Riverside School PTA Newsletter
Friday, January 15th, 2021
PTA News
Pajamas, fleeces, and sweatpants... oh my! We are encouraging all students to wear pajamas or any of their coziest clothes to keep winter spirits lifted and warm. Remote students can also participate at home.
Thank you to those who were able to join us for yesterday’s Riverside PTA General Meeting.  We approved a revised 2020-2021 budget, announced this year’s Nominating Committee and discussed the new PTA logo.  

Rebekah Gienapp also presented on speaking to children about race and racism, followed by Q&A.  Please see this morning’s email to access a recording of the presentation, as well as Rebekah’s slideshow and antiracism resource guide.  

If you did not complete our Zoom exit poll at the end of the meeting and you have a viewpoint on continuing conversations about equity, race, and bias, we encourage you to complete this very brief survey by Friday, January 29.  Though we’re still working on what this all entails, we would love to have a continuing dialogue on this topic.
New Rivpta Logo
We looked to the School’s architectural elements for inspiration, particularly the etchings of the sun on the building’s center pediment.  We like how the rays of sunshine evoke illuminating our community and beyond, brightening the minds of our children who learn through Riverside School.  We hope this will prompt you to lift your eyes upward at our building – there are some charming details!  

A very big thank you to Brett Weiner for working with the PTA Board to create the design. Please visit our logo webpage on rivpta.org for more information.
We have just kicked off the process to upload photos for the yearbook (various school event photos and one baby photo). This is the first part of the process. Deadline of February 5, 2021. Questions - please contact Katie Hertzmark (khertzmark@gmail.com)

In addition, the 5th grade has lots of other fun events planned including a community service project, a parent party in June as well as a Recognition Day and End of Year Party after graduation for the students.  More information can be found on the RIVPTA.ORG website.
Please consider grabbing a friend or two to partner in providing a meal, ordered and delivered from a local restaurant. You will be feeding anywhere from 20-35 people, children and adults. This has been a trying time for families living in the shelter, unable to find work or a home. Visit the Inspirica website to sign up. Thank you!
The Riverside PTA's Digital Learning Environment and Remote Learning School reps have proactively created a set of documents with useful information for all families in the event the school, or a particular class section, switches to remote learning at any point. This information can be found on the Digital Learning Resources page (part of the Parent Resources menu) on rivpta.org.
As inclement weather comes our way with increasing frequency and intensity, we know drop-off and pick up require additional patience as more families travel to school by car—please allow for extra time. The complete “Rules of the Road” document is available for review, but here are some important highlights: 
When Using the Front Driveway:  
  • DO NOT get out of your car. If you need to get out of the car or your child needs extra help with something, please find a legal parking spot in the parking lot or along the roads near the school.  
  • Children must exit the car curbside (not from the left lane) and close the car door on their own. 
  • At Dismissal: Front driveway pick-up is for grades 3-5 only. K-2 parents are required to park elsewhere and meet their child at their dismissal door. 
  • Do not back up, no lingering/texting, no parking in the driveway, and no idling (turn off engines if you’re waiting at pick up).
From the Office
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, 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.
  • 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
The PTAC Remote Schools Committee encourages you to attend a meeting on Friday, January 22 at 10am for parents of grades K-8 students in the Remote Learning School. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask Marc D’Amico and his team questions. You must click here to register and get the Zoom meeting details.
Our teachers have gone above and beyond for our kids this year-- so let's make sure that we give this event the attention it deserves! Please see the attached flyer and video for more information.
Need a tutor for your child? Each year, Greenwich Public Schools also compiles a list of GPS staff who are willing to tutor outside of school hours. Please see the 2020-2021 Tutor Booklet for teacher names and contact information.
During these challenging times, please join us for a virtual “Parent Video Chat” facilitated by one of our GPS psychologists. Connect virtually with other parents in our community and learn effective strategies to manage personal stress and discuss relevant topics (how to establish routines at home, manage challenging behaviors, build your kids resilience). You can join whenever and stay for as long as you can. We are here to answer questions and provide support. See attached flyer for more details. The theme of January's sessions is "Fostering Resilience at Home".
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.
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, 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.
Access Peek Archive for past issues
If you are not receiving an issue every Friday please email constantcontactriv@gmail.com 
Have something to add? Email us at: peekweekriv@gmail.com Deadline for submissions is 3pm on Wednesday of the school week