Dear North Smithfield Families and Staff,
We are wrapping up our first week of Distance Learning with a second week coming up. We have been told the Governor will announce if there is to be a continuation of Distance Learning after next week. With the support of our teachers, partners, and the community, North Smithfield Public Schools (NSPS) is prepared to deliver whatever is required of us to best support our students and families of our community.
With the assistance of our partners at Chartwells, NSPS this week expanded our free lunch and breakfast “drive and go” service to include any NSPS student whose family may need extra assistance, not just those who previously qualified for free or reduced lunch.
We are further expanding this service to include with Friday’s drive and go pickup additional lunches and breakfasts to cover the weekend.
We also realize that some families may have difficulty with transportation between the 11:30 - 12:30 pickup time so we have authorized Chartwells to distribute lunches to NS students regardless if they are in the car or not and/or if someone is picking up and delivering on behalf of another family.
To help us determine how many meals to prepare, we ask that you fill out this confidential form at https://forms.gle/USmP7rgG7hJkGNnSA. Please register only if you intend on picking up a meal or can have someone get it for you, so nothing will go to waste.
Our technology team continues to shine and keep NSPS on the forefront of Distance Learning. In addition to highlighting their work troubleshooting technology issues and supporting teachers, students, and parents, this week they also:
This is a truncated list of all they did this week, so a big shoutout to our Technology Team on behalf of all NSPS employees, students, and families.
Maintaining a Community
One of the challenges with Distance Learning and working remotely is maintaining a sense of community. Our classrooms and hallways are now dark and empty of movement from teachers and students passing, building, and creating and our schools are silent of conversation, laughter, and song.
Yes the school buildings are closed and we are physically separated from one another, but social distancing does not mean we cannot still be social and maintain our community connections. To that end we all have enjoyed Mrs. Daigneault’s daily morning announcements and Mrs. Salvatore’s stories and all the other posts and comments on Facebook. We have also laughed at some of the creative and joyful posts on NSMS’ Instagram site during their virtual Spirit Week this week.
Just as our students have their Google Classrooms, there is a Google Classroom for teachers. In the teacher’s Classroom, there are videos they have posted sharing with their colleagues and friends their experiences from the day of Distance Learning. These videos range from extremely funny to insightful and informative. Not only are our teachers working to support their students and families, but they are also working to support each other.
Whether through the use of social media, email, video conferencing, or direct calls and conversations from our social workers, psychologists, school guidance counselors, teachers, special educators, interventionists, and instructional assistants, we are holding onto our sense of community with our students and families.
We have also received so many much appreciated positive, encouraging and supportive emails from families. It is these connections between school and home and each other that epitomizes North Smithfield and North Smithfield Public Schools as a community dedicated to excellence.
Soon we should have an idea of how long Distance Learning is anticipated to continue. No matter the length of time, we have been discussing and planning for any possibility and minimizing any impact on student learning, recognition, graduation, and opportunities.
Michael St. Jean,