School Community Newsletter - March 1, 2021
Dear Thomas Middle School Community,
We hope this finds you happy and healthy. The weather is starting to turn for the better and spring break is just around the corner, March 22-26. This past Friday marked the 3rd quarter midterm date and detailed information on midterms can be found below. In addition, the Summer U information is also included in this newsletter. Summer U registration will begin tomorrow - March 1, 2021, at 9 am and end on April 30, 2021. With the talk of warmer weather, spring break, and Summer U, we hope to get the students outside as much as feasible. Please encourage your child to dress in layers so they are properly prepared for this.
PARENT/GUARDIAN ACTION ITEM: The 5Essentials Parent Survey is now open and we want your input! At this time we only have a 5% and in order for the survey report to be generated we need at least 20% of our parents to take the survey. We ask that you please participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey. It's a short survey that helps guide our programming and support the community.
PROGRAMMING UPDATES IN-PERSON/REMOTE LEARNING: Please see the February 26, 2021 letter from Dr. Bein with specific details on the plans following spring break. Tomorrow - Monday, March 1, 2021 families will get an email with an opportunity to change their selection for in-person or remote learning following spring break and through the end of the school year. Mondays will continue to be remote days for everyone. Please be on the lookout for this email if you wish to have your child return to in-person learning or if you are opting to change to remote learning.
This newsletter has several NEW items posted:
8 TMS Students going to STATE for PTA Art Reflections Contest
3rd Quarter Midterm Information
Extracurricular Activities & Activity Bus Update
Traffic Safety Update
Keep Showing Up They're Still Growing Up Link Together Information
PTA Amazon Smile Information
5th to 6th Grade Transition Information
Take care and be well,
~ Lori, Greg, & Nick
5Essentials Survey Information
Each family is asked to please participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey, as a part of the Illinois 5Essentials Survey administration. The survey responses will never be connected to the identity of you or your child as school reports will only present aggregated information of how parents responded as a whole.
What Are Midterm Grades? A Parent’s Guide
At the middle school level, we work with the students to help them understand that they are in the driver’s seat of their educational experience. We all want students to be successful and we have resources to help students succeed. At TMS we encourage students to be active participants in their education, communicate their questions and needs clearly, and take ownership in their experience. Ultimately, we know that it is the student’s responsibility to use their resources and engage in their learning experience, but we must teach them to do this. In 6th grade, we focus on helping the students learn how to do this and understand the value in it. In 7th grade, students become more independent and in 8th grade hopefully, the students have learned to be active participants in their education process, can communicate their questions and needs clearly, and take ownership in their experience.
Where can midterm information be found? Grades and assignments are posted in PowerSchool. All parents and students have access to this information. Please contact ThomasTech@sd25.org if you need your login information.
What do midterm grades offer?
A midterm grade in a course is a snapshot indicating how a student is performing academically in the course. Midterm grades are not indicative of a student’s final grade but can provide helpful feedback.
What kind of feedback do midterm grades provide?
- D, F Grades – This is a red flag. A student should connect with the teacher and use school resources such as making an appointment for office hours, attending homework club and get some assistance to focus on learning habits that lead to success.
- C Grades – This grade could be a yellow flag for students to closely monitor their grades and use school resources to focus on strengthening habits that lead to success.
- A, B Grades – This is a time to recognizes the students' progress and applauded them on their hard work.
Extenuating Circumstances: Some students may be adversely affected by the unique circumstances of this pandemic. If that's the case, please reach out to the teachers, team leaders, or TMS administrators so we can create a support plan together.
Ways to talk to students about their midterm grades?
Midterms are a great time to have a conversation with the students. Before asking your students about their grades, consider asking the following questions:
- What have you learned about yourself as a learner?
- Are you actively participating in class, asking questions, and turning in work?
- What strategies and habits are working for you? What are your areas of growth? What habits do you need to learn to reach your goals?
- What school resources are you utilizing?
- What obstacles are getting in your way? We all get in our own way sometimes. (Vulnerability – Share some of the ways that you get in your own way. For example, maybe you're a perfectionist and procrastinate if there's a feeling that a task cannot be done perfectly). In what ways are you getting in your own way?
What resources are there to support students?
- Office Hours/Homework Club: Encourage the student to go to office hours for additional assistance.
- Check-ins: This can be done in homeroom with a peer or a teacher, or at the end of each class or at the end of the school day.
- Peer Tutoring: This can be arranged, please reach out to an administrator if you need help with this.
At TMS we are eager to support students and appreciate all that our parents do to help our students succeed. Let's continue to work together to help the students take ownership of their learning.
Extracurricular Activities & Activity Bus Update
Activity Bus: This will begin in the near future. All students staying after school for activities in the classrooms must be socially distanced at 6 feet or more. Attendance on the activity bus will be recorded for contact tracing purposes.
7th & 8th Grade Sports Teams:
- Boys Basketball - Games are viewable online
- Girls Volleyball - Games are viewable online
- Girls Basketball - Try-outs coming up!
- Boys Volleyball - Try-outs coming up!
- Track & Field - This is a non-cut sport and all 7th & 8th graders are welcome to join!
- Cheerleading and Poms - These activities are beginning soon! The 7th & 8th grade students should check the announcements for more details!
Clubs open to all 6th, 7th, & 8th Graders:
- Cooking Club
- Pride Club
- Artist Who Love To Read
- H2O Club
- ESports Club
- Lego Club
- Chess Club
Other TMS Activities open to all 6th, 7th, & 8th Graders:
- DEN Club
- Student Council
Traffic Safety Alert Update
1) Morning Arrival/Drop-Off for 6th grade: This takes place in our Arlington Heights/Thomas Street Parking lot. Mrs. Matanovic will now serve as our crossing guard as students attempt to cross the crosswalk at the entrance to this parking lot. Cars exiting our lot are only permitted to turn right.
2) Student pick-up and drop-off are NOT permitted on Thomas Street or on Belmont Street north of Thomas Street!
3) Please talk with your children and remind them that crossing Belmont Street should only occur at the crosswalks.
Summer U 2021
Summer U Principal, Arlington Heights School District 25
PTA Amazon Smile
AmazonSmile is a way for customers to support their school every time they shop with Amazon. Shoppers who start at smile.amazon.com will find the same Amazon they know and love, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the price of eligible purchases to the school of their choice. Signing up is easy.
Here's how to shop AmazonSmile:
1. Visit smile.amazon.com
2. Sign in with your Amazon.com credentials
3. Choose Thomas Middle School to receive donations
4. Start shopping!
K-8 D25 students! Design your own Summer U Course for the chance to win one of 10 $100 scholarships to Summer U or the Park Districts. Entry deadline is March 15.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Do you have questions for the PTA? Email the PTA at: email@example.com
2020-2021 PTA Officers:
President: Lucy Block
President-Elect: Amy Hoffman
Vice President: Melissa Teuscher
Treasurer: Suzanne Krause
Secretary: Lisa Ulyrich
Future Meeting Dates:
* March 18 @ 7 PM - RSVP on this form if you plan to attend.
* April 20
* May 19
- PTA 2020-2021 Bylaws - Here is a link to the 20-21 bylaws which have been approved. The public has 30 days to read and review these before they are finalized at the April 20, 2021 meeting.
- Link to the TMS PTA Website
Questions regarding Spiritwear? Please contact:
Stephanie Notaro - firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Gries - email@example.com f
Directory Spot: Shannon Hull is the TMS Directory Spot Chairperson. Please email ThomasPTADirectory@gmail.com for changes or access issues.
Save the date!
The 2021 ABC25 Get Burbed Challenge will be on April 24th! We will be providing both an in-person race (details to come on staggered start times and other safety measures) or virtually! Either way, get ready to support Arlington Heights School District 25 and the ABC25 Foundation! Stay tuned for the registration link, sponsor info, and some REALLY fun events leading up to the race! You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Mental Health Resources
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support for people in distress and best practices for professionals)
- Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor)
- Call4Calm (text TALK or HABLAR to 552020 to get connected to a counselor in your area)
- Safe2Help Illinois (a 24/7 tip line that gives students a safe and confidential way to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence, or other threats to school safety).
FOOD DISTRIBUTION & FREE LUNCH
FREE LUNCH FOR STUDENTS - Students can order a free lunch Tuesday-Friday at TMS. Orders are placed during homeroom.
- Day: Every Wednesday
- Times: 9:30 am – 10:30 am & 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
- Where: Thomas Middle School ONLY
- Who: All Arlington Heights families with students age 18 and under
- Important Notes: Neighbors or friends are allowed to come to pick up meal bags for you from Thomas Middle School. If food delivery is needed, please contact us and we can arrange for a delivery time.
Updated Travel Guidance (2/17/21)
The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) has updated its travel guidance (linked here). You do not need to provide any travel documentation to District 25, but we wanted to share the basic changes with our families.
1. Anyone traveling from a state on the Orange list (linked here) is directed to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in suburban Cook County (this could be after you return) or quarantine for a 10-day period.
2. Children under the age of 18 are exempt from quarantine if they traveled with others who have received a negative COVID-19 test no longer than 72 hours prior to your return (or after your return). Children who travel alone are recommended to follow the guidance in #1 above.
It is important that our parent community stays informed, especially as conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue to change. Information about COVID-19 and how it impacts District 25’s school plans for 2020-2021 is fluid and therefore will be continually evaluated and updated in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines.