W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School

Week at a Glance, News and Notes

5/7/2021-5/14/2021

Note from the Principal:

Week Two of EVERYONE back was even more awesome than week one!  It feels so good to have the kids back.  The energy is strong, and this is how school is supposed to be.  Though we have a full building we are sticking with the health and safety protocols.  It is still a little odd for the kids to be with the same group all day, especially in the older grades.  But there are lots of benefits as well.  The students actually have come to like the pods, and also mostly like that we doubled the size when we all returned.  The groupings allow for a stronger sense of community, and the increased size brings some fresh energy to each Crew.

So, the end of the year approaches.  I am so ready for this pandemic year to be done, and also now realizing how sad I will be to see the students go off to summer once the school year ends.  Our last day of school is on Wednesday, June 16, and it will be a half day.  The next few weeks will be very school like, with teachers finishing up units and doing reflections on the year.  Students will also do reflections on the school year and their experiences of school since the pandemic shut us down over a year ago, and also thinking ahead to next year.

A request from the teachers: wash those masks!  Just a healthy reminder from the staff to support the cleanest and most sanitary conditions.  Thanks for all of your help keeping the kids in school!

Our eighth graders also have a big jump ahead of them.  I finally have a date for graduation, and some good news.  We will hold an outdoor, in-person graduation ceremony.  The date will be Tuesday, June 8, at 6:30 pm.  The high school graduation is that previous Saturday, and the district will have a set up that is safe and socially distanced for families–we will get to use the set up to keep it safe.  This is a week earlier than our usual graduation, so the eighth graders will continue to come to school and attend classes until their last day the following week. More details and a survey for eighth grade families coming soon.   The other grades will also do closure activities for the year, and have a chance to meet “next year’s teachers” before we break for summer.

And a reminder that the student council is doing spirit week next week.  There are different themes for each day.  Monday is pajama day and Tuesday is twin day.  The students should listen to announcements every morning to hear what the week will hold.  I know my favorite will be 80s day, and kids and adults can submit a video one minute long of them lip syncing to an 80s song.  There will prizes for all sorts from most creative to funniest.

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, May 10

Regular School Day

Tuesday, May 11

Regular School Day

Wednesday, May 12

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

Thursday, May 13

Regular School Day

Friday, May 14

Regular School Day

Lunch Menu

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School Calendar 2021-2022

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Writing Contest Sponsored by the Laurel Hill Association

The Laurel Hill Association – http://laurelhillassociation.org/ – is sponsoring a writing contest for 8th grade students in Stockbridge’s schools: W.E.B. Du Bois and Berkshire Country Day. The students entering the contest will write an essay or poem on one of the following topics: 1. What do you think is the greatest threat to the natural environment? If you were in charge what would you do to address the threat? Or 2. What inspires and brings you joy in nature?  The winners will be judged on originality and quality of ideas, as well as style.  There will be a prize of $200 for the best essay, $200 for the best poem, $100 each for two honorable mentions. Maximum 900 words.  The Laurel Hill Association will offer the winning works to The Eagle and the Edge for publication.

Water Bottles!

Please send students to school with a water bottle.  The fountains are closed per Department of Health protocols, and our water bottle filling stations are great.  We have a few bottles on hand for kids who forget or break theirs.  But we are finding that students are coming to the office as a source for the bottles, and we do not have enough.  Hydration is the key to a flowing mind!

Performance Needs Assessment Survey

Next week Berkshire Hills students will be participating in the semi-annual Performance Needs Assessment Survey.  This survey is given every two years to eighth, tenth and twelfth graders around the country to track trends in substance use and other important issues.  The data from this survey helps us understand how best to target programming to the needs of our students.  Please see the attached letter for more information.  If you have any questions, or would like your child not to participate, please contact Miles Wheat at miles.wheat@bhrsd.org.

PNAS Parent Letter consent information

Pool Testing

We are pool testing and it is going well.  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

Monday, May 3 · 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#

Please join us to discuss ways to make Du Bois Middle School a more supportive, just, and equitable learning community 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 meeting, please send an email to ben.doren@bhrsd.org so we can get you involved.

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

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#‬

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:

  • Connecting to Nature:  Ages 8-12

Recent flyers:

  • RSYP:  Parenting in the Pandemic and Tools to Help

Older flyers:

  • GB Girls Softball Registration

  • Lee Youth Lacrosse Grades 3-8

  • 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

  • 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

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