Springton Lake Middle School
Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What.
October 9, 2020
Successful Return to In-Person Learning!
Our transition to in-person learning this week with our 6th grade Cohort A and Cohort B went extremely well. It was great to see our students and to welcome our newest Spartans to The Lake. Everyone was flexible and attentive to the procedures and routines that we have put into place. Students wore their masks, used lots of hand sanitizer, and were mindful to socially-distance. In every conversation that I had with students throughout the week, their excitement to be back in the building, to see their friends, and to meet their teachers was very evident! The upcoming week will also include lots of additional transition milestones. Seventh grade in-person cohorts return on Monday or Tuesday, while eighth grade in-person cohorts return on Wednesday or Thursday. Starting on Monday, our 6th grade students and teachers will be launching the hybrid classroom - some students will be attending class in-person while other students will be "Zooming" LIVE into that same class. I am again including below several resources that I shared with everyone last Friday. These resources include important information about the transition to in-person instruction.
What Does VIRTUAL Learning Look LIke?
With some students returning to in-person instruction, I have received some questions about what virtual instruction will look like for the fully-virtual cohort, as well for the in-person cohorts on the days that they are at home. In each one of our classes, students from all three groups will be a part of the lesson. In-person students will be a part of the lesson in the physical classroom. All other students who are learning from home will participate LIVE in that same lesson via Zoom. While this will be a change for our teachers - and definitely a new challenge - they have been preparing for and practicing for this change for several weeks. While patience will be needed, we are ready to implement this next phase of this year's instructional plan. Like anything that we do, we will closely monitor, assess, and, if needed, adjust. For more information about the virtual aspect of this year's program, I am re-sharing some resources that I shared in late August.
Important Technology Updates
Starting next week, two very important Zoom updates will take effect. First, students must access Zoom with their RTMSD log-in. If students are accessing Zoom using their Chromebook, this will happen automatically. Students who are using a personal or shared family device must be sure to use their RTMSD account information when logging-in. Otherwise, they will receive an error message and not be able to access the class. The second change involves students having their video "on" during the class period. Up to this point, we have strongly encouraged, but not mandated that cameras be on. Unfortunately, the vast majority of students have their video off. In addition, there have been many instances where students appear "present" in the Zoom, but when called upon by the teacher, it is clear that they are not actually present. In an effort to maximize student engagement and to establish an increased layer of accountability moving forward, students will be required to have their video ON. While not all students may be receptive to the change, we strongly believe that this shift will improve the overall classroom experience. I will be addressing this with the students via the morning announcements on Monday and the change will be effective Tuesday morning. We appreciate your support of this new requirement.
Need to submit a HELP DESK ticket? Let our Technology Team help!
Need assistance with HAC or Schoology? Contact Mrs. Kelly in the Guidance Department.
Here are some tips for improving the Zoom connection on a Chromebook.
Daily Symptom Screening for Students
Parents & guardians are required to complete an electronic symptom screening for each student. The screening will only be required for days that students are attending school in-person. On these days, parents should look for an early morning email from Rose Tree Media School District. One screening must be completed for each student. If a screening response is not received, we will need to pull the student from class until the screening is completed. Please be sure to add this to the morning routine for your family on the days that your child will be attending school in-person.
For your planning purposes, bus schedules for the school year have been posted to the Rose Tree Media School District Website. For students who are returning for in-person learning, families are encouraged to review this information carefully. It is very important that students know their bus number for the morning AND afternoon. These bus numbers may be different. To ensure a smooth dismissal, students should record this information in a safe and handy location for quick reference.
Breakfast & Lunch Available
The Spartan Cafe is now OPEN! A "Grab and Go" breakfast will be available for purchase in the Main Lobby each morning beginning at 7:30 AM. For lunch, the cafeteria will serve one hot and one cold entree daily. A-la-carte snacks will also be available for purchase. Visit the Food Services website for details on food menus and how to load money into students' My School Bucks accounts. Students also have the option to purchase breakfast and/or lunch for their at-home days. Additional information about this process is posted on the RTMSD website.
Fall Intramural Registration NOW OPEN!
We are preparing for the launch of our Fall Intramural Program on Wednesday, October 21st. Since we are not having a typical Fall sports season, intramurals this year will be open to students in all grades. Students who register to participate in intramurals will do so on their designated cohort days - Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Students in the fully-virtual cohort also have the option to participate. Activities will run from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM. Students will need to have a ride home at 4:00 PM - buses will not be provided. So that we can plan accordingly and finalize schedules, registration will be open through October 15th at 4:00 PM. Click HERE for more information and to register your child for one of the intramural programs.
Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures
Drop-off and pick-up will occur in the lane directly in front of the school building. Please do not drop-off students in the parking lot area. With the volume of buses and cars on the campus daily, this is not a safe practice. We request that students exit curbside and that they plan to do so wherever their car stops along the front sidewalk. We are expecting increased car - particularly with 7th and 8th grade students returning to school - so PLEASE, be patient. By following these procedures, we can keep traffic moving and ensure a safe and timely arrival for everyone.
Check Grades in HAC
Over the last two weeks, I have been urging students to give their grades a look in Home Access Center (HAC). We are at about the halfway point of the 1st marking period. HAC is a great way to ensure that students and parents are fully-informed about academic progress. If students have a question about something in HAC or if they need to submit an outstanding assignment, they should talk with their teachers as soon as possible. For your planning purposes, the first marking period will end on Friday, November 6, 2020.
REMINDER - Back-to-School Forms & Electronic Acknowledgement
With students beginning to return to school, it is critical that we have a Student Emergency Card back for each student. You may drop off your signed emergency card to the Main Office, you may mail it to us, or simply send in with your child.
In addition, we have also created a quick, electronic process to submit the Student Handbook Acknowledgement and the technology forms, if you still need to do so. Please help our wonderful clerical staff by taking two minutes to complete this process as soon as possible. PLEASE NOTE - EVERYONE needs to submit the Student Handbook Acknowledgement.
Upcoming Calendar Notes
Monday, October 12th - Start of transition for 7th grade students to in-person instruction
Tuesday, October 13th - PTG Meeting (virtual), 7:00 PM
Wednesday, October 14th - Start of transition for 8th grade students to in-person instruction
Friday, October 16th - NO SCHOOL for students, teacher professional development
Wednesday, October 21st - National Junior Honor Society Induction for 8th Grade (virtual)