Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of December 21, 2020

Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of December 21, 2020

Dear Caregivers,

I wish you happy holidays. As with everything this year, they will be different. I hope you can find peace and joy in the midst of the pandemic.

It has been really wonderful to have so many students back in person, and our hybrid model has been going very well. We will resume soon, and I remain hopeful that a vaccine will get us back to full time in-person learning at Ryan Road School before too long!


• This week’s photos show lots of fun in the snow! Mrs. Pelis’s class is doing the Winter Hokey Pokey as part of their outdoor Morning Meeting. I hope you were able to see our staff Hokey Pokey on Friday! Here is the link in case you missed it.

• Tonight, December 21, is the Winter Solstice. We will miss parading around the school to celebrate the first day of winter together as a school community! Here is some interesting news from the New York Times about this year’s Winter Solstice:

On Monday night, Jupiter and Saturn will almost kiss in the night sky, appearing as one bright planet. The last time they came this visibly close to each other was in the year 1226. Go out and look southwest in the hour after sunset.

• Here is a good resource for families:

Information as we Transition to Hybrid Learning (repeated in case you need it)

Thank you again for all your communication and patience during this process of remote and hybrid decisions and the transition to hybrid. What a challenge this has all been! We are looking forward to having some of your children at school in-person soon and to keep supporting the rest of the fabulous students remotely. 

• All students and staff are required to wear face masks at school. It would be good to send an extra one in your child’s backpack, if you are able. We will have extra student masks available at school whenever needed. Face coverings must cover the nose, mouth, and chin. Bandanas and neck covering do not suffice. 

• Here are the days that classes will be coming in-person.

Beginning the week of November 30

Kindergarten Smiarowski will be here on Monday & Tuesday.

Kindergarten Egitto will be here on Thursday and Friday.

First Grade Ramsden will be here on Monday and Tuesday.

First Grade Pelis will be here on Thursday and Friday.

Beginning the week of December 14:

Second Grade Natale will be here on Monday & Tuesday

Second Grade Pefaur will be here on Thursday & Friday

Third Grade Duffy will be here on Monday & Tuesday

Third Grade Cleary will be here on Thursday & Friday

Beginning the week of January 11:

Fourth Grade Simmons will be here on Monday & Tuesday

Fourth Grade Desmond will be here on Thursday & Friday

Fifth Grade (both classes) will be here on Thursday & Friday

5th grade teachers will have only asynchronous learning on December 22 & 23 in order to prepare classroom spaces. 4th Grade has decided to have these asynchronous days on January 7 and 8. At each grade level increase, teachers have been given two days to prepare classroom spaces. 

• School will start and end at the regular times (8:50-3:00). In-person students can arrive at school no earlier than 8:45. We will be outside until 9:20 and all students will be offered a free breakfast. There will be designated areas to sit and eat breakfast. In person students will not be marked tardy unless they arrive after 9:20. Remote students will have a morning meeting with their teacher from 8:50-9:20 on the days that the rest of the class is in-person. During this remote morning meeting, students will be reminded about their special for the day and will be provided with asynchronous learning activities for the day.

• We have a plan for inclement weather. Students will be in the library, cafeteria, or gym. Breakfast will still be available. Please bundle your students up for school. We will have some outdoor gear available here for students who need it. Any item that seems like a good fit for a student who needs it, we will keep that item at school (in a personal space) for the rest of the winter.

• We will have cones with a sign for the recess zone for certain grades as they arrive at school in the morning.

• Here are the lunch/recess times for in-person students (just as an FYI). And, please remember that free lunch is available to all students. 

11:10-11:55 Kindergarten

11:45-12:30 First Grade

12:30-1:15 Second Grade

12:00-12:45 Third Grade

11:10-11:55 Fourth Grade

12:10-12:55 Fifth Grade

• Attached is the Health Check List for every morning. It is designed for you to get into the habit of doing every morning at home. You do not need to submit the form. Thank you for your care and attention to this. We all have to be more careful than we usually are. 


For Dismissal

Location for Pick Up
Central Front DoorKindergartenParents will need to pick up out front (masked and socially distanced from one another)
Right Corner Front Door (by nurse’s office)Grades 4 and 5Parents can pick up (masked and socially distanced from one another)
Back Door (by custodial entrance) Have them walk down the path toward the swings. Parents can wait on blacktop.Grade 3Parents can pick up (masked and socially distanced from one another)
Left Front Door (by the cafeteria)Grades 1Parents can pick up (masked socially distanced from one another)
Side Corner Door (by the purple tent)Grade 2Parents can pick up (masked socially distanced from one another)

Students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before exiting the building.

If any caregivers are waiting for students, they can wait near the designated doors, but everyone must remain socially distanced and masked.

If caregivers are picking up children in more than one location, they should pick up their younger child first. 

Please note: All students arriving after 9:20 AM should come to the front door. If they/you do not feel comfortable ringing the doorbell, please call the front office at 587-1550 and someone will come and let your child into the building.

If you need to pick up your child before dismissal at 3:00, please call the school office at 587-1550 and we will make arrangements.

We appreciate your patience as we try to ensure safety as students arrive and depart school.

• There will be no “snowdays” this year. Any weather that prohibits students from coming to school will switch all students to remote learning for the day.

Thank you, again, for being such wonderful caregivers! We are very lucky to be able to work with you and your children.

Please call or email if you have questions or concerns. Thank you!

• If you have a Zoom issue during the day, the best thing to do is to call the office (587-1550) or email my Administrative Assistant, Vanessa Keillor.

I would love to help, but I am often not at my computer, and I usually do not know how to help. Luckily, Vanessa is becoming a genius with this stuff!

Broken Chromebook??

• If you have a problem regarding your child’s chromebook, the plan going forward is listed here:

There are two options for caregivers (and if you need help with any of this, please call the school office (587-1550):

If you are a Florence Savings Bank customer please vote for Ryan Road in the Community Grants program before the end of December!

Your vote REALLY matters – last year each vote was equivalent to $15 – this can make a real difference for our little school! Last year we were awarded over $1200! Please vote for our school before the end of December! Thank you!

Important Upcoming Dates

• Thursday, December 24-Friday, January 1: Holiday Vacation

• January 11: Return to Hybrid Learning. We also welcome 4th and 5th graders who have opted for in-person learning.

January 18: No School–Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 22-28 (Friday-Thursday): Half Days–Parent Conferences (virtual)

Friday, January 29: No School–Teacher Work Day

Stay up to date (under normal circumstances or not!) with all of our school activities on our School Website’s Calendar!

I hope that all families feel welcome, comfortable, and valued at our school. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.


Sarah Madden