Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics

The Rensselaer County Health Department will be hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics this summer throughout the county. The vaccine is free and walk-ins are welcome. Clinics include: Onderdonk Park, East Greenbush, NY (Tuesday, August 10, 5-7 p.m., J&J); North Greenbush Town Hall, Wynantskill, NY (Sunday, August 22, 5-7 p.m., J&J); Stewart’s Shops, Nassau, NY (Tuesday, August 24, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Pfizer or J&J). You can also find a COVID-19 vaccine at https://www.vaccines.gov/search

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Happy Fall Bell Top. This is my favorite time of year. I love watching the beauty of trees as their leaves change colors. Going apple and pumpkin picking and enjoying a big jump in the leaves are a few of the fun things you could be doing. 

School kicked off and has been met with much success. The safety measures we have in place are going very well. The arrival and dismissal procedures have been slightly modified and things are running smoothly. Thank you to all the families and staff that are supporting us, from the temperature checks, to filling out the COVID-19 screening attestation form, to greeting our children with a warm and happy smile. We could not have done this without everyone’s support.

Our new normal has not been easy but the Bell Toppers continue to acclimate. Mask breaks, new lunch routines, and recess are working out quite well. Staff and children are all respecting the mask policy and adhering to the mask break rules. The staff here are working diligently every day to make sure the children follow the social distancing rules as well as proper hygiene protocols. We are doing our very best to make sure the children are safe and staying healthy while at school. I am proud of all the efforts that I see to keep spirits high during this challenging time.

Fall Activities – Canceled

As you may have already realized, we are not allowed to gather in large groups due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this year will look much different from the past. We will not be able to hold our fall pumpkin run or our Halloween parade.

As an alternative, Bell Top will have a black & orange dress up day on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30. The classroom teachers, at their discretion, may plan an in-class activity. 

Also, the children will be completing a fall nature walk that will end by receiving a small pumpkin.

Open House

A great amount of discussion and planning has gone into organizing Open House. As a district we are creating a consistent plan and procedure for our virtual Open House night. The elementary open house night will be Thursday, October 15th from 5:50 – 8:00 p.m. I will send out a detailed schedule of the evening a few days before, so please be on the lookout. However, here is a brief overview of how the night will look:

  • 5:50 – 6:00 – Principal’s welcome & intro
  • 6:00 – 6:45 – Grades K-2 – Google Meets
  • 6:45 – 7:15 – Special Area & AIS teachers Google Meets
  • 7:15 – 8:00 – Grades 3-5 & Language Concepts Google Meets

This will be very similar as if you were in person. To be sure and hear the entire presentation, be cognizant of the start times for the Google Meets. The teachers will present their classroom curriculum and expectations, and they may have a question and answer period at the end. I ask that you are patient and respectful with the technology and with the teachers through this process. They are working harder than ever to make this school year feel as normal as possible for your children. Your kind and appreciative words go a long way with the teachers as they try to navigate this new normal.

Please visit our district website at https://egcsd.org for any updates or news regarding COVID-19 and the reopening plan.

Hybrid in-person & remote model

When students are not in-person at school they will be assigned remote learning. Students are expected to complete this work. Attendance for remote learning days are based on work completion and a Google Classroom attendance question. 

Live Virtual Wednesday

When students connect live with their teachers, please remember these Google Meet Etiquette Rules:

  • Keep your mic on mute unless your teacher calls on you.
  • Do not use the chat feature unless your teacher asks you to.
  • Put your camera on when your teacher asks you to.
  • Find a quiet place where you are not distracted.
  • Listen respectfully to your teachers and to others.
  • Come prepared with the materials you are going to need.

October Important Dates

  • 10/5 – Bell Top PTO virtual meeting @ 7:00 pm
  • 10/7 – Board of Education virtual Meeting @ 7:00 pm
  • 10/8 – Bell Top Picture Day – A group
  • 10/9 – Bell Top Picture Day – B group 
  • 10/15 – Virtual Open House
  • 10/29 – Black & Orange Dress-up Day – A group
  • 10/30 – Black & Orange Dress-up Day – B group

Sincerely,

Martin Mahar
Principal

View Bell Top Newsletter