North Pole Middle School

Principal's Update - January 22, 2021

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Personal Health Check Each Day

As part of your daily routine please check with your student each morning regarding how they are feeling. If students are exhibiting COVID like symptoms please keep them home. In the event that your student exhibits COVID like symptoms here at school your student will be assessed by our school nurse who will then make the decision on whether or not your student can continue their day at school or if we need a parent/guardian to pick them up. Staff will also be expected to follow this daily protocol regarding self-assessment for their health.
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Hello Parents and Families:

It’s almost time! All of our planning has taken place, materials have been distributed, schedules created and I’m pretty sure that we’re ready for kids to arrive on Monday, January 25th. I have to say that I’m excited. We turned our bells on this morning for the first time since March and although initially it was a bit jarring, after a brief moment, a sense of normalcy returned and smile crossed my face along with many others in the building.


Here are some final details for all of you and your kids as you prepare to return.

Items to Bring to School Daily

  • A BIG SMILE and WELCOMING ATTITUDE
  • MASK!
  • Chromebook and charging chord
  • Water bottle, all of our drinking fountains have been turned off but we do have two filling stations available.
  • School supplies, if you have a binder that’s fine, if you just bring pencil and pen for now that’s fine too. We’ll figure what we need as we learn to balance electronics with real life learning.
  • Lunch if you bring lunch from home.

Parents In the Building

At this time we’re not allowing parents in the building, I know that is odd, but we need to get through this first week and then I can assess better how to proceed. I understand this is not ideal for sixth grade parents/families and I appreciate your understanding. If you need to pick your student up early from school here is the process we would like you to follow:


Student Pick-Up


  • Call the school, either before you arrive or after you arrive in the parking lot. 488-2271
  • Let them know when you are picking up your student.
  • PLEASE BRING YOUR ID
  • Meet the secretaries and your student at the front doors to verify who is picking up the student and sign our Off Campus slip.


Student Drop Off (after 9:30 a.m.)

  • Call the office and let us know your student is arriving.
  • Let us know during that call if the absence is excused.
  • We’ll let them in the front doors.

Transportation

Please remember that if your student needs to ride a bus to and/or from school that you need to register for the bus through the school district website. Here is the link for that to take place. https://www.k12northstar.org/domain/1087


When students arrive at the school our plan is to allow two busses to dismiss kids at a time. We will have staff available to help escort student groups in to the building using two separate doorways. Students who are dropped off by parents or families are welcome to use the main entrance. Once in the building students will either go to the cafeteria to get their breakfast or immediately to their first period classroom.


At the end of the day we will be allowing students to use three different front doors to exit the building and dismissing class a few minutes apart to provide some degree of separation.

Bus Deviations

A bus deviation is a request for your student to ride a bus that they aren't registered for and that they don't usually ride.


A few helpful hints on how to request a bus deviation:


  • It MUST be requested in writing via notes, email (contact-npm@k12northstar.org) or fax. Students may NOT write their own notes.
  • If you send one by email, you will get a reply saying we received it. If you don’t get a reply please call 488-2271. Please have it turned into the office by 1:30 pm. If you submit an email after 1:00pm, please call to confirm receipt.



-Your request needs to have the following information on it:

  • Your student's name
  • Bus number (route) and the name of the street it stops at
  • How long the deviation is good for(just that day or for the whole school year)
  • Parent's name and contact information
  • Our fax number is:(907)488-9213
  • Email requests to: contact-npm@k12northstar.org

Important Note - School Pickup

It is a district policy that we ask for parent/guardian ID when picking up a student from school.This is not intended to be inconvenient but it helps assist us in providing a high degree of student safety.

Mask Requirements

The district has indicated that masks are required both on the bus and throughout the day in the building. As I mentioned in a previous newsletter the proper wearing of masks is a deal breaker. If students are not wearing their mask the classroom teacher will make several requests for them to do so and educate them on why wearing their mask is important. If the student continues to not wear a mask the student will be referred to the administration and we will follow the same process with the student and notify the family. During that notification administration will be requesting the family's assistance in helping the student comply with the mask requirement. During that call we may or may not discuss other learning options for your student if compliance with wearing the mask is not possible. Our intent is not to punish kids for not wearing masks but to also maintain the safety of the entire building so we can all come to school for as long as possible.

Breakfast/Lunch Time

Reminder that both breakfast and lunches are free for ALL STUDENTS for the remainder of this school year, no paperwork and no strings attached. If you have traditionally applied for Free/Reduced Lunch benefits we encourage you to still do that as it will get your student set up for the fall of 2021. The link for our Nutrition Services Department is here, https://www.k12northstar.org/nutrition and the on-line version of Free/Reduced Lunch program can be found on this page.


When kids arrive in the morning if they need/want breakfast they can simply go to the cafeteria to “purchase” it and then they will go to their first period classroom to eat. Students will still punch in their student number even though they will not be charged. Any “a-la-cart” items that the cafeteria may sell will be sold to students and that money will come out of their lunch account. Information about the cost of items can be found below. This link, https://k12northstar.nutrislice.com/menus-eula will take you to a list of all schools in the district so you can see each schools’ breakfast and lunch menu if you are interested.


The building will have two lunches, A and B. We have divided the building in half so about half of the building will be at lunch at one time. We’ll stagger dismissal times to lunch to help alleviate kids waiting in lines with their peers. Kids will again, “purchase” their lunch and then return to their classroom to eat. After lunch ends each student will wipe down their desk area and discard their trash.


During the lunch period kids will stay in their classroom and be able to remove their masks to eat. Some classrooms have teachers that will be eating with their students and we are thankful for that. Other classrooms will have an adult that circulates between them to help monitor students.

Morning Drop Off

For the first week of school we won’t be opening the front doors of the building until 9:00 a.m., the majority of our staff that works with students arrive at that time. We’ll reassess options for opening the doors a bit earlier after the first week but space and supervision is our limiting factor at this time.
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A Note From NPMS Kitchen Manager

Our pick up meal times will be changing. We will no longer have meal pick up between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The new pick up time will be 10:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. We will be distributing meals for our e-Learners and remote learners along with students from North Pole High and North Pole Elementary.


Sheila Hanson, Kitchen ManagerSheila.hanson@k12northstar.org • 907-488-2271 ext. 40560

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Attendance

Attendance is now being taken daily.


If your student will be absent please call our Attendance Secretary, Hailey Standish at 907-488-2271 Ext. 40502 or you can call 907-488-2271 and push 1 to leave a message on our Attendance Line.

Virtual Homework Help Club

Virtual Homework Help will continue on February 2nd.


We have teachers ready to give one-on-one tutoring to students every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Students can join the Zoom meeting, then will be sent to breakout rooms where our teacher tutors will be ready to work with them on their school work.


Click the button below to join the Homework Help Zoom Meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.


*Students will need to turn on their video and enter the zoom meeting with First and Last Name.

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District Technology Resources

The district has put together a list of technology resources that may be helpful for parents. As always if you need assistance you can call the school as well and we will do our best to assist you.

Technology Resources for Parents