SMS Trojan News

Principal's Corner

April 6th - April 10th


I hope this newsletter finds you well. Something we started last week was our "21 Days of Gratitude," trying to re-focus on some positive things in life instead of a lot of the negative things we are experiencing during this time. You can also find links on our Facebook page.

This week, the SMS Distance Learning site is live for you to play around with. For our non credit-bearing classes (all classes except Algebra 1 and Geometry), there are NO required assignments this week that will be submitted for "grades." Currently, everything on the SMS Distance Learning site is supplementary and meant to give your student something to do this week while also giving your family a suggested structure.

Starting next week, there will be some more information that I share out with you regarding learning for the remainder of the year. ODE has asked that we continue with school in a distance learning format. Activities and assignments will be "graded," but the amount of work will be very manageable for your student AND available online or in print (if you request). Again, there will be more details coming out about that shortly.

There will be times when our teachers and support staff have "office hours" for your student to email, call, or video conference. Our desire is to be a support for your student and family during this time. If there are questions - or your students are just looking for positive communication from a teacher at school - we will have "office hours" available to them. Please see below the Norms and Agreements that we have developed to keep our students and staff using technology appropriately.

Also some quick reminders:

  • Lunches and breakfasts for the following day are served at each elementary school from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • ChromeBooks can be checked out from South Monday and Tuesday again. Swing on by if you need one. After that, contact Mr. Sale for a ChromeBook and we'll work something out.

As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with anything that you might need. We're here to help - whatever that may look like the next few weeks and months. Please remember to stay positive and care for each other during this season!

Grace and peace

Mr. Sale

Suggested Schedule for Learning at Home

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Norms and Agreements for Distance Learning

  • Staff will use pre-existing district communication methods – school provided email addresses, phone numbers, web sites, etc.
  • Staff will not be using personal text messaging, personal emails, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook for distance learning purposes.
  • Staff will be public in their practice – when staff are at home, they are encouraged to have others in the room (physical and virtual) to the best of their ability so others can hear and see. Students should also be in a room where others can see and hear the communication.
  • When using Zoom and/or Google Hangouts, staff will meet with groups of students as much as possible vs. individual students.
  • If possible, when having a one-on-one phone call with students, staff will ask the student to put them on speaker phone so others in the room can hear them.
  • During one-on-one phone calls or virtual meetings, staff will be keeping brief notes about the conversation (time, date, content).
  • Staff communication will be related to schoolwork; when inquiring about a student’s health or well-being, staff will be sure to ask all students the same questions.
  • Staff will not be recording and/or posting a Zoom meeting (or other video-platforming meetings) that contain video of students as it would require consent from the parent to have their student recorded. If it becomes necessary to record any sessions, parent permission will be received prior to recording any session. Staff are encouraged to record themselves teaching a lesson and/or sending a video message and posting for students to view at a time convenient for them. Students should not be recording meetings either as we want to ensure the rights of all are protected. There may be consequences for students not complying with this expectation.
  • When a staff member becomes aware of a problem with a student (i.e. concerns over mental health and/or safety), they will report the concern to the students’ counselor and/or administrator immediately. Mandatory child abuse reporting still applies and the educator may be required to contact DHS to file a report.
  • Students are expected to maintain appropriate use of all electronic devices and communication using appropriate language, etiquette and to ensuring to report any bullying or harassment experienced immediately to a school administrator.

Please email Mr. Sale if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for supporting your student in our GP "Learn at Home" plan which will begin on April 13th.

South Middle School

At South Middle School, we are a community dedicated to learning while promoting integrity and respect.