School Newsletters

December 13, 2020

December 6, 2020

November 28, 2020
Hello Red Fox!

I hope you are all having a wonderful restful Thanksgiving weekend.  I can hardly believe we only have three weeks left until the winter holiday break.

Please remember that starting Monday morning you will be receiving a daily health check survey via email. This must be filled out everyday before 8am.  Thank you for your continued vigilance and care for our school community.

I look forward to seeing everyone back at school!

Sincerely,

MaryBeth

Thank you all for the wonderful parent-teacher conferences this past week. I really enjoyed talking with each of you about your child’s development. The parent-teacher relationship is very important to me, so please reach out whenever you have questions or concerns.

This week Owls will continue to work on writing their haiku poem incorporating what they learned during our Monarch butterfly study. We will also work on learning how to recite a poem for our Poetry Recital–thank you for helping your Owl memorize his/her poem. This Friday Owls and Eagles will stay at school to work on classroom projects and our community service project. Please send in any coins you have at home for our coin drive.

Next Three Fridays

12/4  Regular school day

12/11 No school: Teacher Professional Development Day

12/18 Poetry Recital, details to follow

Thank you!
Sarah

Eagles
Thank you everyone for wonderful conferences. It was a joy to talk about your children. Thank you for all your hard work as parents.
I hope you all had a restful and delicious break. Though it was nice to be home I am eager to get back to the classroom.Eagles will be starting “The Birchbark House” by Louise Eldrich this week. From Zinn Education Network, “Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847. This is the first in a series of young adult novels based on noted author Louise Erdrich’s own family history.

A Broken Flute, a leading review of native experience in children’s books commends The Birchbark House as “the single best book of its kind,” for writing from within a native culture, rather than simply about it.”

The reading portion will be done at home and extension activities and discussions will happen in the classroom. Though it is tempting for them to read ahead, please help them read the assigned reading for the week so that we can enjoy the book as a community.

Please bring in change for the coin drive. We hope to be able to count it all on Friday.

Thank you for helping to memorize poems over break. We will spend time working on performances.  Having poems memorized means we really work on the show.

Please see the Owls section for the December Friday schedule.

Progressive Education

This is an article written by Lucy Sprague Mitchell. Lucy Sprague Mitchell was a pioneer in progressive education and founder of Bank Street College in New York.  She believed in educating the whole child as a way of building a progressive society. She wrote,  “We hope to imbue students with an experimental, critical, ardent approach to their work and to the social problems of the world. If we can do this, we are ready to leave the future to them.”  This article, “Young Geographers” has been so inspiring to me. In fact, I once got my way out of having my car towed by explaining to the tow truck driver that Young Geographers was on the passenger seat and I hadn’t finished reading it yet. His daughter had gone to Bank Street so he understood. Young Geographers It is lengthy and academic and well worth reading.

Warmly,
Alley
November 21, 2020

November 15, 2020

November 7, 2020

October 31, 2020

October 24, 2020

October 17, 2020

Hello Red Fox!

We had another wonderful week in school.   Our students had a wonderful day Friday, making homemade apple cider.  Please check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for a great video of the event. This morning  Alley, Sarah and I enjoyed dropping off the pumpkins to be decorated and treats to enjoy.  Don’t forget to send in a picture or email me a photo of your decorated pumpkin to share with the class on Monday.

Dr. Thomas Sterling, our school’s Medical Director, came to our weekly faculty meeting on Friday.  He was checking in with us to see how our first months of school have been.  He will also share with us medical updates on topics relevant to our school community from Covid to tick borne illnesses, concussion protocols and more.  We are so grateful to have our partnership with Manchester Medical Center.

Around Town

If you are looking to get into the spirit of Halloween, the Manchester Community Library is putting on a Virtual Costume Ball click here for details: MCL Virtual Costume Party

More Halloween fun can be found at the Manchester Arts Studio and Gallery. Manchester Arts Halloween

 

Have a great weekend!

MaryBeth

As an introduction to spatial awareness in forming letters, Owls had fun this week “Cracking the Code” to explore and think about where letters live on the lines.  The code has three colors that signal where letters are placed on the lines. We will work more on this concept as Owls start their handwriting books next week.

In Math Owls learned about the line of symmetry that divides a design in half making it the same on both sides. We talked about how the abdomen of the butterfly is its line of symmetry.  We now have two chrysalises formed in our mesh cage!  We are patiently waiting for the butterflies to emerge.  As part of any nature study, the cycle of life includes death as Owls discovered this week when two chrysalises did not fully form.

Next week we will start a new routine of sharing in the Owls room.  We have discussed what sharing looks like and the rules we will all follow.  A share for school may be:

  1. Something you find in nature
  2. Something you made
  3. Something you can read or have written
  4. A photo of something

Students may bring in objects that fit these rules or they may do a “talk share” and share about an event or experience.

It’s not too late to turn in your Hopes and Dreams document for the school year for your Owl.  This is important information about your child that I highly value.  Please see the link below for the Google document.

Hopes and Dreams Document

Please see the Eagles section about information regarding this week’s field trip to SVAC and Halloween festivities.

Thank you!
Sarah

Eagles
The Eagles have been working hard on preparing acorns for flour. It is a long process and reminded me of the importance of doing work that requires perseverance and process.  It’s a good task to understand the work that goes into the food we eat. In our society we seldom make time for quiet, repetitive and meditative tasks. It’s an important exercise in patience and community.  They also spent time learning multiplication strategies based on number sense, they wrote stories and began their vocabulary workbooks.  Thank you to everyone who helped with homework this week at home.Next week, Eagles will continue to work on active reading, they will further their study of multiplication and consider what they know and want to know regarding Abenaki people. Of course, there is still more to do on the acorn project!Friday
On Friday we are going to the Southern Vermont Arts Center.  SVAC is a non-profit organization focused on multidisciplinary arts. Part of their mission is to provide education to the community to nurture the arts and continue to build a community of active artists. They reached out to us and invited us to come and explore their galleries. They have planned activities for us that directly relate to the art in the gallery.
Since this is a mostly inside field trip we ask that each class just have one chaperone attend. If you are interested in being a chaperone for either the Eagles or Owls please email Sarah and myself.On Friday, you have a choice of how to get to the trip. You can either meet us at the SVAC at 9 and pickup at 12 at the SVAC. Or, you can drop off your child(ren) at 8 at school and pickup at school at 12:30. Space in cars is limited for the school option.  Please let us know your plan by Tuesday.The address is Southern Vermont Arts Center, 930 Southern Vermont Arts Center Dr, Manchester, VT 05254.  It is off of West Road in Manchester (between BBA and town).  There is a long driveway with many sculptures that you drive by on your way to the top. When you get there, park in the lot and wait outside until we are all gathered and checked in.Please pack and snack, lunch, water bottle and backpack for your child.Halloween
Halloween is fast approaching and we plan to have a fun day together on Friday 10/30. Halloween festivities will include a dance party, special treats from some LTS students, and fun in Roxaboxen. Halloween costumes are welcome, but please leave weapons at home and have your child dress in regular school close and bring his/her costume in a bag to change into at school.Also, please read the following recommendations when choosing a costume.

  1. Is the costume racially, ethnically, or culturally based?
    • If yes, it’s probably going to make people from those racial/cultural/ethnic groups feel unsafe and disrespected.  If you are not sure, the names of the costumes usually make it very clear: “Hey Amigo Costume, Geisha Costume, Native Child Costume” etc…
  2. Does your child belong to that group of people?
    • If the answer is no, please reflect on what it means to borrow someone else’s culture or race for a day–because for many people it’s not a costume it’s their everyday lives.
  3. If the costume is meant to be funny, why is it funny?
    • If the costume is meant to be funny because it is making light of an ethnic or racial group then it is most likely a caricature and hurtful.
  4. How would everyone feel if someone wore that costume around that group of people?
    • If an Indigenous family were to welcome a child into their home wearing an Indian Child Costume, what would the impact be on everyone? What about wearing a Hey Amigo Costume around a Latinx family? A Geisha Costume around a Japanese family? If the impact is harmful on any given day then Halloween is no exception.

Source: @little_kotos_closet adapted from an article by Kat Lazo

Progressive Education
Here is a study from Harvard about the heart and science of kindness. At RFCS we actively teach how to be kind with the understanding that kindness is not a transactional action, rather it requires doing things for others without expecting anything in return.

Heart and Science of Kindness

Warmly,
Alley

October, 10 2020

October 3, 2020

September 26, 2020

Taconic Music Concert September 2020
This Week
This week at Red Fox we ignited our creativity and imagination with music and nature. Taconic Music presented an incredible outdoor performance for us on Wednesday.  And Friday was a Forest Friday visiting the magical Cutler Memorial Forest right down the street.  Thank you to everyone who attended our Zoom Parent Orientation on Wednesday.  Our next school evening event is our Curriculum Night on Tuesday, October 6th at 5:30pm.Outdoor Gear!We are explorers at Red Fox and mud is our very messy, very fabulous friend.  We find it in our garden, we find it in Roxaboxen.  We jump in it, we rub it on ourselves, we cook with it.  We get wet and we get dirty.  So please remember waterproof footwear is essential for school.  And indoor shoes are also needed.  And an extra change of clothes is always a good idea!Student Newsletters
Each week our students write newsletters and draw a picture relating to something we did that week.  You can find the last two weeks of newsletters on our blog here:Week of September 14th
Week of September 21stAround TownAttached please find SVAC’s flyer for after school classes coming up.Don’t forget this Sunday, September 27 at 4pm, Taconic Music will present Led Zeppelin tribute band Better Off Led at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester Center, Vermont. The concert will be held on the lawn with marked, designated areas for seating (BYO lawn chairs/blankets) and masks required. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved inside the Arkell.Admission is $25 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Visit taconicmusic.org.Have a wonderful weekend!

MaryBeth

What an exciting week we had!  During Morning Meeting on Thursday, a flash of movement caught my eye and I gasped, “Our monarch is coming out of its chrysalis!!” It was so amazing to watch and we all stood up and rotated around the mesh cage to get a good look. The Owls were delighted to watch the butterfly finish emerging. We have many more larva we are observing as they fatten up into caterpillars and spin their own chrysalises. So stay tuned for more exciting moments! Next week as part of our Monarch Butterfly study, we will investigate symmetry found in butterfly wings and create symmetrical designs with pattern blocks.

We also finished creating our classroom rules. After lots of discussion and input from each Owl, we turned a long list of rules into the following five:

  1. Respect materials and supplies.
  2. Remember the 3 W’s.
  3. Clean up after yourself and others.
  4. Be responsible inside and outside.
  5. Be kind to everyone.

We will continue to discuss these rules and what they mean to our community as the year progresses.

In other exciting news, Owls started Art and Spanish classes with Meghann this week. They all loved doing art outside and sitting under the tree practicing counting to 20 in Spanish.

This week Owls will be staying close to the nest on Friday. We will have our regular outside time in Roxaboxen. Please remember that all students need to bring all outdoor gear to school every day. This includes boots! Also, be sure to refresh the extra change of clothes, especially socks.

Thank you!
Sarah

This week the Eagles worked on developing their writer’s voice, they started to create their dream bedrooms in math and they discussed growth mindset.  They also made corn husk dolls in art class with Meghann.  It was so inspiring to watch them use their imaginations and creativity all week. They are working really hard on kindness and encouraging one another.

Thank you for supporting your Eagle in accomplishing his/her homework. Each week I will send out new homework on Monday and it is due Thursday. Please send your Eagle to school with both their folder and homework bag. If your Eagle forgets on Thursday please send it on Friday. Each week I will add one more task of homework until they have 4 tasks for the week.  Homework should be easily accomplished at home and should take no more than an hour for the whole week.  If your child is needing extra support please let me know. The goals of homework include building healthy study habits, fostering independence, practicing work already taught and working on projects.

This week Eagles will continue their math bedroom project, we will work on developing new strategies for close reading, continue cursive and learn about old growth forests.

Whittling
This week whittling was opened up to RFCS students. As part of our immersive outdoor philosophy we believe strongly in teaching children how to use tools.  We teach students how to use saws, hammers and drills in the classroom and once students understand the safety rules for those tools they are able to use them with supervision to further their learning. Similarly, we believe that a pocket knife is a useful tool.  Students are allowed to bring a knife from home provided the following;

  1. They have passed the “knife test” with a teacher and
  2. They bring the knife to the teacher in the morning to be kept safely until supervised whittling time outdoors.

If a student neglects to follow the rules, the knife will be confiscated and a plan will be made for how to earn back that privilege.

Field Trip
This week the Eagles are going to Giffords Woods in Killington. The trip is about an hour drive. It would be great if we could leave by 8:15.  Please drop off your Eagle on Friday at 8 (if you can) to allow us to leave promptly.  We will be back by 12:30 for pickup.  For this week, I am pretty sure we have enough drivers to make the trip already. Thank you Jess and Monty!

As part of our yearlong Abenaki study we are beginning our study with an understanding of old growth forests and how landscape affects peoples’ culture, diet and conception of the world.  Giffords Woods is one of the few old growth forests that remain in Vermont and will offer us a special experience  into this unique ecosystem.

Please pack lunch, snack and good walking shoes!

Progressive Education
Here is a link to experience and education by John Dewey. It is long but provides the philosophical underpinnings of RFCS:

Experience and  Education by John Dewey

Warmly,
Alley

September 19, 2020

September 12, 2020

Gratitude

Thank you for helping us to keep our community healthy and in school.  All of us following the guidelines and routines outside of school is what will keep us in school. The students and faculty have been doing great this week with handwashing,mask wearing, social distancing, and daily health checks. Let’s keep it up!

Round of applause for some special community members – Thank you Jim J. for putting together our shelves and securing our cubbies and all that garbage removal!  Thank you Terry for helping us put together the tent and to Mike for magically appearing to secure our tent!  Thank you to Barbara (Mack’s Grandma) for making our classroom curtains!  We appreciate all our community members and all the wonderful things you do to help our school!

 

Reminders

  • One Call Now please email me and let me know if you want to receive all school immediate communication via text, voicemail or email.
  • Immunization Records We are doing great!  There are just a few left to receive, so thank you!  Don’t forget to upload the record directly to TADS.
  • Community Signature Page We also have almost all our signature pages.  I am waiting on a few more to be submitted.  Please bring in the hard copy or take a picture of the signed page and email it to me.
  • Masks! Please make sure that students have at least two masks every day.  We have a very limited supply of masks to give out and we have had a run on them this week!

End of the Day Routine
Please allow extra time due to the current road projects on Route 30.  Pick up is at 3pm Monday – Thursday and 12:30 on Friday.  Please make sure to check in with a teacher that your student is leaving with you.  It can be a wave from by your car or from across the field for our Eagles.  But we can not release a student until we have made confirmation of the adult taking them home.

 

Vermont Weather
Vermont has been known to have all four seasons in one day, especially in the fall!  It can be quite chilly in the morning and full sun and hot in the afternoon, with some rain in the middle!  We go outside everyday multiple times throughout the day in all weather.  Please send students to school with all the clothes and layers they may need for a day in Vermont.

Daily Health Checks
Everyone has been doing a great job with our Kinsa App.  Thank you!  If you want to email us the results before leaving home please remember:

  • Please email it before 8am
  • After you answer the symptoms questions you scroll down to click on the full report then you will see a share button at the top of the screen and you can email it to dailyhealth@redfoxschool.org

If you are showing us the results in person please have the green thumb icon on your phone screen.  It is much easier for us to see than to try and read the screen.

Troubleshooting: We have heard from LTS as well as some of our parents that the app has had some issues.  If you have trouble and your student is healthy and has no fever, you can bring them to school and we will run the health check while you wait.  We have communicated with Kinsa about the issues.  Hopefully, it was just the first week of school working out the kinks.

 

Around Town
I post in this section of the newsletter whenever we hear of fun opportunities for our families outside of our school.  Please feel free to forward me information, I can post in this section!

This week SVAC has shared an after school program with us for any 5th/6th graders interested in doing some acting! Please see the attached flyer.

Welcome
Please welcome Nina Wright to the Eagles! Nina is the child of Kate Blesdoe and Amy Wright.  Please help them feel welcomed, included and cared for! We are so happy to have their family at RFCS this year.

Have a wonderful weekend!

MaryBeth

We had a great first week in the Owls room! We are so thankful that we are able to be together. The first six weeks of school are an important time to work on getting to know our environment and each other. Through guided discovery we have opened up our block area, our library and our supply boxes. The Owls have done a wonderful job learning all the extra routines we have this year, especially staying 3 feet apart, which can be challenging. Ask your Owl about our “3 W’s”.

Next week we are looking forward to opening more spaces in our room and writing our Hopes and Dreams for the school year. Please make sure your child wears masks that fit snugly over the mouth and nose. If a mask is too big it will not function properly. Lastly, please refer to the Eagles section for details on our first field trip this Friday to Owl’s Head.

Thank you!
Sarah

Eagles Nest
It has been a sincere joy to get to know each and every Eagle this week. Thank you for sharing your children with me.The first 6 weeks of school are spent intensively working on establishing routines, creating rules and setting expectations. We spend time making sure children know how to use materials and tools so that they can forge ownership of the space.  Last week, we opened up writing, math materials and art supplies.  The Eagles wrote detailed plans for a goal they have for the year and created a symbol to go along with it.This week fiber arts will be opened up in the classroom and we will create class rules among other things.  Creating class rules is a multi-day project that is done with great care and democracy.Field Trips
Often Fridays are spent on field trips.  Sometimes field trips occupy the whole day, sometimes they take a portion of the day and sometimes we go to a place further away and need to use another day other than Friday to account for the distance. If we are going within 10 minutes of school drop off and pickup will be at our destination. If we are going somewhere further we will coordinate drivers via this newsletter. We love chaperones and we are also mindful of carbon emissions so we try to be as efficient as possible with the amount of cars on the road.  Thank you in advance for your help driving!Mountain Day
This Friday is Mountain Day! Mountain Day is always our first field trip of the year. Both Eagles and Owls will hike Owls Head in Dorset this year. In the past this community day has been open to everyone to join. This year to decrease our density on the trail, we respectfully ask that only one member of your household join us.  Please join us if you can.We will meet at 8:30 at the trailhead and aim to be done by 12:30. Please pack a snack and a lunch for your child.  It is super helpful when hiking for your child to have a backpack to carry his/her things in, a full water bottle, sturdy shoes, and extra layers.Directions to Owls Head:

  • Off of route 30 turn onto Black Rock Ln (just North of the Quarry)
  • Go about 1 mile down the road and turn right to the Owls Head Trailhead. It is a dirt road.
  • Go down the dirt road and park at the trailhead.

Progressive Education
This is an old article and it is particularly pertinent to our first outdoor adventure.  It is written by my mentor, David Sobel and speaks to our philosophy of outdoor education at RFCS.  Below is an excerpt and here is the link to read more Look, Don’t Touch

This is the kind of environmental education that I believe leads to environmental values and behaviors in adulthood — education that originates in children’s innate play tendencies in the natural world; supports and allows wild nature play; recognizes the importance of hunting, gathering, collecting, and, when appropriate, consuming the natural world; encourages adults and children to explore and learn together so adults can model attention and respect; and supports children’s appetite for imagination and fantasy. 

 

Warmly,
Alley

August 14, 2020

Hello Red Fox Families,

Thank you to everyone who was able to participate in our first community day of the 2020-21 school year, on August 1st.  Parents, faculty and students helped to clean up our garden space, organize our books, assemble furniture and clean our classrooms.  We still have more to do, but this was an excellent start!  We have blocked off Wednesday, August 26th and Thursday, August 27th as days when we would love some more help with projects in the school.  As we get closer to those dates, a sign up sheet will be circulated.

Immunization/Health Records:

Please upload your student’s health records to TADS.  We need to have everyone’s paperwork in the system before the first day of school.  If you have any questions with the process please call the TADS family support line: 800-477-8237

Academic Calendar:

Please find the updated academic calendar attached to this email.  Governor Scott put out an executive order that all schools public and independent would open for the first day of school on Tuesday, September 8th.  So some of our dates in September have been moved back by a week.  So please take a look.

Community Handbook:

Please find the school handbook attached as well.  This is a great guide for all our families to become familiar with our school policies and expectations.  You will see that a health pledge has been added to the handbook this year.  At the end of the handbook is a signature page that indicates you have read and agree to follow the guidelines of our school community.  Please print out  and sign this signature page and bring it with you on the first day of school.  That along with a green light on the health check will be the entrance ticket to school.

Welcome and Welcome Back Picnic:
August 25th 5-6:30pm (rain date September 1st)

Every year our Parents Association coordinates many activities for our community.  Along with our community days, the welcome back picnic is the first of these events.  You will be receiving information about the picnic from Bethany Jenkins.  Typically this is a potluck event but as you will see with many things this year, we are reinventing how we do it.  Think of the picnic as a camping ground, or the circles they have drawn in the lawn of Central Park!  We will have our spots for our families’ picnics, but we will be able to socialize and meet each other from a safe distance.

Family-Teacher Lunch/Brunch Dates:

Please be on the lookout for a sign up sheet being sent by Alley and Sarah.  Again another Red Fox tradition of family-teacher dinners, has been altered this year.  Every year our teachers enjoy the opportunity to have individual time with each family prior to the first day of school by sharing a meal together.  This year the meal will still be shared but outside at our school.  This has the advantage of also being a time when the parents and students can tour their classroom and get to know the Red Fox space.  Make sure to sign up!  This is an invaluable opportunity for families and students to connect with our teachers.

Assistant Teacher:

This year we are very excited that Taheem is joining us as an assistant teacher. Some of you may remember meeting Taheem at the community day.  He was part of the Johnston family team and was a huge help that day.  Taheem is currently a junior in college and studying early education.  Sometimes this pandemic has afforded us creative opportunities.  And one of those is the fact that Taheem will be attending school remotely.  So we are fortunate enough to have him here in Vermont and the newest member of the Red Fox team. Taheem will be one of the first people to greet our students as they start their day, checking them in with the health check app. Making sure everyone has taken their temperature at home and answered the health questions.  He will then be assisting Sarah and Alley throughout the morning.  Welcome Taheem!

I realize that I have bombarded our community with a lot of information in this newsletter.  So please take your time to jot down important dates, print out the attached calendar and read our Community Handbook.

I look forward to seeing everyone at our welcome back picnic.

Sincerely,
MaryBeth

June 10, 2020

Hello Red Fox Families!

I was so happy to connect with many of you at our first summer community meeting last Thursday, July 2nd. Communication is our most important tool in preparing for our upcoming school year.  As always, I am happy to speak with you or email with any family directly.  But for your planning, here are the upcoming summer dates that I will be reaching out to our whole community:

Newsletter Emails: July 24th, August 7th, August 21st

Community Meetings via zoom at 6pm:July 29th, August 19th

Our Welcome Back Potluckis scheduled for August 25th from 5-6:30pm.  As we get closer to that date, our PA co-chairs, Danielle and Nori will be in contact with how we will be running this event.  As with everything we are planning, patience and flexibility will be key.

Updates and Information:

Enrollment

As of Monday the Owls’ classroom has students actively on a waitlist.  We still have some spots open in the Eagles but I am very busy fielding new inquiries every week.

Healthcare Partnership

I am very pleased to announce a new partnership that Red Fox will have with Manchester Medical Center.  We will be contracting with MMC as our school health care coordinators and support this year.  MMC nurses, doctors and paramedics will be a phone call away and 10 minute drive from us for anything from a bug bite, playground accident to helping us manage COVID care.  I will send out more specific information in a separate email.  But I am extremely excited about this partnership, not only during this time of high concern regarding COVID but also in general for the overall health and care of our students and faculty.

Lunch

We have loved being a part of the Long Trail lunch program.  This year Long Trail will not be offering a lunch program.  So on our list to prepare for school this year, families will need to add making lunches.  We look forward to the return of the program next year.

Buses

Long Trail will not be running their buses for the first weeks of their school year.  They have not determined how they will be restarting the bussing program in September.  The BRSU has also not released it’s plan for bussing this year.  So until we hear back from LTS and the BRSU, it would be prudent for families to make transportation plans for the first month of school. We will work on connecting families from the same towns or general areas who are interested in carpooling.

Family Contract with our Community

A Health Commitment Letter will be added to our community handbook this year.  Every family will receive a copy prior to school opening.  On the first day of school every family will be required to bring in the signature page indicating that you have read and agree to the policies of the Red Fox Community School family handbook.

Daily Health Checks

As I mentioned in our community meeting, the 1st and most important gate for maintaining our communities health is at your home.  At home a daily health check of  your student will be required. If a student is not feeling well, overtired, sniffles, sore throat, cough, fever, tight chest, they must stay home.  Families must take a student’s temperature before leaving the house for school. A 2 degree change from someone’s regular temperature is considered a fever.  So if your child’s temperature is typically 97.8 then 99.8 is a fever.  Manchester Medical Center will be giving us daily questions that must be asked at home and then will be asked again as we welcome our students into school everyday.

We are waiting on some information from Long Trail regarding an app that families will log temperatures in at home.  If we use the app each family will receive a bluetooth thermometer for individual homes. If the app is cost prohibitive, we will set up an alternate way for families to log in their student temperatures with school in the morning. Temperature taking at home will cut down on our staggered arrival times and wait for entering school at the beginning of the day.  Most importantly it informs a family before coming all the way to school, if they should be keeping their child home that day. The daily check must be done at home and logged in with the school before arrival at school.  A student will not be admitted into the building without a reported temperature for that day. We will be able to do the occasional morning check for someone who has forgotten, but it will not be the daily process.

We will have a clear list of health routines that we will be asking every family to commit to, as well as the protocols that we will be using at school everyday.

Masks

Faculty will be wearing masks or full shields throughout the day when inside the building.  Students will be required to bring a mask to school.  They will not be required to wear the mask all the time.  However, an occasion may arise where they will be working in close proximity with another student or faculty, and they would be asked to put the mask on.  If this is uncomfortable or challenging for the student an alternative will be given to the student.  Although we will be self-contained in our classrooms.  We also need to have masks in case a student needs to go into a Long Trail space.  LTS is requiring masks for everyone all the time.

Planning for Back to School at Home
  • Have your child pick out a mask and practice wearing it. There are many kid friendly options.
  • Outdoor gear: we know for sure our time outside will be increased this year.  One of our school mottos comes to mind, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing”.  So keep an eye out for foul weather and cold weather gear.
  • Start thinking about snack and lunch preparation – have your kids brainstorm menus and think about how they can help prepare their food each day.
I know that this is a lot of information and that this is just the beginning of developing all of our routines and protocols for safely opening our school on September 1st.  Please make sure to attend our next zoom community meeting at the end of July.  As time moves forward the picture is starting to come into play, but it will remain a moving target.  The best part of all the work Sarah, Alley and myself have been doing over the summer has been our teamwork.  I am very proud of our faculty and our parents who have all been stepping up to work together.  I am very grateful for our school community.
Sincerly,
MaryBeth

June 6, 2020

Happy Summer!

I hope you have been enjoying this wonderful weather and spending time outside! This is my first official note for the 2020-21 academic school year. I am so grateful to say welcome and welcome back to all our Red Fox families!

New Space!
Our big news for the upcoming year is our new space at Long Trail. Our Eagles will be moving directly across the hallway from our Owls classroom. And my office will be moving into one of the offices directly connected to the new rooms our Eagles will be in this year. We are excited that our students will all be together. Over the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to coordinate the move with parent volunteers.

Calendar
Please find our 2020-21 academic calendar attached to this letter. Our first day of school will be September 1st. Returning families will see some changes due to COVID-19 guidelines. Our camp out is not scheduled for the fall. We look forward to a community camp out in the spring. Grandparent’s day will be a virtual event looking toward the spring for an in person event. The biggest change is the extended winter holiday break. We would have typically come back on January 4th. But this year we will be returning to school on January 11th. This is in coordination with Long Trail School. The school will have the same deep thorough cleaning to reopen the spring semester, that it will have for the opening of the fall semester.

COVID-19
Our faculty is working throughout the summer to ensure our plan is ready for the first day of school. This is the most important and serious prep work we have had to do for a new school year. On June 17th, the State of Vermont released it’s health guidelines for re-opening schools. We continue to use these guidelines along with our coordination with Long Trail School, the BRSU and other independent schools in our area, to develop our process and protocols for the upcoming school year. Keeping our community safe is our first priority. And the first line of defense is communication. To that end we invite you to our first community meeting via zoom on Thursday, July 2nd at 6pm. Please find the link to the meeting below.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81399305432Meeting ID: 813 9930 5432
I look forward to seeing you all on July 2nd. I will be sending out notes throughout the summer to keep our community informed about our opening of school. If you have any questions, prior to our meeting on the 2nd, please send me an email at marybeth@redfoxschool.org .
Sincerely,
MaryBeth