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Update for the Week of April 20th
Update for the Week of April 20th
Paul Barrette
Sunday, April 19, 2020

Hello OCRS families,

What a strange weather weekend! While it was kind of exciting to see the snow Saturday morning, I'm glad that the warm Spring weather means that the snow didn't stick around for long!

Video from OCRS teachers and staff to students and families

All of the OCRS teachers and staff truly miss seeing our students in person at school each day, so we collaborated on a video to let students and families know how much we miss them and how proud we are of how well everyone is handling this extremely difficult situation. Thank you especially to Miss Farrell who organized and assembled the video! We are so happy to share it with you!


Schedule for Friday, April 24th

All four elementary principals have been hearing from families that, while you are thankful to the teachers for everything they have been doing to make sure that learning continues, there is a growing concern about the amount of screentime that kids have been engaged in. To help address that concern, this Friday will be a day away from screens as much as possible for students, a "Screen Free Friday" (at least for school). Teachers and staff will be engaged in meetings and workshops throughout the day.

There will be no live online teaching this Friday and there will not be any recorded video lessons for students to watch, but it will still be a "school day". Each classroom teacher will assign their students one guided Reading activity, one Math activity, and one STEM activity that can be completed according to whatever schedule works best for families on Friday. In addition, Mr. Gruczka and Mrs. Forte will provide a menu of physical and health activities that students can try. All of these activities will be away from the Chromebook or other screens (although you may need to check Google Classroom just to see what the assignments will be).

Virtual "Spirit Days"

I have heard from OCRS families that students have enjoying the virtual "Spirit Days" and that you would like to see them continue. To make things easier for everyone and to avoid adding "one more thing" to everyone's plates, we will just have our virtual "Spirit Days" on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we will make them simple to choose whether to participate or not. Here are the days we have planned for this week:

Tuesday, pretend to be an OCRS teacher or staff member. Students will be encouraged to pretend to be an OCRS teacher or staff member and ask their family to send a picture to Mr. Barrette and the teacher or staff member they are pretending to be. Dressing up is not necessary, but you are welcome to get as creative as you'd like!

Thursday, show off your favorite T-shirt. Students will be encouraged to wear their favorite (or funniest) T-shirt and ask their family to send a picture to Mr. Barrette. T-shirts can be funny or they can just be your favorite!

"Grab and go" lunches available Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m.

We know that a number of families are currently experiencing food insecurity due to the  COVID-19 pandemic. The Smithfield Public Schools are grateful to be able to provide free "grab and go" lunches Monday through Friday. Here are the details:

  • "Grab and go" lunches will be available for pick-up Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Old County Road School.
  • Everyone 18 years of age and younger is eligible to receive a free "grab and go" lunch and a breakfast. Parents may also pick up meals for children in their family that are not with them.
  • On Fridays, meals will also be distributed for the weekend, one lunch and one breakfast per day for each child.
  • Meals will be prepared and distributed by staff from the district's food service provider, Chartwells, and these staff will be required to wear a mask and gloves.
  • We strongly encourage all families that come to pick-up meals to follow the recommendations of the governor and wear a facemask. This is for the safety of all families and district staff.
  • A strategy that has worked well across the state is for families to pull up in front of the school and pop their truck/tailgate so that meals can be placed directly in the back of the vehicle.

We are very thankful for the cooperation and support of our partners at Chartwells, along with the Smithfield Public School facilities staff, that are allowing this program to happen.

Thank you to all teachers, staff, students, and families for everything that you have been doing while we have been away from school. I am so proud to be part of the OCRS community!

Mr. Paul Barrette