Hello OCRS families,
I can't believe that I'm typing this, but our crazy New England Fall weather included an earthquake this weekend! I am grateful that it was a "light" earthquake as categorized on the Richter Scale and that the rest of the weekend's weather was otherwise spectacular.
As I included in last week's update, as we move into the holiday season, it's going to be extremely important for all of us to make sure that we continue to follow the mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, and health screening guidelines at school to keep everyone healthy and safe. Students at OCRS are continuing to do extremely well following the guidelines while at school and we are proud of them!
NO SCHOOL, Wednesday (Veterans Day)
There is no school for all students, in-person and virtual, this Wednesday, November 11th as we celebrate Veterans Day across our state and country. We are unable to celebrate Veterans Day this year with a school assembly and program like we did last year, but each classroom will discuss the meaning of Veterans Day together and celebrate together. Some of our 1st grade students spent time this past week writing letters to our veterans!
School Pictures being taken on Monday, November 9th
School pictures for students are scheduled to be taken on Monday, November 9th by Lifetouch. Pictures for in-person students will be taken during the school day by classroom and the process will follow proper physical distancing and cleaning guidelines. Virtual learning students have been invited to sign up for a time after school between 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to come into OCRS and get their picture taken. There will not be typical "class pictures" this year where all of the students are crowded together for a classwide picture. However, Lifetouch will create class pictures by merging the individual photos from each student (in-person and virtual) into a composite class photo.
Here is some information from Lifetouch about the health and safety protocols that they have in place when taking school pictures, https://schools.lifetouch.com/blog-picture-day-protocol/
Here is the Picture Day ID for any families planning to order pictures online, EVTRQ3ZWZ.
Hearing Screening taking place on Tuesday, November 10th
Hearing screening will be taking place at school on Tuesday November 10th, for students in grades K-3 and any students in grades 4 and 5 who do not have a documented evidence of being screened. Please remember to fill out and return the yellow form sent home by Mrs. Forte last week.
Teacher Assistant Training and Certification
The Institute for Labor Studies and Research is offering training for anyone who is interested in becoming certified to become a teacher assistant. Please see the linked flyer for information about the training.
Please have Daily Health Screening Tickets ready at morning drop-off
Over the past several weeks we have had a number of students switch from virtual learning to in-person learning. It has been wonderful to have these students physically in school, but it has also added to the number of cars that we have moving through the morning drop-off traffic pattern. In order to make sure that we can safely and quickly accommodate as many cars as possible each morning, please have your child's daily health screening ticket ready prior to arriving at Door 5. If you need additional copies of the tickets at home, you can download copies of the Daily Health Screening Tickets on the OCRS website under "Explore > Parent Info". We all thank you for your cooperation!
Additional COVID Restrictions in Rhode Island
In her weekly "Return to School Report", Dr. Paolucci shared some of the new COVID restrictions announced by the Governor last Thursday. I thought that this information was so important that I felt that it should also be included in the OCRS Weekly Update. If we want to make sure that we can keep school open for our students, it's important that all of us follow the state's COVID guidelines and protocols.
On Thursday Governor Gina Raimondo announced additional restrictions, aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus and in response to a growing number of cases throughout the state. For the next two weeks, a stay at home advisory, in effect from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weeknights and 10:30 to 5 a.m. on weekends, will be in place and restaurants and other recreational facilities must close at those hours. Additionally, the capacity limit for indoor venues, including movie theaters and churches, is reduced to 50% with a maximum of 125 people. For outdoor venues, the limit is 66% of capacity with a maximum of 150 people.
Other restrictions include capacity limits at catered events, a social gathering limit of 10, and a capacity limit of one person per 150 square feet at big box stores. Lastly, face coverings are now required when with people you don't live with, both inside and outside. The governor urged Rhode Islanders to consider small Thanksgiving gatherings and to avoid travel during the holidays. After 2 weeks of restrictions, RI health officials will assess the spread rate of the virus and the compliance with restrictions in order to determine if the state will need to go back to Phase 2 of Reopening.
Returning to School after Negative COVID Tests
A reminder from Mrs. Forte about returning to school after negative COVID tests. If, for any reason, a student or staff member needs to get tested for COVID-19, that student or staff member needs to remain at home until they receive the results of BOTH negative tests. This includes the negative results of the rapid test AND the PCR test. The results of just the rapid test are not sufficient to be able to return to school.
OCRS PTA Information
PTA Board Election
Congratulations to our two new PTA Board members, Mrs. Rose Poyourow and Mrs. Rebecca Regniere! Mrs. Poyourow is joining the board as the new Vice President of Hospitality and Mrs. Regniere is joining as the new Secretary. Also congratulations to Mrs. Amy Ricketson who was re-elected as the PTA Treasurer!
Here is a recording of last Wednesday's PTA meeting. A link to the chat log is posted in the video description. Our plan is to record all of the PTA General Membership meetings this year and post them on the OCRS YouTube channel for any families that were not able to attend, https://youtu.be/M8cBDFrSwrA
All students received a PTA fundraising packet during the past week. Each packet has important information about how to participate in and support the PTA's efforts to raise funds for our students. If you have any questions about the fundraiser and how to participate, you can email Jon Poyourow the OCRS PTA President at email@example.com.
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 https://my.cheddarup.com/c/ocrspta OR complete the linked flyer and return to your child's teacher with a check made out to the "OCRS PTA".
Upcoming Dates and Events
School Pictures, Monday 11/9
Hearing Screening, Tuesday 11/10
Veteran's Day, NO SCHOOL, Wednesday 11/11
Flex Day (No in-person learning for students), Monday 11/16
Thanksgiving Break, NO SCHOOL, 11/25-11/27
Ongoing thanks to OCRS families for your Patience, Flexibility, and Empathy. Those three words are guiding 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 continue to be a safe and successful year.
Construction moving forward