MIDDLE MATTERS

Everything in the Middle School that matters

Volume 8

April 6, 2020

PRINCIPAL'S CORNER

District COVID Hotline Number is: 763-272-2097

PARENT INFORMATION

Student Attendance Procedures

We are working on attendance procedures that are efficient and accurate.


In the meantime:

  • Students continue to check-in with your M&M daily by 2 pm.
  • Parents call the attendance line if your child is absent.

Attendance Line: 763- 272- 2110

Student Tech Support Procedures

If you are experiencing issues with your Chromebook, refer to the tech support procedures linked below.

Keep in mind, it may be weeks before your device is repaired due to demand.


Tech Support Procedures

2020-21 Schedule/Program Update

Day 1 and Day 2 Schedule

While we know everyone has a lot on their plate right now, we do have some important news that we want to get to you.


Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, there will be a few schedule adjustments at Monticello Middle School. MMS will be moving away from a block schedule and will operate on a Day 1 and Day 2 schedule. There will be six periods during the day, plus a daily M&M that allows us to continue to make connections and move forward with our social emotional learning curriculum.


There will not be much change for our schedule in the 6th grade. Music will remain a requirement for sixth graders, and they will be able to choose from band, choir, and orchestra options. Music class will run on either Day 1 or 2 with a combined physical education and health course running on the opposite day.

7th and 8th Grade Spanish Course Option

Seventh and eighth grade students will see a more significant change that we hope allows us to finally fulfill what has long been a gap in our programming. All seventh and eighth grade students will continue to have access to our outstanding music programs, including band, choir, and orchestra. We believe music, including the team aspect of it, is an essential aspect of a well-rounded education and we expect to continue to grow these programs. However, we understand that music is not for everyone, and we want to provide a counter option that is interesting and beneficial, and sets the table for our students to enter high school.


Starting this year, we will be offering a Spanish course for seventh and eighth grade students that elect not to take a music course. While project based learning brought some highlights to MMS this year, we felt like there were still too many kids that weren’t finding an offering that they connected to. We believe an Intro to Spanish is the perfect class to fill that gap. It’s important to note that this class will not advance students out of ninth-grade Spanish when they move to the high school. But it will give them an introduction to the language, culture, and geography, with a focus on thematic and experiential learning. The focus will be language acquisition and the culture of Spanish speaking countries. The course will also include basic conversation skills including greetings and emotions, classroom phrases and objects, Spanish alphabet and numbers.


Students will have the option of taking Intro to Spanish as both a seventh and an eighth-grader, or one of the two years. However, if a student elects to not take a music course as a seventh-grader, they will not be able to continue in band or orchestra as an eighth-grader. Choir will be the only music option for eighth-grade students that do not take a music option as a seventh-grader.

7th and 8th Grade Phy Ed and Health Changes

The other significant change for seventh and eighth graders is that opposite their music or spanish class, students will take physical education for half the year and health for half the year. This increases the health curriculum from approximately five weeks of classes to a full quarter worth of health. This change helps us meet a Monticello School Board priority of increasing our health education opportunities for our younger students.


We are really excited about the new offerings that will be available for students, and equally excited to continue to offer all three of our strong music options for all three grades. We believe that this combination will help us strike the best educational balance we’ve ever had at MMS, while also providing incredible opportunities for fun, fitness, and growth.


We do understand that change can be a challenge, and we also know that no schedule will be completely perfect. However, we greatly appreciate your partnership in this venture as with everything we do. We are confident that this will be a great thing for our students, both in the short and long term.


More information about course options will be coming soon. In the meantime, we hope that everyone is staying well through these trying times.

8th Grade Choir Field Trip

MMS 8th Grade Choir Families,



I am broken-hearted to inform you that the planned 8th Grade Choir Field Trip to Duluth, MN, on Friday, May 1st has been canceled. There will not be a re-schedule date. If your family paid the field trip fee via cash, check or through the online FeePay option, please allow up to 30 days for that amount to be refunded to you. Thank you for your understanding, patience and compassion.


I know that families fundraise for 2-3 years for a field trip and we don't want you to lose the opportunity to use that money. As a one-time circumstance, current 8th grade choir members who have registered for 9th grade choir at Monticello High School and with a positive balance in their choir account, will have their fundraising amounts deposited into the high school choir activity account under their name with Mr. Herfindahl to be used towards their high school performance trip.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Herfindahl

Weekly Art Challenge

Open to all students and community members.


Upload your art by Friday each week!

A new challenge posted every Saturday!


Keep your art! We will have a LIVE Community Art Show in the near future!


Visit: https://wakelet.com/i/invite?code=93683bb to learn more

Email questions to cher.krueger@monticello.k12.mn.us

STUDENT FOCUS

STUDENTS OF THE MONTH

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Visit MMS Media Center's Virtual Library for free resources to support literacy:

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Magic Studio News (At Home Edition) Keeping MMS Students Connected and Informed Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

NOTES FROM THE SCHOOL NURSE

Monica Schwickerath, RN, LSN

Medication

If your child has medication in the health office, it will stay in the health office unless you have contacted us. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call the health office and leave a message at (763) 272-2120.

STUDENT CENTER SPOTLIGHT

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Free Online Session – Why Gratitude Helps Your Kids Cope With Crisis

Parenting has always been an art. Parenting during a pandemic even more so. Social distancing efforts, while necessary, can amplify feelings stress and overwhelm. In this short and practical live session with Dr. Dave Walsh and Erin Walsh, you will learn more about:

  • The science of empathy and gratitude
  • How to help your kids “zoom out” from their own struggles
  • Ways to make sure the ideal doesn’t get in the way of the real during a crisis

Join us live online on Wednesday, April 15th at 12 pm CST. This session will be short and sweet – only a half hour. But don’t worry, the sessions will be recorded if you can’t squeeze it in.


Spark & Stitch Institute

ATHLETICS & ACTIVITIES

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Middle School Spring Sports Update ~ 2020

Well . . . we finally have a spring where the snow is gone and the sun is shining brightly, and it is with sincere sadness we share that we will not be having middle school sports. In this time of uncertainty, sports become a secondary priority, and along with the extension of distance-learning, spring sports will not take place this year. One layer of loss with this decision is the loss of connection between our students and coaches. I don’t know how to recreate it, other than to encourage students to be extra diligent in engaging and checking in with their teachers. We will continue to update students and families with any decisions or opportunities as we move into May, and continue to prepare for sports next fall.


The process for returning fees will be:

  1. Those parents/guardians who registered and paid online with FeePay, a refund will be processed for the amount charged and mailed to the parent/guardian on the credit card. This may take a few weeks due to limited staff.

(OR)


  1. Those parents/guardians who registered and paid with a check, the check will be shredded.

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