MJS Summer Update

July 31, 2020

Dear MJS Community,

I hope you are finding these warm, sunny days to be enjoyable and peaceful. It has been a busy first month as the acting principal for MJS, and I have enjoyed each day. I am honored and humbled to help lead our school into this coming school year. I am not alone in this endeavor, as our acting assistant principal Mr. Pete Bovee has recently joined the MJS administrative team. Welcome, Mr. Bovee.


I am very excited to get our students into the building this fall. However, I am very conscious of the significant challenges we face as school reopens. I intend to communicate frequently in the coming weeks, as there will be much information to share about our plans for learning and safety measures. With my youngest daughter heading back to high school, some of us may have in common what I call 'head or heart' thinking. My heart knows that having her learn in person with teachers and spending time with peers is priceless, but my head can't stop pondering the safety implications for our family. At MJS, we will strive to balance our re-entry amongst health and safety, social-emotional needs, and academic achievement.


Please feel free to reach out with a phone call or email, as I sincerely welcome your conversation and input during this coming school year.


Brooke Phillips

phillipsb@madisonnjps.org

Phase I & II Hybrid Model Information

Creating the following hybrid model is the combined effort of many parents and teachers who gave up their free summertime to video conference with Mr. Bovee and me. Thank you to these individuals. Outlined below are some broad scope explanations for Phase I & II at MJS.


September Goals of the MJS Hybrid Phase I & II model:

  • Health and safety
  • Build a sense of community and establish strong relationships


October Goals of the MJS Hybrid Phase I & II model:

  • Health and safety
  • Rising academic expectations
  • Continue building community and relationships



Cohorts

  • Classes will be organized into three subsets, Maroon, Gold, and Full-Time Remote Learners. While these groups may be categorized differently, they will learn and engage together as a whole class with their designated teacher each period.


  • Maroon students attend in-school Monday and Thursday; Gold students attend in-school Tuesday and Friday. All other days are remote learning.


  • Cohorts will be created keeping in mind siblings at the junior school, special education, and math placements.


  • Please email me if you have a work or childcare need that requires your student to be in a specific color subset, every effort will be made to accommodate these requests.



Schedules

  • Students should arrive by 7:50 am for the first bell, as classes start at 7:55 am. Dismissal is at 12:25 pm. More specific entry and dismissal information will be coming in later weeks, but we aim to use three entrances so that all students can enter when they arrive.


  • Teachers will rotate to rooms keeping students in cohorts.


  • Wednesday will be a Full Remote day so that the building can be deeply cleaned. On this day we will run a structured schedule that students will follow and be expected to attend. Teachers will be hosting a video conference at each period similar to other days of the week, except the focus will be on the Full-Time Remote learners in place of Maroon and Gold groups.


  • Core subjects, including English language arts, math, science, and social studies, will be the focus of learning in these phases. World Language, Art, STEM, and Music will be taught remotely. Class periods will run approximately 43 minutes.


  • Along with their core subjects, students will have world language and a cycle (PE/health, Art, STEM, Music). A priority will be given to hosting PE as many days as possible to get students outside for a mask break and fresh air. Music lessons may also be held outdoors, weather permitting.



Learning and the classroom

  • Teachers will have a camera in their classroom so that a video meeting can run that will bring in-person and all remote learners together for a lesson. We are exploring audio options so that remote learners remain an integral part of the experience.


  • Students are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles, and since we are adhering to six feet of distance in the classroom, they can take their masks off and have a drink. Most classes will also have a taped off 6-foot area near a window for mask breaks.


  • Bathrooms will be monitored so that one student is inside at a time.



Afternoons

  • Students should be ready to log in and return to learning at 1:30 pm each day.


  • Afternoons will be the time for students to meet with teachers they didn't see during the day, meet in small groups with teachers for intervention or enrichment, check-in with teachers for extra help, etc.


  • We will aim to make the afternoon a bit more structured than in the past and work to set some designated times for these events so that students can plan accordingly.



I am sure you have so many more questions. It is my intention to share with you in the coming weeks about the following topics in more depth:


  • Cleaning procedures
  • Masks and PPE
  • Nurse and health protocols
  • Morning entry health procedures
  • A visual sample of the schedule for each grade level
  • Special education schedules
  • 6th-grade and new student building tours
  • Movement in the building
  • Counseling & Child Study Team services
  • Emergency drill procedures
  • Bag lunch pick up at dismissal
  • Crosswalks and school grounds during the am arrivals and pm dismissals
  • Late arrivals or picking a student up early
  • Cycle classes and advisory
  • Material pickup days
  • Remote learning guidelines and Google Classroom
  • There will be more bullets added each day :)


Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you might have. Or, if you have ideas on what you would like to see included in the next MJS update, I welcome suggestions.