Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of May 17, 2021

Principal Madden’s Weekly Message—Week of May 17, 2021

Dear Caregivers,

I hope you enjoyed the lovely weekend!

Talent Show 2021

This Friday at 6:00, we will have our Talent Show!! It will be virtual, as we did last year. I was amazed at how our host, parent Lauren Fleit, and our incredible students put on an amazing show, and I’m sure it will be fabulous again this year. 

Sign up here!!

COVID news

I want to make sure everyone understands the COVID routine if someone in our community tests positive. Anyone who has been within 6 feet of that person for 15 minutes or more is considered a “close contact” and needs to quarantine and get tested. Contact tracers will notify close contacts and answer any questions you may have. 

We did have a positive case at school last week (letter is here). If more than half of a class has to be quarantined because of close contacts, then that class has to be remote during the quarantine period. It is frustrating for everyone, but we are obligated to take the safety route with these situations.



I know that it is unsettling when we have a positive case, but we are being very careful here at school and have had no school transmissions. Fingers crossed this will continue. Please remain vigilant regarding safety protocols and procedures, as a positive case impacts many children and families. I encourage all caregivers to get vaccinated. 

• Here is the information regarding “Pool Testing”. Some caregivers have asked for this again. Also, with the Pool Testing, no news is good news. You do not get contacted if we have negative results (which is only what we have received so far!). You can sign up at anytime.

The district will begin a voluntary free weekly COVID-19 testing program on or about May 7, 2021. Regular pooled testing of students and staff for COVID-19 will be an additional layer of protection for safe in-person learning.  We strongly encourage you to join our pooled testing program. Pooled testing can quickly detect, trace and isolate COVID-19 positive individuals. Testing is quick, easy and is not painful.  This testing program will help identify positive cases in people who do not show any symptoms of illness.  Pooled testing will help lower the risk of transmission and allow us to have more consistent in-person instruction. 

Pooled testing for Northampton public schools will happen each Friday. The County Ambulance COVID Response Team will provide direct nasal swab testing and will observe self-swabbing by students and staff.  The nasal swab may be self-administered for students grade 2 and above.  The nasal swab is performed by gently swabbing the lower inner nostril on each side. Health services staff will provide follow-up antigen testing for any individuals in a positive pool.  

This program is voluntary and caregiver consent is required for the participation of minor students. To enroll in the pooled testing process, please complete the informed consent form found at this link.


• This week’s photos show recess fun, and our outdoor dining (which has worked out quite well for our students in grades 3-5). Also, Mrs. S.’s kindergarten students made some wonderful creatures with grass for hair. As with our students, they are full of unique personalities. 

MCAS Dates and Information 2021

Third Grade Duffy

Monday, May 10–ELA 

Monday, May 24—Math

Third Grade Cleary

Friday, May 14—ELA

Friday, May 28—Math

Fourth Grade Desmond

Thursday, May 13—ELA

Thursday, May 27—Math

Fourth Grade Simmons

Monday, May 17—ELA

Tuesday, May 25—Math

Fifth Grade (both classes)

Friday, May 21—ELA

Friday, June 4—Math

Thursday, June 10—Science

We will do all we can at school to make these days go smoothly for your children. It is important to remember that any test is only one measure of a child’s performance at school, especially this year! Teacher evaluations through the years, day-to-day work, other academic screeners we use during the year, and other types of performance assessments and projects are additional ways to evaluate learning. However, these tests are important, and we will do all we can to prepare our students to take these tests with calm confidence. All of the tests are taken online, and the state has modified them this year to only take place one day per subject area (instead of the usual two days per subject).

Please make every effort to get your children to school on time for their testing days. Please do not schedule appointments on testing days. Thanks!

Please contact me with any questions and concerns (about the MCAS or anything else).

From our Nurse, Karen Schiaffo:

The COVID-19 protocol is as follows:  

In order to minimize risk and keep the school community safe, district nurses are required 

to send students home that have 1 symptom.  Symptoms include: headache, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, chills, fatigue, body aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, or fever since these mimic COVID-like illness. Caregivers will be asked to contact their health care provider to see if testing is needed. There may be other diagnoses that cause these symptoms and your provider can discuss that with you.  In order for your student to return to school, you will need to provide a negative test result or a note from your provider documenting an alternative diagnosis as the cause for the symptoms. 

Many students experience seasonal allergies at this time of year and allergy symptoms can mimic COVID-like symptoms. Please consult your child’s health care provider about treating your child’s seasonal allergy to avoid your child being sent home for symptoms that appear Covid-like. 

Remember to review the Student Daily Checklist before sending your child to school. 

Thank you for your cooperation.  

2021-2022 School Year

• The 2021-2022 school calendar has been approved by the school committee. Here it is. Please note the change in school hours (in the lower left-hand corner) that were recently approved by the School Committee to allow for a later start for high school students. 


Next year, our school hours will be 8:00-2:10.

• Looking for information about Kindergarten for the 2021-2022 School Year?

Also, I have had many questions about whether or not we are planning to have our kindergarten students in-person full time, and that is certainly our plan. We are all looking forward to a typical and spectacular start at Ryan Road School!

Important Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, May 19 at 6:30: PTO Meeting

Friday, May 21 at 6:00: Virtual Talent Show!!. RK Finn Ryan Road certainly has talent! Come and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 26: Half Day with an 11:30 Dismissal (Staff Professional Development)

Monday, May 31: No School for Memorial Day 

• Wednesday, June 16 at 1:30: Outdoor 5th Grade Celebration (Rain Date Thursday, June 17).

Friday, June 18: Last day of School! 12:20 Dismissal

Stay up to date 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, Principal