BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

November 20, 2020

Superintendent's Office


Dear Families, Students and Staff,


I had shared a few weeks back that I would make available to all of you our latest Snow Day procedures. These procedures are based on the MA Commissioner of Education’s decision to enable remote learning on days that would typically be called off for snow, to be counted as school days during the 2020-2021 school year only. In this way, the school year would not need to be extended in order to make up those missed learning days. Additional information for all staff will be sent through your building principals.


Berlin-Boylston Regional School District

Snow Day Procedures 2020-2021


The Superintendent notifies administrators of intention to close school. This may occur the day prior to a snow day if sufficient information on the forecast is available. Principals will instruct teachers to take home any materials that they may need for the following day.


The Superintendent makes a snow day call through School Messenger and via email. All staff and students will remain at home. All school buildings will be closed and inaccessible until further notice.


The Superintendent will specify if the day called will be:

  • A Snow Remote Learning Day, or

  • A Snow Day - No School (power outage, etc.)


In the event that the schools are already remote, and staff is expected to be physically in the building, the Superintendent will indicate in his message that staff should work from home.


All students who are scheduled to be in-person on the snow day will move to a remote asynchronous learning model. All students who are scheduled to be in the remote portion of the hybrid model on that day will remain in the remote portion of the hybrid model that they are typically accessing.


Assignments will be posted in Google Classroom by each classroom teacher (including specialists) within a topic marked SNOW DAY.


Students will be expected to complete all assignments provided within the SNOW DAY Topic by the following school day. Attendance will be taken based upon work completion.


All parents are expected to contact the school nurse if their child is feeling unwell and will not participate in school assignments/activities for that day.


A Second Reminder and Further Clarification on Holiday Travel


There was some confusion and need for clarification that surfaced in our local social media circles this past week that have led me to re-address this specific section of the policy prior to the Thanksgiving holiday vacation:


TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker's Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed "low risk," staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.


This means that if you, and/or your family, travel to any state, even for a day, that is not deemed “low risk” (and there are not many of them left), then any staff or students who attend school in the Berlin-Boylston Regional School district must quarantine for 14 days upon your return home, even if you take a COVID-19 test prior to leaving the state, or upon returning, and/or even if you test negative for COVID-19 at either of those times.



And finally…


Despite the many challenges placed on all of us each day, and especially during the holiday when we may be unable to share this special time with family and friends, I hope that all of you find a way to celebrate in a way that brings you comfort and peace.


Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving,


With gratitude,


Jeff Zanghi




Holiday Hours:

Our schools and offices will be closed from Wednesday, November 25th at 12:00pm through Friday, November 27th.





Jeff Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Business Office Updates

Weekly remote meal ordering form link:

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


A 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.



Student Scholarship Opportunity

Sharing this scholarship opportunity from Equitable, a service provider to many school districts across MA:

2021 Equitable Excellence Scholarship Programs launched on September 1st!

Although 2020 has been a year of challenges due to the pandemic, many students around the country are excited to enter their senior year of high school and pursue future dreams of college. The Equitable Foundation’s mission of supporting the courage, strength and wisdom to help fulfill these dreams is needed now more than ever. This is the 19th year of our scholarship programs which remain at the core of our philanthropic support for students and their schools.

2021 Equitable Excellence Scholarship Program for Students:

  • High school seniors apply via one application to be considered for a scholarship of $2,500, $10,000 or $25,000.

  • Over $1.4 million in Scholarships will be awarded

  • 10 - $25,000 Winners

  • 42 - $10,000 Winners

  • 300+ - $2,500 Winners

  • The deadline is December 15, 2020. Only the first 10,000 applications will be accepted & the site will close, encourage students to apply early!

  • All winners will be announced in mid-April.

School Grant: The program will continue to recognize the important role educators play in a student’s success toward attending college. For every student who wins a scholarship regardless of amount, a grant of $1,000 will be made to his or her high school.



Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Pupil Personnel Department


2021 Preschool Information Night--December 1, 6:00 p.m.


The Berlin-Boylston Early Childhood Team will hold a virtual informational meeting for parents of 2, 3, and 4-year old students who are interested in district preschool programs on Tuesday, December 1st at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom.


The presentation will highlight the two early childhood programs in the district, Berlin Memorial Integrated Preschool, and Tahanto/Boylston Integrated Preschool.


The presenters will be the preschool teachers from each program. In addition, our Special Education Coordinator will present information on the referral process for special education screenings and evaluations. A question and answer period will follow the presentations.


Click here to view the Information NIght flyer.




Karen Molnar, Director of Pupil Personnel

kmolnar@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School

Today we send our Cohort B students off for the Thanksgiving break! Please note, Tahanto has changed their cohort schedule for next week. For the sake of continuity, BES (and BMS) have not. Cohort B students will still have asynchronous work next week, and the Remote Bridge program will run as typical through midday Wednesday. Also, please remember that Wednesday is a half-day so assignments will be scaled back. Morning Zooms will still take place.


The Boylston Education Foundation (BEF) has been hard at work. You should have received updated information about their Calendar Raffle through your students' Google Classroom but I wanted to share it here just in case. This is the letter of explanation and the calendar can be found in the electronic folder below.

Our Square1Art is also ready for the next step. Thank you to our wonderful artists! Keep your eyes out for the packets (cohort A Monday, cohort B today, and remote can pick up in front of the building any day). The order deadline (12/2) is coming up quickly so don't hesitate. All products should be to you by 12/17 (just in time for the holidays) if you choose to ship directly to your home.


As we approach the holiday, I realize it can be a difficult time for families in a typical year. This is the furthest thing from a typical year. The Department of Education shared this website with administrators that is geared for parents who are worried about their school-aged children's mental health. It is designed to help you figure out if your child's behavior is something to worry about and if so, what steps you can take. I hope some of you find this helpful.

The electronic folder


The Week Ahead: Specials Week 2

  • Monday (11/23)

    • Cohort A Synchronous (in person)

    • Cohort B Asynchronous (remote)

  • Tuesday (11/24)

    • Cohort A Synchronous (in person)

    • Cohort B Asynchronous (remote)

  • Wednesday (11/25)

    • Half Day

  • Thursday through Friday (11/26-27)

    • No School for Holiday Break






Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School



Tahanto Today November 20, 2020


This past year has been a challenge for everyone on so many levels. As we take a break next week to celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember all of the things we can be thankful for. We are thankful for all of the wonderful families, students, teachers, and staff at Tahanto who give so much to make Tahanto such a wonderful and special place to learn and work. We are thankful for having such amazing students, teachers, and staff that make coming to work during these difficult times manageable through their perseverance, smiles (even though we can’t see them), and creative minds. Lastly, we are thankful for our own families and friends who support us every day to put our best foot forward.



Schedule Change for November 23rd-November 25th

This change is only for middle/high school students

To ensure that both cohorts can access in-person learning for all classes, we will be following the schedule in the link below for November 23rd-25th.

Schedule for 11/23-11/25



This Week’s Schedule

Week of 11/23/20-11/25/20 ODD WEEK (High School Only) *


Cohort A (Last name A-LeB) you are at Tahanto in person on Monday, Remote Tuesday & Wednesday (dismissal at 11:00)

Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z) you are remote Monday, in-person Tuesday, and remote Wednesday (dismissal at 11:00)



Monday, November 23rd PTO Wreath order forms due



Wednesday, November 25th

Early Release 11:00 a.m.


Term 1 Report cards available in PowerSchool

Term 1 Report cards will also be mailed home. We are hoping to be able to get these in the mail on 11/25, but if not they will be mailed on 11/30.


Thursday, November 26th-Friday, November 27th-No School


School Committee Policy Update on Travel during COVID

Please read the following update to the travel policy. TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker’s Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed “low risk,” staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.


Families, please contact the nurse if you have traveled outside of Massachusetts to a “high risk” state. Currently, the only states that are not deemed to be high risk are Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Hawaii. Now, if you are going to Hawaii there is also a policy stating that you must take the principal with you :)


These restrictions are put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to this.



Block 8-Revised

Revised Block 8-Support Block


As we move into Term II, we have collected data surrounding the need for additional support for students as they navigate through the hybrid learning model. Many students have expressed the difficulty they are having with time management and organization. Teachers have also expressed the desire to offer support with current academic assignments and curriculum. Because of this, we will be shifting the focus of Block 8 from remediation to meeting the needs of students in their current academic standings.


During this 90 minute block, teachers will be able to request that a student attend a virtual extra help session or connect with them via email. This block may also be used to make up assignments and assessments. Likewise, students may also request extra help during Block 8 from teachers in any of their courses. It would be beneficial for teachers to set up a system that students may use to request extra help so that it does not conflict with the support that the teacher may be providing to other students during that time.


In addition, we will be offering times for clubs and groups to meet in order to promote extracurricular activities throughout the term.


It is our intention to offer dedicated time, support, and access to our students so that they feel supported and successful in their courses and at Tahanto.



After School Extra Help & Late Bus

The hope is that it will provide a convenient option for students who might otherwise not be able to stay after school, to receive extra help from their teachers.

When will the bus run?

The bus will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with pickup at Tahanto at 3:15 pm. Travel time is estimated to be 30 - 35 minutes.

Where will the stops be located?

The bus will transport students to the following “cluster” stops in Berlin and Boylston:

  • Boylston Public Library (695 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Calliope Theatre (150 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Berlin General Store (19 Central Street, Berlin)

  • US Post Office (260 Pleasant Street, Berlin)

On Tuesdays – the bus will go to the Berlin stops first, and then the Boylston stops

On Thursdays – the bus will go to the Boylston stops first, and then the Berlin stops

**Please check your teachers’ websites and Google Classrooms for specific days that your child's teachers will be available after school. If extra help is needed on a Monday or Wednesday, personal transportation must be provided.


Every Tuesday after school in the Library Conference Room we are offering math support for all students in grades 6-12. No need to sign up, just show up!



Important Clarification for Attendance


This is a clarification for all parents/students. If you are scheduled to be in person for learning, you may not choose to learn remotely unless you are not feeling well in which case a parent would call the school nurse.


If a student stays home due to not feeling well, a parent may write a parental excusal which should be brought into the Main Office upon the student's return to school. If the nurse excuses the student's absence for the day and allows the student to study remotely, students in a different cohort should contact their teachers to let them know they are planning on studying remotely as they may not have access to the Google Meet links/materials needed to work remotely.



There is such a thing as a FREE LUNCH!

School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 6/30/2021, or until federal funding is depleted. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.



Counselors Corner

Please click HERE to view the latest information from the School Counseling Department

Parents of high school students, please make sure that your email address is up to date in Naviance. This will allow you to receive up to date information from Mrs. Rodman.



Ms. Ford’s Virtual Office

Ms. Ford's Virtual Office Link

I developed this Virtual Office to provide students with the opportunity to have fun while learning about different coping skills, relevant topics such as Anxiety, and space where they can explore content to help them strengthen their social-emotional skill set. I update the office with new links and content weekly and even have had some suggestions from students too. So far this has allowed me to interact with students in a different way while teaching them they can "virtually do anything". A lot of students and parents have recognized that it is hard to utilize coping strategies while at home or when they do not have immediate access to them. In this office, they can explore what meets their needs and gain insight on areas they need additional support and feel connected.



Powerschool

Are you or your child having trouble logging onto your PowerSchool? Parents, do you need an account set-up? We encourage parents and students to have their own accounts. With that said, please reach out to Mrs. Esposito with any account-related concerns at besposito@bbrsd.org. As a friendly reminder, we DO NOT send home report cards. All grades can be viewed on PowerSchool. If you have multiple children in grades 6-12, parents can view each of their child’s information from one account.


Have you logged into PowerSchool but are unable to see grades? At the very top of the screen, above the student’s name there is a tab for Grades and Attendance, select the tab for them to appear. (This is different from the tab on the left-hand menu bar). Anything in blue, you can click on and it will provide detailed information like classwork, grades for an assignment, and days absent from the class. Your child’s teacher email information is also provided, should you need to reach them with any questions or concerns.



Attendance Information/Clarification

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


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.




School Nurse Information

State Mandated Flu Vaccination

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.


Email: jsequeira@bbrsd.org

Health office fax: 508-869-6202


Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist




PTO ANNUAL WREATH SALE

Click Wreath Order Form to order your holiday decor now!




Athletics

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


Look to the athletic website for scores and updates. https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/


Winter Sports Season

Winter tryouts will NOT start the first Monday after Thanksgiving.

Information regarding registration and tryouts will be updated as Tahanto is given more guidance from the State.


Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

Tahanto Regional

mporcaro@bbrsd.org

For the latest information regarding fall athletics please click on the link below

Tahanto Athletics






Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally-Ann Stukuls, Assistant Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org

Our next newsletter will be December 4

To give our staff a much deserved mini-break, there will be no newsletter next Friday, November 27. Please, as always, feel free to contact your school principals or any member of our leadership team if you have questions or concerns.