W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

1/15/2021-1/22/2021

Note from the Principal:

Hello from a quiet school building.  I know that Google Meet has been buzzing at Du Bois all week, and we can hear the screen voices in the classrooms and halls.  This has been one of the oddest school years in my career, and definitely the hardest in a while.  I am glad that we get to continue school, in person or not.  I am just eager for when the students return to the school building.

The district has a tentative target date of January 25 when we may return to the Hybrid Learning model.  That depends on the metrics for Covid in the community, and planning with staff, families and the community.  Peter Dillon will communicate the final decision when he determines whether we will return on that date, or at a later date after he meets Joint Health and Safety Committee for Berkshire Hills.  When we return to Hybrid Learning we hope to have fifth and sixth grade students in classes four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and seventh and eighth grade students in classes two days a week as we did with Groups B and C when we were in Hybrid before.  Wednesday will remain a remote learning day for all, with Crew check-ins and asynchronous work time.  I will send details on the model and schedule next week if we are transitioning on 1/25, and the week before we transition if it is at a later date.

In preparation we need each family to fill out the following survey for each student of yours at Du Bois.  The survey is seeking to see if you will send your child back for in-person learning once we transition to the Hybrid Learning model, or if your child will remain remote and connect by Google Meet for synchronous classes.  We are asking for families to commit for each trimester, and switch a student’s status from Remote to In-Person, or from In-Person to Remote, when we return and at the trimester break.  So we want to know if your child will be in-person or remote on 1/25 or whenever we return, and if you will choose to have your child remain or change that status for the third and last trimester that starts on March 18.  The choice for the upcoming transition is important so we can plan correct class groupings and sizes for good learning and safety.  The choice for the last trimester can be made a few weeks in advance of the trimester transition, but letting us know if you have an opinion now also helps us with long term planning.

Du Bois Middle School In-Person/Remote Preference Survey: https://forms.gle/iDLQ4DeYmTJFGQiQ7

This weekend is a long one due to the celebration of Martin Luther King Day on Monday.  On Tuesday I will hold an all school to kick off the day in Crew.  I will talk about MLK and his connection to W.E.B. Du Bois, discuss Black History Month, and alert students to Du Bois Day at Du Bois Middle School on February 23, the 153rd anniversary of the birth of W.E.B. Du Bois in Great Barrington!

As always, if you have any questions please email me at ben.doren@bhrsd.org.  If you have questions about classes please email your child’s teacher, and if you have questions about the grade please email your child’s Crew Leader.

Enjoy the weekend, reflect on MLK and his legacy with your family if you can, and get outside for some fresh air–we need the freshness of the outside as we are stuck so much in our houses for Covid and the winter.   Here is to hoping for a better and more open spring!

Ben Doren

Principal

*****

Monday, Jan. 18

No School Today–Martin Luther King Holiday

Tuesday, Jan. 19

Remote Learning Day for all

Wednesday, Jan. 20

Remote Learning Day for all

Crew check in and Office Hours

Thursday, Jan. 21

Remote Learning Day for all

Friday, Jan. 22

Remote Learning Day for all

*****

Remote Learning information

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

CLuB Program

From the program: We still have space at April Hill and Berkshire South for families looking for a solution for their kids while we are in fully remote learning, or when we transition to Hybrid for students in 2-day a week schedule. Please use the link to apply to the program if you are interested. We are having a wonderful time, we have free hot lunch every day, we have time to work on remote learning work every day, and we have volunteers from the Southern Berkshire Literacy Network as well as Flying Cloud Institute staff helping students with homework. We have winter gear for everyone who needs ANYTHING. We are doing science every day and the kids are thriving.  The program is FREE to students on free/ reduced lunch program. Please call the program at 413-717-7422 if there are question. Link: https://www.communitylearningintheberkshires.org/apply

Student Portraits for Grade 5 students and Retake Day

We have a tentative schedule for student portraits retake day and for all 5th grade students.  If we are back in hybrid learning, we will follow this schedule.

Tues. Jan. 26–Cohort B Gr. 6-8.  Retakes for students in grade 6-8 Cohort B.  Or if your student was absent for picture day, they can have their picture taken this day.

Tues. Jan. 26–Cohort D.  If your student does not attend in person, and you would like to have their picture retaken, or if you didn’t get your picture taken during our first picture day, please email julie.duffin@bhrsd.org or call 413-644-2300 ext. 2300 to make an appointment.  Appointments will start at 3:00.

Fri. Jan. 29–All grade 5 students and any 6-8 Cohort C retakes.  Or if your student was absent for picture day, they can have their picture taken this day.

Food & P-EBT Update: January

P-EBT benefits were issued to EBT or P-EBT cards on 12/30/20. For questions, additional information or to request a new/replacement card please visit https://www.map-ebt.org.

See flyer below for a list of Food Pantries & Meal Sites in Berkshire County.

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.

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

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:

  • Food Pantries & Meal Sites in Berkshire County

Recent flyers:

  • Yearbook Order Form

Older flyers:

  • Attend BFAIR & UCP Present: Listen to My Actions

  • Yearbook Cover Contest

  • 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