HMS Back To School Newsletter

2020-2021

Welcome Back!

Happy August to all of our HMS Families!

I hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful weather and getting outside as much as possible. We have had a busy summer as we get ready for a unique school year. Now that LPS has set an opening day date and we know what our face to face return will be like, it's time to get out some details. This newsletter includes a great deal of information that will help your family prepare for the new school whether you are coming back to face-to-face learning or learning virtually from home.

-- Scott Carr

Face To Face Learning at HMS

We have spent the entire summer meeting with district leadership and reviewing the constantly changing information and recommendations regarding the mitigation of COVID-19. This is my 30th summer with LPS and I have never seen the kind of time and planning that has gone into opening our schools this fall. I am very proud of the work we have done and I truly believe we have created the best options that meet our needs at this time. I know we all wish we could start school in the usual way with no restrictions but unfortunately that's not an option yet. Here are some basic highlights of our A/B Hybrid Schedule:

* Students with last name A-K will come to HMS on Mondays and Thursdays (A Days) each week.

* Students with last name L-Z will come to HMS on Tuesdays and Fridays (B Days) each week.

* All students will learn from home on Wednesdays. Staff will be at HMS on Wednesdays and they will continue connecting with students and providing instruction. Prior to our first Wednesday, we will publish the schedule for Wednesdays. It will include posted lessons, times for students to connect with teachers, small group instruction for students who need extra help in a class, and other structured activities. This is not a day off for students and staff. Our expectation is for students to receive instruction everyday either in person or virtually.

Some Things will be a little different at HMS

Some of our rules and procedures will be different to meet health recommendations and create a safe school for everyone. Please be sure to review these with your child before they return:

* Face masks must be worn by students and staff while at school. I encourage your child to practice wearing a mask before they return. They probably aren't used to wearing them for long periods of time.

* All classrooms will be set up so we can maintain 6 feet of distancing. Students will also have assigned seats in each class.

* Passing periods will be staggered so students are not mixing in the halls or creating crowded areas.

* Students will be scheduled in cohort groups that will have similar classes so they stay together most of the time. Elective classes will be assigned to each grade level and they will rotate at semester. If your child signed up for Band, Orchestra, Choir, or a Language class they will remain in those classes. Other choices they made back in February will probably be different.

* We will be serving lunch in two different locations so we can maintain spacing. Some classes will be assigned to our normal cafeteria and some will be set up in the gym. Lunches will be pre-ordered and packaged so they can be delivered to each location. This keeps us from having crowded waiting lines.

*These are a few of the highlights. We will have a playbook for families that will detail all of these procedures and others. I will send this out before the first day of school.

HMS Virtual Learning From Home

Approximately 170 HMS students will be learning from home to start the school year. You are still part of the HMS family! You will receive all information about school events and you will contact us when you have questions or needs.

Last night you should have received an email about signing up for your virtual classes. You will need to have classes picked by next Friday so we can get teachers assigned and schedules created. Here is the LINK in case you missed out on the email.

The daily schedule for virtual learning is posted at our Liberty Virtual website. The schedule will be very different from last spring. Students will be expected to follow specific times to "go to class" through zoom each day.

I encourage parents to start talking to their child about how they will structure their time and space each day. Learning virtually can be a little more challenging to keep track of assignments and meet deadlines. I recommend a calendar on a wall or a handheld calendar where your child can record assignments and show you each day. This will keep them from falling behind and getting overwhelmed. Students who are learning virtually will not need any different supplies than our school wide list. It has very basic items.

7th and 8th Grade Sports

So far, we are still on track to host fall sports at HMS. This includes 8th Grade Football, 8th Grade Volleyball, 8th Grade Cheer, and 7th/8th Grade Cross Country. If your child is interested in participating, you can find all the important information on this Athletics Document. You can also contact our Athletic Director, Ryan Stegall at ryan.stegall@lps53.org.

If your child is a virtual learner at home, they can still participate in athletics and any other after school activity. You will need to provide transportation to and from practices.

Online Registration Information

This year we will not be hosting traditional orientation days. Most of the items you need to complete can be done online. Please review this LIST to make sure you have taken care of all items. These items need to be completed by our virtual learning students also.

** 6th Grade Residency checks need to be completed before we can give you a schedule. Please complete this ASAP. The link is located in the list of items.

HMS School Prep Days

Instead of traditional orientation days with stations and long lines, we are going to redesign the time to better meet students' needs. We are hosting two days and each day will be divided this way:

* Tuesday, Sept. 1st- Last Name: A-K, 8am-11am. Last Name: L-Z, Noon-3pm

* Wednesday, Sept. 2nd- Last Name: L-Z, 8am-11am. Last Name: A-K, Noon-3pm

During these open times you will be able to do the following:

* Turn in Chromebooks and receive your new IPad in the library. All grades will be using Ipads this year. You can pick it up and begin using it before the school year starts. Ipads are for virtual learners and face to face learners. We are not charging for insurance this year to help families who might be facing financial challenges.

* Get their school picture taken. We will be located in the gym. If you want to purchase a packet, you can bring money that day. You don't not have to purchase pictures for them to be in the yearbook. We also use photos for student ID's so these are important to get done. This is also the time for our virtual learners to get their pictures taken for the yearbook.

* Check in with the nurse if your child has a health plan or if you need to turn in medication.

This will a great time to start working back into the school setting.

* Help with school supplies. If your family needs some assistance with basic office supplies, please ask our office staff and we can provide spiral notebooks and pens to help get you started.

All students and parents will need to wear masks the whole time you are in the building. Please limit the number of family members who come up. if you're not feeling well, please stay home.

I hope to see you there!

6th Grade WEB Day

Traditionally we have hosted our 6th Grade WEB Day on the day before school starts. Since that's now a holiday we are moving the date to Thursday, Sept. 3rd.We will have two sessions based on our A/B split. You don't need to sign up in advance. Just show up!

Last Name: A-K: 8:00-9:30am

Last Name: L-Z: 10:00-11:30am

This is a time for all 6th graders to meet their WEB Leaders, take tours of the building and begin to build friendships with other 6th Graders. Parents will need to provide transportation. You can drop your child off on the East side of the building (the old side with columns) and pick them up at the end. Please be sure to send them with a mask and screen them for any symptoms before they arrive.

What if We Change Our Mind?

Now that we have more specific details about our schedules, some families have considered changing their original decision. If you decide to change, please call HMS at 816-736-5380 and let our office staff know. We need final decisions by August 31st so we have time to create new schedules.