Riverside School PTA Newsletter


Friday, October 2nd, 2020
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COMMUNITY NEWS

Review the RTM News and BOE News

October 10th
 ISD's Greenwich Color Challenge is back with a twist! Join us in our Virtual Edition and enjoy a 1.5 mile virtual color walk/run for you and your family to do at your leisure at a location of your choice! Please view the event flyer or visit the website to learn more and register.

This fall, the YMCA has developed new programs and services to keep our community engaged and active as we navigate through this ever-changing climate. Many of the YMCA's programs are offered on various days of the week and weekend, and classes are limited in size allowing our instructors to focus on each participant and maintain social distancing guidelines. You can find more information in the


Neighbor to Neighbor Food Donation Drive Every Thursday at St. Paul's. Food donations for Neighbor to Neighbor are being accepted at St. Paul's Riverside every Thursday from 10-11:30am. The need right now is particularly high. Items of greatest need are proteins such as beans, peanut butter and canned tuna, but all non-perishables are gladly accepted and appreciated. Just drive up, pop open your trunk and St. Paul's will get your donations to N2N.

Check out the Community Calendar 
PTA Highlights
Dear Riverside Parents,

We've made it to another Friday! We want to thank all our teachers, staff, students, and parents for adhering to COVID safety protocols, which has allowed us to keep our in-school learners, well, in school! We hope everyone will continue to stay safe.

October is usually a busy month for the PTA, and regardless of pandemic, this year is no different. As you heard last week, Boo Bash is happening! Our food drive for two local organizations, Inspirica and Neighbor to Neighbor, has been going on all week and ends today. You still have time to get your donations in this afternoon and contactless drop off is available from 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Also on the horizon are:
  • October 5th-9th: FITNESS WEEK! (See below for more details.)
  • Wednesday, October 7th: Walk or Ride your Bike to School Day
  • Friday, October 9th: Boo Bash Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m.
  • October 11th-17th: Fall Fundraiser Online Auction
And speaking of Fall Fundraiser, as you've likely heard, we're not meeting in person this year, but we will meet virtually all week long for our online auction. We'll be focusing on our teachers, but we're also going to have a fun array of auctions items for you! If you or someone you know has awesome items or talents to donate to the auction, please let us know! See below for more information.

We also wanted to draw your attention to the changes in our Early Morning Program process.

With that, we bid you a wonderful fall weekend!

Heeyoon Slater & Carey Bisbee
PTA Co-Presidents
 PTA News
FINAL DAY OF FALL FOOD DRIVE
Today is the final day to drop off donations for our Riverside School Fall Food Drive. All unopened and unexpired donations will be allocated to local food pantries at Inspirica and Neighbor to Neighbor. Both charities are in desperate need during these unprecedented times. Visit the Community Service page at RIVPTA.org for a list of most-needed items.

Thank you for all the donations so far this week!
FITNESS WEEK AT RIVERSIDE SCHOOL
We will be holding our annual Fitness Week at Riverside School next week from October 5th-9th. In addition to encouraging daily activity before, during and after school, this year's Fitness Week coincides with National Walk to School Day on
Wednesday, October 7th

Please ask your child to keep track of his or her physical activities each day during Fitness Week and submit this document digitally by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 9th. The class with the highest percentage rate of participation will earn extra recess. In addition, one participating student from each grade (including in-person and remote students) will be randomly selected to win a raffle prize of Riverside gear!
FALL FUNDRAISER IS AROUND THE CORNER!
Just because this year's fall fundraiser is not our traditional evening parent/faculty gathering does not mean you won't have an amazing opportunity to support our teachers and school (and treat yourself!) through an exciting WEEK-LONG silent auction! 

We are still in the process of pulling together auction lots, so if you or someone you know would like to contribute their time, talent, vacation home, etc. please reach out to Megan Sullivan or Greer Williams today.
BOO BASH -- SAVE THE DATE!
Come one, come all, to the greatest Boo Bash of all!  Step right up, and be thrilled by the greatest, most incredible drive-in movie on Earth!  Boo Bash 2020 is on Friday, October 30th, 6:30pm at the Hyatt Regency. Tickets go on sale Friday, October 9th at 9am on RIVPTA.ORG. Volunteers are needed this year more than ever, so come clown around with us!  Stay tuned for a volunteer sign-up and ticket purchase link.
UPDATE YOUR DIRECTORY INFORMATION AND JOIN THE PTA 
Please go to RIVPTA.ORG and follow the steps provided to update your information, including your child(ren)'s new teacher, for the Online Family Directory.  Once your info is up-to-date, be sure to join the PTA to gain unlimited access to the directory. The PTA relies on the generosity of our families via our annual Membership Drive. Funds raised go towards student enrichment programs, classroom and building needs, as well as teacher support.  If you have moved or have new phone or email information, please let the school office know as well!

Please note that Class Parents will be using contact information provided via the directory to communicate to parents this year.
 
And thank you to everyone who has contributed a donation to join the PTA so far - this is an important fundraiser to help us get up and running for the year.
NEW PROCEDURE FOR EARLY MORNING PROGRAM
Because of the unusual circumstances of this year, it appears there may not be as much of a need for the Early Morning Program as in prior years.  That said, the PTA is still committed to providing the Early Morning Program, and we will work with all our families to ensure we are able to provide this service if and when it is needed.
 
Effective immediately, we will require advance notice on a weekly basis if you foresee a need to use the EMP.  To do so, please click the Pay Here button on the Early Morning Program page to pre-pay and fill out a form indicating up to ten dates that you will use EMP by 4:00 PM on the Sunday prior to the week your child will attend.  Please feel free to reach out to 
Kristine Redlien
 or Clare Johnson if you have any questions about this new procedure.
DOWNLOAD THE SCHOOL DISMISSAL MANAGER APP 
We are using School Dismissal Manager again this year. It is 
an excellent online tool that will notify the school when anything needs to be changed in your child's dismissal plan for a particular day. Please create a login to manage your child(ren)'s attendance and dismissal information (please refer to the email sent from the school on Wednesday, Sept 9th with more details). If you used School Dismissal Manager last year, you can log in with your existing credentials.
Green Committee
NATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY 
Walk to school WednesdayOctober 7th! Just in time for Fitness WeekNational Walk to School Day takes place on October 7th! Walking or cycling just a mile to and from school each day can save 600 lbs of CO2 emissions per school year. Please join children around the world to celebrate the benefits of walking and biking: promoting a healthy lifestyle, concern for the environment, reduce traffic congestion, and an increased sense of community here in Riverside!

Mr. Weiss will recognize students who walk/ride during morning announcements.
PACKING A WASTE FREE LUNCH
Back to school means back to packing lunches! Waste Free Greenwich has some tips and info for a "Back to School: Packing a Waste Free Lunch"

Packing a waste free lunch with reusable containers has many surprising benefits over single-use disposables:
  • Safe! Based on the best available science and guidelines from health experts, reusable wares can be used safely by employing basic hygiene and sanitation.
  • Healthier! Choosing reusables reduces exposure to chemicals of concern found in disposable products, like PFAS and styrene, that have negative health effects.
  • Saves Money! Packing a reusable lunch and snack instead of disposables can save families over $400 per student annually.
  • Better for the Earth! Life cycle analyses show that reusables have significantly less environmental impacts than single-use disposables, including energy use and air pollution.
  • Cuts Waste! Every year the average student tosses 67 pounds of packaging and 39 pounds of uneaten food. Lunch in reusable containers could save over 58 million pounds of trash in Connecticut that we pay to haul and burn.
Some tips to turn a wasteful packed lunch into a zero waste meal:
  • Buy snacks in bulk and sort them into reusable bags and containers for less waste and expense than individually prepackaged snacks
  • Choose reusable lunch boxes, sacks or containers over single-use bags, foil or plastic baggies
  • Drink water and other nutritious beverages from a BPA-free reusable bottle instead of single-use plastic bottles, cans, juice boxes and pouches
  • Pack a reusable napkin and utensils
Ask your children to bring home uneaten food, so quantities and selections can be adjusted as needed.
COME ENJOY THE GARDEN AT RIVERSIDE 
The native plant gardens behind the school are full of flowers and pollinators. See if you can find a monarch caterpillar on the milkweed. There were two on Tuesday! Our vegetable garden is absolutely overflowing with tomatoes.  And If you look closely, you may be able to spot some wacky yellow cucumbers and some carrots. We will be following up with families who signed up at the virtual volunteer fair to share details about fall garden care.
From the Office
OPEN HOUSE - WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7TH
Open House evening will be Wednesday, October 7th. It is a VIRTUAL event for parents/guardians. A Google Meet link for each Class/Teacher Open House session will be sent to you in a single document by Tuesday, October 6th.
  • 6:00-6:30pm - Grades K-2 Classroom Teachers
  • 6:30-7:00pm - All Specialists and Specials Teachers (Parents can choose to drop in on one or more specialist/specialist teacher Google Meets during that time). Special Education teachers (along with Mrs. Brennan and Ms. Victor) will be doing a combined presentation via Google Meet during this time as well, specifically for parents of students in special education.
  • 7:00-7:30pm - Grades 3-5 Classroom Teachers (note: parents of ALP students will leave their classroom teacher session and join the ALP session starting at 7:10)
  • 7:10-7:40pm - ALP Teachers (for the parents of Grade 3-5 students who are in the ALP Cohort this year)
Note: if you have more than one child in Grades K-2 or more than one child in Grades 3-5, you may leave one Google Meet session and join the other session(s) after 10 or 15 minutes.

 

NEW PROCEDURE FOR ORDERING LUNCH (IN-PERSON STUDENTS)
Effective immediately, parents must enter any lunch orders at least one full school day in advance so that the kitchen can make sure what is ordered can be provided to students at the start of their lunch time. You can enter your child/children's lunch orders up to two weeks in advance using this order form . After submitting for one child for a particular day, just click on the "Submit Another Response" button and then enter another lunch order for a future date or for a second child, etc.
 
NOTE: Based on new funding from the state of Connecticut at this time, School lunches are FREE for ALL students who order lunch through December 31st. This decision is subject to change at the federal government's discretion.  No accounts will be charged for meals (except for $1 bottled water) during that time.  Please see the order form for information on lunch options.
PARENT REMINDERS
  • School lunch is FREE for ALL students until December 31st
  • When dropping off anything in the bin outside please LABEL everything with your child's name and teacher
  • Parents must use School Dismissal Manager when their child will be absent or late for any reason and also if their child will be leaving early. Since parents are not allowed in the building at this time, entering an early dismissal in SDM will take the place of signing them out
 Remote Learning School News
REMOTE LEARNING STUDENTS HAVE ACCESS TO FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, TOO!
As a reminder, the District also provides free meals for remote students via daily bus routes or onsite pick up.
JOIN THE GREENWICH REMOTE SCHOOL FACEBOOK GROUP
If your family has opted for remote learning, please consider joining the Greenwich Remote School informal Facebook group (created by parent volunteers) for conversation, collaboration, connection and communication a
https://www.facebook.com/groups/gpsremote.
District News 
BOE MEETINGS NOW VIRTUAL
*The Greenwich Board of Education has called for a Special Meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 6th at 7pm via teleconference. Please view the Special Meeting Notice for the topics that will be covered.*


Board of Education meetings are easier to attend now that they take place over Zoom--stay informed! Here is a list of 2020-2021 academic year Greenwich Board of Education meetings. Information on how to access the meetings can be found on the GPS Accessing Virtual BOE Meetings page. All meetings start at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
  • Thursday, October 22, 2020
  • Thursday, November 5, 2020 (Budget)
  • Wednesday, November 18, 2020
  • Thursday, December 3, 2020 (Budget)
  • Thursday, December 17, 2020
  • Thursday, January 21, 2021
  • Thursday, February 18, 2021
  • Thursday, March 25, 2021
  • Thursday, April 8, 2021 (Retreat, no public comment)
  • Thursday, April, 22, 2021
  • Thursday, May 13, 2021(Retreat, no public comment)
  • Thursday, May 20, 2021
  • Thursday, June 3, 2021
  • Thursday, June 17, 2021
GPS WEEKLY DISTRICT DIGEST
Subscribe to receive the Greenwich Public School weekly "District Digest" e-newsletter directly to your email inbox.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email us at riversideschoolpta@gmail.com.

Sincerely,
Heeyoon Slater and Carey Bisbee
Co-Presidents Riverside School PTA

 Office: 203-637-1440   -   www.greenwichschools.org/rs