BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

October 16, 2020

Business Office


FREE MEALS PROGRAM

This week the USDA announced the extension of flexibilities to allow universal free meals (ALL STUDENTS) to continue to be available to all children and teens throughout the entire School Year 2020-2021. This is available to ALL STUDENTS.


Our participation is not as extensive as we had anticipated, so we are seeking to gain some information on how to make this program more accessible.


Please see the message below, and the survey link from our Food Service Director, Lauren Staples.


Message from Food Service Director

Remote school breakfast and remote school lunch are free to all students in the district! 3 remote breakfasts and 3 remote school lunches can be picked up at Tahanto Regional Middle High School on Mondays for Cohort B, and Wednesdays for Cohort A. Pease place an order on your school’s lunch website the day prior to pick up.

We are interested in feedback on how we can make our remote meals more accessible to households in the district. We appreciate your participation and feedback!

Take the survey here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeQBZeVsYw-yth4MQFKiznCYDm3TWe2K2YLdbMnOU1RisTs7A/viewform?usp=sf_link


Weekly remote meal ordering form link (see below)

https://www.bbrsd.org/Page/1583


Breakfast and lunch will be provided for each remote learning day.


Any questions or concerns can be directed to Lauren Staples, Food Service Director 508-869-2333 ext. 2346 or lstaples@bbrsd.org.



Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department


Mental Health Screener- Middle and High school

As we shared in our newsletter on September 25th, The BASC-3 BESS online screener (25-30 questions) will be sent out to student’s emails next week and will be completed during each student’s 8th-period support block. The screener will help us determine how this global pandemic has personally impacted our students and identify students who may be at risk socially or emotionally. The results will allow us to develop additional interventions, such as classroom presentations, small group short-term counseling, individual counseling at school, and outside referrals to additional providers as needed


Social-Emotional Learning Survey for Elementary Students

While we had planned to use the elementary level of the same screener with elementary students, we ran into technical problems with sending it out electronically to parent emails in batches. After working with the company, they determined it was an issue with the product. We have instead created a simple, confidential survey that can be accessed by clicking here. The results of this survey will help our teachers and counselors understand how best to support your child. If you have multiple children in the elementary schools, please fill out a form for each student. If you choose not to complete the survey, but still have some concerns, please consider contacting your child’s school psychologist for support.


Thank you for partnering with us as we work together to support our students.


Karen Molnar, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

kmolnar@bbrsd.org

SEPAC Meeting

Monday, Oct. 19th, 6pm

This is an online event.

Monday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. Please send an email to info.bbrsd.sepac@gmail.com for more details.

Boylston Elementary School


I was suddenly struck this week that we've been back in the building for a month now. We might just be getting into the routine. That is not to say it is easy though. There is nothing easy about teaching and learning in a pandemic. I know teachers are striving to do their best, I see it every day. I know parents and families are striving to support their students, I read emails and talk to them every day. Truthfully, it's hard being a principal in this setting. Leading through a pandemic was not a course in principal school. Remember, we're all doing the best we can. YOU are doing the best you can. It is enough. We will get through this together and the kids will be okay. I've always believed it takes a village. Never has it been more evident than now. They are fortunate to have such a wonderful village!



This format of school definitely takes forethought as well. In keeping with this, Picture days are just over a week away. Due to social distancing requirements, We are vetting a schedule with classroom teachers this week but I also wanted to get the information out to our remote families. We will invite you in alphabetically. A through J on 10/26 K through Z on 10/29 at 12:00. Pictures will take place on the stage to allow for social distancing. Please enter by the music room door (ramp by the back of the building), where there will be a staff member there to greet you. After pictures, you can go out through the curtain and exit through the double doors in the gym. There may be some students eating at the time but we will ensure distance. While you are in the building, we also have the masks donated by Crest Technologies, and some additional math manipulatives for K through 2nd grade that Mr. Flournoy asked us to round up for you. If you don't plan to come in for pictures just let us know and we can leave these things at the front of the building on a day that is convenient for you.



This being said, Halloween is also around the corner. The staff is busy preparing for our reverse parade at 1:00 on October 28th. We'd like to invite you and your students to help. We'd like to turn our front island into a pumpkin patch. If you'd like to decorate a pumpkin with your child and send it in we will line the beginning of the route with them. Carve, paint, get creative! You can send them in with your child the Friday before (cohort B), the Tuesday of (cohort A), or even the day of (Remote Bridge or any last-minute additions).


The Select Board has also asked me to share the following regarding Halloween in the town:

As promised the Boylston Police Union, Fire Association, and Lions Club will be holding an alternative trick or treating experience for the Boylston kids.


During trick or treating hours (3 pm-6 pm on Halloween), we will have to drive through trick or treating 4 locations at Tahanto, Fire Department, Police Department at Hillside, and Boylston Elementary School.


Families can pull up one car at a time and the kids can hop out and grab a bag of candy. All the bags will be pre-filled ahead of time and only the bags for each car will be on the table at any time.


There are a few rules we all need to follow:

1. Drive through only, no foot traffic and no loitering

2. Distancing must be observed

3. Masks must be worn at all times

We are really excited to see all the costumes and happy we can make sure the kids can still have a fun and healthy trick or treating experience this year.


The week ahead:

It promises to be quiet and uncomplicated. Cohort A on Monday and Tuesday. Cohort B on Thursday and Friday.



Ace Thompson, Principal, BES

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School


Just a few reminders for you as we finish our first month back at school.


Please remember that “remote” days are still school days, and it is important to encourage your child to complete their work and turn it in as assigned. This is new to us all, but it is important that we do everything we can to avoid losing academic ground moving forward. If you are having any problems, or need technical assistance, please let me know.


School Pictures

You should have received information by now from O’Connor’s Studio about Picture Day this year. Cohort A will be having pictures taken on Monday morning, October 19th, and Cohort B will have pictures taken on Thursday morning, October 23rd. Students who are working remotely can come either day.


Sadly, given the limitations that COVID has brought, there will be no class pictures this year.


Halloween Parade

We will be enjoying our 2nd annual Halloween Parade this year. Students and visitors will need to abide by social distancing guidelines, and everyone will need to mask up, but with our small class sizes, we should be able to enjoy this new tradition. Cohort A will participate in their parade on Tuesday morning, October 27th, and Cohort B will march on Friday morning, October 30th.


Just as a reminder, the Board of Selectmen here in Berlin voted to discourage any Halloween activities in Berlin that the CDC considers "higher risk".

These include:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots

  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors

  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgment and increase risky behaviors

  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with a community spread of COVID-19


Berlin will be holding a Halloween Fest where children and families can make scarecrows and decorate pumpkins at home and bring them to the Village Common for display and judging by the Select Board. Winners will get to be honorary Select Board members at an upcoming meeting. You can check the flyer here for more information.



Notes from Nurse Ana

The month of October brings the excitement of celebrating the upcoming holidays. If you are celebrating with family and friends, remain vigilant, and do your part in order to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19: Wear your mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance.


For more information on how to minimize the risk of exposure during the Holidays, click here.


A few odds and ends:

  • Please remember to get documentation of your child’s flu vaccine and email, fax, or send in a copy to the health office. For those who have sent in the documentation of their child’s flu vaccine and/or updated physical, THANK YOU!!!


  • Need to get a Flu Vaccine? Berlin Memorial School will be hosting its second Flu Vaccine Clinic with the Nashoba Board of Health on October 28th. For more details click here.


  • When you call your child out absent due to illness, please be sure to let us know what illness symptoms he/she is experiencing, (ie. Cough, congestion, diarrhea, fever, etc). We are in a health pandemic and I am required to keep track of this information and follow the COVID return to school protocols. If you are keeping your child home for another reason (ie, mental health day off, travel, etc) please do not use the “sick” option when notifying the school as this may result in needlessly having to follow the COVID return to school protocols after an illness.

  • Lastly, the winter holidays are just around the corner. While these are usually a joyful time for many, the holidays can be stressful and burdensome for those experiencing financial hardship. Please let me know if you need assistance this Holiday season. All information is kept confidential.


Stay well and as always, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.


Ana Amaral, BSN, RN, NCSN

AAmaral@bbrsd.org




John Campbell, Principal BMS

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Big picture

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School


Term 1 Interims

Believe it or not, we are halfway through Term 1! This is a great time to log into PowerSchool and check your children's academic progress. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child's progress in a particular class, please contact that teacher directly.


For questions related to accessing PowerSchool please contact Beth Esposito at besposito@bbrsd.org


The Tahanto School Counselors are also available to assist students and families with academic, social, and emotional questions or concerns. Click HERE for contact information and resources.


Did you fill out the required school forms?

Attention Parents and Students. If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to read our Handbook and sign off that you have done so. The Consent forms as well as the Health Screening forms should be signed off as soon as possible. If you have not returned the Extra-Curricular form, that also needs to be returned as soon as possible. We thank you for your attention to this.


School Lunch Information

School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 12/31/2020, or until federal funding is depleted. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.



YES, YOU STILL CAN check out a library book from the Tahanto Library

It’s as easy as counting 1,2,3!


Sign into bbrsd.follettdestiny.com

with your Google account

  1. Search to find a book

  2. Click on the Details button

  3. Click on the Hold It button

In the bottom right-hand corner

The book will be placed
on a shelf outside the library
with your name on it.

(within 24 hrs.)


See the library bulletin board for more info.


Halloween Announcement for Boylston Residents

As promised the Boylston Police Union, Fire Association, and Lions Club will be holding an alternative trick or treating experience for the Boylston kids (grade 8 and under)

During trick or treating hours (3 pm-6 pm on Halloween), we will have a drive-through trick or treating 4 locations at Tahanto, Fire Department, Police Department at Hillside, and Boylston Elementary School.

Families can pull up one car at a time and the kids can hop out and grab a bag of candy. All the bags will be pre-filled ahead of time and only the bags for each car will be on the table at any time.


There are a few rules we all need to follow:

1. Drive through only, no foot traffic and no loitering

2. Distancing must be observed

3. Masks must be worn at all times

We are really excited to see all the costumes and happy we can make sure the kids can still have a fun and healthy trick or treating experience this year.


School Pictures

This year school pictures will only be taken for incoming Grade 6 students, both remote and hybrid, new students to the district, and any senior needing a photograph for the yearbook due to COVID protocols and restrictions we have in place.

Grynn and Barrett will be at Tahanto on 11/17 and on 11/19 and will follow the schedule below.


11/17/20-Cohort A (Last name A-Leb)

8:30-9:00 Full Remote students in Grade 6

8:30-9:00 Full Remote students new to the district

9:00-9:15 Any Senior needing a senior photo

9:15-10:15 Grade 6 Cohort A In-person


11/19/20-Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z)

8:30-9:00 Full Remote students in Grade 6

8:30-9:00 Full Remote students new to the district

9:00-9:15 Any Senior needing a senior photo

9:15-10:15 Grade 6 Cohort B In-person

More information to come as we get closer to the date!



Attendance Information/Clarification

We know that attendance procedures during our hybrid model of learning can be confusing so we are hoping that this email helps to clarify attendance requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. Regardless of what mode we are in, hybrid, fully remote, or all in, attendance is treated the same way.


According to The Massachusetts Department of Education, “Schools and districts must take daily attendance whether a student is in person or remote.” Consequently, “Parents/caregivers are responsible for ensuring their child attends school every day, whether for in-person or remote learning. Schools and districts must continue to investigate extended absences and make and document reasonable efforts to locate the student and determine the reason for nonattendance.”


School districts must take attendance for every student, every period regardless of the mode of learning. If your child is absent from school whether your child is remote or in person, please follow the same procedures:


  1. Call (508)869-2333 x 2303 to report your child absent. If your child is absent due to a medical appt. (doctor or dentist) please bring a note to the main office from the doctor’s office the next day your child is at Tahanto

  2. If your child is going to be late to school for either remote learning or in-person please still call the above number and make us aware of this. Remote attendance will be taken within the first 10 minutes of class.
  3. Each student has 3 parental excusals that can be used during each semester for absences that are not subject to a doctor’s visit. To use parental excusal please write a note and have your child bring the note to the main office on the next day your child is in person at Tahanto.


If we do not receive a call notifying us of the absence, the secretaries in the main office will be contacting parents/guardians.


I have attached a document that explains our attendance policy in detail from our 2020-2021 Student Handbook.


If you need further clarification or need to ask a question specific to your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Boudreau at (508)869-2333 or send an email to sboudreau@bbrsd.org.



Live streaming-Notice to Parents

Teachers may choose to live stream their instruction to students who are learning remotely. This means live video and audio coverage of a class would occur. Teachers have been instructed that the video is directed at them or their instructional tools. However, student voices and/or images may be heard and/or seen on the live stream during class instruction.

Teachers who choose to live stream will post a sign on their classroom door alerting students that audio recording will occur.


A disclaimer will be added to the Google Meet and/or Zoom when a class is being live-streamed.


Upcoming Events

October 15th: Midway mark of Term 1 (good time to check your PowerSchool Grades)


Week of 10/18/20-10/22/20 EVEN WEEK (High School Only) *


Cohort A (Last name A-LeB) you are at Tahanto in person on Tuesday and remote Wednesday-Friday


Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z) you are remote Tuesday, Wednesday, and at Tahanto in person on Thursday & Friday



School Nurse Information


As we enter cold and flu season this is a great time to remind everyone that it is because of everyone’s vigilance that Berlin and Boylston remain low incidence communities as it relates to COVID-19. This is a reminder to use the daily checklist below every morning prior to sending your child to school. Let’s beat this thing together!

Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


State Mandated Flu Vaccination

All students in grades Pre-K to Grade 12, enrolled in the Berlin/Boylston Public Schools, are required to receive the flu vaccine by December 31, 2020

Please click here for important information


A reminder: All students in Grades 7 and 10 are required, by the state, to have an up to date physical on file in the Health Office. Please send one in with your child, or you can email or fax the physical as well.


A big thank you to all parents/guardians and students, for the constant vigilance that you all have shown in following the safety rules and guidelines. Parents are keeping their children home when ill, and are informing myself or the administration, of any concerning situations. Students seem to be settling in and becoming more comfortable, but still abiding by all guidelines. I have had many questions from parents and students and I welcome any you may have as we navigate through this time together.


If your student is not feeling well, and you are not sure what to do, please call so that we can talk about his/her illness and make a plan.


A student who is not feeling well enough to attend school but is able to participate remotely should email all of his/her teachers to let them know. The teacher will then adjust the attendance and will mark them remotely present. As long as they are marked present in classes remotely, they will not be marked absent for the day.


For important information to help you along the way, the nurses now have a District Health Services site. You can find it by going to the district page, clicking on the administration tab, and choosing the health services option. You can also find it here.


I hope your week is easier and is a good one for you.

Take good care,

Janet Sequeira

Email: jsequeira@bbrsd.org

Health office fax: 508-869-6202



Athletics


Please make sure that student-athletes have Covid related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their personal gym bags.


Look to the athletic website for scores and the latest fall athletics updates.


The Tahanto Booster Club is kicking off its 2020 Butter Braid and Cookie Dough Fundraiser. All Tahanto fall teams should be receiving a form from their coach but you can click on the link below if you need another copy.


The Tahanto athlete that sells the most will receive a Tahanto sweatshirt courtesy of the Booster Club. Orders are due by October 13th and can be placed, with a check written out to the Tahanto Booster Club, in the marked bin on the table outside the front office. Items will be frozen and need to be picked up after school on October 26th.


You can also support the Booster Club by donating to our Venmo account! Click here for more info on what the Booster Club does for student-athletes at Tahanto. An online option for the Butter Braid fundraiser is available if you wish to provide MCM Fundraising with your email address. Contact the Booster Club at and we can set that up for you. Click here to order delicious Butter Braids today!


Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

Tahanto Regional





Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org

Sally Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org

Berlin-Boylston Regional School Committee News

NOTICE OF VACANCY

The Berlin-Boylston Regional Transition School Committee is seeking a qualified candidate to fill one vacancy on the committee for the period January 1, 2021, through election day in May 2021.

Any interested candidate must be a Berlin resident and should submit a letter of interest and resume of relevant experience to Mr. James Spencer, Chair of the Berlin-Boylston Regional Transition School Committee no later than December 1, 2020, for review and consideration to either 215 Main Street, Boylston, MA 01505 or jspencer@bbrsd.org.


The Berlin-Boylston Regional Transition School Committee will interview all applicants at its regularly scheduled meeting on December 15, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. The successful candidate will be chosen by member vote at the December 15, 2020 meeting.


Any questions or concerns should be directed to Mr. Spencer at jspencer@bbrsd.org.