Superintendent’s Letter to Parents and Guardians

March 29, 2020

A greeting to Parents and Guardians of East Providence Public School Students,

Let me begin with a huge THANK YOU.

COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, has put us where we have never been before. This is all totally new to us. The School District staff, administrators, teachers, specialists, and paraprofessionals have all been planning and working diligently to assure learning would not be disrupted. To that end, the transition from learning in school to learning at home has gone amazingly well from the reports we have been monitoring and from the feedback we have received from parents. Much of the credit for this belongs to you, the parents, who have now taken on the role of teachers. So, again, thank you.

We receive many questions on when we can return to “normal.” Governor Raimondo has indicated she will make an important announcement this Monday, March 30, regarding the schools. Her announcements can be seen on Channel 10 each day at 1:00 p.m.

If your child does not yet have a Chromebook or access to the internet, please contact your school principal as soon as possible. We have a Chromebook for each student. If you do not have internet access, we can also provide you with a HotSpot at no cost to you. The HotSpot is a device that will make the internet available in your home.

While all our students are at home, our custodians and maintenance workers have been going though each school. Every classroom, meeting area and surface has been sanitized. The staff is also getting to address some issues that are difficult to get to with students in the building.

Chartwells, our school lunch provider, and Ocean State Transit, our school bus contractor, are working together to make breakfasts and lunches available to everyone who needs them. We have a schedule for buses delivering meals to school bus stops. For information on the bus delivery of meals go to the East Providence School Department website.

We know this virus and its impact on our daily lives is very stressful. Being cooped up in the house is difficult for everyone. We are hoping the virus has as little impact on student learning as we can possibly make happen. To that end, and understanding the stresses everyone is under, we offer some suggestions for getting through the “new” school day.

Making things work in trying times…

To make sure your child is getting credit for being “in attendance” and for completed work, remind them to answer the question of the day and, after completing work, to hit the”submit” icon to have the work sent to their teacher. Teachers are posting the times they are available to interact with students – and parents.

A key word – flexibility. Some students complete their assignments more quickly than others while other students feel more comfortable taking more time. As long as your child is getting assignments done during the course of the day, that should be enough. If your child is falling behind, his or her teacher will let you know.

Children should have a quiet place while doing their school work. As much as possible, eliminate distractions such as a TV.

Build in some break time for your child; time for snacks and lunch – and a breather. Learning can be hard work.

A thought to keep in the back of your mind. The stresses associated with avoiding the coronavirus are nothing in comparison to the stresses of dealing with a case of the Coronavirus in your home. The old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” really applies to COVID-19.

Also, to the best of your ability, please take care of yourself. You are vitally important to your child and extremely important to us. Our goal in life is to help you to raise your child to be the best he or she can be.

One last time, thank you for making on-line learning the success it has been so far.


Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent’s Letter to Parents and Guardians (ENG)

Superintendent’s Letter to Parents and Guardians (ES)

Superintendent’s Letter to Parents and Guardians (POR)

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Coronavirus Disease 2019 Update No. 10

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), our partners across the State, and national public health officials continue to respond to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As the situation evolves, we want to make sure that our communities and our healthcare system are prepared. Being informed is an important part of being prepared. For that reason, we intend to send regular Partner Briefings, such as this, to our community partners with updates and key information. Please share this briefing with your colleagues and networks.

COVID-19 Situation Update

Rhode Island Updates:
As of March 23, Rhode Island has 106 cases (including presumptive positive cases). Twenty-three cases were announced on March 23. These cases range in age from their 20s to their 90s.

RIDOH has posted current data online. In addition to the positive cases, 1,120 people had negative test results at RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories, 77 people have tests pending, and approximately 3,000 people have been instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island because they had direct contact with a person with COVID-19.


  • Beginning 7 a.m. on March 24, anyone returning to Rhode Island by plane (with the exception of public safety, healthcare professionals, and pilots and crew) must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. Rhode Island residents who work in another state must work from home if possible. Rhode Island businesses with employees who are residents of another state must make every attempt to let those employees work from home. The related press release can be found here.


  • On March 23, the Governor signed an executive order moving the date of Rhode Island primary to June 2 for what will likely be a primarily mail ballot election. The related press release can be found here.


  • State courts will not process any residential or commercial evictions for thirty days (starting March 19, 2020). Payment and filing deadlines have also been extended past April 17. Public housing residents with questions can contact Rhode Island Legal Services at 274-2652 x123. Tenants in private rental housing can call the Rhode Island Center for Justice at 401-491-1101. The related press release can be found here.
  • Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management reminds Rhode Islanders to dispose of all disinfectant wipes in the trash, including those labeled “flushable.” There have been reports of damaged pump stations and overwhelmed screening facilities in wastewater collection and treatment systems as a result of flushing disinfectant wipes. The related press release can be found here.

RI Response to COVID-19

  • All gatherings of more than ten people in public and private spaces are prohibited. The related Executive Order can be found here.
  • Governor Gina M. Raimondo activated the Rhode Island National Guard on March 20, 2020. This allows 1,000 Guardsmen and Guardswomen to train civilian medical personnel, staff call centers, distribute food and necessities to the most vulnerable, and perform a number of other critical functions. The related press release can be found here.
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers sent a team to Rhode Island to evaluate existing facilities for their potential as alternate care locations. The related press release can be found here.


  • Starting March 23 through April 3, all public K through 12 schools will be conducting distance learning in Rhode Island. The related press release can be found here.
  • The Rhode Island Department of Education has been working with local school districts to make “grab and go” meals available to students while schools are closed. To find the pick-up location closest to you, please visit the Food Sites for Children page on RIDOH’s website.
  • Child care providers have been advised to close. RIDOH is working with child care providers on a case-by-case basis to support those that remain open to do so safely. The related press release can be found here.

Businesses and Consumers

  • By 5 p.m. March 23, 2020, all recreational and entertainment businesses, as well as any close contact businesses (this includes but is not limited to gyms, fitness centers, hair salons, and nail salons) must be closed to in-person operations.
  • On March 20, 2020, Governor Raimondo signed an Executive Order allowing restaurants and bars in Rhode Island to include wine and beer with their to-go orders. The related press release can be found here.
  • On March 20, 2020, Governor Raimondo signed an Executive Order extending from seven to thirty days the time period in which police departments can conduct background checks for firearm purchases. The related press release can be found here.
  • If you are a business with, or manufacturer of, medical supplies and are able to donate supplies to the State’s efforts, please visit to see how you can help.

What you can do

  • If you think you have COVID-19, call your healthcare provider. Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.
  • Protect yourself:
    • Please keep in mind that most people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean (remove dirt, dust, soil, organic matter) and disinfect (using a chemical product to kill pathogens) frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Protect your community:
    • Stay at home if you are sick.
    • Avoid large crowds.
    • If you are at a mass gathering, public event, or religious service, consider waving instead of shaking hands. Do not share chalices, cups, or glasses.
    • Call first. If you are concerned that you may be sick with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider before going to the facility.
    • CDC recommends that facemasks and other protective equipment be reserved for those who are ill and the healthcare workers who are caring for them.
  • RIDOH has activated an information line for COVID-19. For general COVID-19 questions, please call 401-222-8022 or email
  • For clinical questions about COVID-19, please email
  • For COVID-19 information and employment questions, please call the Department of Labor and Training at 401-462-2020, or email
  • People experiencing a behavioral health crisis can call BH Link at 401-414-5465.
  • Remember to only call 911 if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
    • When should someone call 9-1-1?
      • If you see smoke or fire.
      • When someone’s life is threatened or in danger.
      • When someone faints or collapses.
      • When someone has persistent chest pains.
      • When someone has difficulty breathing.
      • When someone has slurred speech or any paralysis.
      • When someone’s face is drooping, or when they seem altered, incoherent or confused.
      • When there is a traffic collision with an injury.
      • Where there are wires down on the ground or street.


Please contact RIDOH Infectious Disease Communications Coordinator Aaron Frechette ( or 401-222-7624 for assistance with educational materials and communication resources. To be added to this distribution list to receive future communications, email Anna Tomasulo ( Please contact the RIDOH COVID-19 Information Line at 401-222-8022, or email, with any other questions.

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Distance Learning Chromebooks

To our EP Families,

If you are still in need of a Chromebook to support Distance Learning please contact your building level Principal
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School Nurse Contact Information & COVID-19 Guidance

To Parents, Teachers and Staff in the East Providence School District

All the nursing staff will be calling as many families as possible, from Monday, March 23, 2020 through the remainder of the time school buildings are closed.  If you are ill, please contact your doctor. Our calls are to keep in touch with our families.  This may be by telephone, Dojo or email.

The school emails for each of our nurses are:

East Providence High School: Nicole Albano RN and Amanda Shattuck RN

Myron J. Francis: Lillian Martin RN

Hennessey: Jennifer McKinnon RN

Kent Heights School: Alison Rosario RN

Martin Middle School: Katherine McKinnon RN

Martin Middle School PreK: Tina Santos RN

Oldham PreK: Susan Mungovan RN

Orlo: Susan Abdow RN

Silver Spring: Maria Fazioli RN

Waddington: Elissa Carr RN

Whiteknact: Whitney Desrosiers RN

Riverside Middle School: Diane Wallace RN Head Nurse and School Nurse RMS

If you have questions, please contact us by email.

Coronavirus cases are at 83 as of 1:00PM today, 17 new cases since yesterday March 21, 2020. I felt a
refresh of what has been previously sent might be helpful.

Recommendations from RIDOH and CDC

1. Social distancing
– Stay six (6) feet away from people other than those in your household
– Eliminate playdates, sleepovers, parties or social gatherings of family and friends
– Avoid any activities where children and/or adults gather like playgrounds, fun parks, arcades,
– If you are sick, isolate yourself, stay home, contact a medical professional for further guidance

  • Follow advice of local health officials
  • Follow DOHRI and CDC web sites for reliable information
  • Create a plan with your employer concerning possibly working from home or taking a leave if you or someone in your household develops Coronavirus.

– Stay well!
– Diane M. Wallace RN
– Head Nurse East Providence School District
– School Nurse Riverside Middle School

2. Create a two week plan for your family and yourself. Depending on the spread of Coronavirus,
this may need to be extended.
– Have prescriptions filled, purchase OTC (over the counter) medications, food and other
necessities for the next two weeks. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open.
– Know how to have food delivered, if possible, in case you cannot leave your home.
– Establish ways to communicate with family and friends, employers and coworkers (by
telephone/online). Limit face to face contact. If you must communicate in person, stay six (6)
feet away
– Find alternatives for childcare needs.
– Stay informed about emergency plans in our community, school closures/students distance
learning, workplace changes and business closures
– Create a household plan: list telephone numbers that are important to your family
– Plan ways to care for family and friends at greatest risk. Older adults, those with chronic
conditions, those unable to care for themselves should be included.
– Create a list of family, friends, employers, doctors, department of health, etc. Be certain your
family knows where this list is.

3. What should you do if someone in your household becomes ill.
Most people who get Coronavirus are able to recover at home. CDC directions for those people
– Stay home except to get medical care.
– The person who is ill should use a separate room and bathroom.
– Wash hands often with soap and water for at least twenty (20) seconds or with alcohol based
hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be used only if soap and water are not
– Wash hands after blowing nose, coughing, sneezing, after bathroom use, before preparing food
or eating.
– Clean sickroom and bathroom daily, more often if needed. Hard surfaces should be cleaned at
least twice a day.
– Avoid sharing personal items like utensils and food/drink.

4. To prepare your child for school building closures
– Understand distant learning/virtual learning plans for continuing education. Social services like
school breakfast and lunch pick up are in place.

5. How do I prepare my family in case of a Coronavirus outbreak?
– Outbreaks can be stressful to adults and children.
– Stay calm, be prepared and explain to your children that most cases seem to be mil.
80% of cases are mild with 20% more serious due to those persons having serious existing
conditions like heart disease, diabetes, pulmonary conditions, etc or are over age 70 years old.
6. Steps to take:
Most cases are happening in adults of working age and older adults. Recently we have had an
increase of cases in children.
-Stay current: read or watch local media for updates.
-Discourage children and teens from gathering.

March 22 Nurse Information – ENG

March 22 Nurse Information – ES

March 22 Nurse Information – POR

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Governor, Dr. Alexander-Scott Provide Updates on State Regulations During COVID-19 Crisis

Twelve additional cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island

Governor Gina M. Raimondo and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH today made several announcements about the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

  • Health insurance: HealthSource RI has opened a special enrollment period to allow Rhode Islanders to purchase coverage through April 15. In addition, HealthSource RI always offers a special enrollment period of 60 days for anyone who loses a job or changes jobs for any reason. Rhode Islanders with questions or those looking to enroll should visit here.
  • Takeaway wine and beer: Last night, the Governor signed an Executive Order allowing restaurants and bars in Rhode Island to include wine and beer with their to-go orders.
  • Gun permits: Responding to feedback from the Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association regarding the current strain on their resources, the Governor yesterday signed an Executive Order extending from seven to thirty days the time period in which police departments can conduct background checks for firearm purchases.

Governor Raimondo also reiterated that gatherings are restricted to 10 people or fewer. All gatherings that are non-essential, even if they are below the 10-person limit, should be cancelled or postponed.

Dr. Alexander-Scott announced today that Rhode Island has 12 additional cases of COVID-19. These people range in age from their 20s to their 70s. Of these 12 people, three are hospitalized. RIDOH is investigating each case. This brings Rhode Island’s case count to 66.

Data updates

  • Number of Rhode Island COVID-19 positive (including presumptive positive) cases: 66
    • Bristol County: 5
    • Kent County: 7
    • Newport County: 8
    • Providence County: 37
    • Washington County: 9
  • Number of people who had negative test results: 862
  • Number of people for whom tests are pending: 290
  • Number of people who are currently instructed to self-quarantine in Rhode Island: approximately 2,500

Key messages for the public

  • If you have traveled anywhere internationally in the last 14 days, self-quarantine for 14 days. That means do not go to work or school and stay at home.
  • Avoid all crowded places, large events, and mass gatherings. This is social distancing. However, people should continue doing essential errands (such as going to the grocery store).
  • Through March 30th, there will be no on-site food consumption for restaurants, bars, coffee shops, or other food establishments in Rhode Island. (Establishments with a food license can continue to conduct pick-up, drive-thru and delivery only.)
  • Due to the closure of schools, free “Grab and Go” meals are available (March 16th – March 20th) for children throughout Rhode Island. More information is available online.
  • Whenever possible, avoid close personal contact with people in public. When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs. Additional guidance is available from CDC.
  • People without symptoms should not be tested for COVID-19. Testing individuals with no symptoms is not recommended by CDC.
  • People who think they have COVID-19 should call their healthcare provider. These people should not go directly to a healthcare facility without first calling a healthcare provider (unless they are experiencing a medical emergency). Healthcare providers have a dedicated number that they are then using to consult with RIDOH on potential COVID-19 cases.
  • Early data suggest that older adults are twice as likely to experience serious COVID-19 illness. RIDOH is reiterating CDC’s guidance for people older than 60 years of age:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • When greeting people avoid handshakes and hugs.
    • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
    • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.
    • More information is available from CDC.
  • People with general, non-medical questions about COVID-19 can visit, write to, or call 401-222-8022. This is the COVID-19 Hotline that RIDOH has available to the public. The Hotline will be staffed this weekend from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm both Saturday and Sunday. (After hours people are being directed to call 211.
  • Everyone can help stop the spread of viruses in Rhode Island.
    • Get your flu shot, and make sure the people around you do the same.
    • Wash your hands often throughout the day. Use warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Viruses can spread by coughing or sneezing on other people or into your hands.
    • Stay home from work or school if you are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
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