R. H. Conwell Community News 4/29/2022

Worthington School District

147 Huntington Road

Worthington, MA 01098



April 29, 2022

Dear Community:

Welcome back!  It was so nice to hear the students talk about their week off!  Over spring break, I hiked the Long Trail and Bald Mountain Loop with Mrs. O.   It was a total of 29.4 miles over two days!  On our first day, we hiked through snow and crossed over rushing streams to Goddard Shelter where we stayed overnight.  We both slept in hammocks, and it was really cold!  And, when we woke up our hiking boots were frozen!  We used a portable stove to boil some water for a cup of coffee, and then packed up for the second trek to Bald Mountain.  The landscape on top of Bald Mtn. was beautiful and the views were spectacular.  The top of the mountain was covered with small pines and white rocks.   We had so much fun on this hiking adventure!  

On Tuesday, we celebrated Ms. Lisa because it was Administrative Assistant Day!   Students made her cards, visited the office to thank her for her hard work, and delivered her flowers!   One  kindergartener wrote~ “Dear Ms. Lisa, thank you for paying the bills so we don’t lose the school.” 

Teacher Appreciation Week:  Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week!  The PTO plans to honor our teachers throughout the week.  The PTO invites families to have their child(ren) send in a handwritten note/card for Wednesday showing their appreciation for their teacher.

Parent Breakfast:  We welcome parents to join us for breakfast on May 6, 2022.  The cost is $2.00.  Please complete the form and return if you plan to attend.  Complimentary coffee will be served.  

Preschool Parking:  We are asking that all preschool parents park on the fence/field side of the parking lot while dropping off and picking-up your preschooler. The teachers have been asked to park on the RT 112  side of the parking lot in order to allow for preschool families to have a spot to park and get their kiddo out of the car safely.  Thank you for your cooperation.  

MCAS:  Students in grades 3-6 will be taking the MCAS MATH test on Tuesday, May 3 and Thursday, May 5 beginning at 9:15.  If your child is in those grades, please make sure they are on time and get a good night’s sleep!  Breakfast will be provided for them.

Budget: Please follow the link for the FY 23 Budget and Summary document.  

FY23 School Budget 3/24/22

Explanation of the FY23 School Budgets.docx

Annual Town Meeting:  Annual Town Meeting will be on May 7, 2022 and will begin at 9:30.

R.H. Conwell Employment Opportunities for the 2023 school year:

Water Drinking Challenge: The Wellness Committee is happy to announce that we will begin a new wellness challenge for all students on Monday, May 2. This challenge is to encourage all students to drink more water each day. Each classroom will keep tallies daily, and total up their cups consumed each week. The classroom with the highest number of cups consumed at the end of the month will get free personalized water bottles courtesy of the wellness committee. Not only will students be tallying their own cups each day, but together they will be using their math skills to determine how much water their class consumed each day and week, then graphing the numbers on a chart.  If the entire school reaches the school-wide goal of 5000 cups at the end of the month of May, the Wellness Committee will be hosting a field day / water-fun day for all students in June.

**It will be helpful for all students to ensure they have a reusable water bottle with them each day to reduce plastic cup waste.

Here is a snapshot of what our challenge trackers will look like:

Nurse Sam Update: 

Please check out my new website for the most up-to-date information and updates from the nurse’s office. https://sites.google.com/hr-k12.org/rhc-nurses-office/

  • Mask Optional Remains In Effect: With the increase in cases throughout the state and region, at this time we will still remain mask optional. However, if we see a significant increase either within Worthington, or at RH Conwell, we may need to shift to universal masking for a short time. 
  • Tick Season Begins: We are heading into that time of year where Ticks are becoming more prominent. With the students spending more time outdoors, it is very important to check your child for ticks at the end of each day. How to do a tick check

Some common areas to check include:

  • Inside and behind the ears
  • Hairline
  • Back of the neck
  • Armpits
  • Groin
  • Legs
  • Behind knees
  • Between toes (if barefoot)
  • If a tick is found, use fine tip tweezers and pull the tick as close to the skin as possible, pulling straight out and not twisting. Clean the area with soap and water and continue to watch for any rashes or signs of infection that may develop within the following few days. Here is a video on how to remove a tick: How to remove a tick
  • If able, identify the type of tick it was and contact your child’s healthcare provider if it was a deer tick, or if any illness develops after finding the tick. Tick Identification Chart
  • Tick Prevention Tips: 
    • Wear light-colored, long sleeve shirts with long pants tucked into your socks when in an area that is likely to have ticks. 
    • DEET containing bug repellent (no more than 30-35% DEET for children) can be helpful. (If applying bug repellent, please use in moderation as we have some individuals within the building with scent sensitivities)
    • Stick to main pathways when traveling in wooded areas.
  • For more information, please visit this site: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/tick-borne-disease-prevention
  • Sunscreen: As students are spending more time outdoors, please remember to apply sunscreen with 30-50 SPF to their exposed skin, face, and neck prior to coming to school and have them wear a hat to protect their scalp. Light colored, breathable clothing may be helpful as well to not absorb the sun’s rays (How clothing affects UV ray absorption). 
    • We do not have sunscreen available at school. If you would prefer your child to reapply sunscreen at intervals throughout the day, you may send a bottle of sunscreen to school with your child, labeled with your child’s name, for their use only. Students will not be permitted to share sunscreen with other students. If able to self-apply appropriately, they may do so as needed. 
    • *School staff will not be held responsible for overexposure to sunlight, but will do their best to keep all students in shaded areas as much as possible.*
Covid-19 Data Dashboard
Positive Cases at R.H. Conwell
External Close Contacts in Quarantine
BinaxNOW Rapid Antigen Tests Conducted1
Positive Cases in Worthington (last 7 days)45
Positive Cases in Hampshire County (last 7 days)855517
Positive Cases in Massachusetts (last 7 days)27,67018,266
Weekly Routine Covid Safety Checks
Date Safety Checks Completed4/26/20224/12/2022
Number of Individuals Participating4543
Number of Pools Tested88
Number of Positive Pools00
Number of Negative Pools88

Upcoming Events:

May 2 – 6:  Teacher Appreciation Week

May 3 and May 5:  MCAS Testing for students in grades 3-6

May 10:  MCAS Testing – Science for grades 5th grade

May 7:  Annual Town Meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. at R.H. Conwell Elementary School

May 12:  School Committee Meeting at 6:30 

May 17:  GOTR Practice 5K.

May 23:  Noon Dismissal

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.  

Gretchen Morse-Dobosz


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