Stewart Middle School Newsletter

February 2022

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Greetings Wildcat Nation!


As February begins, we enthusiastically celebrate a successful virtual learning period and our excitement to have all of our learners back in our school building!


February is also Black History Month, and we will spend this month, as we do every month, celebrating the rich heritage of our families and the beauty of the diversity which makes us STEWART! We have a large population of African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino, and African-American learners and families. We will use this month to acknowledge and honor the contributions people of African heritage have made right in our community and throughout the world. If you would like to learn more about notable figures in black history or the origins of Black History Month, please use these links from the History Channel and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Please ask your scholar about the information, projects, and opportunities being discussed in class, and look forward to them sharing with you.


We also look forward to sharing some of these experiences with you. On Thursday, February 24th we will host a bilingual, virtual Black History Bingo event for all of our scholars and their families to participate in together. We will have fun, laughs, learning, and prizes!


The national theme for Black History Month 2022 is Black Health and Wellness. Each month we will provide you with resources to address your learners’ physical, emotional and mental health. In addition, please be reminded, for your convenience, SMS is offering an in-school Covid vaccination clinic for Stewart students within the coming weeks. If you are still interested in having your child vaccinated with the 1st shot or the Booster for Covid-19 and have not already registered, it is not too late. You may do so using the following link or by calling the school. Covid Vaccine Clinic Link.


We look forward to spring, hopefully with fewer attendance restrictions and more opportunities to get together in person. Until then, please stay in touch and be well!


Together, WE ARE STEWART!



Camil Culbreath, Ed.D

Principal

ADMINISTRATIVE CORNER

FAMILY EMPOWERMENT

NASD School Board / Zoom Registration Links

Almost all NASD School Board and sub-committee meetings are now online and open to you. You may register and join online or in person each month. Attending the meetings will allow you to hear policy and budget discussions and learn of new programs and the full range of what schools are responsible for and how decisions are made about your learner. There is a time for public comment at the beginning and end of each meeting.

GAB-ON!

GAB-on! sparks student-led conversations about small moments in school that lead to bigger conversations at home. SMS is one of three schools in the district selected to pilot this new program designed to promote more engaging conversations at home related to in-school activities.


Look for more information to come home within the coming weeks. All of our families are welcome to take part in this fun and easy initiative.

SCHOOL LATENESS & CONSEQUENCES

School begins at 8:00 am each morning, and all scholars are considered late after 8:10 am. If your learner is not in homeroom at 8:10 am, they must get a late pass to enter class. When students accumulate their 3rd and subsequent unexcused lateness of the marking period, they will be assigned mandatory after-school detention.


Instruction begins at 8:10, so each lateness robs our learners of critical learning time. Please remind your learner they are responsible for meeting their teachers’ deadlines on all assignments when they are out because of unexcused lateness.

ATTENDANCE

Our scholars are provided a vast amount of learning material each day so it is important for them to attend school daily. As learners accumulate unexcused absences, they are considered a truancy issue and we are required to involve the Office of Children and Youth. To avoid this measure and help ensure success for your learner, please limit absences to those times when it is unavoidable. You must also submit a note stating the reason for the absence within 3 school days. If your child is encountering barriers to attending school, please contact our guidance counselors, Mr. Morris or Ms. Brennan for assistance.


Absence and late notes must include the following:


  • Student’s first and last name, and student ID
  • The date of the absence/lateness
  • The reason for the student’s lateness or absence

DISMISSAL

6th and 7th-grade students are dismissed from the building at 2:55 pm each day. 5th and 8th-grade students are dismissed at 3:00 pm each day.


If you are here to pick up your child, please do not park in the bus zone directly in front of the school. We encourage families to park on Selma St. or Forrest Ave. to pick up their children to prevent congestion of traffic on Marshall St.

EARLY PICK-UP

Early dismissals will not be permitted during the last 30 minutes of the day. You must sign your child out before 2:20 pm (11:15 on 11:50 dismissal days) or meet them outside at dismissal time. We want to ensure the safety of all of the learners during the busy period immediately before dismissal and can’t when families are waiting in the office area. It is always easiest to send in a note to alert teachers and the office of the early dismissal.

PERSONAL ELECTRONICS/CELL PHONE DEVICES

Research has shown, and we see the ill effects of personal electronic devices use in the classroom. Grades are lowered and conflicts arise. Please partner with us and continuously reinforce our protocol to your learner. Scholars are expected to keep their devices in off mode and away at all times.


Beginning February 1, the protocol listed below will be implemented for the inappropriate use of personal electronic devices during the school day.

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CLASS TRANSITIONS

Learners are escorted as a group to each class, each period of the day. Please remind your student that it is important to remain with their teacher during each transition. If a student leaves the teacher during the transition and/or is late to class, they violate the NASD student code of conduct.


Please find a copy of the code of conduct by clicking down below.

STUDENT CHROMEBOOKS

NASD has diligently worked to ensure that every student is provided with a learning electronic device. Since we are a 1:1 school district, SMS students must bring their Chromebooks to school each day, fully charged. If your learner needs a replacement charger, they may purchase one from Ms. Golohin, in our main office. The Dell Authentic 45 Watt USB-C chargers (Flat) cost $40, and The Dell Authentic 55 Watt AC adapter Chargers (Barrel) cost $30.

Additionally, each device is assigned to a specific student. Learners may not swap Chromebooks with other learners. Please record the device number for your records.

MASK REMINDER

Your learner must wear their mask at all times in the building. Well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95s offer much more protection than cloth masks.


Please remember to send extra masks with your learner every day!

GENERAL INFORMATION CORNER

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PARENT SURVEY

Parents and Guardians, please lookout for a survey that will be sent out during the week of February 7-11, 2022. Please use this opportunity to share with us things you like and things you believe need improvement. Together, we make a difference.

SMS VIRTUAL SNOW DAY SCHEDULE

In the event of inclement weather and the Superintendent calls for a Virtual Snow Day, learners will remain home and attend school online. The classroom codes will be sent out by their teachers and will also be available through their Schoology log-in. This is only the schedule for Stewart Middle School.

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WELLNESS CORNER

MESSAGE FROM THE NURSE

Dear Families,


As a reminder, if your child is ill, please do not send your child to school. As we continue to combat Covid, we also must consider cough, cold, and flu. Although these may not be as serious as Cold, coughs, colds, and flu may be spread to other people and may make other people ill. In addition, other ailments such as sore throats, stomach aches, not only make your child uncomfortable, again these may be spread to other people if infectious. If your child continues to complain of feeling ill for a couple of days, please have them seen by their doctor.


Encourage your child to eat breakfast. Breakfast is provided to all students in the morning here at Stewart. However, many students do not eat breakfast. Not eating breakfast can cause headaches, stomachaches and may make your child overall not feeling well. If your child does not like to eat breakfast at school, have them eat a simple breakfast at home, such as toast, granola bar, if possible a piece of fruit.


As a reminder: Students can not be medicated in the nurse’s office, unless a prescription from your child’s doctor, written permission from you, along with the medication, is sent to the nurse’s office.


Congratulations on having your child/children vaccinated!!


If your child/children have received their Covid 19 vaccinations, please provide documentation of the vaccination to the school nurse.


If you have any questions, regarding screenings, or health matters of your child, please call the school nurse.

Please remember when your learner is absent because of Covid, follow these general guidelines for returning to school.

You may return to school when you meet ALL of the following criteria:


  • 24 hours with no fever AND

  • Resolving symptoms AND

  • 5 days since symptoms first appeared

  • Masks must be worn around other days 6-10

MONTGOMERY COUNTY SCHOOL ISOLATION & QUARANTINE CHART

The information in the chart below is from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health. It contains symptom screening recommendations, isolation requirements for COVID-19, and quarantine requirements for COVID-19. The link to the chart is also available here: https://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/29760/COVID-19-School-Exclusion-Chart
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AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS

The American Academy of Pediatrics sponsors a website full of information for parents and families with tips to help us with our children at every stage. The site has an option to switch languages to Spanish if you’d like.


English link: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/Pages/default.aspx

Spanish link: https://www.healthychildren.org/Spanish/Paginas/default.aspx

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SUICIDE PREVENTION

Sadly, as we navigate through the Covid pandemic, we hear of more and more mental health issues and the toll they are taking on our youth. For more than a decade, suicide rates have been increasing in children and adolescents of color, and a new study says the sharpest rise occurred among young girls. As children grow into teenagers, it becomes more challenging for parents to know what they are thinking and feeling. When do the normal ups and downs of adolescence become something to worry about?


Click the link below for a little information about suicide. If you need more help, please contact our school counselor or social worker.


10 Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Suicide - HealthyChildren.org

ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT CORNER

BLACK LITERACY DAY

Below is a message from our Reaching Coach Mrs. Bergan about Black Literacy Day on February 14th!! Check it out!


Not only is February Black History Month, but on February 14th, we celebrate Black Literacy Day. This is a day to celebrate black authors and poets. It is a day to read about historical black figures who have contributed remarkable achievements for our nation; a day to learn about historical events that changed the lives of many black Americans. Please visit https://www.familyeducation.com/black-history-month/25-must-read-childrens-books-for-black-history-month for some wonderful book recommendations for our families.

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"TWOS DAY" not TUESDAY

Check out this message from our Math Coach Mrs. Benson!


“Twos Day” is 2-22-22. It is a unique date where all of the digits in the date (written as a two-digit year) are the same. Twos Day is also a palindrome! Check out this link to learn more about palindrome dates: https://www.timeanddate.com/date/palindrome-day.html


Challenge yourself: When would the next “Twos Day” be? The one after that? How about the next one? Do you see any patterns? What do you notice and wonder? Talk about how you figured out the answers.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT (ELD) CORNER

LATINO PARENT MEETING FEBRUARY 9

Please join Dr. Tameka Wilkins on February 9, 2022, at the Norristown Public Library at 5:30 pm to discuss bringing home positive behavior intervention support!


See the flyers below in both English and Spanish for more information.

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FREE ONLINE ENGLISH CLASSES

Project Libertad is offering free online English language learning classes starting March 7th on Monday and Tuesday nights at 7:00 pm for 8 weeks. The classes are for 18 years and up. If you are interested in signing up or might know someone who is please feel free to pass along this information! Sign-up links and flyers can be found below.


Sign up link: tinyurl.com/Spring22ESL

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ACLAMO

ACLAMO is a nonprofit community service organization located right in Norristown that provides educational programs, social services, and access to health and wellness programs to Latinos and other community members to empower them to fully achieve their life potential.


Check out more about what they offer on their website: https://aclamo.org/

GEAR-UP CORNER

SMS is excited to share that our school is launching another GEAR UP program in the coming days, in partnership with the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and the US Department of Education.


It will benefit all of our scholars in grade 7 - and every year thereafter as these learners progress toward high school graduation and into college.

GEAR UP is one of the largest and most effective programs focused on increasing the college and career readiness of students. GEAR UP services include trips to colleges/universities, job site visits and other educational field trips, tutoring, mentoring, after-school programming, summer camps, college/career counseling, college scholarships, and more!


Lastly, our family engagement in GEAR UP will make our program even better! Parent/Family workshops, meetings, and family activities are included in the GEAR UP program. The GEAR UP program staff are anxious to begin working with our scholars and families! More information will be forwarded to the 7th-grade learners within the coming weeks.

ATHLETICS CORNER

Please support our NASD Middle School sports teams!!


All team schedules are posted and updated on the district’s athletics website, www.NorristownAthletics.org. Coaches will not distribute paper copies to players. Links to the schedules can be found below:


Girl's Basketball:

7th Grade: https://norristownathletics.org/main/teamschedule/id/3800749/seasonid/4670508

8th Grade: https://norristownathletics.org/main/teamschedule/id/3800751/seasonid/4670531


Boy's Basketball:

7th Grade: https://norristownathletics.org/main/teamschedule/id/3800742/seasonid/4670318

8th Grade: https://norristownathletics.org/main/teamschedule/id/3800743/seasonid/4670350



Wrestling: https://norristownathletics.org/main/teamschedule/id/3628929/seasonid/4643532

DEVELOPMENTAL BASKETBALL AND WRESTLING

The NASD Athletic Department is offering a developmental basketball program for 6th-grade boys during the month of February. The program will take place at Stewart Middle School on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school until 5:15 pm.


February 1st and 3rd

February 8th and 10th

February 15th and 17th

February 22nd and 24th


The NASD Athletic Department is offering a developmental basketball program for 6th-grade girls during the month of February. The program will take place at Stewart Middle School on Mondays and Wednesdays after school until 5:15 pm.


January 31st and February 2nd

February 7th and 9th

February 14th and 16th

February 23rd

February 28


Developmental Intramural Wrestling

The NASD Athletic Department is offering a developmental wrestling program for 5th and 6th-grade boys and girls during the month of February and the first week of March. The program will take place at Eisenhower Middle School on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays after school until 5:15 pm.


February 8,9,10

February 15, 16, 17

February 22,23,24

March 1,2,3

ENGAA LITTLE LEAGUE SOFTBALL

The East Norriton Girls Athletic Association has opened up its registration for their 2022 Little League Softball Season! NASD students are able to put in a coupon code for $65 off!! You can find the code on the flyer below. Registration closes on March 5th.


If you are interested in signing up here is the link: https://clubs.bluesombrero.com/eastnorritongaa

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FAMILIES MATTER CORNER

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BLACK HISTORY BINGO

Please Join Us! On Thursday, February 24th your family is invited to participate in a Black History Virtual Bingo. The virtual event will take place via Zoom from 6 PM to 7 PM. Bingo cards will be sent home with your child on the day of the event as well as login information. This is a family event so we look forward to the entire family participating. We will play several rounds of bingo with various prizes that can be won throughout the evening. We look forward to your participation.

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RESOURCES CORNER

NEED A COAT? GET A COAT!

With the weather upon us, we would like to extend an invitation to come to the Family Support Center at the Roosevelt School Campus of the Norristown Area High School to pick up a coat to stay warm!


WHO: NASD Students and Families


WHAT: Pick up a Coat


WHERE: The Family Support Center at Roosevelt

1161 Markley St

Norristown, PA 19401


WHEN: Daily (while supplies last)

8 AM-4 PM


Questions?

For further information, please contact the Family Support Center at 610-630-5001

Find more information here: https://www.smore.com/utykq

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