Weddington Middle School Newsletter

October 22, 2020

A message from our School Leadership Team

In light of the many challenges students, parents, teachers, and administrators are facing during these unprecedented times, we would like to share how our school is addressing the social-emotional needs of our stakeholders.

In addition to a regular trio of certified counselors, we have a school social worker and an available mental health therapist. Our teachers are attentive to students’ emotional states, guide students in managing their emotions, and arrange for supports and interventions when necessary.

COVID-era circumstances have exacerbated nearly every problem, and the relative isolation makes connecting with others more challenging. Please know that student mental health is our top priority at this time. As we all adapt our lives to cope with COVID and carry on with our schooling, we continue to advertise our availability and adjust our services to prioritize student mental health even in our f2f/virtual hybrid world of school.


Our hybrid educational environment can also prove challenging when we experience the loss of loved ones or other situations that provoke intense grief. We will always prioritize family requests for privacy, and we will balance that request in context of our mental health service delivery. Please know our counselors are available to meet with students individually and in groups now and throughout the year. Please contact the school office if you feel your child is in need of additional assistance.


In the coming weeks, we have several events to foster discussion about these sensitive topics. On Wednesday, October 28 at 10am, our counselors will host a virtual coffee session to share information with parents about mental health, brain development, potential pitfalls and tips for social media use. On Friday, October 30 at 12:30pm, we are providing a three-item menu option from which students can similarly learn: coping strategies specific to online learning, healing strategies for those who have lost someone important in their lives, and a lighter, more social interaction geared primarily for those new to our community. Lastly, we have connected with L&B Counseling for a Pandemic Parenting Seminar, and date/time for WMS falls on November 10 at 12pm.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 704-296-6318 or through any of the direct contacts below. Thank you.

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Friday, October 23, is a Teacher Workday, so there will be no school for students.

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Unity Day

Time to Buy Your 2020-2021 WMS Yearbook!


You spoke, and we listened!

For your shopping pleasure, we have added more options.


This year you can buy your copy of the literary magazine, The Wildcat Word, as an accessory to your yearbook. No more trying to find The Wildcat Word in a different place on the Balfour purchase site. Simply scroll through the options and find the magazine.

For extra savings choose the option to purchase the WMS Yearbook and The Wildcat Word together (this is a limited supply option).


Last year our 8th grade ads were a smash hit! We are excited to offer this opportunity once again. Acknowledge your 8th grader by sending him/her off to high school with the memory of an 8th grade ad in the yearbook. You can purchase an 8th grade ad when you purchase your yearbook.


Order your 2020-2021 WMS Yearbook at
www.balfour.com

Questions? Contact Beverly Young at beverly.young@ucps.k12.nc.us.

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All next week, return ANY overdue UCPS library book, receive a treat! Mrs. Rogers will be out in the car rider line!

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To recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month, all students will be allowed to wear a school-appropriate pink shirt any day during the week of October 26

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Parents, BOX TOPS has now made it easier than ever to scan your BOX TOPS and earn money for WMS! Download the BOX TOPS App at https://www.boxtops4education.com and simply scan your store receipt with the Box Tops mobile app to instantly add cash to our school's earnings online.

Check out https://www.wmsptso.org/free-money for more ways to earn money for WMS!

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Start Saving those Can Tabs--the Million Tab Challenge is Coming!

Million Tab Drive

Next Week's Menu

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Through JUNE, 2021 all student lunches will be free (a-la-carte items must be paid for).

Student Success Suggestions

Student Success
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All sports, besides 7th/8th grade basketball and basketball cheer, are sponsored by our WMS Athletic Booster Club.

WMS Basketball and Cheer

7th/8th grade basketball and basketball cheerleading are our only school-sponsored sports. Basketball tryout dates will begin December 7. This year, we are using Family ID for basketball and basketball cheer registration. This will be open from October 12 - December 6.


You can sign up and register here: hello.familyid.com/ Any questions can be sent to joe.leach@ucps.k12.nc.us

Supporting our students’ mental and emotional well-being is a priority for us as educators and for our community of parents and caregivers. We encourage you to check-in with your child about their mental health and how they are managing their stress and other difficult feelings. Below are some resources and guides to having these discussions. As always, our counselors are here to support you if you have questions or need support.

Talking to your teen about mental health during Covid (more of a general approach)

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Signs-your-Teen-May-Need-More-Support.aspx

Talking to teens about suicide (direct, but also important)

https://www.apa.org/topics/teen-suicide-prevention

Resources for Parents for Suicide Prevention (guides to discussions, information, etc.)

http://www.sprc.org/sites/default/files/resource-program/Families.pdf

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The county has released the following county for middle school sports. You will also see

other important dates for when practice starts, first games and last games.

A few things that should be noted.

This is based on us continuing to move forward as a state and we get to PHASE 3 by Nov 4th.

We need coaches for the following sports - Swimming..

If interested please send an email to Joe.leach@ucps.k12.nc.us

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We are limiting drop offs for the following essential items only: eyeglasses, chromebooks, and medication. Forgotten lunches are NOT essential items, and we are not accommodating food or drink exchanges. We can provide food for students who forget their lunch. Our front office is open Mon-Thurs from 8:30-4:4:30 and Fridays from 8:30-1.
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Looking for Grades?

PowerSchool should be the main resource used to check your child’s grades. Canvas is utilized to complete assignments and lessons throughout the course. Teachers will often times make lessons completion grades rather than accuracy grades. This adjustment can be seen through PowerSchool and not always through Canvas. Therefore, please be sure that you are regularly checking PowerSchool for grades. Canvas can be checked to determine complete and incomplete assignments. Don't have your Parent PowerSchool account set up? Email amy.rogeres@ucps.k12.nc.us

Problems going live? Try these steps:

  • Go to the Student Startup Page and click on the OFFICE 365 app.
  • Then, go to the far right to the small circle with your initials in it.
  • Click on that and sign out.
  • Then sign back in with STUDENT #@ucps.k12.nc.us and the regular password. DO NOT RELY ON AUTO-FILLED INFO!

The Schedule Setup

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Any students who still have books from the 2019-20 school year should return those as soon as possible. We also have many yearbooks waiting for pickup!

The Scoop on Staying Safe

● Temperature checks and screening questions will be completed daily for all staff and students.

● Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be allowed to enter the school building or facility. Parents of students with temperatures will be notified and should arrange pick-up for their child.

● Students will be placed six feet apart in the classroom.

● There will be signage and floor markings to remind students of social distancing expectations in all public locations. This includes hallways, the cafeteria, and the gym.

● Lockers will not be used.

● Students will not change for PE.

● Classrooms will be wiped down between each class change by staff.

● Masks are required for all staff and students.

● Social distancing measures will be in place in the hallways, cafeteria, classrooms, gymnasium, and bus.

Arrival:


  • Students cannot be dropped off prior to 8:20.
  • No student should exit the car until a staff member has completed the screening and temperature check. Students should not be dropped off and left unattended. Staff will be strategically positioned in and around the building to ensure social distancing.
  • Bus riders will be screened and have temperatures taken as students exit the bus
  • Bus riders: Parents/guardians must complete a Bus Attestation form. Please sign and return to bus driver.
  • If entering the building before school begins, 6th grade will go to the cafeteria; 7th/8th will go to the gym. Students will be required to wear masks and will be socially distanced.
  • School will begin at 9:05

    Dismissal:
  • School will conclude at 4:05, due to transportation changes.
  • Buses may need to complete double runs, which could cause your child to be home later than anticipated.
  • Car riders can be picked up on the middle school or the elementary school car line. The area has been marked to keep students distanced, and masks must remain on. Please have your child's name on a sign in your car window.

We have a NEW phone number!

Please change our information in your contacts: 704-296-6318

COVID Q&A

All UCPS Schools and Facilities will:

· Temperature check any student, staff, or essential visitor entering the building or facility. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be allowed to enter the school building or facility.

· Screening for COVID-19 symptoms anyone entering a building or facility utilizing the screening tool provided by NCDHHS/NCDPI.

· Limit non-essential visitors entering the building or facility.

Guidance for Student and Staff COVID-19 cases:

Students and staff:

· who test positive for COVID-19

· show symptoms of COVID-19

· had contact with a person with COVID-19

should stay home and not come to school or report to work in the school facility until certain criteria(criteria is below) has been met.

Criteria for Returning to School or to Work at the School Facility (Adhere to the following process for allowing a student or staff member to return to school.)

· If a person has had a negative COVID-19 test, they can return to school once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines and they have felt well for 24 hours.

· If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until they (or a family member if younger child) can answer YES to the following three questions:

1. Has it been at least 10 days since the child first had symptoms?

2. Has it been at least 3 days since the child had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine)?

3. Has it been at least 3 days since the child's symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath?

· A person can return to school, following normal school policies if they receive confirmation of an alternative diagnosis form a health care provider that would explain the COVID-19 symptoms, once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines and they have felt well for 24 hours.

· If a student/employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, they must remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

· If a student/employee that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been presumed positive by a medical professional due to symptoms, they are not required to have documentation of a negative test in order to return to school.

· If a student/employee has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they must remain out of school for 14 days since the last date of exposure unless they test positive. In which case, exclusion criteria above would apply. They must complete the full 14 days of quarantine, even if they test negative.

Potential Closure of a UCPS School or Facility due to COVID-19

· UCPS will work closely with the Union County Health Department in response to positive case(s) of COVID-19.

· UCPS will follow any guidance issued by the Union County Health Department and/or NCDHHS in response to positive case(s) of COVID-19.

· UCPS is working with the Union County Health Department on guidance for potential closure of classrooms, schools, or facilities in response to positive case(s) of COVID-19.

· The UCPS Facilities Department (custodial team) will follow cleaning guidelines and procedures for school classrooms, buildings, and facilities in response to positive COVID-19 cases.

Is there a certain number of positive case(s) of COVID-19 that will result in closure of a school building or facility? No. We work with the Union County Health Department on each case(s) to determine the appropriate response. UCPS is currently working with UCHD to develop a guideline when school buildings or facilities may be closed. (This will be in place before the first day of school on August 17, 2019) Currently five positive cases of COVID-19 at a location is considered a cluster and reportable to the State of North Carolina, but this does not automatically result in closure of a school building or facility.

Take care of Chromebook issues now!

If your student is having technological issues, please have him/her submit a ticket through the Student Technology Help Desk