Hello OCRS families,
We're heading into the last week of April and, at least after Monday, it looks like the temperature is going to finally begin to climb into a more spring-like range. I know that all of us are looking forward to more opportunities to get outside, even if it's only in our own yards. If you aren't aware, Smithfield has a number of terrific places to take a walk or hike with your family. Here's a link to some information information about each location right within Smithfield, https://www.smithfieldri.com/seven-scenic-walks/
District Schedule for the remainder of the school year
As families are aware, Governor Raimondo announced last Thursday that all R.I. schools would remain closed for the remainder of this school year. While this decision didn't come as a surprise, all OCRS teachers and staff are heartbroken that we will not be able to see our students in person again this school year. We are already beginning to brainstorm some ideas on how to make the remainder of the school year fun for our students with special activities and surprises over the next seven weeks. We will share more information as we are able to finalize our plans.
The R.I. Department of Education has implemented some statewide professional days and vacation days for the remainder of the school year to help make things more manageable for families and teachers alike. Here are the days that have been added to the Smithfield and OCRS calendar through June 12th:
May 6th (Wednesday) - Professional Day/Flexible Learning Day
May 15th (Friday) - Vacation Day
May 20th (Wednesday) - Professional Day/ Flexible Learning Day
May 25th (Monday) - Memorial Day Holiday
June 1st (Monday)- Professional Day/Flexible Learning Day
School principals continue to meet regularly with the superintendent and assistant superintendent to discuss what the Professional Day/Flexible Learning Day activities will look like and I will share that information with OCRS families as soon as it is available.
Schedule for this week
Across the district, this will be a full 5-day week of online learning for all students. The schedule for special area subjects is going to remain the same for the remainder of the year and can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/19bNaIxO65YWmTmFhYV3UedcUTgCe5-MJmgyJUhlLa0c/edit. Each classroom teacher will continue to share with the families of their students the individual classroom schedules for the day and week.
We know that online learning has been really challenging for families, particularly for families that are trying to work from home or are continuing to work as essential personnel. Please remember that the online learning schedules are suggested and that we will work with you to make adjustments as needed for your individual family. OCRS teachers and staff have been working extremely hard to be flexible and supportive and we will continue to do so for the remaining seven weeks of school.
Adding a Google Classroom by "Code"
Some students have been having difficulty accessing or joining the Google Classroom for their special area subjects (e.g. Art, Library, Music, and Physical Education). Because these Google Classrooms have a large number of students as members, it's difficult for the teacher to send individual invitations to each student. In these Classrooms, students need to join the Classroom using a "code" that is provided by their teacher or by the specialist themselves. I created a video demonstrating the process for families so they can assist students that may have been having difficulty. Please find a link to the video below;
Mrs. Costa's "Social Emotional Learning" Classroom and Resources
We are fortunate in Smithfield to have wonderful social workers that are available to support and work with our students and their families. Mrs. Michaella Costa works with OCRS students and families and she has put together her own Google Classroom with a TON of resources and activities for families. I highly recommend that families check out these incredibly helpful and useful resources!
To access Mrs. Costa's "Social Emotional Learning" Classroom, use the code ziy4nlm to join. The video above will walk families through the process of joining a Google Classroom using a code.
Virtual Spirit Days this Week
The response to last week's Virtual Spirit Days was terrific and we would like to continue the momentum that we have built as a school. Due to the school closure, we missed our normal "Reading Week" celebration, so we are considering making the theme for this week's Spirit Days center around reading. We need a little more time to work things out, so I will send the details out to families tomorrow.
Thank you to all teachers, staff, students, and families for everything that you have been doing while we have been away from school. We will continue to work together to finish these final seven weeks strong for our students!
Mr. Paul Barrette
OCRS students showing off their favorite t-shirts