BWRSD Community Update 6/12/20

Message from Jonathan Brice, Superintendent of Schools

Dear BWRSD families,

Thank you for continuing to work with your children and our teachers to complete distance learning. We have four days left in the school year! Teachers and administrators have planned fun activities for next week so we hope your students are able to participate.


BWRSD’s goal is for all students to return to school on August 31, 2020 depending upon guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), availability of the transportation, and increased staffing. A number of parents and staff have reached out to me and other administrators to explain they have pre-existing health conditions and may not feel comfortable returning to the school building. This will be factored into our planning and we anticipate there may still be some form of distance learning available as an option in the fall.


Districts across the state are working to develop reopening plans with at least three options: all students in school, a hybrid model of in school and distance learning, and all students in distance learning.


The options are necessary because of the uncertainty about a number of issues related to reopening of schools, including but not limited to:

  • Parent comfort level with sending students to school,

  • Staff ability to return to class based on RIDOH and CDC guidelines related to pre-existing conditions and/or age,

  • Availability of extra busses, drivers, and monitors, if needed,

  • Implementation of health and safety measures necessary for all students and staff,

  • Availability of cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, masks, etc.,

  • Development of a schedule that can be adapted during the year, for students returning to the building and/or learning from home.


As part of the reopening work, we are seeking input from our families. I am asking that each BWRSD school PTO conduct two virtual meetings with families to provide ideas for reopening, one in late June and the other in early July. This insight will be helpful in developing our district School Re-Opening Plan that we must submit to the R.I. Department of Education for approval. Additionally, parents will receive a survey during the week of June 22-June 26 based on the new guidance for re-opening from the R.I. Department of Health that we will receive from RIDE on June 19th.


The information about reopening continues to change rapidly and as we receive more guidance from RIDOH, RIDE, and the CDC, we will share the information with you.


Sincerely,


Jonathan Brice


Jonathan T. Brice, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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Today’s update has information about the following topics:


  • Diversity Group

  • Statewide School Calendar

  • Update on Student Belonging Pick-up

  • MHHS Graduation & Class Night Links

  • Digital Classroom at Hugh Cole

  • Video from First Student Bus Drivers and Monitors

  • Reminder: BWRSD Free Book Distribution - PreK through 12th Grade

  • Meal Distribution Update

  • Special Education Access to Student IEPs and Meeting Documents

  • Student Support for families

  • BWRSD Online Tech Support for Families


Diversity Group

It is time for BWRSD to engage in a facilitated discussion about how to help all students feel supported so they can learn, grow, and thrive in our classrooms and schools. The majority of our students are successful, but our goal must include all students reaching their full potential, and this will require that all students feel safe and supported. At this moment, all students may not feel as supported as others, and we must address this disparity by examining the following four areas:


  1. Examining the diversity of our curriculum and resources to ensure that historically marginalized groups are represented throughout the curriculum and resources.

  2. Development of a secondary course that examines historically marginalized groups and their efforts to end systemic racism and oppression.

  3. Professional development for all staff to continue to grow our awareness of maintaining school and classroom environments that support all students.

  4. Starting a club for secondary students to come together and build common understanding about creating a more inclusive environment.


This work promises to strengthen our students, schools, district and community, and it must involve students, parents, members of the community, and school staff. Please email me if you are interested in attending our first virtual meeting. The meeting will occur on Wednesday, June 24 at 6pm. My email is jonathan.brice@bwrsd.org.


Statewide School Calendar

The RI Department of Education, in collaboration with Governor Raimondo, has issued a statewide calendar for all RI schools for the 2020-21 school year. The first day of school will be August 31st and the last day will be June 16th. The calendar provides a consistent vacation schedule for schools around the state, as well as eight professional development days for teachers, during which time students will engage in distance learning at home. In addition, students will no longer have to make up snow days or school closure days, they will engage in distance learning at home on those days, as well.


Update on Student Belonging Pick-up

Please follow the guidelines established by individual schools for pick-up of student belongings brought to school before distance learning began. If the established time does not work for your schedule, please contact the school administrator directly to find another time that is more convenient. Any personal items not picked up in a reasonable time frame will be donated as we will not be able to store items throughout the summer.


MHHS Graduation & Class Night Links

Celebrate the MHHS Class of 2020 with us!


Tonight’s Graduation pre-ceremony begins at 8:15pm and the live viewing begins at 8:30pm. Click on this link to view from the comfort of your own home (link becomes live at 8:15pm). If attending the drive-in ceremony, please review the guidelines. The Class of 2020 Graduation Program is available here.


In case you missed it, MHHS Class Night aired online last night. Click on this link as it is still available for viewing.


Congratulations Class of 2020 - we are so proud of you!


Digital Classroom at Hugh Cole

Interested in seeing what a digital classroom looks like for Kindergarten? Here is a digital replica of Room 46 at Hugh Cole School created by Kindergarten Collaborative Teachers, Caroline Anderson and Kim Peecher, to help students during distance learning connect to their lessons, their teachers, and even their classroom.

Clickable Objects in the Digital Classroom:


  • Number 11: Count to 20 video

  • Apple on Alphabet Strip: Fundations (letter sound review)

  • Days of the Week Poster: Days of the Week Song

  • Go Noodle Images on Whiteboard: movement breaks

  • Rug: Yoga Video

  • Weather Chart: Weather Song

  • Season Chart: Season Song

  • Calendar Heading (June): Months of the Year Song


Other teachers have also created similar bitmoji classrooms this spring ,and we are so impressed with their creativity and innovation! We are lucky to have such amazing educators.


Video from First Student

Here is a short video from First Student bus drivers and monitors sending a message to all Bristol/Warren students.


REMINDER: BWRSD Free Book Distribution - PreK through 12th Grade

To support and encourage reading over the summer, we will be distributing free books to families. We are fortunate to have received a number of book donations from Rogers Free Library, Books are Wings, and Reach Out and Read and cleaned our book closets to identify books students would enjoy reading at home. We are happy to be able to offer free books for students in Pre-K through 12th grade. Books are bagged/boxed by grade level and there are assorted titles inside.


Books will be distributed, via curbside pick up on the dates below at Colt Andrews next week. School staff will be onsite to assist, wearing masks and gloves. Parents are asked to wear masks for the pick up, as well.


Tuesday June 16 and Wednesday June 17

8:00-11:00 am at Colt Andrews

Adjacent to lunch distribution


All are welcome to pick up books at either location. If you are interested in books but unable to make the listed dates, please email julie.fezettebaker@bwrsd.org.


Meal Distribution Update

Please be advised that meals will be distributed at Colt Andrews School, Kickemuit Middle School, and Hope & Main as usual this week. The last day of meal distribution at these locations will be June 18, 2020 which is the last day of school as BWRSD is not eligible for a summer meal program per the federal government. During the summer months, the East Bay Food Pantry has grab n go food locations throughout the week. See this flyer for more information. All food is available free of charge. Call 401-396-9490 for details!


Special Education Access to Student IEPs and Meeting Documents

Special Educators, specialists, and staff have been uploading IEPs and other documents into Aspen for parents to view. The IT Department has provided the following steps for parents to use to access these documents.

  1. Log into your Aspen parent account (email portal@bwrsd.org if you need help).

  2. Click on the Family top tab.

  3. Click on the Documents side tab. Any documents uploaded for your student will be here.


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 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.

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