Riverside School PTA Newsletter
Friday, March 26th, 2021
PTA News
JOIN THE STEM AT HOME CHALLENGE!
This year, Riverside's annual STEM Fair will be a STEM at Home challenge! Phase I will be April 1-8, Phase I will be April 9-22. During each phase, students can choose from any of the suggested projects or pursue their own ideas. Participants who upload a photo of each completed project by the respective deadline will be entered in a raffle to win an Echo Dot. STEM at Home gives students a chance to sharpen their STEM skills as they explore their world or create solutions to real-world problems. Participation is voluntary and all students in grades K-5 are welcome!  

For more information, visit the STEM page. Deadline for Phase I is April 8.
LAST CALL TO SUPPORT THE TEXTILE DRIVE
For anyone still looking to participate in the Textile Drive, the off-site collection day is Wednesday, March 31 (rain date: April 1) from 8am-12pm at 32 Hendrie Ave. Email riversidegreencommittee@gmail.com with questions. A sincere than you to all who have already donated! 
 
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.
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!
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 Monday, the Eli Whitney Museum helped 4th graders build magnetic pendulums to learn about ecosystems and sustainability! All creatures live in a web of resources that support or suppress their growth. In Monday's virtual program, the students created a dynamic model of an insect’s or bird’s world. They suspended a magnetized creature on a pendulum and added food and shelter (with magnets) that attract the creature and predators and hazards that repel it. The program gave students a hands-on perspective of their creatures' complex, fascinating, and delicate ecosystems. 

This program was organized by the Arts Enrichment Committee and made possible by your generous donations to Riverside School PTA.
UPCOMING ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS
April 23: Author visit with Alyssa Capucilli (Kindergarten)
April 26 & 28: Animal Embassy's Endangered Species program (Grade 3)

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 SUPPORT FOR THE JULIAN CURTISS PROJECT BY MARCH 29!
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 by emailing the BET no later than Monday, March 29. 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).
SUPPORT FUNDING FOR EAST WEST BIKE ROUTE STUDY
The Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) is currently deliberating the proposed budget, and the Conservation Commission's East West Bike Route Study was not included. Pedal Greenwich worked hard engaging the public to vocalize and document the demand the BET must see. 

On March 29, the BET is scheduled to hold a public hearing allowing the community to speak in support of the proposed funding. Speaking at that meeting is very important.  Please sign our petition. Please help us to make Greenwich bike-friendly for our children to ride safety to school, parks and other activities. 

Attend the March 29 public hearing: https://www.greenwichct.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=2608
Email BET members: bet@greenwichct.org (click for a list of individual email addresses)
iPAD SCREEN TIME AND PRINTING TIPS FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS
Curious on how your student uses their school-issued iPad? Learn how to set up screen time monitoring here. Is your home printer compatible? Look for AirPrint on the box or check out the list from Apple Support here. No home printer, but still need to print for school? Media Specialists can assist students in finding the closest printing location to your home! Every GPS School has its own Media Specialist.
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, 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.
 
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 
Greenwich Cardinals Youth Hockey Tryouts
Register now at GCYHA for the 2021-2022 season tryouts. There is an Early Bird registration fee discount until April 7. All sessions take place at Terry Connors Ice Rink.
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