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Update for the Week of October 18th
Update for the Week of October 18th
Paul Barrette
Sunday, October 18, 2020

Hello OCRS families,

It was an absolutely beautiful fall weekend and I hope that you were able to enjoy the cooler fall weather. There is a LOT of information and resources for OCRS families in this week's update, so please take some time to read through everything carefully!

October 19th Flex Day

As part of the R.I. Department of Education calendar that districts were asked to adopt for this school year, a number of "Flex Days" were included to allow teachers and staff to engage in regular planning to prepare for teaching students in-person as well as virtually. While these Flex Days were originally scheduled to be monthly, a few were removed from the calendar after the governor delayed the opening of school for two weeks. Smithfield's first Flex Day is scheduled for Monday, October 19th. Here is what a Flex Day means for students:

  • In-person students will not report to school on Flex Days. All students will be home on Flex Days.
  • There will be no live instruction on a Flex Day for either in-person or virtual students.
  • All students, in-person and virtual, will have an English Language Arts and Math activity to work on during each Flex Day. In-person students will NOT be bringing home their school Chromebooks ahead of Flex Days. The activities will not require the use of a Chromebook.

More information about the upcoming Flex Day ELA and Math activities will be forthcoming from each student's teacher.

Upcoming District Flu Clinics

In partnership with The Wellness Company, the Smithfield Public Schools is offering two after school flu clinics.

  • The first is being held at Gallagher Middle School on Monday, 10/19 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • The second is being held at Smithfield High School on Wednesday, 10/28 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Both clinics require online registration and appointment scheduling at prior to the days of the clinics. No walk-ins will be allowed at either flu clinic. Please see the attached flyers for important information about health safeguards and precautions, as well as additional information.

USDA Farmers to Families Food Program

The USDA Farmers to Families program provides boxes of food from local farms to families in need. The box of food includes:

  • Each box will have 12 pounds of produce, 5 pounds of meat, and 5 pounds of dairy, and will weigh around 22 pounds.
  • Each box will also be accompanied by a gallon of 2% milk.
  • The assortment of produce, meat, and dairy will likely change as products are available and we will keep you posted as to the contents.

If you would like to participate in this program, please email our school social worker, Michaella Costa, at ASAP!

Important PTA Information

PTA Membership

Please sign-up to be a member of the OCRS PTA for the 2020-2021 school year. OCRS PTA membership fees this year are $5.00 for the 1st family member, and $3.00 for each additional family member. Families can sign-up and pay for the membership online at OR complete the attached flyer and return to your child's teacher with a check made out to the "OCRS PTA".

PTA Meeting, November 4th at 7:00 p.m.

The next PTA meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 4th at 7:00 p.m. As most meetings this school year, the PTA meeting will be virtual and families can join via any internet connected device using this link, Families can also join by phone by calling ‪1-315-795-1364‬ PIN: ‪811 884 762‬#

PTA Board Nominations

There are currently three open PTA Board positions for the 2020-2021 school year; Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President of Events. If you would like to nominate someone (or yourself) for one of the above board positions, please email the PTA President, Jon Poyourow at In order to serve on the PTA Board, you do need to be an active member.

PTA Ideas and Input for the 2020-2021 School Year

The OCRS PTA is requesting your help in 2020/21 to submit your ideas! In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to take advantage of the extensive expertise and talents of the OCRS community to come up with new ways to provide our kids with rewarding experiences and activities. As we brainstorm ideas for these activities, we want to ensure that we are considering the needs of families whose students are learning virtually at home, as well as families whose students are attending school in-person.

Please submit YOUR ideas to the PTA using the link below to help us create safe, engaging events and experiences for our students that also allow us to raise funds to support the PTA!

R.I. School Support Helpline

The Highlander Institute, an education non-profit based in Providence, has been offering an ongoing helpline for educators and families. The helpline aims to answer questions, provide solutions, and make connections in relation to school reopening and other education issues during this challenging time. Individuals can submit requests through either their web form ( or by calling 401-232-4725. This service is possible due to generous support from the Rhode Island Foundation and United Way Rhode Island. Please see the attached flyer for additional information.

Support for Adoptive and Foster Families

The Village for R.I. Foster and Adoptive Families is offering weekly online sessions on the topic of "Parenting During a Pandemic". To register for a session, go to Also, please see the attached flyer for additional information.

American Diabetes Association Project Power program

The American Diabetes Association’s Project Power program is being offered to school-aged children 7-13. It’s a FREE virtual afterschool program that focuses on kids’ health, nutrition education, physical activity and wellness. Each participant will receive a FREE Activity Box delivered right to their door. Sessions are also being offered in a non-digital format to ensure that families who do not have access to technology are equipped with the resources that they will need to be engaged for the activities throughout the program. Please see the attached flier for additional information.

2020-21 Recycling Poster & Video Contest

Join experts from the Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) and JASON Learning to hear about this year's recycling contest! Open to all students K-12, this is an opportunity for students, teachers, and families to hear from experts in the recycling industry, receive helpful tips and the challenge, and ask questions. Come join us! Visit for full contest details, rules and guidelines, and helpful resources for teachers and students! Please note, all students under the age of 18 must register for this event with an adult (family member, teacher, parent, guardian).

Upcoming Dates and Events

Flex Day (No in-person learning for students), Monday 10/19

Election Day, NO SCHOOL, Tuesday 11/3

OCRS PTA Meeting, Wednesday 11/4 at 7:00 p.m.

School Pictures, Monday 11/9

Veteran's Day, NO SCHOOL, Wednesday 11/11


Continued thanks to OCRS families for your Patience, Flexibility, and Empathy. Those three words are going 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.

Mr. Barrette

Kindergarten Making Groups and Patterns