What's Happening at the Hive #17

Posted by Jennifer Buller on 4/5/2021 3:00:00 PM

Hello Ruffin Ridley Families and Friends,

I hope that everyone found some space to slow down and enjoy time outside and away from screens over the long weekend.  

We had a super successful “3rd First Day” on Monday 3/29 when our Grades 2-5 students transitioned to full in person learning.  It was a busy four days and I could see the excitement and exhaustion on our young students faces as we put in four full days together.  It is no surprise that many of our students left on Thursday afternoon tired and needing to rebuild their school stamina.   These next few weeks we will be spending some time shoring up routines and procedures and establishing new communities as classroom cohorts merge together in person for the first time this year.  It certainly is an exciting time for our school! 

Below please find some updates and reminders including information about:

  • Grades 6-8 Transition to Full In Person Learning
  • COVID-19 Weekly Update
  • Student Pooled Testing
  • Full In Person Learning Guide
  • Lunch Reminders 
  • Family/Teacher Conferences
  • Class Placement Family Feedback Deadline

 

Grades 6-8 Transition to Full In Person Learning

We are excited to welcome back our Grades 6-8 students to full in person learning on Monday April 12th.  To prepare for the transition we are inviting all Grades 6-8 families to a special Family Forum tonight (4/5 ) at 8:00pm to review the transition plan and answer any questions.

Grades 6-8 Transition Family Forum

Meeting ID: 991 2486 9073

Passcode: 6-8Return

 

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 March 29 - April 4 at Ruffin Ridley we have had 2 confirmed positive cases and 0 presumed positive cases in our community which resulted in 8 close contacts being identified.  

 

Jump in the Pool!  Student COVID-19 Pooled Testing 

Continuing this week, PreK-8th grade students who attend school in person, have the opportunity to participate in weekly pooled testing. 

Guardian sign-up and consent link: https://forms.gle/ZupK8z5odD5gMov5A

You only need to sign up once to participate. The sign-up deadline to take part in this round is today (Monday).  If you don't opt in this week, you'll still be able to sign up for the following week. We have allocated extra staffing resources for this testing.  We ask that those who sign up their student(s) make every effort to have them present at school on their day of testing, as well as making them aware that they have been signed up to be tested. 

If you still have questions about student pooled testing, please reach out to our nurses, Brianna Cormos and Jana Young at 617-879-4404.

 

Full In Person Learning Guide

To support our families and streamline information about the transition to full in person learning we have created this guide for all our families.  

We are currently working on translating the guide into multiple languages.  If you would like to help with these efforts please volunteer to translate important school communication: bit.ly/frrtranslate

 

Lunch Reminders

LINQ Online Lunch Ordering

As we just about double the amount of students who will be present in the building with us each day it is very important that families fill out lunch orders each day that your child(ren) will be taking part in the school lunch program.  

Please pre-order online. We are encouraging all families of in person learners to utilize online pre-ordering. Families will need to set up an account at onlineordering.linq.com. Instructions are available on the Food Services website at https://publicschoolsofbrooklineschoolnutrition.com

If you are having trouble with your LINQ account or placing the online order please email Tess Washburn (tess_washburn@psbma.org) or Susan Crossley (susan_crossley@psbma.org) with questions.  

As a reminder all school lunches remain free of charge for every student this entire school year thanks to a USDA grant.  We still need students/families to place their orders online so our cafeteria staff knows how many meals to prepare each day.  

Lunch Volunteers Still Needed!


As we continue to transition more students to full in person learning we are counting on the community to help us with lunch supervision.  Our adjusted schedule and requirement to maintain 6 feet of distance during unmasked times means we will have a greater need for lunch volunteers.  Without adequate volunteers for lunch supervision our ability to safely monitor students, including keeping unmasked students separated and engaged in safe eating practices, diminishes greatly as the few volunteers we have are spread between classroom spaces.  Remember, our goal is to emerge from this year as a whole community healthy and safe.  It will take all of us working in partnership to achieve this goal. 

 

Please consider donating a few hours of your time, even if it is one time slot a week or month. 

 

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

 

Family/Teacher Conferences

This week we begin our spring cycle for Family/Teacher conferences.  If you have not signed up for a conference with your child(ren)’s teacher in K-5 please reach out to them by the end of this week.  In Grades 6-8 if you would like to set up a time for a conference, please reach out to your child(ren)’s homeroom teacher.  If you are having trouble setting up a time, please contact your child(ren)’s grade level vice principal: Saeed Ola, Grades 6-8 (saeed_ola@psbma.org), Erin Burke, Grades 3-5 (erin_burke@psbma.org), Steven Simolaris, K-2 (steven_simolaris@psbma.org

 

Class Placement Family Feedback Deadline: Friday 4/9

Our placement process includes an opportunity for families to provide information or share unique circumstances that you feel are important. We respect your right to advocate for your child and understand that you know your child best over time. Especially in this unique year, you have valuable information from all the time your child(ren) spent at home learning. If you feel  that you have additional information that the placement team is not aware of, you are invited to fill out our Class Placement Feedback form. We will NOT be accepting letters via email this year and encourage all families who wish to submit additional information to use this form so we can keep all the information organized.  

All information must be submitted via the form no later than Friday, April 9th. 

Completing the form is optional.  The same care and consideration will be given to every child during the placement process whether a parent/guardian submits input.

If you do complete the form, your information will be shared with the placement team.  Please remember that our primary objective is to ensure that each student will be assigned to a class that he/she can learn and grow academically and socially, and to build classes that function as lively heterogeneous cohorts.  Requests for specific teachers in writing or in person will not be considered as part of this process. We take our responsibility seriously and, therefore, allocate ample time and care as we engage in reflection while looking forward to planning for next year’s classes.

If you are planning on moving and/or sending your child(ren) to another school for the 2021 - 2022 School Year please fill out this online form to help us gather information regarding next year’s students. You will need to fill out multiple forms if you have more than one child at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School.  

 

 

With just two weeks until the April break we are looking forward to building some momentum and bringing more students back into the hive full time.  I want to thank you all for your continued support of our staff and students as they move through this transition and we reintroduce more opportunities for connections and community building.  Your generosity, whether it has been the time you’ve given to volunteer in the building or the supplies you’ve donated to help facilitate a safe transition to full in person learning, has been very much appreciated.  We are grateful to all our families and the PTO for helping take care of each other and our staff during this challenging school year.  As we take a turn toward planning for next school year there is much hope, optimism, and excitement in our hive.  We hope that you too, are all beginning to feel our community knit closer together and are able to find joy and celebration in these final months of school. 

Jen