Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends,
I hope that you had a chance to spend the long weekend reflecting on the ways in which you positively contribute to our community and our work towards social justice. I spent some time re-reading Cultivating Genius: An Equity Framework for Culturally and Historically Responsive Literacy by Gholdy Muhammad and examining our current approaches and practices to support achievement and excellence for all students. And while we have a lot of work ahead of us, I am proud of the goals and work our staff is currently doing to raise the academic growth and achievement of all our students.
Below are some updates and information for this week including:
Health and Safety update
Lunch and snack group pause
School Council Meeting THIS WEEK
Family Volunteers Needed
Health and Safety Update
This week we saw a decline in our case numbers as well as the percentage of staff and students out of the building. This data presented below has us hopeful heading into this 4 day week at school.
Student Absence Percentage*
Staff Absence Percentage*
Monday January 10
Tuesday January 11
Wednesday January 12
Thursday January 13
Friday January 14
*as a reminder these absences for both students and staff, account for positive COVID-19 results, illness, child care issues, and other non COVID-19 related absences.
We continue to send out positive case notifications to individual classrooms in K-5 and grade levels in grades 6-8. Despite the surge we will continue to do our best in contact tracing and identifying individuals in K-5 that qualify for the Test and Stay program. As a reminder, based on the current guidance from the state, individuals who are eligible for the Test and Stay program are those individuals who, for 15 minutes or more cumulatively throughout the day, were either within 0-3 feet of the positive individual during their infectious period while masked or within 3-6 feet of the positive individual during their infectious period while unmasked AND are not fully vaccinated at the time of exposure.
Lunch/Snack Group Pause
Due to the rising cases because of the Omicron surge we are temporarily pausing lunch and snack groups that are typically led by our Clinical Team (guidance counselors, school psychologists, and social workers). Because these groups meet in small office spaces that do not allow for additional distancing, we are taking extra precautions and pausing these groups for this coming week and will reassess based on case data at the end of the week.
The following clinics are scheduled for Brookline Residents:
COVID VACCINE/BOOSTER CLINIC – TUESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2022 6PM-8PM RUFFIN SCHOOL, 345 HARVARD ST
Link for Jan 25 COVID Vaccine Clinic Registration:
Drive-thru testing is accessed via the garage on Washington Street – between Town Hall & the Library. Walk-up testing is accessed via Harvard Street, walking up the Pierce School steps across from the Brookline Spa / Homer St. (Harvard St between School & Pierce Streets)
Dates & Times:
Sunday, January 23, 2022 | 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday, January 30, 2022 | 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
School Council Reminder and Agenda
Our next School Council meeting will take place THIS Wednesday January 19th at 6:00pm via Zoom. This earlier start time allows us to meet for our full hour and still allow families to attend the Ruffin Ridley Readers that starts at 7:30pm. Next Wednesday, Brookline Select Board member and vice chair Dr. Raul Fernandez will be the special guest Reader and he will share about how our Town Government works. I encourage everyone to attend if you are able!
On Wednesday February 2nd and Thursday February 3rd, Corneilus Minor will be here at FRR to work with a larger group of our staff as part of our partnership with the Minor Collective this year.
We are looking for 15-20 volunteers who are able and willing to volunteer for a half day to cover a classroom so that our educators can connect and learn with Corneilus Minor.
If you are interested and able to volunteer please fill out this brief form. The more volunteers the more educators are able to benefit from this amazing professional development opportunity!
We are in a tough spot right now as we deal with this surge and its impact on our students and staffing levels. I continue to be grateful for our FRR community and the support, kindness, flexibility, and strength all of us have shown over the past two weeks while also not wavering from our commitment to our school wide goals around elevating academic growth and achievement and increasing self efficacy, sense of belonging, and emotional regulation for all our students. As hard as these past two weeks have been for us, it has most certainly highlighted the strength, resilience, and commitment to connection and support that runs deep within our community.
I hope you all stay healthy and safe, and please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or any member of our staff if you and/or your family needs support at this time.