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Archived Community Messages

Dear parents and guardians,


This week we welcomed our school communities back to a full week of school. We hope everyone had a relaxing long weekend and are ready to finish strong as we approach the winter holidays with a full few weeks of school ahead of us.This is a busy time of year in our classrooms and things move very quickly. Although it is tempting to begin to take additional time out of school at this time of year, we remind you of the importance of all students being in school on time every day that we are in session when they are well. Every day counts. 


We have a new Superintendent’s Message from Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse to share with you this week. The Superintendent’s Message that was shared this summer discussed our LEAP task force, what it was and the plans we had for the school year. This new message talks more about LEAP, RICAS, and all of the work we are doing to help support our students and our families. You can read the message on the Culture page of our website here. Just like the rest of our district website, this message can also be translated into more than 100 languages by clicking on the Google “Select Language” button in the top left corner of the page.


Good News!


Congratulations to the CHSW football team as they celebrated a Thanksgiving win at last week’s City Cup football game. Congratulations to all players on both the East and West teams, as this was a nail-biter of a game. Everyone gave their all and we are so proud of all of our players from both high schools. Thanks to the two  teams and their coaches, the two school bands and teams of dancers and cheerleaders for their amazing performances and phenomenal halftime show. We are Cranston Strong, and Thursday’s Thanksgiving event was a shining example of our citywide community spirit. 


Congratulations to CHSW faculty member Evan Lancia and his Creative Writing students! They were recently featured on Larry Jacob's American Consortium for Equity in Education radio show and podcast. This is a national talk radio show and also an Apple Podcast. You can listen to them here




 Attendance Counts!


Over the past weeks there has been much discussion about student test scores as scores were released in October. The impact of the pandemic on student learning is clear, but it is important to note that there are many factors that go into student success on standardized tests, and we have noted before that absences have a strong impact on test scores even years later. The more direct instruction that is missed, the harder it is to do well on standardized tests. For example, the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, CA reported the following: “Missing school makes it difficult for students to reach academic benchmarks. Students who are chronically absent are less than half as likely to score proficient or advanced on the state reading and mathematics assessments than students who attend school regularly.”  This is true no matter what school district you are in, whether in Oakland, CA or here in Rhode Island. Days and hours of direct instruction missed truly do matter, including direct instruction missed when students are chronically tardy to school. Attendance matters every day, and is critical to long-term success for every student in every grade. When speaking with your children, emphasizing the importance of being in school on time every day that they are well, helps them to understand the impact missing school will have on their educational goals, and lets them know that you know how important being in school is.


Mark your calendars


Upcoming community events:  As our schools continue to bring back some of their traditional events and activities, we would like to pass along the information for our Cranston community favorites as well as some upcoming dates to note on your calendars. 


  • The CHSE Bolts Bazaar is back! Head over to CHSE on Saturday, Dec. 11 from 10-3 and visit over 50 vendors, participate in raffles, meet Santa, and enjoy refreshments, homemade goodies, and more! Free parking, no entrance fee. 

  • A look ahead: Cranston Public Schools will be closed for the holiday recess beginning on  Thursday, December 23, 2021 and will reopen again on Monday, January 3, 2022. A reminder that attendance in school whenever we are in session is important for all students in all grades. We look forward to having everyone in school, on time, when we reopen on Jan. 3.



Wellness Corner

Did you know that December is National Pear Month? Pears make a great healthy snack! A medium-sized pear has only 100 calories and offers 21% of the recommended daily amount of fiber and 8% of vitamin C, among other nutrients. You can eat pears as a standalone snack any time, or you can add pears to oatmeal, sandwiches, salads, and desserts! Visit Feed Your Potential 365 here and see what recipes with pears come up when you search! 


COVID-19 Reminders and Updates


We would like to remind everyone that our school COVID-19 youth vaccination clinics are wrapping up this weekend with today’s clinic at CHSW, and to let you know that the Sockanosset Crossroad clinic is scheduled to close on December 18, 2021. As clinics begin to close, you will only have the opportunity to vaccinate your children at your provider’s office or at a pharmacy such as CVS or Walgreens. Anyone who is vaccinated now will be fully vaccinated by Christmas. It takes two weeks after a second vaccination to be considered fully vaccinated. If you have not received a booster vaccination, and are eligible to do so, we strongly recommend it, especially as the winter holiday season approaches. Visit vaccinateri.org to schedule your vaccination appointment.


Our COVID-19 statewide trends still show a steady rise in case numbers, and those who are unvaccinated are being hit the hardest, with students making up the majority of K-12 cases, which means that although their own symptoms may potentially be mild, they can spread this virus to others around them who are at a higher risk for very severe outcomes, including the elderly and those who are immunocompromised. We are expected to be in a rate of high transmission statewide through at least the middle of December, which includes the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. It is vitally important that everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated please do so in order to help us protect each other throughout the holiday season. 


Vaccinating for COVID-19 matters for our students for many reasons, and here’s why: 


  • In-person attendance is important. Keeping our students in school for in-person learning is important to us, and we know that it is important to you as well. Vaccinating all eligible students and their family members is the best way to keep our students in school. 
  • As a reminder, anyone who is fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case. Those who are not vaccinated do need to quarantine each and every time they are deemed a close contact to a positive case, and therefore, may not attend school in person. 
  • Vaccination of eligible family members helps to keep our vaccine ineligible student populations safe and in school for in-person learning as much as possible. 
  • Close contacts of household positive cases who are not vaccinated must isolate at home and cannot start their own quarantine time until the household case has finished theirs, which can lead to as many as 20 days at home for students if they are unvaccinated.
  • Keeping our students healthy and free of COVID-19 keeps their family members who may be at risk due to compromised health safer as well as they are not at as high a risk of exposing someone to the virus knowingly or unknowingly.
  • Student social-emotional health is important. Vaccinating helps to keep our extra activities such as sports, clubs and events beyond academics going. Our students and staff are thrilled to be able to bring these events back. Quarantine due to exposure and symptoms causes events to be cancelled, games to be forfeited, and other consequences that are not good for our students who are looking for a normal school year. 

A note about holiday gatherings:  As you are making your December holiday plans, we encourage you to be cautious and to be safe when gathering those who are unable to be vaccinated. 


Inclement weather information: This has been updated on our website and all families received notification.


For accurate information: Please familiarize yourself with the district website. All community messages are housed there including any COVID updates, weather updates during winter months, emergency updates of any kind, and a great deal of useful information for parents, staff and students for all throughout the school year. Be sure to follow us on social media for up-to-the-minute information as well. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter and you can find our website here.  


Thank you for your continued support!


Sincerely,

The Cranston Public Schools Leadership Team

Dear parents and guardians,


We have just wrapped up another busy week of school and we are excited to see things like winter sports, schoolwide charitable holiday giving events and more, all in full swing in addition to academics. A few important things to note before we get into our usual message:

  1. Our message will now be posted in English on our website in a way in which it can be translated into 100+ languages by clicking on the Google “Select Language” button in the top left corner of the page.

  2. As the weather begins to get colder and our sporting and other events are indoors, we would like to remind everyone that we follow the governor’s statewide mask mandate for all school facilities, before, during and after school hours. Masks must be properly worn indoors anytime anyone is inside a school building. Be sure to also read the most recent very important information from RIDOH (in red) found in the COVID updates and reminders below.

  3. Last week’s message included a look ahead to the winter vacation dates and it stated that Dec. 23 was a Wednesday. Thank you to those who noticed the error. December 23 is in fact, a Thursday. This week’s update has the correct day associated with the date.

  4. In case you missed it, last week’s Superintendent’s Message from Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse is permanently housed on the Culture page of our website here. This message can also be translated into 100+ languages by clicking on the Google “Select Language” button in the top left corner of the page.

Good News!


Congratulations to CHSW senior Angela Marses who has been chosen as a Coca-Cola Scholar semifinalist. She will now go on to the next level of the competition and we wish her the very best of luck! 


Congratulations to PVMS school librarian Stephanie Mills who was featured in this issue of the University of Rhode Island Magazine. The library at PVMS is a community hub, a resource for students and staff alike and we are proud to see her efforts to showcase what a career as a school librarian looks like in the 21st Century. You might also recognize another familiar face in the article, our Cranston Public Libraries director, Ed Garcia. The Cranston Public Libraries are a great community partner with our public schools and we congratulate both Mills and Garcia for their spotlight in the article! You can also read more about Mills and a grant she’s recently received for the PVMS library here.


Congratulations to the following CPS musicians who were chosen as 2021-22 All-State Musicians: 

Junior All-State (gr. 7-9): Nathan Arsenault - Mallet Percussion - WHills (Rank #1), Thora Corcoran - Violin - PVMS, Liam DeRosa - Violin - CHSE (Rank #3), Liam DeRosa - Viola - CHSE (Rank #1), Brody Devine - Trumpet - CHSW, Caleb Dorvillier - Alto Saxophone - Bain, Caleb Dorvillier - Jazz Alto Saxophone - Bain (Rank #1), Harrison Fisher - Trumpet - PVMS, Helena Fisher - Violin - CHSE, Evan Lei - Clarinet - CHSW (Rank #1), Emily Marchetti - Violin - WHills (Rank #2), Amy Zhang - Clarinet - CHSW

Senior All-State (gr. 10-12): Timothy Dietrich - Clarinet - CHSE, Tosin George - Soprano - CHSE, Eve Grady - Soprano - CHSE (Rank #2), Erik Lee - Snare Drum - CHSW (Rank #2), Miko Lehnert -  Tenor Saxophone  - CHSE (Rank #1), Miko Lehnert - Jazz Tenor Saxophone - CHSE (Rank #2)

Isabel Mignano - Alto - CHSW, Evan Starr - Jazz Guitar - CHSE (Rank #1), Christopher Trek - Trombone - CHSW, Christopher Trek - Bassoon - CHSW (Rank #2)





Mark your calendars


Upcoming community events:  As our schools continue to bring back some of their traditional events and activities, we would like to pass along the information for our Cranston community favorites as well as some upcoming dates to note on your calendars. 

  • The CHSE Bolts Bazaar is back! Head over to CHSE this Saturday, Dec. 11 from 10-3 and visit over 50 vendors, participate in raffles, meet Santa, and enjoy refreshments, homemade goodies, and more! Free parking, no entrance fee.

  • A look ahead: Cranston Public Schools will be closed for the holiday recess beginning on  Thursday, December 23, 2021 and will reopen again on Monday, January 3, 2022. A reminder that attendance in school whenever we are in session is important for all students in all grades. We look forward to having everyone in school, on time, when we reopen on Jan. 3.


Wellness Corner

Establishing consistent, organized, healthy habits make for a successful school year. What types of healthy habits can you establish for a successful school year? Here are a few to consider:


  1. Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. Put out clothes and pack a backpack the night before. This tip helps students of all ages, not just younger kids,  to have an organized, stress-free start to their school day and is a great life-long habit to form now. 
  2. Help set up good homework routines. Stay on top of your child’s academic progress not only through Aspen, but also  by viewing progress reports and report cards when they come, in order to make sure your child is staying on track. Click here to get free tutoring and homework help from tutor.com.
  3. Encourage meaningful afterschool activities that will help your child feel more engaged in school. Students who feel engaged after school often want to be in school during the day, and this helps to encourage good attendance.
  4. Encourage healthy snacks and healthy meals each day. Children who eat breakfast before school have more energy to get through the day. Need help with accessing food for meals, reach out to your school administration, your child’s teacher, or to our COZ Family Center by clicking here and they can point you in the right direction. 
  5. Be sure your child is fully vaccinated for their required vaccines as well as flu and COVID vaccinations, in order to care for their own health as well as the health of those around them.  
  6. Plan non-COVID medical and other appointments or activities for when school is not in session, whenever possible so as not to disrupt in-person learning.
  7. Be sure you have a back-up plan, and even a back-up plan for that plan, for when you need help getting your child to school in order to keep their daily school routines in place. Think about who can help you when something comes up, such as transportation issues or other family member illnesses.

COVID-19 Reminders and Updates


Our COVID-19 statewide trends still show a steady rise in case numbers, and those who are unvaccinated are being hit the hardest, with PK-12 students making up three out of the top five age groups with the highest case rates last week. Pediatric hospitalizations were 800% higher in the last week data was available than they were the previous two weeks combined and 75% of the cases were unvaccinated at the time of their hospitalization with less than 17% of them being fully vaccinated. Although their own symptoms still may potentially be mild, they can spread this virus to others around them who are at a higher risk for very severe outcomes, including the elderly and those who are immunocompromised. We are expected to be in a rate of high transmission statewide through at least the middle of December, which includes the winter holidays.


We would like to remind everyone that our school COVID-19 youth vaccination clinics are wrapping up this weekend with today’s clinic at CHSW, and to let you know that the Sockanosset Crossroad clinic is scheduled to close on December 18, 2021. As clinics begin to close, you will only have the opportunity to vaccinate your children at your provider’s office, if offered, or at a pharmacy. Visit vaccinateri.org to schedule your vaccination appointment. It is vitally important that everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated please do so in order to help us protect each other throughout the holiday season. 


Vaccinating for COVID-19 matters for our students for many reasons, and here’s why: 


  • In-person attendance is important. Keeping our students in school for in-person learning is important to us, and we know that it is important to you as well. Vaccinating all eligible students and their family members is the best way to keep our students in school. 
  • As a reminder, anyone who is fully vaccinated does not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case. Those who are not vaccinated do need to quarantine each and every time they are deemed a close contact to a positive case, and therefore, may not attend school in person. 
  • Vaccination of eligible family members helps to keep our vaccine ineligible student populations safe and in school for in-person learning as much as possible. 
  • Close contacts of household positive cases who are not vaccinated must isolate at home and cannot start their own quarantine time until the household case has finished theirs, which can lead to as many as 20 days at home for students if they are unvaccinated.
  • Keeping our students healthy and free of COVID-19 keeps their family members who may be at risk due to compromised health safer as well as they are not at as high a risk of exposing someone to the virus knowingly or unknowingly.
  • Student social-emotional health is important. Vaccinating helps to keep our extra activities such as sports, clubs and events beyond academics going. Our students and staff are thrilled to be able to bring these events back. Quarantine due to exposure and symptoms causes events to be canceled, games to be forfeited, and other consequences that are not good for our students who are looking for a normal school year. 

A note about holiday gatherings:  As you are making your December holiday plans, we encourage you to be cautious and to be safe when gathering those who are unable to be vaccinated. 


Inclement weather information: This has been updated on our website and all families received notification.


For accurate information: Please familiarize yourself with the district website. All community messages are housed there including any COVID updates, weather updates during winter months, emergency updates of any kind, and a great deal of useful information for parents, staff and students for all throughout the school year. Be sure to follow us on social media for up-to-the-minute information as well. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter and you can find our website here.  


Thank you for your continued support!

Sincerely,

The Cranston Public Schools Leadership Team

Dear parents and guardians,


Today we are sending you an important update to let you know that as of Friday afternoon, the CDC and FDA approved the COVID-19 vaccine booster for ages 16 and 17. Previously the booster was only available for 18 and up. This booster is already available in Rhode Island. As cases in our community continue to climb, the PK-12 age groups are being hit very hard, and those who remain unvaccinated are being hit the hardest. As we stated in our Family Message that went out on Friday, pediatric hospitalizations are also on the rise. The majority of cases and of hospitalizations are those who are unvaccinated or are only partially unvaccinated.


Therefore, as we continue to support our community’s health and wellness, we encourage anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated or boosted, to please do so. You can register for a vaccination appointment convenient for you here. We would like to remind everyone that those who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after a second COVID-19 vaccine) do not need to quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case. It is important to also note that the link above can also be used to register for a flu vaccination, and we hope that everyone remembers to get their flu shots during this time, as we are into the flu season. Vaccinations help to protect everyone around us and help to keep our students in school, in person. 


As a reminder, the Sockanosset Clinic will only be open until December 18. After that time, vaccinations will only be available through your primary care provider if they are offering them, or through a pharmacy that offers them.


Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

The Cranston Public Schools Leadership Team 

Dear parents and guardians, 


We hope this message finds everyone well as we have finished up our first week of school in 2022. We are continuing to keep everyone informed of any new information we receive from the state as it comes, hence our messaging over the holiday weekend last weekend. We will continue to keep you informed as things evolve in the days ahead. We have also updated our COVID FAQS as of the new year and have posted them so that they are able to be translated into any language by clicking the Google Translate button at the top of the page. There is a great deal of information in this week’s message for you, so be sure to read to the end.



Inclement Weather Information


As we head into the winter months, be sure to familiarize yourself with our Inclement Weather information found here on our district website. The following information for staff and students is important to note regarding the distance learning option for several of our snow days:


“Cancellations and Distance Learning Days:  In very harsh or dangerous weather, we will cancel school for the entire day. We have permission from the RI Department of Education to use distance learning for three of our snow days for the 2021-22 school year. In this case, these days count towards our 180 school days and do not need to be made up at the end of the year. Students will be moved to distance learning as they are able (assuming power, internet connection, etc.) Distance Learning Days will be synchronous learning days. Student attendance will be taken and classes will run on a set schedule throughout the day starting at 9:00 am and ending at 2:00 pm. Students are welcome and encouraged to use the opportunity to get outdoors for snow play before school, during breaks, and after school hours. Any snow days beyond the initial three used for distance learning will need to be made up at the end of the school year.”



Good News


School construction updates: Garden City School’s building construction project continues to move along. The team at Dimeo Construction recently reached out to the GCES school community to present them with this presentation about their school building project. In turn, the students responded with a list of questions they had after watching the presentation. Dimeo then created this presentation, answering all of those questions. Take a look to learn more about our latest school construction project!


Cranston East’s National Honor Society project for our community: This year the CHSE National Honor Society students worked on a reading project where they created read-a-loud videos to share with members of the Cranston Public Schools community. This link will take users to the CHSE library website where they can click on videos to hear a number of stories read by members of the National Honor Society. Thank you to these students and their faculty advisors for their hard work on this project!


Congratulations to educator Evan Lancia and his Creative Writing students, junior Alexandra Zannini, and seniors Rachel Paulhus and Ayia Tatari, at Cranston High School West. They were featured in a recent Cranston Herald article spotlighting their podcast for National Public Radio. You can read the article here.


Congratulations to the Cranston Public Schools musicians featured in this Cranston Herald article spotlighting their achievements in this year’s RI Music Educators' Association All-State Ensembles. 


Congratulations to both Cranston East boys and Cranston West girls basketball teams who were both spotlighted in recent weeks in the Cranston Herald sports section. You can read about the teams here and here respectively. 


LEAP Updates


As you might remember, our district’s LEAP task force (Learning, Equity, and Accelerated Pathways) was created to help us make decisions as to how to spend federal funds (ESSER funds) which have been allocated to schools to support our students over the next few years. Our task force has been hard at work in recent weeks as representatives visited schools to speak to focus groups of students at the middle and high schools about their thoughts on how the federal funding might be used. They were asked questions about their wants and needs in the following areas: before and after school programming, services to further address social emotional needs, how to make school more engaging for students, “wish lists” of options to be offered in school, and any other thoughts or suggestions that might help students in school. Their insight has been valuable and will be used when making district decisions about ESSER funds.


Wellness Corner


Do you know the difference between the more common symptoms of COVID-19 and those that could also be allergy symptoms? Here is a list of symptoms to help you compare, courtesy of the RI Department of Health.


Symptoms more common of COVID-19: Fever and chills, muscle and body aches, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

Symptoms more common of seasonal allergies: Itchy or watery eyes, sneezing

Symptoms common of both: Cough, shortness of breath,or difficulty breathing, fatigue, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose. 


If your children have symptoms of COVID-19, please be certain NOT to send them to school. Visit this link to schedule an appointment for a test. 



Mark Your Calendars


There is no school on January 17 in observance of Martin Luther King Day. All buildings will be closed.


Cranston High School West will be hosting their Future Falcon Open House on Sunday, January 23, 2022 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. All eighth-grade students and families interested in learning more about Cranston High School West and the Cranston Area Career and Technical Center opportunities for academics, sports, and extra-curricular activities should be watching for more specific details and information about this upcoming event in the weeks ahead. 


Cranston High School East will be hosting a mattress fundraiser on Sunday, January 30, 2022 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm as a means of raising funds for the music department. The money raised will be used for equipment, supplies, costumes, and staff stipends for the Cranston Combined Percussion Ensemble and there are discounts for all district employees. This group of student musicians from both East and West will be competing starting at the end of February through mid-April.To learn more about this event visit this website. To see a video about how this fundraiser works, visit here


As always, we thank you for your support and patience.


Sincerely,

The Cranston Public Schools Leadership Team