collective strength and care for each other that will see us through.

Last evening, Governor Baker announced that all Massachusetts Public Schools will be closed through April 6, 2020, with a potential return of April 7, 2020. This is the result of evolving data and newly released guidelines from the CDC.

The Governor stressed the importance of individual and familial responsibility in helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing. Dr. Asaf Bitton’s article, “Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day” provides a comprehensive explanation of the importance of our community responsibility. To this end, all of the Nashoba Regional School District playing fields, including the high school turf field, and individual school’s playgrounds and recess areas are closed until further notice.

The Nashoba administration and faculty recognize the significant disruption the closing of school has on your family and on your child's routine. It is important to keep in perspective that it is not possible to substitute learning at home for all of the instruction that takes place in a comprehensive PK-12 school district. Consistent with guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, our staff has worked collaboratively to provide distance engagement opportunities for students during this extended closure. These engagement opportunities are intended to keep students connected to learning while they are not in school. We also know that parents are being overwhelmed with “free” or suggested learning sites and resources. We ask that students, instead, access the activities and websites recommended by their classroom teachers. These activities and websites will be ones students have experience with as well and ones that are connected to what students have been learning. These resources have further been vetted for the protection of student privacy.

The following link will take you to our new FSS Distance Engagement Opportunities site. As we move forward, we will monitor the need to make revisions to these plans based on further guidance that may be provided related to closure from local and state officials.

Please be aware that we have further revised our plans to open our school buildings on Tuesday, March 17th. In an effort to minimize person-person interaction, we are limiting the availability of access to school buildings for critical reasons only. Specifically, should your child have left his/her/their Chromebook and/or charger, instrument, or other identified item of importance, parents/guardians only, will be allowed access to the building on Tuesday morning from 8 am -12 pm. Please email me at jbates@nrsd.net directly in advance during this time period. Additionally, Karin Frostholm will be in the health office from 8 to 10 am should you need to pick up any of your child’s prescriptions.

We thank our families for their continued support and patience during this ever-evolving public health situation. We will continue to provide you with information and updates as we proceed through the days and weeks ahead.

Yours in partnership,

Joel Bates,


Specific Guidelines for talking with your children about Coronavirus

Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.

  • What you say and do about COVID-19, current prevention efforts, and related events can either increase or decrease your children’s anxiety.

  • If true, emphasize to your children that they and your family are fine.

  • Remind them that you and the adults at their school are there to keep them safe and healthy.

  • Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.

Make yourself available.

  • Children may need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.

  • It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them; make time for them.

  • Tell them you love them and give them plenty of affection.

Avoid excessive blaming.

  • When tensions are high, sometimes we try to blame someone.

  • It is important to avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.

  • Bullying or negative comments made toward others should be stopped and reported to the school.

  • Be aware of any comments that other adults are having around your family. You may have to explain what comments mean if they are different than the values that you have at home.

Monitor television viewing and social media.

  • Limit television viewing or access to information on the Internet and through social media. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present.

  • Speak to your child about how many stories about COVID-19 on the Internet may be based on rumors and inaccurate information.

  • Talk to your child about factual information of this disease—this can help reduce anxiety.

  • Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety—avoid this.

  • Be aware that developmentally inappropriate information (i.e., information designed for adults) can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young

  • Engage your child in games or other interesting activities instead.

Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.

  • Keep to a regular schedule, as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.

  • Encourage your children to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Be honest and accurate.

  • In the absence of factual information, children often imagine situations far worse than reality.

  • Don’t ignore their concerns, but rather explain that at the present moment very few people in this country are sick with COVID-19.

  • Children can be told this disease is thought to be spread between people who are in close contact with one another—when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

  • It is also thought it can be spread when you touch an infected surface or object, which is why it is so important to protect yourself.

  • For additional factual information contact your school nurse, ask your doctor, or check the https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html website.

Know the symptoms of COVID-19.

  • The CDC believes these symptoms appear in a few days after being exposed to someone with the disease or as long as 14 days after exposure:

  • Fever

  • Cough

  • Shortness for breath

  • For some people the symptoms are like having a cold; for others they are quite severe or even life-threatening. In either case it is important to check with your child’s healthcare provider (or yours) and follow instructions about staying home or away from public spaces to prevent the spread of the virus.

Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices for protection.

  • Encourage your child to practice every day good hygiene—simple steps to prevent spread of illness:

    • Wash hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds (singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star slowly takes about 20 seconds).

    • Cover their mouths with a tissue when they sneeze or cough and throw away the tissue immediately, or sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow. Do not share food or drinks.

    • Practice giving fist or elbow bumps instead of handshakes. Fewer germs are spread this way.

  • Giving children guidance on what they can do to prevent infection gives them a greater sense of control over disease spread and will help to reduce their anxiety.

  • Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly; this will help them develop a strong immune system to fight off illness.

Discuss new rules or practices at school.

  • Many schools already enforce illness prevention habits, including frequent hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand cleansers.

  • Your school nurse or principal will send information home about any new rules or practices.

  • Be sure to discuss this with your child.

  • Contact your school nurse with any specific questions.

Communicate with your school.

  • Let your school know if your child is sick and keep them home. Your school may ask if your child has a fever or not. This information will help the school to know why your child was kept home. If your child is diagnosed with COVID-19, let the school know so they can communicate with and get guidance from local health authorities.

  • Talk to your school nurse, school psychologist, school counselor, or school social worker if your child is having difficulties as a result of anxiety or stress related to COVID-19. They can give guidance and support to your child at school.

  • Make sure to follow all instructions from your school.

Florence Sawyer School Distance Engagement Opportunities site

Please find the following link to our new FSS Distance Engagement Opportunities site. We hope that this site can provide you with starting points to keep learning alive for your children.

FSS Virtual 5K

Hello FSS Community,

My name is Kevin Maier and my son is Marshall in the 1st grade. My family and I are all active runners and I am excited to announce the first-ever FSS Virtual 5k. We shouldn't be physically running together, but that doesn't mean we can't virtually run together. If you've never run a virtual race here's how it works. You run or walk a 5k between 3/16-4/6 wherever you like. You can even run it on a treadmill. Then you just record your time on the following shared document. Other virtual 5k races might require a gps file, but not ours. It will be run on the honor system. Get out there and get some exercise and share your results virtually. Runners and walkers of all ages welcome.

FSS Virtual 5k Results

Happy Running and Walking!

Kevin Maier


Safe Routes to School Yard Sign Contest

The Massachusetts Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Program’s Yard Sign Design Contest is a way for students to use their creativity to help promote safe roads for cyclists and pedestrians in their communities.

Here’s how: Students create and submit a design for a yard sign that brings awareness to distracted driving. With the recent passing of hands-free legislation for electronics (Mass. General Laws, Chapter 90 Section 13B), we want the students to focus their designs on eliminating distracted driving, especially in and around school zones. Signs may be hand-drawn or created digitally. Four winners will be chosen, and the winning designs will be made into yard signs for distribution to SRTS partner schools around the Commonwealth.

Please see the form here for requirements and registration.

Reminders from the FSS Office

Fssattendance protocol:

Please email the fssattendance@nrsd.net email address and cc: your child(ren)’s homeroom teacher with all dismissals, absences, tardies, or changes to pickup. Because this email address goes to both secretaries and both nurses, it ensures that, even when the classroom teacher is absent, we get the information to get your student where he/she needs to be. If you have more than one student, please send one email per family.

All FSSattendance emails must copy the homeroom teacher and include the following information:

1) Student’s First and LAST name,

2) Grade and Home Room Teacher,

3) Bus # if a change from regular bus.

All emails having to do with a change in bus or bus stop for child care reasons as well as a change in person meeting student at the drop off must copy the bus company at donnadeebus@gmail.com as well. Once received, the school will provide the student with a bus pass.

Health Office Reminder

When delivering your child’s medication to the health offices, it must be accompanied by a current physician’s order for the school year and a parent medication consent form, which can be printed from the virtual backpack on the homepage of the FSS website. Allergy action plan/ individualized health care plan forms can also be found in the virtual backpack.

Your child’s medication cannot be administered at school without a current physician’s order and a parent consent form, which need to be submitted at the beginning of every school year. These forms may be faxed directly to the health office secure fax lines:

Florence Sawyer Wing health office: (978)-965-3969 Mrs. Frosthom

Emerson Wing health office: (978)-965-3972 Mrs. Hendley

Please reach out to Ms. Frostholm or Mrs. Hendley with any questions.

NRSD Special Education Parents Advisory Council

The Special Education Parents Advisory Council (SEPAC) isn’t just for

Parents of children with special needs, IEPs or 504 plans. Our meetings and events are open to everyone. Often times, our events and presentations are of interest to all parents as topics may include anxiety, mental health, executive functioning and other topics that help all students. ALL ARE WELCOME!

Fun(d) in the Sun Auction - Canceled

Fund in the Sun Auction has been canceled

All silent and live auction items including class gifts will be auctioned online at a later date. Individuals who have purchased tickets to the auction will have the option of either donating the ticket amount to the BSDC or having the amount refunded. If you have any questions please contact ersharp97@yahoo.com

Days, Dates and Links

Letter Days:

4/7 B Day

4/8 x/c Day - 12:15 dismissal for students

4/9 C Day

4/10 D Day

4/13 E Day

4/14 F Day

4/15 A Day

4/16 B Day

4/17 C Day

4/20 to 4/24 - April Vacation Week


Further Ahead:

2019-2020 NRSD Calendar

Individual Google Calendars - Add these links to your own calendars

Use the Google Calendar Link to access the calendar from a web browser

Use the ICal Link to access the calendar from other applications.

* A-F Letter day calendar Google Calendar Link ICal Link

* FSS Year At A Glance Calendar Google Calendar Link ICal Link

* FSS Clubs and Activities Calendar Google Calendar Link ICal Link

FSS Website

FSSPAC - Click the preceding link for information about our Parents' Advisory Council.

Bolton School Donations Committee

Virtual Backpack Current Flyers & Form

Health Services/Lunches/ Buses/ Extended Learning

Community Events and Activities Information Site

Helpful Emails and Extensions

Dee Bus Company - FSS Bus Routes Dispatcher Donna Hunter (978) 733-1047

Extended Learning: Director Raina Rago rrago@nrsd.net (978) 779-0539, Ext. 3356

NRSD Nutrition Services Tom Houle, Director thoule@nrsd.net Ext. 3045