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Update for the Week of January 10th
Update for the Week of January 10th
Paul Barrette
Sunday, January 10, 2021

Hello OCRS Families,

Thank you for your flexibility and cooperation last week as all Smithfield students were participating in Distance Learning. We know that Distance Learning can be challenging for families particularly those who have conflicting work schedules. I know that all OCRS teachers appreciated your support this past week.

Switching Back to In-Person and Virtual Learning

Beginning tomorrow (Monday) 1/11, all Smithfield elementary schools are switching back to the in-person and virtual learning schedules that were in place prior to the week of 12/21. If you missed the email that I sent on Friday to all families with important reminders and information, you can check it out at

"Back to School" Report from Dr. Paolucci

If you have not already read the "Back to School" report shared by Dr. Paolucci, please take a few moments to review it at There is quite a bit of important information for all Smithfield families.

BinaxNOW Testing for Students

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 voluntary and not required for school attendance. Please find a parental consent form available for download at We will also send home paper copies with the students.

The testing date for OCRS has not yet been finalized, but we are tentatively looking at the first testing date taking place during the week of January 18th and repeating every two weeks after the first date. The BinaxNOW testing is ONLY for asymptomatic students and families should continue to keep students home if they are demonstrating the symptoms listed on the Daily Health Ticket. The school will not be administering the BinaxNOW test to students who come to school demonstrating symptoms or who develop symptoms while at school.

Enlisting the Help of "Baby Yoda" to Remind Students about How to Wear Their Mask

As we return to in-person learning, we are going to enlist the help of "Baby Yoda (Grogu)" to remind students about the proper way to wear their masks while at school. Students will see the following graphic posted all around the school as a fun reminder. Mr. Barrette will also be using Baby Yoda to help students understand how the BinaxNOW testing will work and to help students feel more comfortable (if they are participating). Stay tuned!

PTA General Membership Meeting, Wednesday January 13th at 7:00 p.m.

A PTA General Membership Meeting has been scheduled for this Wednesday, January 13th at 7:00 p.m. The Google Meet link is I will send out a reminder on Wednesday and we are looking forward to seeing families there (virtually)!

Upcoming Dates and Events

Return to in-person learning, Monday January 11th

PTA General Membership Meeting, Wednesday January 13th

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

TENTATIVE Picture Retakes, Wednesday January 20th


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 we did these past few weeks). 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.

Mr. Barrette