W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

11/20/2020-11/27/2020

Note from the Principal:

This was a cautious and careful week.  The fifth grade continued school remotely, and we did the best we could to adjust to learning happening out of the school building for our youngest students.  Sixth, seventh and eighth grades returned to school, and we continued to be careful about following our health protocols.  The good news is that the teachers and students did not stop in their commitment to teaching and learning.  I went around to all of the in-school classrooms this week, and there continues to be great opportunities to get deep into lessons with our small groups.  I saw writing lessons on addressing adversity, discussions of vocabulary and grammar to polish a writing project, discussions of place value in long division, considering data in analyzing climate, values in culture in ancient India, considering the diet in prehistoric human communities, crafting digital images to share globally, learning how to construct questions in French, and practicing for the mile run, amongst a myriad other activities.  Kids are in school, even if this is a global pandemic, and the staff are working hard to make it engaging and relevant.

If the health metrics remain beneficial for in school learning we will continue to deepen the learning opportunities.  We are making plans to bring back the youngest grades for four days a week in the next few weeks if that makes sense health wise in the community.  And we are discussing ways to connect with seventh and eighth grade classes more often through the week in a way that does not degrade the lessons students receive on in-person days.

If the health metrics show us that we need to go back to full remote, we are ready.  I have been working with the staff over the past month to design a schedule for Distance Learning in case we have to jump to it quickly in the next few weeks.  The schedule will allow for four days a week of classes for each student.  The groups will go back to a larger size, as we do not have the same size limits in a Distance model.  That will allow for every class every one of the four days.  We would keep to the district model of Wednesdays as a Crew check in, and staff development and planning time for the Learning Management System (LMS).  If we have to jump quickly, the teachers will send the links for the Google Meets to students, and load the LMS with the activities for students to use in class and on independent work.  I hope we do not have to shut down in-person school, but if it is safer to do that we are ready.

Please be patient as we navigate this new world together.  I have appreciated the feedback and constructive ideas, as well as the praise for the hard work of the staff.  We have a truly committed staff, and they are working hard to make this learning experience the best it can be for every member of our learning community.  As always, 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. 23

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group B In Person

All of Grade 5 Remote

Tuesday, Nov. 24

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group B In Person

All of Grade 5 Remote

Wednesday, Nov. 25

No School Today – Thanksgiving Break

Thursday, Nov. 26

No School Today – Thanksgiving Break

Friday, Nov. 27

No School Today – Thanksgiving Break

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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.   Enjoy this Scholastic video which previews some exciting new books which are sure to be popular.  Follow this link to our Bookfair homepage.   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 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:

  • BSRCC’S Shining Star flyer for families that need help this Holiday season

Recent flyers:

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

Older flyers:

  • Ski Wednesday’s at Ski Butternut

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

  • Family Newsletter from Great Barrington Libraries

  • 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

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