W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

3/26/2021-4/2/2021

Note from the Principal:

What an extraordinary year it has been!  A little over a year ago a global pandemic indelibly changed all of our lives.  School shut down, then we went remote for the rest of the spring.  We came back, kind of, in the fall, and have been in a hybrid mix of in-person, synchronous and remote for months.  It has been hard for students, hard for families and hard for educators.  But I am so proud of our community.  We stepped into this challenge.  Families figured out child care balanced with work, we all learned how to connect and collaborate on a screen, we struggled with how to wear a mask and eat silently and be “socially distanced” for safety but not for comfort, and we all learned patience in the face of the unknown.  It has been quite a journey.

I think we are heading into one of the last phases of the pandemic.  We get to come back to school because it is safe for most people to be in our building.  On Monday, April 5, we get the fifth grade back full time, five days a week.  On Wednesday, April 28, a few days after April break, we get the sixth, seventh and eighth grades back at Du Bois, full time, five days a week!  I will send a note today in a separate email to fifth grade families detailing the transition, and hold a family forum for fifth grade families next Wednesday evening, and record it to share with folks who are not able to join online for the forum.  The week of April 5 I will also share the transition plans for the return of the sixth, seventh and eighth grades after the break.  Families will still be able to choose remote attendance for their children through the end of the year; we understand that for some families it is not medically sound or you still do not want your children to return yet to in-person learning.

Family Conferences will occur on the afternoon of 4/6 and the evening of 4/7 for sixth, seventh and eighth grade families.  We are postponing fifth grade conferences until after the transition back to full time in person school.   Crew Leaders will reach out for times and make appointments to have an online conference.  You will connect with your child’s Crew Leader to get an overview of their experience and growth in classes and as a student, as well as an understanding of what to expect for next year.  As always, if you have questions or concerns about a specific class please reach out to the teacher at any time.  This conference is to help you understand how the year has gone for your child, what support you can provide to your child through the end of the year so they can grow to their potential in our program, and what to expect as we look to next year.

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.

Have a good weekend!

Ben Doren

Principal

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Monday, March 29

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group B In Person (Group C Remote and remote classes)

Tuesday, March 30

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group B In Person (Group C Remote and remote classes)

Wednesday, March 31

Remote Learning Day for all-Crew and Synchronous Learning 8:00-9:30

Thursday, April 1

Hybrid Learning Day:  Group C In Person (Group B Remote and remote classes)

Friday, April 2

No School.  All schools, programs and district offices closed.

Lunch Menu

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Food Service Update

With all Pre-K-grade 5 students returning to school full-time (5 days/week) on April 5th, we will be suspending our weekly food distribution and deliveries on Wednesdays.  Our last day will be Wednesday, March 31, 2021.  If you continue to need food support, please review the attached flyers for information on SNAP, WIC & local food pantry resources.  If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Kathy Sullivan directly kathy.sullivan@bhrsd.org, 413-644-2325 or 855-255-8666.

Project Connection

The Project Connection Spring session will start Monday, April 12th.  We will continue to offer remote programs five days per week, with a limited number of onsite programs available after school Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Course information and application forms will be posted to the school website next week.

Report Cards

Please make note that 2nd Trimester Report Cards will be mailed home on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.  Thank you!

Portrait of a Graduate (and recess!)

Back in the Fall of 2018, Monument Mountain Regional High School was awarded the Mass IDEAS grant from Nellie Mae and the Barr Foundation and received a follow-up grant last spring.  Through the work in these grants, both the high school and the District have begun the process of programmatic redesign.  Last year, we were beginning our conversations on Portrait of a Graduate.  Unfortunately, our work was set back by COVID and the adjustments that were necessary.  We are now turning the corner and it’s time to re-engage in the work.  We need ALL DISTRICT families to be at the table for these conversations in order to build a shared vision for our community that will serve the next generation of graduates.  We will be hosting a series of Family Forums over the next four months and into next year and invite you to join us to learn with us, look critically at our success and areas of growth, and provide feedback and input in moving us forward.  The dates and topics are:

  • March 30:  Proficiency & Portrait of a Graduate and Programmatic Changes

  • April 13:  Follow up session

  • April 27:  Student and Family Voice & Governance

  • May 11:  Follow up session

  • May 25:  Advisory & Crew – intentional culture building & support

  • June 8:  Follow up session

  • June 16:  Launch of the Portrait of a Graduate development

Our first Family Forum will be next Tuesday, March 30th.  There will be two virtual one hour sessions at 8:00 am and at 6:30 pm.  You can access the forum through this Google Meet Link:

Meeting ID: meet.google.com/jwi-ofii-viq

Phone Numbers: (‪US‬)‪+1 530-420-7438‬ PIN: ‪235 939 320#‬

Many schools across the commonwealth, the country and the world publish a Portrait of a Graduate.  The portrait details what a student can understand, know and do after growing through our program.  The obvious one is the portrait of the high school graduate, but we will also publish the portrait for the end of elementary and middle school.  The effort is part of a progressive view of learning where students know what they need to do to be proficient and masterful in life and learning.  It also moves us away from learning models from the last century that are not helpful as we prepare our children for life in our communities after they finish high school.  The district is putting together materials to explain what this looks like, and will share in the coming weeks and months, and into next year.  Part of that will be a video presentation.  We will be taking videos of students at recess and in other aspects of the school day to bring some positive energy to the presentation!

CMC Berkshires Jeff Foote Talk

Looking for ways to help a loved one or community member dealing with substance use? Railroad Street Youth Project and the Southern Berkshire Health Coalition present the CMC Berkshire’s Jeff Foote, phD, on the Invitation to Change Approach. The link to the live recording of our community forum held on January 25th or 2021 is now available on the Railroad Street website. RSYP

ENGIN Program Resources for Middle School Girls interested in Engineering!

ENGIN (Engineering. Girls. Innovation) is a STEM outreach program for girls started by Miss Hall’s School students with the support of the National Academy of Engineering. During the five-week-long program, middle school girls will explore four types of engineering, hear from women engineers and innovators, do fun hands-on activities, and receive educational resources that will help them learn more about STEM. You can learn more about ENGIN here: https://enginmisshalls.wordpress.com/.  Website: https://enginmisshalls.wordpress.com/

See poster and schedule below.

BC Splash

BC Splash is a 1-day event held at Boston College each semester where students in grades 7-12 can take fun, engaging classes that are taught and designed by our undergraduate and graduate students! In response to COVID-19 our event will be virtual and free of charge this semester, but we have put together a great day and fantastic lineup of classes over zoom for the students. They can take classes such as The Science Behind Photography, Intro to Irish Mythology, How to Win Any Argument, and many others! BC Splash will be held virtually on Sunday, March 28th from 9:30am – 4:15pm.

Students can register at our website, bcsplash.learningu.org   See flyer below.

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.

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

Yearbooks

Order at jostens.com

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 Distribution on Wednesday

  • Utility Assistance

  • COVID-19 Housing Resources

  • GB Girls Softball Registration

Recent flyers:

  • CMC Berkshires Jeff Foote Talk

  • ENGIN Program Resources for Middle School Girls interested in Engineering

  • BC Splash

  • Beginner’s Ballet @ BSRCC

  • Southern Berkshire Health Coalition – Parent Subcommittee

  • Great Barrington Little League Registration Information

  • Great Barrington Libraries Newsletter

  • Berkshire Hills Youth Soccer House League Spring 2021

  • Berkshire Hills Youth Soccer Travel League Spring 2021

  • BSO Virtual Concert 2021

  • STEM Opportunity:  FREE Virtual Engineering Program for Middle School Girls

  • Babysitter Training Certification

Older flyers:

  • Parent Education Workshop, Monday, Jan. 25 – SBCHC

  • ZOOM Dance Classes – BSRCC

  • Food Pantries & Meal Sites in Berkshire County

  • Project Safe Childhood in the Berkshires Education Series – Internet Safety – Resources

  • Yearbook Order Form

  • 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