NSBORO NEWS - March 2020
NSBORO News - March Edition
Index:
Emotional Health and Wellness During the School Closure (Corrected Links in Red)
Assistant Superintendent Search Update
High School Principal Search Update
Jeffrey Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education - Family Update
Emotional Health and Wellness During the School Closure
Dr. Safdar Medina
Dr. Kerry Wilkins

By Dr. Safdar Medina, District Physician
Dr. Kerry Wilkins, District Child Psychiatrist Consultant
Mary Ellen Duggan RN, District Wellness Coordinator

As we continue to do our best to socially distance ourselves in our effort to contain the novel coronavirus, we want to make sure that our families have the support and resources they need during this challenging time to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally.  

Thank you to everyone for following social distancing rules. We know this is challenging, and we appreciate your efforts. Please remember, children cannot have play dates or be together outside playing sports or hanging out. COVID-19 is more contagious than influenza. Children may be unknowingly carrying the virus, as data shows that a large number of children are asymptomatic (having no visible symptoms) or have minimal symptoms that could be confused for seasonal allergies or other mild conditions. No one is immune to this virus, and some children may also become seriously ill or accidentally infect someone in their family.

The next few weeks will undoubtedly be challenging. Whether you have a preschooler or an adolescent, routines and schedules help. Plan a very specific daily rhythm and set expectations. The daily schedule should be as consistent as possible, including time for work, time for chores, time for exercise, time to eat, and a regular sleep schedule, though this sleep schedule can look different for older children than their traditional school year schedule, as long as they are getting an adequate amount of sleep. Include breaks and carve out specific family times and outdoor times. Expect that everyone gets dressed in new clothing - ideally traditional daytime attire - every day if possible.

Rhythms are important. That being said, it is also important to keep the rationale for this rhythm in mind - the schedule is a way to minimize anxiety and provide consistency. If it is interfering with your ability to stay positively connected, parents can choose to modify it - you don’t have to be rigid. A schedule is intended as a tool, not a shackle. Focusing on keeping everyone feeling meaningfully occupied in the home environment and emotionally connected to one another are the highest priorities during this time-limited period of social distancing.

Our children need social connections; taking time out of the day to connect virtually with friends and grandparents will help with feelings of isolation.  Parents, remember to make time to care for yourself physically as well as emotionally in these uncertain times - exercise, meditate, and connect virtually with your friends too. These actions model important skills to your children, and they also help you be more emotionally available to your children to support them through this challenging time. 

Take a moment to enjoy this time together as a family - start a new tradition, exercise together, write a letter to someone, learn a new game or a new skill, or just read together.

Avoid having the TV on in the background. The information is overwhelming for everyone. Consider playing mellow music in the background to provide a calm environment. 

Provide an opportunity for age-specific conversations about the current situation daily, giving concrete reasons for why we have to do what we are doing. Middle and high schoolers will see false information on social media. Make sure that you have daily talks about things they may have seen and read; share information from trusted sources such as the CDC and DPH .  

It is natural for children to be scared and feel anxious, even if they appear to be coping well. Give a bit more grace to children for inattention or unexpected outbursts, as these are likely manifestations of their anxiety with these abrupt unanticipated transitions. Children look to adults for reassurance. Be a role model for ways to cope with stress during this time - particularly when their actions are the ones that are triggering! 

Let kids know that simple measures such as hand washing, keeping hands away from your face and social distancing will help keep them safe. There are many unknowns, so don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers. Find ways to make a difference as a family; everyone will feel better if they are helping others.  

If you have any concerns about any health issue contact your school nurse, medical provider or mental health care provider. 

Please reach out to us with any questions. Here some valuable links with advice on helping your family during this time:  





Along with social/physical distancing, please continue everyday prevention including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue, dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands. 
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid close contact with others who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

PLEASE, be healthy, and be safe.


Dr. Safdar Medina Dr. Kerry Wilkins Mary Ellen Duggan, RN
School Physician Child Psychiatrist Wellness Coordinator
Superintendent's March Updates

Assistant Superintendent Search Committee Update
 
The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough is in the process of searching for the next Assistant Superintendent of Schools. Since July 1, 2019, Mrs. Rhoda Webb has served as the District’s Interim Assistant Superintendent. Beginning July 1, 2020, Mrs. Webb intends to return to the position of Director of English Language Education. The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough is fortunate to have such a dedicated, committed, caring, and talented employee as Mrs. Webb and I'm excited to have the opportunity to continue to have her serve as a key leader in our District moving forward. 

The Assistant Superintendent Search Committee received over fifty applications. After reviewing the applications, the Search Committee selected thirteen candidates to interview, which are taking place virtually over the next several days.
 

Algonquin Regional High School Principal Search Committee Update
A message from Heather Richards, Director of Human Resources

As we embark on the search committee process to select a principal for Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS), your voice as a member of the Algonquin Regional High School family community is essential. To accomplish this, I am asking that you complete a survey that will ask you for your thoughts on the qualities and skills that you would like to see in the next ARHS Principal. The ARHS Principal Search Committee will review this data, and therefore, I am requesting that this survey be completed by April 9, 2020. 



Jeffrey Riley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Education - Family Update


Dear Parents and Guardians:

First and most importantly, I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. As the commissioner of K-12 public education in the state and a parent of two public school kids, I know that these are unprecedented times, and many of you are being asked to step into unfamiliar roles. I understand the extraordinary pressure you are facing as you balance caring for children, helping them learn, and, in many cases, continuing your own work. I want to assure you that we are working hard to provide your school leaders with the necessary guidance to support students and families during these difficult times. We are all in this together, working on behalf of our children. ( Click here to read the entire message ) .
School Start Time Task Force
School Start Time FAQs : To learn more, please visit the Start Time Task Force Website
Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Update
As The Public Schools of Northborough and Southborough, in collaboration with the school committees and the Northborough and Southborough town administrators work toward finalized budgets, I want to provide the communities with current information. Please visit the link below to find more information.

The 2019-2020 Approved Student Calendar
Many families have asked if there are changes to the 2019-2020 Student Calendar due to the extended closure. The 2019-2020 Student Calendar has not been changed and Good Friday (April 10) and April Vacation (April 20-24) remain as non-school days. NSBORO-CONNECT 2.0 will not be active during these non-school days.
Quick Links and Important Information
Subscribe to
NSBORO News
School Safety
K-12 Curriculum
School Committee Information
Calendars
District Policies,
Procedures,
and Notices
  • Annual Notice Regarding Website Accessibility
  • Asbestos Policy
  • Free and Reduced Meals Information
  • Non-Discrimination Notice
  • Notice of Destruction of Student Records
  • Parents' Right to Know
  • Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) Notice
  • Rights Under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  • Tobacco Ban
Find us on social media...