Middletown Messenger

September 2020

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From the Principal's Pen

Middletown Families,

Thank you for a great first week of instruction. Our staff is so excited to be with our students again! We paused live instruction today so that we could successfully transition to the new platform, Microsoft Teams, for live instruction on Monday, August 31. Offering live instruction at least five times a week is a priority for us and is a staple of the JCPS Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) 2.0 program. We believe it is imperative that students build relationships with their teachers and have regular opportunities to participate in instruction with their teachers. Please watch this video to learn how your student will join a Microsoft Teams meeting with their teacher starting next week.

Teachers are working hard to teach live instruction, create off-line lessons, and give feedback to students during NTI. We appreciate your feedback and will continue to reach out to families for feedback during NTI. We understand the need for flexibility during this time but we also want to keep rigorous expectations for students so they can continue learning at high instructional levels during NTI. As routines and online procedures are established in our virtual classrooms, daily schedules will be adjusted to resemble a normal school day schedule. We could not do NTI without you and I am grateful for our Middletown staff and families. Enjoy the weekend and we will see you Monday!


Justin Matson

Principal, Middletown Elementary

Ms. Mettling's Systems & Facilities Updates

Dear Families,

Even though we are beginning the school year in a distance/virtual setting, we will continue to implement the Seven Habits Of Happy Kids and Leader in Me program. This program introduces students in kindergarten to personal leadership and furthers these habits in first through fifth graders. Student activity books were included in the packets/materials pick-up bags. The activities and lessons are fun and differentiated for each grade level and designed to get students thinking about how they may use these skills in real life as well as school.

All students have the ability to lead in their own lives and affect those around them by making positive academic and social choices. Your child is beginning an exciting journey to develop leadership skills.

The 7 Habits are:

Habit 1: Be Proactive—I am a responsible person, and I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind—I plan ahead and set goals that are meaningful and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom, even during NTI, and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

Habit 3: Put First Things First—I spend time on things that are most important. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organized.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win—I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. If I have a conflict, I look for win-win solutions.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood—I listen to other people’s ideas and feelings. I try to see things from their viewpoint. I listen without interrupting. I listen with my ears, eyes, and heart. I am confident in voicing my ideas.

Habit 6: Synergize—I value other people’s strengths and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different from me. I work well in groups. I seek other’s ideas because I know that by teaming with others, we can create better solutions than any one of us could alone. I look for Third Alternatives.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw—I eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep for my body. My brain learns in lots of ways and in lots of places, not just at school. I spend time with my family and friends for my heart. I take the time to find meaningful ways to help people (soul). I balance all four parts of myself.

Primary Talent Pool and Gifted and Talented

Students are selected for the Primary Talent Pool (PTP) in the late fall/winter of each school year. A kindergarten screening process combined with a nomination process that includes input from teachers and parents for first-, second-, and third-grade students ensures a continuous, on-going review and provides multiple entry points into the PTP.

Once a student is identified for PTP, the classroom teacher is primarily responsible for seeing that the student’s individual needs are met through differentiated instructional practices. The Gifted and Talented (GT) coordinator, GT resource teacher, and Academic Instructional coach are available to help with strategies and resources.

Regardless of whether a student is or is not in PTP in no way indicates whether they will be identified for GT services in fourth grade. All students considered for GT educational services must be formally identified using multiple criteria different from those used for PTP.

The areas of formal identification include General Intellectual, Specific Academic Aptitude (English/Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies), Leadership, Creativity, and Visual and Performing Arts. Middletown’s Gifted and Talented Committee follows the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE)/Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) guidelines to formally identify students as gifted in these areas. Students may be identified as gifted in one or more areas. Parents will be notified, asked to complete a permission form, and be provided with a Gifted Student Services Plan (GSSP), on which progress will be communicated twice each year.

Counselor's Corner

Hello Middletown Elementary School and Community,

I am very honored to again work and serve the Middletown family/community as a school counselor for the 2020-21 school year. This is my seventh year at Middletown, and it continues to be an honor and blessing to be a part of the Bulldog family! I know this is a year that begins very differently than in years past. I realize that it comes with some challenges and concerns. However, I want to send a strong message that we are all in this together and will overcome these challenges as a united team. Middletown continues to be a culture of excellence and commitment as well as an environment where everyone takes care of one another. At Middletown, we are committed to discovering the brilliance in every student and building each one up as leaders in their homes, school, and community especially during these challenging times.

As a school counselor, I oversee the Mental Health Program at Middletown that will continue to address the mental health needs of our students by providing resources/supports to meet those needs. I work closely with our Mental Health Team, which consists of our mental health practitioner (Tyler Swim), school psychologist (Dr. Kristen Kyriacou), our Family Resource Center (FRC) coordinator (Elvira Paguada), myself, and other people in various roles that will help meet and serve the mental health needs of our students. If you are interested in more information, please click on these links:

Mr. Meinecke's Counselor Corner

Middletown NTI Counseling Support Request

Mr. Meinecke's Virtual Check-In Form

I also oversee various assessments conducted throughout the year (e.g., Advance Program test, Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State [ACCESS] test, and the Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress [K-PREP]). I will provide more updated information regarding these assessments in more detail in later messages.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the services I provide or if you need more information regarding the mentioned events, please feel free to contact me through email at chas.meinecke@jefferson.kyschools.us or by phone at 485-8300. I thoroughly enjoy serving the students, parents, staff, and community as the school counselor in Middletown and will continue to do so to the best of my ability.


Chas Meinecke, School Counselor

The Hite/Middletown Family Resource Center

“To provide services, activities, and guidance to families in order to build a bridge between the schools, home, and community. We work together with students and their families as they learn to shape the social and environmental forces that affect their daily lives.

We believe that if we remove the barriers that interfere with learning, our students can achieve and succeed and become productive members of society."

Welcome to Middletown Elementary and the unconventional, unprecedented start of the 2020-2021 school year! I am honored to be able to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself. My name is Elvira Paguada-Gutiérrez and I have the privilege of being the Hite/Middletown Family Resource Center (HMFRC) Coordinator. The HMFRC serves students and families at both Hite Elementary and Middletown Elementary, and my role as coordinator is to help students and families eliminate barriers to education.

If you ever find yourself in need of assistance with school supplies, mental health counseling

resources and/or referrals, tutoring services, help with health care needs to support your student and families, please do not hesitate to reach out, I mean that!

From experience growing up with a single mother who struggled at times, I know it is not always easy asking for help, but remember that the goal and priority will always be your children and the whole reason for this center is them.

There will never be rejection or judgment, and you will never be a burden or a nuisance.

We are here to support!

Please fill out this survey if you have any needs or concerns related to NTI 2.0 or anything at all.

HMFRC Student & Family Needs Survey

Visit the new HMFRC Website!

You can also email or call Ms. Elvira at elvira.paguada@jefferson.kyschools.us or 313-4504 if you need any assistance.


The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) application deadline has extended to Aug. 31. P-EBT is a financial resource for families with students who lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to #COVID19. Click here to apply today.

JCPS School Meals: Beginning August 25, 2020, the Middletown will be offering curbside service for breakfast and lunch. These meals are for students who are enrolled in JCPS. Students enrolled at Community Eligibility Schools will not be charged for meals. Students enrolled at non-Community Eligibility Schools can apply for free or reduced-price meals at www.MySchoolApps.com. If a student is not eligible for free meals, parents/guardians will need to deposit funds on their student's account by check or at www.MySchoolBucks.com. A letter was mailed to each student, and it included a barcode for ease of pick-up. Help our School and Community Nutrition Services (SCNS) team plan accordingly by signing up for your NTI 2.0 meal pickup location at www.jcpsfood.org.

Parent PlaceBack to School Forms

What is the difference between Parent Portal and Parent Place?

Parent Portal—This is a place for parents to view their child’s schedule, grades, and assessment data.

Parent Place—The new place to enter many of the JCPS forms that were received in paper format in previous years. Parent Place One-Pager

They are not the same and WILL NOT USE the same login information.

If you have never logged in to Parent Place before, please start by clicking on the green button that says “Sign Up for a JCPS Parent Account.”

HMFRC Compliments, Concerns, Questions or Suggestions...

My office door is always open, and although I split my time between two schools, please feel free to reach out whenever necessary. At the present time, we are open virtually and the Center’s hours are 8:30 am-4:30 pm. You are also welcomed to call me at 502.313.4504 (M, W, &F) or 502.313.4473 (T & Th); you may leave a private message and I will return your call as soon as possible or text me at 502.208.8930. You may also reach me via email at elvira.paguada@jefferson.kyschools.us.

Follow the center on Social Media:

Facebook: @HMFRC Twitter: @HMFRC Instagram: @HMFRC


Mental Health Supports with Mr. Swim

Hey Middletown Bulldog family! Mr. Swim here. This will be my second year at Middletown as the mental health practitioner. This year I have created a Mental Health Resource Page that all students, families, and staff can access. Here is that link: https://sites.google.com/jefferson.kyschools.us/middletown-mental-health-site. On this site, you will find various videos and activities that students and families can watch and engage in together. With our starting the year doing NTI and virtual learning again, my goal is to continue working with Middletown students and to provide them and their families with any help and support that is needed. My goal is to be constantly updating this page. While I may not be able to see students or families face-to-face, I am still available as a resource to you. If you are interested in my having regular video chats/check-ins with your student or have any questions about the mental health resources available to Middletown students and families, please reach out to me through email at tyler.swim@jefferson.kyschools.us or via my Google Voice phone number, (502) 264-6216.

Wishing you a great school year!

Mr. Swim


News from the PTA

Hey, hey, hey! It’s the Parent Teacher Association (PTA)! We are so excited to start this new journey with you!

School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) elections are happening now! Please make sure you nominate a pal or yourself to serve on the council with Mr. Matson and elected staff and teachers to make decisions for Middletown Elementary School (MES)! Nominations are to be emailed to middletownptapresident@gmail.com by no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, August 31. Please use this nomination form if you are interested in being a candidate, or encourage a friend to run!

Also, in lieu of a fall fundraiser, the MES PTA is selling SWAG and MEMBERSHIPS.

Spirit Wear! Every penny goes back to the school—and we could really use your support! I will meet you at school at a mutually accessible time to deliver your order. We have shirts, sweatshirts, magnets, cinch sacks, snifty pencils, model clay, and scrunchies!

Memberships! You can also become a member of the PTA through this link! Becoming a PTA member is invaluable for you and us. Please consider purchasing a guardian or household membership.


The MES PTA’s mission is to support, encourage and celebrate with our parents, teachers, staff, and students—we can only do that with you and your support!

Keep collecting Box Tops, participating in Kroger Rewards, and using smile.amazon.com to earn money for Middletown. Every Box Top and purchase helps! Many exciting things are in store for next year!


You can help support Middletown Elementary when you are shopping for groceries!

Enroll your Kroger Plus Card number in the Kroger Community Rewards Program.

Go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com to enroll today! Our organization number is 14817.

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View the Middletown Elementary School Calendar Here!

Click to see our full calendar of events.

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