Thunderblast Weekly

August 22, 2021

Welcome Home

There is so much in this newsletter, that my normal long-winded ramblings are going to be short and sweet. Thank you for all of your support over the last 18 months. Seneca is a second home to so many of us. It’s great to have you back!!!

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Parent Coffee

Thank you for joining! If you didn’t get a chance, you can watch each action- packed minute here :) As I have stated before, we sometimes focus upon sensitive subject matters in a coffee like Policy 8040, COVID mitigation, and clips we might be seeing in the news. Community is everything at Seneca. If you are feeling like any of these sensitive topics can be disconcerting or something I say doesn’t sit right, please reach out to me and we can talk. I have had multiple conversations representing all viewpoints in the past couple weeks and the end feeling is always mutual respect and a growth mindset. Please continue to keep the lines of communication open. We are much stronger together.

COVID Protocols

As you saw from the welcome home video, vaccines, masks, social distancing, and staying home when feeling sick will be our greatest asset. We will continue to contact trace when someone does have COVID and the message from the superintendent will be sent to the community. There are 3 areas of focus below. Each of these requires further explanation, so please watch the video of the parent coffee if you are curious to hear a deeper explanation.



  1. Lockers- students will be encouraged to take materials for multiple classes to reduce numbers in the locker area. Students will leave all backpacks, cinch sacks, and phones in their lockers at the beginning of the day. As much as COVID mitigation is a priority, getting students back to the expectations of Seneca with limited distractions is also a priority. As these two priorities compete, we will monitor and adjust accordingly.

  2. Lunch- outdoor cafe is a goal. We will be looking for parent volunteers to help with cleanup outside to reduce bees. Students will be eating immediately and getting outside everyday as quickly as possible. We recognize this is an area of concern. A sign-up genius for 3 parents per lunch shift will be coming out this week.

  3. PE- although masks are not required, we will be wearing them in certain situations in the gym. The goal will be to get outside as much as possible. Students have the choice to wear their masks at all times.

Speaking of PE

Beyond COVID mitigation, I spoke about PE and policy 8040 at length in the parent coffee. If you have further questions, please direct them to me and the administrative team rather than the PE teachers. I would like them to be able to focus on the physical health of your children.


PE uniforms will be for sale on Thunder Day in the main gym for $7 with cash or check made out to SRMS.


Although uniforms are not required, they are strongly encouraged because they provide:


  • A safety and comfort for movement and multiple activities.

  • A means for students to maintain personal hygiene, thus creating a healthier school environment.

  • Quick visual cues including names and identification (especially because we will be outdoors more) to enhance the safety and efficiency for teachers while outside on our shared facilities.

  • All PE teachers the ability to address students by name when uniforms are properly labeled. There are multiple teachers that interact with students in PE, so this helps make greater connections.

  • A level playing field among students, reducing peer pressure and bullying.

August 24th is a big day! 7th Grade Tours, Thunder Day, and Back to School Night!

An important reminder, none of these events are mandatory. Each has the possibility of larger crowds being gathered with less than 6 feet of social distance. Please see an administrator if you choose to come and are uncomfortable during these events and we will work together to support your families’ needs.


Tours- the focus of the tours will be 7th grade students that were distant last year. That being said, we will be available to support students in 6th grade who missed Bolt Blast camp too. First tour departs the main lobby at 10:00. The second tour departs at 10:30.


Thunder Day- is an informal opportunity for students to get their schedules, meet with friends, set up their lockers, and walk around the building to find their classes and meet their teachers. When you arrive through the front entrance, please head to your grade level house. We will have many staff members available in the hallways. If you need help, please ask.


Back to School Night- is a formal opportunity for students and parents to walk their schedules and hear a brief description of the class from teachers. I have attached more detailed information. Below is the timeline.


It will be extremely helpful for students and parents to have the schedule up on their phones if possible. We will have paper schedules and maps available.

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PTO Tailgate

Although this is part of PTO corner, it is our first big student event of the year, so I moved it right after other events for the week. The DHS football team kicks off their season playing Potomac Falls HS on Friday 8/27. There will be a fantastic SRMS tailgate before the game. There are many things we need to make this event special. See the attached sign-up to see how you can help. SRMS Tailgate Sign UP for parents.


PTO Tailgate Registration and Payment Form- Please join us!

United Mental Health Team (UMHT)

Interested in helping families in our community? Seneca Ridge Middle School has partnered with Food for Neighbors to help feed our local students who deal with food insecurity. For more information and to register for the program, please click Food for Neighbors.


Schedule concerns? Please have students reach out to counselors. It is important to remind everyone that at this point in the year, schedule changes are extremely rare and only occur for incomplete schedules.


6th Grade: Troy Lucchesi

7th Grade: Evita Wilson

8th Grade Last Names A-M: Erin Bot

8th Grade Last Names N-Z & EL Newcomer/Intermediate: Sylvia Aldas
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Business Partners

As a school, we rely on business partners to help us fund essential programs. Our PTO does a great job of connecting us to local businesses. If you know of any business that wants to support Seneca, please let me or the PTO know. Below are some businesses that have supported us recently. If you are ever working with them, please share how much we appreciate their support of our students.


Barakat Orthodontics purchased our 6th grade t-shirts for Bolt Blast.


Subway in Great Falls Plaza owned by our very own Cho family donated gift cards and were extremely generous in May during Teacher Appreciation Week.


Urbano owned by our very own Downes family supported us with baked goods for our welcome back staff breakfast on Wednesday and were extremely generous in May during Teacher Appreciation Week.


Atlantic Coast Mortgage donated gift cards and is sponsoring our faculty coffee cart next week.


Bach To Rock always partners so well by providing DJs free of charge and will be MCing our PTO Tailgate on Friday, August 27th.


Permaculture Gardens owned by our very own Schauder family came out regularly in the spring and summer to manage our front sustainable garden and teach our students. Checkout the pictures below. They have helped to transform the front of our building to an area for both learning and great food! Please check out the website www.growmyownfood.com to join a FREE webinar this coming Wednesday, August 25th at 8 PM.


Hidden Lane Landscaping owned by our very own Menjivar family donated multiple days of work both in the spring and summer with an entire crew to truly get our hoop house garden in the back ready for student learning. Check out pictures below.


With the support of our families, we will have outdoor learning opportunities for our students through classes and clubs! We couldn't be more excited!

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PTO Corner

Join the Seneca Ridge PTO!!

Please head to our PTO website to join SRMS PTO Membership is free but donations are always welcome. If you’d like to get more involved, we have the following chair positions available.

  • Sponsorship Chair

  • 8th Grade Graduation Chair

  • Box Tops Rep

  • Restaurant Nights Chair

  • Odyssey of the Mind Chair

Please reach out to Kim Blough vicepresident@srmspto.org if you are interested.

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SRMS Spirit Nights/Restaurant Nights

There are two upcoming restaurant nights hosted by the SRMS PTO.


  • August 24 - Coldspoon from 3 - 8 PM

  • August 24 - Rai’s Pizza from 4 - 9 PM


Show your spirit and head over to a yummy pizza dinner at Rai’s and finish it off with dessert at Coldspoon. A portion of every sale goes to support the SRMS PTO. Be sure to mention SRMS PTO when you check out. See attached flyers for details.

Spiritwear

Spiritwear sales are happening now. Please visit our spirit wear store. We will also be selling spirit wear at Thunder Day and Back to School Night.
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Reminders

Instrument Rental Request

Students are you taking band or strings? If so and you would like to rent one from our school, please fill out the form below to sign up.


Request form


Formulario