MSE Mendenhall Updates

15 February 2021

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MSE Announces Reopening Plans:

Last Friday, February 12th, MSE released plans for returning to in-person learning beginning on March 1st. To review official communication regarding these plans, please click the link below.

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2021-2022 Re-enrollment:

It is time to re-enroll for the 2021-2022 school year! We will be using Powerschool for re-enrollment this year. Due to limited space for the upcoming year, we ask each parent/guardian to complete the re-enrollment form. This form is designed for currently-enrolled students to update their information and declare whether they are returning for the 2021-2022 academic year; you will need to complete a form for each student you have at MSE.

The deadline for re-enrollment is 2/26/21. If re-enrollment is not completed by the deadline, your child's enrollment status for 2021-2022 may be impacted.

If you have trouble logging into Powerschool, please contact the front office.

Thank you for your continued support of MSE!

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Bus Service Registration for '21-'22 School Year:

In order to plan for the reopening of schools this fall, we are asking all families to let us know if they are planning to use school bus service for the 2021-2022 school year by completing this registration form. Even if your child rode the school bus last year, we are requesting that you complete the registration form this year so that we can get as accurate a ridership count as possible. We use this information for planning routes and personnel needs so that every family who wants school bus service receives it.

February's Teacher of the Month:

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Spending time in the company of Rachel Garvais is an instant mood elevator. From her warm smile and generous, loving spirit, to the energy and creativity that characterize her work, Ms. Garvais is a pillar of positivity for the MSE community.

A 2017 graduate of Clemson University, Garvais joined Memphis School of Excellence through Teach for America and has worn many hats over the course of her time here. She explains, "I started at MSE as the 4th and 5th grade ELA/Social Studies teacher. In my second year, I taught 5th grade ELA and Social Studies. This was such a wonderful experience, as I got to move with my 4th graders from my first year and teach them for two consecutive years. We all got to grow together, them as students and me as a teacher."

This year, Ms. Garvais transitioned into the role of reading interventionist. She explains, "I realized in my first two years that I loved working one-on-one with students, and seeing that ‘got it’ moment full of excitement and happiness. As an interventionist, I work with each of my students individually and plan their lessons around what they specifically need to work on. I’ve seen so many wonderful ‘got it’ moments as an interventionist, and the joy that students get in these moments is my favorite part of being a teacher."

Anyone watching Garvais in these sessions would struggle to believe this is her first year as an interventionist, let alone her third year in the classroom. Her instincts are honed to the point of perfection and her tools and strategies suggest years of study and refinement. In the words of Ms. Montenegro, "Ms. Garvais's RTI sessions have such a positive culture and are extremely well-structured and paced."

When asked to account for her seemingly-magical classroom know-how, Garvais is quick to cite her mother, a fellow educator, as a major source of guidance and inspiration: "I grew up watching my mom teach. She is the warmest, smartest, most wonderful person and teacher you could ever meet, and I saw her make an impact on every student she taught (and vice versa). When I started teaching myself, I wanted to embody those same ideals: warmth, empathy, creating space for my students to ask questions and grow in the directions they need to."

Garvais's growth mindset impacts her beliefs about children. She sees potential in every learner and commits herself to the project of each student's journey: "my overarching belief is that every child is inherently curious, and it is my job to help that curiosity flourish into an abiding love for learning. I think that every child deserves a space that they feel safe in, both to learn and to question the things they are being taught."

In her spare time, Ms. Garvais is an avid baker. "I love to make sourdough bread, french pastries, and pretty much anything else you can put in an oven." In fact, she hopes someday to combine her two passions by opening her own bakery and offering classes for children who want to learn to bake. Ever on the look out for fun activities to share with students, Ms. Garvais took last year's 5th grade students on a field trip to Memphis Rox (pictured below).

Congratulations, Ms. Garvais, on being voted February's Teacher of the Month. You make a difference every day, and MSE is grateful to have you.

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WIDA Testing:

WIDA ACCESS is the state and federally-mandated assessment for all English Learners. The assessment must be administered inside the school building. MSE will have appropriate health and safety protocols in place, including required masks for all students and staff and social distancing for all test-takers. If your child is in the ESL program, please check your emails to find detailed information from your ESL teacher and to fill out the form to indicate if you will be able to bring your child to the school to take the WIDA English Language Proficiency Assessment. You will be informed about WIDA Access test dates and details after February 5th.
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Six Outstanding 8th-graders Represent MSE in National Math Counts Competition:

Jasmine Anderson, Aisha Diallo, Suzy Duenas, A'Curria Edwards, Alana Harris, and Rowena Wilson competed in a national Math Counts competition Friday, February 5th. These students know how to embrace and seek challenges to help them grow. Their determination, teamwork, and hard work is incredible and is leading them to new heights! Congratulations!
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Meal Pick-up Information:

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YWCA Before and After School Care Available at MSE Mendenhall:

Since we are coming back to school, the Y will now only be offering before and after care for grades K-8 at the MSE Mendenhall campus. The cost is a flat fee of $50.00 per child. If you are interested, please fill out the form linked below, and the YWCA will contact you.

  • YWCA does accept Essential Worker Vouchers.
  • Y-Care is independently operated by the YWCA Greater Memphis.

Contact 901-320-6021 or if you have questions.

Free Tutoring Available:

Homework Hotline is Back! The number is (901) 416-1234. Call for FREE homework help over the telephone and online Monday through Thursday, 4pm – 8pm, CST.


Remind101: A Way to Stay in Touch

Please follow the steps by clicking the button below to connect to MSE's Remind account. Remind allows us to communicate directly with you, whenever there is important information to share.

Bedtime Stories with Ms. Italiano

Wednesday, Feb. 17th, 7:30-9:30pm

This is an online event.

Join Ms. Italiano for a bedtime story every Wednesday night by clicking on the link below:

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Memphis School of Excellence Mendenhall

The mission of MSE is to provide a safe and collaborative environment which will cultivate the academic and social development of its students by emphasizing math, science, and technology for the purpose of students setting and meeting

higher education goals.