Newport Public Schools
Newport Public Schools

Newport Public Schools posted the following update on Facebook on Sunday evening.

One of the most important things to note is, “Beginning Monday, March 16th, Grab and Go meals for lunch and breakfast will be available and will run Monday-Friday from 12-1 at Pell Elementary School and 12:30-1:30 at the Martin Luther King Center throughout the school closure period. (People will be at MLK noon on Monday, March 16 and may extend these hours based on the number of participants)”.

The full post

March 15, 2020

Dear Newport Parents and Families,

This week is a vacation week for all students. (March 16-20). During this week our teachers will be finishing up uploading lessons and plans for the next 10 days and possibly longer if school is closed for an extended period of time. Students will not be required to go online or to access any learning packets until March 23 if school closures go beyond this week. The district recently put out a survey for technology. If you have not completed it please cut and paste it into your browser and take the survey.

Please read the following bullets carefully.

1. Schools will be open Monday and Tuesday for high school students that do not have their Chromebooks and chargers and for teachers to get any materials or personal belongings. If other students and families need to access the buildings, please contact your principals. We are asking all students to get their Chromebooks in the likelihood we will be closed for an extended period of time.

2. All RHS students should have their Chromebooks and chargers.

3. All TMS students’ families will receive a message from their building leadership on or before Wednesday if your child may need to borrow a Chromebook to help his/her learning to continue.

4. Pell students were sent home with packets for 10 days of lessons. These lessons will need to be returned when school reopens so please keep these lessons safe. We also understand that some children in grades 3 & 4 may need online access so Pell leadership will be reaching out to grade 3 &4 families by Wednesday about Chromebooks and chargers.

5. In the coming week, the district and school buildings will be setting up ways for you and your child to communicate with your child’s teacher during the coming weeks beginning on March 23 in the event of longer school closure and in case your child has questions on his/her assignment or needs additional assistance. For the families of students with IEPs, families will be contacted by their case manager in regard to service delivery. An update on that will be sent out to you by March 20th of this week by Director Andrade.

6. Beginning Monday, March 16th, Grab and Go meals for lunch and breakfast will be available and will run Monday-Friday from 12-1 at Pell Elementary School and 12:30-1:30 at the Martin Luther King Center throughout the school closure period. (People will be at MLK noon on Monday, March 16 and may extend these hours based on the number of participants).

These are very unusual times for everyone, and events are unfolding from day to day. We will need to be flexible and adapt to the changes that will come. We also need to understand this is a new experience for all of us. We are here to support you and provide updates as we receive them.

Please remember during this time to:
1. Remain calm. We are here to support you and your families.

2. Take good care of oneself and get plenty of rest, drink lots of healthy fluids and continue to practice good hygiene.

3. Practice and do social distancing as recommended by the Governor and DOH. This means whenever possible stay at home, limit the times you leave your home, keep away from large crowds and have your children stay home too. This is not the time for them to go out to play or hang around with a large group of friends. The Governor is asking all of us to please keep our children safe and close to home.

I wish everyone a restful evening and to remember we have already had a dress rehearsal with the gas outage last year. I understand and know this is not the same and very serious time. Newport is a strong resilient community. We just need to take it one day at a time and be flexible with the changes that come before us. There will be changes. Let’s help each other and keep each other healthy by following all the guidelines being recommended.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or your building principal.

Have a nice evening,


Colleen Burns Jermain, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Below is a copy and paste from an email sent to me regarding Helping Children Handle the Stress from Lincoln Nebraska school district. I hope this may be helpful to you. Have a nice evening. CBJ

Helping Children Handle Stress

Watching news reports, spending time on social media, and listening to people discuss their fears about COVID-19 can cause people to feel anxious. This is a particular concern for young people, who may not fully understand or have context for the information they are receiving.

It is important to remember that children look to trusted adults for how to respond in stressful situations. Adults who remain calm, share factual information, and provide answers that are developmentally appropriate can help young people remain calm also.

Some key talking points:
• Pay attention to updates from local health officials but limit the time spent watching, reading, or listening to reports. More than once or twice a day may be excessive.
• Watch out for conversations that blame the outbreak and spread of the virus on a specific ethnic group. Viruses know no boundaries and COVID-19 affects people of all ethnicities who live in all parts of the world. Challenge misinformation and stereotyping that you see or hear.
• Social support is important. Be sure that if someone you know is ill, they receive support and reassurance.
• Do your part to limit the spread of the virus. If you have symptoms, follow the recommendations of health officials and avoid exposing others to the virus.
• Maintain routines as much as possible. Remember that children need time to relax and play.
Below are links to several articles available that provide suggestions about how to talk with children and youth about this issue.
• Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus – National Public Radio
• Talking With Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
• Helping Children Cope With Stress During the 2019-nCoV Outbreak – World Health Organization
• Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource – National Association of School Psychologists