The Boulevard

Sterling Middle School: October 2020

The Principal's Pen

Dear STM "Pioneer" Family:

This month, we honor and pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic-Americans who have brought and continue to bring their culture, history, food, and way of life to America.

Thank you for your continued support as we navigate the twists and turns accompanying the start of the new school year with distance learning. There is nothing like being together again and making new friends! Our staff was so excited to meet our new students and see the return of familiar faces. The students are to be commended for adhering to safety guidelines, adapting to the distance learning schedule, and using their chromebooks in a responsible way.

Be assured, one thing that has not changed is the Sterling Middle School's staff's commitment to maintaining high standards of academic excellence. Necessity drives innovation, and already our staff are finding novel and creative ways to drive learning forward through our online learning platform. I strongly encourage all of our parents to monitor their child's attendance (for all classes) and progress in ParentVUE.

Finally, please join and participate in our Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) and connect with us on our school's Twitter and Facebook pages. A strong home-school connection is one of the best indicators of student success. Again, thank you for your continued support! In partnership and...

With Pioneer Pride Amplified,

Herman S. Mizell



OCTOBER: Bullying Prevention Month

It's National Principals’ Month!

We are celebrating our leader, Mr. Mizell, for his passion and commitment to change, collaboration, and continued support for all of The Sterling Middle School stakeholders. Thank you, Mr. Mizell! You are a true CHAMPION!
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Permission Click: Sterling Middle School Software Parent Permission 2020-2021

Students will be using online tools/technology apps to support their learning during distance learning. If you have not done so, please review the apps listed in the Permission Click form, below, including the terms of service and privacy policies, and select whether you give permission for each.

Click on the Permission Click icon below to complete the form for your child(ren).

Measures of Academic Progress -- MAP TESTING

Please remind your child to give his/her 100% effort on both the math and reading MAP assessment. This data are used to support student progress, growth, and placement in additional support classes (if needed). Ask your child what day and block he/she has math and English class. Your child will take these assessments during his/her math and English class, over two days.

Please encourage your child to be ready for this test. Below are items to assist in helping your child meet success.

  • Find a comfortable, quiet place to work.

  • Have some scratch paper and a pencil/pen ready.

  • Make sure your LCPS issued chromebook is plugged in or fully charged.

  • Ensure you are logged on to your classroom google meet on time.

During the test, your child should do the following:

  • Turn the microphone off. His/her camera can be turned on or off.

  • Use the chat feature to let me know if your child needs any technical assistance

  • Please chat with me if your student feels ill, frustrated, or needs to stop testing.

  • Have your child let me know in the chat when he/she is done. I will let them know what his/her next task is.

If your child receives test accommodations for MAP, these accommodations will be followed for his/her test. If you have any questions about testing accommodations, please reach out to your child’s case manager for assistance. Pioneers, let's do our very best! We are counting on you!

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Check out Distance Learning at STM!


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Does your child want to check out a library book?

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PTSA MEETING: Wednesday, Oct. 7th

Parents and/or Guardians, please join us of our PTSA meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7th at 6:30 p.m. Your partnership in education alongside the teachers and students of Sterling Middle School supports our community, your child, and the success of an inclusive school community. We need you, your voice, and your partnership. You make the difference!

The PTSA meeting link will be sent by email and text.

If you have any questions, please email Wynona Heck at

Medium Atmosphere Balloon Launch (MAB) Friday, Oct. 9th

Each month, Udvar-Hazy has a theme with different aligned activities. The theme for the month of October is BALLOONS. Udvar-Hazy will do a balloon launch with our Sterling Middle School students on Friday, October 9th at 1:15 p.m. Teachers will log their class in virtually to watch and participate in the balloon launch.

The MABs (medium altitude balloons) will fly for a long distance over a long period of time. In fact, the balloons will most likely end up landing somewhere in Siberia. HAM radios will track the balloon each day and continue the tracking for possibly up to a few months. While the balloons are traveling, we will be able to look at weather patterns and temperatures to try and predict the path the balloons will take over the Atlantic when the time comes.

We are excited to go along for the ride!

STM becomes a Virginia Computer Science-Ready School - CodeVA!

We have been selected to participate in year one of the Virginia Computer Science-Ready School pilot. The program is sponsored by Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) and is part of Virginia's CSforVA initiative, a partnership between CodeVA and the Virginia Department of Education. This program can support all instruction, specifically, all science classes, Robotics, CAMS, CTE, and our Level Up Program. In addition, to support our school, we have been assigned an Instructional Facilitator for Computer Science, Mr. Mike Speidel. With your continued support, we are equipping our students to access, navigate, compete, and lead the world.


Our students will have an opportunity to communicate live with astronauts on the International Space Station this school year. We were one of five accepted from across the country for a Spring 2021 live contact event. The elementary feeder schools will also be invited to participate. The event is supported by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station organization (ARISS) and will be facilitated by licensed local amateur radio operators from Loudoun Amateur Radio Group and Sterling Park Amateur Radio Club.

Staff and students are embedding space science through cross-curricular instruction with support from the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Through project-based learning, students will study astronomy, space exploration and the Space Race, effects of space travel on humans, living in space, growing plants in space, radio waves and communications, and create satellite telemetry receivers. They will also have opportunities to meet space and communications experts virtually. KUDOS to the following staff for submitting a well-written proposal: Andrea Meyers, Raji Ganguli, Nancy LaTourrette, and Meghan Posey.


We are excited to celebrate Unity Day on October 21st! By wearing orange, it shows that we together will stand against bullying and unite in kindness, inclusion, and acceptance. Encourage your child to WEAR ORANGE, in support of KINDESS, INCLUSION, and ACCEPTANCE. We would love to see a sea of ORANGE on October 21st!

7th Grade and TDAP Vaccination

Immunization requirements have not changed; however, for families whose students are participating in 100% distance learning, their children may still begin distance learning on Tuesday, September 8th, regardless of their immunization status. Families have until Tuesday, November 3rd to get their student immunizations updated if they need to and will not be able to attend any in-person learning until they have met all immunization requirements.

ParentVUE and Contact Information

Please ensure you have an active ParentVUE (PVUE) account to monitor your child's grades, attendance, assignments, and upcoming assessments as well as acknowledge school forms and receive information from your child's teachers.
2020-2021 Bell Schedule

Click this link to see a typical day and week of school. Please note that Monday is an asynchronous learning day, and Tuesday - Friday are synchronous learning days.

STM Guide for Distance Learning

Click this link to review guidelines and expectations for distance learning.

Student Assistance Services

Click this link to review the services and interventions provided by our Student Assistance Specialists (SASs) designed to enhance the social, emotional and academic success of students by helping to address the needs of the whole child.

United Mental Health Team Flyer (Spanish)

Click this link to meet our United Mental Health Team and learn about the supports they provide.

United Mental Health Team Flyer (English)

Click this link to meet our United Mental Health Team and learn about the supports they provide.

LCPS: National School Lunch and Breakfast Program

Because of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), for the 2020-21 school year, ALL Sterling Middle School students will receive breakfast and lunch at NO CHARGE.

Attendance Guidelines

As LCPS opens the 2020 school year utilizing a distance learning model, parents, students, and staff must be aware that attendance is compulsory and participation in synchronous and asynchronous activities is required.

LCPS Grading and Assessment Policy

Click this link to review the updated LCPS Grading and Assessment Policy: 5030.


Oct. 6-9: Math MAP testing

Oct. 13-16: English MAP testing

Oct. 7: Quarter 1 Interim Date

Oct. 7: PTSA meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 9: Medium Atmosphere Balloon Launch

Oct. 12: Indigenous Peoples' Day Holiday (NO SCHOOL)

Oct. 21: UNITY DAY (Wear ORANGE!)

Oct. 30: Quarter 1 ends

Follow us on Twitter!

STM has an active Twitter account. We are writing our Sterling Middle School story, one tweet at-a-time.

Follow our school's and admin's journey of making the ORDINARY...EXTRAORDINARY! @Sterlingmiddle1, @PrincipalMizell, @finnegan54321, and @BarhamElena.