W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

12/11/2020-12/18/2020

Note from the Principal:

Hello families!  We had a sunny day today, a bright spot in this cold season.  We are looking for the sunshine and silver linings in this difficult time in our lives.  I am thankful for our families, for our staff, and for the continued opportunity to still “have school” in whatever format we have to do it in!  We shifted to a remote learning model for most students at the start of last week.  Most students follow our Distance Learning schedule, with a few students coming into the school building based on demonstrated need.  It is hard to make these shifts for families and for educators, and especially for students.  We are trying not to make such sudden shifts in the future, because we know that planning and preparation are the best tools for success in learning.

Here is what to expect in the upcoming weeks:

  • Next week we will continue with this Distance Learning model as we have for the past two weeks, with most students remote and a few in-person.

  • We will continue in this model for the last two days of school in December, 12/21 and 12/22.

  • We will continue in this model when we return to school after the New Year on Monday, January 4, for the weeks of January 4 and 11.

  • The district will make a decision around January 8 to say whether we will continue in this Distance model or come back into Hybrid learning model on January 19 or at a later date.

  • See below for the details on our current Distance Learning model, including the description and the schedule.  This is information I shared last week but want to make sure you have it clearly for this week and beyond.

When we return to school in-person for Hybrid learning at some point this school year we will make some changes.  Families can still choose to have their children remain fully remote.  We will start with a four day a week Hybrid, in-person, model for fifth and sixth grade.  We will have more engagement with students in seventh and eighth grade across the week as they shift between in-person learning two days a week and remote for the other two days.  We will give you plenty of notice as to when we are returning to the Hybrid Learning model before we make the shift next time.

I will hold another Family Forum this Tuesday, December 15, at 6 pm.  See below for information on how to connect to the forum.  I will also share the video for folks who cannot join at that time.

Thank you for your continued understanding and support as we navigate school in a global pandemic!  Enjoy these days with family.  As always, please feel free to reach out to me with questions or feedback.

Have a good weekend!

Ben Doren

Principal

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Information on the Distance Learning model and schedule

We will continue in this remote learning model through January 15, 2021.  Peter Dillon will let the community know  by January 8 if we are coming back to Hybrid on January 19 or if we are remaining remote for Distance Learning.

Below are two links that I am resharing for context:

  1. An overview of the learning model

  2. The student schedule for each day

Most students will remain remote for these next weeks.  We will continue to bring in a small cadre of students who have demonstrated needs for in-person learning: these are students in the Group A designation.  I have reached out to those families to clarify schedules and other details.  Students in Groups B and C will connect remotely through Google Meets, as students have been doing this whole school year for remote Crew sessions and when we were remote at the start of the year.

The big change continues to be that students are now attending classes four days a week–Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday–synchronously.  That means a student is engaged in class every synchronous day.  We can do that in a remote model because we can have larger class sizes without health or safety concerns in the Distance Learning model.  Students are back in their larger learning cohorts: the two groups split across Group B and C synchronous days are now together in class for all four days.  Wednesdays remain a full remote and mostly asynchronous learning day.  Students have a remote Crew check-in on Wednesdays, and also have designated Office Hour sessions to connect with their teachers with questions or to get help on school work.

Teachers sent out links to Google Meets for class sessions.  Students will find those links in their school Google Email and Calendar.  Teachers will continue to use the Learning Management System (LMS) to post links and instructions for assignments.  Please reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions about a class.  Reach out to your child’s Crew Leader if you have questions about the grade in general.

Link to Family and Student information on Distance Learning model:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QGERyNTwPV8yBums4yeq1xLtyGSBrq23ZPdK3pUm42Q/edit

Link to Student version of Distance Learning schedule:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GZSHZIv9iGLHZh2YdhS8e3g1ift3rUZjZeedimmkoW8/edit#gid=1469726958

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Du Bois Family Forum

There have been a lot of shifts and pivots this year at the middle school and in the district.  Join me for another forum where we discuss what learning will be like in the next few weeks before and after the December break, where we are going with Hybrid and Distance Learning, and what the rest of the school year will be like.  The next Du Bois Family Forum will be this Tuesday, December 15, at 6 pm.  You can join with the Zoom link below.  I will also record the session and share out the video so you can view it if you cannot join us for the forum in person. As always, please reach out to me with feedback, questions or concerns at ben.doren@bhrsd.org or with a phone call.

Join Zoom Meeting for Du Bois Family Forum: https://zoom.us/j/92495279568?pwd=UlpIbnBqamhCekdlcWNnM2dwQmltQT09 Meeting ID: 924 9527 9568 Passcode: 9Hwevq

One tap mobile +13017158592,,92495279568#,,,,,,0#,,214024# US

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Monday, Dec. 14

Remote Learning Day:  Group B and C

In-person Learning Day: Group A

Tuesday, Dec. 15

Remote Learning Day:  Group B and C

In-person Learning Day: Group A

Family Forum at 6 pm on Zoom

Wednesday, Dec. 16

Remote Learning Day for all

Crew check in and Office Hours

Thursday, Dec. 17

Remote Learning Day:  Group B and C

In-person Learning Day: Group A

 Friday, Dec. 18

Remote Learning Day:  Group B and C

In-person Learning Day: Group A

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Report Cards sent electronically next week

We will send out an email alerting families to look for an email containing your child’s report card for the first Trimester of the school year.  Report Cards are an end of learning cycle statement, and not as important as the feedback and evaluation that happens throughout the learning cycle.  PowerSchool is the best place to check on feedback to students to see how your child is progressing.  Our Learning Management System (LMS) is a great place to see in-process feedback and work.  Let us know if you want help connecting to PowerSchool or the LMS.

Hand Hold Massachusetts, a program from the MA Department of Mental Health

You know your child better than anyone. But even you have a few questions.  COVID-19 is putting incredible pressure on families. You might be noticing your child is struggling in new ways, or that old problems are getting worse. Should you worry about your child’s behavioral health? We’re here to help you figure that out.  Follow this link to see advice and resources for families like ours: https://handholdma.org/  And as always, please reach out to us at school if you have concerns about your child or want help or advice on your child’s health.

Holiday Toy Drive-Muddy Brook PTA

Only 20 students remaining on our Giving Tree!!  Our GIVING TREE is VIRTUAL this year!! It’s officially online!! SIGN UP TODAY!!

Welcome to the Muddy Brook PTA Toy Drive. Every year it is our mission to help all of our students have a wonderful holiday, and part of that is pitching in as a community and helping one another. This year our Toy Drive has gone virtual. Feel free to browse the list, pick a child and click on the button to sign up. When you drop off the unwrapped gifts, please include the number # of the child you are sponsoring.

Gift Card- If you would like to just purchase a gift card, there is a slot for that, and we can do the shopping for you. Any store, any amount.

Drop Off- Gift drop off will begin Thursday, December 10 and continue during drop-off and pick-up at Muddy Brook, until Friday, December 18. A car will be in the circle to take the items from you as you drive around after dropping off/picking up your child. There will also be two Saturday drop-offs. December 12 & 19 from 9:30-11 we will be in the Muddy Brook parking lot accepting your donations.

If you have any questions, please contact us at  mbetoydrive@gmail.com

https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/10c0d45aba62fa1f9c52-muddy/96737182

Food Service Reminder

Food Service Reminder to families receiving grocery deliveries on Wednesday – we are asking that you please keep your driveways, walkways, stairs or other house access clear for our staff once the winter weather starts.  Please keep these areas safe.  Thank you.

Senior Class Fundraiser

My name is Sage Macken! I am the senior co-class president and for our main fundraiser this year we are doing a Calendar Raffle. I was wondering if you would like to purchase a raffle ticket to help support the class of 2021! Due to COVID 19, our junior year fundraising plans were cut short because we were not able to take the necessary steps to reach our predicted goal due to the school’s shutdown. This put us significantly behind in funds for our class and we haven’t been unable to hold any fundraisers up until this point. Our main goal is to fundraise so that we will be able to help cover the cost of class dues for our classmates on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program, whereas they may not be able to afford their own graduation. Due to the pandemic, helping support our fellow classmates whose families are burdened financially is now more important than ever and that’s why it is so important for us to fundraise! I totally understand if buying a ticket is out of the question right now, but I thought I would ask. We are selling each ticket for $10.00 and you have unlimited chances to win! If you are interested in buying a ticket, please let me know! My email is samacken@bhrsdonline.org <3  Thank you for your time and consideration, Sage Macken

(Here is the link to the calendar) https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iVpBGvHXNT4u5bX8i3s_5Ej1RdY-FktS/edit

News from the yearbook club!

Yearbook Club is still looking for yearbook staff. Open to ALL grades!

Contact Mrs. Malone-Smith Katharine.malone-smith@bhrsd.org

Scholastic BookFair News

DuBois Middle School will host a virtual Scholastic Book Fair Monday, November 23rd through Sunday, December 13, 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.

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, 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:

  • Yearbook Order Form

Recent flyers:

  • Attend BFAIR & UCP Present: Listen to My Actions

  • Yearbook Cover Contest

Older flyers:

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

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

  • 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