What's Up - 7B October 2020

The Current Pulse and What's Lies Ahead

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Dear 7B Families and Local Community Partners,

After months of preparations to open our doors to students, we did just that on Wednesday, September 3rd. Since we've been adjusting to what the "school of six feet" looks and feels like with actual students and staff in the building. After operating full school days safely at 33% and 50% student capacities, we are now preparing to take the next step in our re-opening process. On Monday, October 5th, Seven Bridges Middle School (and Bell) will be officially open to all students choosing to learn in school. This means the current 50% model of students with last names A-L and M-Z will no longer be in play. Of course, families still have the option to choose the fully remote instruction option each week. For full details, follow this link to Dr. Ackerman's most recent communication with our community.

Before we preview the critical week ahead, I really must highlight a couple of things.

  • The building-level staff has served as the engine behind the gigantic undertaking of opening a large school simultaneously during a pandemic. While I understand virtually every job and vocation has been forced to shift their day-to-day duties, there is no way our students would be only a couple of school days away from being back in school 100% without their herculean effort - not even close.
  • Our custodians, led by Scott Halperin and Anthony Piacquadio, have taken on countless duties such as cleaning service, moving company, and remodeling crew. They live a day to day of ambiguity, as issues arise at the drop of a hat. They do it all with a smile and a love of serving our students and staff. National Custodian's Day is next week. Keep an eye on the PTA Newsletter for a chance to contribute to the special day we're planning for them.
  • Behind the scenes from an administration lens, "the schedule of six feet" could not have been launched without administrative assistant Donna McMahon and newly married Nicole Mangiere-Nover, our high energy, a tireless champion for kids, aka 7B Assistant Principal. She has spent more time studying our pandemic schedule's strengths and shortcomings than anyone.
  • From ordering all of our typical school supplies to identifying new, unknown pandemic-focused school supplies, to making student copies of the new 7B Daily agenda, Marian Waltzer has been as hard-working, patient through uncertainty, and consistently productive as anyone I've ever worked with.
  • Many know our building tech support specialist, Annette Hawkins, who not only is a staff advisor to our student-led tech support club but has consistently punched tech ticket after ticket to troubleshoot all of our issues, big and small.

And of course, our teachers. The talented and hard-working 7B teaching staff, which most are currently teaching the first synchronous/asynchronous virtual lessons of their careers, have re-opened their classrooms to serve students immediately inside a completely different schedule and instructional approach than ever before.

To provide the full scope on this, I'm using a baseball team's example, arriving to spring training each February. But instead of the team easing their way into the physical and mental demands of the job over four-six weeks, the team starts immediately with no warm-up and on day one goes 100%. The rules are now different on how to teach, which classroom to teach in each period, what tech to use, and how to prepare for each day's synchronous and asynchronous lessons. On top of it all, many of our staff are worried (like the rest of us) at the thought of getting sick and spreading COVID-19 to a family member.

As you might imagine, our typically talented, energetic, and hard-working teachers are tired after these first three weeks. Personally, I'm in awe of how they have pulled it all off thus far. The five-day a week synchronous, the hybrid instructional model adds new layers of preparation, tech, and problem-solving challenges that will take time to get right. I share this in-depth offering of transparency to serve as a reminder that we are all human. Our teachers and staff want to rise to the level you've come to expect from a teacher in Chappaqua, but it will certainly take time. I ask for your continued patience as we navigate the inevitable issues ahead when we reach 100% capacity on 10/5/20. Whatever challenge comes our way, we will knock it down and communicate out to you if things need to shift in any particular way.

Your many signs, thank-you notes, kind comments in the car line, inbox messages, emails, and even shout outs while out in the community have been much appreciated by our staff. Thank you for expressing your appreciation in so many ways. I've asked my staff to put the oxygen mask on themselves before caring for those in their care at home and at school). I've asked them to curb evening emails, unplug from school-related devices on weekends and give themselves the time to breathe and build back into their families when they can.

Respectfully yours,

Joe Mazza




2020 Seven Bridges MS Virtual Open House

Thursday, Oct. 1st, 6:30-8:30pm

This is an online event.

Actual Zoom and Youtube links will be posted on the front of the Seven Bridges website on Thursday, October 1, 2020. The annual evening will officially begin at 6:30 PM with a few remarks from Dr. Mazza and Nicole Mangiere-Nover. The rest of the evening will go as follows:

  • 7:00 PM - Session I: CORE Teacher / Teams
  • 7:35 PM - Session II: NON-CORE Teacher / Teams / Departments
  • 8:10 PM - Session III: Pod Teacher Intro / Advisory Overview

T-Minus 4 Days to 100%

For our families celebrating, we wish you a safe and healthy Yom Kippur. For those families interested in learning more about Yom Kippur, check out this new resource from National Geographic. As we continue our focus on inclusion at 7B, we strongly encourage your family to know the who and why behind every holiday on the calendar.

We're back this Tuesday, September 29, 2020 with our continued 50% capacity approach. As a reminder, students will continue to attend based on the first letter of their last name:

  • Tuesday, 9/29/20: Last Names A-L (Day 3)
  • Wednesday, 9/30/20: Last Names M-Z (Day 4 Half-Day )
  • Thursday, 10/1/20: Last Names A-L (Day 5)
  • Friday, 10/2/20: Last Names M-Z (Day 6)

Unplug, Rest and Recharge

  • Monday, 10/5/20 (Day 1): 1st day of full-day, 100% of in-person student attendance
  • Tuesday, 10/6/20 (Day 2)
  • Wednesday, 10/7/20 (Day 3 Half Day)
  • Thursday, 10/8/20 (Day 4) - Picture Day
  • Friday, 10/9/20 (Day 5)

7B Psychologist Maeva Rich-Kennedy provides our students an Intro to Executive Functions

Intro to Executive Functions with Mrs. Rich-Kennedy

Local Chiropractor / Community Partner Dr. Michael Smatt Teaches 7B Good Device Posture

How Device Posture Affects Our Mental Health w/ Dr. Smatt

How to Arrive at 7B

Arrival to 7B - Video for Parents & Students

How to Pick Up Your Child from 7B

7B Dismissal - Video for Parents & Students


Picture Day

Thursday, Oct. 8th, 8am-3:30pm

Seven Bridges Middle School

Lifetouch photographers will be on-site to safely capture student and staff photos for the 20-21 school year on Friday, October 8, 2020. Students will travel to the outdoor photography set, which will be located outside the gymnasium pending the weather forecast.

To select a photo package for your child, follow this link to Lifetouch's website starting on Friday, Tuesday, September 29, 2020. (Select SHOP NOW and our Picture Day ID will auto-fill; your student does not need to bring in anything if an order is placed online). On Picture Day, in-school students will take pictures from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM. We've set aside a special time from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM for our fully remote students to stop by to get their pictures taken. Absentee and retake day will take place on November 12th.

Didn't get a 19-20 7B yearbook? There are still a few copies of the 2020 Seven Bridges Middle School Yearbook available to purchase. With the extended delay in production due to COVID-19, we were able to submit over 100 photos from the last three months of a memorable school year! Click this link to snag yours on a first-come-first-served basis.

*NEW* Middle School Canvas Night for Parents

Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 6-8pm

This is an online event.

Time / Date still being finalized. Following Principals' Coffee feedback, we're working with the CCSD Tech Dept to nail this event down and clear up any questions, uncertainties, and overall issues as it relates to Canvas. The night is being designed for the parents of all of our 5-6-7-8 learners.

Weekly Reminders for Students

Parents: We'd greatly appreciate your extra (daily) home support regarding the following ...

  • Please continue to take your child's temperature each morning, as well as completing this short form. 100% of our students must complete this form every morning prior to school.
  • Students should bring a charged device each morning, preferably in a padded case/backpack. Each night, the device should remain "powered on" and charging as important updates are consistently installed by CCSD overnight.
  • Students are doing a great job with wearing their masks all day. They do need extra reminders to stay 6-feet apart from one another as they navigate to the various learning spaces around 7B. Students should have at least 2 extra masks, headphones, lunch (if applicable) and a water bottle in their backpacks each day. Each item should be clearly marked with child's last name. We are not keeping a lost and found this year due to various health and safety reason.
  • All students (both in-school students and fully remote students) should be using our new 7B Daily Agenda. After Quarter 1, students will begin the process of self-reflecting on their executive functions, and set progress goals for each of function. Students have recently received an EF Student Workbook created by the Rush Neurobehavioral Center. Remote learners should pick their copy up outside the 7B Security Desk. In school students will work on these during the school year mainly in their Pod Advisory/Homeroom.
  • Each day's Bell Schedule and 1/2 Day Schedule Times can be found on the front of our website, and linked here.
  • Order breakfast online here. Order lunch online here.

Two New Code of Conduct Sections To Review with Your Child

Hate Speech – Making a slur or statement or drawing (through any means) a symbol about any individual or identifiable group of individuals which demeans him/her/them because of his/her/their race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender (including expression), gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or other protected status, or a perception or belief about race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender (including expression), gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion or other protected status and/or which has the foreseeable effect of exposing such person or group to threats, shame, humiliation, persecution or ostracism. Whether spoken, written, in notebooks, on walls, or on a computer or mobile device, etc., incidents of this type are unprotected speech and will not be tolerated. Hate speech may or may not rise to the level of a crime.

Bias Incident – Any act or behavior that is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and reasonably believed to be motivated by a consideration (real or perceived) of race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, gender (including expression), gender identity, national origin, marital or parental status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, disability or any other basis prohibited by law.

For our adolescents, the terms above now found in CCSD's Code of Conduct may require your support by way of an in-person conversation, sharing examples, asking questions, telling stories, and reconnecting from time to time during teachable moments. It is our goal to teach these concepts as we educate our students while they are at 7B. Of course, related Code of Conduct violations can occur offline but our own statistics point to higher percentages occurring online via TikTok, Snapchat, and other messenger applications.

Have Outdoor Furniture to Donate?

The 7B Administration and PTA are working together to ensure our students and staff can get outside regularly. We're using available funds to start this process, but could use your help! Reach out to PTA Chair Melissa Levine at 7bchair@gmail.com for more info, as there is a formal process to donate items to any CCSD school. We are grateful for your generosity!