March 19, 2020
Dear Ridgewood School Community,
The stress associated with COVID-19, school closure, and the many disruptions happening in our daily lives may understandably increase frustration, confusion, and anxiety in our students, staff, and families. Please know we are increasingly aware of the toll this crisis is taking on our collective mental health and want to be sensitive to the growing needs of our parent community, especially those who must balance the competing demands of work, child care, virtual learning, and self-care. To that end, as noted in the mental health section of our home instruction pages, we aim to provide a growing list of resources, suggestions, tips, and information that will help our community maximize resilience and emotional well-being at this important time, and we will continue to update these resources as we learn more. Please reach out to your child’s guidance counselor if you have specific fears or concerns.
MENTAL HEALTH: Please see the attached piece written by Lauren DePinto, RPS Coordinator of School-Based Mental Health Services and Crisis Intervention Counselor. Below are links you may find helpful:
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
SCHOOL PROPERTY: As a reminder, if you see people congregating on district or Village fields, playgrounds, tennis and basketball courts, please contact the police. The non-emergency phone number is 201-652-3900. Please remind your children that closures and social distancing measures are in place to protect everyone, and it is vital that everyone adhere to the restrictions issued. Clarification from yesterday: If parents or students go out for a bike ride, walk, or run, engage in these activities as a family. Avoid meeting up with friends or neighbors.
REMINDER: Please sign up for the Village E-Notice System if you have not yet done so and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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: Today, Governor Murphy announced that Annual School Elections scheduled for Tuesday, April 21 will be postponed until Tuesday, May 12. This will be the Annual School and Municipal Election. Additionally, these elections will be conducted solely via vote-by-mail ballots. The deadline to apply for the vote-by-mail ballot is Tuesday, May 5, 2020. For more information and to view detailed instructions, click here to visit the Bergen County website. I strongly encourage you to complete your application now so that you have the opportunity to exercise your right to vote.
DISTRICT COMMUNICATION SURVEY: The District Communication Survey is open through March 23. If you have not yet completed the survey, please take a few minutes to do so. Click here to access the survey.
TODAY’S GAME SUGGESTIONS:
Codenames: Last night, I lost in Bananagrams several times. Send pictures of your finished jigsaw puzzles. Get a complicated one. We are in this for a while.
Other things you can do:
- Keep moving! Time to take the clothes off of your in-home gym equipment. Has anyone noticed that the number of riders on Peloton has increased dramatically?
- How about a “classic” movie? Dodgeball. Kind of sketchy humor, but this is a Fishbein family favorite. My wife knows every line. A little history…I inserted a line from Dodgeball in all of my graduation speeches when each of my kids graduated.
- Baked goods: Today, I am going with brownies. No adding chocolate chips or nuts. Don’t get me wrong, I can eat chocolate chips and nuts by the handful. I guess I am a purist.
- So now all of your closets, everything drawer, and garage are cleaned and organized. Take the day to pack up everything you are going to donate, and call for pick up. Some people have shared what they found in their house. I know we have enough scotch tape in our everything drawer for the whole town of Ridgewood to wrap their gifts next holiday season. We also found mini bottles of hand sanitizer. What luck!
- Remember the Ridgewood Public Library has online resources.
- Keep making phone calls and connecting with friends and family. Google Hangout is excellent. I am not one who enjoys talking on the phone, but this works for me.
Please remember to support our local businesses, as they have always generously contributed to student and parent fundraising efforts. They need our help!
Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools
C: Ridgewood Board of Education
Dr. Wayne Yankus, District Physician
Ms. Dawn Cetrulo, Village of Ridgewood Health Officer/Director