Hello OCRS families,
Thank you for your support in a successful second week of school. Students, staff, and families are beginning to adjust to all of the new routines and it showed this week in a number of ways. We know that we still have additional adjustments to make and we will continue to work with families to find the best balance during this challenging time.
There IS school this Monday, September 28th
Originally the state had asked every RI district to follow the same school calendar and that calendar did include a school holiday for Yom Kippur. However, when the governor delayed the start of the school year by two weeks, it caused each district to scramble to adjust their calendars to account for the two week delay without continuing the school year into July. One way that Smithfield made this adjustment was to remove Yom Kippur as a school holiday. So, we DO have school tomorrow, Monday September 28th.
Updated School/District Calendar
Just a reminder that all families can find the updated school and district calendar posted on the OCRS website under "Explore" and "Parent Info".
You can also subscribe to the "OCRS Public Events" calendar at https://calendar.google.com/calendar/u/0?cid=c21pdGhmaWVsZC1wcy5vcmdfbWdzZGU0dDkya2JkOGxjc2d0Mjk3dTlzajhAZ3JvdXAuY2FsZW5kYXIuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbQ.
What process and protocol is the school following when a student or staff member is ill?
Process and protocol
With COVID-19, schools and families need to treat symptoms of illness very differently than we needed to in the past. What may have been treated as a simple cold now needs to be considered differently to ensure that students and staff do not attend school when demonstrating symptoms that are associated with COVID-19. The R.I. Department of Health has created an excellent 2-page "What happens when a student or staff member has symptoms associated with COVID-19?" document that I have linked for all families. This is a terrific summary of the process and protocol that OCRS and all R.I. schools are following when a student or staff member is ill. As you will see from the document, there are specific instances when a student or staff member must be tested for COVID-19 and other instances where they do not need to be tested.
After Illness Return to School Attestation Form
Any student or staff member that is sent home from school or is not able to attend school because they are ill with symptoms that are associated with COVID-19 MUST complete an "After Illness Return to School Attestation Form". Mrs. Forte has been providing this form to families when a student has needed to be sent home from school or has not been able to attend school. The form includes information about COVID-19 testing locations, as well as the attestation itself. I have linked the form so that each family has an opportunity to see what the Attestation form looks like.
Daily Health Screening tickets
Part of the process to make sure that students demonstrating any symptoms associated with COVID-19 do not attend school are the Daily Health Screening tickets that the district created for all families to use. If your child is attending school in-person, please make sure to complete a ticket each day to help assess whether your child is healthy enough to attend school that day. If you have multiple children attending OCRS, a ticket needs to be completed for EACH child EVERY day. I have linked to blank tickets in the event that any family does not have a ticket.
Open House, Wednesday October 7th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Like many things this school year, Open House is going to look a little different than it has in the past. However, what will not change is that Open House is a great opportunity for parents and families to meet their child's teachers and learn about what their child is learning. This year's elementary school Open House is scheduled for Wednesday, October 7th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and it will be VIRTUAL. Families will join Google Meets set up by teachers to get tours of both the in-person and virtual classrooms, as well as to hear about what is happening in the classrooms. Teachers will be in-person at school in order to be able to connect with families via video chat and to show their classrooms. We will share more detailed information as we get closer to October 7th.
Just a reminder that Open House is not intended to be an opportunity for families to have one-on-one in-depth meetings with teachers about their individual child. The purpose of Open House is a chance for families to visit the classrooms and meet the teachers. If you have very specific concerns about your child, please reach out to your child's teacher to schedule a separate meeting.
Teacher assistant training course
Have you ever considered being a teacher assistant for a R.I. public school? Teacher assistants are a crucial resource to students, particularly students that need additional academic, communication, or behavioral support. If you are interested in becoming a RIDE certified teacher assistant, East Bay Educational Collaborative is beginning a training program in October. Please see https://ebecri.org/taprogram for additional information.
New PTA OCRS "Spirit Wear" site
The OCRS PTA has been working with their vendor to open up the OCRS "Spirit Gear" website for orders from any families who are interested in purchasing an OCRS t-shirt, fleece, or hat. In order to get this first order of the year in, families will need to submit their order by October 11th. Families that are interested can place their order online at https://jandrstores.com/oldcountyroad/. You can see a breakdown of the products being offered by checking out the linked order form. You can also email Jon Poyourow with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you again for your continued Patience, Flexibility, and Empathy throughout these first few weeks of school. Those three important words are going to continue to guide us throughout this school year and we will all need to continue to make adjustments as the year progresses. As long as we approach those adjustments with the best interests of our students as our priority, I am confident that this will be a safe and successful year.
First grade exploring math manipulatives
Second grade safely distancing during independent reading