Springton Lake Middle School
Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What.
February 26, 2021
Return to More School Days Plan
Happy Friday, everyone!
I hope that you are all doing well and that you have been enjoying the slightly warmer days that we have had this week. After the pattern of winter weather that we all had to endure, this new trend is much-needed!
You should have received important communication from Dr. DiMarino-Linnen on Wednesday about the Return to More School Days plan. Based upon a number of factors, we will be making a recommendation to the School Board to revise the Health & Safety Plan to allow for increased in-person instruction for those families who desire this option. Pending School Board approval, our plan is to convert the current two-day in-person model to a four-day in-person model. Students who currently attend in-person five days will have no change and families who prefer the fully-virtual model will have this option, too. Here are some key dates:
Monday, March 1st @ 6:00 PM - Special School Board Committee Meeting (virtual) to present details of the revised plan.
Tuesday, March 2nd - Parent survey sent to families to select the instructional model for each child for the remainder of the school year. There will be TWO options only - in-person for 4 days OR fully-virtual. A response is needed for each student by 11:59 PM on March 7th.
Tuesday, March 9th @ 6:00 PM - Special Legislative Meeting of the School Board to vote on the recommendation of the revised plan.
Wednesday, March 10th - Flexible Instructional Day - NO in-person learning. Teachers will utilize the time to plan for the remainder of the school year, including reorganization of the classrooms to accommodate more in-person students.
Wednesday, March 17th - Pending approval, 6th grade students transition to 4-days.
Monday, March 22nd - Pending approval, 8th grade students transition to 4-days.
Monday, April 5th - Pending approval, 7th grade students transition to 4-days.
VERY IMPORTANT - Please look for the survey next week and complete as soon as possible so that we can begin finalizing our plans.
The Return to More School Days Plan is an important step and we are ready and able to move forward in a way that ensures the health and safety of all members of our school community.
Thank you for taking a few moments to review the rest of this newsletter. There are important updates about spring sports and parent-teacher conferences. I hope that you have an enjoyable weekend - stay safe!
Parent-Teacher Conferences - Schedule an Appointment
Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, March 10th and Thursday, March 11th. As we did in the Fall, all conferences will be held virtually via Zoom. Each appointment will be 15 minutes in length. While we very much enjoy meeting with parents, conferences at the middle school level are not required. Each team will have about 40 slots - while they teach well over 100 students. Please consider if there is a concern or issue that needs to be addressed. If so, please schedule a conference. If your child is thriving and they have had a successful school year, we ask that you consider leaving this slot open for another family. In order to schedule an appointment with your child's TEAM of teachers - use the links below. If you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, a world language teacher, or special area teacher, please reach out to those teachers directly VIA E-MAIL. The teachers will work with you to coordinate a mutually convenient time to meet. Please keep in mind that spots typically fill very quickly. If you would like an appointment, but all spots are filled, please reach out to your child's school counselor.
Spartan Students of the Month - February
Congratulations to our February Spartan Students of the Month. The following students were selected by their teachers for consistently demonstrating our core values of Ready, Respectful,. Responsible, & Resilient. While we traditionally honor students at a monthly breakfast celebration that is attended by family members and teachers, we are unable to continue with that tradition at this time. Instead, our Administrative Team has started visiting students’ classes to personally congratulate them and to provide them with a certificate and token of appreciation.
Avantika Nasta, Carson Griffiths, Reagan Mogck, Daniel Satner, Francis Shafer, & Grace Rim-Thomas
Pablo Strine, Yekaterina Zhdanova, Mac Crawford, Lucia Renzulli, Vanessa Arsenault, & Rahonel Tejada.
Lilia Reilly, Lucas Valez, Kayra Sacan, John Khoury, Addison Wolfe, & Owen Meo
Spring Sports Update
I am very excited to share with everyone that our administrative team and athletic directors are moving forward with a TENTATIVE plan to offer a traditional season of interscholastic sports for our 7th & 8th grade students! Intramural activities would still be made available to 6th grade students. Our plan for interscholastic supports is contingent upon many variables, including the confirmation of other schools to compete with us. At present, our aim is to launch the season with tryouts following Spring Break on April 5th. As we continue to work through the planning, there is one very important thing that our families and athletes should DO NOW - all participants will be required to have a sports physical (dated from June 1, 2020 or later) and complete the PIAA form. Since we did not have a traditional season in the Fall or Winter, the vast majority of athletes will need to do this now. If you submitted your PIAA form last Summer or in the Fall - we have it. Please do not wait until April to plan for a physical appointment. Athletes can not participate, including for tryouts, without a physical and completed form. We are requesting that PIAA forms be submitted by Friday, March 26th (day prior to Spring Break) in order to ensure that athletes can participate on April 5th. Again, this information is TENTATIVE at this point. We will absolutely share more information once details are finalized.
Car Line - Drop-off & Pick-up
With an increase in students attending in-person, we have noticed a corresponding increase in traffic on campus. In order to keep traffic flowing in an efficient manner, please help us by doing the following:
1. Follow the direction of staff who are stationed outside.
2. Pull as far down as possible along the sidewalk.
3. Your child should be ready to exit the car in the morning when you arrive to the front of the building. Students should do so quickly and wherever the car stops along the front sidewalk.
Thank you for your cooperation.
8th to 9th Grade Transition & Course Selection
The process of transitioning our current 8th grade students to Penncrest High School for next year is now underway! Mrs. Gilroy will be visiting each student's Language Arts class to facilitate the course request process. Students need to come to these sessions ready to enter their course requests - this includes challenge levels for each course and elective choices (+ an alternate). Mrs. Gilroy shared this meeting schedule with students in Schoology. Parents should continue to refer to email communication from Mrs. Gilroy. For more information, please visit the course selection page on the Penncrest website. Additional questions about the course selection process or the Penncrest academic program may be directed to:
Mrs. Gilroy - 8th Grade School Counselor
Mrs. Eaton - 9th Grade School Counselor
Mrs. Sweeney - Penncrest High School Assistant Principal for Academic Affairs
Support Our School with Rx Fundraising
Do you shop at Rite Aid Pharmacy for your prescriptions or other personal needs? If so, your purchases can also benefit our school. Take a moment to register and allow our school to earn funds each time that you visit your local Rite Aid.
The next PTG meeting of the school year will be held on Tuesday, March 9th at 7:00 PM. Everyone is invited to attend. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom.
Attendance Expectations - In-Person Cohorts
Students who are enrolled in one of the in-person cohorts are expected to attend in-person on a consistent basis unless there is an approved reason to be at home - i.e. exposure to COVID, quarantine due to travel, etc. Students without an approved reason who do not attend in-person when expected on a consistent basis will be asked to switch to the fully-virtual cohort. The lack of predictability and consistency is very difficult for our students and for our teachers.
If you have an approved reason for your child to work from home on a day that they are expected in-person, PLEASE complete the daily symptom screener so that we have this documented.
If you are concerned for any reason with your child's program - either in-person or fully-virtual and need to discuss a change, please email me directly with your request and I will be back in touch.
Did You Know...
We hope that you enjoy reading each week's newsletter. Understanding that this is a very unusual year of school, we are using this weekly newsletter to share A LOT of important details, updates, and logistics. If there is one communication that you read carefully each week, we sincerely hope that it is this one. In addition to sending it to you via email each Friday - and also sharing a link on our Twitter account, the weekly newsletter is also posted/archived on our website. If you ever need to go back to look for something that you missed, all of the updates are available to you on our website. Again, thank you for reading!
Have You Ordered Your Yearbook Yet?
June may seem a long way off, but production of this year's yearbook is already underway. Students and parents are invited to share photos of what life looks like for you - what learning looks like at home and how you are spending time together as a family. Here are all of the important details...
Purchase this year's yearbook NOW - the pre-order cost is $30. Go to www.jostens.com and click on Yearbooks ---> Buy Your Yearbook and search for our school. Ordering NOW is the ONLY way to guarantee that your child will receive a copy of this year's book.
Reminder - Lunch is FREE!
Don't forget that the Rose Tree Media School District has been approved to provide FREE meals - breakfast and lunch - to ALL students!
- ALL students under the age of 18 are eligible for the program.
- Participation in the free meal program helps to sustain the Food Services Department (and staff) in the Rose Tree Media School District.
- Participating in this program does not take away from any other family's ability to also participate.
- The USDA will reimburse the Rose Tree Media School District for the meals provided from monies that were not used last year.
- For more information, please contact Becky Smith in our Food Services Department.
Planning to Travel Outside of PA? Here's What You Need to Know...
On November 25th, the PA Department of Health amended an Order on travel restrictions that they had issued on November 17th. The amended Order requires that travelers over the age of 11 entering Pennsylvania from locations outside the Commonwealth, as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from locations outside the Commonwealth, produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or place themselves in travel quarantine for 14 days upon entering, unless they receive a negative test result during the 14-day travel quarantine period.
The amended Order requires that students either quarantine for 14 days upon entering Pennsylvania OR take a COVID-19 test and receive a negative test result. Students can test upon entering PA (the previous Order required a student to get a test 72 hours prior to entering PA). Students must remain home while awaiting test results. A rapid antigen test or a diagnostic PCR test may be used to meet the testing requirement. Upon receipt of a negative test result, the student can begin attending school. Parents who elect to not have their child tested must keep their child out of school for the full 14-day quarantine period which begins the day they returned to PA. Individuals who are returning to the Commonwealth after traveling outside the Commonwealth for less than 24 hours are exempt from this testing/quarantine requirement.
COVID-19 Questions & Assistance
Parents & guardians who have COVID-related questions during the school day should contact our School Nurse, Ms. Hartner by email or phone - 610-627-6512. For COVID-related questions after school hours, you can reach a school district nurse. Contact information is located on the RTMSD website under District Reopening, After Hours-Covid Questions and Answers. There is a nurse available in the mornings before school from 5am to 7am, in the evenings during the week from 4pm to 9pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm and on Sunday evenings from 4pm to 10pm.