DMMS - In The Middle

November 2020

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Message from Principal Strahan:

Dear DMMS Families!


Thank you for your understanding and support as we transitioned to full Distance Learning! We listened and applied your input and feedback from last spring into this year's plan and feel we are better suited to meet the learning needs of our students. Please be reminded that students are asked to connect with each of their teachers through a Google Hangout the first 20 minutes of each class period. These links are found in your students Google Classroom. For your reference you will find the Distance Learning expectations linked HERE. In this document you will find the daily schedule, as well as an overview of the expectations for students and staff. Please note that our data from the first quarter shows a direct connection between students attending each class and their learning proficiency scores. It is VERY important that your student attend and participate in his/her learning! I would recommend a daily school check-in to discuss what they have done and what still needs to be completed.


If your son/daughter is struggling academically, socially or emotionally please connect with our Student Support Team. They are working hard to provide support to families who are working through issues, concerns, and general life changes. In this LINK, you will find an overview of our Student Support providers and their contact information.


Lastly, we will continue to offer DMMS book check out and return throughout Distance Learning. Click this link to find out the details! Limiting screen time is very important! Please encourage your son or daughter to check out a book. You become a better reader through reading! Grab a book and read as a family.

Take care and stay healthy!

Carmen Strahan

DMMS Principal


Attendance Reminder

Hybrid Students: Students that were previously enrolled in the Safe Learning Plan and attending school two days each week are REQUIRED to attend a live Google Meet for each class period throughout the day for attendance purposes. If a student is not present in the Google Meet, they will be marked absent. If a student is unable to attend part or all of a school day, that absence needs to be communicated to the Main Office at DMMS. Excusable absences included, ill, medical appointment, family emergency, family vacation, etc. Without an excusable absence, students will be counted absent. Students that are unable to attend or miss a live Google Meet do have the opportunity to have their virtual attendance verified by completing their work and communication with their teachers. Attendance will still be taken at the Google Meets and if a student is not present, they will be marked absent, but work completion and communication with teachers can be used as a second attendance check. This verification occurs on a weekly basis, so students will continue to be marked absent if not at their Google Meets.


Distance Learning Only or Always Students: Students that were already distance learning before the entire district shifted to the distance learning model are encouraged to attend live Google Meets for each of their class periods, but not required for attendance purposes. Students utilizing this learning model will continue to use Infinite Campus to record their attendance in conjunction with work completions and communication with teachers.


Attendance Interventions: Students that are chronically absent will receive notifications via email to the parent/guardian, phone communication with parent/guardian, weekly scheduled Google Meets or phone calls with a member of the DMMS Student Support Team, home visits, etc. The Staff at DMMS is committed to maintaining contact with students and families throughout distance learning. Our goal is to make regular contact with every student.

Media Balance Tips

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Online Study Center

MAPS has a district priority of offering an Online Study Center for all secondary youth (grades 6-12). This will be available beginning November 19th and run the duration of MAPS distance learning. Online Study Center support is provided by MAPS licensed educators. Sessions are FREE and do not require any pre-registration.

The attached marketing document provides a link and website where students can access the Online Study Center Monday-Thursday from 4-8pm.


Chromebook Usage

It goes without saying that a student’s Chromebook is an essential part of Distance Learning. Students are engaging with technology in new and exciting ways every day, and their access to a device is more important than ever. This reality can also lead to students needing reminders regarding the usage of a school device, including what is, and isn’t allowed. As a whole, our students at DMMS have been showing PRIDE daily as they interact online, however, here are a couple of reminders that you may want to discuss with your student:

  1. Student emails, Google Drive documents, and search history can be accessed by school administrators, and can also be requested by parents/guardians. Additionally, material that is flagged is automatically sent to administrators for review.

  2. Students do not have access to create Google Hangouts/Meets on their devices. Students should only be attending meets during school hours using the links provided through Google Classroom. Student devices will be flagged if they are misusing these links.

  3. Students should only attend Google Meets/Hangouts for classes in which they are currently enrolled. There have been some students who have been purposefully entering other classes to cause disruption. This is a violation of our PRIDE expectations, and may result in the student receiving a consequence, including having their Chromebook access restricted during nights and weekends.

Chromebook Family Helpdesk

District 77 has 5 locations for device drop-off, pick-up and/or support needs. We are scheduling and supporting students K-12 with device needs across the district at the following locations: PWMS, Hoover, Franklin, Rosa Parks and Eagle Lake. Having these sites allow us to have centralized locations where ACES students are located.


We are setting up appointments to meet with families as needed and indicated by tickets through the family help desk.


Standards Based Learning Information

Standards Based Learning

Understanding what a proficiency mark means for student achievement will continue to be part of our journey this year. Please reference the chart below for general information. More content specific information regarding the meaning of the proficiency mark can be accessed by looking at your child’s assessment scores in Infinite Campus.


Standards-Based Grading Proficiency Scale

A student’s level of proficiency will directly reflect student mastery of specific learning goals that are tied to the Minnesota Academic Standards. Student proficiency is based solely on assessment data and will be reported using the following scale.



M

Meets the Standard:

Student has mastered the complex, targeted knowledge and skills for the standard.



P

Partially Meets the Standard:

Student understands the foundational material that supports the targeted learning but is still working to master the complex material for the standard.



D

Developing Understanding of the Standard:

Student is able to demonstrate some understanding of the foundational material for the class with help from the teacher but continues to struggle when working independently.



IE

Insufficient Evidence of Understanding the Standard:

There is not enough evidence to determine the student’s understanding of the standard.

  • Student has not demonstrated evidence of learning.

  • Student is unwilling to demonstrate evidence of learning.



A student’s proficiency score for practice and assessment is communicated through Infinite Campus.

School Issued Device Care

Please follow the link for tips on caring for your student's school issued device.