Riverside School PTA Newsletter
Friday, November 20th, 2020
PTA News
Mr. Weiss’s favorite childhood read is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, have you shared your favorite childhood book with your little reader? It’s not too late to pick up a copy of your favorites to share around the Thanksgiving table.

Don’t forget to input Coupon Code “RIVER” at checkout and make sure to click “Shop Entire Site” for over 5,000 titles of quality books and gifts.
Ship to your home for a $10 fee or pick up at the school on: Monday, November 23 between 2:30-3:30pm or Tuesday, November 24 between 8:30-9:30am and 3-4pm. The book fair ends on Sunday, November 22. Visit the Book Fair Website
Mike's Organic, the Fairfield County grocery delivery service and Stamford market, is offering Thanksgiving turkeys and side dishes to Riverside and will donate 10% of all proceeds back as a fundraiser. Please see flyer for details.

Mike's Organic sources from small, local farms and features pastured turkeys (turkeys raised on pasture as nature intended), organic sides and pies along with complete Thanksgiving dinners - all made by Mike's team, and delivered to your door the week of the holiday. 

To Order:
  • Visit mikesorganicdelivery.com and use code RIV when you place your order. Mike's will donate 10% of the proceeds back to Riverside!
  • All orders must be placed by Friday, November 20 for delivery the week of the holiday. 
  • Read more about Mike in the NY Times or on Martha Stewart.
The Green Committee invites you to kick off the holiday season with a webinar Merry, Bright and Waste Free Holidays on Tuesday December 1 from 10-11am.  Learn how to create a waste-free wonderland this season at home with creative and earth-friendly tips on gift-giving, entertaining and decking the halls! This webinar is free and open to all. Click here for details and to register.
Calling all families of students with IEPs and 504 plans. Please join the SES (Special Education Support) Communications List to stay informed and up to date on district meetings and special events that impact special education and related services. We look forward to connecting and collaborating. 

For more information, please visit our Special Education & Related Services webpage.
We’ve been given the go-ahead to paint colorful, creative activities (e.g. hopscotch, jumping and skipping designs) onto the blacktop at school! We need a small group of volunteers to help us work with the school to get this done. Please email us at RiversideSchoolPTA@gmail.com if you’re interested!
Our virtual Holidays for Haiti event was a huge success! We raised over $10,500, which is almost twice what we’ve done in past years. A sincere thank you to everyone who participated and sponsored children through donations and holiday card creations. The money raised will fund Danita’s Children's schoolbooks and holiday gifts which they will receive at their school holiday party with their custom cards from our Riverside community. Thank you!
This month, the Wellness Wednesday message highlighted World Kindness Day, which was last Friday, November 13. You may have seen reminders to #BeKind written in chalk on your way to school. The chalk messages were a cooperative effort between the Health & Wellness team and students as a way to be mindful of how we treat others and to offer each other encouragement. A simple gesture (paying a compliment; smiling at someone; holding a door open; including everyone in your conversation) can make such a positive impact on someone’s day. Together, we can make kindness the norm.
For more ideas, check out these videos inviting you to help kindness become the norm in your home, school or workplace. 
Today, November 20, in-school students in grades 2-5 were treated to a virtual presentation and Q&A with beloved children's author and New York Times bestseller Dan Gutman. Dan is the author of the hugely popular My Weird School books as well as other children's series like The Flashback Four. Each grade was able to have their own grade-wide session with Dan, where he focused on his books most likely to resonate with the audience, like My Weird School for the younger children, and his baseball adventure books and Flashback Four with the older kids. Ask your kids tonight what they thought about it!

This program was sponsored by the Arts Enrichment Committee of the PTA and was paid for by your generous donations. Thank you!
On Tuesday, the in-school 5th graders had a chance to find out just how amazing light is. High Touch High Tech delivered a virtual science enrichment session all about the power of light. They learned where ROY G. BIV is on the electromagnetic spectrum and used a refraction filter to see how our eyes process light. It was a great kick-off to our virtual science programming this year! 
November 20: High Touch High Tech's "Force and Motion" (1st grade) 
December 1:  High Touch High Tech's "Vibes" (5th grade)

These programs are sponsored by the Enrichment Committee of the PTA and were paid for by your generous donations. Thank you!
Please go to RIVPTA.ORG and follow the steps provided to update your information, including your children'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 on the rivpta.org login 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.

From the Office
The following is our updated protocol for Families Traveling "Out of Connecticut" for Thanksgiving or at other times. 

Families traveling "Out of Connecticut" for more than 24 hours (current exceptions are the states of New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and the USVI), must complete the State of Connecticut Travel Health Form. If you are traveling to one of the states or countries with a travel advisory, it is mandatory to fill out the Connecticut form or face a fine from the state.
The following is only in effect if your child is in-person at Riverside School:

Anyone who is traveling (and meets the criteria above) should:

  1. Let the teacher and nurse know
  2. Provide a "Negative" PCR test that has been performed not more than 72 hours prior to your arriving back in CT (or after your arrival back in CT). A Regular PCR Test Only will be accepted.  (No rapid tests accepted) 

Addendum per CT State Travel Advisory has been noted:
According to #19, the travelers "may" get tested WITHIN 72 hours of their arrival back to CT but NO MORE than 72 hours. This means, if they are arriving Sunday night, the test results should state 72 hours from the actual swab being performed, not the Test results themselves.

Example: Arriving back to CT on Sunday, November 29. Tests may be performed on Thanksgiving day or after resulting in 72 hours of return on Sunday.  

Anyone who has not received their Regular PCR Tests prior to attending school must quarantine and remain home until test results have been received. Once you receive your results, please forward to the school nurse for clearance.

Note: some states are mandating Negative tests prior to traveling there (such as MA) and upon their return. These items are very important to follow and can result in penalties from each state. Please review the links above for more information.

Further questions can be directed to our school nurse, Melissa Luiso, who will be able to return parent phone calls and emails during the school day.

Thank you.  
-Mr. Weiss, Ms. Key, Nurse Luiso
The Nurse’s Office has received many questions about how the school is making decisions about when the school is sending students home. Extra precautions are being taken in order to do our best to keep students in school. Unfortunately, there will be many students sent home this year even though they may have normally been allowed to stay in school and we hope all families will be understanding. 

Greenwich Public Schools COVID Symptom Protocol:  
  • If a student exhibits 1 low risk symptom (fever of 100.4 or greater, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, sore throat, headache, muscle aches) and has had no exposure to a COVID-19 positive person, the student may return to school 24 hours after symptom resolution (without medication for fevers) 
  • If a student exhibits 2 or more low risk symptoms (see above) or has 1 high-risk symptom (new cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste/smell) AND has had no exposure to a COVID-19 positive person, the student must be seen by a healthcare provider. 
  • If the student has a negative PCR swab test for COVID, the student may return to school 24 hours after symptom resolution (without medication for fevers). 
  • If the student has lab testing and evaluation, or an alternative diagnosis, the student may return to school 24 hours after symptom resolution (without medication for fevers). 
  • If a student has a positive PCR swab test for COVID, the student may return to school after 24 hours without fever (without medication) AND symptoms improving AND approval of local health department (10-14 days); AND release by the primary care provider will be required 
  • If a student is exposed to a COVID positive person, the student may return to school 14 days after last contact unless symptoms develop.  If symptoms develop, the student must obtain a swab. 

Please visit the district site to access the GPS COVID Checklist and the GPS COVID-19 resource page for more information. 

Please contact the School Nurse, Melissa Luiso (Melissa_luiso@greenwich.k12.ct.us) with any questions. 
PLEASE NOTE: All orders MUST be submitted prior to the date ordering for (and up to five days in advance).  Orders entered for same day lunch may not be seen, and cafeteria staff don't want students missing out. Please visit the Lunch Page on rivpta.org for information on submitting lunch orders and a link to the school's order form.
  • Only eligible bus students are allowed to ride the bus in the afternoon. Non-eligible students are not allowed to ride the afternoon bus due to the Covid restrictions, even for playdates. Other arrangements will have to be made.
  • School lunch is FREE for ALL students until December 31
  • 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.
  • When you arrive to pick your child up early, please let the office know you're outside waiting. We will not call a student out of class or send them outside until we know the parent is here.
So far this year, we have had a number of students come into school with braces/casts and assistive devices. Our District Policy requires all students who need assistive devices, having surgeries, stitches or any injuries, to have a note from their doctor stating cause of injury, date seen, date of removal for PE/Recess. Students will also need another doctor's note to return to all activities.

District News
GPS is circulating this flyer to broaden its search for substitutes to ensure they have a robust list of people who can help cover staffing needs throughout the year. GPS is in need of two types of substitutes: instructional and classroom monitors.

For example: a teacher who is on maternity leave would have an instructional substitute who has at least a Bachelor’s Degree. However, GPS also expects to have secondary teachers who may be quarantined for two weeks due to an exposure at a personal event (grocery store visit, etc.). If the teacher is deemed to be the only one having been exposed, this would allow their students to still be in the classroom. A substitute for this type of situation would simply be a classroom monitor to make sure that the smartboard is on and that the teacher can be seen and heard from home by the students; the classroom monitor would not be providing academic instruction.
You and your kids can view the webinar by clicking here. In addition, PTAC Health and Wellness has created a tip sheet to help students, parents and teachers use the correct posture at home. There are some easy and helpful tips and stretches to help you and the family stay healthy while working from home.  Click here for the parent tip sheet. Questions: Email wellness@greenwichptac.org.  
During these challenging times, we encourage you to join a virtual “Parent Video Chat” facilitated by one of the district psychologists. Learn effective strategies to manage personal stress and discuss relevant topics. You can join at any point during a session and stay for as long as you can. The facilitator will be available to answer questions and provide support. For more information, please view the event flyer or visit the district website.
Elementary & Secondary Remote School Parents: Monday, November 23rd at 7pm
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, 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
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Community News
Review the RTM News , BOE News, and the Community Calendar 
Free Online Tutoring at My STEM Help
My STEM Help is a local nonprofit aiming to provide free, high quality online tutoring sessions to students K-12 who are in need of after-school academic support. The support is especially needed during the time of pandemic. These help sessions are conducted like a teacher's "office hour" where students can drop in to ask homework questions or get help on test prep. The tutoring sessions are run by local high school volunteers. There are rigorous tutor selection and training processes in place to ensure the teaching quality (check out the "Meet the Tutors" page for more details). Each session is also monitored by a trained adult volunteer to safeguard online security.
Neighbor to Neighbor Food Donation Drive
Every Thursday at St. Paul's Riverside 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.
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Have something to add? Email us at: peekweekriv@gmail.com Deadline for submissions is 3pm on Wednesday of the school week