W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

4/9/2021-4/16/2021

Note from the Principal:

The Commissioner of Education and the Governor recently directed all public middle schools to open for five days a week of in-person instruction by April 28.  Our school committee has endorsed this transition and the superintendent has asked me to communicate our plan to staff and families.  I will hold a Family Forum for Sixth through Eighth grade families next Tuesday evening, April 13, from 6-7 pm, and record it to share with families who are not able to join: see details for the Zoom meeting below.

We started five days per week full time instruction on Monday, April 5 for the Fifth grade.  It is going really well, and feels like “school” again in so many ways.  We are excited to have the rest of the grades join us on 4/28.  All students can come to school in person.  Families still have the option for their children to attend school remotely, and can choose that for the rest of the school year, or choose to have the student start in-person on April 28.

  • Starting April 28, Every day will be an in-person school day for all grades.

  • The school day will follow the same time schedule:

    • 7:45 am: Buses arrive and drop off in the front for cars.  Students report to their Crew classroom upon arrival.

    • 8:00 am: School day starts with Crew for attendance and announcements.  Students follow their regular period schedule.

    • 2:45 pm: Dismissal, as usual.  Students go to buses or to the front loop for pick-up.

  • We will continue to serve breakfast and lunch for free to any student who requests it, thanks to generous federal and state programs.

  • Lunch is now outside, a fabulous way to enjoy a picnic setting and promote a safer environment for eating at school instead of inside.  Please send your child with sunscreen or other protective clothing if you want.  We will eat inside only in inclement weather, and will do so in adequate spacing, but it is so much better to be outside!

  • The Wednesday school day will be an early release day, ending at 1:00 pm., to allow time for teacher team planning and professional development. In addition we have the county vaccination clinic at Du Bois on Wednesday afternoons, so the early release allows for the building to be cleared and cleaned before the clinic sets up.  We will serve breakfast and lunch on Wednesday.

  • Remote learning will still be an option for students and families.  Students will have links to join classes for every period of the day, and will participate in class with the in-person students.

  • We will continue to maintain a high level of vigilance, closely following all COVID protocols and procedures. Building access restrictions will remain in place. Cohorting and separation of student groups will continue, and we will continue to call for daily use of the BHRSD Screening Tool.

To help us know who will be here and who will be remote please fill out the Student Return Survey at this link: https://forms.gle/59ua3JhDQx4f58rF7.  It will help us make the right plans and get the right resources in place.

We held Family Conferences this week for sixth through eighth grade.  Crew Leaders set up the appointments.  If you missed a conference please reach out to your child’s Crew Leader to see if you can reschedule.

Below is also a link to our first meeting of the Du Bois Family Advisory Council.  This is a group that parents and guardians are organizing to help our middle school become a more equitable learning community.  Equity–the idea that all members of our community have the same opportunity and support for beneficial outcomes–is a core value of our district.  Berkshire Hills is doing a lot across the schools and with our community to figure out how to make our outcomes more equitable.  Please join us if you want to be a part of helping us be the best we can be!

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, April 12

Regular School Day for all fifth grade students

Hybrid Learning Day grades six, seven and eight:  Group B In Person (Group C Remote and remote classes)

Tuesday, April 13

Regular School Day for all fifth grade students

Hybrid Learning Day grades six, seven and eight:  Group B In Person (Group C Remote and remote classes)

Wednesday, April 14

Early Release School Day for all fifth grade students: Regular start time (7:45 am), Early Release at 1:00 pm

Remote Learning Day for grades six, seven and eight: Crew and Synchronous Learning 8:00-9:30

Thursday, April 15

Regular School Day for all fifth grade students

Hybrid Learning Day grades six, seven and eight:  Group C In Person (Group B Remote and remote classes)

Friday, April 16

Regular School Day for all fifth grade students

Hybrid Learning Day grades six, seven and eight:  Group C In Person (Group B Remote and remote classes)

Lunch Menu

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Du Bois Family Forum on full return to five days per week learning!

Please join us for a forum on returning to full time school on April 28.  I will share information and answer questions about how we will do school with the larger groupings.  I will also record the session and share the video for families who are not able to join the forum at that time.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/97256996907?pwd=MHI4bDc5N0V2QVpRQlNrNlNRSUtoQT09

Meeting ID: 972 5699 6907  Passcode: wC9BrT

One tap mobile:  +13017158592,,97256996907#,,,,*471526#

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School Calendar 2021-2022

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.

Pool Testing

We started pool testing this week and it is going great.  If you want to sign up your children, please complete this survey.  As a reminder, we are doing the simple and easy swab in the lower part of the nostril.  Participation is optional and it gives us another valuable tool to manage Covid-19.  If you have questions, please reach out to our school nurse, Hilary Bashara, at Hilary.Bashara@bhrsd.org, or by phone.

Du Bois Family Advisory Council

Wednesday, April 14 · 6:00 – 7:00pm

Google Meet Video call link: https://meet.google.com/bfr-cxpq-idh

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 619-728-5037‬ PIN: ‪415 812 408‬#

Du Bois Family Advisory Council will have its initial meeting via Google Meets on Wednesday, April 14th from 6-7pm.  Please join us to discuss ways to make Du Bois Middle School more supportive, just, and equitable for everyone.  Equity is a core value of Berkshire Hills, and we want to be active in ensuring the same outcomes for all of our students and families,  If you are interested in joining but can’t make the initial meeting, please send an email to ben.doren@bhrsd.org so we can get you involved.

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.

Portrait of a Graduate at Berkshire Hills

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#‬

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

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.

Yearbooks

Order at jostens.com

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:

Recent flyers:

  • Fifth grade return letter

  • GB Libraries Newsletter

  • BSRCC-Hip Hop Dance Flyer

  • Food Distribution on Wednesday

  • Utility Assistance

  • COVID-19 Housing Resources

  • GB Girls Softball Registration

  • 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

Older flyers:

  • BSO Virtual Concert 2021

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

  • Babysitter Training Certification

  • 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

Debra Spence

Guidance Support & Data Coordinator

W.E.B Du Bois Regional Middle School

313 Monument Valley Road

Great Barrington, MA 01230

PH: 413-644-2300 x2301   FAX: 413-644-2394

debra.spence@bhrsd.org

Preferred pronouns: she/her/hers