Riverside School PTA Newsletter
Friday, March 19th, 2021
PTA News
sun
HERE COMES THE SUN...TO RIVERSIDE!
Join us for a SPRING themed Riverside Spirit Day on Friday, March 26. We encourage all Riverside Families to celebrate the coming of Spring and sunshine by wearing their most spring-like outfits. We welcome shirts and shorts in bright and sunny colors, cool shades, fun hats and of course Riverside School gear. Together, we can hope for brighter days ahead and enjoy the spring!
ENJOY THE PLAYGROUND WHILE STAYING COVID SAFE
We are excited that the playground equipment at Riverside School is now available for use by the community…just as the spring weather begins to set in! As we continue to prioritize safety in and out of school, we encourage families using the playground to adopt the COVID-related playground protocols currently in place for children during regular school hours. These guidelines include:
  • Using hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the playground,
  • Wearing a mask at all times, and
  • Maintaining a 3-foot distance from others.
Thank you!

WEEKLONG TEXTILE DRIVE STARTS MONDAY
As we all work to clean and prepare our houses for warmer months, please consider donating unwanted textiles to Riverside PTA's Textile Drive! For the week of March 22-26, the Green Committee will place collection bins outside the school each day. A final off-site collection day will follow on Wednesday March 31 (rain date: Thursday, April 1) from 8am-12pm ONLY at 32 Hendrie Ave. Information about which items are accepted is listed below. Still have questions? Email riversidegreencommittee@gmail.com

Accepted: Clean, dry textiles in good condition. Please do not donate textiles that are wet or moldy. All clothing items including footwear, hats, coats and jackets; linens & bedding including sheets, towels, pillowcases & cotton blankets; extra fabric & bolts (no small scraps), tablecloths, drapes & curtains; backpacks, lunch bags, pocketbooks, wallets & belts 

NOT Accepted: Pillows, mattresses, rugs, scrap fabric & material cuttings, foam stuffing, plush toys & stuffed animals
ONE MORE WEEK TO DONATE YOUR OLD CLEATS
Last Call: Riverside School will continue to collect cleats next week as part of the Same Cleats/New Feet projectSo please check your closets and drop any cleats that you no longer use in the box outside the school by Friday, March 26. They will be put to good use by kids in Venezuela!
SLEEP AWARENESS WEEK ENDS SATURDAY
This month’s message in our Wellness Wednesday series highlights Sleep Awareness Week, observed March 14-20. Sleep Awareness Week coincided with Daylight Savings on March 14. Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential part of overall health, especially for children. It is recommended that elementary school students get 10-11 hours of sleep each night and follow a healthy bedtime routine, including a quiet, dark, screen-free room.

One fun way for children to pay more attention to their bedtime habits is by keeping a sleep diary. You can use this kid-friendly example of a sleep diary, which includes some helpful tips and activities. Have a restful weekend!
GPS WANTS YOUR FEEDBACK ON PPT MEETINGS
GPS has initiated a new internal feedback process (that is separate from the review being conducted by PCG) to improve their PPT meeting process. To that end, please make sure to fill out the new special education survey AFTER your Annual PPT Meeting. The survey link is in blue and can be found on the PPT Summary Page. The PPT Summary is delivered virtually, five school days after your annual PPT. It is included with your finalized IEP.

This survey is in response to the many inconsistencies that Key2Ed found regarding how PPTs are run throughout the district. These surveys are anonymous and cannot be traced back to families. If you do not receive a survey link please reach out to the PTAC Special Education Support Committee at ses@greenwichptac.org.
SUBMIT FEEDBACK FOR THE SPED REVIEW BY MARCH 31
PCG continues to work on its independent review of the district’s special education program. The survey has closed, but PCG is still gathering information from those who want to provide feedback via email. Email PCG with anonymous feedback at programreviewfeedback@pcgus.com. This is for all parents, not just parents of those with IEPs. This email address will remain available until March 31, 2021.
CALLING ALL SES FAMILIES
Calling all families of students with IEPs and 504 plans. Please sign up for the SES Message Board 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. 
THIS WEEK'S ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
On Wednesday, the 2nd graders joined together virtually to hear the "Experimental Orchestra" from Bash the Trash, a two-part science enrichment program that combines a performance with hands-on instrument-building. Wednesday's performance was a fast and funny show that introduced students to the concepts of science, sound and sustainability. In the follow-up virtual workshops next week, the students make hands-on experiential connections from the science they have learned to the behavior of their newly-built musical instruments. STEM to STEAM connections abound as students use engineering skills and scientific methodology to create, explore and categorize their musical inventions, culminating in a musical exercise.   

Riverside’s favorite master storyteller, Laconia “Lot” Therrio, returned Friday to entertain and educate our Kindergarten classes with stories from around the globe. Not only were the stories enjoyable, but showed the children, regardless of where we live, people around the world have more commonalities than differences.

These programs were organized by the Arts Enrichment Committee and made possible by your generous donations to Riverside School PTA.
UPCOMING ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
March 22 & 24: Bash the Trash workshops (Grade 2)
March 22: Eli Whitney Museum Magnetic Pendulum Ecosystems (Grade 4)

From the Office
FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ARE COVID TESTING
As a reminder, GPS is asking that students stay home if a member of their immediate family is being tested due to exposure or symptoms. It will limit teachers and students from possible exposures, causing individuals to be quarantined. Quarantining is a great safety measure, but it can be disruptive for staff and families. We understand we have many families who regularly test as a proactive measure; staying home while awaiting results of proactive, regular testing is not necessary.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: INFO ON COVID TRAVEL & PROTOCOLS HAS MOVED
Standing information on the district’s COVID travel advisory and protocols regarding COVID symptoms has moved! To find it, please scroll down to the "COVID Resources from the School" section at the bottom of this email.
ORDERING LUNCH (IN-PERSON STUDENTS)
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.

District News
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE JULIAN CURTISS SCHOOL PROJECT
The GPS community is focused on investing in capital projects to ensure all school buildings are safe & accessible.  Per the district’s Facilities Master Plan, Julian Curtiss (JC) is the school building currently slated for infrastructure improvements. While work on Riverside is still a number of years out, the level of investment in the JC project will set the tone for subsequent capital improvement projects like that at Riverside.
 
To that end, we encourage Riverside School families to voice their support to fully fund the $1.7mm design phase of the JC project. You can do so by emailing the BET (and CC’ing the BOE). The volume of messages sent in support of a matter like this can help influence the BET. Please feel free to download this sample email message (which includes pertinent email addresses).
3/30 PANEL DISCUSSION: TACKLING ANXIETY & DEPRESSION IN CHILDREN
Greenwich Community Organizations is joining forces with Greenwich Public Schools in tackling pandemic related issues. Join us virtually to learn more about anxiety and depression in children and how to best support students during these very challenging times. Panelists include representatives from Greenwich Public Schools, Child Guidance, Kids in Crisis and the Anxiety Institute. Ahead of the session, please view the videos (which can be accessed via the flyer or website), as the panelists will review the information shared in the videos and have a conversation about the topic discussed. 

Date: Tuesday, March 30
Time: 7pm-8pm
NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR THE PTAC ESSENCE AWARD BY APRIL 30
The PTAC Essence Awards recognize up to two outstanding PTA members of the Greenwich Public Schools PTA communities, who through exemplary achievement, have inspired others, demonstrated selfless spirit and made a significant difference in our school community (individual school or district wide). Parents, teachers, staff, students, principals, administrators or members of the Greenwich community may submit nominations. It would be great to receive at least one nomination from every school! The application consists of an essay of no more than 500 words, and must be submitted through this online formThe awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 26 at 10am. Location to be determined based on COVID guidelines. Contact: essence@greenwichptac.org.
BOE MEETINGS NOW VIRTUAL
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, 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
UPCOMING KEY BET BUDGET MEETINGS
Greenwich Public Schools accounts for a significant portion of the town’s annual budget. As the Town of Greenwich 2021-2022 budgeting process continues, residents can attend Board of Estimate & Taxation meetings that take place over Zoom--stay informed! Here is a list of upcoming key BET budget meetings. Information on how to access the meetings can be found on the Greenwich BET 2021-2022 Budget Meeting Calendar page. A full listing of this calendar year’s BET meetings can be found on the BET Everything Calendar.
 
  • Monday, March 29 at 7pm (Public Hearing)
  • Thursday, April 1 from 9am-9pm (Decision Day) 
GPS WEEKLY DISTRICT DIGEST
Subscribe to receive the Greenwich Public Schools weekly "District Digest" e-newsletter directly to your email inbox.

Community News
Review the RTM News , BOE News, and the Community Calendar 
Help the Family of a Former Riverside Student Battling Cancer
Julian McRandal, a second grader at Glenville School (and former Riverside School student), is currently battling a late-stage brain tumor. He dreams of growing up to be a scientist and father, just like his dad! The McRandal family is currently dealing with Julian’s diagnosis and treatment, as well as remote schooling Julian’s fourth grade sister – all without local family support. Friends have created a meal train so that friends, neighbors and members of the community can bring the family food or purchase a meal for delivery. If you’d like to help out, please sign up for a meal slot or purchase gift cards for the family via their dedicated GiveInKind page. No contribution is too small!
League of Women Voters Greenwich Student Essay Contest - Deadline Extended!
The LWV Greenwich second annual essay contest will be in honor of America’s first female vice president. This year’s theme is Dear Madam Vice President, where Greenwich students grades K-12 are invited to write a letter (up to 500 words) to Vice President Kamala Harris, sharing their stories, advice and wishes. Submissions are due Sunday, March 28. See flyer for additional information.
Learn More About the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting (RTM)
The Greenwich RTM is hosting a number of Zoom information sessions to help residents learn more about the RTM’s function within town government and how one could go about being elected to the RTM. To register, email rakhanna@optonline.net.  
 
Sunday, March 28 at 4:00pm
Monday, March 29 at 11:00am
Thursday, April 1 at 7:00pm

COVID Resources from the School
PROTOCOL FOR FAMILIES TRAVELING "OUT OF CONNECTICUT"
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). All PCR tests, rapid or regular, are now accepted as of 1/11/21, however, subject to change per Governor Lamont. 

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. 

Anyone who has not received their 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, Sarah Flynn, who will be able to return parent phone calls and emails during the school day.

Thank you.

- Mr. Weiss, Ms. Key, Nurse Luiso
IN-SCHOOL COVID-19 SYMPTOM PROTOCOL
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. 
PEEK AT THE WEEK
Access Peek Archive for past issues
If you are not receiving an issue every Friday please email constantcontactriv@gmail.com 
SUBMISSIONS
Have something to add? Email us at: peekweekriv@gmail.com Deadline for submissions is 3pm on Wednesday of the school week