UPDATE: Boston Public Schools (BPS), together with city and health officials, is continuing to closely monitor the evolving health crisis related to the coronavirus. Please regularly check our school’s website and http://www.bostonpublicschools.org/coronavirus for updates as the situation develops.

Please visit the “Digital Learning Resources” tab for materials for distance learning in the event of a school shutdown.

The most recent letter from Principal Daniels will always appear at the top of this page in green writing.

March 14, 2020: Announcement from Boston Public Schools

The Boston Public Schools will be OPEN on Monday, March 16th

All Boston Public Schools will be CLOSED for students starting Tuesday, March 17 until Monday, April 27, 2020, directly following April Vacation. Should the situation with coronavirus improve in the City, on a faster timeline that expected, we will look into opening schools before April 27 if that is what is best for our school communities.

March 13, 2020: Letter from Principal Daniels on Resources for Distance Learning in case of School Schedule Changes

Good Afternoon Blackstone Families,

Given the decision of some schools in BPS to close their schools, out of an abundance of caution, we are reaching out with resources on how you can support your students at home to continue their learning in the event of a disruption to the Blackstone schedule or potential school closure. We know this time can be both confusing and overwhelming for students, and we’re hoping that providing resources for consistency in learning before in advance of any changes can help our students in the event of a shutdown. It will take everyone involved in our students’ lives to support them and we’re confident that our Blackstone scholars will rise to this task

Our team is working on developing Alternative Learning Activities outlining several alternative learning options, both digital and traditional, that students and families can access at home. Please visit the Digital Learning Resources tab on our website for details.

The Blackstone Alternative Learning Activities resource is just a list of options that we currently have available. As additional options are vetted by our teachers, we will add them to the document. We are working with classroom teachers and the district on grade-level specific learning options, so please continue to check the school website for updated learning resources.

As always, the most important piece of learning for students is independent reading for 30 – 90 minutes per day, every day. Remember, “Reading is Thinking.”  Homeroom teachers will be sharing all relevant usernames and passwords for your student to access the applications available in the BPS Clever Backpack, as well as recommendations on books to read based on your student’s reading level.

If you have medical-specific questions, please contact your primary care physician or the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) at the Mayor’s Healthline, 617-534-5050.

We will continue to update you as information becomes available.

Thank you for your continued commitment to learning and teaching and strengthening our Blackstone community.

Principal Daniels

March 13th, 2020: Letter from Principal Daniel’s to Blackstone on staying healthy during the outbreak

Dear Blackstone families:

While things are changing daily in the city of Boston, we want you to know that the Blackstone School is currently open and we are ready and prepared to greet our students.  This letter is intended to share the precautionary measures we are taking in response to the coronavirus (also called COVID-19) in order to ensure a safe and healthy community, both physically and emotionally. We will keep families updated on any changes to schedule through emails, calls, and the school website as the situation develops. 

First, we are working closely with our school nurse to monitor students. Please note that the largest recommendation from the CDC is to keep students home if they are showing any signs of illness specifically, flu-like symptoms and fever.  The state and the district have changed their attendance requirement to allow for students to not be penalized and marked as “medical illness”, due to the coronavirus. We first recommend you always confer with your child’s doctor. If your child has a fever, cough or any flu-like symptoms, please keep them home until they are free of symptoms. If students are sent to school with any flu-like symptoms, we are required to send them home from school.  If you have any questions about whether or not to send your child to school, please contact the school nurse. Additionally, please remember to communicate with her and/or your child’s teacher, if your child is out sick. 

The second recommendation from the CDC is to increase hand washing with soap and water across the school day. To that end, we are working with our teachers to reinforce the importance of hand washing and build in opportunities for hand washing before and after meals. We have also posted signs around the building to reinforce proper hand-washing protocols and will be referencing them explicitly with students. Additionally, our custodial team is hard at work to maintain the cleanliness of the building. This includes treating all high contact areas, including doorknobs and railings every morning and closely monitoring soap dispensers to make sure they are stocked throughout the day.  

As directed by BPS, we are also taking some additional precautions to minimize the risk of exposure for our students and community at this time: 

Effective today, 3/12/20, all school field trips are canceled until further notification. This includes the fifth grade Farm field trip. 
Community Partnerships that bring external members into our building including Generations, Boston Partners in Education, have been canceled.
As of now, all after school programs remain open. We will monitor this closely and work with them to communicate any closures if they happen.

Finally, we want to acknowledge that this can be a stressful time for our students. There is a lot of information circulating that they may not fully understand and/or that can be distressing. To that end, we have provided some resources to our staff to support them in having structured, developmentally appropriate conversations with students. I have attached those resources to this letter for your reference, as we know families also benefit from resources to have conversations with their children.  We also have counselors on-site to check in with students who are having a difficult time. If a counselor or member of the Support Team meets with your child regarding this, we will reach out to families. 

Please remember to check the BPS website: https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/coronavirus and/or  Boston Health Commission: https://bphc.org/onlinenewsroom for daily updates.  We will continue to send letters, push emails and all-calls with updates, regularly. 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this challenging time.  As always, please continue to reach out to me, your child’s teacher and/or our school nurse with questions or concerns. 

Sincerely,

Shammah Daniels, Principal
Blackstone Elementary School