Weddington Middle School Newsletter

July 20, 2020

Notes from the Principal

Good evening, and welcome to our newest Wildcats that may be receiving your first ever WMS newsletter!

I understand questions remain about our 2020 Fall Restart. Safety remains our top school priority. In alignment with requirements imposed by State and local leaders and health experts, we have created school-specific procedures and safety protocols to minimize the spread of COVID-19. We’re taking temperatures of every human who enters our building, and we are not in position to accommodate visitors at this time. We’ll have sanitizer pumps at our entries, 32oz containers in every classroom, and gallon refill containers readily available from our larger custodial day crew. We have plexi-glass ready for install at our front office and cafeteria areas, and we will NOT dress out for physical education at this time.


We'll have some relevant signage, directional arrows, and distancing markers throughout the school, office and main thoroughfare areas, and our restrooms. Remember that our classes of 30 become classes of 7 or 8 students, and we are requiring masks and social distancing. Inside our school, we do expect students to transition single-file, in a counter-clockwise direction (leave rooms and turn to your right). Our reduced occupancy should allow us to transition—masked and distanced—safely and orderly. Restrooms are closed during transitions, and we’ll handle those necessities elementary-style as a class and/or as needed with individual students.


In between classes, teachers can spray and sanitize as necessary, and many will likely have students in different seats when they arrive for different class sections (the small number allows for some desks still unused even after the whole day has transpired). The larger dayshift custodial crew will focus more on common areas and all high-traffic touch spots (doors, rails, etc.). In another important adjustment, we are no longer using lockers and most students will eat in classrooms. Again, with the lower occupancy, students may eat with sufficient distancing within classrooms. The cafeteria will still provide food for students continuing to dine with us, and that eating space is available for certain scenarios. If you have any concerns specific to food allergens, please contact 6th Grade Administrator Mr. Ronnie West (ronnie.west@ucps.k12.nc.us) and/or Cafeteria Manager Scott Baldwin (scott.baldwin@ucps.k12.nc.us).

Instructionally, all students will experience at least two live instructional presentations per week. With one day scheduled face-to-face and live interactions slated for Fridays, we will supplement on-demand remote learning with daily live connections to school representatives representing content and other specialty areas. Students in Mr. Rimmer’s math class are far more likely, for example, to encounter an instructional help session with Ms. Lockrem. You’ll discover at our virtual orientation events that we’ll introduce more of a content team approach, and remember we have our educational specialists like Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Carter, and counselors to join the blended educational experience.

We have produced a school-specific instructional plan to guide us, and I’ve attached that alongside other relevant documents from our school system. We have a proposed adjusted school time from 9:05am to 4:05pm to accommodate bus transportation, and our schedule documents reflect that change. In alignment with this change, students may enter the building at 8:20am. We will distance 7th and 8th graders appropriately in our gym, and similarly space 6th graders in our cafeteria until 8:45am. Contact your grade level administrator (elizabeth.gobble@ucps.k12.nc.us for 7th; brian.gray@ucps.k12.nc.us for 8th) with any questions specific to the schedule, and thank you for your fluid cooperation with our rapidly changing world!

Important Info

The Bus Ridership Survey is here and open through Wednesday, July 22: Ridership and Return to School Survey. The Virtual Academy Plan D Application runs July 20 – July 26 and is here: https://ucpsncc.scriborder.com/. The most comprehensive site is https://www.ucps.k12.nc.us/Page/7478.

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Our summer office hours for essential items are Monday-Thursday from 8-11am

We have a NEW phone number!

Please change our information in your contacts: 704-296-6318

In the absence of Mathematics EOG scores for the 2019-2020 school year, we have maintained math placements with the intention of addressing the gaps created by our emergency remote learning last spring. If your student was in an advanced math class, he/she will remain in one. If your student was in a traditionally paced math class, he/she will remain in one. If you disagree and would like your child to take the 19-20 Math EOG, we will offer that solely for the purpose of obtaining a Level 5 score to access an “advanced” math course. We will administer the EOG once during the window of August 10-13, and once during the window of August 17-20. Please contact Brian Gray by August 1 at brian.gray@ucps.k12.nc.us with questions and/or to pursue this possibility.

The Nurse's Notes

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Being in the same building, on the same bus, in the same classroom , in the same gym, in the cafeteria with a positive case does not mean you are considered exposed according to the CDC guidelines and public health guidelines. The current guidelines state that, to be considered exposed, you must be within 6 ft of a positive person for 15 min or more without a mask on. When current contact tracing is done those are the questions that must be answered yes to equal true exposure.

COVID Q&A

All UCPS Schools and Facilities will:

· Temperature check any student, staff, or essential visitor entering the building or facility. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or greater will not be allowed to enter the school building or facility.

· Screening for COVID-19 symptoms anyone entering a building or facility utilizing the screening tool provided by NCDHHS/NCDPI.

· Limit non-essential visitors entering the building or facility.

Guidance for Student and Staff COVID-19 cases:

Students and staff:

· who test positive for COVID-19

· show symptoms of COVID-19

· had contact with a person with COVID-19

should stay home and not come to school or report to work in the school facility until certain criteria(criteria is below) has been met.

Criteria for Returning to School or to Work at the School Facility (Adhere to the following process for allowing a student or staff member to return to school.)

· If a person has had a negative COVID-19 test, they can return to school once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines and they have felt well for 24 hours.

· If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical professional based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until they (or a family member if younger child) can answer YES to the following three questions:

1. Has it been at least 10 days since the child first had symptoms?

2. Has it been at least 3 days since the child had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine)?

3. Has it been at least 3 days since the child's symptoms have improved, including cough and shortness of breath?

· A person can return to school, following normal school policies if they receive confirmation of an alternative diagnosis form a health care provider that would explain the COVID-19 symptoms, once there is no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines and they have felt well for 24 hours.

· If a student/employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 but does not have symptoms, they must remain out of school until 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test, assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.

· If a student/employee that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been presumed positive by a medical professional due to symptoms, they are not required to have documentation of a negative test in order to return to school.

· If a student/employee has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they must remain out of school for 14 days since the last date of exposure unless they test positive. In which case, exclusion criteria above would apply. They must complete the full 14 days of quarantine, even if they test negative.

Potential Closure of a UCPS School or Facility due to COVID-19

· UCPS will work closely with the Union County Health Department in response to positive case(s) of COVID-19.

· UCPS will follow any guidance issued by the Union County Health Department and/or NCDHHS in response to positive case(s) of COVID-19.

· UCPS is working with the Union County Health Department on guidance for potential closure of classrooms, schools, or facilities in response to positive case(s) of COVID-19.

· The UCPS Facilities Department (custodial team) will follow cleaning guidelines and procedures for school classrooms, buildings, and facilities in response to positive COVID-19 cases.

Is there a certain number of positive case(s) of COVID-19 that will result in closure of a school building or facility? No. We work with the Union County Health Department on each case(s) to determine the appropriate response. UCPS is currently working with UCHD to develop a guideline when school buildings or facilities may be closed. (This will be in place before the first day of school on August 17, 2019) Currently five positive cases of COVID-19 at a location is considered a cluster and reportable to the State of North Carolina, but this does not automatically result in closure of a school building or facility.

Yearbooks are here! Pick up times are as follows:

7th Grade Tuesday, 7/21

8-9am

Bentley, Foley, Bopp, Usry

9-10am

Eversole, Kinney, Millen, Allen, Vreeland

10-11am

Reep, Smith, Syfert, A. Johnson, McWhirter

6th Grade Wednesday, 7/22

8-9am

Russ, Wheeling, Stevens, Cretter

9-10am

Grieser, Lockrem, Stephens, Karas, Rimmer

10-11am

Mead, Sweet, Auvil, Mefford, Sutthoff

Take care of Chromebook issues now!

If your student is having technological issues, please have him/her submit a tickets through the Student Technology Help Desk

If the issue concerns Canvas or Powerschool, please wait for a phone call. If the computer is broken or having connectivity issues, please drop it off (with a copy of the helpdesk ticket) from 8-11am Mon-Thurs.

The PTSO Uniform shop closes at 9pm TONIGHT!

Order here to receive your materials before school starts!

https://www.wmsptso.org/open

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A Note from our Booster Club

I wanted to share an update on ALL FALL sports. The UCPS Athletic Director, Nelson Garner, has decided to delay the start of Middle School Booster Club Athletics until further notice. Although this is disappointing news, we all want the same thing of having our kids return to sports but in a safe manner. Mr. Garner said they will meet weekly to discuss plans to return.

Let's stay active!

Weddington Middle School Athletics encourages our student athletics to stay active and continue to train. While athletes may not be able to train at school or go to a gym, there are other creative alternatives to help them stay physically active.

Our coaches and staff are still working and focusing on our student athletes during this time. They will continue to work behind the scenes and keep in contact with all the changes.