The Weekly Buzz

A Weekly Newsletter from Corner Middle School

Volume 2, Number 8: August 31, 2020

Thoughts from the Principal . . .

CMS Families!

It's here! While it is not in the setting we all had hoped, the first day of school for the best students on the planet is here! Words cannot truly convey what our faculty is feeling right now. There is a strange mixture of joy and apprehension. A combination of hope and fear. And while I am sure they are as tired as I am, there is an energy because the first day of school is here.

We are sure many of you are feeling the same way. You. Your kids. Grandparents watching kids. We understand. This edition of The Weekly Buzz is designed to assist you with navigating the remote learning environment. I wanted to separate it from all of the information from yesterday's Buzz so that you would not be overwhelmed (which you may be anyway).

Today, we are distributing devices to those of you who were on the wait list. Please read through this guide and take some time tonight to help your child get ready for day one. Families, let me encourage you to do three things.

1. Be Patient. When you have 12,000 people logging in to the internet at the same time, there are bound to be lags. When you open any new venture, there are hiccups. And until you run it for several days, there is no way of knowing what needs to be fixed and what assistance will be required. Remember, our first days are designed to get to know our kids, learn the technology, and pre-assess. I encourage you to avoid taking to social media with your disgust if your student has tech issues. They are to be expected. Control what you can control. We cannot control the internet, the bandwidth, the carrier, or the weather that can affect a signal.

2. Be Proactive. Create an environment conducive to learning in your home. Establish a routine and expectations. This would be the same if your child were in a traditional learning environment. If possible, set up a space specific to learning. Have your student charge their device daily. Dress for school. Avoid class "in bed." Post a schedule. Have supplies available (pencils, pens, paper, calculator, etc.). When you do this, you have told your student that school is in session. This will help in the transition back to the traditional learning environment.

3. Be Positive. Your student will feed off of your positivity as well as your negativity. We all know there are obstacles in any new endeavor we face. Re-assure your student when things don't go perfectly. Don't let them give up when things don't go right. You don't either. Reach out for assistance from a teacher, counselor, or administrator. We are here to help you!

The sections below will hopefully do just that. Please refer to them or contact our Help Line at the school from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM at (205) 379-3230. Remember, if you don't get us on the first try, we are most likely assisting other families. We look forward to our journey together into this new learning adventure!

The "House" That is Remote Learning

Think of accessing the remote learning environment as a "house." There is a main door in which to enter the house and lots of other doors inside. Some will be open. Others may be locked. When you open the Chromebook, you can only get into the house by unlocking CLASSLINK. It is the front door to everything else on the inside.

When you log in, you will have "doors to rooms" (individual apps) that you can click on to gain access to those areas of the remote learning house. Students must go through ClassLink to get to Schoology (Parents, this is not the same for you when you want to access Schoology).

Once you click on the Schoology app, your student's class schedule will appear on your screen. To access those teachers' individual classrooms, click on the box that matches your schedule you received last week.

Seven Tips for Students for Successful Remote Learning

1. Charge your Chromebook prior to every class day.

2. Get up and log in early to avoid last-minute troubles.

3. Have all of your materials in one place all of the time.

4. Keep your remote learning schedule and class schedule with you at all times.

5. Avoid getting in trouble by following class and school rules (which are basically the same for when you are here at CMS).

6. Email the teacher or contact the school if you have trouble accessing the class.

7. Review your day with your family so they can ask questions or address concerns they may have.

Getting into Your School-Issued Device

Watch the video below to assist accessing everything you will need to get into your school-issued Chromebook or device.
Mrs. Rouse Talks Logging into ClassLink

Accessing ClassLink on Your School-Issued Device

PLEASE READ BEFORE WATCHING. This video helps in accessing ClassLink. Please do not add when logging in to ClassLink. Teachers have different capabilities. For the student it is just the base of their email address that would look something like this . . .


Mrs. Rouse Talks About Logging Into ClassLink

What Do I Do If the Classlink Login Screen Does Not Immediately Appear?

Watch the video below to assist you in troubleshooting the login screen.
Troubleshooting When Your Chromebook Doesn't Go Straight to ClassLink

Accessing Schoology on Your School-Issued Device

Watch this video to learn about accessing Schoology.
Mrs. Rouse Talks About Getting Into Schoology

Navigating Schoology

Watch as two CMS teachers discuss navigating Schoology. While every teacher's pages look a little different, they all have very similar organizational systems, links, and tools.
Mrs. Little Talks Navigating Schoology
Mrs. Burgos Talks Navigating Schoology

Nothing is working? What should I do?

Stay calm. Just this past weekend, an update was pushed out to devices. This happens regularly. Log out of your device. Restart it. Many times it is something this simple that is keeping you from accessing everything you need.

Troubleshooting Tips for Remote Learning at Home

Troubleshooting Technical Issues

What If I Don't Have a School-Issued Device?

To access ClassLink, you should click on the address below or type it into your internet address line.

Remember, you must go to ClassLink before you go to Schoology. This applies to laptops, desktops, and Apple devices (MacBook, iMac, etc.). If the browser you are using struggles to connect, try a different browser.

What If We Struggle with Internet?

If your family has struggled with getting quality internet (like mine has), or you do not have internet at all we have some possible options for you.

1. As Dr. Gonsoulin mentioned in his communication on Sunday, the ABC for Students program will offer an internet option for students who are on free/reduced lunch. Please look for information coming in your mail this week if you qualify.

2. Wifi on the Go is a possible solution that will not lock you into to a long-term contract. Click on this link for more information.

3. On a personal note, I (Mr. Manning) tried everything and has recently contracted with ViaSat. It is a little more expensive (because it is for people who have no other internet option), but it has worked. It has a little lag time because it is satellite-based, but all in all, it has served our family's needs.

4. Consider libraries and businesses with free hot spots.

5. Coordinate opportunities with family or friends.

6. Look for information coming from the district and/or school in days ahead. Dr. Gonsoulin and district leaders recognize our area struggles with quality internet and are actively working on other opportunities to improve our access.

Thoughts from Our CMS Family . . .

Advice for Remote Learning
Hope for Students
Having a Successful Start to Remote Learning
Making Remote Learning Work
Helping New Students in Remore Learning
When Exceptional Education Student Struggle with Remote Learning
Helping Students with Exceptionalities

How Can We Help You?

Ms. Chloe Whitaker, counselor at Corner Middle School, has created a Needs Assessment that families can complete if you need any assistance in the days ahead. Please click on the link to find that form.

Quote of the Week . . .

"We develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and obstacles."

--Steven Covey (Author)--

Corner Middle School

Corner Middle School is committed to building a foundation for college, career, and community success in a nurturing environment.

The mission of Corner Middle School is to serve our community of learners by:

· Utilizing highly-effective instruction and a challenging curriculum.

· Meeting the needs of diverse learners in order to prepare them for college and entry into the work force.

· Partnering with the community.

· Cultivating student leaders.

· Integrating technology into all areas of learning.