A Great Start!

East Rockford Parent Newsletter

Thank You!

On behalf of the staff of ERMS, we want to say thank you for a great start to this unique 20-21 school year. I am sure your learner(s) checked the box for many emotions on Monday morning. For those of you who had an issue on Monday with technology, we appreciate your patience as we quickly worked to resolve your issue.


Our teachers were excited after day one with how well your students did and how well the day went! With a start unlike any other, we are proud of our teachers, our students, and appreciate the support from parents and the community as well!

Video Open House

In years past we have invited parents into our buildings the first week of school so that parents/guardians have an opportunity to meet their teacher and have an understanding of the classes their students will be taking part in. Much like everything else, this year is different. Rather than holding a curriculum nigh/open house, our teachers have created videos introducing themselves and took a few minutes to walk you through their curriculum. The list below is alphabetical, so at your leisure please take a few moments to get to know your student's teachers.

Collaboration and Intervention Time

In our Remote Learning Schedule from 1:30-2:30 we have either Collaborative Time or Intervention Time listed. For the first week of school, collaborative time is for our teachers to reflect and adjust their online instruction. During the second and third week of school, your student, or groups of students may be sent a Google Meet invite to work with a teacher on a concept or skill. In addition to a teacher requesting a student to attend, a student can also reach out to their teacher to request help. The Remote Learning Schedule is once again listed for you below.

Attendance For Remote Learning- Weeks 1-3

Attendance during these first few weeks of virtual instruction is very important. When we start back face to face, we want to do everything we can to ensure students are up to speed. Week one is about connecting with students and getting them comfortable in our online environment, which is different from the spring. Starting next week we will begin getting deeper into class content, so student attendance will be taken and we will be reaching out to families of students who are not present online.


***This information is not intended for those choosing the Rockford Virtual option.***

KDL-Kent District Library Cards

This year, we will be using several KDL resources to help our students supplement their choice reading selections as well as:

  • Utilizing Hoopla, Libby, and other databases to supplement physical materials that the students may not have access to for pleasure reading.
  • Whether we are remote learning or face-to-face, this access will give kids materials that they would otherwise not have access to.
  • This will help your children with the most important priority standard, which is to read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • This will, most importantly, grow your child’s love for reading and learning!

Student cards allow complete access to our digital collection (ebooks/audiobooks/streaming movies & music via Libby, OverDrive, and Hoopla) as well as access to all KDL databases. Students can use these cards to place holds and check out up to 3 books at a time, but cannot check out any physical materials beyond books - no DVDS, CDs, Video Games, etc. If they would like to upgrade their card to a traditional library card with a higher checkout limit and more capabilities, they can stop into a branch anytime with a cosigner over 18 years old. In order for your student to receive information, ERMS will be sharing students names and birth dates with The KDL. If you would prefer to not receive a KDL card, please complete this informational link below.


KDL Opt Out Form

Online Learning Norm Reminders

Our students have done a fantastic job in their first few days back. Eliminating distractions for middle school learners can be a challenge when they are with us, let alone with everyone being at home in their own spaces. Here are a few reminders that will assist your student, our teachers, and learning over the course of the next few weeks.


  • Food-Avoid eating while on camera
  • Background Distractions-We know it can be a challenge, but try to be set up in an area where you are not distracting others and they are not distracting you.
  • Back Lit-If your face appears dark on your screen, it is dark for your teacher as well. Often times this will happen if you have a window behind you. Just try to situate yourself the best you can so that a window isn't behind you.


Below are the norms that were shared with your students on Sunday evening and our staff has been very impressed with your students adhering to the norms.



  1. Be on time to your Google Meet-login 10-15 minutes early to make sure everything is ready to go on your end.
  2. Get ready to learn. Wake up with enough time to eat breakfast, shower if that is part of your morning routine, and to get dressed for school. This helps you get ready to learn.
  3. Mute is a teacher's friend. When you are muted, please do not unmute yourself unless asked to do so by the teacher.
  4. The chat feature is for teaching and learning, only use it when asked to do so by your teacher.
  5. Eliminate Distractions-Just like at school, your phone should be off and away from you. Also, identify an area that is good for learning. Laying in bed in the same thing you slept in is not best for learning. Be an active listener and involved in what is going on.
  6. Parts of lessons will be recorded by your teacher. Students should not record lessons at any time. This would be like another student holding up a phone/camera and recording someone else speaking in class. If we wouldn't do it in class, we aren't going to do it online.
  7. Work to keep your camera on while in class. If you need to shut it off for some reason, be prepared to respond to questions or take part in a discussion even if your camera isn't on.
  8. Just be respectful. If what you are doing doesn't help you and your classmates learn, it is probably not the time for whatever the behavior is.

Grading

Teachers will provide feedback on assignments to drive instruction and monitor the progress of students. Letter grades will be assigned. These grades will count towards calculated GPA's 6-12.

Schoology and Google Meet 101

This is the same information as the parent newsletter that went out last week, but we thought we would keep it here for reference.

Schoology Intro for Students

Google Meet for Students

Need A Hand With Technology?

Operational Technology will continue to use studenthelp@rockfordschools.org for all students if they need technical assistance for district devices.

Transportation

Please be sure to complete the transportation survey that was sent to families via email. This will help our transportation department plan for efficient bus routes. This was due on August 7th. You may still contact the Transportation Director, Matt Puett, at (616) 863-6328 or at mpuett@rockfordschools.org.
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