MIDDLE MATTERS

Everything in the Middle School that matters

Volume 9

May 4, 2020

PRINCIPAL'S CORNER

Hello Middle School Families,


Our May Middle Matters newsletter includes some important information as we finish the school year in a distance-learning format.


As middle school staff will be focusing on two goals this last month of school.

  • We will continue to reach out to students to provide challenging distance learning instruction as we prepare students for the next school year.

  • We will also try to incorporate some of the fun and cumulative activities that we have in a typical spring. Although that may be a challenge in this distance learning format we will do the best we can. Teachers will be meeting digitally this week as they plan and prepare for the month of May. Grade level teams will be providing a weekly schedule that will be different from the schedule used thus far in the distance learning format. Please check your child’s Schoology account for the changes in this new weekly schedule.


We have also outlined a schedule and procedures for families to pick up materials from student lockers. An email was sent to families with the details. If you did not receive the email check the details in this newsletter.


Even though some of the challenges we have experienced in this distance learning format I have seen some fabulous student work and collaborative projects. It is clear that many students accepted the challenge of taking ownership of their learning making the most of these circumstances. As we head into the final stretch of the school year continue with that approach. I hope we will all find that we can get through this and build our resiliency for any challenge that comes before us in the future.

In this Issue

  • Annual Update

  • Teacher Appreciation Week

  • Materials Pick Up

  • 2020-21 Schedule Program Update

  • Attendance Procedure Update

  • Students of the Month

  • Monticello Education Connection

  • Tips to Reduce COVID 19 Anxiety

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Annual Update


The Monticello School District Annual Update for All Families for the 2020-2021 School Year will be active May 5, 2020, through June 5, 2020. Completing the annual update in a timely manner assures that Monticello has the most current and updated information for the education, health, and safety of your child while attending school.


The annual update process will be open May 5th, 2020 for all families to update student information, household information, and demographic updates/changes using your parent portal account. The annual update process replaces the paperwork you may have completed in the past.

The parent portal account can be accessed by logging into our Infinite Campus Parent Portal Account and choosing "More", then choose "Online Registration". The annual update must be completed by the parent/guardian of the primary household.

If you do not currently have a Parent Portal account please contact parentportal@monticello.k12.mn.us to obtain information to create a new account.

If you have forgotten your username or password for your portal account please login to the Infinite Campus Parent Portal Account link above and choose Campus Parent, Forgot Password.

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May 4 - 8 is Teacher Appreciation Week.

I have received many emails and phone calls from students and parents sharing their appreciation for all that the teachers have done to make this past month engaging, fun, and productive. It was so cool to hear how teachers made a difference during such a tough time.


  • Making phone calls that the first week - letting students know that they are missed

  • Providing dynamic digital learning opportunities - that we didn’t have before

  • Reaching out after hours to make sure they got the lesson and get the help needed

  • Providing creative fun videos that put a smile on faces

  • Researching fun digital resources for students to access

  • Getting creative with home and community projects

  • Encouraging them to reach out and connect with grandparents


Although we can't celebrate face to face we can share in a collaborative THANK YOU. I am very proud of our middle school teachers. The middle school years can be a challenging endeavor even in the best of times. It takes a special individual to be a middle school teacher. It is times like these that we are all fortunate to have such a passionate dedicated group teaching our middle schoolers.

PARENT INFORMATION

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Material Pick Up

With the Governor’s order that school buildings will remain closed the rest of the year, we want to do our best to facilitate a process that allows student materials to be picked up. This document describes the process. The Middle School will be open for parents or students to come in and pick up student materials on the following dates:


May 5: 12PM - 6PM, A-F Last names


May 6: 12PM - 6PM, G-N Last names


May 7: 8AM - 12PM, O-Z Last names


If you have been exposed to someone who is infected, are not healthy, or you do not feel well do not come in! We will arrange a time with you to pick up materials at a later date.


With state and county social distancing guidelines in mind, all materials have been cleaned out of both hallway and PE lockers. We are asking all students to come to school with a parent and pick up their materials on one of these days/times. Student materials are bagged and labeled by grade levels and have been placed in the Arena. There will also be stations in the Arena with student materials from band, orchestra, art, and other items left in classes. All items will be located in the Arena, therefore students will not be allowed to go into the building beyond the Arena.


Therefore, we are asking all parents to:

  1. Park in the East lot by the hockey rink and enter the East Arena Entrance Doors.

  2. Follow signage and directions in the building to enter and exit the Arena gymnasium.

  3. Please be sure to maintain all social distancing guidelines by staying 6 feet apart, wearing a cloth mask (is a recommendation but not a requirement), and of course, being patient with this process.

  4. Be prepared to sign a sheet or bring the one attached below, verifying you picked up your child’s materials.


It will be ok for a parent to come alone, with their student, or simply send their student in the building with the attached, signed slip. Additionally, in an effort to minimize the number of people coming into school, we will allow adults to pick up materials for other families. In order to do so, bring the attached sheet signed by the parent(s) of the student you are picking up materials for. Keep in mind you will need to know what ‘other’ materials (music, art, etc..) are left in school.


We have bagged student materials based on their assigned lockers. If your student shared a locker or moved lockers, they will have to retrieve their materials from those students after leaving the school. We won’t allow parents/students to go through or take materials out of another student’s bag. Please verify with your student where their belongings are.


Lastly, two additional items:

  1. If you have a student who has a prescription EpiPen or controlled medication that is in our Health Office, we will need the parent to come in and pick that up. There will be a Health Office station in the Arena for you to pick these up with the school nurse. She will also be contacting you to further explain & will be here during all the pick-up times. If your child had over-the-counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen or an inhaler in the health office, this medication will be in their bag.

  2. If your student has library books or other school items, there will be a station to return materials back to school in the arena entrance.


*The school will not provide masks but the public is recommended to wear one.*

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2020-21 Schedule/Program Update

While we know there are a lot of questions and uncertainty within schools and our community, we wanted to circle back to share with you again with you our 2020-21 schedule and program updates.


Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, there will be a few schedule adjustments at Monticello Middle School. MMS will be moving away from a block schedule and will operate on a Day 1 and Day 2 schedule. There will be six periods during the day, plus a daily M&M that allows us to continue to make connections and move forward with our social-emotional learning curriculum.


There will not be much change for our schedule in the 6th grade. Music will remain a requirement for sixth graders, and they will be able to choose from band, choir, and orchestra options. Music class will run on either Day 1 or 2 with a combined physical education and health course running on the opposite day.


Seventh and eighth grade students will see a more significant change that we hope allows us to finally fulfill what has long been a gap in our programming. All seventh and eighth grade students will continue to have access to our outstanding music programs, including band, choir, and orchestra. We believe music, including the team aspect of it, is an essential aspect of a well-rounded education and we expect to continue to grow these programs. However, we understand that music is not for everyone, and we want to provide a counter option that is interesting and beneficial.


Starting this year, we will be offering a Spanish course for seventh and eighth grade students that elect not to take a music course. Students will have the option of taking Intro to Spanish as both a seventh and an eighth-grader, or one of the two years. However, if a student elects not to take a music course as a seventh-grader, they will not be able to continue in band or orchestra as an eighth-grader. Choir will be the only music option for eighth-grade students that do not take a music option as a seventh-grader.


Parent Action: In April, current 6th & 7th grade students were given a survey to register for their elective course for next school year. Students could elect to stay in their current music elective or they could select the Intro to Spanish elective. If a student indicated a change from Music to Intro to Spanish, our staff has been communicating with families to confirm this change. If we do not get parent confirmation about the elective change, we will not be switching the student’s schedule, and they will continue in the current music course. Parents, please confirm with your child what elective they indicated for Fall 2020, and if they are making a change into Intro to Spanish, this needs to be communicated by parent(s) to their current music teacher.


STUDENTS OF THE MONTH

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Monticello Education Connection

This tutoring program is a registered non-profit and will be offering tutoring for ALL students, K-12, in all subjects, for free. The program will accept donations. Tutoring will be done via Google Hangouts and is scheduled through the group’s website - www.monticelloeducationconnection.com which will go live tomorrow.

Tutoring sessions are half an hour long and are even offered for Spanish speaking students in K-5. The group has gathered nearly 70 volunteers, consisting largely of college students, young alumni, a few community members, a few retired teachers, and even current MHS students.


www.monticelloeducationconnection.com

STUDENT CENTER SPOTLIGHT

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District COVID Hotline Number is: 763-272-2097

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