Cougar News Family Newsletter

Week 1: August 31-September 4

Welcome to the 2020-2021 School Year


Welcome, Cougars! We are so excited to be starting the 2020-2021 school year! Whether you are learning in person or virtually, this is going to be a great year!


You will receive a weekly newsletter every Sunday afternoon. These newsletters will contain important information for the week ahead. We also highlight student and staff accomplishments in the newsletter.


Our theme for this school year is "You Belong Here". Kerr is a Capturing Kids' Hearts National Showcase school and we believe that relationships are the foundation of any successful school. We want each of our students to feel connected to Kerr and feel valued as an individual.


We know there are a lot of nerves and uncertainties as we embark on the adventure of the new school year. Please know we are here to help and support. Let us know what we can do to make you and your student feel comfortable and confident about the year ahead.


It is going to be a great year in Cougar Nation! Let's make it a great first week!


Thanks,


Kalee McMullen, Ed.D.

Principal- Kerr MS

Healthy Practices for Healthy Cougars

Please help us keep all of our Cougars healthy by screening your student for COVID-like symptoms before sending them to school.


If your student has a temperature of 100.4 or higher or is exhibiting COVID-like symptoms, please do not send your student to school.


Please send your student to school in a mask that covers their mouth and nose. We will have additional masks on hand for any student who needs one; however, we encourage students to wear a mask they have selected and feel comfortable in. Everyone has different preferences for design, style, and comfort.


We will also be encouraging frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing throughout the school day.


Please see the BISD Health Protocols page for more information.


Thank you for helping keep our Cougars healthy!

Kerr MS Bell Schedule

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First Week of School Information

The first day of school is Monday, August 31st.


If you selected VIRTUAL/ONLINE instruction for the first six weeks of school, you will begin virtual instruction on this day and you will not come up to Kerr for instruction. You will remain at home and learn virtually.


If you selected IN PERSON LEARNING for the first six weeks of school, you will come up to school for a staggered start on designated day(s) during the first week of school. All other days, you will remain at home and learn virtually.


Regardless if you are in person or at home, all students will follow their normal day class schedule and bell schedule.


If you selected IN PERSON LEARNING for the first six weeks of school, the graphic below will be helpful to you.

First Week Graphic for IN PERSON Learners

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Online Learning

As we begin this school year, it is important for us to define the difference between synchronous and asynchronous online learning.


SYNCHRONOUS = LIVE

If your student participates in synchronous learning, they will participate in a live classroom with a teacher present. Students will follow their normal bell schedule and log in to their assigned class at the normal time they would attend in person. Students are able to ask questions, participate in class discussions and activities, and get real-time feedback and assistance from their teacher.

We encourage all virtual learners to participate synchronously whenever possible.


ASYNCHRONOUS = RECORDED

If your student participates asynchronously, this means they are participating on their own time schedule and a teacher is not immediately available for assistance. Students needing assistance will have to reach out to their teacher via email and schedule a tutorial session during the teacher's conference period or during another mutually agreed upon time. Tutorial sessions are not a replacement for viewing the recorded lessons and working through the material independently. Tutorial sessions are for specific questions or assistance needed after the student has worked independently on the content.

Cell Phone Policy

This year, Kerr MS has aligned with the cell phone policy that Hughes MS implemented last year.


Our desire is for all students to be engaged in learning and connect with each other in meaningful, appropriate ways during their time at school.


We believe that middle school students are very social by nature, and we strive to provide ways for students to be social at school. We encourage students to have conversations and connect with those around them in classrooms, passing periods, and during lunches.


Students are not permitted to be on their cell phones during the school day. We understand that there are times where a parent needs to relay a message to a student, or when a student needs to contact their parent during the school day. We encourage parents to call the front office and we will deliver messages to students, or we encourage you to email your student information needed.


If there is a circumstance where a student needs to step out and call or text their parent, they just need to ask the teacher's permission and we will all them to do so.


Our cell phone policy is below. Please reach out to any administrator if you have questions about this policy.


We appreciate your help and support!

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Attendance Questions

Please refer to the flowchart below for information about how attendance will be taken on a daily basis.


Per TEA requirements, students must engage daily in each class period's content.

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Teacher Hours & Response Times

Our goal is to always be prompt and responsive to your questions and concerns; however, an immediate response is not possible in most all situations.


Our teachers teach six out of seven class periods each day. They are assigned one conference period per day that is used for planning, meetings, parent contact, and other tasks required for their job.


Per BISD Board Policy, please note that teachers will respond to you within 24 hours of an email or phone call.


Setting an appointment with a teacher, counselor, or administrator is strongly encouraged to ensure the person you need to visit with is available during your call/visit. We are happy to set up virtual meetings or phone calls as well.

Schoology Help Desk Information

Burleson ISD has established a Schoology Help Desk. Please visit the help site here: BISD Schoology Help


The Schoology help line is open until 8pm through Friday, September 4th, including today (Sunday, August 30th). 817-245-1138


You can also email questions for help: SCHOOLOGYSUPPORT@BISDMAIL.NET

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures

All parent drop off and pick up traffic enters the Kerr MS property at the light (Hidden Creek & Arrowwood).


Please follow the directions of all staff members assisting with traffic flow. Our goal is a safe and efficient process for dropping off and picking up your student each day.


Please do not stop to load or unload your car on Hidden Creek. This is very dangerous. BPD frequently monitors this area and will issue citations if needed.


The fence around the perimeter of Kerr MS property was completed over the summer. Students will no longer be able to cut through the back of the Kerr MS property into the Plantation neighborhood. Students will have to walk along Hidden Creek to access Plantation.


Please review the maps below for our updated drop off and pick up procedures for this school year.

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Info from our KMS Social Worker, Ms. Salazar

The Parenting Center


http://theparentingcenter.org/


Free Parenting Advice Line 817-332-6399 is available Monday-Friday from 11am-3pm to provide emotional support to parents and caregivers or answer any parenting questions.


La línea gratuita de consejos para padres 817-332-6399 está disponible de lunes a viernes de 11 a. M. A 3 p. M. Para brindar apoyo emocional a los padres y cuidadores o responder a cualquier pregunta sobre la crianza.


Free classes and events are also available on their website.

Las clases y eventos gratuitos también están disponibles en su sitio web.


Starting on Monday, August 31st, The Parenting Center will host Ask the Teacher, every Monday at 6:30pm where parents and caregivers will have the chance to ask a teacher any questions about virtual learning, technology and more. You can view and register for the sessions on their website under the events tab. (This is not specific to BISD).


A partir del lunes 31 de agosto, The Parenting Center tendrá sesiones Preguntale a un Maestro, todos los lunes a las 6:30 pm, donde los padres y cuidadores tendrán la oportunidad de hacerle a un maestro cualquier pregunta sobre aprendizaje virtual, tecnología y más. Puede ver y registrarse para las sesiones en su sitio web en la sección de eventos.

A Word from Nurse Hadley

Please contact Nurse Hadley with questions about medications, vaccinations, and other health concerns at shadley@bisdmail.net or 817-245-0756.
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Homecoming Information

We are pleased to announce that BHS & CHS homecoming will be on September 24 at AT&T Stadium! This is an incredible opportunity to continue our homecoming and Boot Bowl traditions at AT&T Stadium. We look forward to kicking off another great football season with students of all ages and families joining us!


Ticket sales for games this season will be made available online the week of each game.


More details about homecoming and school procedures will be available in the next few weeks. In the meantime, let’s get excited for a great school year together! We look forward to seeing you all next week - on campus and virtually!

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