School Community Newsletter - 12/14/20
Dear Thomas Middle School Community,
We hope this newsletter finds your family safe and healthy. Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15th we will return to the hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction after being shut down for a COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, tomorrow we are welcoming additional students to our building for 4-days of in-person instruction.
As you know, we have 3 new positive cases at TMS from individuals that were onsite on 12/2/20. In hopes of preventing another outbreak, we have detailed a variety of new measures that we will begin to implement this week. Please see below for more details.
Once again, we are reaching out to you, our community, and asking that you please partner with us on this as we strive to increase in-person student attendance while implementing new measures to ensure student and staff safety and to maintain connections with our students.
PARENT PARTNERSHIP: Parents, we are desperately seeking your help to accurately track student illness. If you have not already done so, please notify the TMS nurse if your child is ill or has tested positive for Covid-19 or if anyone in your household is ill or tested positive for Covid-19. If a student is a close contact or lives with a family member or someone who is symptomatic or a known case of COVID-19, we ask that the student remains at home. As always, everyone should monitor their health and stay at home if they develop any symptoms. Please also see our additional measures in the section below for more details about attendance.
As a community, TMS has always been a place where we care deeply for one another. The holidays are especially a time where this can be seen and felt through the support and generosity we show each other. Please help us achieve our goal of providing a healthy learning environment where we support one another and prioritize keeping our school open during this challenging time.
Take care and be well,
~ Lori, Greg, & Nick
NEW ITEMS IN THIS NEWSLETTER:
- New Measures for TMS - see below for details
- Student Council Holiday Donations
- Yearbook Information
- 8th Grade Graduation Materials to be Ordered
- PTA Holiday Spirit Wear Pick-Up - Tuesday, 12/15/20 @ 3-5 PM - Please come to the main entrance and pick-up your spirit wear at the Book Cart. A staff member will be there until 5 PM. If you are unable to come at this time, please stop in the main office during school hours.
- Winter Break: No School from December 21st - January 1st
- School Resumes - Monday, January 4th
NEW MEASURES FOR SAFETY:
1). Clarify in-person attendance expectations: Students that have selected Hybrid for in-person learning are expected to attend in-person learning on their scheduled days unless they have an illness related or scheduled absence. If a family has a safety concern, please move to remote learning until our next selection date. We ask that you do not request to be remote on a daily basis as this is incredibly difficult to manage and creates many challenges with contact tracing.
2). Open classroom doors for independent student entry: Some classroom doors will remain open to allow students to enter the classroom instead of waiting in the hallway. Students are expected to enter the classroom, wipe down the desk, sanitize hands, and wait for the teacher to arrive.
NEW MEASURE FOR CONNECTION:
3) Utilize a TMS Student Check-In Form. Students will be asked to complete a TMS check-in form during homeroom that asks if the student would like support, such as a personal check-in, from a TMS staff member.
NEW MEASURE FOR INSTRUCTION:
4) Remote only instructional space inside of TMS (Zoom Room). Due to the number of remote teachers this week, in a few limited classes and unique situations, we will be utilizing the Commons and or LMC to allow 48 students or less to receive remote instruction. As a reminder, all TMS students should bring headphones to school each day.
Student Council Holiday Donations
GRADUATION MATERIALS - RIBBONS, DIPLOMAS, & GOWNS
This past Friday, Mary Higgins sent out various emails to the 8th-grade families requesting that parents and guardians complete the diploma form, pay for the graduation fees (gowns, ribbons, and diplomas) and share their child's height for the gown order.
This information is due by 12/18/20. Following that date, all student names will be pulled directly from PowerSchool for the diplomas and all gowns will be ordered at a 5 foot 5 height. PLEASE contact Mary Higgins (email@example.com) if you have any questions on this information.
STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED FOR EACH CLASS!
ATTENDANCE: Attendance is taken each period. Click here for details on reporting absences.
Please see the updated attendance guidelines above in this newsletter.
It is important that our parent community stays informed, especially as conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues 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.