Tanana Middle School Newsletter

October 12-October 16, 2020

Upcoming Events:

Thursday, October 15, 2020

10:15: Participate at home in the Great AK Shakeout! Families are encouraged to checkout the Great Alaska ShakeOut website!


Friday, October 16, 2020 - LAST DAY OF QUARTER 1

**All Zoom Rooms will be closed at 3:00 pm**

This is the end of the quarter work time for our instructional staff to focus on grading and other instructional needs

In a virtual learning environment, how will conferences actually work?

You may be wondering from last week's issue, "Okay, I understand because students are completing their work at home, Tanana will shift the focus of conferences this year to be skill progression but what exactly does that mean?" Great Question, and I am so glad you asked!


How will the teachers be organized to discuss the progress of my child?

First, you need to know since we are organized in teams where we support students to complete interdisciplinary projects we need to meet with our families as a team of teachers.This will include the science, social studies, and English teachers. Our elective teachers will join your child's conference to the extent possible. Second, we recognize the importance of having the opportunity to meet with one of our math teachers to discuss your child's specific needs in a 1:1.


What do I need to do to schedule my appointments?

First, be on the lookout for pop-up message when you log-in to PowerSchool on October 21, 2020 that the portal is open to reserve your conference time. Each family will have an opportunity to schedule a 15 minute team conference (English, Science, Social Studies, and Electives) and a 10 minute math conference. The scheduling portal will remain open through Thursday, October 29th.


How do I schedule my appointment in PowerSchool?

You can access PowerPTC through a link in your Parent PowerSchool account located in the upper right-hand side of the PowerSchool home page.


Scheduling Your Conferences:


1. Log into your Parent PowerSchool account.

2. Click on the small box with an arrow, located in the upper right-hand corner.

3. Click on the PowerPTC page link.

4. Click on the Conference Schedule.

5. Select the date you would like to schedule your appointment.

6. Select a starting time for your appointments.

7. If you would not like to attend conferences with certain courses, uncheck the box

under the Schedule column.

8. Click Build Your Schedule Now!

9. Finally, click Print Schedule to create a hard copy of your parent-teacher

conference schedule.

10. If you are scheduling for more than one student, you can switch the active student you are scheduled for by clicking on the Select a Student link from the left-hand menu.


When do conferences occur?


  • October 29, 2020: Scheduled Appointments for Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 11:00 am - 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm -7:30 pm


  • October 30, 2020: Scheduled Appointments Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 9:15 am - 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm


Do I need to report to the school to have my conference?


No, due to Covid-19, conferences will NOT be in person, but will be a mix of phone and/or video meetings this quarter.


What do I do if I miss the scheduling window or can't access the PTC portal to schedule my appointment?

For families that do not have an email address, internet /computer access, or miss the sign-up window period of October 21st – October 29th, you may call 452-8145 for help in setting up a parent PowerSchool account, and getting scheduled.

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Will my child have support from school to prepare for their conference?

At Tanana, all students attend a daily Advisory period that focuses on Student Success Planning and social-emotional learning. This time is built into every student’s schedule to allow them to connect in small groups and build valuable relationships with trusted adults. We are continuing our read of the novel Ghost and the students are working in these small groups to connect and discuss the sensitive issues in the novel in a safe environment.


Teachers and students are using Advisory time to explore the Portrait of a Tanana Graduate and prepare for conferences. The Portrait tells students the skills that we want them to develop during their time here at Tanana. As we move toward the end of the first quarter and prepare for conferences, it’s important for students to reflect about themselves as learners.


Advisory teachers are working with students to think about how they have improved their research skills and what good questions they’ve asked. They are considering how they've stayed motivated and focused on their goals. As students continue their education here at Tanana, daily Advisory meetings will keep these skills in the front of their minds and looking for opportunities to practice them!

Tanana Middle School is Awarded a $7500 Grant

Be [You] Teen Outreach Grant from the Fairbanks Wellness Coalition

Mr. Zach Vehmeier has been awarded a $7500 grant from the Fairbanks Wellness Coalition to steward the mission of the Be[You]Campaign. As part of our prevention efforts, we are developing positive community norming messages for teens (ages 12-18) that combine promoting the positive, hopeful fact that the majority of local teens don't use alcohol, promoting the importance and acceptability of seeking behavioral health services and promoting addressing signs of suicide.

Student Clubs are Now Forming!

Join the TMS Student Council

Would you like to help make decisions at Tanana?


Would you like to be part of creating fabulous assemblies and fun challenges at Tanana?


Would you like to be part of making Tanana a great place to be, both virtually and when we get back in the building?


Then student council is for you.


Join Ms. McFarland on Monday, October 19th at 3:15 for the first meeting.


You can find her zoom room on the Virtual Tanana bit/ly and on the Announcements page.

In House News . . .

In Orange House . . .

In Red House News . . .

In Yellow House News . . .

Family Resources

Our Tanana library has LOTS of reading options!

Books to hold in your hand: Library books ARE AVAILABLE for checkout! Please visit the Electives/Library page on Virtual Tanana. The library page has instructions for how to put a book on hold. Ms. Erin wears a mask & gloves while processing books, and once she has the book/s packaged, she emails the student & guardians to let them know the book is available at the self-service kiosk (8:30am-8:00pm). Please note that books are quarantined for a week between students! All library materials can be returned to the cart.


Magazines: A wide selection of magazines are available for students & parents at the self-service kiosk (8:30am-8:00pm). Please note that magazines do not require checkout. Simply grab and go! When you're ready to return the magazine, simply return it to the "Library Book Return" bucket on the cart so the magazine is quarantined for a week between patrons.

How to put a book on hold
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