Springton Lake Middle School
Every Student. Every Day. No Matter What.
December 18, 2020
Happy Friday, everyone! I hope that you are all doing well and that everyone had an awesome snow day on Thursday! The snow day was a well-deserved break for our students and staff - and a chance for everyone to do something away from a computer screen. We loved seeing all of the photographs that families shared with us on social media. Hopefully, this is not the last time that we receive some of the white stuff this season!
Today, the main focus for our Friday at-home learning day was Career Day! With the help of some amazing parent and community volunteers, our school counselors were able to put together a great morning of presentations. Some presenters joined live Zoom sessions, while others provided short video presentations that students were able to view. We hope that Career Day provided students with an exposure to some diverse career options for them to consider. Please be sure to ask you child about what they learned today.
Winter Break is almost here. Next week is a short week of school - we have full days on Monday and Tuesday and then a half-day on Wednesday - students will be dismissed at 11:30am. Here is the abbreviated schedule that we will be following for our day on Wednesday - cohort A will attend in-person.
Please encourage your child to take a few moments this weekend - or on Monday - to check HAC to be sure that they are current with their work. We hope that the Friday at-home learning schedule has provided students with some built-in work and catch-up time. As we have done for the last several years, our teachers will not be assigning any work, projects, or assignments for students to complete over the holidays. We hope that this will serve as a nice break from the daily routine and provide students with a chance to disconnect from their Chromebooks, Zoom sessions, and Schoology. Likewise, I will be asking for our staff to disconnect and will be directing them to stay away from their email. This will allow them with a much needed break and some time to be with their families. I would ask that you kindly save any school concerns until after school reopens on January 4, 2021.
With the upcoming short week, this will be my last newsletter of 2020. The next newsletter will be published on January 8, 2021. Please accept my best wishes for a joyful, relaxing, and fun holiday season. While our celebrations will look different this year, I know that there is still a great deal about which to be thankful. Here's hoping for lots of great things - including good health and an eventual return to some normalcy - for all of us in 2021!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!
Student Cohorts and Option for Return to In-person Learning
Despite the overall rise in COVID cases in Delaware County, our in-school safety plans and protocols continue to remain highly effective. The students and staff are simply doing a great job and we continue to reinforce the importance of masking-up, washing-up, and backing-up - just ask your kids. We will remain diligent and vigilant in the days and weeks ahead in an effort to keep everyone healthy and safe.
The end of the 2nd marking period is Friday, January 15, 2021. Prior to that time, I will be reaching out to the families of students enrolled in the fully-virtual cohort to provide the option for students to join one of the in-person hybrid cohorts for the 3rd marking period. Please look for this communication from me in early January. This decision will cover the period from January 19th thru the end of the 3rd marking period on Friday, March 26, 2021. We will continue to provide students with a fully-virtual option through the 3rd marking period, at least.
If you are concerned about the current COVID spike and would like to switch your child to the fully-virtual cohort for the remainder of the 2nd marking period, please email me and we will update our records. This will allow our teachers to plan appropriately for instruction. It will also stop the daily email that you receive with the symptom screener.
If you opt to keep your child in the in-person cohort, it is very important that you complete the daily symptom screener - even if they will be learning from home on a given day.
Congratulations - Spartan Students of the Month!
Congratulations to our December 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. Soon, we'll be visiting the homes of our fully-virtual recipients.
Paige Krissinger, Miles Foster-Larner, Owen Kelly, Amelia Reno, Campbell O'Neill, Timothy Quigley
Zachary DelPrato, Zoe Wells, Michael Mita, Sophia Klinger, Siyani Dennis, Christoper Teti
Charlotte Goldstein, Nicholas Fante, Abigail Puckett, Brady Pettit, Nicolas Fox, Briana Phillip
Winter Concerts - "2020 Style"
The holiday season is normally a very busy time in our auditorium with winter concerts taking place over the course of many evenings. While in-person performances are not possible at this time, this has not stopped our students and their teachers from sharing the gift of music with family and friends. Take a few moments to check-out these virtual performances - they will certainly put a smile on your face and a little bit of holiday cheer in your heart. Thank you to all of the students who participated - and to our talented music teachers who produced these digital concerts! Enjoy!!
Information about Snow Days from the Superintendent
The following communication was sent to families on 12/13/2020, from our Superintendent about SNOW DAYS during the 2020-2021 school year. I am including it here again in the event that you missed this email:
The PDE-approved Flexible Instructional Delivery plan that we have in place allows us to provide asynchronous instruction during an emergency school closure for up to five days during the school year. We weighed the option of implementing the FID for emergency/inclement weather and have decided to not implement the plan this year unless we exceed the three emergency school closure days that are already accounted for in the school calendar. We believe this will give students a needed break from screen time and parents a break from supervision of school engagement/assignments. Keeping the three “snow days” in the calendar in June will also provide the possibility of having school days in June with fully in person learning if community incidence rates reach low enough levels that the current requirement of 6 feet of physical distancing is modified. With the challenges of this year, I also did not want to take one more thing away from our students including the anticipation and excitement that comes with “snow days”. Therefore, we will treat the first three days of emergency/inclement weather “snow days” as school closure days. We will continue to send out a global message alert indicating that school will be closed for students and staff if weather conditions indicate the need to do so.
Holiday Spirit Days and Activities
Student Council is sponsoring the following spirit days and activities to add some fun to next week:
Monday & Tuesday, 12/21 & 12/22 - Wear your "ugliest" - or most festive - holiday sweater!
Wednesday, 12/23 - Pajama Day
Students who participate in the daily theme will be able to earn spirit points for their grade level and will also be entered into a raffle for gift card prizes.
A Gingerbread Decorating Contest will run through 8am on Monday, 12/21. Students (and families) may show off their skills and decorate a gingerbread house and submit a photo of themselves with their creation to Mrs. Gilroy. Once again, gift card prizes will be awarded.
Registration for Winter Intramural Basketball
We are currently making tentative plans to run an intramural basketball tournament for interested students starting in mid-January. In order for us to be able to plan appropriately, we are holding registration from December 11th thru December 21st. We will utilize this information to develop a plan that is both fun and safe. Our ability to move forward with our plan will be contingent upon any restrictions or guidance from the Chester County Health Department and/or the Pennsylvania Department of Health that are in place at that time. Please be aware of the following key points:
1. We will play indoors in the gymnasium.
2. Students will be masked at all times - even while playing.
3. We plan to keep the groups small. Therefore, the frequency in which students participate will depend upon the interest level.
Please complete this REGISTRATION FORM if your child would like to participate. Because our plans and schedule will be dictated by interest, it will not be possible to accept any additional registrations after December 21st. More specific information will be shared with registered students after Winter Break.
Save the Dates! Parent Workshops in 2021
January 14, 2021, 7:00pm to 8:30pm - Spotting Bias in Ourselves and Our Middle-Schoolers
March 24, 2021, 7:00pm to 8:30pm - Using Media to Disrupt Racism with Middle-Schoolers
Both programs are being facilitated by Philly's Children's Movement and will be conducted online via Zoom. A link to register for the workshops will be provided in early January.
School Pictures - Re-take Days
Picture re-take days will be January 6th and 7th from 8am to 10am. Any student who was not photographed in November will be able to have their picture taken in January. Students who ordered a photo package but are not satisfied, may return the photos for a re-take. Fully-virtual students who need a re-take may come in on either day during the indicated timeframe.
School pictures and student identification cards from Lifetouch have arrived. For students who are fully-virtual, parents may stop by the Main Office from 7:30am until 4:00pm daily for pick-up.
Yearbook Information - Never Too Soon...
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. Eighth grade students will also have the opportunity to have a baby picture and personalized message included in this year's yearbook. Here are all of the important details...
Purchase this year's yearbook now - the pre-order cost through December 31st is $25. After that, the cost will be $30. Go to www.jostens.com and click on Yearbooks ---> Buy Your Yearbook and search for our school.
8th Grade Baby Pictures will be $10. Each section will be 1/8 of a page. You will be able to choose the format of your "ad" and include a photo and personalized message for your graduate. Again, go to www.jostens.com and search for Springton Lake Middle School. Click on Yearbook Recognition Ads. You'll then need to sign-in or create a new account. Follow the prompts to submit your ad. Please include your child's homeroom teacher's name.
To share photos for possible inclusion in the yearbook, click here. The user ID is 415963949. Be sure to include the grade level, names of students depicted, and a description of the photo. Submissions will be accepted through February 21, 2021.
Traveling for the Holidays? 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 10pm, and on Sunday evenings from 4pm to 10pm.
The Calm Before Wednesday's Storm
The sunrise at The Lake is always beautiful!
We LOVED seeing all of the great snow day photographs!
Getting into the holiday spirit with some matching t-shirts!