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Update for the Week of January 3rd
Update for the Week of January 3rd
Paul Barrette
Saturday, January 02, 2021

Hello OCRS families,

Happy New Year to all of you and I hope that everyone is beginning 2021 healthy and safe with their loved ones at home!

New Year's Day often leads many of us to take some time to reflect and consider the prior year. There is no question that 2020 was a particularly challenging year for all of us for a variety of reasons. However, as I have been looking back over this past calendar year, I can't help but feel extremely proud for how the entire OCRS community handled the end of the last school year and the first months of this school year. In spite of the pandemic, teachers, staff, students, and families all pulled together to continually and repeatedly make the adjustments necessary to support learning. While I know that we will continue to need to be patient, flexible, and empathetic for the remainder of the school year, I am confident that the OCRS community will work together to handle whatever comes our way.

District Newsletter for January 2021

If you have not already read the January 2021 edition of the District Newsletter shared by Dr. Paolucci, please take a few minutes to do so at There is quite a bit of important information for all Smithfield families.

Distance Learning for the Week of January 4th through 8th

As decided by the School Committee and communicated to families by Dr. Paolucci, all Smithfield students will continue with Distance Learning for the week of January 4th through 8th. The plan is for all elementary students to return to full in-person learning on Monday, January 11th. Students who were attending Virtual Learning prior to December 21st will return to their Virtual Learning schedule (and working daily with the virtual learning tutors) on Monday, January 11th. If any family would like to request to switch their child from in-person learning to virtual learning (or from virtual learning to in-person learning), please email Mr. Barrette with your request ASAP. All requests must be reviewed and approved by the district.

Reminders about Distance Learning

Learning plans will be posted each day in student’s Google Classrooms that will list the daily agenda and schedule. Teachers will be teaching live during the school day beginning at 8:25 a.m. and lessons will be taking place through 2:40 p.m. Virtual learning students should login to their classroom teacher’s Google Classroom and participate in the schedule with the rest of the students in their class. While we know that distance learning has its own set of challenges, this will be a great opportunity for all in-person and virtual learning students to be working together as an entire class.

Please note that students logging into their teacher’s Meet after 8:25am will be marked tardy for the day. Attendance will be taken during the live morning meeting with their classroom teacher. Students will have opportunities throughout the day to work away from the Chromebook and all students will have a scheduled one-hour lunch/recess break.

Families requiring tech support during distance learning days should contact the district's technology staff at Families can also visit which has additional information to support families.

Please do your best to provide a place at home for your child that minimizes distractions and encourages your child to actively participate in daily distance learning lessons and focus on their learning. We understand that this is much easier said than done and we will work with OCRS families on an individual basis to find the best solution possible during Distance Learning.

School-Based BinaxNOW COVID Testing

Pending plan approval, Smithfield will be participating in the school-based COVID BinaxNOW testing program after students return to in-person learning in January. The BinaxNOW test is a rapid test that will be administered at our schools on a regular basis. Parental consent will be sought prior to testing and participation in the school-based testing program is not required for school attendance.

The district’s testing plan, in development, will include the identification of testing teams at each school, a schedule of when tests will be done, and how test results will be handled. Members of the testing team will have training on January 4th.

A school-based testing orientation session will be held online for OCRS families on Thursday, January 7th at 6:30 p.m. OCRS families will be able to join the orientation session by clicking on the following link,, or by calling 1-866-899-4679 and entering access code 672 508 917. The plan is to record this online orientation session and share it after Thursday for any families that were unable to attend.

Upcoming Dates and Events

Distance Learning continues for all students, Monday January 4th through Friday January 8th

OCRS 5th Grade Committee meeting, Monday January 4th at 7:00 p.m. (

School-based COVID testing orientation for families, Thursday January 7th at 6:30 p.m.

Return to in-person learning, Monday January 11th

Martin Luther King Jr. Day, NO SCHOOL, Monday January 18th

TENTATIVE Picture Retakes, Wednesday January 20th


Thank you to all OCRS families who reached out to express condolences and sympathy on the death of my father. Your support during these past few weeks has meant a great deal to me and my family. I am humbled and grateful to be a member of the OCRS community.

Thank you,
Mr. Barrette

OCRS Construction Progress