Springton Lake Middle School

Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What.

October 16, 2020

Initial Transition to In-Person Learning is Complete!

Our initial transition to in-person learning continued this week and is now complete. On Monday and Tuesday, we welcomed back many of our 7th grade students and on Wednesday and Thursday, our 8th grade students returned. While the 300 or so students attending in-person on any given day is a far cry from our current total enrollment of 929 students, it feels great to have our students back. Classrooms that have been empty since mid-March are now coming alive again with students' energy and enthusiasm. With the initial transition now complete, Monday will begin our new "normal" for instruction - one cohort of students attending class in the building while the other cohort and the fully-virtual cohort attending those same classes live via Zoom. Unless otherwise noted, instruction will be synchronous and at-home students will be expected to attend all classes and follow the daily schedule just as they would if they were in the building. For your reference, the calendar that indicates which days each cohort attends in-person is provided below.

Cohort Calendar - October thru December

Important Part of the Daily Routine - Student Symptom Screening

Parents & Guardians are required to complete an electronic symptom screening for each student. The screening will only be required for days that students are attending school in-person. On these days, parents should look for an early morning email from Rose Tree Media School District. One screening must be completed for each student. If a screening response is not received, we will need to pull the student from class until the screening is completed. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - Be sure to add this important task to the morning routine for your family on the days that your child will be attending school in-person. It is awkward for our staff to have to pull a student from class when the symptom screening is not received. Your assistance in getting the day off to a great start for everyone - students, teachers, and staff - is GREATLY appreciated!

Zoom - Video ON

In an effort to maximize student engagement and to establish an increased layer of accountability when learning from home, students are required to have their video ON during Zoom classes. This change went into effect this past week. While not all students may be receptive to the change, we strongly believe that this shift will improve the overall classroom experience. The vast majority of students are complying with the new expectation, but we still need your help at home in reinforcing this same expectation.

Additional Technology Resources...

Need to submit a HELP DESK ticket? Let our Technology Team help!

Need assistance with HAC or Schoology? Contact Mrs. Kelly in the Guidance Department.

Here are some tips for improving the Zoom connection on a Chromebook.

Transportation - Arrival & Dismissal

Morning arrival and afternoon dismissal have been going very well so far. Here are a few important reminders that apply to drop-off, pick-up, and school transportation:

1. Please be patient and follow the direction of our school security officers. There is definitely an increase in vehicle traffic on the campus.

2. Drop-off and pick-up should ONLY occur in the lane in front of the school. Students may not be dropped-off or picked-up in the parking lot. We do not want students to cross the driveway.

3. Students entering or exiting vehicle should do so curbside.

4. We are unable to accommodate any requests for students to ride home on another bus with a friend.

Fall Intramural Activities BEGIN on Wednesday, 10/21.

With registration now complete, we are excited to begin our Fall intramural activities on Wednesday, October 21st. Activities will run from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM. Students will need to have a ride home at 4:00 PM - buses will not be provided. We ask that parents please be considerate of our staff and arrive promptly at 4:00 PM. Pick-up will be in the front of the building. Parents who wish to park and meet their child at the designated field may do so.

Students will participate on their assigned days ONLY: Cohort A will participate on Mondays & Wednesdays. Cohort B AND Cohort Fully-Virtual will participate on Tuesdays & Thursdays. We are unable to accommodate requests to change days.

Students should come dressed appropriately for the activity - they will not be able to change in the locker room or bathroom prior to participating. Students are also encouraged to bring a water bottle to the activity. In the event of inclement (or questionable) weather, we will not hold intramural activities. The decision to cancel intramural activities will be made by 12:00 PM and posted on our website AND communicated to the students via the PA system.

Additional Material Pick-up & Picture Day for Fully-Virtual Cohort

We are planning an additional pick-up day for materials and supplies for students who are a part of the fully-virtual cohort. Please mark your calendar for Monday, November 2nd from 1pm to 5pm. We have also arranged for Life Touch to be here that day to photograph students in the fully-virtual cohort. These are the photographs that we use for the Yearbook and for student identification cards. More details will be provided as we get closer to the date.

School Safety Drills

With students back in the building, we are required to move forward with various school safety drills for everyone's protection. We plan to hold a series of drills on Monday (Cohort A) and Tuesday (Cohort B). All students will attend homeroom/1st period from 7:55 AM to 8:15 AM. At 8:15 AM, virtual students will be released and we will conduct the safety drills with the in-person students during the remainder of 1st period. We will review procedures for building lockdown and severe weather and then conduct a fire drill. As is annually required, our community partners from the Upper Providence Police Department will be on-hand to observe the drill and to offer their support and feedback. We expect to be done in time for all students to attend 2nd period beginning at 8:47 AM.

Spartan PINK-OUT to Support Breast Cancer Awareness

Student Council will be sponsoring our annual Spartan PINK-OUT on Thursday, 10/22 & Friday, 10/23. Students and staff are encouraged to wear pink on these days to show our school's support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Students who participate will also be able to earn Spirit Points for their grade level. Student Council will be selling PINK-OUT bracelets, buttons, and bandanas during lunch for $1-$2. All money raised from the PINK-OUT will be donated to the HEADstrong Foundation on behalf of our school. Fully-virtual students who would like to purchase PINK-OUT items may complete the Google Form that will be posted to the Schoology lunch course. Any questions about the PINK-OUT should be directly to Mrs. Gilroy in the Guidance Department.

Halloween & Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Halloween is quickly approaching and Fall is in the air! Student Council is sponsoring a Pumpkin Decorating Contest for students and families. Decorate your pumpkin at home (BE CREATIVE!) and drop it off in the Main Lobby starting Monday, October 26th thru Thursday, October 29th. Judging will take place on Friday, October 30th, with awesome prizes awarded to the five best-decorated pumpkins. The top three pumpkins will each receive a $50 Visa gift card and 4th & 5th places will receive a $25 gift card. If you are not able to drop off your pumpkin but would still like to participate, please contact Mrs. Gilroy.

Student Council also typically sponsors a costume contest each year on Halloween. Unfortunately, this year, we will NOT be allowing students to dress in costume at school.

Breakfast & Lunch Available

The Spartan Cafe is now OPEN! A "Grab and Go" breakfast will be available for purchase in the Main Lobby each morning beginning at 7:30 AM. For lunch, the cafeteria will serve one hot and one cold entree daily. A-la-carte snacks will also be available for purchase. Visit the Food Services website for details on food menus and how to load money into students' My School Bucks accounts. Students also have the option to purchase breakfast and/or lunch for their at-home days. Additional information about this process is posted on the RTMSD website.

Check Grades in HAC

Over the last two weeks, I have been urging students to give their grades a look in Home Access Center (HAC). We are at about the halfway point of the 1st marking period. HAC is a great way to ensure that students and parents are fully-informed about academic progress. If students have a question about something in HAC or if they need to submit an outstanding assignment, they should talk with their teachers as soon as possible. For your planning purposes, the first marking period will end on Friday, November 6, 2020.

REMINDER - Back-to-School Forms & Electronic Acknowledgement

With students beginning to return to school, it is critical that we have a Student Emergency Card back for each student. You may drop off your signed emergency card to the Main Office, you may mail it to us, or simply send in with your child.

In addition, we have also created a quick, electronic process to submit the Student Handbook Acknowledgement and the technology forms, if you still need to do so. Please help our wonderful clerical staff by taking two minutes to complete this process as soon as possible. PLEASE NOTE - EVERYONE needs to submit the Student Handbook Acknowledgement.

Upcoming Calendar Notes

Monday, October 19th - School Safety Drills, Cohort A

Tuesday, October 20th - School Safety Drills, Cohort B

Wednesday, October 21st - National Junior Honor Society Induction for 8th Grade (virtual)

Thursday, October 22nd - Student Council PINK-OUT

Friday, October 23rd - Student Council PINK-OUT

Monday, October 26th thru Thursday, October 29th - MAP Testing

Monday, November 2nd & Tuesday, November 3rd - NO SCHOOL for Students, Teacher Professional Development

Friday, November 6th - Last Day of the 1st Marking Period

The Spartan Scoop - Week of October 12, 2020