School Community Newsletter - 2/9/21
Dear Thomas Middle School Community,
We hope this finds you happy, healthy, and warm. With so many events going on this month, we are sending this newsletter a little early. Typically we try to send our newsletter on the 1st and 15th of the month. It's especially important to note that the Meet The Teacher Conference sign up link closes today at 10 p.m.
The 5Essentials Parent Survey is now open and we want your input! Please participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey, as a part of the Illinois 5Essentials Survey administration. Students will participate in the survey on Friday, 2/19/21.
As Dr. Bein shared, Friday, February 19 will be an eLearning Day. All students will participate in remote learning on that day. TMS has planned a series of engaging field trips and assemblies for the students to participate in. Students will learn about these details next week in homeroom.
This newsletter has several new items posted:
5Essential Survey Information
Yearbook Picture Information
Parent-Teacher Conference Reminder
Arrival & Dismissal Expectations
New TMS Staff
Take care and be well,
~ Lori, Greg, & Nick
5Essentials Survey Information
Each family is asked to please participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey, as a part of the Illinois 5Essentials Survey administration. The survey responses will never be connected to the identity of you or your child as school reports will only present aggregated information of how parents responded as a whole.
- In order for the survey report to be generated we need at least 20 percent of our parents to take the survey.
- Please CLICK HERE to take the parent survey beginning on February 3. The 5Essentials Survey is open through April 2.
- If you have any questions about the survey, please contact 5Essentials Customer Support at 1-866-440-1874 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED FOR EACH CLASS!
ATTENDANCE: Attendance is taken each period. Click here for details on reporting absences.
Since hybrid attendance is no longer an option, parents, we thank you for adhering to our attendance guidelines and sending your healthy in-person learners to school Tuesday-Friday and ensuring that our remote only students are attending each class period. We kindly request that the students arrive promptly at each class, especially homeroom as this is where essential school information is shared with the students.
In our attempt to keep our building as safe as possible we are eagerly requesting that you follow our attendance expectations:
- In-person student learners are expected to be on campus each day they are permitted (STEP 4 is daily in-person learning Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays).
- We are no longer offering the option to be a daily remote learner due to "safety concerns" which we hope will give us the ability to better monitor our students and track students with illnesses.
Quarantine & Zoom Information - PLEASE READ!
Moving forward we will utilize the following guidelines...
QUARANTINE: Please review this letter put together by the District 25 Nursing Team (en español). It does a great job of explaining different quarantine situations and expectations for each scenario.
- Please note this letter was updated with a "No Option to Shorten Quarantine" section on February 4, 2021.
- A student or staff member who travels to an area of high risk will be subject to the quarantine guidance of the Cook County Department of Public Health.
VACATION: For families that choose to take a vacation during school days, the student is welcome to view Schoology and complete assignments while on vacation. However, students on vacation will not be permitted to Zoom into class.
- Vacations will be treated as they have been in the past, with the student marked absent from class.
- Upon return from vacation, please notify our Health Office of the quarantine for travel so we can determine a date of return to in-person learning. Once that is completed, the student will be permitted to Zoom into class.
- Students are permitted to Zoom into the classroom during quarantine in order to follow the recommended guidelines set by IDPH.
Yearbook Picture Information
At this time, we do not have makeup days scheduled. For our yearbook, we can use pictures from last year when available.
If you would still like to have the picture taken, families can choose to schedule a time with Stuart Rodgers directly at 847-448-0211 or by email email@example.com and they will get you scheduled. Make-up photos will be in their Evanston Office, 2504 Green Bay Road, Evanston, IL.
YEARBOOK DEADLINE: Please note that if the photo is taken prior to Feb. 26 we will be able to include it in the yearbook.
TRAFFIC SAFETY ALERT!
These traffic expectations are in place for safety reasons and to allow for an efficient process and experience for everyone. Please be considerate of our community and one another and adhere to these safety guidelines.
This is especially important during inclement weather. Once again, we've experienced a couple of near misses and extremely dangerous situations for our students and staff.
Morning Arrival Expectations:
- 7th & 8th Graders should be dropped off on Belmont Avenue in the designated area along the front of TMS.
- 6th Graders should be dropped off in the TMS Thomas Street/Arlington Heights Road parking lot.
End of Day Dismissal Expectations:
- The carpool line and student put up occurs on Belmont Avenue in the designated area along the front of TMS.
- Please be patient and do not ask your child to cross Belmont Avenue unless they use the crosswalk.
- Please do not ask your child to enter your vehicle while on Thomas Street.
- The TMS Belmont Avenue parking lot is restricted to cab pick-up and those with a specialized pick-up. Please only access this lot if you have been given permission by the school office.
We urge you to be patient and plan for extra time so that you're not rushed. Here are some safety reminders:
- U-turns are NOT permitted on Belmont Avenue - this is extremely dangerous!
- Student drop-off north of Thomas Street on Belmont Avenue is not permitted. This is causing dangerous back-ups on Thomas Street near Arlington Heights Road.
- Stay in the drop-off line - please do NOT exit the line early by going around the car in front of you. The line is likely moving slowly because of traffic at the parking lot entrance.
- Parking or pulling into our Belmont Avenue parking lot is NOT permitted unless you have a specialized pick-up or a TMS parking permit.
- Students crossing Belmont Avenue are only permitted to do so at the corner crosswalks at Thomas Street and at Olive Street. Please encourage your child to use the crosswalks.
- Student drop-off from cars heading northbound on Belmont Avenue is NOT permitted.
TMS TECH REMINDERS
- Please remind the students to charge & bring Chromebooks every day. We do not have loaner Chromebooks for students forgetting their device or not charging their device.
- Please remind the students to bring headphones every day.
- The replacement cost for a damaged or lost Chromebook charger is $75.
- Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any tech/device issues.
PTA FOOD DRIVE - THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Save the date! The 2021Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Do you have questions for the PTA? Email the PTA at: email@example.com
2020-2021 PTA Officers:
President: Lucy Block
President-Elect: Amy Hoffman
Vice President: Melissa Teuscher
Treasurer: Suzanne Krause
Secretary: Lisa Ulyrich
Future Meeting Dates:
* February 17 @ 7 PM - RSVP on this form if you plan to attend.
* March 18 * April 20 * May 19
Link to the TMS PTA Website
Questions regarding Spiritwear? Please contact:
Stephanie Notaro - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Gries - email@example.com f
Directory Spot: Shannon Hull is the TMS Directory Spot Chairperson. Please email ThomasPTADirectory@gmail.com for changes or access issues.
Mental Health Resources
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support for people in distress and best practices for professionals)
- Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor)
- Call4Calm (text TALK or HABLAR to 552020 to get connected to a counselor in your area)
- Safe2Help Illinois (a 24/7 tip line that gives students a safe and confidential way to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence, or other threats to school safety).
- Day: Every Wednesday
- Times: 9:30 am – 10:30 am & 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
- Where: Thomas Middle School ONLY
- Who: All Arlington Heights families with students age 18 and under
- Important Notes: Neighbors or friends are allowed to come to pick up meal bags for you from Thomas Middle School. If food delivery is needed, please contact us and we can arrange for a delivery time.
It is important that our parent community stays informed, especially as conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to change. Information about COVID-19 and how it impacts District 25’s school plans for 2020-2021 is fluid and therefore will be continually evaluated and updated in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.