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Principal's Update

  • 4/5/2021

    Posted by Mark Roy on 4/6/2021

    Good evening HBMS Families,

    Today we welcomed our students back to full in-person learning and I would like to thank you for your help in making today a success.  On our school website we have information pertaining to the new schedule we have implemented for this spring, in the form of a presentation we shared at last Thursday and Friday’s Question & Answer sessions.

    Afternoon Dismissal

    We would like to thank you for your patience with our afternoon dismissal process, as we have made adjustments to allow Ashby and Townsend buses to leave more promptly in order to safely return our students home before arriving to both elementary schools in time for their dismissal.  This has resulted in our parents waiting a few minutes longer so that our bus traffic can leave in a timely manner.

    Today’s dismissal took more time  because our school was notified just before 2:30PM of a road closure on Highland Street, due to road construction/ repair, between Adams Road and Wallace Hill Road.  While we were able to contact parents and make alternative plans for students to get home, we realize this delayed our dismissal and are thankful for your patience and understanding.  Since this construction will be taking place for a number of days, the police department and bus company has been contacted and we are working together to do our best in preventing such a delay from occurring again.   If you live on Highland Street, please be aware that we will contact you to notify you of any adjustments in planning needed just as soon as we have any updated information.  Otherwise, our local law enforcement is working to see that buses can, if possible, safely transport students in the Highland Street area to their homes.

     

    Student Lunches

    Lastly, we also recognize that there have been questions about student lunches, and why students are eating lunches “tv dinner” style, at chairs and eating on their laps, without tables.  This is due to a number of logistical moving parts we have worked through with furniture and social distancing guidelines:  

    To keep everyone safe, social distancing guidelines put out by the CDC require that people eating remain 6 feet apart and facing the same direction until they are done eating and put their masks back on.  With grade-levels ranging in numbers from 107 to 137 students, in order to fit students one grade at-a-time in our cafeteria area, we cannot use the typical cafeteria tables and furniture, which are too bulky and not space-efficient.  The classroom tables we have been using had to be returned to classrooms and learning spaces so that our students had desks to work at for their academics, now that the majority of our students are in-person all week.  

    While this is not the ideal approach, it is safe, allows us to stay within the four 30-minute lunches and avoid requiring more lunch periods which would take precious time-on-learning away from our teachers and students. 

    Please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns and we will continue to work together to make the most of the time we have left in this school year.  Your support for your child’s education during perhaps the most challenging of school years is greatly appreciated--we couldn’t do it without you!

     

    Sincerely,

    Jason Webster

    Principal, HBMS

    Comments (-1)
  • 3/27/21

    Posted by Mark Roy on 3/29/2021

    Good Friday afternoon All,

     
    Here's what we have to share:
     
    • Report Cards for Term 2 will be published this afternoon.  Thank you for your diligence in double checking grades and comments for accuracy!
    • Escorting students to and from lunch:  We will continue to escort students to and from lunches.  Once we have made the transition to full in-person schooling and the updated schedule is established, when we return from April break we will look at whether this practice needs to continue.  Thank you for your help in maintaining and promoting a safe environment for our school during transitions between classes.
    • Our custodians are hustling to move furniture throughout classrooms, learning spaces, and the cafeteria in preparation for April 5th.  IF you see something that needs attention in your learning space as these adjustments are made, please let us know.  Jason Hamilton, our interim head custodian, has been quite responsive in helping us keep things in order as we prepare.
     
    Have an enjoyable weekend,
    Jason
    Comments (-1)
  • 2/27/2021

    Posted by Mark Roy on 3/1/2021

    Good afternoon HBMS Families,

    As you know, starting this Monday, March 1, students in red and blue cohorts will be attending classes in person at our school until 2:00PM, when they will then be dismissed.  

    Here are the details for the new schedule taking effect this Monday:

    • This change affects classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.
    • Wednesday classes will remain unchanged, keeping with the current schedule of fully remote classes.
    • For Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays:
      • Students will have Homeroom from 8:00AM until 8:10AM
      • Beginning at 8:10AM, core content and related arts classes will be 50 minutes in length.
      • During the school day, students will have a 30-minute lunch in the cafeteria (details below).
      • At 2:00PM, classes will end for the day and students will report to their homerooms before being dismissed for the day.
      • If a student is dismissed by a parent/guardian from school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday, they cannot attend classes remotely.  Students will sign back in to school to attend classes in person if returning to school activities.
    • Students are required to attend homeroom and all remote classes on Wednesdays.  




    Students will have 30 minutes to eat lunch when in school.  Here is how it will work:

    • Students will be escorted to and from lunch by their teacher.
      • Students will enter by the buffet line entrance, and will be dismissed through the other exit by the lobby. 
      • Students will remain in the small group/section they were assigned for classes (to help with consistent contact tracing).  
    • Students will be seated at individual table settings, set 6 feet apart, with assigned seating for the remainder of school year.  
    • Upon entering the cafeteria, students will first go to their assigned seats, then they will be called up by a supervising staff member to get their lunch (if they didn't bring their own).  In line, they will remain spaced 6-feet apart and return directly to their assigned seat after receiving their lunch.
    • Students are to remain silent while eating.  When finished eating, students will put their mask back on before talking with other students, while remaining in their seats.
    • Students will choose between one option for a cold lunch and one option for a hot lunch.  
    • Lunch is still free for students.
    • Students will be required to remain quiet while eating.  When done eating, masks must go back on.
    • As students finish eating, supervising staff will come around with barrels for waste to be disposed of.
    • IF DONE EATING, with masks on, students may turn and talk to others for the last 10 minutes of lunch.  At this time, if weather permits, students may go outside for the remainder for a “recess” break.  
    • Students will then be escorted by their teacher to their next class.
    • Please see the attached breakfast and lunch menus for the month of March, as well as more information on our district’s cafeteria protocol, which will be posted on our school website this week, along with a video walk-through of what lunch will look like for our students.

     

    A few other important points of interest for families:

    • In light of communication from Governor Baker and Education Commissioner Riley on Tuesday, February 23, we will be pausing any movement between cohorts, as we await further guidance and clarification from the state on resuming the normal school week. If you have previously received communication from our main office regarding any adjustments to schedule/cohort, we are still honoring those changes.
    • Students are encouraged to bring a bottle of water to school in order to stay hydrated on days they participate in Physical Education classes.  Water bottles are to remain closed on buses, and return home each day if not recycled.
    • Families of current 8th-grade students: please click on the following link for an update from the NMRHS Performing Arts
    Comments (-1)
  • 2/23/21

    Posted by Mark Roy on 2/23/2021

    Good evening HBMS Families,

    As you have heard from Superintendent Morgan, we will be adjusting our daily schedule, beginning on March 1, with students in our Blue and Red cohorts attending classes in our school building from 8:00AM until 2:00PM.  This means lunch will be served in our cafeteria at the following times:

    Grade 5 = 10:40AM - 11:10AM

    Grade 6 = 11:10AM - 11:40AM

    Grade 7 = 11:50AM - 12:20PM

    Grade 8 = 12:20PM - 12:50PM

    We are finalizing a few more details and will be sharing more information regarding this adjustment as soon as possible.

    We're very excited about this adjustment and are looking forward to providing more in-person classes!  Thank you for your patience and support as we roll out this adjusted schedule.

     

    Stay tuned for more information--you can also visit our school website for more updates. 

     

    Sincerely,

    Jason Webster

    Principal, HBMS

    Comments (-1)
  • 2/5/2021

    Posted by Mark Roy on 2/8/2021

    Good Evening HBMS Families,

    One more week before February vacation!  Here are some points of interest as we head into the weekend:

    •  Our Student Council is announcing the upcoming week of February 8-12 as "Spirit Week!"  Show your school spirit by celebrating each theme:
      • Monday = Hat Day
      • Tuesday = Disney Day
      • Wednesday = Pajama Day
      • Thursday = Decades Day
      • Friday = NM Pride Day

     

     

    • From the Health Office: Please consider registering your child in Project Beacon for rapid COVID testing in school for students with symptoms:

      Project Beacon COVID-19 rapid antigen testing for our school community!

      We are excited to be able to offer rapid antigen testing in school for those students or staff members who develop COVID-like symptoms during the school day.  The purpose of the rapid testing in school is to help us quickly identify cases of COVID in school. Through the early detection of students and staff who are COVID positive and the subsequent identification and quarantining of close contacts, in-school transmission can potentially be completely prevented.  This is one more tool NMRSD will use to mitigate the impact of COVID within the school community and keep our students and staff learning in-person.  

      Project Beacon is providing the online platform for account testing consent and reporting.  Each student and staff member who is interested in participating will need to have an account with Project Beacon that is linked to the school they attend. 

      Here is the process: 

      1. Register in the Project Beacon Online System (by school).

        1. The links to access the registration portal for your school and the codes needed are listed below.

      2. Provide consent Binax (symptomatic antigen) Testing (by school)   

        1. Consent for symptomatic Binax testing is required. The results will be shared with the Department of Public Health, the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in addition to your building nurse and the Supervisor of Health Services.

      Step One is to enroll yourself in the Project Beacon platform.  Please select the appropriate link to start:

      AES

      SMS

      HBMS

      SECC

      NMRHS

      VBES

      NMS

      Central Office

      Register

      Code

      LTDMPU

      Register

      Code

      OIOGI

      Register

      Code

      AGRTLT

      Register

      Code

      ZSCHMJ

      Register

      Code

      WKOEEA

      Register

      Code

      YCKSLA

      Register

      Code

      OQUFVQ

      Register

      Code

      MULFPO

       

      If you are new to project Beacon, click on the “register” link and create a new account.  If you have a pre-existing account with Project Beacon, sign in using your current account information and enter one of the organizational codes above.  Steps for setting up an account can be reviewed here.  

      **Families with students who are 18 years of age or older can opt to have their student create his/her own profile using these codes and links. 

      If you work in more than one school, you can register at both schools.  Please make the school that you work in the most your primary profile.  

      Step Two is to give consent on the Project Beacon website.  This is actually part of the process when you create your account.  You will be consenting to the testing process and allowing Project Beacon to share the results of your test with the Department of Public Health.  The Nashoba Associated Boards of Health and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will also be notified.  

      Once you have created the account and signed the online consents, you will be able to be tested at school should you develop COVID-like symptoms during the school day.  

      If you have any issues using the codes, please reach out to Project Beacon’s support center: help@beacontesting.com

       


      What Testing Is:

      Testing is a glimpse in time and represents the individual's COVID-19 status only at the moment the sample is taken.  Testing provides an additional tool in our mitigation toolbox and the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the movement of COVID-19 within the NMRSD schools and communities.  

      Rapid antigen testing has not been approved for clinical decision making, which means that all antigen tests (no matter the results) need to be followed up by a PCR test for confirmation.  Rapid antigen testing does allow the school nurse to begin contract tracing immediately if the student or staff member is positive and help prevent further transmission of the virus. 

      What Testing Is Not:

      It is NOT a safety pass.  It does not confer safety, nor does it reduce risk when engaging in social activities.  It is NOT permitted to travel or engage in other high-risk activities. 

      • If you are symptomatic outside of school please continue to follow current NMRSD Covid-19 protocols to remain home and seek testing through your provider or public testing site.  Testing of symptomatic individuals puts school staff, including the nurse, at risk of contracting the virus, and should only be conducted when medically necessary.  Please do your part and remain home if you develop symptoms and follow the current procedures for return to school. 

      • If you develop symptoms while at school.  Please continue to follow the current NMRSD Covid-19 Policy and seek an assessment by your school nurse.  If warranted a rapid antigen test will be conducted at this time.  

      Limitations of Testing:

      • We ask that you not access testing if you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 within the past three months.

      • In school testing is not available to individuals seeking to test out of quarantine early.

      • In school testing should not be accessed to meet travel requirements.

       

      Please have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

       

      Sincerely,

      Jason Webster

      Principal, HBMS

    Comments (-1)