Florida Ruffin Ridley School Principal's Blog

  • What's Happening at the Hive #2

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/25/2020 8:45:00 PM

    Hello Ruffin Ridley Families and Friends,


    We are excited to welcome our Grades 3-8 students back to the building this week as part of our transition to the hybrid model.  I know there are many questions and clarity needed from previous emails sent by the superintendent over the weekend as well as from our announcement of our first positive case in the Ruffin Ridley community.  Hopefully the information shared below will help clarify the plans for this week as well as give you the information you need to make decisions as we continue to move forward with the hybrid model.   Below you will find information about:

    • Cohort A/B weeks and the plan to move to Remote Wednesdays

    • Health and Safety reminders

    • Open House Schedule for this week

    • School Picture Day information

    • Updates from our nurses

    Cohort A/B Weeks and Remote Wednesdays

    As you have most likely read from the superintendent we will be transitioning our hybrid plan to Remote Wednesdays beginning the week of November 2nd.  This does NOT change anything scheduled for this week.  This week is a “B” week which means:

    • Students in Grades 1-8 who are in Cohort A will come into school Monday and Tuesday

    • Students in Grades 1-8 who are in Cohort B will come into school Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  A reminder that Wednesday dismissal is at 12:00 noon. 

    • Students in Kindergarten and our Hybrid First to Return program will continue to come in all 5 days this week with a 12:00 noon dismissal on Wednesdays


    The following week (the week of November 2nd) we will start our Remote Wednesdays which means:

    • Students in Grades 1-8 in Cohort A will come into school on Mondays and Tuesdays

    • Students in Grades 1-8 in Cohort B will come into school on Thursdays and Fridays

    • All students in Grades 1-8 will follow a fully remote schedule with their class on Wednesdays

    • Students in Kindergarten and the Hybrid First to Return program will come into school all five days.

    • All students K-8 will end school at 12:00 noon on Wednesdays regardless of whether they are in person or remote.  


    We will have to shift our school schedule again slightly to accommodate this change in the model.  I will be working with our vice principals this week on making the adjustments and then communicating them with our staff so auxiliary schedules (special education, EL services, etc) can be shifted and ready to implement as soon as possible.  


    Health and Safety Reminders


    Please take the time to review the Health and Safety guidelines with your family as we begin this next step in our hybrid model.  You can find all our protocols and procedures for hybrid in our Hybrid Resource Guide and watch our Building Protcols and Procedures video for students


    We work incredibly hard to maintain the many layers of protection in the building including masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.  Our kindergartners are becoming experts after their many weeks in the building and our first and second graders did an amazing job learning and practicing all the new routines and procedures this past week.  No doubt our Grades 3-8 students will also rise to this challenge and follow the safety protocols while they are in the building this coming week.  Please help us support a healthy and safe community by continuing these practices after school hours as well.  We have noticed an increase in the number of students playing on the playground, fields, and basketball courts in close proximity to one another without masks.  Help us keep our community safe and remind your child(ren) about proper mask use and physical distancing.  


    Remember to assess your child prior to them coming to school. Please keep your child home and call the school nurse if they are showing signs of illness. 

    • If your child is absent, whether in Hybrid or RLA, please remember to notify the school of any absence. 

    Please remember to pack extra changes of clothes and masks each day for your child. 


    Brookline Residents can make an appointment to have their flu shot. A flyer is attached with the dates and more information can be found here:  https://www.brooklinema.gov/446/Health-Department


    Open House Schedule for This Week


    Week of October 26th: Kindergarten Open House (individually scheduled- see communication from your child(ren)’s classroom teacher), Grades 6-8 will share asynchronous videos with families 


    Tuesday October 27th


    Wednesday October 28th

      • Grade 1 Open House (team synchronous see communication from your child(ren)’s classroom teacher for links) 6:30 - 7:00pm

      • Grade 5 Open House (individual synchronous- see communication from your child(ren)’s classroom teacher for links) 6:30 - 7:00pm

      • Grade 4 Open House (individual synchronous- see communication from your child(ren)’s classroom teacher for links) 6:30 - 7:00pm

      • Grades 3-5 Family Open House (synchronous) 7:00 - 7:30pm


    Thursday October 29th


    School Picture Day Information


    Cohort A picture day:  Monday, November 2nd 

    Cohort B picture day:  Thursday, November 5th


    Students enrolled in Hybrid will have their portraits taken at outdoor locations on the school grounds during the school day. RLA students may sign up for a 5-minute time slot after school on the school picture days.


    Pre-K & Kindergarten Pictures Days:

    Picture day for Pre-K(Powers), KBC, KC, KG, KH will be Monday, November 2nd

    Picture day for Pre-K(Kleiner), KF, KM, KN, KP will be Thursday, November 5th


    Ordering Pictures -

    Orders are due on their student's picture day. We highly encourage families to order pictures online to minimize the exchange of materials. Online ordering instructions can be found in the information emailed to all families. If ordering online is not possible, physical order forms will also be available that may be dropped off at school.


    Remote Learning Academy (RLA) Pictures Sign-Up - 

    RLA Families may sign up for 5 minute time slots after school from 2:45-4:00pm on either Monday, November 2nd or Thursday, November 5th to have their portraits taken. There will be three different outdoor locations so please make note of which location you sign up for (please see attached document with pictures of the outdoor locations). When students arrive for their picture, they should have their names written on a piece of paper and approach the photographer unaccompanied unless the child is too young to proceed independently or needs assistance. Parents must refrain from taking pictures on their cellphones while their child is having their picture taken. If a parent chooses not to order online they may pick up an order form and provide payment via cash or check when they arrive for their picture.


    Please sign-up your RLA student for a time slot using this link!



    Picture make-up information - 

    If a child is absent the day of their picture we will be having make-ups on Monday, January 11th and Thursday January 14th.

    As we start this exciting week where we will welcome back even more bees to our hive, I recognize that some families may feel nervous or worried about sending your child(ren) to school.  If you have any questions about what we are doing to mitigate risk at school and how we are following up with contact tracing when community cases are confirmed, please don’t hesitate to reach out to myself, the vice principals, and our school nurses.  

    Jennifer Buller, Principal and Grade 4 point person  jennifer_buller@psbma.org 

    Steven Simolaris, K-2 Vice Principal and Grade 3 point person steven_simolaris@psbma.org 

    Saaed Ola, Grades 6-8 Vice Principal and Grade 5 point person saeed_ola@psbma.org 

    Brianna Cormos, School Nurse brianna_cormos@psbma.org

    Jana Young, School Nurse jana_young@psbma.org 


    There is a lot of communication and information right now and as plans shift and evolve this can cause confusion and uncertainty.  Please reach out to us and we will do our best to clarify information and keep you informed of all the adjustments we are making daily to help ensure safety, connection, and support for all our students and families.  



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  • What's Happening at the Hive- Hybrid Edition

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/19/2020 8:45:00 PM

    Hello Florida Ruffin Ridley Families and Friends,

    We are so excited to start the hybrid model and welcome back our first and second graders tomorrow and our Grades 3-8 students next week.  The nervous anticipation and excitement surrounding tomorrow and the following week make it feel like another first day of the school year!  

    No doubt you may still have many questions and concerns as you prepare for the transition.  Below are a few reminders and follow ups with many linked resources including:

    • Grades 3-8 Family Forum
    • Hybrid Resource Guide
    • Family Lunch Volunteer Safety training
    • School Council


    Grades 3-8 Family Forum

    A quick reminder that this Wednesday at 8:00pm we will be hosting a Grades 3-8 Family Forum.  We will share and review information connected to the hybrid transition for our upper elementary and middle school students and leave some space for questions.


    Wednesday, October 21st 8:00pm


    Join Zoom Meeting


    Meeting ID: 834 0981 0287

    Passcode: HiveHybrid


    Hybrid Resource Guide

    In our Hybrid Resource Guide you will find much of the information that has been shared over the past few weeks all centrally located in one document. 


    Family Lunch Volunteer Safety Training

    Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help us with lunch coverages and who attended this evening’s training session.  If you were unable to attend please take a moment to review our Family Volunteer Safety Training slidedeck  You can follow up directly with me with any questions.  As a reminder everyone needs to fill out the health attestation form which requires you to log in to your Aspen account.  If you have forgotten your login credentials please email datateam@psbma.org 


    School Council Meetings

    We will be starting up our School Council meetings this month in addition to our Family Forums and Open Houses.  


    School Council meetings are public meetings and all are welcome to attend.  According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education “school councils are to assist principals in:

    • Adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards
    • Identifying the educational needs of students attending the school
    • Reviewing the annual school building budget
    • Formulating a school improvement plan”

    For more information on the function of School Councils in public schools please visit the DESE website. 


    Below is the link for all the meetings and the schedule for the year.  I want to thank Wadner Oge, Kim Uyen Dang, Jennifer Forry, and Manjari Miller for service as our family representatives this year.  Riley Bellao, Michael Maresca, and Daniel Lipton will serve as our staff representatives.  We hope to see many of you present at these meetings! 


    • School Council meeting link
      • Meeting ID: 873 9889 5999
      • Passcode: Council
    • Schedule for 2020 - 2021 School Year (all meetings are on Wednesdays)
      • October 28th 7:00 - 8:00am 
      • December 2nd 7:00 - 8:00pm
      • January 27th 7:00 - 8:00pm 
      • March 24th 7:00 - 8:00am
      • May 26th 7:00 - 8:00pm

    Remember: it is okay to feel overwhelmed, there is a lot of information being shared right now as we make this transition and this is yet another BIG shift in a short time span.  With routine, practice, and collaboration we will “get good” at this too, just as we have with our other shifts since March.  It will take all of us, working together, sharing open and honest communication, and grounding ourselves in kindness, compassion, and empathy to get through this year safe and whole.  I am confident in our ability to come together as a community and overcome the many challenges we are facing and will face throughout this year. 


    I hope to see many of you at this Wednesday’s Family Forum!


    Comments (-1)
  • Transition to Hybrid Family Forums

    Posted by Jennifer Buller on 10/14/2020 1:00:00 PM

    Hello Ruffin Ridley Friends and Families,


    I wanted to remind you that we will be hosting two family forums to help prepare everyone for the transition to the hybrid model. 

    Grades 1-2 Family Forum

    Wednesday, October 14th 8:00pm


    Join Zoom Meeting


    Meeting ID: 842 5268 3604

    Passcode: HiveHybrid

    Grades 3-8 Family Forum

    Wednesday, October 21st 8:00pm


    Join Zoom Meeting


    Meeting ID: 834 0981 0287

    Passcode: HiveHybrid

    At this time, all cohort information is finalized and has been shared with families.  Our updated Hybrid Model Plan will hopefully help you understand the model and rotating Wednesdays.  If you have questions or do not know your cohort assignment, please contact the grade level point person below:


    Grades 1-3: Steve Simolaris (steven_simolaris@psbma.org

    Grade 4: Jen Buller (jennifer_buller@psbma.org

    Grades 5-8: Saeed Ola (saeed_ola@psbma.org


    I look forward to seeing you tonight and next week as we gear up for our transition to the hybrid schedule and model. 


    Comments (-1)