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Update for the Week of March 28th
Update for the Week of March 28th
Paul Barrette
Sunday, March 28, 2021

Hello OCRS families,

It's been great to see the weather start to warm up and allow us to give the students more time outside. As the weather continues to get warmer and (hopefully) nicer, teachers will take advantage of the opportunity to bring their students outside for breaks in the day and even to bring learning outside when it fits the classroom schedule. Teachers and staff members will continue to keep classroom "pods" separate as recommended by the CDC and RIDOH guidance.

"Back to School" Report from Dr. Paolucci

If you have not already read the latest "Back to School" report shared by Dr. Paolucci, please take a few moments to review it at https://www.smithfield-ps.org/article/428417. As usual, there is quite a bit of important information for all Smithfield families.

Report Cards Sent Home on Wednesday, March 31st

All four elementary schools are planning to send home paper copies of Trimester 2 student report cards this Tuesday, March 31st. All students that attend school in-person this Wednesday will receive their report card in a labelled envelope to bring home. Families of virtual learning students will receive a digital copy of their child's report card via email and will be able to pick up a paper copy the next time they come to the school to pick up learning materials.

Construction Activity Increasing

As families have noticed, construction and renovation activity is increasing in more areas of the school, specifically around the exterior of the gym. We are excited to see work beginning in these new areas of the school, but it will also require us to continue to be flexible and make adjustments to our daily school routines. One of those necessary changes was the shift of morning drop-off and afternoon pick up to Door 8. We are going to continue using Door 8 for drop-off and pick up for the foreseeable future as work continues on the gym exterior and work begins on the gym roof.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to make adjustments for the remainder of this school year. We are all looking forward to seeing the changes and taking advantage of the building improvements next school year!

Dental Screening Survey

This year the Oral Health Program at the Rhode Island Department of Health has suggested not performing the traditional in-school dental screenings because of school restrictions related to COVID-19. In place of the screening, we are asking your help with a survey. We ask that you take a moment to look at your child's teeth and indicate the level of need of care. For those without a dentist, resources will be provided to help you find one based upon your answers in the survey. If you haven't already, please complete the survey at https://forms.gle/WsXSbUtgkWTDxZMt8.

Updated CDC Guidance about Spacing of Students in Classrooms

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduces the distance to be maintained between students at school to three feet, rather than six, as long as everyone continues to wear masks. Six feet of distance is still recommended for staff and the following scenarios; between staff and students; in common areas; when students are eating; and during activities that require increased exertion, such as gym class, chorus or band practice.

The change in guidance comes after the review of three studies that suggest that physical distancing of at least 3 feet between students can safely be adopted in classrooms where masks are used consistently and other prevention measures are taken. A study conducted in Massachusetts also found no substantial differences in the number of Covid-19 cases among students or staff in schools that implemented a policy of physical distancing of three feet compared with those who maintained a six foot physical distancing guidelines, as long as other health measures, such as universal mask wearing, are employed.

The Rhode Island Department of Health is reviewing the new guidance and will be issuing revisions to the playbook. These revisions are also expected to include a change to bus ridership, enabling schools to transport students in buses at 75% capacity. If and when the RIDOH updates their guidance to increase school bus capacity, the school district will communicate the details with families.

SilverGraphics Fundraiser Online Shop is Open!

Old County Road School's Online Art Shop continues to be open for ordering! Families can use the link below and unique access code to find their student's artwork AND upload additional artwork if you so choose. All proceeds will benefit the 5th grade committee to make our 5th grade students' final year at OCRS memorable.

Go to www.silvergraphics.com/shop and enter ACCESS CODE: OCRSart21

You can order from art your child has created at school or upload art from home. SilverGraphics will print it on face masks, mugs, canvas bags, tiles, and other beautiful mementos. Find the perfect gift for any special occasion, preserve a memory of your child’s creativity, and proudly display your child’s art on treasured keepsakes. You can also show school pride and order products imprinted with the OCRS logo!

You will be able to upload multiple pieces of art, something your child created in the past, a new drawing, or both. Sibling art, family projects, and photographs are also accepted! To prepare your art for uploading, follow the instructions in this video

For questions, contact our School SilverGraphics Coordinator: Stefanie Howell at stefaniedhowell@yahoo.com

PTA Information

5th Grade Committee meeting

The OCRS PTA 5th Grade Committee is meeting online on Tuesday, 3/30 at 7:00 p.m. All 5th grade families are invited and encouraged to attend. You can find additional information at https://www.facebook.com/events/917163499110945.

SilverGraphics Fundraiser

The OCRS online SilverGraphics shop is open! Please see the information earlier in this email to browse the online shop, upload additional artwork, and place your order. Thank you to Stefanie Howell and the members of the 5th grade committee for organizing this terrific fundraiser!

PTA General Membership Meeting

The next PTA General Membership meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 7th at 7:00 p.m.  Like all meetings this year, this meeting will be held online. Specific details and a link to login will be shared next week.

Upcoming Dates and Events

Student BinaxNOW COVID Testing at School, Monday March 29th

5th Grade Committee Meeting, Tuesday March 30th at 7:00 p.m.

Trimester 2 Report Cards sent home, Wednesday March 31st

NO SCHOOL, Good Friday, April 2nd

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

RICAS testing for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students begins Tuesday April 13th

Spring Recess/April Break, April 19th through April 23rd

 

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.

Sincerely,

Mr. Barrette