Springton Lake Middle School
Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What.
April 9, 2021
Successful Return from Spring Break!
Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope that you are all doing well and that you had an enjoyable Spring Break! Our first week back from break and the first week of the 4th marking period has gone extremely well! We have now completed the transition of all grade levels to 4 days of in-person instruction per week. At the moment, nearly 83% of our students are participating in-person. While all of our COVID safety protocols remain in place, our classrooms are definitely looking and sounding more typical - and this is a very welcome sign! Spring sports started this week and our student athletes appear elated to be back out on the fields!
After some challenges a few weeks ago with students being placed into quarantine due to contract tracing, I am extremely pleased to report that we had successful and "quiet" week. Of course, I recognize that things could change very quickly, so we all need to remain diligent. This week, there have been no cases of COVID from in school exposure. All cases reflected in the tracker are from out of school exposures. The one case that was reported over break as a probable in school transmission is listed in the tracker from the week ending 04/02. The COVID tracker is available on the District website and is updated each Friday.
Thank you for taking a few moments to review the rest of this newsletter. There are many important updates - report cards, PSSA testing, and Kindness Week, among others. I hope that you have a wonderful weekend - stay safe!
3rd Marking Period Report Cards - NOW READY IN HAC
Report cards for the 3rd marking period are now available to view in Home Access Center (HAC). Please take a few moments to access and review with your child their progress to date. As per the student handbook, students must minimally earn a passing grade for the year in their four core area classes - mathematics, science, social studies, and language arts - in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Specific questions about a course grade should be directed to the appropriate classroom teacher.
Kindness Week - April 12th thru 16th
Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person's life.
Next week is one of my favorite weeks of the year – it’s our annual Kindness Week! This is an opportunity for each one of us to make an extra special effort to be kind, friendly, and welcoming to one another. On Monday, we will be providing students with a list of suggested acts of kindness that they can perform throughout the week. We are encouraging all staff and students to participate in as many random acts of kindness as possible. Each day there will also be a special spirit day and we encourage students to show their support by dressing according to the daily theme. As an additional activity for Kindness Week, our National Junior Honor Society is encouraging students to decorate a kindness rock and to bring it into school. A video explaining the kindness rocks is included in the Friday Spartan Scoop episode.
Autism Awareness Day in RTMSD
In an effort to support inclusion, unity, and all learners in our schools, the District celebrated Autism Awareness Day on April 6th. The Penncrest High School TOPS Shop sponsored an Autism Awareness t-shirt sale. The TOPS Shop program is designed to provide authentic, real world learning experiences to our students receiving post secondary transition services. The District intends to make the celebration an annual event. Proceeds from the sale of t-shirts amounted to over $1400 and will be donated on behalf of our school district to Easter Seals and the Philadelphia Eagles Autism Foundation.
Spring Picture Day - Monday, April 12th
Spring Picture Day will be held on Monday, April 12th. Photographers from Life Touch will be on hand in the morning to photograph interested students. Spring photos are more casual than normal school pictures and they are optional. Only students purchasing a photo package will have their pictures taken. Order forms were provided to students this week in Homeroom. Orders may also be placed online at mylifetouch.com with the following picture day ID: EVTXNJQ3Z. Any fully-virtual student interested in Spring pictures may come to the building on Monday between 8:10am and 11:15am. Parents of fully-virtual students should bring their child to the Main Office first in order to complete the symptom screener.
PSSA Testing - Dates and VERY IMPORTANT Information
The Rose Tree Media School District has been informed that the United States Department of Education will not permit states to apply for a waiver from administering standardized tests this year. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has provided school districts with some flexibility about when tests are administered. While more details will be shared in the coming weeks about our plan and process for testing, we wanted to make you aware of the testing dates as soon as possible. Students at Springton Lake will test as follows this Spring:
May 3, 4, & 5 - English Language Arts, all grades
May 10 & 11 - Mathematics, all grades
May 13 - Science, 8th grade only
May 25 & 26 - Algebra I Keystone Examination, only students enrolled in an Algebra I course
An informational letter was sent to all families from the Rose Tree Media School District earlier this week. It is very important that you review this letter and that you understand your parental options. If you intend to exercise your right to refuse your child's participation in this year's assessment, I must receive this information in writing by April 23rd. A great deal of planning goes into the administration logistics and we want to have the correct information to guide our work. Any fully-virtual student who will be participating in the assessment must do so in-person in the building. There is no option to complete the assessment from home.
Distracted Learning - Please Save that Text Message
We have noticed a sharp increase in the number of students who have their cell phones out during the school day. Our school expectation continues to be OFF and AWAY. As you can certainly appreciate, cell phones have the potential to be a huge distraction to the teaching and learning process. We have been reviewing our expectations with our students and we could really use your assistance with two things. First, please reinforce this expectation with your child and ask for their cooperation with the guideline. Second, please do not text your child during the school day or ask that they text you. Please save those text messages for the end of the school day - after 2:20pm. Your support is greatly appreciated!
Show Your Support - Penncrest High School Class of 2021
Please join us in celebrating the Penncrest High School Class of 2021! This year, the Senior Fashion Show will be virtual in the form of a telethon this Saturday April 10th from 7:00pm-9:00pm on the Penncrest YouTube Channel bit.ly/3pEf4TF. Raffle baskets and silent auction are available now. Dining nights start Saturday with Pappone's Pizzeria. More information can be found at www.phsfashionshow.com. The Class of 2021 thanks you for your support!
International Travel Requirements
The Chester County Health Department is following CDC guidelines for international travel. If you are traveling internationally, the CCHD recommends that you get a COVID test 3-5 days after returning from travel and stay home and quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if the test is negative. If you do not get tested, you should stay home and quarantine for 10 days after travel. Please contact the school nurse to let her know your date of return and if your student will be testing and quarantining for 7 days if the test is negative or if your student will not be getting a test and quarantining for the full 10 days. The nurse will advise you how to fill out the symptom screening survey after your return.
The 2021-2022 School Calendar Has Been Approved
At their regularly scheduled March meeting, the Board of School Directors approved the official school calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. Please be sure to consult the calendar as you consider plans for trips and vacations. The first day of school is Monday, August 30, 2021 - BEFORE Labor Day.
Get Involved in the PTG!
The SLMS PTG holds its Board elections for next school year on May 11th. We have received nominations for several Board positions, but still need nominations for Treasurer. You can nominate yourself or someone else - and you don't need to be a CPA! Reach out to President@slmsptg.org or VP@slmsptg.org with your nomination or questions. Thank you for your consideration.
Important Update - Attendance Procedures
Students who are enrolled for in-person instruction are expected to attend in-person on a consistent basis unless there is an approved reason to be at home - i.e. exposure to COVID, quarantine due to close contact/contract tracing. Students without an approved reason who do not attend in-person when expected will be marked ABSENT - even if they are present on Zoom.
- Please continue to use the daily symptom screener to monitor symptoms and to let us know if your child will be attending in-person each morning.
- If your child is ill, they should not attend school.
- Students who will be absent from school should call the absence hotline (610-627-6500, option 2) and also send a note within 3 days. This step is required in order for us to excuse the absence.
- Students who will be absent for a pre-planned trip should complete and submit the pre-planned absence form.
- When a student is absent from school, they may access work/assignments on Schoology. At this time, we will also still allow students to have access to the class Zoom session if they are well enough to join - even though they have been marked absent.
Reminders from our School Nurse - Ms. Hartner
In an effort to continue to keep our students safe and healthy, please keep the following key points in mind:
Please complete the daily SYMPTOM SCREENER for your child as early as possible, but no later than 7:30 AM. This will help to minimize class disruptions for your child.
Students must wear an appropriate face covering to school every day. Neck gaiters and bandanas are not permitted and masks with valves are not considered COVID-safe.
Please keep your student home from school if they are ill. In addition to the criteria contained in the screening tool, please keep your student home for non-COVID related illnesses. Refer to the following resource for more information.
For 6th Grade Students & Families
Please send in documentation of a physical examination, if you have not done so already. Notices were mailed home this week to students who have not sent in the required documentation..
Students are required to have documentation of a dental examination, a Tdap booster and a meningitis vaccination upon entrance to 7th grade. These are usually (but not always) given at the 6th grade physical. A dental examination dated any time after September 1, 2020, is acceptable for the 7th grade dental requirement. Please feel free to fax, email, or send in this information with your child. Parents should also keep a copy for their own records.
Charge Those Chromebooks!
Please help to remind your child to charge their Chromebook on a daily basis before coming to school. Many of our students have become accustomed to working with their devices plugged-in - either at home or in the classroom. With more students now back in the building, and with our efforts to provide them with as much distancing as possible in the classroom, being seated near an outlet is often not possible. Please feel free to borrow the line that I use with the students all of the time - charge your phone, charge your Chrome!
Register your Rite Aid Pharmacy Card - Support Our School!
Do you shop at Rite Aid Pharmacy for your prescriptions or other personal needs? If so, your purchases can also benefit our school. Take a moment to register and allow our school to earn funds each time that you visit your local Rite Aid.
COVID-19 Questions & Assistance
Parents & guardians who have COVID-related questions during the school day should contact our School Nurse, Ms. Hartner by email or phone - 610-627-6512. For COVID-related questions after school hours, you can reach a school district nurse. Contact information is located on the RTMSD website under District Reopening, After Hours-Covid Questions and Answers. There is a nurse available in the mornings before school from 5am to 7am, in the evenings during the week from 4pm to 9pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and on Sunday evenings from 4pm to 10pm.
Weekly Newsletters - Archived Here!
Did you miss a previous week's newsletter? Need to go back to for reference or to access previous information? All of the previous updates are available to you on our website.