Update from Principal Madden – August 28, 2020

Update from Principal Madden – August 28, 2020

August 2020                          

Dear Parents/Guardians/Caregivers,

As always, I am very pleased to welcome you to the beginning of a school year at R.K. Finn Ryan Road Elementary School. The beginning of a new school year usually comes with a huge amount of excitement and anticipation, and I feel terrible that this year’s start brings anxiety and frustration, as we continue to battle the Coronavirus and try to figure out public education in the midst of a pandemic. My summer letter usually includes fun updates and information about some of our traditions and practices here at school. We will return to normalcy at some point!

I am sorry that getting a sense of what is actually happening for your children to start the year is taking such a long time to figure out. Negotiations with all parties with regard to safety concerns have taken a lot of time and collaboration.

You will receive notification from your child’s teacher before the start of school to set up communication with regard to the sharing of materials and other information to prepare for the school year.

In addition, there will be a Chromebook pick-up here at school for students who need a device on September 2.

Distribution times will be from 9AM-2PM at school and will be broken down as follows:

9-10: Kindergarten — Devices will only be given out to those who need them in these grades, but caregivers should pick up their Clever badge and instructions for login.

10-11: First and Second Grade — Devices will only be given out to those who need them in these grades, but caregivers should pick up their Clever badge and instructions for login.

11-12: 3rd grade — all students will receive a device

12-1: 4th grade — all students will receive a device

1-2: 5th grade — all students will receive a device

More information is attached. Anyone who wants to do the Protection Plan will want to bring money or a check at that time for ease of recording and because we will know the condition of the machine before it leaves our campus.


If your student has a Chromebook from last year, please return it to the school and pick up a new one. The old ones need to be updated with our latest programs.

Please call the school office if you have any questions.

I have included an updated school calendar. The official first day of school (for students in grades 1-5) will be Wednesday, September 16. The first day of school for kindergarten will be Monday, September 21. Teachers will be sending out specific classroom schedules in mid-September, but I can let you know that the plan is to have students engaged in learning (with teacher/staff support) for the full school day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, and that Wednesday would be a lighter day with a morning and afternoon check-in with the teacher, but more “independent” activities throughout the day. For this remote time, school “hours” will remain the same as they have been in the past 8:50-3:00. If we can get to the Hybrid Model (hoping good health and a vaccine will get us there!), the schedule would obviously change, and I’ll send further information at that time.


We are working closely with the district’s Student Services Department as we contact all families to outline what individual services will look like to support your children with varying levels of need.

Teachers will communicate regularly with caregivers, but you can always find out about what is going on through these formats:

 Principal’s Weekly Update: Every Monday, I send a “Principal’s Weekly Update” and include a few photos from the previous week and add any upcoming information.

• The School Web Page . I keep the calendar up to date with school information and the “Principal’s Weekly Update”.

I think most of you have signed up for email communication with my Administrative Assistant, Vanessa Keillor. If not, email her at vkeillor@northampton-k12.us, or call her at 587-1550. We are using a great email tool (that can translate with a click!). I would like to get as many caregivers as possible on our email list so that I can send important announcements in a timely matter if needed.

We are all looking forward to a terrific school year working with you and your children, despite the challenging times. I attached some information about the different adults who might be supporting your children this year. Feel free to reach out to any of us for help if needed. We want to build and maintain strong relationships, remote or not!


Please feel free to call the office at 587-1550 if you have questions or concerns or if you just want to stop by to visit. I am here if there is anything you need. Throughout the year, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I hope that all families feel welcome, comfortable, and valued at our school.

I so look forward to a post-COVID time!


Sarah Madden, Principal