J.R. Briggs Newsletter September 30, 2020

The Highs And Lows To Start The Year

I would like to thank our staff, students, and parents/guardians for showing so much patience to start this year. We all have the best of intentions, but there have certainly been some challenges. Our technology has not alway been right were we intended it to be, but we have tried to adjust on the fly in school and I know that has been the case at home. We certainly hope to have ironed out many of these glitches by now, but when they come up please keep letting us know. The only way we can help is by hearing about such challenges.

There have been some awesome findings during the start to this year as well. Many of the new routines that we have adapted will likely stay in place as they have made things overall more accessible or easier. In addition, many of these smaller class sizes have allowed staff to provide more individual attention to student when they are in the classroom.

Overall, with the circumstances that we are all in, I am very thankful for everyone's demeanor. The masses seem to understand that we are working hard ( as teachers and parents) to do what is best for students within the limitations given. It is up to all of us to look at each day as a chance to improve on what we do no matter what our role in education may be.

Attendance Information

Your child's attendance is being kept very closely this year and we need your help to make sure it is accurate. If you child is going to miss school for an illness on 'in-school' days or 'out-of-school' days, please call the main office at 978-827-5750 and choose option 3 to leave a message. Please include your child's name, homeroom, and the type of illness he/she is experiencing (this helps the nurse monitor any trends).

The Nurse's Note

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone is off to a healthful start of this school year. A good night’s sleep (9-10 hours) and a healthy breakfast are great ways to start off your child’s school day. Keep in mind that we do offer breakfast daily in our cafeteria. A consistent routine for your child will also help ensure academic success.

Please support the AWRSD’s Wellness Policy by encouraging healthy eating habits. Help your child choose nutritious foods for snacks and meals. You may visit www.awrsd.org for more information on our Wellness Policy as well as other health policies and medical forms. Letters have sent home to individual classrooms with particular food allergies.

Reminder to all: please don’t send your children to school if they are sick. Check the AWRSD website for COVID guidelines and updates frequently. Please call the school when your child is absent or will be tardy. Also, it is helpful for the Health Office if you could share the reason your child is out if due to illness.

Good handwashing is essential to prevent the spread of germs and helps keep everyone healthier. Students have been doing a great job wearing their facial coverings at school! If your child is homesick and/or has a contagious illness, please call me at school. Also, please do not send any medication to school with your child. If your child should need medication during the school day, the appropriate forms will be sent home. Any questions or concerns please call or email me.

REMINDER TO PARENTS OF GRADE 3 STUDENTS: Physicals are due. If your child has had a physical recently (since January 2020) please have a copy of the physical returned to school. If your child is in need of a physical, please contact your child’s doctor and make an appointment. If you are in need of a form, please contact me.

Due to the current pandemic, the Department of Public Health has suspended annual vision, hearing, height, weight, and postural screenings:

"At this time, requirements for health screenings (vision, hearing, height, weight, postural, and SBIRT) pursuant to M.G.L. c.71, §§57 and 97 and 105 CMR 200.400 and 105 CMR 200.500 remain suspended, per the Order of The Commissioner of Public Health Exempting School Committees or Boards of Health from Conducting Health Screenings issued on April 28, 2020. The Commissioner reserves the right to rescind this suspension of screening requirements during the 2020-2021 school year; once the waiver is lifted, screening should resume as soon as possible. The Department will provide guidance for resuming screenings."

If you have a specific concern regarding your child’s vision, hearing, etc., please contact me at the number below or email me. With everyone’s cooperation, we will make this school year a success!

Thank you,

Mrs. Flis, RN, BSN, NCSN

978-827-5750 press 5


Picture Days Are Coming!

Buying Breakfast, Lunch, & “Extra”

September - December 31,2020 both school lunch and breakfast are available free of cost to all students. After this time, you can pay for school lunches by creating and putting money on an account for your student(s) at www.myschoolbucks.com. For additional information on buying lunch or breakfast, go to the district’s food services website. School lunch menus are available https://awrsd.nutrislice.com/. The cafeteria does supply “seconds” to students upon request. Seconds are not free of charge. Any student purchasing second will be charged.

Next week the cafeteria will begin to offer “extras” to students during lunch. Students eat breakfast in the morning in the cafeteria. On Monday & Thursday students can purchase chips or a cookie and on Tuesday & Friday students can purchase ice cream novelties. “Extras” are between fifty cents and a dollar. Students must have money on their accounts to purchase these items. You can create an account at www.myschoolbucks.com.

Please email our cafeteria manager, Samantha Fortunato, at sfortunato@awrsd.org or send in a note if you want a comment placed on your child(ren)’s account saying “no seconds” or “no extras”.

JRB Music Room News

Welcome back to school! Due to state guidelines, all singing and playing of wind/brass instruments must be done outdoors. Luckily, the weather has been cooperative, so Mrs. Lordan has been able to conduct music classes outside each day during this first rotation!

Kindergarteners have been learning their song “I’m So Glad To Be Here” and took a virtual tour of the music room!

1st and 2nd graders have been singing outdoors and learning new songs and games. Virtual lessons include a music room tour, Chocolate Cookie song review, and instrument family review.

3rd graders have been busy singing and playing their Recorder instruments outdoors, which they started in 2nd grade right before the school closure. Many students are earning more “belts”, which are part of the Recorder Karate curriculum. Our other 3rd graders at home are also playing their Recorders along with Mrs. Lordan’s videos!

4th and 5th graders have also been singing and playing music games outdoors and reviewing rhythms, as well as sharing their favorite popular songs with the class. Virtual lessons also include a music room tour, a rhythm review with Mrs. Lordan, and an advanced Rhythm Master review.

Just a reminder that whichever Special your child has at school/in person, they would do the other 3 Specials at home during each 3-week rotation. For example, students who have Music NOW at school would do Art, Gym, and Tech on their remote days at home.

New Traffic Pattern

Thank you for your quick adjustment to the new direction of traffic for parent pick-up and drop-off. Things have been busy, but going well. There is one more favor we would ask of you. It is busy at 2:00-2:30 PM, but please have some patience with us. We have been blocking off the back road during the day because we use it for mask breaks and even some instruction when the weather is pleasant. Please continue to wait behind these cones until we move them (around 2:15) each day. We want to make sure students are out of the area prior to moving them.

HELP! LUNCH and Recess Aides

We are still in need of Lunch and Recess Aides. This role could be for two days or four depending on your needs at home. Most days we would need you for a little more than 3 hours between 10:20-1:35. If these times may work for you, we could certainly use the help. Please email Mr. North if you have any interest.

PreK Website

There is a new website for our inclusive preschool program. Please click here to head to the Learning Tree Preschool page.


Welcome Message

Welcome back for a new (and weird) school year! Like everything in 2020, this year will be a particularly challenging one for the PTA. For the foreseeable future we will not be able to host in-person events, which is the backbone of our association. We are working to identify and host a couple of virtual events that would be fun for the kiddos. We will also host a couple of fundraisers throughout the year that we think you will enjoy.

If you have any ideas or feedback please contact us at jrb.pta@gmail.com.

If you are interested in learning more about the JRB PTA please visit us at a meeting or at jrb-pta.org.

Next Meeting

This year’s meetings will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm, hosted virtually through Google Meet. The first meeting will be on October 14th and we will post the meeting link on jrb-pta.org prior to the meeting. We hope to see you there!

Community News

You can find the newest version of the Stevens Memorial Library Newsletter by clicking here. It is filled with activities and virtual storytimes for our kids to participate in.

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!