What's Happening at the Hive #12

Posted by Jennifer Buller on 2/16/2021 12:00:00 PM

Hello Ruffin Ridley Families and Friends,

I hope that you are each spending some time this February break reconnecting off screens, enjoying some time to read together, and staying healthy and safe.  

Our Grade 1 team, custodians, and staff volunteers are hard at work this week “off” preparing for the return of Grade 1 to full in person learning.  We are moving 6 classrooms and 2 small group spaces and transforming music classrooms and the Makerspace into early childhood classrooms that will be welcoming, warm, and supportive for all our Grade 1 students and staff.  I want to thank not only our staff who have been in the building working on their week away from students but to our families as well who have stepped up to support our teachers in their new spaces with the myriad of needs that comes with doubling the amount of students in person each day.  We are excited to debut our new spaces and practice new routines and procedures with our Grade 1 students in their cohorts when we return on Monday, February 22nd.  

Below are a few weekly updates and reminders including:

  • Travel reminders

  • Florida Ruffin Ridley “Blog” and Virtual Event through Brookline Library

  • Rescheduled Florida Ruffin Ridley renaming ceremony

  • Lunch Volunteers NEEDED! 

  • Grade 1 Family Forum 2/22 at 8:00pm

  • COVID-19 Weekly Update

 

Travel Reminders

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading Covid-19 and that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. It is imperative that you are aware of, and adhere to, the latest Massachusetts travel restrictions and advisories. 

 

Per the travel order issued by Governor Baker on August 1, 2020, all families traveling from out-of-state and internationally must self-quarantine for ten (10) days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. More information can be found here.

 

Please know that if you intend to travel outside the country or to one of the high risk states over the February break, you and your child should quarantine and not return to school for 10 days, or until receiving a negative Covid-19 test.  For information about free Stop the Spread testing facilities in other communities, visit Mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread.

 

Florida Ruffin Ridley “Blog” and Virtual Event through Brookline Library

As we continue to celebrate Black History Month and build up to our renaming celebration on February 26th we are excited to have Dr. Barbara Brown share with us weekly reflections and information about Florida Ruffin Ridley.  Information on this “blog” will be updated weekly.  

On Saturday, February 27th at 3:00pm the Brookline Public Library will be hosting a free webinar about Florida Ruffin Ridley.  Pre-registration is required.

https://www.brooklinelibrary.org/events/event/the-legacy-of-florida-ruffin-ridley/ 

 

Rescheduled Florida Ruffin Ridley Renaming Ceremony

As you might remember, we had intended to celebrate our historic renaming on Florida Ruffin Ridley’s birthday on January 29th.  However, Mother Nature had some other ideas and wrapped us up in an icy grasp that made it unsafe to host the event as previously planned.  

As with everything this year, we took some time and pivoted to a new date and a back up plan in case we can’t host the event live. 

We will proceed with celebrating our renaming on Friday, February 26th at 3:30pm via Brookline Interactive Group livestream.  In the case of inclement weather there will be a “live” launch of a fully remote program at the same date/time.  

We are excited to bring the renaming process almost to completion.  We are still holding space and resources for a full community celebration (hopefully outdoors this summer) that properly celebrates the work of the renaming process and the accomplishments and legacy of Florida Ruffin Ridley.  

 

Lunch and Coverage Volunteers

We are still very much in need of lunch volunteers.  Please consider volunteering for one, two, or more lunch periods this month.  You can sign up to volunteer in grade levels outside of the one(s) that your child(ren) attend.  We are in most need of volunteers for our middle school lunch blocks.

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0a48a4a72ca3fe3-frrlunch 

 

Grade 1 Family Forum

This Monday, February 22nd at 8:00pm, I will be hosting a special Family Forum for our Grade 1 families to review the transition to full in person learning.  

Join Zoom Meeting

https://psbma-org.zoom.us/j/93082003694?pwd=aitNaHIwUGpucHQxN2RmMzZ1OWRHdz09 

Meeting ID: 930 8200 3694

Passcode: FRRGrade1

 

COVID-19 Weekly Update

As a reminder you can access the PSB COVID-19 dashboard on the main page of the Public Schools of Brookline website. There you will find the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the PSB school community by week and learning model. For the purpose of this dataset, weeks run Monday - Sunday.

For the week of February 8th - February 14th at Ruffin Ridley we have had 1 confirmed positive case in our community.  

 

Over the next few weeks the district will be engaging in conversations and work connected to returning more students back to full in person learning.  I will be working alongside district leaders, my principal colleagues, and our incredible administrative team here to find solutions to the challenges of increasing the number of students in our building while we are still in the midst of a pandemic and need to ensure everyone’s health and safety.  

These are stressful times for everyone, families, students, staff.  We must stay connected as a community, stay curious, and ask questions over jumping to conclusions and making assumptions.  As I have said in family forums and weekly updates this entire year, our goal is to emerge from the pandemic whole, healthy, and safe.  I want everyone to be able to look back on these moments and be proud of the way they respected opposing viewpoints and concerns, feel inspired by the empathy and kindness they showed to others, and find strength in the ways in which we were able to knit ourselves tighter together rather than pull apart in a time of crisis.  

We know that many in our community are struggling and mental health is declining.  Families and staff are working so hard to hold things together for our children and students and address their emergent needs.  The prioritization of mental health supports is critical as we start to turn our attention to planning for next school year.  

There are so many glimmers of light and hope lately, vaccinations, falling case counts, the promise of warmer weather in Spring, and more students returning to full in person learning.  Yet, there is so much work that still needs to be done.  We need to remain vigilant in our mitigation efforts: masking, hand hygiene, distancing, and following the guidance around travel and what to do if you or your child is experiencing symptoms.  Now is not the time to let our guard down no matter how fatigued we all are with the things in place that are keeping us safe and healthy.  

I am confident in our community, our team, to pull each other closer and find ways to lift up our corner of the world and bring light, hope, and warmth to our neighbors and friends.  I wish you a peaceful and safe break from school this week… and of course don’t forget to get in some good hours reading together! 

Jen