DMMS in the Middle

January 2021

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Principal's Message on Standards Based Learning

Dear DMMS Students and Families:

“We can’t help students move forward unless we accurately identify where they are.” Gerry Swan

Since the beginning of fall of 2020, District 77 middle level school students have moved to full implementation of Standards Based Learning (SBL) or also known as Standard Based Grading (SBG). The purpose for these changes were to better support student learning and increase communication with parents/guardians about a student’s achievement on specific academic learning standards. A “standard” is a specific skill or concept students are expected to learn and demonstrate at their grade level. An example of “Standards Based Learning” versus “Traditional Grading” would be a student thinking, “I have an A in Algebra.” vs. “I can solve multiple systems of equations.” Students and families will also have a clear picture of what is expected and how the student is progressing on those expectations.

Video Resources to Support Parent SBL Learning and Understanding:

We hope you find the information in the videos below helpful in understanding the transition from the previous traditional grading process to the Standards Based Learning (SBL) format currently used in Infinite Campus.

In the traditional grading system, student assignments were listed chronologically and each assignment was given a certain number of points or a percentage. Although parents could track the number of points/percentage their student received, this method of grading didn't inform them adequately about whether their student was actually learning the skills and knowledge necessary to master the content standards.

What you will find In the SBL grade book is that all assessments and practice work are linked to a specific standard. This video will walk parents through how to get to the information the teacher used to determine whether the student received an M, P, D, or IE for the standard.

Video 1: MAPS Middle School Standards Based Grading - Overview for Families

Video 2: MAPS Middle School Standards Based Grading - How are Grades Calculated

infinite Campus Documents for Your Reference:

MAPS Campus Parent Help Guide

Campus Parent Overview

Best Wishes!

Carmen Strahan-Molter

DMMS Principal

Hybrid Learning Return Tentatively Set for February 18th

Mankato Area Public Schools is delaying the return to hybrid learning for secondary students until February 18. As shared earlier this month, our goal was to return grades 6-12 in a hybrid model on February 4. This start date was contingent on county infection rates being in line with recommendations established by the Minnesota Department of Health. Unfortunately, 14-day trend data reported by Blue Earth and Nicollet County does not support this move quite yet.

COVID-19 data over the last few days appears to be lower, and if these numbers continue to trend downward, we can expect more favorable 14-day trend data in the near future. This supports a safer return on February 18.

As we have all year, MAPS continues to review learning models on a weekly basis. The school district is in regular contact with public health officials and health care providers within the school community, and we will continue to partner with them to assure a safe return to hybrid learning as quickly as possible.

View current COVID-19 information:

*MAPS’ partners include the Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Department of Education, South Central Service Cooperative and local public health officials, including Blue Earth and Nicollet counties, Mayo Clinic Health System and Mankato Clinic.

DMMS Spring Conferences

Conferences for DMMS students will be held on Monday, February 22nd and Thursday, February 25th from 3:45-7:30. All Conferences will be held virtually via Google Meet, and that information will be made available to our families closer to those dates. Please watch your email for information on how to sign up.
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PTA Update

WOW!!! Dakota Meadows is so fortunate to have such an awesome group of supporters! Between ONE and DONE, Pita Pit, Noodles and Company, and Chipotle fundraisers, we have raised an ASTONISHING $7,202! We can not THANK YOU enough for all your support this year. It's definitely not a typical year, but you have helped us to continue to support the wonderful students, staff, and teachers at DMMS. In that regards, we would love to give the staff a nice welcoming back from distance learning treat. Please see the Member hub link below for a sign up. Donations are due at the office on or before Monday, February 19th. We greatly appreciate all your donations.

If you want to keep in the loop of what the PTA is up to and what's going on at the school, follow our page on Facebook - Dakota Meadows PTA. Our next virtual meeting is set for February 2nd at 6:30 pm. To join the meeting use Google Meet and click this link:

Or open Meet and enter this code: ewz-zknd-psw

One major item to consider for next year is becoming a PTA Board Member. Several of the current board members will not be staying on next year, so we need some new people to continue to support the school and staff as needed. We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Snow Day Information

Current snow day expectations for Distance Learning days:

  • All students will participate in Distance Learning on snow days

  • Synchronous (with the teacher and other students) lessons will be held as planned

  • NO change to the daily schedule