Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of December 13, 2021

Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of December 13, 2021


Jack Dunphy Toys

We have received some wonderful toy donations from the Jack Dunphy Toy Drive to offer to families who could use some support with gifts this holiday. We will have them available in the alcove by the nurse’s door (entrance on the right looking at the school) on Monday, December 13 from 1:00-2:00 and on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 14 and 15 from 8:00-8:30. If these times do not work for you, please give me a call. Come and take items that you think your children would like.


This week’s photos show a dissection of an owl pellet in kindergarten. It was very exciting for some of the students to find this owl pellet in the woods last Forest Friday, and then to take it apart to find the bones of a rodent that the owl ate! Great stuff. Also, some kindergarten students and their buddies made pine cone feeders to leave in the woods for birds and critters. And, our 4th and 5th graders have been learning archery in PE. They are doing a good job under Ms. Minton’s direction. And, the other photos certainly show how Ryan Road students know how to have fun in the snow (even if there is just a little bit!).

COVID Updates

Letter from Dr. Provost and Nurse, Lisa Safron is here.


We had great news (AGAIN) with our weekly safety check testing (pool testing). All pools from Thursday (12/9) were negative. Yea! Our fabulous nurse, Karen Schiaffo, and/or I always accompany any testers as we collect all the swabs. We are getting this down to a pretty efficient routine. We have a large number of students and staff testing, which is fabulous. If you want to have your child participate or if you have questions about the testing, please contact Nurse Karen.

Here is a handy QR Code to sign up for testing at school!


Please stay vigilant regarding COVID safety and get vaccinated if you have not already done so. I am glad that I have heard from so many of our students that they have been vaccinated, as this is the best way to keep the whole school community safe.

Our transition to having all students eat in the cafeteria (nobody outdoors for lunch) went smoothly last week. We have seating plans (assigned seats) and classes are separated (just to limit contacts). We are continuing with our “No Mask, No Talk” rule. It is hard for them, but they are doing pretty well. Please reinforce with your children how important it is to remain safe at lunch and only talk with masks on. I always say, “It is not forever, but it is the way it has to be for now.”

Call (587-1557) or email our wonderful nurse, Karen Schiaffo, if you have any health questions.

Thank you for keeping your child home if they are ill. Here is a link with some guidelines to help you make the decision: 

Here is a handy document from Nurse Karen about where to go for COVID testing, if needed.


      ** Also, after the vacation, masks will not be required outside.**

Students will have to keep one in a pocket, if they choose not to wear one outside, as the masks will be needed when we get into the building.

Morning Drop Off

Thank you for doing all you can to get your children to school on time. It really helps to start the day right when they can be a part of morning meeting, when classes focus on community building and share information about the day ahead. Also, please use the drop off area and have your child use the cross walk. Cars should not be entering the bus loop. These safety rules and routines are important. Let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!


Winter Solstice Celebration

We will celebrate the new season on Tuesday, December 21st with a cheerful, noisy parade outside around the school at 1:15;  join in the fun by cheering us on if you are able! Enjoying the start of each new season is a wonderful tradition here at R.K. Finn Ryan Road School. 

For the Winter Solstice we like to have the students enjoy clementines. If you can donate a box/bag of clementines, please call the school office 

(587-1550). We would like to receive the clementines by Monday morning, December 20.  Thank you!

Winter Weather

Please make sure to send warm clothes for your child for recess. We go outside unless it is pouring or below 15 degrees. Let us know if you need help with outdoor clothing. We will make sure your child has what they need. Thank you!

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Florence Bank

If you are a Florence Bank customer, please vote for R.K. Finn Ryan Road School!

It’s easy! Voting ends on December 31st.  

Vote Now!

Important Upcoming Dates

December 21: Winter Solstice

December 22: Last day of school before the Holiday Recess

January 3: Return to School—Happy 2022!

January 6: No School—Three Kings Day

January 17: No School—Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 24-27 & January 31—Early Release Days (11:30 Dismissal) for Teacher/Caregiver Conferences—Teachers will be in touch with you about signing up.

January 28: No School—Teacher Work Day

Stay up to date with all of our school activities on our School Website’s Calendar!

I hope that all families and caregivers feel welcome, comfortable, and valued at our school. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns. I am happy to meet with any of you after school hours (when I can allow you inside!) or can talk on the phone anytime. 


Sarah Madden, Principal