Thomas Timberwolves

School Community Newsletter - 1/18/21

Dear Thomas Middle School Community,


2021 has us busier than ever! Today we honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We celebrate his accomplishments as an influential civil rights leader and remember the tremendous challenges he overcame while advancing civil liberties for all Americans. This Wednesday is Inauguration Day 2021 and we will share school appropriate instruction recognizing the momentous event. This year at TMS we have created an Embrace Equity Staff Committee that is beginning the vital work of growing in our ability to have difficult conversations about racial inequities and action planning. This week marks the halfway point of the school year. The second quarter will come to an end this Friday, 1/22/21 and we will have officially completed two challenging quarters of the school year. We are optimistic that the second half of the school year will be better than the first.


On Tuesday, January 19th the building will re-open for hybrid learning, and all in-person students with last names A-K will return to the building. On Wednesday, January 20th all hybrid learners L-Z will be back on campus. On Thursday, January 21st we begin STEP 4 and welcome 67% of our student population for 4 days a week in-person learning. Mondays will remain REMOTE learning days for all students during STEP 4. Our next selection enrollment will be at spring break.


With 67% of our students back on campus for STEP 4, we once again seek community support in keeping our school campus safe. We will continue to prioritize SAFETY~ CONNECTION ~ INSTRUCTION. Upon arrival at school students will have their temperatures taken and will be required to be symptom-free. If you have not done so already, please talk with your child about what STEP 4 will look like. Additional details are included below. Please also talk with your child about the FREE lunch option that is available to all students daily. Students can place a lunch order during homeroom. More information on this is included below.


SAFETY MEASURES: Please be sure to ask your child the daily screener questions each morning before school. We will continue to ensure that all individuals at TMS are wearing masks (except while eating), frequently washing hands and using hand sanitizer, limiting the number of shared objects in classrooms, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining 6 feet social distancing to the greatest extent possible. In addition, we have hired a staff member, Patty Hein, who will manage contact tracing and assist with support in our health office.


Many thanks to our PTA for funding the LEVEL UP and GO VIRAL assemblies last week. Super special thanks to TMS Alumni, Jake Lavin, for his inspiring Happiness Project presentation. Here are some quotes from student reflections on the assemblies:

  • "I learned that when you have an idea or an opportunity presents itself, take that chance while you can and push yourself towards your goals"
  • "I liked the messages that were spread in all of them and I found all of them interesting."
  • "I think the assemblies were very encouraging and made me feel very confident. It made me want to follow and pursue my dreams."
  • "I learned a lot from the assemblies, like many ways to stop bullying, how to help friends level up, and how to calm down and relax so I can have good mental health."
  • "I realized that no matter the bad, there is always the good and if someone doesn't like something about you it doesn't matter just surround yourself with people that actually care about you. I also learned that mental health is very important and have to take care of yourself."
  • "The assemblies were really interesting. It showed what we could do now instead of thinking we can only make a change in the future. I liked the Happiness Project because it was started by just a normal kid like anyone in this school, and it showed you don't have to have fancy equipment or much experience to make a difference in this world."
  • "To work on school work before video games and keep my phone away from me at that time."
  • "It was cool I guess."


This newsletter contains many new items and several links to additional important items.


NEW ITEMS IN THIS NEWSLETTER:

  • TMS Step 4 Details

  • FREE Lunch for ALL students

  • TMS PTA Wings Food Drive

  • Meet the New TMS Staff

  • PTA Council Scholarships

  • TMS Pride of the Pack Scholarships


UPCOMING DATES/EVENTS:

  • STEP 3 In-Person Learning resumes @ TMS - Tuesday, January 19th
  • End of 2nd Quarter - Friday, January 22nd
  • TMS PTA Food Drive - 1/25/21-2/4/21
  • Report Cards - Friday, January 29th


Take care and be well,

~ Lori, Greg, & Nick

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STEP 4 INFORMATION

We welcome 67% of our students back on campus starting on Thursday, 1/21/21 as we transition to Step 4 In-Person OR Remote Learning. We encourage you to discuss the information below with your middle schooler. Click here for the number breakdown by class.


STEP 4 START DATE

The metrics (www.sd25.org/TransitionMetrics) have been met, we will begin our STEP 4 transition on Thursday, January 21, 2021. All in-person learners will come to school on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Mondays will remain Remote Only days.


ARRIVAL/DISMISSAL

We will continue to have students enter the building at assigned team areas beginning at 7:43 am. Students can arrive as early as 7:30am but will wait in line outside on designated spots. Dismissal will begin at 2:45pm and all students are expected to leave the building promptly and keep their masks on until they arrive home or leave campus property. We will monitor this closely and see if a staggered schedule is necessary.


HALLWAYS

Students are asked to walk on the right side of the hallway, maintain 6 feet of social distancing at all times, and enter classrooms upon arrival. Students should not be stopping or standing in the hallways.


LUNCH HOUR

We will continue to utilize our Commons, LMC, Band, Music, and Drama Rooms as well as several classrooms. We are restricted to 50 people in each area. During the lunch periods, students will be seated 6 feet apart to the greatest extend possible. Students will all face the same direction and are expected to remain in their assigned seats. Desk shields are available for student use. Students can also sign-out to go home for lunch.


Allergies - We will continue to have ALLERGEN AWARE seats assigned in each of these locations. An ALLERGEN AWARE seat is reserved for students with allergies and is cleaned by an adult before and after each lunch period. Each lunch supervisor will be informed of students with allergies and all medical plans will be reviewed.


CLASSROOM SEATING MEASUREMENTS (*This is where the greatest change will be seen and felt!) A typical classroom can host between 12-16 students with 6-ft point-to-point distancing. Each classroom will vary as teachers set up their rooms for the number of students who have chosen to attend in-person. Most of our classrooms have between 14 and 22 students returning to STEP 4 full in-person model (*some classrooms will have more than 22 students - click here for the number breakdown by room). While we will social distance the desks at 6 feet to the greatest extent possible, many students could be closer to each other in the classrooms.


HOW WILL POSITIVE COVID CASES BE COMMUNICATED

Positive Covid19 cases will continue to be communicated to the entire school. Also, anyone who is within 6 ft of the positive case for 15 minutes or more during a 24 hour period (we will contact trace back 48 hours) will be notified and required to quarantine. Notification will not be made by class, but anyone meeting the definition of a close contact will be notified. In order for us to contact trace effectively our students will continue to have ASSIGNED SEATS in all locations (classrooms & at lunch).


Please click here for additional information provided by District 25.

District 25 Transitional Model of Reopening - Step 4 Plan

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AHC PTA Scholarship Information

The AHC PTA Scholarship applications are ready to roll out! Please feel free to share. These links were also sent to the local high schools.There will be 6 Achievement Scholarships awarded and 3 Power of Courage Scholarships awarded this year. In lieu of the usual breakfast, we will be setting up a virtual celebration instead! Here are the links to use.

If you have any questions or issues, please do not hesitate to reach out to:

Ann Williams & Donna Ekl - AHC Scholarship Chairs - d25scholarship@gmail.com

Liz Nierman - 2020-21 AHC PTA President

Website: www.sd25.org/PTA

Twitter: @AHC_PTAs

Facebook: @fb.com/AHCPTA

NEW Staff at TMS in 2021!

Patti Hein - Contact Tracer (New position)

Stephanie Musolf - Part-Time Nurse (Filled the open part-time position)

Mindy Joyce - District CSN (Deb Sutor will be at other D25 schools)

Amanda Mendez - Behavior Specialist (replaces Brian Katz)

School Resource Officers: Officer O'Leary and Officer Malik (Officer Veenstra retired)

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SAVE THE DATE - Parent Teacher Conferences

February 11th & 12th - Please be on the lookout for the registration information.

Mental Health Resources

ISBE has compiled resources to support students’ and educators’ mental health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The list includes the following:
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (call 1-800-273-8255 for free and confidential support for people in distress and best practices for professionals)
  • Crisis Text Line (text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor)
  • Call4Calm (text TALK or HABLAR to 552020 to get connected to a counselor in your area)
  • Safe2Help Illinois (a 24/7 tip line that gives students a safe and confidential way to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence, or other threats to school safety).

Headphones / Ear Bud Reminder

All TMS in-person learners are asked to bring headphones or earbuds to school each day. Please remind your child to bring headphones or earbuds to school.

EXTRA HELP IS AVAILABLE

Does your child have questions about homework or projects? Is your child struggling to understand or complete school work?

If so, we want to help! Please encourage your child to attend Office Hours/11th Hour and to reach out to teachers for help.

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FOOD DISTRIBUTION

  • Day: Every Wednesday
  • Times: *9:30 am – 10:30 am* & 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Where: Thomas Middle School ONLY
  • Who: All Arlington Heights families with students age 18 and under
  • Important Notes: *Neighbors or friends are allowed to come to pick up meal bags for you from Thomas Middle School.* If food delivery is needed, please contact us and we can arrange for a delivery time.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED FOR EACH CLASS!

ATTENDANCE: Attendance is taken each period. Click here for details on reporting absences.


In our attempt to keep our building as safe as possible we are eagerly requesting that you follow our attendance expectations:

  • In-person student learners are expected to be on campus each day they are permitted (STEP 4 is daily in-person learning Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays).
  • We are no longer offering the option to be a daily remote learner due to "safety concerns" which we hope will give us the ability to better monitor our students and track students with illnesses.

TMS PTA

Do you have questions for the PTA? Email the PTA at: thomasmiddleschoolpta@gmail.com


2020-2021 PTA Officers:

President: Lucy Block

President-Elect: Amy Hoffman

Vice President: Melissa Teuscher

Treasurer: Suzanne Krause

Secretary: Lisa Ulyrich


Future Meeting Dates:

* February 17 @ 7 PM - RSVP on this form if you plan to attend.

* March 18 * April 20 * May 19


HELPFUL LINKS:

Link to the TMS PTA Website

Questions regarding Spiritwear? Please contact:

Stephanie Notaro - sgnotaro@sbcglobal.net

Stephanie Gries - sgries6@comcast.net f


Directory Spot: Shannon Hull is the TMS Directory Spot Chairperson. Please email ThomasPTADirectory@gmail.com for changes or access issues.

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.

BUS INFORMATION

Please direct all busing questions to the D25 Transportation Specialist:

Laura Comastro - lcomastro@sd25.org

PHONE: (847) 758-4888 | Fax: (847) 228-2078

TMS Office Information

The TMS Office is open Monday - Friday 7a.m. - 3p.m.

Address: 1430 N. Belmont Ave. Arlington Heights, IL 60004

Phone: 847-398-4260

Fax: 847-394-6843