W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

11/13/2020-11/20/2020

Note from the Principal:

This was a difficult day. It started out really well–students have taken over morning announcements, as they should at a middle school–and classes were in full swing.  Then I was informed that someone in our fifth grade learning community had tested positive for Covid.  We quickly sprung into action, following district health and safety protocols.  We found out the details of the case, established who the primary contacts were earlier in the week, and understood the scope of the situation.  It turns out that only several students and faculty from the fifth grade had contact.  So the good news is all of the sixth, seventh and eight grades are not even involved, and only a small portion of the fifth grade community.  However there were enough staff who had contact that we had to send home the full fifth grade: I could not send the staff home and still have coverage for the students.  The fifth grade families with students at school were very responsive and I am so appreciative–we had cleared out the grade from the school in a few hours, and kept everyone quarantined for safety until pickup.  This is not how I want school to be, but in a concerned situation, it was remarkable how cooperative everyone was–from the students to the staff to the families.  Fifth grade will be remote at the start of next week, and will come back once we have negative Covid tests from the people who were primary contacts.  Sixth, seventh and eight grades will follow their regular Hybrid schedules for next week at school or remote for the days they are scheduled to be home.

This, of course, makes us think of what next.  Will there be an uptick of cases in the region, the county?  What does this mean for the other grades?  We do have health and safety protocols that guide us for decisions.  And the teaching teams and the school have plans if we need to jump into remote learning for some or all of the grades.  The most important thing is vigilance: we are safe in the school because we follow strict hand sanitizing, mask wearing and social distancing.  We then promote safety in the community by being safe at school.  I ask, and implore you as families, please follow strict health and safety protocols so we can all be safe.  If you do that, we get to stay in school longer before we have to go remote.  I appreciate your reflection on this, and your cooperation in this endeavor.

I also know that this weighs heavily on our students.  Please know that we are here to talk about this with them next week when they return to school.  This is an odd time to be growing up, and we adults need to be there for our students and children.  Let me know if you have any concerns or have questions at ben.doren@bhrsd.org.

So, have a good weekend, get outside in the fresh air, and be well.

Ben Doren

Principal

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Monday, Nov. 16

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group B In Person

All of Grade 5 Remote

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group B In Person

All of Grade 5 Remote

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Remote Learning Day

Thursday, Nov. 19

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group C In Person

Friday, Nov. 20

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group C In Person

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YEARBOOK CALL For PHOTOS

We are having a yearbook this year! What a time capsule this year’s book will be. The year of the mask, the year of 6-feet apart. Year of new school name: W.E.B. Du Bois

This week’s themes:

Halloween at school or learning at home

OARS

Please send photos to katharine.malone-smith@bhrsd.org

Scholastic BookFair News

DuBois Middle School will host a virtual Scholastic Book Fair Monday, November 23rd through Sunday, December 6, just in time for holiday shopping OR stocking up on books for winter.  This video shows you how to tour the fair, visit the interactive bookshelves, and shop the entire Scholastic Store of thousands of books.   Our actual fair will not be live until opening day and we will send a link to the site in the next WAG.   All purchases will be shipped directly to your homes and benefit our school library.  Please contact our Library Media Specialist, nancy.kane@bhrsd.org if you have any questions.

DBM What to do if my child is home sick?

Instructional services while isolated or quarantined

 

District policy prescribes self-isolation or quarantine for students who are symptomatic or exposed to a COVID-positive individual.  Children showing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 cannot remain in school and must self isolate for 10 days asymptomatic and/or until a negative COVID test is provided.  Students exposed to someone who is COVID positive must quarantine four 14 days regardless of whether they are symptomatic. (see Quick Reference link).

 

When students are required to be out of school for reasons related to COVID precautions, how will the school continue students’ educational programming?

 

The varied circumstances and reasons for student absence during COVID make it difficult to plan one response that fits all situations.  The Du Bois Middle school has established the guidelines below based on days of absence that can be applied with discretion, based on input from teachers and the school nurse.

 

When and how to continue instruction?

 

Absence days 1-2:  If a child is sent home or absent due to illness, their first job is to get better.  If a child is sick, there will be no expectation for the completion of classwork until they are better.  If a well child has to stay home because a sibling is symptomatic or sick, they can immediately start alternative or hybrid instructional activities provided by the grade level.

  • In Grade 5 students well enough to work should follow canvas and reach out to their crew leader for guidance.

  • In Grade 6 students well enough to work should follow canvas and reach out to their crew leader for guidance.

  • On team Green students well enough to work should be completing the work assigned for the week in Canvas for each of their classes. If students are well enough, they should also join their classes via Google Meet when they can.

  • On Team Orange students well enough to work should be completing the work assigned for the week in Canvas for each of their classes. If students are well enough, they should also join their classes via Google Meet when they can.

 

‘Out of school days’ 3-4: Once a symptomatic or sick child is feeling better (but perhaps still awaiting test results) they should do the instructional activities of the grade level.

  • In Grade 5 students should follow canvas and reach out to their crew leader for guidance.

  • In Grade 6 students should contact their Crew teacher and they will be put into the all remote Crew until their return to school.

  • On Team Green should be completing the work assigned for the week in Canvas for each of their classes. Students should also join their classes via Google Meet when possible.

  • On Team Orange should be completing the work assigned for the week in Canvas for each of their classes. Students should also join their classes via Google Meet when possible.

 

‘Out of school days’ 5+:  Students needing to self-isolate or quarantine for an extended period will be temporarily assigned to the Group D (Remote-Only) cohort.  They will be assigned a remote learning teacher and may, depending on grade level, join a separate remote class for the duration of their time out of school.

 

Considerations:

 

  • The need to provide interim instruction for symptomatic students and asymptomatic siblings will take place under a wide variety of circumstances and situations.  The school administration will use discretion and input from the school nurse and teachers to interpret the above guidelines.

  • In determining when and how to provide interim instructional activities, communication between school and home will be essential.  The school nurse will learn when students are ready for instruction to resume and when test results may become known.  The principal will interpret the above guidelines based on this information.

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Ski Butternut Program

Ski Wednesday’s for BHRSD students at Ski Butternut.  See flyer below.

School Pictures

Our photographers from O’Connor Studios have a plan to keep it safe for our students and their staff.  Soon you should be receiving an email from O’Connor Studios with details on ordering pictures.  Picture day for  Cohort B will be Tues. Nov. 17 and Cohort C will be on Fri. Nov. 20.  If your student is in Cohort D they can have their photo taken Tues. Nov. 17 by appointment (after school).  Please contact julie.duffin@bhrsd.org.

School Calendar

Our 2020-2021 school calendar was recently updated.  You can find it here:  https://www.bhrsd.org/school-calendar-2020-21/

Food Service Distribution Info for holidays

As the holidays approach, we will be making some minor adjustments to our food distribution schedule.

Wednesday, November 25th (day before Thanksgiving) – Modified Schedule – 8 am to 11 am for pick-ups and deliveries.

Wednesday, December 23rd (last day before vacation week) – Modified Schedule – 8 am to 11 am for pick-ups and deliveries.

Lastly, if we should have “winter weather” on a Wednesday and the road conditions are not safe, we would not be able to have pick-ups or deliveries. Thank you for your understanding.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact me directly.  Kathy.sullivan@bhrsd.org (413)644-2325.

Flyers and School Letters

Flyers and School letters are available on our website at this link:  https://mvrms.bhrsd.org/category/families/flyers/

This week’s flyers:

  • Berkshire Museum – 24 hour Pajama Read-a-Thon

Recent flyers:

  • Ski Wednesday’s at Ski Butternut

  • SC COVID Situation Webinar – Description for Registration Nov 5 2020

  • Family Newsletter from Great Barrington Libraries

Older flyers:

  • Ballet, Tap and Hip Hop at BSRCC

  • Holiday Food Service Schedule

  • Ski Butternut Program Proposals

  • Warm the Children Donations

  • STEM Week:  Berkshire Museum

  • Flu Vaccination Clinics

  • Great Barrington Family Resource Center Information

  • Parent Support Group

  • Homework Help

  • Weekly Activities

  • Mindfulness Mondays

  • Babysitter Training @ BSRCC

  • Family Forum Video and Thank You!

  • Health Office letter

  • 5th Grade Family Letter

  • Grade 6 Letter to Families

  • Letter to Grade 6 Parents – Important!

  • Team Green Welcome Letter

  • Team Orange Information Letter

  • Help with P-EBT Card Use

Julie C. Duffin
Principal’s Secretary
W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School
313 Monument Valley Road
Great Barrington, MA  01230
413-644-2300