April 3, 2020
Dear Ridgewood School Community,
Over the past three weeks, I have received dozens of emails from parents and videos from schools about all of the great experiences our students have been having. Remote learning is undoubtedly different from our regular school day and full activity schedule, and this has demonstrated the significance of our schools and our Village to who we are as a community. I could not start the break without thanking our teachers, administrators, support staff, and custodial/maintenance workers for adapting to these circumstances and performing their roles with dedication and professionalism.
Please read the attached document, “Making It Work: For Online School and Spring Recess,” written by Lauren DePinto, LCSW, District Coordinator of School-Based Mental Health. We are all faced with competing demands. Parents are juggling work while also having to be part-time educators (thank you for all you have done and will do), and our educators continue to be full-time teachers while managing their parental responsibilities. None of this is easy, but we are all rising to the challenge. Our community is stronger together!
This week is Elementary School Spirit Week! For me, I have celebrated our Elementary School Spirit Week as follows:
- Maroon Monday: Ridgewood gear! As Superintendent of the Ridgewood Public Schools, I have plenty. Back in the good old days when my wife, Sue (she asked me not to only refer to her as my wife…. done) and I cleaned out some closets, we found 17 Ridgewood sweatshirts, dozens of t-shirts, and much more. We did not donate any. My kids participated in sports at RHS, so we had plenty of gear to go around.
- Team up Tuesday: I am a Dallas Cowboys fan. Ok, stop rolling your eyes and muttering under your breath. For all of you Giants fans, Jason Garret is your problem now.
- Exercise Clothes Day: If you haven’t gotten the hint, I workout daily. I am an early riser and start my day with exercise. There is a lot of research out there about exercise and brain chemistry. For me, it is therapy…. I probably could use the old-fashioned kind of therapy, but this has worked for me for decades. I am old school…cotton t-shirt (probably says Ridgewood on it or OBX or one of the colleges my kids have gone to or go to) and running shorts. Shoes – NIKE! Swoosh!
- Thankful Thursday – See above
- Feel Good Friday – See above
STRINGING TOGETHER RIDGEWOOD – STUDENT LEAD FUNDRAISER
While we can’t get out and host a traditional fundraiser, some RHS students have come up with an idea that can be done remotely. They are selling friendship bracelets to raise money to be donated to Valley Hospital to help with COVID-19 relief. This will all be done online. Please see the link below.
Right now, our senior citizens need our help. Below is a link to opportunities to help our senior citizens in Ridgewood. Please take a look at it and help in any way you can. If you have a neighbor who is a senior citizen, please check in with them. We must continue to look out for each other. Thank you in advance for all of your assistance.
FEEL YOU MAY HAVE SYMPTOMS: If you feel sick with COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact your physician. The physician will be able to assist you and provide the next steps. Additionally, the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH) has set up the following to answer your questions:
- Call: 2-1-1
- Call (24/7): 1-800-962-1253
- Text: NJCOVID to 898-211
- Visit https://covid19.nj.gov/ or nj.gov/health for additional information
- Valley Hospital: 201-447-8000 If you feel you have symptoms, Valley Hospital has set up a system to answer your questions.
SOCIAL/PHYSICAL DISTANCING: I have given you many suggestions about how to keep busy next week during spring break. Please look over them with your family and make a list of the ones that interest you. It may be a different kind of spring break, but there are many opportunities to create new memories as a family.
VIRTUAL TOURS and ACTIVITIES FOR OVER THE BREAK. Thanks to all who offered suggestions.
- Nightly Metropolitan Opera Streams
- Email your principal or teachers! They would love to hear from you!
- Learn how to cook!
- Try a new hobby. How about painting? Knitting? Gardening?
- Write a letter (yes, by hand and on actual paper) and send it to a friend or relative. They’ll love getting real mail!
- Create a scavenger hunt in your house for a younger sibling. Leave a prize at the end. They’ll love it!
- Start a journal. Keep track of what you’re doing during this crazy time in history! It will become a first-person historical source someday.
- Listen to some new types of music (not your usual jam). You might find something new that you love!
- Try listening to a podcast or online book.
- Challenge yourself to a tech-free day (other than your schoolwork). Can you do it? How will you fill your time? Hint: See Above
REMINDER: Use the links below for important information from the Village and the district.
- Sign up for Village E-Notice System – https://www.ridgewoodnj.net/village-info/enotices-and-alerts-registration.
- Twitter Accounts – @RwdPub Schools and @RWDSupt
- District Facebook Page – @RidgewoodPublicSchools.
ANNUAL SCHOOL ELECTION: The Annual School and Municipal Election will be held on Tuesday, May 12. All registered voters will be receiving vote-by-mail ballots, and there will be no polling places in the May 12, 2020 elections. For more information, click here to visit the website of the Bergen County Clerk’s Office. You can still register to vote if you have not already done so. Information can be found here.
CENSUS 2020: Don’t forget to send your redacted “receipt” to your principal or just let your principal know it is complete. Let’s see which school has the highest percentage of completed questionnaires. If you have multiple children in a school, each one counts. If you have children in multiple schools, send the receipt to each principal.
- Fill out the Census online at https://my2020census.gov/
- Or you can respond by phone at 844-330-2020.
Contest results as of 4.3.2020 (The contest is open until the Census 2020 closes.)
- 1st – Somerville
- 2nd – Willard
- 3rd – BF
- 4th – Ridge
- 5th – Orchard
- 6th – RHS
- 7th – GW
- 8th – Travell
- 9th – Hawes
TODAY’S GAME SUGGESTIONS:
- Uno Attack – My family always cheats during regular Uno. Let’s see what happens with Uno Attack.
Other things you can do:
- Keep moving! GET OUTSIDE! Pick from one of the many options I provided you and commit to it. Three weeks should now be a habit.
- Movie/TV Fix for the Week – Academy Award Winning: Slumdog Millionaire; 12 Years a Slave; Birdman; Argo; The Artist.
- Book Club Book 3 – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Read in our English 11 and 11H. Here is a link to some discussion questions: https://www.readinggroupguides.com/reviews/the-kite-runner
- Baked goods: Pudding is excellent…fudge is better. https://www.livewellbakeoften.com/easy-fudge-recipe/
- Home Project: Don’t take the week off. Do all the projects I offered up over the past few weeks. I know you did not do them all.
- Remember, the Ridgewood Public Library has online resources. https://www.ridgewoodlibrary.org
- Call someone. They will appreciate it. If you can make a video call, that’s even better for face-to-face connection.
- REMINDER: 37 Days – This is for dads and students only. Moms, look away! Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. If you are like me, you purchase gifts for your wife at the last minute because she sees every credit card transaction. Online banking! So, strategize now about how to pull Mother’s Day off without a florist, restaurant, or last-minute shopping trip. You do not want to mess this up when you have no place to escape! NOT TIME TO PANIC YET!