What's Happening at the Hive

  • What's Happening at the Hive #7

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 11/28/2022 8:00:00 AM

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  • What's Happening at the Hive #6

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 11/14/2022 8:00:00 AM

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  • What's Happening at the Hive #5

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/31/2022 10:00:00 AM

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  • What's Happening at the Hive #4

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/17/2022 8:00:00 AM

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  • What's Happening at the Hive #3

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/2/2022 8:00:00 PM

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  • What's Happening at the Hive #1

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 9/19/2022 6:00:00 PM

    Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends,

    We are having a wonderful start to the school year at the Hive!  All across the building students and educators are making connections, sparking relationships, setting goals, and building community.  These next few weeks we will spend some time practicing and solidifying our routines and expectations and strengthening relationships so that we have a steady foundation on which to build academic and social emotional growth for the school year.  

    Below please find information about:

    • Open House Dates and Times

    • Family/Student Guidebook Reminder

    • 2 week Hive Hub calendar

    • Hive Pride Days

    • Walk In Songs

     

    Open House Dates and Times

    We are excited to welcome families for in person Open House events during the first week of October.  We pushed back our Open House dates this school year so that our educators had the space to engage with the Brookline Police Department working through some safety training during the month of September. 

    • K-2 Open House: Monday October 3rd 

      • 2:45 - 3:15p Classroom Connections  (with classroom teachers in classrooms)

      • 3:30 - 4:00p Community Connections (with Jen Buller, Steve Simolaris,  and PTO leadership  in Multipurpose Room)

    • Grades 3-5 Open House: Tuesday October 4th

      • 2:45 - 3:15p Classroom Connections  (with classroom teachers in classrooms)

      • 3:30 - 4:00p Community Connections (with Jen Buller, Erin Burke,  and PTO leadership  in Multipurpose Room)

    • Grades 6-8 Open House: Thursday October 6th

      • 3:00 - 5:00p  Schedule will be sent to families as the date approaches

     

    Family/Student Guidebook Reminder

    As a reminder, please take the time to read through our Family/Student Guidebook for the 2022-2023 school year.  You can find a copy posted on our website.  In the guidebook is important information about our procedures, expectations, and general ways of being here at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School.  You can also find copies of the acceptable use policy for our Google accounts as well as the Chromebook contract that students are asked to read and review each year.  

     

    2 Week Hive Hub Calendar 

    Week of September 19th

    Monday

    Grades 7-8 Boys Volleyball tryouts 2:30p

    Girls on the Run practice 2:45p

    Tuesday

    Grades 7-8 Girls Volleyball tryouts 2:30p

    Wednesday

    Grades 7-8 Girls Volleyball tryouts 2:30p 

    Girls on the Run practice 2:45p

    Thursday

    Grades 7-8 Boys Volleyball tryouts 2:30p

    Friday

    DFL (flag football league) Week #2- 2:30p/3:15p

    Welcome Back Picnic 5:00p

     

    Week of September 26th

    Monday

    School Closed

    Tuesday

    Grades 7-8 Girls/Boys Volleyball practice 2:30p

    Wednesday

    Girls on the Run practice 2:45p

    Grades 7-8 Girls Volleyball vs Lawrence (AWAY) 3:15p

    Grades 7-8 Boys Volleyball vs Lawrence (HOME) 3:15p

    Thursday

    Cross Country practice 2:30p

    Friday

    HIVE PRIDE DAY

    DFL (flag football league) Week #3- 2:30p/3:15p

     

    Hive Pride Days

    On our Hive Pride Days we celebrate all of the hard work, acts of kindness, and ways in which we’ve helped each other throughout the month.  We reflect and celebrate and set intentions and goals for the next month following.  To outwardly show our pride in our efforts and community we invite all community members to dress in Hive Pride gear and/or black and yellow on our Hive Pride Days each month.  Below is a list of each Hive Pride Day this school year.  

    • Friday September 26th

    • Friday October 28th

    • Wednesday November 23rd

    • Friday December 23rd

    • Friday January 27th

    • Friday February 17th

    • Friday March 31st

    • Friday April 28th

    • Friday May 26th

    • Friday June 16th

    FRR Walk In Songs

    Maybe you’ve overheard your child(ren) talking about the “walk in song of the day” or maybe you’ve even found yourself bouncing along to the music as it plays inside and outside our building each morning.  This year we’ve introduced “Walk In Songs” as one way to start our day off with some joy as well as signal to students that it is time for school to begin.  The walk-in song plays each morning from 7:55 - 8:00a and to start us off our staff has submitted selections that we have been listening to.  This week we opened up the song requests to all students with the parameter that the song must be free from harmful and explicit language and messages.  As part of our Monday Morning Announcements we share who has selected the songs for the week and students and staff have enjoyed guessing which song belongs to which community member.  

    Help your child(ren) take part in this joyful routine by ensuring they arrive at the building by 7:55a.  

     

    As always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.  I look forward to hopefully connecting with many of you at the Welcome Back picnic this Friday starting at 5:00p..  

    Jen

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  • What's Happening at the Hive: First Day of School Edition

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 9/2/2022 11:00:00 AM

    Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends,

     

    We are so excited to welcome you all back to the 2022-2023 school year!  Our staff has been busily buzzing around our Hive this past week getting our spaces ready, finalizing schedules, and making preparations for this to be the best school year yet! We can’t wait to see you next week for the start of the school year and want to share a few reminders and information to help get you fully prepared including:

    • Florida Ruffin Ridley School Family and Student Guidebook

    • Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

    • Updates from our Clinic

    • Attendance policies and procedures 

    • Staff Updates for the 2022-2023 School Year

    • Updated PSB COVD-19 Protocols 

    • Middle School Schedules

     

    Florida Ruffin Ridley School Family and Student Guidebook

    All families should take the time to review the information in the guidebook before the start of the school year.  It is attached to this email and posted on our website.  Within this resource you will find important information about many of our procedures and protocols along with expectations that help us all maintain a safe, inclusive, and joyful community.  Please take the time to read through the guidebook thoroughly and review relevant sections and information with your child(ren). 

     

    Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

    Arrival Procedure

    There are three main access points to the school building during arrival: the front entrance off Harvard Street, the Stedman Street entrance, and the Playground entrance. These entrances will be opened for students to begin entering the building at 7:55am and will lock for the day at 8:05am. Anyone who arrives after 8:05am must enter through the front entrance off Harvard Street.

     

    There is live parking only on the left side of Stedman Street. Families who need to drive to school are encouraged to use the rolling drop off lane on the left of Stedman Street. Adults should not exit their vehicle while in the drop off lane and children should exit their vehicles on the left side onto the sidewalk.

     

    There is no driving in the Harvard Street loop from 7:45am - 8:15am. Families who need to drive to school should use the Stedman Street rolling drop off or park on Harvard Street or in the Centre Street lot and walk their child(ren) to the building.

     

    Dismissal Procedure

    All students are dismissed at 2:30pm on Mondays through Thursdays and at 1:40pm on Fridays. Students may only remain in the building after dismissal if they are participating in a supervised after-school activity.

    • K-2 Dismissal

      • Students in Kindergarten- grade 2 must be dismissed to an adult caregiver or sibling in grades 3-12. There are designated pick up locations for each K-2 classroom outside around the front of the building, along Stedman Street, and in the back playground.

      • The locations for dismissal for K-2 are as follows: 

        • Stedman Street:  KC, KH, KBC

        • PreK Door: KF, KG 1P

        • 2nd Grade Door on Stedman: 2Lip, 2P, 2S, 2Ch

        • Door 10:  2L, 1D, 1G

        • Door 12: 1M, 1J

     

    • Grades 3-8 Dismissal

      • Students in grades 3-8 are dismissed directly from their last period class location. Families are encouraged to arrange a designated meet up spot outside of the building if they are picking up their child(ren) at the end of the school day.

     

    Early Dismissal from School

    If a student needs to be dismissed early during the school day, families must notify the main office. In order to be dismissed early from school, a parent or guardian must come to the main office to sign the student out. No student may be dismissed without a parent or guardian before the end of the day.

     

    Updates from our Clinic 

    Back to School Information

    The FRR Nurses warmly welcome you back to school and look forward to collaborating with you regarding the health needs of your children. 

    Please review the following health notices for the upcoming school year:

    1. If your student has a life-threatening food allergy, asthma or other medical condition, please be sure to:

      1. Food Allergy/Asthma: submit an updated copy of an Allergy Action Plan or Asthma Action Plan signed by the doctor and guardian, at the beginning of each school year.

      2. Medical Conditions: provide documentation from medical providers at the beginning of each school year.

      3. Drop off emergency medications to the school nurse. Be sure medications are not expired. Please make a note of the expiration date, and bring a refill of expired medication to the school clinic, as needed.

      4. If you would like to make an appointment with the school nurses, to further discuss your student’s medical condition, please email brianna_cormos@psbma.org and jana_young@psbma.com 

     

    1. If your student will require daily medications (over-the-counter OR prescribed) throughout the school year, please be sure to: 

      1. Review the Medication Administration Guidelines on the PSB Health website

      2. Have the doctor complete and sign the Medication Order and parent/guardian complete and sign the Parent/Guardian Authorization Form. Both forms are also available on the PSB Health website

      3. Completed forms can be dropped off at the School Health office, faxed (617-272-7068) or emailed to: brianna_cormos@psbma.org or jana_young@psbma.org 

     

    1. If your child is entering Grade 4 or Grade 7, please send updated physical exam and immunization forms to the school nurses prior to the first day of school.

      1. All students entering Grade 7 will need the meningococcal conjugate vaccine, MenACWY (brand names Menveo or Menactra) for school entry.

    • 1 dose of MenACWY 

    • 1 dose of Tdap

    1. For your reference, click here for the 22-23 Immunization Requirements

    2. Updated health forms may be dropped off at the School Health Office, emailed (jana_young@psbma.org or brianna_cormos@psbma.org), or faxed (617-879-4981).

     

    1. Be sure to visit the PSB Nurse site for more information on health services and resources.

     

    Nut Aware School and Classrooms

    As part of our management for students with Life Threatening Allergies, as well as our Wellness Policy, the public schools of Brookline have adhered to guidelines restricting nuts, peanuts, shellfish and possibly other allergenic foods which contain these products to be eaten only in the cafeteria, where we had the option of providing specific allergy free tables. 

     

    This year, we will continue to have some grades eating in the classrooms rather than in the cafeteria (kindergarten, 3rd and 6th grades).

    Because of the potential need for eating in the classroom, we are requesting that families do not send any nut products to school. Other restrictions in a particular classroom will be assessed on an individual basis and shared with teachers and staff as indicated. 

    Teachers and staff will be aware and mindful of maintaining spaces for those with food allergies, to reduce risk of direct exposure. These practices will include things such as student’s sitting at their own desks or a special table, and wiping down their own surfaces after eating. Students will also be reminded to wash their hands both before and after eating.Some families may choose to pack a paper placemat for their child to use, or encourage students to use their lunchbox as a “placemat.” 

    Most importantly, we ask families and staff to remind their students that there is No  sharing of food.

    Please reach out to Brianna Cormos and Jana Young in our Clinic if you have specific concerns or if your student would benefit from specific accommodations.



    Attendance

    What is the PSB attendance policy? In PSB, all students are expected to attend school every day, arrive on time every day, stay for the full school day, and attend all scheduled classes. Helping students manage this commitment is one of the most powerful things that we do as caregivers and educators.

     

    Why are we writing to you about school attendance? Many students struggled to consistently attend school last school year. We want to be proactive and support your child’s ability to consistently attend school, be on time, and stay for the full school day. 

     

    Why is disrupted attendance a problem? Even though a few absences per year might not have a long-term impact, it does not take much to set students back. Once students start missing two or more days of school each month, or 18 days over the course of a school year, they can start falling behind academically and many children begin to experience increased stress about attending school. 

     

    Why do students struggle to attend school consistently? There are many reasons why students struggle to attend school and classes consistently. This can range from stress and worry about specific school-based activities to not feeling confident about academic skills. When students begin to struggle with attendance, it is important that the school, student, and family work together to identify the things that are making attendance challenging. 

     

    What is PSB doing about school attendance? PSB is committed to providing you and your child the support and resources they need to be at school on time every day. Attending school is your child’s first step towards academic and social-emotional success. On page two of this letter, we offer the district’s attendance policies. And on the final page, we offer a list of suggestions to support strong attendance. If you have any concerns about your child’s ability to consistently attend school and/or classes, please let us know. We are here to help!



    Staff Updates for the 2022-2023 School Year

    This past Tuesday and Wednesday we welcomed back all of our returning and new educators and spent two days digging into work centered on our three themes for this year: cultivating and supporting healing and humanizing spaces, strengthening our culturally responsive practices, and keeping joy at the center of our work.  

     

    Below you will find updates about our staffing for this school year.  You can also visit our school website and staff directory for additional staff information and contacts.  

     

    We are thrilled to welcome the following new staff to our community here at FRR! 

    • James Smith: Grade 4

    • Grace Morelli: Grade 4

    • Elizabeth Eichenberg: 4-8/TLC ETF

    • Jackie Mawn: K-3 ETF

    • Meryl Cherner: Grades 7-8 LC

    • Abi Thierrien: Grades 7-8 LC

    • Emma Burnham: Grades 3-4 LC

    • Callie Liebmann: K-2 LC

    • Sarah Benham: Grade 7 ELA

    • Elizabeth Kochantos: Senior Clerk

    • Moira McNabb-O’Connell: BCBA

    • Molly Cohen: Literacy Specialist 

    • Evis Shkreli: Grades 6-8 French (1 year Long Term Substitute)

    • Meira Klatzker: Grade 4 (1 year Long Term Substitute)

    • Dharma Gantt: Grade 2 Long Term Substitute

    • Melanie Hayashida: Grade 1 Long Term Substitute 

    We are excited to welcome back and celebrate some of the new positions for the following staff members:

    • Gwen Kerr: Grade 4

    • Katie Judd: Grade 3

    • Liliana O’Day: K-5 Spanish

    • Tajmarie Alexis: METCO Advisor

    • Lexie Smith: Grades 3-4 LC

    • Emily Manning-Mingle: Art

    We are also thrilled to welcome all of our new paraprofessionals!

    • Bailey Morton: Behavior Support 

    • Dasia Martinez: K-2 LC

    • Colleen McCormack: Grades 5-6 LC

    • Sally Blaudschun: Grades 3-5 TLC

    • Cecilia Cipullo: Kindergarten (KF)

    • Erika Noonan: Grade 1 (1G)

    • Anna Waterman: Grade 1 (1J)

    • August Darula: Grade 1 (1D)

    • Lindsey Cullen: Grade 1 (1P)

    • Maya Patel: Grade 1 (1M) 

     

    Updated Public Schools of Brookline COVID-19 Protocols

    As we get ready to welcome back all our students and families for the new school year I want to draw your attention to the updated PSB COVID-19 protocols.  We will continue to follow these guidelines as well as respond to and communicate any changing guidance as needed.  

     

    Middle School Schedules

    We are still very much in the process of finalizing individual student schedules for our middle schoolers.  Please know that what you may be able to view in the Family Portal may not be accurate in terms of the class schedule and could very well change before the first day of school.  All middle school students should report directly to their homerooms/advisories on Tuesday, September 6th, where they will receive their finalized schedule.  

    Please know that we may also make adjustments to student schedules in the middle school during the first few weeks of school as we get settled in and ensure all students have schedules that meet their unique needs and work within the context of our larger school schedule. 



    The first days of school are some of my favorite moments in the arc of the school year.  The excitement, nervous anticipation, and enthusiasm for the promise of all the potential growth, success, and connection come bursting through our doors.  It is absolutely expected for some students to also have nervous or worried feelings as they begin a new journey within our school.  Know that our staff of kind, committed, compassionate individuals will all be here each day to meet every student where they are and help them make forward progress towards their goals. 

     

    I look forward to seeing everyone next week and having the sounds of learning, connection, and joy once again fill our hallways and spaces.  See you soon! 

    Jen

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  • Open Doors Day

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 8/22/2022 4:00:00 PM

    Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends,

     

    I hope that you are all getting some time to rest and enjoy these last couple of weeks before the start of the school year.  

     

    I am thrilled to share that for the first time we will be hosting an Open Doors Day here at FRR to help support families and students in their transition to the new school year.  This is a new event for us and we hope that it will provide you a chance to get into the building and see spaces and also connect with various staff members who will be in the library to answer questions and provide support as needed.  

     

    When is Open Doors Day? 

    Open Doors Day at FRR will be hosted on Monday August 29th from 11:00am - 1:00pm.  Families and students who are interested in attending can enter the building through the main entrance off Harvard Street.  

     

    What is Open Doors Day?

    Open Doors Day is a chance to step inside our building, visit classrooms and shared spaces on a tour, and connect with staff members and community partners who will be here to answer questions and provide support as needed.  

     

    What Can I Expect at Open Doors Day?

    Any family who wishes to attend Open Doors Day must enter the building through the main entrance off Harvard Street and report to the Library first.  

     

    • There will be some staff and community partners in the library to answer questions, offer support, and make connections.  You can visit the library during Open Doors Day to connect with:

      • Our administration team

        • Jen Buller, principal

        • Saeed Ola, grades 6-8 Vice Principal

        • Erin Burke, grades 3-5 Vice Principal

        • Steve Simolaris, K-2 Vice Principal

      • Our Educational Team Facilitators

        • Jackie Mawn, K-3 ETF

        • Elizabeth Eichenberg, Grades 4-8 and TLC ETF 

      • Our PTO Leaders

        • Tha Chan, Kristin Hung, Kelly Salvatore 

     

    • You can also stop by the library during Open Doors Day to get support with:

      • Filling out the Health and Safety form on the Family Portal

      • Accessing your child’s class placement information on the Family Portal, school website, and PTO directory

      • Connecting with us around any questions you may have as you and your child(ren) get ready for the start of this school year 

     

    • We will also have 8th grade student leaders providing tours for families and students

      • Tours will leave the library every 20 minutes 

      • Groups will move together with students and families being grouped by grade level band (PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8) 

      • Families will not be allowed to tour the building independently

     

    Can my child(ren) come to Open Doors Day without an adult? 

    We are asking that all students come to the building with an adult.  Adult caregivers are welcome to come without their children.  

     

    Why are you hosting an Open Doors Day?

    During the school year our campus is closed and locked during the school day.  Though we welcome families in at many points throughout the year through work shares, performances, PTO Coffee and Conversations, and other school based events, we know that not everyone is able to make these events.  We want to provide an opportunity before the start of the school year for students and families to enter our beautiful spaces, preview where classrooms and shared spaces are located, and connect with our staff and community partners.  Our hope is that in providing this window of time to enter and connect each family will feel set up for a successful and smooth start to the school year.

     

    Do I have to attend Open Doors Day?  What if my child’s teacher is hosting their own visit day?

    This is an optional event.  You are welcome to attend if you would like and this does not take the place of any visit days set up by individual teachers.  

     

    Will I get to meet and talk with my child(ren)’s teacher(s)?

    Our staff officially returns to the Hive on Wednesday August 31st and we can’t wait to have everyone back here!  Though some teachers may be in the building setting up on Monday August 29th they are not expected to be here.  We ask that everyone who joins us for Open Doors Day and takes a tour is respectful of our spaces, stays with their tour group, understands that rooms and spaces are works in progress, and is not disruptive to the work of staff who may be in the building.  Families and students will get a chance to walk by their classroom(s) but will not be able to stop in and visit.  

     

    What do I do if I still have questions about Open Doors Day?

    You can always reach out to us at any time and we’d be happy to help answer any questions you may have. 



    We hope to see many of you at our Open Doors Day next Monday from 11:00a - 1:00p!

    Jen

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  • What's Happening at the Hive: Summer Edition #2

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 8/15/2022 12:00:00 PM

    Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends, 

     

    We are so excited to get the new school year started in just a few short weeks.  It is amazing to reflect on how much we have been through together in the past several years.  Our community has weathered the reconstruction of our physical space, the renaming of our school building, and a pandemic all within a decade.  Over the years we’ve collectively, and individually, experienced loss, grief, connection, hope, and joy.  With each complex challenge before us we were flexible, leaned on each other when things were tough, and found creative solutions to very tricky situations.  I am so proud of the work that we’ve done together over the past 8 years and am energized by the work that we have before us as we turn the page into a new chapter together.  

     

    I want to take a moment to welcome all of our new families.  Our community, the Hive, is one where we are collectively and constantly working towards a more just, affirming, and inclusive space where all our members can grow and thrive.  While we have made some significant progress towards achieving our goals and vision of what we desire our community to be, we still have much work to be done and invite all of you to join us in this collaborative effort.  

     

    Below and attached to this email you will find some important information about the opening of this coming school year including:

    • General school information and links

    • Logging into the Family Portal and Required Student and Health Verification Form

    • Class placement 

    • Financial Assistance application 

    • First Week of School

    • What to expect in the next community update

     

    General Florida Ruffin Ridley School Information

    School Hours and Calendar

    School begins promptly each day at 8:00am.  Students arriving after 8:05am are marked tardy and need to sign in at the main office.  Monday - Thursday school dismisses at 2:30pm and on Fridays students are dismissed at 1:40pm.  Please make every effort to have your student arrive on time each day and avoid early dismissals when possible.  

     

    You can find more information about upcoming events, school closures, and early release information on our school calendar.  It is an embedded Google calendar that you may want to consider subscribing to so you have all the up to date information in one place.  

     

    School Website and Twitter

    You can find a lot of information, including an archive of the bi-weekly What’s Happening at the Hive newsletters, on our Florida Ruffin Ridley School website.   There you will find contact information for staff, information from our PTO and after school program partners, and much more.  You can also follow us on Twitter @TheHiveInCC where we post reminders, photos, and other up to date happenings around the school community.  

     

    Main Office and Clinic Contact Information

    Main office phone number: 617-879-4400

    Absence call in line: 617-879-4410 (use to report daily absences)

    Clinic (Nurse) phone number: 617-879-4404

     

    Logging into the Family Portal and Required Student and Health Verification Form

    Earlier today you received notice from the Public Schools of Brookline regarding class placement information and accessing the Family Portal to fill out required back to school online forms.  

     

    There are a few steps you will need to complete to get your family ready for the start of the school year.  Below are the steps to take and following this list you will find more detailed information about each step

    1. Login to the Family Portal and find your child(ren)’s class placement

    2. Complete the Student and Health Verification form on the Family Portal

    3. Go to the Florida Ruffin Ridley School website and locate your child(ren)’s teacher(s) for a welcome letter and supply list (if applicable) 

    4. Go to the Membership Toolkit website and login/create an account to update your child(ren)’s classroom assignment 

     

    Logging In 

    Your credentials to the Family Portal involve your login ID (the email address associated with your PSB account and which you are receiving this email from) and the password associated with that account. If you need to reset your password, use the "I Forgot my Password" link on the login page. Follow the directions to reset your password. Please note that your email and the security question are both case-sensitive. If you still can't access the site, please contact datateam@psbma.org

     

    All existing information will pre-populate. You only need to update new items or pieces that need to be changed. Please note that you must sign, initial, and click “finish” for PSB to confirm you have completed the process. 

     

    Required Form in the Family Portal

    There is a Student and Medical Verification form that you will need to complete in the Family Portal prior to the start of the school year.  In the form you will be able to review, adjust, and confirm the following information: 

    • Student Information, including Homeroom and Student ID

    • Physical Address, including Affidavit of Residency

    • Contact Information, including Emergency Contacts

    • Parent/Caregiver(s) Permissions and Consents

    • Student and Parent/Caregiver(s) Agreements

    • Health Information, including COVID-19 attestation. Please note that this section of the form replaces the “Health and Medical Card” we have sent to families in previous years via the back-to-school packet.

     

    Please reference the communication from the district and this guide for step by step directions on accessing the Family Portal and completing the Student and Health Verification Form.  



    Support for Accessing the Family Portal 

    If you still need support in accessing the information and filling out the forms on the Family Portal, please consider stopping by our drop-in help session tomorrow (August 16th) from 2:00 - 6:00pm at the library at FRR.  You can enter the building through the main entrance off Harvard Street.  

     

    Class Placement 

    Summer Welcome Letters, Supply Lists, and Registering with Membership Toolkit

    Once you have located your child(ren)’s class placement head on over to our school website and search for your child(ren)’s teacher(s) by clicking on the CLASSROOMS tab and then opening the corresponding GRADE LEVEL page.  There you will find a welcome letter from your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and/or grade level team.  Within this letter may also include a supply list if needed.  You can then take all this new information and head on over to Membership Toolkit to log in or register your child with our PTO directory and update their class placement assignment. 

     

    Our newest members of our staff do not yet have their accounts set up by the district and do not show up officially in our system.  As such some classroom placements may read blank or TBD.  A separate email will be shared with families in these classes later this afternoon with additional information.  

     

    A Note About Class Placements

    Our staff devotes many hours to the careful construction of each class and the matching of class cohorts to educators.  We begin this work in April (with an option for families to provide additional information to our team) and conclude the process in the summer.  Because each class has been carefully balanced for social and academic peers and supports, class placement is finalized at this time.  

     

    Financial Assistance Application

    In order to maintain their eligibility for the next school year, families MUST submit a new application, along with current supporting documents. Financial Assistance applications can be found here. The form can be filled out on your computer and, with the supporting documents, emailed to financialassistance@psbma.org. PSB accepts photos and scans of all the documents. If you need assistance, please contact Qianna Price at 617-730-2425.

    First Week of School 

    Election Day

    Tuesday September 6th is Election Day in Brookline and our school is a polling location.  While we are excited to help support the important civil action of participating in elections, we know that there will be some challenges with our spaces being utilized on the first day of school and the added traffic that will be around our building on this day.  If you are able, I strongly encourage walking, biking, scooting, or taking public transportation to our school on this day.  

     

    First Days

    • Kindergarten students start their first day of school in smaller cohorts to help ease the transition.  Kindergarten classroom teachers will communicate directly about which day each student should attend as their first day (either Tuesday September 6th or Wednesday September 7th).  These are shorter days with students being dismissed at 12:00 noon each day.  No lunch is served on these days.  

      • Kindergarten teachers and staff will meet students outside for the first few days of school and walk them into the building to help them learn the routines and pathways to the classroom

    • Grades 1-8 students all begin on Tuesday, September 6th.  Drop off is outside of the building and students may use the Stedman Street, Playground, or Harvard Street entrances to enter the building.  Mr. Simolaris (our K-2 vice principal)  will be greeting students at the Playground entrance, Ms. Burke (our grades 3-5 vice principal) will be greeting students at the Stedman Street entrance, I will be located at the Harvard Street entrance, and Mr. Ola will be in the building greeting and supporting students in the hallways.  Additionally there will be many staff members stationed throughout our hallways during the first week to help students locate their classrooms and find their way around the building.  

     

    Next Communication 

    The week of August 29th you will receive one last communication regarding the opening of the school year via email.  In that email will be more information about arrival and dismissal procedures, lunch at FRR, health and safety protocols and procedures for the school year, and a link to our newly revised and updated Family/Student Guidebook.



    As I mentioned in my previous communication, there is a lot of information to take in at the start of the school.  As you move through all of this information, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.  I’ve share our administrative team’s contact information below:

     

    Enjoy these last weeks of summer, stay safe, and don’t forget to READ! 

     

    See you all soon!

    Jen   

     

    8/15 Class Placement Follow Ups 

    Hello 4S Families and Friends,

     

    I wanted to share with you that when you log on to the Family Portal today you will notice that your child’s class teacher is blank.  This is because the district has not yet set up accounts in the portal for all of our new staff members.  

     

    I am thrilled to share with you that James Smith will be your child’s classroom teacher next year.  You can find a welcome letter from Mr. Smith on our school website and update your child’s information in the PTO directory through Membership Toolkit.  The class is 4S.  

     

    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

    Jen 

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  • What's Happening at the Hive: Summer Edition #1

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 8/5/2022 4:30:00 PM

    Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley School Families and Friends,

     

    I hope that you all are having a safe summer filled with time to rest, relax and read!  Though our building has been busy with summer programs buzzing around our spaces, it isn’t quite the same when our whole hive is here together.  I’ve definitely missed seeing all our educators, students, and families over the past month.  

     

    Preparations for the upcoming school year are well underway and I am feeling energized and excited about all that we have to look forward to when we start up again on Tuesday, September 6th.  I did want to share a few brief updates and what you can expect in terms of communication as we get on the onramp to the school year this month. 

     

    Class Placement Notifications

    The Public Schools of Brookline is shifting the way in which families are notified of class placement assignments. This shift will help us all get more familiar with using the Family Portal (Aspen) as it is the central place to find information such as grades, attendance, progress reports as well as fill out important information such as health and other school forms.  

     

    On August 15th, you will receive a message from the District reminding you how to log into the Family Portal and access your child’s class placement. This message will also have instructions on how to reset/retrieve your username and password if needed, and other important Back to School information.  After you have the class placement assignment, head on over to our school website and search for your child(ren)’s teacher(s) by clicking on the CLASSROOMS tab and then opening the corresponding GRADE LEVEL page.  There you will find a welcome letter from your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and/or grade level team.  Within this letter may also include a supply list if needed.  You can then take all this new information and head on over to Membership Toolkit to log in or register your child with our PTO directory and update their class placement assignment.  

     

    All of this information will be shared again with more specific instructions and supporting documents in a follow up email from me on August 15th.  

     

    Support for using the Family Portal

    For those who may need assistance using the Family portal, FRR will be hosting a drop in help session from 2:00-6:00pm on August 16th in our library. If you would like some additional support with your account and accessing information found on the Family Portal and/or our website, please stop by during this drop in session.  You can enter the building by ringing the doorbell at the main entrance off Harvard Street. 

    Placement for Students Registering this Summer

    For our newer families who have registered within the past 2 months, once you set up and attend an appointment to meet with our guidance counselors towards the end of this month, our team will meet and determine your child(ren)’s placement.  At that time you will receive notification of placement.  

     

    Financial Assistance Application

    In order to maintain their eligibility for the next school year, families MUST submit a new application, along with current supporting documents. Financial Assistance applications can be found here. The form can be filled out on your computer and, with the supporting documents, emailed to financialassistance@psbma.org. PSB accepts photos and scans of all the documents. If you need assistance, please contact Qianna Price at 617-730-2425.
     

    Staffing Updates

    We have been busy this summer recruiting and supporting new educators as they join our Hive for the upcoming school year.  I know you all will join me in welcoming the following educators to our community!

     

    New to FRR this upcoming school year

    • James Smith: Grade 4

      • We are excited to welcome Mr. Smith to our Hive this coming school year.  Prior to joining our hive Mr. Smith ​​has worked as a language specialist in public elementary schools here in Massachusetts and abroad in Spain.

    • Elizabeth Eichenberg: Grades 4-8 and TLC ETF

      • Ms. Eichenberg joins our Hive this coming school year as our grades 4-8 and TLC Education Team Facilitator.  Prior to migrating to our Hive after 6 years in the Belmont Public Schools as an Inclusion Specialist where she served as a member of their crisis team, chaired initial, re-eval, and annual review special education meetings, and mentored new educators in the special education department.  

    • Sarah Hubbard Benham: Grade 7 ELA 

      • We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Benham to join our team at FRR this coming school year as our Grade 7 ELA educator which was previously Ms. Kane who has moved to Western Massachusetts to be closer to her family.  Ms. Benham is joining our community after serving for 3 years as a grade 7 ELA educator at Roxbury Prep Lucy Stone Uncommon Schools.  Prior to her service there she supported students for 2 years in Oklahoma as a 7th grade ELA educator and team leader.

     

    In addition to new staff joining our team for this coming school year, we have also had some transitions within our hive.  

     

    Returning to FRR 

    • Lexie Smith: Grades 3-4 Learning Center:

      • We are so excited to welcome back Ms. Smith to our grades 3-4 Learning Center.  Last school year Ms. Smith supported our grades 3 and 4 students with special education needs while covering for Ms. Greene’s 1 year leave of absence.  Ms. Greene is relocating to New York with her family and Ms. Smith will now join our Hive as our new grades 3-4 Learning Center educator. 

    • Emily Manning-Mingle: Art 

      • Ms. Manning-Mingle has spent the past two years working on a Master’s program at Boston University.  Her thesis exhibition was on view at the Stone Gallery this past spring.  We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Manning-Mingle back to the Hive!

    • Abigail Robichaud: Art

      • Ms. Robichaud was previously covering the 2 year leave of absence for Ms. Manning-Mingle.  Ms. Kwok is relocating to California to be closer to family and while we will miss her tremendously, we are thrilled that Ms. Robichaud will stay on at FRR to fill her position. 

    • Liliana O’Day: K-5 Spanish 

      • Ms. O’Day recently joined our Hive as a short term substitute teacher for Profé Elkhessassi this past fall. She has also been an outstanding paraprofessional serving the Heath community.  As Profé Elkhessassi transitions to a new role closer to home we are so excited to have Ms. O’Day rejoin our community in the role of K-5 Spanish educator!

     

    Transitioning to new roles at FRR

    • Jennifer Driscoll: Grade 4 

      • Previously Ms. Driscoll served the FRR community on our grade 3 team.  She has been a committed and strong educator in our community working in several different grade levels for 16 years.  With several positions being open on our grade 4 team for this coming school year (due to Ms. Gelotte’s retirement, Ms. Smith moving to a Science Coach role in Cambridge, and Ms. Cradle-deSilva relocating to Virginia) we are so fortunate to have Ms. Driscoll’s expertise and experience support our grade 4 team! 
    • Gwen Kerr: Grade 4 

      • Previously Ms. Kerr has been supporting our students in grades 6 and 7 with special education needs.  Prior to joining the FRR community Ms. Kerr worked as a grade 5 educator in Virginia.  In thinking about rebuilding our grade 4 team this year, we are thrilled to have Ms. Kerr bring her classroom and special education experience to the team! 

    • Katie Judd: Grade 3 

      • Previously Ms. Judd has been supporting our students in grades 7 and 8 with special education needs.  Ms. Judd has been a member of our FRR team for 10 years and has a strong commitment to inclusion, educational equity, and fostering student growth and achievement.  We are so excited to welcome her to our grade 3 team! 

     

    We are still working on finalizing hiring for several other positions in the building as well as rounding out our paraprofessional team.  We will share more staffing announcements in our next What’s Happening at the Hive: Summer Edition email later this month.  

     

    Summer Communications

    During the month of August you will receive additional communications from the district and our school via email.  Please pay close attention to these communications as they will have important information that will help you and your child(ren) get ready for the start of the school year.  The next edition of What’s Happening at the Hive: Summer Edition will come out in two weeks.  You can expect editions of What’s Happening at the Hive (our school wide newsletter) to be sent via email every two weeks.  We will also post it on our website.  


     

    I know this is a lot of information for August and with the start of the school year being about a month away.  The new school year always brings a lot of information to digest and process.  As you navigate this and future communications, if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to reach out (jennifer_buller@psbma.org 617-879-4403). 

     

    Stay cool and safe this weekend!

    Jen

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