3/23/20

Dear Richmond Middle and High School Families,

        First and foremost, I hope all of you are safe and well in this difficult time.  This is an unprecedented situation that has evolved quickly, and we continue to respond day by day as new information arises.  It is hard to believe that it has been only one week since we closed our schools.  Certainly as someone with little kids who are now home all day every day, it feels like a lot longer.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I do want to take a few minutes to reach out to you with a summary of important information.   Please, feel free to email me at kmatulis@kidsrsu.org if you have any questions or concerns.  

Instruction

        By this time, your child likely will have received emails from their teachers on opportunities to continue their learning.  Replicating instruction delivered by a trained teacher in a classroom is difficult, but not having school does not mean that learning has to stop.  This may look very different in different households, depending on whether or not parents are home, the age of the student, whether younger kids are in the house, what access they have to technology,  etc.  What is most important right now is that your child is physically safe and emotionally healthy.  Isolation is difficult for adults, but can be devastating for a teenager whose life revolves around social relationships.  Finding ways to keep in touch with friends and family will be appreciated by all.  Following that, we recommend setting aside certain times of the day for structured learning.  Reading and writing are always great options.  Try setting aside a set amount of time each day for your family to read together.  Have students watch the news and keep a journal about the things that are happening and how they feel about them.  Or have them keep a “Spring Journal” where they can go outside and make sketches and chart the changes of spring.  For other ideas, try the resources shared in this document, or reach out to your child’s teacher.  There are also structured online programs like Khan Academy, Code.org, or Duolingo (many of our students already have an account) that may be a good fit for your family. Again, we cannot replicate school based learning at home, but we can work together to keep you child engaged and learning during this extended absence.  We will continue to work on improving opportunities for learning during this extended absence, so please stay tuned for more updates on this.

Food

        RSU 2 and the Town of Richmond have worked together to provide the community access to RSU 2 food through the Richmond food pantry.  A link to information on this program can be found here.  We continue to work to establish site-based food distribution at our schools, and will keep you updated as this progresses.

Seniors/Graduation

        Just like all of our seniors and their families, we remain hopeful that the traditions and ceremonies that these students have worked hard to reach will still go on.  In the meantime, our focus is on helping them to meet the requirements they need for graduation.  We will be reaching out to each senior with a plan for what they need to complete in order to graduate.

Testing

All state testing has been cancelled or postponed at this time.  AP exams are still scheduled to go on, but in modified/online forms.  Please visit the College Board website for more information.

Other Resources

Counselors and Social Workers will be available to support students and families via email. Students and families are encouraged to reach out as needed.

      ● Non-emergency Situations

      ○ Ms. Lachance is available during the regular school day via email to talk to students who have questions or concerns at hlachance@kidsrus.org.

Thank you for all you are doing for each other and for the children in this community during this difficult time.  We all look forward to returning to school and a sense of normalcy, and I hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Sincerely,

Karl Matulis

Principal, Richmond Middle and High School