The Buzz at Leeds
March 7, 2022
Message from Principal Wenz
So much has happened in our world since our last newsletter. One of our families would like to share their story. Our School Adjustment Counselor has shared resources about talking with children about the Ukraine war. Many people have reached out to see how we can help. We are looking for volunteers in our Leeds community to coordinate assistance for Ukrainian Refugees.Please email me if you are interested in volunteering. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Our hearts go out to everyone who is affected.
Stay safe and be well,
Chris Wenz, Principal
Message from a Ukrainian-American Leeds Family
We are a Ukrainian-American Leeds family and are reaching out to all friends and allies of Ukraine.
Our story is this: our parents and grandparents fled Ukraine in advance of the Soviet Russian army during WWII, when their options were to flee, be executed, or be sent to hard labor in Siberia. Our grandparents' siblings fell into all three categories.
We still have family in Ukraine. Their future is uncertain.
We got through to my 94 yr old great-aunt a few days ago, who told us "This is like 1939. I hope I won't be sent to Siberia again." They spend their nights in their basements, and their days on high alert, helping neighbors. They are leaving their professional jobs and taking up arms to help defend Ukraine and world-wide democracy.
The UN estimates that over a million people - mostly women and children - have fled Ukraine. A further 200,000 are internally displaced (still in Ukraine but had to flee their homes).
Concrete ways in which you can help, if you are so moved:
1. Call or write your elected officials to let them know you support Ukraine: here’s a Googledoc that makes it easy.
White House: 1-202-456-1111 or contact form: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
Elizabeth Warren, Senator: Phone: (202) 224-4543 or contact form: https://www.warren.senate.gov/contact/shareyouropinion
Edward Markey, Senator: Phone: (202) 224-2742 or contact form: https://www.markey.senate.gov/contact/share-your-opinion
Jim McGovern, Congressman: Phone: (202) 225-6101 or contact form: https://mcgovern.house.gov/contact/zip-auth.htm
2. Donate directly to NGOs/Armed Forces who are already on the ground:
A. UCCA.org (NGO that’s been helping Ukraine for decades)
B. Razom for Ukraine (This link also has a list of non-monetary activities that will help.)
E. Donate directly to the Ukrainian Army -- via credit card, no less!
3. Attend a rally as an ally of Ukraine! Here's a list of global rallies. Scroll down within the box to see locations in the US. More are planned for this weekend so check back later in the week.
4. Stop the spread of lies. Learn the truth and share it.
- Facts: This is a WAR, not a conflict. Ukraine is a democracy. Ukraine is not - and never has been - culturally Russian. Many Russians are risking their well-being by rallying against the war.
Sources for learning more:
5. Divest from Russia. As with Apartheid-era South Africa, ask your bank, grocery store, online retailers, employer, universities, etc. to divest their investments - both direct and indirect - in Russia. Don't fund Putin.
Resources from our School Adjustment Counselor ~ Ms. Bastek
Here are a few articles that I found helpful around talking to youth about the Ukraine War.
If your child seems overly anxious or upset about what is going on, please contact me.
Leeds Equity & Inclusion Committee - A Subcommittee of our School Council
The next meeting of the Leeds Equity & Inclusion Committee will take place (virtually) on Wednesday, March 9, from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. New folks are always welcome and encouraged to join! Please reach out to email@example.com for the meeting link, to join our email listserv, or with your questions/ideas. We plan to meet the second Wednesday of every month throughout the year. E&I participation is always completely flexible–you can choose to commit to as much or as little as you’d like.
In light of the ongoing crisis and war in Ukraine, this week we’re offering some resources for families seeking to talk with kids or answer their questions about the news. These pieces from the New York Times, AP, CBC, and Save the Children focus on how to talk with children about the conflict. This podcast and article include more general advice for parents/caregivers to help prepare and protect kids from difficult and scary news.
Families looking for books that help kids better understand the experiences of refugees and immigrants around the globe, including those fleeing conflict and war, can find suggestions for readers of all ages here, here, and here. Additionally, here and here are some recommended children’s books all about peace and peacemaking.
Our amazing local children’s bookstore, High Five Books in Florence, has also put together book recommendations for “Starting News Conversations” with kids, including books that deal with topics of war/conflict, power/oppression, immigration/refugees, historical context, and action & activism.
COVID Vaccine Clinics in March
We encourage everyone to be vaccinated - and to be up to date with their booster shot.
Walk-in COVID Vaccine March 2022 -- Pfizer (age 5+), Moderna, and J&J
17 Spring Street in Florence
Mondays 2-6pm &
150 Main Street in Northampton
Thursdays 2-6pm &
*March 12, 19, & 26
We are coordinating home visits for COVID vaccine (boosters or first/second doses) to homebound individuals in Hampshire County.
If you are someone or know someone who would require a home visit to receive a dose of COVID vaccine, please use THIS link to send us some basic contact information. A nurse from our team will follow up with a more detailed phone call to gather information about previous vaccine doses and scheduling information.
We will follow up with individuals and typically be able to provide a home visit within about a week, sometimes sooner.
Please keep your guard up against COVID.
Katherine E. L. Kelly, MPH, MSN, CNP
Public Health Nurse
City of Northampton Health Department
COVID Vaccine Clinic Information:
Direct office line: 413-587-1216
Mobile (google voice): 413-341-6716
Main Health Dept Line: 413-587-1214
Leeds PTO Meeting - Tuesday, March 7, 2022
Time: Mar 8, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 850 6595 4477
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,85065954477#,,,,*058211# US (Washington DC)
+13126266799,,85065954477#,,,,*058211# US (Chicago)
Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 850 6595 4477
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/k9VJ77g9y
MCAS - Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System - Grades 3 -5
- 4/7 & 4/8 English Language Arts
- 5/3 & 5/4 Science
- 5/17 & 5/18 Mathematics
- 4/5 & 4/6 English Language Arts
- 4/12 & 4/13 Mathematics
- 4/13 & 4/14 English Language Arts
- 5/19 & 5/20 Mathematics
VINS - Volunteers in Northampton Schools, Inc.
- Please contact Candy Tauscher.
- Phone: 413 552-9447
- Her office is currently being occupied at Ryan Road, so she is working from home.
- You will need to complete the application form, provide a copy of your current vaccination status and complete a CORI check. Here is a link to the forms. Even if you have been a past volunteer, you cannot volunteer without Candy receiving a copy of your vaccination status. You may NOT provide it to the school, it needs to go directly to Candy. If you have not had a CORI check done before or if it is more than 3 years old, you will need to complete that paperwork. Also, she goes over protocols that must be adhered to. If you contact Candy, she will be able to assist you.
Girls on the Run
Spring is on the way with registration for Girls on the Run.
Kindergarten 2022-2023 Registration
Registration Locations and Dates
If you have not registered your child for kindergarten for the 2022-2023 school year, you still have two more opportunities. You can register at RK Finn Ryan Road School or Bridge Street School.
Registration Session 3 - Tuesday March 8, 2022 from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Location: RK Finn Ryan Road School 498 Ryan Rd, Florence (413) 587-1550
Registration Session 4 - Thursday March 10, 2022 from 2:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Location: Bridge Street School 2 Parsons Street, Northampton (413) 587-1460
Breakfast & Lunch Menus
Calendar of Events
3/7 LEAP Monday classes
3/8 COVID Testing & Staff/Student test kits go home
3/8 Leeds PTO Meeting Re: Auction 7:00
3/8 Kindergarten Registration for fall 2022/2023 @RK Finn Ryan Road School @2:30-5:30
3/10 Kindergarten Registration for fall 2022/2023 @Bridge Street School @2:30-5:30
3/11 Early Dismissal @11:30 Teacher Work Day
3/13 Daylight Savings time - turn your clock ahead one hour
3/25 Grades 1-5 Report Cards go home
4/5 MCAS Grade 4 ELA
4/5 Leeds PTO meeting @7:00
4/6 MCAS Grade 4 ELA
4/7 MCAS Grade 5 ELA
4/8 MCAS Grade 5 ELA
4/12 Leeds School Council Meeting @6:15
4/13 MCAS Grade 3 ELA
4/14 MCAS Grade 3 ELA
4/18-4/22 April Break - No School
Click here for the most up to date District calendar.
Laura Ziomek, Administrative Assistant
Gabrielle Hollender, Early Bird/Late Bird Afterschool Coordinator
Chris Wenz, Principal