J.R. Briggs Newsletter End Of The School Year, June 2020

We can't thank the students, staff, and families enough for all of the great work that everyone has been able to accomplish this year!

Thank you Mr. Bell for putting the video together.

School Office Hours- Tuesday-Thursday from 8 AM to 2 PM (unless otherwise noted on the school's website).

What A Year

Once we have all moved on and there is a safe feeling throughout the town, state, and world, we will likely look back at this year as a truly memorable one. We will remember how students, familes, and staff were able to be as flexible as they were throughout all of the changes that the state continued to throw out at us. We will recall how quickly we were all able to learn so many new ways to reach out to students with assignments, videos, and live meetings. Hopefully, we will also look at these days as a time that we were able to strengthen our connections to our familes. There has to be a bright side to all of this nuttiness, so let's recall those positives when we look back.

Looking forward, we don't quite know what to expect yet. It would be ideal to be in school with a few extra precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible, but we don't know what our fall will look like just yet. I am happy to say that our future Superintendent of Schools Mr. Stewart is coming on board on July 1st with a goal to plan for all types of openings. So, whatever it may look like, I feel confident we will be very prepared.

On a parting note, it is necessary and a pleasure to congratulate a few folks on their retirements. First of all, we have two district level employees that are moving forward. Mr. Randy Palmer will be moving on from his interim post of Director of Pupil Services. He has done a great job in this short term role, and there is no doubt that his shoes will be hard to fill. Mrs. Sandra Rehler is retiring from her interim role of Superintendent of School for AWRSD. She has had many roles here in the district, and has operated in each of them with a very student first outlook. We wish her a fantastic future. Finally, our own Ms. Katie Bennett in grade five will be retiring from a very impressive teaching career. Ms. Bennett has touched many students and raised environmental awareness at JRB and the AWRSD for many families. She will continue to do great things, but we will miss her each day here at JRB!

Field Day

The weather may have had other ideas, but many JRB students were able to take part in a very entertaining field day put on by Mr. Berg. Thank you to everyone that tried to keep the tradition alive, and hopefully next year we are back doing this at the school!

You Can Still Visit Fine Arts Night

Inside this Welcome To Fine Arts Night Brochure, you will find padlet links for a virtual concert and a virtual art show. The Art Show padlet may take several minutes to load on your device as it contains so much amazing art, but it is worth the wait. Click here or use the button below.

Class Lists

We are in the process of creating drafts of our class lists for the 2020-2021 school year. Unfortunately, due to the many unknowns of our next school year, we have made a district decision to not release class lists until August 2020. We realize this is very disappointing, but there are too many variables in play right now. We also traditionally have a number of students move-in each summer that impact our student/teacher ratio. We want to do all we can to maintain balanced and reasonably sized classrooms. Thank you all for your understanding.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration is underway. If you have paperwork to still turn in, please stop by the school Tuesday-Thursday between 8AM and noon to drop off materials. If you do this, please ring the doorbell. The secretary in the building will instruct you how to leave your information. Copies can't be made at this time, sorry. Additionally, all Kindergarten registration forms can be emailed to Ms. Paula or Ms. Becky at jrb_office@awrsd.org. If you want to mail the forms, send the to:

J.R. Briggs Elementary School

Attn: K Registration

96 Williams Rd

Ashburnham, MA 01430

You can still find the registration forms online here.

In Art News

Are you looking for a fun and exciting challenge this summer?

These challenges are designed to keep the creative part of your brain playing over the summer. They might be fun for a rainy day or a family outing. Some of these may require adult supervision or help. Your mission if you choose to accept it is to complete as many of the challenges listed below. When you finish a project or activity, post it to the JRB Visual Art at Home Padlet: https://padlet.com/kdisalle/clix7wv6yi7g

1. Museum Outing: Visit an ART MUSEUM or GALLERY virtually (or actually if they reopen!). Post a selfie of you at the museum, a sketch of an artwork or a postcard from the gift shop.

2. Summer Collage: Create a collage of your summer by collecting photos, maps, tickets, brochures, things from nature and drawings. Glue down your mementos, add words and drawing or paint colors to enhance your collage. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

3. Read a graphic novel or comics: Go to your library and check out a book with images or comics. For older kids, two good suggestions are The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Wonderstruck by Brian Selcznick. Ask your librarian for suggestions! Write a short review of the book or draw a bookmark about the book. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

4. Play with an online drawing game. Post your results. Visit Mrs. DiSalle’s LiveBinder of Artrelated online fun for some ideas: http://www.livebinders.com/b/2654678. Take a photo of something you did and post it to Padlet.

5. Take a summer art class or workshop in person or online. Post your artwork or photo of you at class.

6. Recycled Art: Find discarded objects around the house (old junk mail, pieces of wood scraps, random toys or old stickers you don’t want anymore) and create a new inspiring collage or sculpture. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

7. Environmental Art: Use leaves, rocks and other natural objects to make a piece of art. Look up the art of Andy Goldsworthy for ideas. Post a photo of your finished artwork.

8. Photomontage: Take lots of photos. With permission from your parents, cut out faces or parts of the pictures and combine them to create an interesting photomontage. Look up the photomontages of David Hockney if you need ideas. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

9. Collaborative Artwork: Collaborate with a friend or family member and make a work of art together! Post a photo of you making art together and the actual artwork and post to Padlet.

10. Sidewalk Chalk: Draw a chalk masterpiece on the sidewalk or look up a recipe to make chalk paint online. Post photo of your artwork.

11. Stop Motion Animation: Research and learn how to use a stop motion animation app to create a short animation. Post it to Padlet.

12. Fashion Design: Decorate a t-shirt or sew a piece of clothing. Ideas: tie-dye, stencils, sew something on it, paint pens or fabric paint. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

13. Jewelry Design: Make something to wear. Ideas: friendship bracelets, Shrinky Dinks, paper, pop tabs, Rainbow Loom or beads. Post the results to Padlet.

14. Paint Something from Nature: Find the perfect rock, gourd, stick or leaves and add paint to them to decorate. Post the results to Padlet.

15. Outdoor Sculpture: Create a sculpture that can be hung from a tree or placed in your garden. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

16. Musical Instrument: Create a musical instrument using materials around your house. Perform a song and record it! Take a video and post it to Padlet.

17. Be an Architect: Using Legos, wood pieces, magnetic tiles or other building materials design a dream house or other unique building. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

18. Edible Art: Decorate a cake or play with your food to make an artwork. Take a photo and then eat it!

19. Sketch on Location: Go to an interesting place and sit it down and draw some pictures of the people, things and activities that you see. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

20. Your Choice: Come up with a creative activity to do by yourself or with your family. Take a photo and post it to Padlet.

4th Grade Owl Pellets

Our 4th grade staff went to their homeroom homes to bring a special end of the year project. The students were able to examine an owl pellet to see the remains of what the owl had eaten. I hope it was fun to deliver it and to do the experiment.

Learning Tree Preschool Registration

For all NEW Learning Tree Preschool students, registration paperwork needs to be returned to JR Briggs before your child is officially enrolled in the preschool. Please plan to drop off your paperwork, or mail to JR Briggs, Preschool Registration, 96 Williams Road, Ashburnham, Ma. 01430 as soon as possible if you are planning to send your child to preschool in the fall. If you have decided not to send your child, please contact Becky Pillsbury (bpilsbury@awrsd.org), so we can remove his/her name from our list.

Technology News

While these last few months have certainly been a new experience, this year in tech has been another great one! From learning mouse/keyboard skills in kindergarten to building robots with EV3 in 5th grade, to building our monsterbots in 1st grade and exploring friction with 2nd grade, and perfecting the ins and outs of Google slides in 3rd and 4th grade, among many other projects, students continually impressed with their ability to learn new skills and create wonderful results. I encourage everyone to continue working on their engineering/making and technology skills throughout the summer.

Programming Sites:

Engineering Ideas:

Have a wonderful summer and see you next year!

-Mr. Bell

News From The Virtual Music Room

Congratulations to all of our artists, musicians and vocalists who were showcased at our Virtual Fine Arts & Technology Night & Spring Concert! Mrs. Lordan is so proud of all of our students’ accomplishments and is grateful that we were able to provide a virtual platform for our students to express themselves! An outstanding job by all!

A big thank you to all of the students who did their best in keeping up with the virtual music assignments these past 13 weeks! It is certainly a challenging time for all of us, and Mrs. Lordan truly appreciates all of your efforts and hopes that you enjoyed her virtual lessons!

Mrs. Lordan wishes all students a safe, happy and healthy summer! You have earned it! If you sing or play an instrument, don’t forget to practice over the summer! See you in August!

Chromebook Returns

For those families / students that borrowed Chromebooks, the collection of Chromebooks will take place June 15, 2020 from 9am - 11am and June 16, 2020 from 12pm - 2pm. This will take place at Oakmont Regional High School on the side of the building near the Gym Entrance.

Please follow the same route for the drop off as was used for the pickup. Please be sure to have the charger with the Chromebook and please let staff know if there were any technical problems with the Chromebook when you drop it off.

If you have made other arrangements to drop off the Chromebook (i.e. you are dropping it off when you drop off other property), please follow those instructions. If you are unable to drop off the Chromebook at either of these times, please contact me at edehays@awrsd.org


You can find information about our PTA on their Facebook page (JR Briggs PTA) as well as jrb-pta.org. Thank you to the PTA for a great year (as odd as it may have been).

If you have been following our social media outlets, then you have a great idea of what we are still trying to do to keep things 'normal' for students. As news comes out regarding school openings for the fall, we will keep you updated through email and our social media.

As always, please reach out to us if you need anything. We are readily available via email, so do not hesitate to click below.

Here, at JRB!