R. H. Conwell Community News 11/19/2021

Dear R.H. Conwell Families,

Hope this message finds you well.  We had some beautiful weather on Thursday!  The temperatures reached near 60!  It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving recess begins at noon on November 23rd.   We wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving and we look forward to seeing the student snack on Monday, November 29, 2021!

Parent Zoom Highlights:  Thanks to all the families who attended the parent zoom on Wednesday evening.  The presentation from Mr. Smith was incredibly informative and helpful for parents to understand about the work he is doing with our students.

During the meeting I shared some direct quotes from our Conwell teachers about SEL, and why they feel these lessons are important in the classroom. 

What do our Conwell teachers have to say about SEL (social emotional learning) and why it’s important in the classroom?

  • It is the foundation that allows students of all ages to access academic learning in the most successful way. 
  • SEL is important to me as an educator because it increases self-awareness, academic achievement and positive behaviors both in and out of the classroom for my young students. 
  • Our students will need to navigate the world with an arsenal of tools that include not only academic skills and concepts, but the ability to work in teams with a wide range of personalities and character traits. In order for students to succeed they will also need to know their own strengths and weaknesses as they apply strategies to form and foster new relationships both in and out of school. 
  • As set forth in Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (first published in 1943 and well-referenced ever since), before we can address a child’s cognitive needs, or the need for academic stimulation, we must first tend to that child’s need for love and belonging and for esteem; this is the importance of social-emotional learning in school.
  • These initiatives do not take time away from classroom instruction, but rather enhance the learning experience and support improved academic outcomes.  Research shows these approaches ultimately help our students develop skills to become future-ready and caring contributors to the broader community.

Article:  Check out this article written by a Superintendent explaining how SEL is incorporated in his districts. Shaping conversations around social emotional learning | School News

Recording Secretary needed for School Committee Meetings: The district is looking to hire a recording secretary for the monthly school committee meetings.  The position pays $62.50 each meeting.  This position begins in December.  Please contact me at gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org if you are interested. 

Updates from Nurse Sam

Wellness Committee:

We held our first meeting of the Wellness Committee this past week. The Wellness Committee’s focus and goals are to provide wellness activities and policies that will benefit all students and staff at R.H. Conwell. For example, school lunches fall under the wellness committee’s focus. We have some fun wellness activities we are beginning to plan for the students and staff, and are looking forward to implementing them soon.

*****Post-Holiday/Vacation Testing Option:

We will be offering in school Covid-19 testing going forward for students and staff who wish to participate following extended school breaks as an additional precautionary measure. We will follow the test-and-stay protocol for these tests. Students and staff who wish to participate will be tested daily for 7 days following extended breaks. Any negative, asymptomatic person(s) will remain in school. Any symptomatic or positive individuals will be sent home for quarantine and follow-up PCR testing. Please fill out the opt-in/opt-out form in your child’s folders and return to the school by Monday November 22, 2021. We will begin this testing upon return from Thanksgiving break on Monday, November 29, 2021. If you choose to opt-in, online testing consent will also be required if you have not already completed the consent form. If you are unsure if you have completed the online consent form, please reach out to me. Online Consent Form: https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=Worthington

*Reminder, the swab for this test is a gentle, lower nasal swab. Depending on the age and developmental level of the student, students may self-swab after receiving instruction and with supervision if they choose.

Mask Reminder: 

Neck gaiters, bandanas, or other non-mask face coverings are not allowed to be worn at school. Families are responsible for providing students with a well-fitted, appropriate mask for school each day. Masks should cover the mouth and nose at all times, without falling down. Cloth masks should be laundered between wears, and students should have a few spares in their backpacks in the event of masks becoming soiled or breaking. The school and school buses have a supply of paper masks for unforeseen circumstances where a mask change is needed. School bus drivers are not responsible for providing a daily mask for students.  Please reach out to me if you have any questions or need help finding a proper fitting mask for your child.

Student Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic: LAST CALL!!!!

In partnership with the Hilltown Community Health Center, we will be hosting a Covid-19 vaccination clinic for students ages 5-11 on Saturday, November 20, 2021 from 9-12 in the Cafeteria. Pre-registration is not required. Walk-ins welcome!! Please bring your child’s insurance card with you to the clinic.

*A second dose clinic for those vaccinated at this clinic will be scheduled for 3 weeks after this clinic on Saturday December 11, 2021 from 9-12

Additional Pediatric Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics: 

  • Northampton Area Pediatrics is hosting Covid-19 Vaccination clinics for 5-11 year old patients of NAP each weekend until the end of December. Registration is available on your patient portal. 
  • Ongoing clinics for all ages 5+ at the Huntington Health Center every Thursday and Friday from 8:30am-4pm. Call 413-667-3009 to register.
  • Visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine for additional vaccination information and locations to receive vaccinations for all ages 5+.
Covid-19 Data Dashboard
This Week (11/12/21)Last Week (11/12/21)Changes from last week
Positive Cases at R.H. Conwell00
Internal Close Contacts00
External Close Contacts in Quarantine10
BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Tests Conducted61↑5
Positive Cases in Worthington (last 7 days)01↓1
Positive Cases in Hampshire County (last 7 days)343283↑60
Positive Cases in Massachusetts (last 7 days)22,40317,738↑4,665

Upcoming Events:

November 23, 2021:   Noon Dismissal

November 24- 26, 2021:  Thanksgiving Recess

December 9, 2021:  School Committee Meeting

December 13, 2021:  Noon Dismissal

December 16, 2021:  Virtual Zoom with Parents

Have a wonderful weekend!

Gretchen Morse-Dobosz
Superintendent/Principal

Worthington School District
147 Huntington Road
Worthington, MA 01098
413-238-5856

gmorsedobosz@hr-k12.org

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