W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

12/18/2020-12/25/2020

Note from the Principal:

I hope everyone enjoyed a good, old-fashioned snow day yesterday.  I got a chance to get outside on a break in the sunshine in the afternoon–made me appreciate living in the Berkshires.  We have settled into this Distance Learning schedule, for better and worse.  Better because we are in it for a few weeks, and will continue to take advantage of four days a week of synchronous learning.  Worse, because the pandemic still is keeping kids from the school building for learning.  Students, and really all learners, adults or children, learn best in social environments.  We can be social online, but it is much harder, and only sustains our human appetite for connection for so long.

See below for important information on where we will be in the next few weeks.  Much is information I have shared this week or recently, but I still want it in one place for families to review.  As always, please reach out to me at ben.doren@bhrsd.org if you have any feedback or questions for me.  And, again, we so appreciate your partnership in making this education work for our kids in times that none expected to see.

Have a good weekend!

Ben Doren

Principal

*****

Du Bois Schedule for the next several weeks

  • 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.

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.

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

*****

Du Bois Family Forum

We held a Family Forum on 12/15 on what to expect for the school schedule and shifts in the coming weeks and months.  Here is the link to the video and audio recording of the Family Forum:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Nox4sTJ2lci0-pONolE9sZ8Jlo2Eni5F?usp=sharing

*****

Student Learning Survey

Below are links to a survey we want students to complete by next Wednesday, 12/23.  Their answers to these questions will help teachers and the school learn how we can better support students in school. The questions ask about, for example, views on how students learn in class, how hard or easy it is for students to think about and solve problems, and thoughts on classroom experience. It is up to the student whether to answer the questions.  Teachers and staff will NOT see answers; answers will be added to the answers of all the students in the grade. The school will use all student answers to better understand classroom experiences.  There are no right or wrong answers. The survey will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. The survey is from the Kaleidoscope Collective for Learning, an initiative to promote Deeper Learning in Massachusetts from DESE.

Link to Fifth Grade Survey:

http://s.alchemer.com/s3/STUDENT-SURVEY-G3-G5-FORM-A-Deeper-Learning

Link to Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade Survey:

http://s.alchemer.com/s3/STUDENT-SURVEY-G6-G12-FORM-B-Deeper-Learning

*****

Monday, Dec. 21

Remote Learning Day:  Group B and C

In-person Learning Day: Group A

Tuesday, Dec. 22

Remote Learning Day:  Group B and C

In-person Learning Day: Group A

Family Forum at 6 pm on Zoom

Wednesday, Dec. 23 – Half day of school today

Remote Learning Day for all

Crew check in and Office Hours, as per teacher invite

Thursday, Dec. 24

No School Today–School Vacation

Friday, Dec. 25

No School Today–School Vacation

*****

Report Cards sent this morning

We sent Report Cards via email this morning.  If you did not receive an email with your child’s report card link, please contact Debra Spence at Debra.Spence@bhrsd.org or at the school’s main phone number (413) 644-2300.  You can also connect with her if you are having trouble accessing the document or the password is not working. 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.

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

 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.

Ski Butternut Program

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

School Calendar

The school calendar can be found here:  https://www.bhrsd.org/school-calendar-2020-21/

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