Dear North Smithfield Families and Staff,
We are a week away from returning to a new school year. As with the last two years, we will have our challenges but North Smithfield students, families, and school department staff have persevered and come through it together.
21-22 School Times and Busing
First day of school for K-12 students, Tuesday, August 30th, 2021. (K will be an abbreviated day)
First day of school for Pre-K, Friday, September 3rd.
NSMS/NSHS student school day 7:55am – 2:20pm
NSES student school day 8:45am – 3:10pm
We anticipate that bus routes and pickup and dropoff locations, as well as times, will be available on the DATTCO website on August 26th. https://www.dattcoschoolbus.com/my-childs-route/?did=6
**As a reminder, per federal regulation, students must wear a mask in order to board and ride the school bus.
The Governor has issued an executive order requiring masks. (https://governor.ri.gov/executive-orders/executive-order-21-87)
The school department will follow and adhere to governmental orders and laws. Additionally, we will follow Rhode Island Department of Health policies and protocols.
It is our hope that, despite disagreements within the community, our bus drivers, office assistants, nurses, and teachers will be able to focus on transporting, educating, and caring for the students without challenges or pressures over this issue.
Our resources are dedicated this year to full in-person instruction, 5 days a week. Kids need to be in the classroom. There are a number of factors that will allow us to achieve this.
We will be sending a link to a form for all parents to fill out. The form will have two parts…
Contact Tracing and Quarantine
As mentioned earlier, contact tracing and quarantining will be highly targeted. The RIDOH protocols we are to follow are located at https://www.back2schoolri.com/what-you-need-to-know/
These are different from those we followed last year and designed to keep students in school.
Multiple factors including ventilation, cleaning, distancing, mask-wearing effect contact tracing, and quarantine. In brief (as of this writing):
Other issues that will affect us going into the school year with contact tracing and quarantining will include our community transmission rates, our community and student vaccination coverage, testing, and any related outbreak situations.
Again, all this information and more, including athletics, and many of the “what-if” scenarios people may be thinking about, are available at https://www.back2schoolri.com/what-you-need-to-know/
Our teachers are excited to be back in the classroom and see our students in person. We have good protocols in place designed to allow students to remain in school. We will have extra supports and opportunities for students during and after school. Despite some community disagreements, the passion to do what is best for our students is strong. That is a good thing. We are definitely a community that loves and supports our kids.
With everyone’s support, I am positive that we can keep our students in the classroom, keep them learning, keep them socially engaged, and keep them safe and happy.
Michael St. Jean,