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Riverside News

October 20, 2020

Dear Riverside Families,

I am writing to share the good news that our COVID case that came to our attention last Friday evening has turned out to be a “false positive” from a rapid test. Over the last couple of days, the child has now tested negative with two separate follow up PCR tests (those that take longer but are more accurate), and we received final confirmation of that news late last evening.

I know that this situation caused anxiety and apprehension for most everyone, and we are thankful to announce that all of our “quarantine” measures are now ended for students and staff members.  In many ways, this situation has served as a valuable case study for our school and our district to help us with other issues that may arise in the weeks and months ahead.  I do want to offer my thanks to everyone for your flexibility, understanding, and support as we worked through this situation, and we will continue to be vigilant and cautious in our approach.

I am hosting another parent forum tomorrow evening (Wednesday, October 21) from 6:30 – 7:30 pm, and I am pasting a Zoom link at the bottom of this email.  Our PTO Co-Presidents will once again be collecting and organizing questions and facilitating the meeting.

I have several other important notes and reminders to share with you:

1) The district’s tech department has worked diligently to fix the Power School issues that plagued us yesterday morning so hopefully you all should be able to enter your child(ren)’s information into the daily COVID symptom questionnaire.

2) Starting tomorrow morning, our plan for teaching and learning on Wednesdays may look quite different with fewer “whole class” Zoom sessions and more individual and small group activities with students.  In line with pedagogical best practices, our teachers at Riverside and across the district have advocated for more flexibility, and Wednesday offers a great chance for us to do that.  We have laid out three primary parameters to guide our teachers as they plan:

  • Specials will remain the same.
  • If at all possible, teachers will strive to work around any support services (AIS, ESL, OT, PT, speech, and instrumental music) that are already scheduled.  
  • Each student should expect a minimum of 60 minutes of direct work with his/her teacher -- likely 20ish minutes for Morning Meeting and then two other academic sessions of some sort.

3) At approximately 3:00 pm tomorrow, our teachers will be sharing sign-up links and information for parent-teacher conferences.  

4) The week of Election Day -- November 2-6 -- will involve an unusual schedule:

  • Monday, November 2nd:  an "A" cohort day as normal
  • Tuesday, November 3rd:  Election Day -- all remote for all students (like a normal Wednesday)
  • Wednesday, November 4th:  a "B" cohort day
  • Thursday and Friday, November 5th and 6th:  No School

5) Please remember to send Mr. Samara a picture or short video of your child(ren) in their Halloween costumes by this Friday, October 24. He is putting together a fashion show video to celebrate the holiday.  Please upload your pictures/videos to this link:

I  look forward to seeing many of you at our forum Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm.


Mark Shelly


Topic: Riverside Parent Forum

Time: Oct 21, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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