The Marie Murphy Update

25 September 2020 Edition

Parent Orientation Evening Recap

On September 22, the Marie Murphy teachers held their first-ever virtual Parent Orientation evening. Thank you to the teachers who utilized new avenues for sharing information with our parents; thank you our parents who attended and posed thoughtful questions of our staff.

If you were unable to join us, you can see the information that was shared by clicking on the links below.

Additionally, as so many 6th grade families are new to MM this year, the 6th grade also has published responses to FAQs from the presentation.

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One Month In - Time For Some Feedback!

Below you will find a link to a parent survey. The purpose of this survey is to capture the parents' and guardians' perspectives related to our return to school, whether in the remote learning context or the hybrid learning context. Survey results will be shared publicly with the Board of Education at its October 8 meeting and used to guide the administration and staff's work to improve learning experiences and make decisions about how best to conduct school in the second quarter. The survey is anonymous and no individual identifying information will be shared.

A separate survey to assess students' social and emotional wellness will be sent next week.

Thank you for your time and patience with our return to school and for taking the time to complete this survey. This survey will close on Tuesday, September 29. Please complete one survey for each student you have enrolled.
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Understanding Dehumanizing Language

Earlier this week, MM's humanities teachers (ELA, Social Studies, Creative Writing, & Pupil Services educators) worked with educational consultant Wayde Grinstead to better understand the concept of dehumanizing language, how we react when we come across it, and how to proactively set norms in dealing with dehumanizing language in order to create shared expectations at MM.

Dehumanizing language is defined as words or symbols used derogatorily about someone or some group of a particular identity (race, gender identity, immigration status, sexual orientation, nationality, etc.).

Using the Anti Defamation League's Pyramid of Hate (see side photo) and Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor's Ted Talk: "Why it's so hard to talk about the N-word" as a jumping off points, MM teachers engaged in discussions about their own experiences as students being exposed to dehumanizing language, what are opportunities and challenges of addressing dehumanizing language, and what role has their identity played in those conversations. We focused on the need to be deliberate in these conversations with students, and allowing time to safely enter AND safely exit these conversations. The workshop concluded with teachers brainstorming ideas of about what both teachers and students need, need to do, and need to learn.

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MAP Testing Next Week

This is a reminder that all Marie Murphy students will take their MAP tests in reading and math the week of September 29-October 2. All students, regardless of being "remote" or "hybrid" status, will take the two MAP tests remotely at their home.

Group B students will take the MAP test on:

  • Tuesday, September 29, 2:00-3:00 - Reading MAP
  • Thursday, October 1, 2:00-3:00 - Math MAP

Group A students will take the MAP test on:

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2:00-3:00 - Reading MAP
  • Friday, October 2, 2:00-3:00 - Math MAP

The process is simple - students will be connected to their proctor via Zoom while testing on a web browser. Students will be shown how to switch between the test and Zoom so that they can request assistance or ask a question. The proctors will also be monitoring students' progress on the proctoring view provided by NWEA. Ms. Stotz will be the 6th grade test proctor, Ms. Bialk will proctor the 7th grade students, and Mr. Henley will proctor 8th grade testing.

Given the interruption to teaching and learning last spring, it is important for students to take the MAP test this fall. The results provide one piece of information for teachers to use to guide their instructional decisions, similar to the IXL diagnostic. Therefore, we rely on the results to be an authentic reflection of a student's independent academic performance. MAP scores are not used for grades.

All parents and students should have received emails this morning with a specific zoom link to their testing sessions.