August 14, 2020
Welcome to the 2020-21 school year! I want to start by telling all of you that I understand the unrest and unsettled feelings that you are all feeling. The past five months have been unexpected and highly disruptive to all of our normal routines and comforting patterns. I hope that you and your families were able to spend time this summer doing things that made you feel rested and refreshed. Administrators in Fairfield were working hard all summer to prepare a school program that keeps everyone safe and healthy, but which is also rooted in the students’ best interests academically and emotionally.
Although the changing landscape of the elementary schools in Fairfield Public Schools has been frustrating to many, please know that our efforts are always with children’s needs in mind. The elementary administrative team determined that the hybrid plan would best meet the social-emotional needs of our students. We felt strongly that students needed daily in-person interaction with staff to support their successful re-engagement for in-person learning.
Here is some additional information I can share with you at this time:
To proactively support the social and emotional development of our students, we will be incorporating Responsive Classroom and Mind Up strategies during in-person learning. Specifically, each portion of the day in the building begins with a Morning Meeting, which will facilitate a sense of community in the classroom. Mind UP breathing and lessons will also be part of your child’s school experience. Additionally, along with classroom teachers, our school psychologist and social worker will be available to support all students.
Lunch will be available through Whitson’s Food Services for both the AM and PM Cohort. Typical menu options will not be available. Students will be offered a box/bag lunch each day if they choose to purchase a school meal. Students in the AM Cohort will take a lunch to go at dismissal. Students in the PM Cohort can get lunch upon arrival in the afternoon.
Masks will be worn by all staff and students throughout the day. There will be built-in mask breaks as determined by classroom teachers. Please practice mask wearing for extended periods before the beginning of school so that your child is comfortable and prepared to wear it during the school day.
Arrival & Dismissal
The arrival and dismissal plan for your child’s classroom assignment will be communicated closer to the start of the school year. As an overview, classroom exterior doors will be used for entering and exiting the building. Some classrooms without exterior doors will be assigned another door to use so that we can safely distance students.
Riverfield’s Open House is scheduled for September 15th from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. This will be a virtual event as we are trying to maintain the fewest visitors possible to the school. We will provide each family with the necessary information during this evening so that you will still be able to get a sense of your child’s educational experiences and expectations for this year.
Family Survey & Cohort Information
Please be sure to complete the survey with your family’s plans (hybrid or distance learning) by Sunday, August 16th. Please click HERE for information about the hybrid model and HERE for information on the plan for distance learning in 2020-21. Specialist teachers will be incorporating live instruction (as appropriate) in the remote learning portion of the hybrid model, and all teachers will provide live instruction with increased structure and frequency in the distance learning option.
Submitted survey information will inform how students are sorted into AM and PM Cohorts. Cohorts will be completed using Infinite Campus data. Assignments will be public as soon as possible. The school will not be accepting requests for AM/PM preference.
We will be implementing some new safety measures in our building. These include:
- No sharing of supplies by students
- Only bottle filling stations will be accessible (no water fountain access)
- Hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the classroom
- Visible traffic pattern restrictions in hallways
- Six-foot separation from other students
Please remember that for in-person learning to continue with success, we need to operate at all times within a shared culture of health and safety. Please be vigilant in monitoring your children’s health and do not send your child to school if he/she is showing symptoms or has a fever that is masked by Motrin or Tylenol. This is not the year to send your child to school with a “see how you feel” message. I know that can be an inconvenience to your family, but you could potentially impact the health of our entire community.
The first day of school has been changed to Tuesday, September 8th. Click HERE for a link to the new FPS student calendar for 2020-21. There will be information forthcoming about a student visit before September 8, 2020. It is currently being planned and will most likely take place on September 2nd and 3rd.
Hopefully, this letter helps to answer some of the questions that are on your mind! We are working diligently to implement safety measures at each school so that we are ready to safely welcome everyone back to the building! Please enjoy the remaining weeks and stay tuned for more information when it becomes available.
Despite the challenges we will face this school year, I am looking forward to a productive and enriching school year. We have all missed our Riverfield families. We can’t wait to see our wonderful students!!
I hope you are all looking forward to returning to school as much as I am!
Brenda Anziano, Principal