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RCSD Community Update: 10/8/21

Dear RCSD Community, 

A few parents have asked me if we will have to make up for those two days our schools were closed after Ida. The short answer is “no.” Because the Governor declared a State of Emergency, those days are not counted against us. I have also confirmed this is the case with the State Education Department. Our three snow/emergency days remain unused.

COVID Cases

I am sorry to have to report that we had a case of COVID-19 on Tuesday at Rye High School but happy to tell you there were no quarantines needed because everyone who was in contact with the individual was both fully vaccinated and symptom-free. In our conversations with the Department of Health, they stressed to us the importance of both vaccination and proper mask-wearing in preventing quarantines. Unfortunately, there was an additional case at Midland School yesterday that resulted in a small number of quarantines. Even a few is too many.

Joint Statement from City and RCSD on Traffic/Pedestrian Safety

With the school year underway, the City and School District have been in regular discussions regarding traffic and pedestrian safety.  As in years past, there are areas of significant congestion during drop-off and pick-up. Unfortunately, in spite of numerous reminders and warnings, crossing guards, marked crossing areas, stop signs, etc., safety concerns are seemingly on the rise. Both the City and School District are dedicated to assuring the safety of our students and other pedestrians in the area.  

In the coming week, we will begin increasing our public safety focus at particularly problematic areas, including Parsons Street and the Snow Lot, and the mid-block Post Road crossing at Osborn School. Police and school officials will maintain an active presence to encourage and assure safety compliance. Please follow their instructions and ONLY utilize designated crossing areas on routes to school. When driving in the area, please obey all traffic laws, follow the directions of the crossing guards, and keep a diligent eye out for pedestrians. The safety of our students depends upon it!

In the schools, the Rye Police Department Youth Officer is working with administrators and teachers to deliver safety programming to students about pedestrian and bike safety. Detective Gabe Caputo visited students in grades K-2 at Midland School on Thursday and will be coming to Osborn and Milton Schools soon.

RHS and RMS Clubs

After-school clubs at RMS and RHS are in full swing  At the Middle and High School levels, clubs are advertised directly to students rather than to parents. At RMS, students learn about club meetings through flyers throughout the building, morning announcements, and notifications from the RMS Student Communications Page. To view this year’s RMS club flyers, click here. The High School held an after-school club fair during community lunch on September 29, and clubs set up tables or booths for students to visit. To see a list of RHS clubs and activities, click here. If your RMS or RHS student has been late to join a club, never fear; students may join at any time during the school year. 

Upcoming PTO Events

The Osborn Scare Fair is back this year! This beloved annual fundraising event is enjoyed by the entire community and features a variety of Halloween-themed attractions, including the famous Cake Walk, Ultimate Survivor, Wrecking Ball, a Fun House Obstacle Course, Trackless Train, and Tubs of Fun. The Scare Fair will take place at Osborn School, on Saturday, October 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Midland School will hold their parent social and fundraiser on Thursday, October 14, in-person at the Coveleigh Club. Parents will eat, drink and be merry while meeting new families and reconnecting with old ones, while raising money for the PTO. The event will feature a silent auction where parents can bid on some incredible prizes and lots of fun parties to sign-up for throughout the year. A virtual option is also available for those who prefer to bid from the comfort of their couch.

Milton School will hold its parent social and PTO fundraiser on Friday, October 22, also at the Coveleigh Club. The event will feature music, dancing, the famous cork pull raffle, a silent auction, and fun-filled sign-up parties. A virtual option is also available for this social event.

Teacher Professional Development Through Haskins Laboratories

The District is beginning its second year of partnership with the Haskins Laboratories. Haskins is a private, non-profit research institute with a primary focus on speech, language, and reading; located in New Haven, CT, and affiliated with Yale University and the University of Connecticut.

Many of our faculty and staff took advantage of professional development opportunities with Haskins over the summer: 20 K-2 and a Middle School teacher attended an Orton-Gillingham Institute offered by the Haskins in July. This fall, our elementary Academic Intervention Services (AIS) teachers began their second year of Orton-Gillingham training. Both classroom teachers and AIS teachers will be coached in-classroom by O-G trainers throughout the year.

For those who may not be aware, the Orton-Gillingham approach is a method of teaching literacy when reading, writing, and spelling does not come easily to individuals, such as those with dyslexia or other language-based learning disabilities. 

Enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Sincerely, 

Eric Byrne, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools