BBRSD District-Wide Newsletter

October 2, 2020

Superintendent's Office


Greetings,

I receive a number of emails weekly, from parents interested in learning more about how district decisions related to a full return to school will be made. We are currently in a hybrid model, which means that we run two cohorts (Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday), as well as two remote programs, Edgenuity, an online learning platform for grades 6-12, and our Bridge Plan for grades K-5, which is conducted by teachers within our school district.


The move to a full return to school requires that we take in numerous considerations. First, we receive a combination of data from the Commonwealth, including the Department of Public Health, and local data provided by the town and regional Boards of Health. The Department of Public Health releases a weekly, color-coded health metric for all municipalities in the Commonwealth. The majority of school districts align directly with a municipality on the DPH weekly report and I believe our low numbers are a direct correlation to how our two towns, including our schools, have responded to taking safety precautions seriously as we continue through the COVID crisis.


We also receive guidance from the MA Commissioner of Education. In his September 14, 2020, to MA School Committee members, Commissioner Riley stated: “It is critically important that school districts do not make decisions based on a single report from DPH. Instead, I recommend that the school district waits for color changes in either direction in three consecutive weekly reports before considering a change to an instructional model - remote, hybrid, in-person.” (Click here to access this week’s chart).


We are just completing our third week of school and, during this time, the reports have indicated weekly, that our numbers are low enough to not even meet the “green” level, which is the lowest of the three levels - green, yellow, and red. That being said, further consideration of moving to a full return to school requires work with the local Boards of Health to use all available information regarding COVID-19 trends, discussions with our School Committee as well as our district Teachers’ Association.


While we are cautiously optimistic that the numbers in our two towns will remain low, we want to take every precaution to not only avoid a potential threat to the health and well-being of our families and staff but to not risk a rapid swing in the transition of models from hybrid to full-return as cold and flu season come upon us. There may be a time when the need to make a transition is swift and the decision does not rest on our shoulders. This would be the case if the Governor’s Office moves us back into a lockdown scenario, or if identified cases of COVID-19 surface in our schools. What we do not want to do when given choices, however, is to create a “swinging door” effect that throws our students, families, and staff into a constant state of flux.


In closing, I wish to thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we move through this process, supported by scientific data and the pulse of the community. It is a decision that I take very seriously.


Respectfully,



Jeffrey Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Business Office

Don't forget to order your free meals by using our remote meals order form:

Remote Meals Order Form


Robert Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


The kids continue to amaze us with their energy, humor, and bright smiling eyes!


For those in the Remote Bridge program, we have been having numerous meetings since the start of school about how to incorporate Specials. I think we have finally figured it out and you should be getting invitations to Google classrooms for Library, Music, Art, and PE. Each week your student(s) will receive an asynchronous activity and assignment for each of these classes. Students will be graded on their work and it will be recorded in their report cards. We're excited to get this off the ground!


As you may know, we have moved into the assessment phase of our reentry plan. Students have begun taking two separate types of assessments, one skills-based and the other standards. The skills-based (Aimsweb) shows us how the students have developed in literacy and mathematics and point us in the direction of where we can support struggling students. The standards component (Freckle and EnVision) shows us where gaps appear in the content we teach or may not have been covered in depth last year in the third trimester. This highlights students that require remediation and review either in the classroom if a large scale is needed or with tutors for specific students. I know this may leave you wondering why we are using "in-person" time for this. Experience has shown us that if we want valid scores to make decisions around this is the best way. Preliminary results show that the kids, overall, have done well. It's a testament to the work we all did in the spring and you did over the summer.


I've been hearing from a few parents that have struggled to access different materials on Google classroom. I'm sorry, I know how frustrating it can be when technology doesn't work the way you want it to. Please be patient with us. We understand when things don't get completed because of technology. Know too that your urgent emails aren't being ignored, it can just be difficult to get to them in a timely manner when we have the other half of the school in front of us. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.


We've been getting questions about when to send kids to school and when to keep them home. There is a lot to juggle and the bottom line is we want to keep everyone safe. My go-to line has become, "when in doubt, keep them out." For a more thorough list, though, this sheet can be found on the website here. The cliff notes? Keep your child home if they have any of the following situations:



  • Fever (100 degrees or higher), chills, shaking chills
  • Cough of unknown origin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Headache (in combination with any other symptom)
  • Body aches
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Fatigue (in combination with any other symptom)
  • Nasal congestion (not due to other known causes) (in combination with any other symptom)
  • When they've been within 6 feet for 15 mins or more to anyone with a known COVID diagnosis.
  • In a similar vein, the district nurses have put together this letter to inform you about the state's regulations around the flu vaccine.



The Week Ahead:


  • Tuesday 10/6 Bobcat Pride Day Cohort A and Bridge
  • Wednesday 10/7 PD day - This is an all-day PD so there will be no Zoom or asynchronous work
  • Friday (10/9) Bobcat Pride Day Cohort B and Bridge


For Bobcat Pride wear you favorite Bobcat shirt (keep an eye out for t-shirt flyers coming home in the near future) or grade level colors:
  • Kindergarten is yellow
  • 1st grade is green
  • 2nd grade is light blue
  • 3rd grade is red
  • 4th grade is purple
  • 5th grade is navy blue.



Looking way ahead (for those who like to get ahead):



  • Monday (10/26) Picture Day Cohort A and Remote Bridge students (A through J)
  • Wednesday (10/28 1:00) Reverse Halloween Parade - more info to come
  • Thursday (10/29) Picture Day Cohort B and Remote Bridge students (K through Z) and Virtual Open House 6:00-7:30




Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Berlin Memorial School


We have another week under our belts!

As always, we are grateful for your support as we work through these early days of hybrid learning. Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher if there is something you need help with.


SOAR T-Shirts

It is time to get SOARing with your BMS t-shirts. Our Positive Behavioral Instructional Support (PBIS) program at BMS helps build a supportive school community and having school t-shirts helps foster school spirit and a sense of belonging. The school looks different this year with having half the students in the building at a time, so we need school spirit more than ever!!

We are asking families to purchase t-shirts for their children to be worn at the many school-wide programs that will be held this year including, T-Shirt Tuesdays/Thursdays. We are still hopeful that we will be having All School Assemblies, Field Day, and Field Trips at the end of the school year.


Each grade is assigned a color, so each year the students will advance to the next color. We are using an online ordering system this year to make payment more efficient and hands-free. Please find your child’s grade and select the size you need for your child. We are having the shirts delivered to the school in bulk to save you the shipping cost and will send them home in your child’s backpack with an anticipated arrival by the 1st week of November.


The website is open now until October 15th!! The cost is $10. SOAR T-Shirt

We aim to have every student have a shirt and due to concerns associated with COVID, we will not be holding a “swap” this year. If you are unable to afford this expense please contact John Campbell, Principal (jcampbell@bbrsd.org) or Linda Checola, School Psychologist (lchecola@bbrsd.org).

https://www.spiritwear.com/estore.php?eml=LCHECOLA@BBRSD.ORG


Notes from Nurse Ana

  • New Flu Vaccine Requirement: Massachusetts requires that all students grades K - 12 receive the Flu (Influenza) Vaccine by December 31, 2020. Here is a detailed letter from your Berlin-Boylston School Nurses.

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

  • Be sure your child’s mask fits correctly. If his/her mask keeps falling down, the mask and/or the elastic bands are too big. How to select the correct mask. Please remember valved masks are NOT allowed in school.

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

Ana Amaral, BSN, RN, NCSN

AAmaral@bbrsd.org




John Campbell, Principal

jcampbell@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School


TAHANTO

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

Date: October 8, 2020

2 Sessions: 12:30p.m.-2:30p.m.OR 6:30p.m.-8:30p.m.

Click HERE for more information!


Nolan Slate selected into the All-National Modern Band

Nolan auditioned on tenor saxophone for the 2020 NAFME All-National Modern Band and was one of 20 high school students from across the country to be accepted!


Congratulations Nolan!


Tahanto School Forms Were Due on 9/30/20

All parents and guardians are required to fill out school entry forms. Please click on the link below to access all forms. Forms include Student Entry Packet, Health Screening Form, and Extra-Curricular Release Form. These forms were due by 9/30/20 all forms can be submitted electronically except for the Extra-Curricular Release Form, which must be completed and returned to the main office.

School Forms Were Due on 9/30/20



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!




SCHOOL COUNCIL

We are looking for parents to volunteer to serve on Tahanto School Council. The purpose of the School Council is to work with the Principal and Assistant Principal to develop a School Improvement Plan each year. The School Improvement Plan has the following elements: class size, student-to-teacher ratios, professional development for staff, enhancement of parental involvement, school safety and discipline, extracurricular activities, any further subject the principal, in consultation with the school council, shall consider appropriate.

Meetings have been held the first Monday of the month at 4:00, but this is subject to change based on members’ availability. The council is composed of administration, teachers, students, and community members. We are looking for a Boylston parent and a school choice parent.


If you are interested in serving on the School Council, please email my administrative assistant, Jane Lavelle.



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.


  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.


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 Sue Boudreau.



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

VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE

Date: October 8, 2020

2 Sessions: 12:30p.m.-2:30p.m.OR 6:30p.m.-8:30p.m.

Click here for more information!




Week of 10/5/20-10/9/20 EVEN WEEK (High School Only) *


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


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


* Odd weeks are for high school classes that meet every other day and show on your schedule as meeting (7,8,10 or 6,8,9)

Please remember that whether you are in person or remote your classes will follow the same schedule. The school day runs from 7:35 a.m. until 2:15 p.m.



How to Access Schedules

Select the www.bbrsd.org website

Under Tahanto - Select "For Students"

Select Powerschool Login

Username and password login will appear. If you forgot your username or password, please send Mrs. Esposito an email to have it reset at besposito@bbrsd.org.

Once you are logged in click “ my schedule” located on the left side of the screen and choose Matrix view to view your schedule.


For Parents

Select the www.bbrsd.org website

Under Tahanto - Select "For Parents"

Select Powerschool Login

Username and password login screen will appear. If you forgot your username or password or need to create one, please send Mrs. Esposito an email to have it reset or setup at besposito@bbrsd.org.

Once you are logged in click “ my schedule” located on the left side of the screen and choose Matrix view to view your schedule.



What Do I Need to Remember to Bring To School every day?

In-Person:

  • Masks

  • Charged Laptop/Chromebook. If you need to borrow a Chromebook from Tahanto please contact Mrs. Boudreau at sbourdreau@bbrsd.org.

  • Earbuds/headphones

  • Filled water bottle(s)

  • Backpack with a notebook and a pen/pencil

  • Lunch if not buying one from school

  • A HUGE SMILE

Hybrid Remote

  • Check your school email prior to 7:35 a.m. for your Google Classroom invite from your teachers

  • Charged Chromebook and/or computer ready to go!

  • Earbuds/Headphones

  • Follow your schedule throughout the day

  • A HUGE SMILE



Drama Club 2020-21

Mrs. Gustavson will be doing practice readings of monologues and dialogues online during the drama club meetings on Wednesday. If you have any questions, please send me an email to lgustavson@bbrsd.org.



School Nurse Information

From the School Nurse:

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.

Medications: If your child will need medication during the school day, we will need a doctor's order, co-signed by parent/guardian. Any form the primary care physician uses is fine. You can drop off that medication at any time.


Please click here to see the Mandatory Daily Health Screening Checklist


Email: jsequeira@bbrsd.org

Health office fax: 508-869-6202




Tahanto Safety Information Video

Please click on the link below to view the bus, hallway, classroom, nurses’ office, and lunch safety information and changes for the 2020-2021 school year.

Tahanto Safety Information Video 2020-2021



Tahanto Arrival and Dismissal Information

Please understand that these procedures for arrival and dismissal have been put into place based upon DESE and CDC guidelines for safe school re-entry.



Arrival (Students will not be allowed in the building until 7:20 a.m.)

7:20-7:35 Buses arrive at Tahanto

7:25-7:35 Student drop-off and students who have parking spaces

Please note that no student can be dropped off by a parent/guardian prior to 7:25

Once in the building students will report directly to their first scheduled class of the day



Dismissal

2:05-Seniors who drive personal vehicles

2:10- We will begin dismissing those students who are taking the bus by bus number

2:15-Students who are being picked up by parent/guardian (parents/guardians will not be able to line-up for pick-up until 2:15)

All students must leave the school campus (unless participating in fall athletics) by 2:30 p.m.



Athletics

Each of our Fall athletes will be receiving 2 Lanyards for their family. These lanyards will be needed for entry onto our fields for viewing your son's/daughter's contests. Essentially they will be your ticket. Each athlete can only have two family members at home contests. Lanyards will be checked for entry into each home contest. If you do not have a Lanyard, you will not be allowed entry. The attendees must wear a mask during the game, practice social distancing rules, and be at least 6 feet apart from other fans.


Also, in an effort to keep the crowd sizes to a minimum, the Mid Mach conference will not be allowing fans from opposing teams into the facility to view contests. Basically, you are not allowed to travel to the away contests to watch your son/daughter compete. You will only be allowed to attend home games.


There will also be a few protocols on the campus for viewing Field Hockey and Soccer contests:


Field Hockey will be similar to previous years, however, the bleachers and benches will not be accessible. You will enter the field at the front corner of the school where there will be a Covid table. We will be checking lanyards and keeping a count. There will also be hand sanitizer available. You will be able to view the game 6 feet from the field along the Rt. 70 sideline opposite of the players. However, once again, the bleachers and benches will not be accessible.


Varsity Soccer will be played on the varsity field, however, the stadium and auxiliary bleachers will not be accessible. Your area of viewing will be inside the fence, outside of the track, along the pavement in front of the stadium bleachers. JV soccer will be played on the JV soccer field in the left outfield of the baseball stadium. Viewing will be on the opposite side of the players, 6 feet from the field. Auxiliary bleachers will not be accessible. The student parking lot, with the cul de sac in the right outfield of the baseball diamond, will be closed. Please park in the teacher's lot adjacent to Rt. 70 and the school.


The entrance to both fields will be down the driveway along the first baseline of the baseball field. You will not be able to enter through the outfield of the baseball field. There will be a COVID table set up at the front corner of the track for entrance to the Varsity or JV game. Once again, the COVID table will be checking for Lanyards, keeping a count of attendees, and have hand sanitizer. If viewing the Varsity game, once checking in at the table, you will enter the gate of the main stadium at the front corner of the track. If attending the JV game, after checking in, you will walk the alley between the track and the baseball field's third baseline, which flows into the left outfield viewing area for JV soccer.


I know this may seem to be a lot, however, they are the protocols we must follow to continue to have a Fall season. If you have any questions, please email me.

Thank you in advance for helping your athletes to have a safe and successful season.

Once again, a reminder, families will be responsible for getting their student-athletes back to the campus for practices, home games, and buses for away games if they are in remote learning. As always, please check to be sure that your son/daughter's physical is up to date and on file with the school nurse.


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 more updates. The coaches are posted on the front page.

https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/



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 in 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! Go to www.tahantoboosterclub.org 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 tahantoboosterclub@gmail.com and we can set that up for you. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BJy9HjqnRJiNsGmC1HHrg-rCyaEwRoup/view?usp=sharing


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