Riverside School PTA Newsletter
Friday, October 16th, 2020
PTA News
Riverside Families, do not miss out on your opportunity to support your school through our exciting Riverside Fall Fundraiser Silent Auction! Click here to bid on special auction items and to support teacher wish lists. The auction will close on Sunday at 9pm, so do not miss your chance to support our school while also getting something fantastic for yourself or your family. Thank you so much for your support! 
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. This year will be a Halloween Circus theme featuring THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. 

**Please note that tickets have sold out** Click here to access information about the event and to get added to the waitlist. The PTA is currently trying its best to accommodate families on the waitlist so please add your name if you are interested so that we have an accurate count.
We also need volunteers before and at the event!
Let’s make Halloween 2020 a memorable one.
Each election year, the PTA sponsors an Election Extravaganza Assembly for all grades (about the election process - NOT specific candidates!). All programs are happening virtually this year. The election assembly for grades K-2 is all pre-recorded and teachers will be able to access it at their convenience over a week-long period (October 26th-30th). Grade 3 will be able to access this program on October 21st. The older grades have both a pre-recorded portion as well as a live virtual portion with Carol Glynn. For grades 4 and 5, that live virtual portion will happen on October 28th.

Upcoming PTA enrichment programs:

  • October 21: CT Storytelling Center's Government Assembly with Carol Glynn (3rd grade)
  • October 26-30: CT Storytelling Center's Election Extravaganza Assembly with Carol Glynn (all grades) 
Our 3rd annual Holidays for Haiti community service event will be virtual this year. Riverside School has been a generous supporter of Danita’s Children orphanage in the impoverished country of Haiti for the past two years and we look forward to continuing the tradition a little differently this year in accordance with CT guidelines.

Registration will open on Monday, November 2nd and close on Friday, November 16th. Please visit the Holidays for Haiti page on RIVPTA for a full description, video and a step-by-step guide to how this virtual event will work.
During the 2020-21 school year, the Wellness Committee will offer a wellness-related message on a Wednesday of every month. Mr. Weiss will share these messages during his morning announcement with students. October is National Anti-Bullying Month, and this month’s announcement will remind students to Stand Up and Speak Out against bullying so all students feel safe and supported at school. 

For age-appropriate tips on how to combat bullying, visit: http://www.bullyfree.com/site/files/BullyFree_ElementaryStudentGuide.pdf 

Here are some video resources, as well:
Thank you to everyone who participated in Fitness Week last week! We had a tremendous response rate from both in-person and remote students, with 225 students submitting entries. You can view individual and grade levels winners here. Individual winners will receive a selection of Riverside Spirit apparel, while class winners will receive extra recess. Great job, Riverside!
Starting this year, we have created a member-only secure website for photos and videos of the various PTA events happening throughout the year. Take a trip down memory lane or see what happened recently. Invitations for the site will go out to all parents who have a user login on rivpta.org next week. Please email riversidereel@gmail.com for any questions.
Retake Day will take place on Monday, November 9th. If your child was absent on school photo day, please plan to send him/her to this retake day. If you are dissatisfied with your child's portrait and would like to try again, send your child to the retake with the entire, undamaged portrait package. No retakes will be given to parents unless, and until, originals have been returned.
Remote families will have the opportunity to participate in the November 9th retake day, whether your child did not attend the original photo day or you were dissatisfied with your child’s portrait. Like last month, you will have the opportunity to register for particular time slots as the date approaches. 
If you have any questions or concerns about your order (late, missing, refunds) please contact Customer Service at CoffeePond directly by calling 1-800-632-2323 ext "0" or via email at Lifeguards@coffeepond.com. If you have any other questions, please contact either Mary Garth or Maureen Stanley.
There is a new section on the RivPTA website designed for families of students with IEPs and 504 plans. This page will provide links and information on navigating your child's education and information on how you can connect with the Special Education Support (SES) PTA reps. In addition to the school-shared resources, this page will allow you to join the SES mailing list, which will provide information from the district-wide SES meetings, opportunities for feedback, local educational events, and most importantly, opportunities to be in touch with other parents at Riverside who are sharing similar journeys. We look forward to connecting!
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 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.
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.
We would like to introduce our Riverside - Remote Learning School PTA Community Message Board. You can access the board directly by logging in to Rivpta.org, or you'll automatically receive an email every time a new message is posted on your registered email on Rivpta.org. Our goal is for the message board to serve as a one-stop location for important information about Remote Learning School for the Riverside community. We welcome your questions and suggestions! Please contact Emily Brown, Riverside - Remote Learning School PTA Liaison, with any questions or suggestions.
From the Office
Enjoy this year’s parent coffees with Mr. Weiss and Ms. Key from the comfort of your own home via Zoom! Each session will feature a peek inside the school to give parents a sense for what a day at Riverside currently looks like for in-person students. You will receive your grade-specific Zoom link from your class parents (or from Emily Brown for Remote parents).
Please see the dates by grade below (all sessions begin at 9am):
  • Kindergarten – Tuesday, October 20
  • Grades 1 & 2 – Tuesday, October 27
  • Grades 3 & 4 – Wednesday, October 28
  • Grade 5 – Wednesday, November 4
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 FIVE DAYS IN ADVANCE using the new order form that Mr. Weiss distributed to parents on Thursday, October 8th. 

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 new order form for information on lunch options.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • There have been many questions about concerns for being sent home/when to see a doctor regarding symptoms (flu, illnesses, COVID). Please visit the Yale New Haven School Nurse Algorithm approved by the CDC/DOH that we are following in all Greenwich Schools this year. If your child is being tested or is awaiting results, please let us know. If there is a Positive Confirmation or Exposure, please call our office immediately.
District News
Through a competitive and thorough bidding process, GPS has engaged Public Consulting Group (PCG) to provide a comprehensive Special Education Review. PCG will be conducting this extensive and independent review throughout the year, kicking off their work this month. Anyone who is interested in joining the kick-off meeting and getting an overview of their project work are welcomed to join a virtual meeting on Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00pm (Zoom info below). If you would like to submit a question ahead of the meeting, please share it by Monday, October 19th.
Or Dial 646-558-8656 and use Webinar ID: 882 5144 8749 
The Youth Passion Project (YPP) was first created to make use of the free time in people’s schedules during COVID-19 and help students explore topics of interest that they cannot learn in most school settings. We offer free, online courses taught by high schoolers to encourage younger students to expand and supplement their learning.

There are over 50 courses offered, ranging from subjects regarding Art, to World Languages, to Computer Science, and many more. Some examples include Health and Fitness, 3D Modeling, Creative Writing, and Stand-Up Comedy. Classes are over Zoom video chat and typically 45 minutes, twice a week. Each session is 4 weeks long, which means there are eight classes. Registration for a new session just opened October 6th, and it closes on October 20th. Most of the classes are for middle schoolers, though some may appeal to younger students, grade 3 and up. 

Here is the link for the YPP website, which includes a list of all the courses and the registration form:
https://www.youthpassionproject.org/. Questions? Get in touch with Audrey Lin at audrey.lin@greenwichschools.org.
The CT Department of Health has shared guidance for families to celebrate Halloween this year in a safe and healthy manner. Their document includes Halloween activities that are considered safe, activities and events that should be avoided, and guidance for trick-or-treating. 

A few important points about face masks from this state’s document: 
  • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth or surgical mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and does not leave gaps around the face.
  • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth or surgical mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Do not wear a costume rubber mask over another face covering of any kind.
Registration now open for the Greenwich Alliance for Education Turkey Trot 2020 - Reimagined!

Join Us For A Month-Long 
Fitness Challenge
November 1 - November 28, 2020
Run/walk/bike anywhere during the month of November in support 
of the Greenwich Alliance for Education
Kick-off Event: Sun. Nov. 1st
Turkey Trot Celebration Day: Sat. Nov. 28th
Adults: $30
Children (14 and under): $15
($1 service fee not included)
T-shirts guaranteed for everyone who registers by Oct. 29th
First 500 registrants receive an Alliance neck gaiter!
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
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Community News
Review the RTM News , BOE News, and the Community Calendar 
Round Hill Volunteer Fire Company Halloween Event
It's not going to be an ideal Halloween for Greenwich kids this year, so the volunteer firefighters at Round Hill Fire Company decided to try and save the day. The Fire Company will be hosting a "Safe but Spooky Haunted Halloween Trail" on Saturday, October 31st from 3-8 pm at its firehouse, located at 166 Old Mill Road in Greenwich. We have received approval for our plans from both the Town and State Health Departments. This is a free event to the community.

Attached is a press release and flyer for our planned Halloween event.
Jackson's SOCKTOBER Sock Drive
Last year, ten-year-old Jackson Bogardus was inspired by the local charity, The Undies Project (a charity that provides underwear to our low-income neighbors) and decided to start a local sock drive, “SOCKTOBER”, for the month of October. Jackson feels this is especially important as we approach the colder months. He also learned that socks are one of the items most needed in homeless shelters so he is collecting new socks for both adults and children and donating them to Inspirica in Stamford. 94 million people in the United States live in or near poverty. That's almost 1 out of every 3. Inspirica is more than just a homeless shelter. Inspirica seeks to break the cycle of homelessness by providing the programs and services that help their clients achieve - and maintain - permanent housing and stability in their lives. 

Jackson's SOCKTOBER donation bins can be found throughout the Greenwich community and at his house. In addition, socks can be purchased and donated at Threads and Treads. Please help Jackson reach his goal of collecting 2000 pairs of socks to help those in need this winter and spread the word about SOCKTOBER. 
Please call (203) 273-0511 if you have any questions or would like to learn more about Jackson's SOCKTOBER Sock Drive. 
YMCA of Greenwich
Fall Programming Registration is open. The YMCA has developed new programs and services to keep our community engaged and active as we navigate through this ever-changing climate. 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 YMCA Program Brochure.
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
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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