Friday, April 3, 2020

Friday April 3 Blog Update

Narragansett Kitchen Project BACK On Town Council Agenda

I just wanted to make sure parents knew that the Town Council has decided to bring the topic of our Narragansett Kitchen expansion project BACK ON THEIR AGENDA.  If you remember correctly, this was on their March 10 agenda and when the motion was made to go forward, it "died on the floor" for a lack of a "second" by any Town Counselor.  At that point, we thought the issue was done, but evidently someone wants to chat about it again and so its back!  I've linked in their full agenda for Tuesday's meeting (April 7) HERE.  At the top of the meeting you can see information on how to email in any testimony you may have and also information on how you can join the public zoom meeting on April 7 at 6:30 if you are interested in doing so.  If you want a refresher on the information behind this issue, please check out my blog post from March 5, 2020 LINKED HERE.

I would STRONGLY ENCOURAGE  anyone that would be interested in doing so to provide written comments to the Town Council on this issue using the email address listed at the top of their agenda by Tuesday April 7.  As always, if you have any questions...please email me at

Changes to Operation Feed Gorham Schedule Effective April 6

We will now be distributing lunches just three days per week (MWF) although for each day we distribute, we are distributing the next day's lunch and breakfast so we are still covering meals for families all week.  Additionally, starting on Monday we will no longer be using the same distribution sites and are instead moving sites back to schools which we are better able to maintain and control use of.  Gorham Backpack program will distribute using these same sites on Fridays.

Again, these changes will be in effect for Monday, April 6.  

THANK YOU to Freihofer’s Bakery...We have so much, we are opening up to Public! Here's information on how to access!

Freihofers Bakery made a very large donation of bread items that will be used in our Operation Feed Gorham lunches and distributed to our community. We will be distributing these bread items on Monday April 6th and Tuesday April 7th from 9:00-10:00 a.m. and 1:00-2:00pm at Gorham Middle School. Please swing by the bus loop in the front of the building if you could use some of these items. We will be practicing social distancing protocols by placing the items on tables for you to pick up.

Recent video from GHS students on #separatedbutnotdivided 

If you haven't already seen this video out on social media...check it out!  Seniors Nick Strout & Brady King handled the pre-production, scripting, directing, and editing. They also collaborated with Liam Nickerson, an 11th grade graphic designer, who designed the title card. Keep in mind, this was all done remotely, shot completely on iPhones, and edited in Final Cut Pro.

Update on Ongoing Conversations Regarding School Calendar for 2019-20

At this point in time (and this may change so please be flexible) we are looking to keep our existing 2019-20 School Calendar as intact as possible. 

First, it is important to note that we WILL be having an April vacation.  In other words, families and staff alike can look forward to a week off as originally scheduled from April 20-24th.  We will still, however offer our meal program during this week, so please be aware that even though there will be no "school" that week, we will still be operating "Operation Feed Gorham" programming.

In terms of  the end of the school year, before we moved to distance learning we had used our snow day allotment on the school's calendar and therefore our last planned "school day" will be June 16, 2020.  This doesn't mean, however that we will be doing distance learning through that time.  We are still hopeful that we will be able to return to school.   As  is often the case during this time,  this may change and I will continue to communicate any changes as they come up.

Upcoming School Committee Meetings

Just wanted you to have these if you are interested...dates and zoom meeting links are listed below...

*  April 8 "Regular" School Committee meeting, 7:00 p.m.

*  April 13 "Budget Workshop meeting", 7:00 p.m.

*  April 15 "Special Meeting" (To approve of FY 21 Proposed Budget), 7:00 p.m.

You can find all meeting materials by CLICKING HERE. 

Thought Exchange Survey Launched To Help Admin. and Teachers Continue to Find "Balance"...

We've developed a Thought Exchange Survey to help us identify some ways in which we can do a better job at helping staff, parents and students find a better "balance" for the work we are asking each group to do while we are away from one another.  IT WON'T TAKE MUCH TIME...and would be most helpful for folks to participate in.  Remember...the way a Thought Exchange works is you go in once and share your initial ideas and then go back in at least two more times later on to rate the thoughts of others! 

Here's the "official" opening paragraph to the survey:  Hello (Staff or Parents/Guardians or Students)
We are seeking your feedback on how our approach to Distance Learning is working for you and our students. We would appreciate hearing about what is working well and what are some challenges you and our students are facing. Please participate in this Thought Exchange in which you can confidentially share your thoughts and read and confidentiality rank the thoughts of others. Your feedback is vital to us as we work to improve what we are offering in this unprecedented time.

Here's how to Parents and students can participate:

Text the 9-digit code…394-317-079

Student (6-12)
Text the 9-digit code…873-732-568

Helpful Down To Earth Tips from A Cornell Doctor & More Resources

I watched a webinar today from a doc from Cornell talking about a NY hospital that I thought was very practical as far as prevention for families at home.   Its a little long (57 minutes) but you can skip around a bit and still get the highlights of what he is saying.  Worth a watch if you get a chance.

Another great resource I came across from NAMI (National Association on Mental Illness) who published a detailed guide on dealing with COVID-19 with individuals who may also be struggling with issues associated with mental illness.

And more great resource for parents if you haven't already seen it - I spotted this one today...

If you have some preschoolers in the home...check out this cool link:

Finally...if you haven't already seen this great local resource from Baxter Library...check it out...

In closing

I saw one of our principals share this with their staff and I thought to myself...heck - it isn't just "teachers" experiencing this!  Please feel free to insert "Parents" or "Grandparents" or "Superintendents" or anyone else for that matter!  ENJOY YOUR WEEKENDS and be sure to UNPLUG!☺

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