School Community Newsletter 8/28/2020
Dear Parents and Guardians:
We hope your family is enjoying these last few days of summer vacation. Click here to see how the TMS staff members celebrated the summer of 2020. We also spent a great deal of time preparing plans and collaborating for our learning journey. While we recognize this year is unique and that our remote learning setting is not what anyone wished for. You have our promise that we will try our best each and every day to engage your children in learning. We are so excited to meet our students and get this school year started. There may be some bumps and hiccups along the way, but we will work through this and learn and grow together. We ask for grace and kindness towards each other as we embrace this journey.
This newsletter highlights many essential informational items. (FYI - The Community Newsletters are also archived on the TMS homepage.)
- PARENT ACTION ITEM: Chromebook Usage Form- PLEASE COMPLETE THIS ASAP!
- Schoology Access
- Zoom Information
- Student & Homeroom Teacher Meet & Greets and Materials Pick-Up
- School Supply Lists
Your partners in education,
The TMS Admin Team~ Lori, Greg, & Nick
1st Day of School for Students - Tuesday, September 1st
- Parents and students will be emailed a Zoom link with the homeroom code for the 7:50 a.m. login time when school starts.
- Students will be given Zoom links for each of their classes during homeroom on the 1st day. (Zoom links are also posted in Schoology)
Homeroom Materials Pick-Up Dates - TODAY - Friday, August 28 and Monday, August 31st
Virtual Curriculum Night - September 10th
- This event will be for all 6th, 7th, & 8th parents. More details to come!
Chromebooks Usage Form - MUST BE COMPLETED!
PARENT ACTION ITEM: Each student will need to have this Chromebook Usage Form complete by 9/1/20.
This is a form that parents and students should complete together.
The Schoology platform will open up this weekend!
Students can log into Schoology using their District25 student Gmail login information. (This information is the same as the 5th grade Gmail login information.)
New students will receive Gmail and Schoology login information at Materials Pick-Up.
Please feel free to explore Schoology over the weekend.
Schoology Overview Video: This video reviews Schoology instructions. However, if you have questions or don’t understand what you see, please don’t worry. The TMS staff will go over ALL of this with the students in homeroom on the first several days of school.
Zoom links are posted on the Schoology pages for each class. (Schoology opens this weekend!)
On Monday, August 31st parents and students will receive an email with the Zoom Homeroom link.
Here is a schedule template that students can use to create a document for quick access to the daily Zooms. Staff will help students fill this template out during the first week of school.
Students may also wish to review the TMS Expectations Matrix for Zoom and Chromebook usage.
Student Material Pick-Up Dates
As a BACKUP PLAN should the weather NOT cooperate with our plans today and Monday... We will host a curbside pick-up instead. Please still come to your assigned parking lot at your assigned time, BUT STAY IN YOUR CAR. Homeroom teachers will put the materials inside your trunk.
Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and we can continue with our plan to host a brief 1:1 teacher and student (parents please remain in your car) event where all students will be socially distanced while waiting in line to pick-up materials. PLEASE SEE THE SPECIFIC ASSIGNED HOMEROOM TIMES & LOCATIONS BELOW.
Each homeroom teacher will be available for a 30-minute window to meet in-person in an assigned location either on the TMS property. Parents can park and wait for their child or students can ride bikes or walk to this event. Please note that social distancing must be observed at all times. All students and staff will be required to wear masks during this event. Sending your student to this event represents that you certify they have no symptoms associated with COVID19 nor have been in contact with anyone currently diagnosed with COVID19.
These events will be a time for students to pick-up materials such as:
- 6th grade Chromebooks
- Student Assignment Notebooks
- Calculators purchased during registration
- 7th & 8th 2019-2020 Yearbooks
If a student is unable to attend the materials pick-up homeroom assigned time, there will be a curbside material pick-up available for all families on Monday, August 31st from 2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Starting September 1st, materials can then be picked up in the TMS office.
PLEASE NOTE: In order to maintain safe distances during this event and to prevent overcrowding, there will only be 3 homerooms meeting at a time. As a result, families with multiple children may have different times to attend. If this presents a challenge for your family, please consider the curbside pick-up on Monday, August 31. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
School Supply Lists
Student Suggestions for School Readiness
Review the Tips for Virtual Learning and Zoom Etiquette poster listed below.
Get up and get ready for the day before your first class.
Get moving before school starts and use passing periods to take restroom and snack breaks.
Stay hydrated with water throughout the day.
Try to work in a space that has good lighting and is comfortable. Consider options for working while seated AND while standing.
Be sure to select a quiet workspace free of distractions. Consider wearing headphones or earbuds.
During lunch and at the end of the day be sure to take some time for fun and relaxation.
There have been several new staff added to our Thomas family. Please join us in welcoming...
- Mary Athanas - Teacher Assistant
- Brock Bandolik - Teacher Assistant
- Keaton El-Talabani - Social Worker
- Mary Higgins - Administrative Assistant
- Brian Katz - Behavior Specialist
- Sue Menas - Teacher Assistant
- Mark Milligan - 7th grade Math / 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher
- Caleigh O'Neil - Special Education Teacher
- Ashley Rabell - Occupational Therapist
- Thomas Schorch - Communication Media Arts Teacher
- Carolyn Taylor - Gamma Science Teacher
- Sandy Vilet - Teacher Assistant
- Patty Zieleniewski - 6th Grade Beta Special Education Teacher
We are also hosting the following student teachers this year:
- Sabrina Argaez will be in 8th Grade Science with Mr. Stocco
- Edinson Calix will be in 8th Grade Social Studies with Mr. Goldstein
- Jack Adams will be in 6th Grade Social Studies with Mrs. Biewer
We will begin the school year with maternity leaves for Mrs. Fajks and Mrs. Wouters.
Student Handbook/Thomas Procedures and "In's and Out's"
Remove Learning Overview
Please click here for a link to the PLAN FOR THE 2020-2021 SCHOOL YEAR which details what remote learning will look like. Here are some middle school highlights:
- CLASSES: All classes will mirror the typical 10-period TMS school day and will align with the AHSD25 curriculum, using a balance of online textbooks and digital instruction.
- ATTENDANCE: Attendance will be taken each period. Click here for details on reporting absences.
- MAKING CONNECTIONS: Staff will focus on creating relationships and connections. Staff will build an online classroom community, empowering successful online learners, and identifying and supporting student gaps and learning needs. Social-emotional learning lessons will be embedded in the curriculum to support the unique needs of middle school students.
- ACCOUNTABILITY/GRADING: Teachers will share regular feedback, scores, grades, etc. related to student work with students and parents. PowerSchool and Schoology portals will open on Tuesday, September 1st. We will continue with our grading system and report cards as in-person.
- STUDENT EXPECTATIONS: Students are expected to attend their classes every day via Zoom, with the Zoom cameras turned on and are to be fully engaged. If your student is unable to participate in class on any given day, it is important that you report absences.
- SPECIAL EDUCATION: Any special education service that is listed on the IEP will be provided via synchronous activities or asynchronous activities. Students with IEPs including resource services will follow their class remotely. Students with IEPs receiving instructional program support will or have been contacted regarding a combination of in-person and remote learning.
Physical and Dental Forms
Physical/Dental forms are due for all 6th graders for the start of the school year even though we are beginning with remote learning! Please turn paperwork into the office as soon as possible.
Physicals are due for all grade level students who participate on TMS sport teams.
2020-2021 PTA Officers:
*President: Lucy Block *President-Elect: Amy Hoffman* Vice President: Melissa Teuscher
*Treasurer: Suzanne Krause * Secretary: Lisa Ulyrich
TMS PTA Zoom Meeting Dates (All meetings begin at 7 p.m.):
September 15. * October 14. * November 17 * January 13
* February 17 * March 18 * April 20 * May 19
Link to the TMS PTA Website.
UPDATED COVID-19 INFORMATION
Website: visit www.sd25.org/COVID19 for all information that pertains to District 25 and COVID-19.
MEAL DISTRIBUTION DETAILS
Day: Every Wednesday THROUGH AUGUST 26
Time: 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Where: ONLY Thomas Middle School (1430 N. Belmont Avenue)
Who: Any family with a student 18 years or younger is eligible to come pick up meals.