The Seahawks Call

Week of September 7, 2020 Volume 1

Message from Principal Taylor

We remain excited about virtual learning and being optimistic about the benefits this mode of learning has on teaching and learning. While we experienced technological difficulties this past week, we remain confident things will continue to improve as our teachers and students become more familiar with our learning platform. We appreciate your continued patience, understanding and flexibility as we continue this journey together. #SomerStrong



6th Grade General Math - Introduction to Integers

6th Grade Compacting Math - Division of Whole Numbers, Decimals, and Fractions

6th Grade Accelerated/7th Grade General Math - Number systems and Decimals

7th Grade Compacting Math - Operations with Signed Numbers

7th Grade Accelerated/8th Grade General Math- Rational vs. Irrational Numbers

Algebra 1- One-Variable Equations


All grade levels are working on meta-cognitive strategies and learning how to access Common Lit.


Grade 6

Unit 1 – Introduce students to the 5 Fields of Social Studies (culture, geography, government, economics, and history (2 weeks)

Unit 2 – Examination of the pre-history of civilizations including the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages

(2 weeks)

Grade 7

Unit 1 – Examination of the 5 themes of geographic study and their impact on people and cultures (1 week)

Unit 2 – Focus on the skills and processes of historical investigations including the History Day program (2 weeks)

Grade 8

Unit 1 – Colonization including interactions in the New World and Colonial North America

(2 – 3 weeks)


Grade 6

Unit 1 – Electricity/Magnetism (5 weeks)

Grade 7

Unit 1 – Cells (2 weeks)

Unit 2 – Cell Functions (3 weeks)

Grade 8

Unit 1 – Scientific Method and notebook construction (2 weeks)

Unit 2 – Atoms: Composition of Matter with Atoms and the Periodic Table (2 weeks)


All middle school students will be required to complete two diagnostic assessments between September 14 and September 23, 2020. Each student will take a comprehensive assessment that includes ELA, Science and Social Studies and a Math assessment. The purpose of these assessments are to:

  • Determine students’ learning gaps from the previous grade level
  • Provide data to help teachers plan instruction that will address those gaps

Parents will receive an email from Milton Somers School on Tuesday, September 8th with more details regarding the diagnostic tests. Please share the information with your child(ren). If you have any questions, please contact Milton Somers' Learning Resource Teacher, Ms. Suzanne Johnson, at


As a reminder, if your child has a camera on his/her computer/device, the expectation for CCPS is that the camera should remain on and enabled during live instruction to verify attendance and participation. If you do not want your child’s camera on during live instruction, please email Principal Taylor at to request an exemption from this policy.

If your child's camera is not working, it is imperative that you tell every teacher on your child's schedule so they have record of this.

To enforce this policy, administrators will be joining classes reminding and requesting students to turn video cameras on. Should a student fail to comply, an email will be sent to the parent.

Thank you in advance for speaking with your child(ren) about the importance of adhering to this policy.



Milton Somers would like to remind students and families that the Students’ Rights, Responsibilities, and Code of Conduct remain in effect while school is online. Now that students are logging into Synergy during virtual learning, we want to remind everyone that all messages, pictures, videos, and other images that are being posted must fall within the guidelines of the Code of Conduct.


Once a student logs in to StudentVue, any scheduled live lessons will appear in the center of the main page. Students will see the teacher’s name, live meeting time and a camera picture or icon that reads “Join Now.” Students will also receive a message in the Synergy Mail menu area with a teacher request to join a lesson. Students may see several live meetings each day based on their schedule for different subject areas and class periods. When a student clicks on the Join Now button, Zoom will launch and open a new window. Any lesson or meeting will not go live until a teacher starts the session. In Zoom, teachers can control audio and mute students but students must enable the Start Video option in order for their teacher to see them. Students who experience issues with Zoom should ask a parent to submit a help request on Ask CCPS under the Zoom Issues/Question menu option.


Starting Thursday, Sept. 3, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students will have to log in to Zoom when joining their first scheduled class. In StudentVue, students can join a class under their scheduled meetings or by clicking the Calendar tab and selecting the Join Now button next to the meeting. When they click the Join Now button for their first meeting, a Zoom log-in page will appear.

Students will need to follow the steps below to verify their Zoom account.

1. Click on the Sign In with SSO button.

2. Select ccboe as the domain.

3. Enter the student email user name. This is their student identification number followed by For example,

4. Enter their StudentVue password.

5. The student will then enter the waiting room.

Students using CCPS-issued devices will not have to complete this additional sign in because they already use their user name and password to log on to the device. Students using personal devices will have to verify their Zoom account every 30 days. This is an additional security layer enabled by CCPS for Zoom accounts to ensure only students on a class roster enter a class.


When teachers allow students to enter an online Zoom class, he/she reviews student display names in the waiting room to ensure they match a class roster. If a student’s display name does not match the legal name CCPS has on file, they will not be admitted to the class. This is the name listed in a child’s StudentVue account at the top left-hand side of the home screen.

Parents and students should follow the steps below to check their child’s Zoom display name.

1. Go to and click on the blue Sign In button.

2. Sign-in details are a child’s CCPS student ID followed by as the user name. For example, 123456@ccboe.comand then a child’s StudentVue password.

3. When the page opens, users should click on the Edit button on the top right-hand side of the page. This will allow you to enter a student's legal first and last name.

4. Click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page.

5. Teachers will see the display name in the waiting room of a Zoom class.



Marlon Walker - 6th Grade VP -

Cynthia Panizzi - 7th Grade VP -

Wualanda Thenstead - 8th Grade VP -

Sonia Matthew - Administrative Asst. -


Kenneth Tojek - 6th Grade Counselor -

Nancy Franklin - 7th Grade Counselor -

Brittany Williams - 8th Grade Counselor -


Andrea Johnson - Reading Resource Teacher (Reading) -

Jennifer Branham - Instructional Resource Teacher (Math) -

Suzanne Johnson - Learning Resource Teacher (Gifted Education and Testing Coordinator) -

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator (students), or Nikial M. Majors, Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, Maryland 20646. 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.