SMS Second Semester Information

January 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Wildcat Families,

I want to start off by saying how immensely PROUD I am of our staff and our students! We opened a school during a pandemic and while this was not without its own share of unique circumstances and challenges, we made it through our first semester! The flexibility, the cooperation, the resilience, and the positive attitudes of our students have been incredible--they have been doing an absolutely phenomenal job following our hallway paths, sitting in designated seats at lunch, practicing safe social distancing, and wearing masks when required--all measures that will remain in place as we begin second semester.

As we enter into Remote Learning for the first two weeks of January, the characteristics that I mentioned above will be necessary for a successful day, but there is no doubt in my mind that this can be achieved! During the spring, we were "crisis schooling" and attempting to maintain the levels of academic mastery that students had achieved up until that point. Now, our mission has changed, and moving forward through the curriculum is our goal. Expectations will be higher for Remote Learning, but by maintaining open lines of communication, we will find success for all involved by working together! Click here/haga clic aqui for our Remote Learning schedule.

Please also note that taking attendance, even on Remote Learning days, is very important. I will be sending an E-mail to all students via each morning with a Google Form that will allow the students to mark themselves as "present." Please have your student check his/her E-mail for the link to submit attendance. This will need to be done every day of Remote Learning. If you have any issues with submitting, or if your student does not receive the link, please E-mail me at . Please note that we will NOT be utilizing Canvas Global Announcements as we have done in the past.

Virtual Academy families: Please note that Virtual Academy students will continue with the Edmentum platform during Remote Learning, whether planned or unplanned. Virtual Academy students will not use Canvas to complete their work.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support as we navigate this new educational journey together!

With sincerest appreciation,


Sarah Gustin

Proud Principal of Southwestern Middle School

Virtual Academy Students/Families

Our second semester opens with some students joining us in the building for in-person instruction while others have chosen to access their academic curriculum utilizing our virtual platform. Regardless of whether a student is present in the building or working at home, we are ALL Wildcats!

Prior to winter break, Mrs. Spray and Mrs. Peckinpaugh met with our in-person students who will be transitioning to Virtual Academy to discuss expectations and how to access and navigate the Edmentum platform. Your student's facilitators will be reaching out weekly with important information to help your student stay on pace and understand what he/she should be completing for the upcoming week. Please reach out to your student's facilitators with any questions:

6th/7th/8th English: Mrs. Spray

6th/7th/8th Math: Mrs. Francis

6th science/social studies: Mrs. Crum

7th science/social studies: Mrs. Peckinpaugh

8th science/social studies: Mr. Williams

Special Education Resource Reading and Resource Math: Miss Gatewood

Special Education Resource English: Mrs. Tierney

Special Education Edmentum (all subjects): Miss Werner

Families with Virtual Academy students can access more information by clicking here.

Login information for Virtual Academy is available here.

Please click the box below to access some Edmentum Hints!

Please note that Virtual Academy students will continue with the Edmentum platform during Remote Learning, whether planned or unplanned. Virtual Academy students will not use Canvas to complete their work.

Returning Virtual Academy Student Orientation

Students moving from Virtual Academy to in-person: We will hold our orientation event on Saturday, January 2 from 3:00-5:00 P.M. You should have received a "Save the Date" E-mail last week. A separate E-mail will follow with additional details for this event. This event will be open to students only.

Grab-and-Go Lunches during Remote Learning

TSC Nutrition Services will be sending an E-mail to families on or near December 30th with information on grab-n-go lunches; this communication will include order forms that will be due by January 2nd.

Grab-n-go lunches will be distributed on January 5th, January 7th, January 11th, and January 14th. You may pick up food at Mintonye Elementary or Romney Meadows Apartment Homes from 12-12:30 on those dates.

Chromebook Repair

If you are having any issues with your Chromebook, please CLICK HERE to make an appointment to meet with Mr. Weidner, our SMS technician.

Health Office Information

During Remote Learning, it is important to keep in touch with our Health Office regarding positive COVID-19 results and if your student meets any of the following criteria:

  • He/she has been identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • He/she develops symptoms
  • He/she has a COVID test done
  • Anyone in the home has a pending COVID test
Please continue to share this information with Christine Eitreim, our SMS nurse or call the SMS office at 765-538-3025. If you have any other COVID-related questions, please don't hesitate to check in with our Health Office.

School Counselor Check-Ins During Remote Learning

Our counselor, Mrs. Rushing, will be available for the following:

  • SnackChat! This is an open Google Meet available during lunch time--E-mail Mrs. Rushing for the SnackChat! link!
  • Virtual counseling appointments with students
  • E-mail--please feel free to reach out to her by clicking here.
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RL Calendar (English/Spanish) Haga clic aqui

January 2021 Remote Learning Calendar

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What to expect during Remote Learning

Purpose: While our students will not be in our physical building, they will be expected to complete the assignments and engage in the instruction that our teachers will be providing remotely. Teachers have provided students with instructions and expectations to begin Remote Learning, and we have had a few opportunities to practice this year. This is not meant to be a stressful experience for you or your child(ren)--this is a learning process for all of us, but we are going to move forward TOGETHER because #WeAreWildcats !

Platforms used: You may see your student engaging in learning using the following platforms:

  • Canvas
  • Student E-mail (Gmail)
  • Google Meet
  • Screencastify

Where should my student begin?

  • 1. Attendance will be taken via a Google Form that will be sent to student E-mails each morning. Your student should check his/her E-mail to access the attendance form. If your student does not receive an E-mail, please contact Mrs. Gustin.
  • 2. Canvas will be where you can find Google Meet links, videos, and student lessons/assignments for the day. Students are expected to complete all of their work, just as they would during in-person instruction.
  • 3. E-mail is a great tool if a student is having trouble with an assignment or if he/she has a question. Students are encouraged to E-mail their teachers during the following windows of time during office hours on Monday and Thursday (1:25--3:30 P.M.) and between 12:30-3:30 P.M. on Wednesday, and 9:00-11:00/12:30-3:30 on Tuesday and Friday. Teachers may not be available outside of these windows, so please make sure to manage your time wisely!

Student Expectations during Remote Learning

  • Students are expected to keep up with their classes during Remote Learning. That means attending Google Meets, participating remotely in small group and paired activities if possible, contacting their teacher(s) via E-mail with questions and concerns, submitting all homework in a timely manner as requested by the teacher, and completing quizzes and tests via Canvas at the teacher’s discretion/request. Students should check both E-mail and Canvas on a daily basis.

  • Students are expected to log in to Google Meets at the assigned times. If a student is not able to log on, communication with the teacher is expected.

  • Students will exhibit the same behavior while on Google Meets as they would in the classroom--disruptions will not be tolerated and may result in disciplinary action.

TSC Internet Access Points

  • Students may log in to the student network from our parking lot using their student login and password.
  • Free public WiFi access is available for use in our parking lot, courtesy of Wintek (Tipmont)
    • Park in the SMS athletic parking lot (closest to the access point)

    • Connect to “Free Wintek WiFi”

    • Accept the Terms and Conditions

      • Enjoy Wintek fiber Internet!

  • Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and take appropriate safety precautions while on school property.

Canvas Resources for Families

Parents/guardians of TSC students can create a Canvas account, which will be linked to their child/children. By creating a Canvas Parent Account, parents can review the materials their child's teachers have published within Canvas, check assignment and test due dates, and much more. Additionally, parents can sign-up for alerts and enter their cell phone number to receive text notifications.

Parent Account Setup on a Computer

Parent Account Setup on a Mobile Device

How to Use the Canvas Parent App (for Android and iOS)

More Information about Navigating Canvas

Please take 2-3 minutes to view this helpful video to show students and families how to add semester two courses to students’ Canvas dashboards and how to add semester two courses to the Canvas calendar. Please help your student with this important task; it is not possible to do this until Canvas courses go live on January 4th. Special thanks to our friends at Wea Ridge for sharing this video with us!

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