Manitou Springs Middle School

Week of March 30th

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An update from your interim principal, Mr. Eric McMartin:

-Update as of March 30th, 6:00pm-


Dear Parents and Guardians,


I want to let you know that I realize the letter that I just sent(attached below) is causing additional questions and has created some concerns. That was not my intent, and I apologize for the lack of clarity.


We met as a staff this morning and determined that a scheduled time for teachers to be accessible to students is imperative to ensure we're able to meet all students' needs. Students will not be expected to be on their iPads all day long. Our teachers are planning lessons and other engagement opportunities that will allow for flexibility, while also understanding the uniqueness of this situation for everyone and wanting to reduce "screen time" and have assignments "off-line."


Also, regarding attendance, we started taking attendance before Spring Break. Attendance is only being taken for the purpose of making sure that we stay connected to all students and families. Please know that this will not be held against any student. We do not want this to add stress or anxiety. The intention is to support students if they are not having opportunities to connect with school staff. We are well aware, of course, that many family variables during Remote Learning impact both attendance and classwork.


Attendance/absences will not be held against students, but rather will be a matter of the school charting daily engagement for purposes of staying connected to students and families. A student who participates in any part of activities in a day of Remote Learning will be counted as attending the full day. A student who does not participate in any activities in a day of Remote Learning will be marked in our system with a neutral designation, which will not be counted against the student’s record. Likewise, we want to make sure students learn well and complete their work, but we also understand the variations in each student’s home learning experience and focus.


For tomorrow, we are going to run the schedule that I laid out in my previous email, and I will be checking in with teachers throughout the day to see how things are going. We know that we will need to be flexible and possibly make changes. Again, I apologize for the lack of clarity in my previous message. Please feel free to share your experiences


I will be sending a follow-up email to you tomorrow evening.


Thank you again, Eric

Remote Learning update:

As a staff we discussed a few things this morning that I wanted to share with you as we begin this 2nd week of remote learning. I’ve tried to break these points down into categories below.


Schedule:

We are going to resume the normal bell schedule for classes this week so we can maintain a structure and so we can service all of our students’ needs. The bell schedule is outlined below as a reminder. Also, I wanted to remind you about the A/B rotation; Tuesday and Thursday are “A” days while Wednesday and Friday are “B” days.


6th GRADE:

· Period 1: 8:05 – 9:04

· Period 2: 9:07 – 10:06

· Period 3: 10:09 – 11:08

· Period 4: 11:41 – 12:40

· Period 5: 12:43 – 1:42

· Period 6: 2:05 – 3:20


7th and 8th GRADE:

· Block 1: 8:05 – 9:35

· Block 2: 10:10 – 11:40

· Block 3: 12:15 – 1:45

· Block 4: 1:50 – 3:20


Students will login to Canvas at the time of their class to view the specific class schedule and be alerted of the day’s tasks/assignments. If a student has an extenuating circumstance that keeps them from getting to class at the scheduled time, they need to communicate directly with their teacher via email to make arrangements.


Attendance:

We discussed student attendance at our staff meeting this morning and came to the conclusion that the purpose of attendance during remote learning is to ensure that teachers are connecting with all of their students. To record this information, teachers will be basing attendance on participation in the day’s learning via the posted Canvas discussion, the Google Meet session, and/or daily assignments. If you have an attendance concern, please start by reaching out to the teachers directly so they can work with you.


Hard Copy Work:

For those students who are completing their work offline, we will be mailing packets home starting tomorrow so students are able to continue to engage in learning. Each week, on Tuesday, we will have a drop box at the High School entrance where completed work may be

turned in to. The drop-off time will coincide with the meal distribution which is 11:00 – 12:00. If this time doesn’t work for you, please call the school so we can make arrangements.


District Device Usage:

This is just a reminder that even though students are learning from home, the district technology staff is still monitoring internet searches so please make sure students are mindful of searching appropriate topics.


Phone Calls:

There may be times that school staff members need to reach out to students and/or parents via a phone call. To this end I ask that you be mindful of answering calls to the best of your ability and know that their numbers may be blocked to protect privacy.

Thank you again for your hard work with our middle school learners.


Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or comments.

Take care, Eric

Helpful resources:

Check out the resources we have for you and your family about remote learning on our districts website at: https://www.mssd14.org/remote_learning


Stay up to date with updates from our Superintendent, Dr. Elizabeth A. Domangue at: https://www.mssd14.org/remote_learning/updates_from_the_superintendent