Pacific Grove Middle School

December 2020 Newsletter

Dear PGMS Families,


As we draw closer to our Winter Break, I’d like to take this opportunity to laud you and your student(s). In setting out to create a distance learning experience, we knew that our chief task was to make learning as close to “normal” as possible, and to distance ourselves from the experiences (though we learned a lot!) of Quarter 4.


I have colleagues in neighboring districts, and our description of learning experiences could not have been more different. In covering classes, and involving ourselves in the learning process, both Mr. Tovani and myself marvel at the level of engagement in learning, the positive attitude and the kindness your students show their teachers and each other.


It has been a journey of discovery, trial and error, and one that our staff has undertaken with your student. And I think that is part of the reason for our success, that we are all new learners, and that we are partners in this process. So, as 2020 draws to a close, please know that the health, safety, and wellbeing of your student has and will remain our chief focus, whatever the new year brings. We wish you all the best, and have a wonderful and restful Winter Break.


Sincerely,

Sean Roach

Proud Principal of PGMS

Web Monitoring

During this time of distance learning, when your child’s use of technology has increased substantially, we would like to remind you that the district’s Acceptable Use Agreement states that we reserve the right to monitor students’ online activities during school hours and/or while they are using district-furnished technology – whether it be hardware or software platforms. This includes anytime students are logged into their district-provided Google student accounts.

Our web management systems track and monitor online browsing activities, Google search queries, and document transactions in Google Drive/Classroom. One of the systems we use to achieve this is called GoGuardian. GoGuardian collects this information anytime a student is logged into their district Google student account through the Chrome Web Browser. If a student engages in inappropriate or harmful online activities, GoGuardian immediately creates a notification which is sent to the school’s IT personnel and school administration. GoGuardian only functions at the browser level and cannot monitor the actions/activities that occur on the local device itself. GoGuardian cannot alter local device settings such as turning on audio or visual hardware (e.g. microphone, speakers, webcam, etc.), or transfer/download files between devices.

GoGuardian Parent App

As you may have already heard, we have recently launched GoGuardian Parent.


What is GoGuardian Parent?

GoGuardian Parent is a mobile app that was created to provide additional educational support to administrators and teachers by allowing parents to see what sites and documents their children are browsing and to also provide parents with additional internet controls at home. The app gives parents a bird's eye view of the websites and platforms that their kids are on during the school day so that we can work together to encourage more productive and safer internet browsing habits at home and in school.


What is the intention of the app?
Our goal is to empower parents to take a more active role in their children's online learning. We also believe that with greater transparency and insights we can increase safer student browsing habits on a more consistent basis.


What do parents have access to?

· A "Top 5" summary of their student’s browsing activities (apps, extensions, documents, and websites visited).

· A 30-day view of websites, videos, documents, apps, and extensions used by their student.

· The ability to pause their student’s internet access during out-of-school hours, either on-demand or at a scheduled time.


The GoGuardian Parent App will only monitor your student’s online activities when he/she is logged into their PGUSD Google account within the Google Chrome Browser on their device (either school-issued or personal). Students must be logged into their district provided Google account within Chrome for the app to work. For best results, we strongly encourage that the Chrome web browser is set as the default browser on the device(s) your student is using for distance learning/during school hours. Note: GoGuardian Parent does not apply to students using iPads (i.e. students in grades TK-1st).


To access GoGuardian Parent, simply follow these instructions:

1. Download the app:

2. iPhone: Visit App Store, search for GoGuardian Parent, and tap the download button.

3. Android: Visit Google Play Store, search for GoGuardian Parent, and tap the download button.

4. After the app is successfully downloaded and installed, open it up, and enter your email address registered with the school. Note: If you forgot your registered email address, please reach out to your student’s front office.

5. Login/Check Email: Check your email on your phone for a link to log in to the app. Tap the "Verify your email", and it will take you straight to the app. Note: If you don't have access to your email through the device you used to log in, tap on "Login with verification code", and copy and paste the verification code from the email into the app.


If you have any questions about the district’s acceptable use of technology agreement or GoGuardian specifically, feel free to reach out to PGMS Site Tech, Grayson Fong (gfong@pgusd.org). Thank you for your ongoing partnership in helping us achieve responsible and safe use of technology for all of our students in PGUSD.


Sincerely,

Jason Tovani
Assistant Principal, PGMS
jtovani@pgusd.org

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Honors Luncheon

The Honors Luncheon is on Monday, December 14, 2020, from 11:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. for students who had a GPA of 3.5 and above from August 12 - October 9, 2020. Eligible students received an invitation to their school email address and parents/guardians received the same email to let them know their student is eligible. If you did not receive an email, but your student is eligible, please email the office Mrs. Odell, podell@pgusd.org and Ms. Apple, aatofau@pgusd.org. There is a RSVP link in the invitation that needs to be completed by Wednesday, December 9, 2020.

School Pictures Re-Take Day

If your student missed picture day or needs to retake their picture, it is on Monday December 14, from 8:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. outside of the music room entrance. The same place it was held last time. If you are not purchasing pictures, please take your picture so it can be in the yearbook.

End of Semester!

Can you believe it? The end of the first half of our school year is just around the corner, December 18. Please encourage your child to complete their work and to communicate with their teachers if they begin to slip or need more support.

Counselor's Corner

Janie Lawrence, PGMS Counselor


It is not surprising that as your PGMS counselors, Sonda, Zoe, and I have been hearing from lots of you that your children are experiencing anxiety. These are unprecedented times for all of us and especially for youth who can no longer socialize with their peers in normal in-person settings such as school, sports, music, after-school activities and just hanging out with friends on the weekends. If what your child is experiencing is becoming chronic, we recommend that you first have him/her evaluated by their pediatrician. Your pediatrician can refer you to clinicians in the community who work with children and young adults who are struggling with anxiety. This article, Helping Children With Anxiety in the Pandemic , is informative, instructive and hopeful in that even in a pandemic anxiety can be dealt with.


One of the most important points, is that parents have to take care of themselves and their own anxiety. Children watch and model their behavior after us. Our behavior and not our words often speak volumes. Please contact us if you feel your child would benefit from a counseling session. Stay safe and healthy everyone.

8th Grade PGHS Registration & Save the dates...

Dear PGMS 8th Grade Families,


We are already starting the preparations to welcome your student to Pacific Grove High School for the 2021-2022 school year. While you're student is focusing on a strong finish to their Middle School years, we're gearing up to create their schedules for 9th grade. I look forward to 'seeing' you all in January 2021!


Mrs. Rice, mrice@pgusd.org

PGHS Counselor

Grades 9 & 10


SAVE THE DATES:


PGMS Parent Night Zoom meeting: Wednesday, 13 January 2021, 6:30-8:00 PM


PGMS Course Registration via Zoom in PGMS English classes: Thursday, 14 January and Friday, 15 January 2021


PGMS Honors/AP Night Zoom meeting: Wednesday, 27 January 2021, 6:30-8:00 PM


Zoom links for the meetings will emailed as the date is closer.

Please click on the Herff Jones image to create a Yearbook Ad and/or order a yearbook.

The school order/number is 16072.

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Yearbook Pictures needed!

If you or your students have pictures for possible use in the 2020 yearbook, please send them to the email address below. Be sure to label the pictures with who is in them and what the event was. Also, pictures need to be 300dpi or higher resolution to be used.


Yearbook email address: pgmsyearbook@pgusd.org


Thank you for submitting photos in this 2020 school year. This is the only way we can create the yearbook, with everyone's help in documenting the unusual events of this year. The yearbook staff is looking forward to seeing all your photos!

Not returning?

If your student is not returning to PG MIddle School or going to PG High School for the 2021-2022 school year, please email Mrs. Cochran, rcochran@pgusd.org, to let her know as soon as possible.

Traveling? Missing school?

If your student is going to miss class due to traveling, vacation, there is a form that needs to be filled out. It is called the Justifiable Absence Request Form. It should be filled out at least two weeks prior. Please complete the form and email it to Mrs. Cochran. Mr. Tovani will review it and then we email it to the teachers.
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Minimum Day, Friday, December 18

Winter Break (no school) December 21- January 1

School resumes on Monday, January 4