A Newsletter from Scotland Elementary School
January 10, 2022
The Scotty Updates has been created to provide families and staff with information regarding upcoming events, happenings, and programs at Scotland Elementary School. Please take time each Monday to review our newsletter. Thank you!
A Message from Mrs. Katkocin
Dear Scotland Families,
Happy Monday! Over the winter break, we have seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases within our community. Due to this increase, we will be postponing the 4th/5th grade winter concert scheduled for January 20th, as we cannot safely socially distance our guests. Our tentative new date will be Tuesday, February 15th. I will follow up and confirm this date as we get closer. Thank you for your understanding.
Below you will find the information shared by Dr. Da Silva on Friday. Kindly take some time to review this information, as there are some changes to our practices based on updated guidance from the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. You can also find this information in a different format here.
Our essentials schedule will be changing, effective January 25th, which is an A day. Students in grades K, 1, 2 will get an extra session of library in their 6-day rotation, and students in grades 3, 4, 5 will get and extra session of music in their 6-day rotation. This is a switch from the first half of the year. Please find the essentials schedule for the second half of the year below.
Our COVID screenings for families who have opted in will continue this week on Tuesday, January 11th, beginning at 8:50am. If you would like to opt your child in, kindly indicate so in PowerSchool, and notify Mrs. Martire (email@example.com) and Mr. Crook (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once your child is fully vaccinated please email Aaron Crook email@example.com to remove your child from the testing roster.
Kindergarten Registration is coming soon. If you have a child turning 5 before January 1, 2023 please contact the main office at (203) 894-5825. More information will be forthcoming!
Essentials Schedule - Beginning 1/25/2022
Dr. Da Silva's Letter to the Community - January 7, 2022
January 7, 2022
Dear RPS Community,
Cheers to 2022 and welcome back! I would like to take this opportunity to thank the administration and nurses for their continued professionalism and care for our school community. As a direct result of the team's willingness to work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and throughout the holiday break, the Ridgefield Public Schools welcomed students on time this past Monday. It is wonderful to be a part of a school community that cares so deeply about their students and faculty.
In the spirit of accolades, the RPS team is incredibly responsive. Generally, families can expect a response within 24 hours, more often than not, sooner. I encourage families to reach out to their teachers, principals, nurses, or us, here at Central Office whenever they have a question or concern before posting on social media- we are happy to listen, and provide accurate and timely information. We recognize the rapidly changing protocols can be frustrating and confusing. We also know that there are differing perspectives on how the pandemic is impacting our community, schools, and children and while there may never be agreement on all topics or issues, you can always expect transparency from RPS. Please know that over the past two years, decisions have never been made in isolation; instead, always in partnership with local and state health officials, area school districts, and our team of educators.
My memo to the community during break outlined new guidance from the CT DPH and CSDE as well as how this guidance is being applied to RPS. You can find my letter here. An update to this guidance can be found here. It is clear that our community, like others in the state, are seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases. It is also true that with these increases, it will get bumpy. We continue to modify and adjust daily in order to keep our children in school- this may mean that lunches, staffing, and schedules may occasionally look different. You will find additional updates below. We ask for your patience and understanding. These are not typical times.
To make the week even more interesting, we also had a mid-week weather event causing last minute cancellations. While these events can happen, we do try to avoid abrupt changes, recognizing the impact that these changes have on families and on staff. As a reminder, linked here are the weather procedures we follow for the “average” snow day. Today, we had an old-fashioned snow day. By the looks of it, there was plenty of fluffy snow for snowmen, sledding, snowball fights, and any other snow sport you want to engage in….and plenty of it to shovel! That said, any superintendent who calls a “snow day” the evening before, is secretly wishing for enough snow for it to be viewed as the “right call.” PHEW!
Lastly, educators often set goals, resolutions, or establish hopes and dreams twice in a year…during ‘back to school’ and the new year. Despite the busyness that kicked off 2022 , I hope we can all find the time to reflect, refresh, and create hopes and dreams for 2022 that will carry us through to 2023.
Susie Da Silva, Ed.D.
Health and Safety Updates
Please take a few minutes to read these updated COVID-19 Protocols. There are a few important revisions as well as reminders.
RPS has received a limited amount of at home test kits from the state via the Town of Ridgefield. These test kits will be reserved for individuals who are symptomatic who have been in a RPS building within 48 hours. They will be provided to staff and to students who are sent home by the nurse with symptoms and are unable to access a test.
At this time with the highly transmissible Omicron variant now representing as many as 95% of cases in Fairfield County, it is advisable to consider a high-quality mask. RPS is receiving a limited number of N95 masks for staff. Families may also want to consider outfitting children with a well fitting KN95, KF94, or an N95 depending on your families’ comfort level and other health considerations.
1/7/22 COVID Community Update
January 7, 20022
Dear RPS Community,
Since we last shared updates to our COVID-19 protocols last weekend, we have continued to receive guidance from the CT Department of Health (DPH). Please be sure to review the following:
Positive COVID-19 case notifications:
RPS has shifted to notifying impacted families and staff of positive COVID-19 cases rather than formal contact tracing, an option afforded by the CT DPH. These notifications will be provided by individual school administration or personnel via email.
RPS will notify relevant families and staff who were unmasked or with an unmasked individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
RPS will conduct formal contact tracing in the situations that require it, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Students (regardless of vaccination status) who are positive with COVID-19:
May return to school on days 6-10 of their isolation/quarantine period, so long as they are fever free and symptoms have significantly improved
Parents may opt to have their children remain out of school during isolation/quarantine days 6-10. These students are eligible for remote learning so long as they are healthy enough to complete school work. Student health is the priority and resting away from school work is a legitimate and important part of recovering from an illness.
The DPH clarified this week that it is not necessary for students who are following the "6-10" day protocol to be distanced while unmasked. With this said, for students who are following the 6-10 day return protocol and during the month of January, RPS will continue to provide an alternate location in which students will eat in excess of 6 feet from one another, to the extent possible.
Unvaccinated students exposed to a “close contact” outside of school:
Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals living with a positive person may return to school with a negative test on the 11th day of the positive person's illness as long as they are symptom free. Parents are highly encouraged to have their child COVID tested prior to returning on the 11th day.
“Close contact” means within the home, during an unmasked, prolonged social gathering outside of school, or pertinent athletics activity
In-person parent meetings and school events during the day:
The DPH continues to recommend that if a school can socially distance appropriately, in-school daytime events can be held. If social distancing cannot be achieved, events will be postponed until a later time or until socially distancing can be achieved.
For the time being, RPS will shift to virtual meetings with parents, including Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings, when a large-enough space is not available to meet in.
For PreK-5 Families - Reporting positive COVID-19 cases or exposures for unvaccinated students
We are aiming to streamline the method in which the individual schools learn of positive COVID-19 cases and unvaccinated student exposures to a close contact with COVID-19.
Parents are asked to email directly your building principal, elementary supervisor, school nurse, and classroom teacher.
For PreK, please email the PreK supervisor, the school nurse, and the classroom teacher.
Who has access to Quarantine Learning?
● Unvaccinated students placed in quarantine due to a close contact exposure to COVID-19
close contact means within the home, during an unmasked, prolonged social gathering outside of school, or pertinent athletics activity
● Students with COVID-19 who are symptom free.
● Students with COVID-19 who are eligible to return to school (days 6-10), and parents prefer to have their child remain home until day 11
What does not qualify students for Quarantine Learning?
● Symptomatic illness (non-COVID)
● Confirmed COVID case days during “positive” days 1-5 in which the individual is symptomatic
● Travel (before, during, after)
● Choice/Preference for the Learning Model
Vaccinated students who are COVID negative and symptom free, and have been exposed to a positive COVID individual
How do you verify the need to Quarantine?
A Verified Quarantine is a COVID-19 exposure that has been reported to your school nurse and Director of Nursing, Aaron Crook (firstname.lastname@example.org) and has been determined to require a quarantine.
RPS Leadership Team
Snaps around Scotland 📸
Events and Happenings 🗓
WEEK AT A GLANCE:
Monday, January 10th:
- C Day
Tuesday, January 11th:
- D Day
Wednesday, January 12th:
- E Day
Thursday, January 13th :
- F Day
Friday, January 14th:
- A Day
Monday, January 17th:
- No School - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Tuesday, February 15th:
- Tentative Date for Winter Concert
- Grade 4 - 6pm
- Grade 5 - 6:45pm
A Note from Our PTA
The PTA Needs You! Volunteers Wanted!
We're so excited to get parents involved again at SES! We're so LUCKY to be able to offer opportunities for you to help our kiddos and our school!!
Volunteering with the PTA allows you to contribute your skills and knowledge for the benefit of both your own children and the greater school community. You’ll also meet and make new friends!
Please fill out the form and you'll hear back from us soon!
CLICK HERE to find out all the ways YOU can make a difference this year - opportunities available for those with extra time and those with little time!)
Important Information to Keep Handy! 📝
Welcome Back Library Volunteers!
Click on the links here or find them on the SES PTA WEBSITE:
Please contact Amy Tomasco at email@example.com with any questions.
- School Lunch will be available from the first day of school. Chartwells is the District-wide food service provider. The school lunch menu is available online on the RPS website; click District Offices and click on Food Service, as well as below.
- School lunch will continue to be free during the 21-22 school year. Snacks and additional items will be available through The Lunch Time POS system that allows students to purchase their lunch by entering a 5-digit code at the cash register. These items can be prepaid online at School Payment Portal Powered By LunchTime Software and at the school kitchen.
- Questions in regard to Lunch Time POS can be directed to John Morris, RPS Food Service Director at 203-894-5550 x1127 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We will follow a similar drop off / pick up procedure that we did last year.
- Drop off begins at 8:30am. Please do not drop off your child prior to 8:30am as there will be no supervision at this time.
- Pick up will begin at 3:20pm.
- Each day, please have your child(ren)’s first and last name displayed on your passenger visor, and have it remain visible until your child is in the car. This needs to be bold and large enough to be visible at a distance. This is a very important step to ensure we have your child ready when you arrive.
- For the safety of both students and staff, proceed carefully and slowly through the lot.
- Please have your child exit/enter the vehicle when your gear is in the park position and is one of the cars at the front of the line designated for drop off.
- Students must exit the vehicle on the passenger side (building side) of the vehicle. Multiple children must exit on the passenger side. It is dangerous to exit/enter on the driver's side of the vehicle!
- Students need to have all of their items ready in hand and will then exit the car immediately.
- Parents, please stay in your vehicle at all times so that the process will prevent backups on Barlow Mountain Road.
- If you miss the drop off time (after 8:45 a.m.), please park in the front lot and walk your child across the designated crosswalk to the main entrance of the building. If you arrive after the drop off window and must park in the parking lot, we ask that you kindly use the crosswalk.
School Dismissal Manager
We will continue to use School Dismissal Manager this year at Scotland. Please click below for information regarding this system. This system will be available to families in late August. A welcome letter will be emailed to families when the system is available. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us!