Virtual Learning Extended Through 6-12-2020

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Communication to Families Regarding Virtual/Remote Learning Through June 12, 2020

By now most of you have probably heard that the today the Governor announced that schools would remain closed through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. Our teachers, staff, and administrators are disappointed we will not have the opportunity to see our students, their families, and each other face-to-face for the remainder of the year. Simply stated, we miss everyone! We miss the daily interactions among students and staff, and the normalcy of a regular school day.

This is not the school year anyone hoped for, yet I am incredibly proud and appreciative of everyone’s efforts to foster positive outcomes for the children attending our schools. Students, teachers, staff, and parents have all learned new software, practiced and refined new instructional techniques, and worked to advance the academic and personal-social well-being of our children. Our teachers and staff are leaning into this work and cherishing their interactions with students, while also attending to the responsibilities of their own families. Similarly, parents and guardians are supporting and assisting their children with virtual / remote learning while also balancing home, work, and life responsibilities.

Virtual / Remote Learning Will Continue While Schools are Closed Until June 12th
Districts across RI are being asked by the state to adopt the same calendar. Accordingly, there will be four (4) additional days this spring when there will be “No School Foster-Glocester.” These days will count as part of the 180-day school year. The revised calendar is as follows:

  • May 15th – Vacation Day – (This day was added by the state.)
  • May 6th, May 20th, and June 1st – No School Days for students – (This will provide every teacher has a couple days dedicated to lesson planning, professional development and common planning time to develop virtual / remote learning activities through the end of the year.)

Several other no school days were already included in the publicized school calendar.

  • May 1st – No School Day
  • May 8th – Early Release Day – (Teachers will be participating in professional development in the afternoon, but will be available in the morning to support students’ learning.)
  • May 25th – Memorial Day
  • June 12th – Last Day of School – (This is for students in PreK through Grade 11.)

Alternative Plans for Graduation – Still Under Development
Members of the high school staff have been exploring alternative graduation options. Today the RI Department of Education released guidance that outlined some permissible alternatives. We will review these and reach out to seniors and their families under separate cover. Please be patient as we want to ensure our plans fall within the guidelines of the RI Department of Health.

Technology Support
If you or someone you know needs technology assistance with a student device, please call the Technology Hot Line at (401) 208-0046. Students having technology issues should submit a help desk ticket for support at: http://www.fg.k12.ri.us/for_staff/technology_help_desk

Parent/Guardian Pick-Up of Student Belongings
Our administrative team will be meeting to finalize plans for the remainder of the school year. These plans will include options for parent/student pick up of student belongings from our schools, virtual activities for the rest of the year and continued communications with our students and parents about next steps. As we revise our plans information will be shared directly from each school principal.

Support for Families
We know that that some of our families – students and adults – may be experiencing difficulties during these unprecedented times. Below are several supports available for families.

Kids’ Link RI™
This is a behavioral health triage service and referral network. A program offered in collaboration with Gateway Healthcare, Lifespan, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Bradley Hospital, Kids’ Link RI is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help triage children and youth in need of mental health services and refer them to treatment providers.​

Call 1-855-543-5465 if your child is feeling excessive anger or sadness

  • Lashing out at siblings, friends, and adults
  • Having behavior problems
  • Having severe worries
  • Hurting himself/herself or others

Closing Thoughts
Again, I want to thank you for all your patience and support as we unexpectedly embarked on several months of PreK-12 virtual/remote learning. Each one of us would prefer to be back in a regular school setting with our school family. Nevertheless, RI embraced the challenge of virtual learning in a way that many other states have not. This would not have been possible without the collective effort of all involved.

We look forward to the time when we can all see each other face-to-face again.

In the mean time I hope you all stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Michael S. Barnes
Superintendent of Foster and Foster-Glocester Regional Schools

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