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Sunday, March 29, 2020

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Superintendent Updates

March 27, 2020

RISD Closure for the Rest of the School Year

Dear Rivendell School Community,

I am sorry to inform you that Rivendell Interstate School District will close our schools for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year based on a recent decision at the state level to try and help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this closure we are required to implement continuity of learning plans for remote learning. This is a shift in how we have approached remote learning and will require our faculty and staff to think about how to make remote student learning more rigorous in nature with learning outcomes and accountability procedures for our students. As we take on these new challenges, we ask for your continued support and thank you for your understanding.

Like many of you, I was very sad to hear the news about the closing of schools for the remainder of the year. My heart goes out to all our kids and families who are experiencing financial and other hardship, missing friends, traditions, sports and other educational opportunities. These are difficult times that I am certain we will successfully navigate and in some ways be better as a result.

I am including some resources and guidance that has been provided by the state:

Internet Access Opportunities:

  • Spectrum/Charter is offering free Wi-Fi to new subscribers who have a student in grades K-12 and/or college for 60 days (Call 1-844-579-3743 to enroll).
  • X-finity/Comcast is offering free Wi-Fi to low-income families for 60 days and free Wi-Fi
    hotspots to everyone.
  • AT&T has removed all data restrictions and is offering internet access to low-income families for $10 per month; their Wi-Fi hotspots will be free to everyone.
  • Cox Communications has removed data restrictions for all and are offering the first month
    free for new customers. They also offer a reduced rate of $9.95 for households with at least one K-12 student and participate in a government assistance program.
  • Sprint and Century link have removed data restrictions.
  • The Federal Communications Commission has a list of companies and organizations that have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.


Forthcoming Guidance:

  • Address student attendance and school calendar requirements;
  • Clarify procedural requirements for compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities
    Act (IDEA);
  • Focus district efforts on ensuring equitable access to high quality instruction and
    learning opportunities;
  • Describe how end of the school year gatherings and graduations will be handled;
  • Develop the format and submission parameters of a School Districts Continuity of
    Learning Plan which will be required to be submitted to the Agency by close of business
    on Wednesday April 8, 2020.

We have so many unanswered questions, which in my experience can lead to heightened anxiety levels. I would encourage us all to slow down, breathe deeply and take it one day at a time. We have an amazing faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to improve upon every aspect of the educational opportunities we are providing your child/children. I will continue to keep the school community updated as new information becomes available. Thank you once again for your continued support and compassion as we work to make the best of a difficult situation.

Best regards,

Barrett Williams
Superintendent
Rivendell Interstate School District

RISD Closure for the Rest of the School Year

 

March 25, 2020

RIDS CLOSURE UPDATE March, 25, 2020

Dear RISD School Community,

Many, if not all of you, are by now aware that Vermont has issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order effective 5PM this evening through April 15th. In accordance with this directive we will be extending our school closure at least through April 15th with the understanding that we will continue providing the essential services to our families. Many people have predicted this, and it does not come as a shock to folks working in our medical fields. The guidance I have received from the Vermont Agency of Education around our essential services as it pertains to the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order is as follows:

Student Meals - Schools should continue with feeding students. The continued provision of these services is required under section 6(q) of Addendum 6 which speaks to the maintenance of services for economically disadvantaged populations.

Childcare for Essential Persons - Childcare for essential persons is an essential service under Addendum 6. The stay at home order, however, will significantly disrupt the ability to operate these services. School districts may continue to operate these programs on a voluntary basis based on community need. School districts should work closely with private childcare providers in their regions to provide these essential services. We are working on additional guidance with DCF that would support direct access to childcare services for school-aged children through private childcare providers.

Continuity of Learning - School districts should begin planning for an extended period of school closure. The decision to extend school closure will be made soon. Preparations for continuity of learning is an essential service under Addendum 6. School staff may work at school facilities to support this work and the work of maintaining the operational readiness of school facilities while following the recommended social distancing protocols, however, districts are strongly encouraged to enable school employees to telework or work from home to the greatest extent possible. It is my expectation that you will maintain student educational progress consistent with Addendum 6 through the week of April 13 while you complete and begin to execute your continuity of learning plans.

RISD Current Status:
We are serving meals to 40 plus families across the district. In many instances’ families can pick meals up at school, which we hope can continue. Meals are set on a table outside the school and parents who have signed their child/children up can pick up any time after 10AM. For families that are unable to pickup we have school employees who have volunteered to deliver meals. One change to our procedure moving forward will be knocking and leaving the meal on the doorstep. This is in effort to minimize contact and exposure to both our families and our volunteers.

We have worked hard to develop a childcare program for families who are considered essential workers. This has been and will continue to be our greatest challenge. Today is the first day we have been able to offer this service to qualified families. This is being run at Samuel Morey by employees who are volunteering to serve in this capacity. We are very fortunate to have such willing faculty and staff working for the district. We, along with the state, are strongly encouraging families to explore all other options before considering the school-based program. We know that this can seem impossible to navigate as a parent and we will continue to support your needs the best we can.

The continuity of learning is a major challenge for all districts in our country. I believe our staff has worked diligently to provide quality resources to our students and families. Daily, our faculty is working to improve upon how we are providing our remote education. I think families of young children are recognizing the challenge of providing the appropriate level of support to ensure continued learning. We, as a district, are working through these challenges and recognize the need to have a growth mindset to allow for continuous improvement. Continued support from our state agencies will also help guide this work moving forward.
While this is an incredible challenge for everyone, I continue to be amazed by the outpouring of support and care from our respective communities. It makes me think about how lucky we are to live in this part of the world and grateful I am to be a part of the Rivendell Interstate School District. Please stay strong and please stay safe during this extended closure. As always, if you have questions or concerns please contact your building administrators or me at your convenience.

Best regards,

Barrett Williams
Superintendent
Rivendell Interstate School District
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


RISD Closure Update March 25, 2020

 

March 24, 2020

Essential Employees Childcare Coverage Guidelines and Expectations

Dear RISD Families,

You have indicated that you need childcare as an essential employee. We are happy to share that starting tomorrow we will begin offering this service. I have outlined below the program expectations and requirements. I would ask that you return the last page when you drop off your child/children on the first day. Please don’t hesitate to reach me if you have questions or concerns.

ATTENDANCE:
Parents must sign kids in when they arrive and out when they pick up at the end of the day. You should use the emergency exit door as your entrance to the building. We will take every child’s temperature when they arrive. Students with a fever will not be admitted to the program that day and should not come back until fever free for 24 hours!!!

FIELD TRIPS:
We do plan to take kids on field trips to experience some outdoor learning. We will inform you when and where we will be going. Unless we hear otherwise from you as a parent, we are going to use the blanket field trip form we have on file at the school.

SOCIAL DISTANCING:
This is so hard for kids to understand especially after being away from friends and teachers. Please have a conversation about what this means when interacting with adults and other kids. For younger kids often it is helpful to roleplay or model a few scenarios that might occur in a school setting.

PROGRAM EXPECTATIONS:
Daily Schedule
Academic morning with lots of movement breaks (work assigned by classroom teacher)
Snack/Lunch
Recess/Free Play
Academic games in the afternoon, projects, specials – art, music, PE

GENERAL GUIDANCE:
The Agency of Human Services, Department for Children and Families and Agency of Education provide the following emergency operating guidelines for schools and childcare providers:

1. Children must be kept in small groups, not more than 10 children in a classroom; there must be absolutely no large group activities. Social distancing practices should be in place for all.

2. Childcare programs must follow childcare regulations regarding handwashing. Specifically, programs must engage in frequent handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially when:

  • Upon arrival at school
  • After going to the bathroom
  • Before eating
  • After blowing one’s nose
  • When visibly dirty teachers should help young children do the same.

If soap and water are not readily available, we will closely supervise (to avoid ingestion) use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

3. Programs should engage in frequent thorough cleaning each day. Childcare programs shall follow regulations regarding cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Follow the program's routine cleaning and disinfecting practices. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as:

  • All surfaces especially where children eat
  • Bathrooms
  • Frequently used equipment including electronic devices
  • Door handles and handrails
  • Items children place in their mouths

This is happening 2x per day by our custodial staff.

4. Staff should monitor themselves for symptoms and stay home if they are sick. If we have 2 or more staff members sick on the same day, we will have to close the program for the day.

5. Parents/guardians must be instructed and required to keep children home if they exhibit symptoms of fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If a childcare provider observes symptoms in a child, they should send the child home.

6. There should be no outside visitors and volunteers except for employees or contracted service providers for purposes of special education services, as authorized by the school or district.

7. As part of routine measures for the respiratory season, existing signs should be visible that remind staff and children to perform hand hygiene (sneeze/cough into their elbow, put used tissues in a waste receptacle and to wash hands immediately after using tissues). Avoid close greetings like hugs or handshakes.

8. Breakfast and lunch are available to all families who would like to have their child participate in the program. Both meals are bagged, meaning the main meal consists of cold cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch.

9. We are not charging for the program but will accept donations to offset the cost associated with operating a childcare program.

10. All families must provide accurate contact information so that we can contact someone who can pick up in the case of an emergency. In addition, we must have a list of people who have permission to pick up from the program. We will provide parents with direct extensions to the classrooms we will be using.

SCHOOL CONTACT INFORMATION (PLEASE RETAIN)
Samuel Morey Elementary Phone: 802-333-9755
Kindergarten Extension – 3109
1st Grade Extension – 3103
5th Grade Extension – 3130

Childcare for Essential Employees


March 18, 2020

Childcare for Essential Persons

Good Afternoon,

In the executive order from Governor Scott, school districts were ordered to provide childcare services to all essential employees living in our communities and beyond. As such, I am writing to staff and families to better understand the childcare needs of those in our communities who have been designated as essential personnel.

Essential Persons are defined as including:

  • staff and providers of childcare and education services (including custodial and kitchen staff and other support staff) for children of other Essential Persons;
  • providers of healthcare, including but not limited to, workers at clinics, hospitals, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); nursing homes, long-term care and post-acute care facilities, respite house, VNAs; designated agencies, emergency medical services;
  • criminal justice personnel including those in law enforcement, courts, and correctional services;
  • public health employees;
  • firefighters;
  • Vermont National Guard personnel called to duty for this response;
  • and other first responders;
  • and state employees determined to be essential for response to this crisis under the State Emergency Operations Center.

It should be noted that both parents would need to be considered essential employees to qualify for the childcare program. If you qualify based on the information above and have a need for childcare, please contact us via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We will need to know what your need is (days and times), the ages of the children, grade level and school of attendance. Once we have assessed the needs within our communities, we will work to connect families to services. Thank you for your continued patience during this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Barrett Williams
Superintendent
Rivendell Interstate School District

Childcare for Essential Persons (March 18, 2020)

 

March 17, 2020

Remote Learning Notification

Good Afternoon,

Teachers and staff members have been working hard to create remote learning opportunities for our students, and we are now prepared to share these materials with families and students. As you can imagine remote learning is going to look differently at different grade levels with the middle and high school having more direct contact via the internet. Understanding that this is a new endeavor for everyone we anticipate having some challenges and just encourage everyone to communicate when issues arise.

As a reminder we are offering meals to our RISD students and ask that you contact our administrative assistants to sign your child or children up. We have a pickup location at each school and in the event, you are unable to make it to the school we have a system set up to deliver meals to homes. We understand that our numbers will grow with time and really want to encourage families to take advantage of the food we have available. I would like to thank in advance all the folks who have reached out to offer support in the delivery process. At this point we can manage the numbers but will certainly call upon people if necessary.

The one issue we have not addressed as a district related to the directive to close schools is how to provide childcare options for healthcare workers and others essential employees that are needed in response to COVID-19. At this time, I am waiting for guidance from Vermont officials on how best to provide these services to our families. We thank you for your patience as we work to figure things out.

Best Regards,

Barrett Williams
Superintendent
Rivendell Interstate School District

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL INFORMATION:

Dear Westshire and Samuel Morey Families,

As you know both Vermont and New Hampshire have closed schools through April 6th. This time frame could be longer if deemed necessary. First and foremost, our primary concern is the health and safety of your children and your family. We are providing a bagged breakfast and/or lunch Monday – Friday. We will also send out links to other community resources that we think may support you all in this most unusual of times.

This letter is specifically intended to introduce you and your child to remote learning. The current situation we are in means that your child is expected to do schoolwork from home. Our teachers and staff will support that work remotely. Each of our teachers has gathered materials and created a structure for that learning from home. Keep in mind that the materials will be supplemented and changed as the needs change over time. The expectation is that all learning materials and completed work will be returned to your child’s teacher when we return to school.

Our teachers are working to stay connected to each student throughout this time. We are encouraging every family to connect with the teacher (via email, blog comments, US Post Office mail, or through the teacher’s online platform) twice per week. Individual teachers will communicate directly with families to share their expectations for student work.

Here is the basic daily framework for learning:

*Each student will get individual instructions from their classroom teacher (and from their Special Educator if they have Special Education services). Additionally, teachers will have specific hours each day for students or parents to contact them with questions.

Preschool

30 minutes of reading and 60 minutes of outdoor time.

Kindergarten through Grade 6 - Do each of the following every school day.

Core Subjects –as assigned by your child’s teacher

Math – 20-40 minutes per day

Reading – 20-40 minutes per day

Writing – 20-30 minutes per day

Enrichment Subjects (Science, Social Studies, Coding, Art, P.E., Music) on a rotating basis

Every student has materials prepared by the teacher and these materials will ready to be picked up in the front of the respective school on Wednesday starting at 10:00 AM and ending at 4:00 PM. This will be a “grab and go”, not a time to stay and talk. The whole purpose is to practice social distancing and to limit contact with others. If you cannot pick up during this time frame, contact the office and we will make other arrangements.

Please contact us if you have any questions.
Melissa Zoerheide, WES Principal Steven Lindemann, SME Principal

 

RIVENDELL ACADEMY INFORMATION:

Classes that will require a pickup of resources:

Studio Art, Classic Literature, Humanities LA – 10, Environmental Literature, Music Studio, Philosophy Through Lit, Social / Emotional Health , Script for Addams Family, Spanish V, Spanish III, Spanish IV, Rock Band, Art Skills,

All Classes for 7th and 8th Grade and any students who have requested hard copies due to not having Internet

Pick Up Times: Wednesday, March 18th 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Thursday, March 19th 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Friday, March 20th 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Please notify the Rivendell Office immediately if you are unable to pick up your materials. Families may pick up for other families if necessary and we can plan to send materials to Westshire as needed. Please ensure your students are working every day, as the schedule outlines and are utilizing teacher’s office hours for assistance and/or direction. Class work consists of materials picked up along with Google classroom assignments.

High School schedule is below:

In order to give structure to remote school days and to avoid overlap of expectations between classes for our students (two teachers wanting to have an online learning session at the same time), we have created the following schedule for high school students.

Classes will meet at the times and days listed below. Teachers will communicate with students what each “meeting” will entail.

Office hours are another time when teachers are available to help students. They will be in touch regarding the best ways to reach them over the coming weeks.

Calendar Odd Days (23, 25…)

8:30 - 9:30  Block 1
9:45 - 10:45  Block 3
11:00 - 12:00  Block 5
12:00 - 1:00   Lunch Break
1:00 - 3:00  Office Hours

Calendar Even Days (24, 26…)

8:30 - 9:30  Block 2
9:45 - 10:45  Block 6
11:00 - 12:00  Office Hours
12:00 - 1:00   Lunch Break
1:00 - 3:00  Office Hours

Assignment due dates and times may not coordinate with class “meeting” times. Please pay attention to due dates on each assignment. The 7th and 8th grade packets will include a schedule and calendar for students’ reference and follow. Conferences scheduled for Friday, March 20th are postponed at this time and will be rescheduled later this spring. We thank you very much for your understanding and flexibility during this challenging time. Please contact the school or teacher directly if you have any questions or concerns.

Remote Learning Notification (March 17, 2020)

 

March 16, 2020
Dear Rivendell Families,
This is an extraordinary time for our community. We have developed a plan to provide meals for the students of the RISD. Our schools will prepare breakfast and lunch meals daily. Both meals will be ready for pick up at each school by 10:00 am each day. Meals will be placed on a table outside the front entrance for your convenience. If you would like a meal prepared for your child, please call or email the school office and have them sign you up. If you would like a meal but can’t pick it up, please let the office know.
Admin Assistant info here:
RA - Angel Parkin – 603-353-2170 Ex. 1225 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
SME – Jane Prescott – 802-333-9755 Ex. 3135 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
WES – Karen Ward – 802-333-4668 Ex. 4101 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Celise Johnson, FSD
____________________________________________________________
Name of Student:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
3/16/20          
3/23/20          
3/30/20          

Please mark the days you would like meals provided for your child over the next three weeks and share with admin. assistant. If you are unable to pick-up meals at school, please provide a physical address that we can deliver to.

RISD Closure for the Rest of the School Year ( posted March 27, 2020)

RISD Closure Update March 25, 2020 (posted March 25, 2020)

Childcare for Essential Employees  (posted March 25, 2020)

Childcare for Essential Persons (posted March 18, 2020)

Remote Learning Notification (posted March 17, 2020)

Rivendell School Meals letter for familes (posted March 16, 2020)

COVID-19 Update EXTENDED SCHOOL CLOSING  (posted March 15, 2020)

COVID-19 Update (posted March 13, 2020)

COVID-19 Update (posted March 11, 2020)

School Trip Guidance 
NH COVID19 Information for Schools 
School Closure Procedures in the case of an outbreak

COVID-19 Update RISD Annual Meeting

COVID-19 Letter to the RISD Community (posted March 4, 2020)