The Marie Murphy Update

23 October 2020 Edition

2nd Quarter Is Coming...What's Happening?

As Marie Murphy students and families approach the start of second quarter, we will capitalize on the routines and procedures we have established these first two months of school, as well as look at some new opportunities to promote learning and engagement. Second quarter officially begins Monday, November 2.

Academic Progress:

  • While there is no formal report card for first quarter (report cards are issued at the end of first semester and again at the end of the year), Mr. Palcer will be sending an email encouraging parents and students to review first quarter grades together. What went well that is worth celebrating? What are some areas that can be improved upon? The grades themselves doesn't much matter if there is no discussion about the attributes and actions that contributed to the grade. Please take advantage of this opportunity to have some meaningful discussions with your child about how they succeeded this first quarter.
  • MAP testing and IXL diagnostic have been completed. These data points are considered baseline, formative data for the teachers - data that is used by the teachers to help drive their instruction for individual students. As we move into second quarter, we will be looking at collecting new data points that show the progress that students are making.


  • Two weeks ago, families were given the opportunity to decide what model of learning their child would engage in for second quarter - remote or hybrid. While the vast majority of families elected to remain in the model of learning they selected for first quarter, there were several students at each grade level that elected to switch. Mr. Palcer will be contacting those families next week to confirm their new learning mode. Monday, November 2nd will technically mark the first day of second quarter when these changes will go into effect, but as that is a full remote day, followed by Tuesday, November 3rd being a non-attendance day due to the election, the first real change in schedules will take place on Wednesday, November 4. Once again, this impacts only students who chose a new learning mode for second quarter.


  • As we look to second quarter, there will be opportunities for teachers and students to engage in some extra curricular activities. These new extra curricular activities will be offered in a remote setting. As the year progresses, and as we (hopefully) see a downward trend in new cases and contagion rates, the hope is to be able to offer more extra curricular options for students. Stayed tuned for opportunities to join different clubs and activities!

Parent Teacher Conferences Thank You!

Marie Murphy teachers and parents engaged for the first time ever in virtual parent-teacher conferences this week. And while the communication from teacher-to-parent looked very much the same as it has in the past - discussions about grades, homework completion, classroom traits and behaviors - the message from parents to teachers had a different feel this year.

Teachers have always viewed MM parents as supportive partners in the endeavor of educating your child/our students. However, that so many parents took time during conferences to recognize and praise the teachers' efforts was truly special and appreciated by our staff. Teacher after teacher has shared with me stories of parents thanking them, supporting them, and encouraging them.

The importance of parents' support and encouragement is not taken for granted by the teachers, and we are incredibly grateful that we continue to be your partner in helping children grow and learn.

Thank you, Marie Murphy Families.

Mark Your Calendars!

A few upcoming calendar dates to note:

  • Monday, October 26: Remote Learning Planning Day - No remote learning for students.
  • Tuesday, November 3: Election Day - No students or teachers, no remote learning.

Social Emotional Learning and Resources

SEL Support At MM

Living during a pandemic is stressful, so we want to make sure parents and students have access to the support and resources they need.

At Marie Murphy, Hannah Newton serves as MM's intervention specialist. She is a wonderful resource for students and parents alike. If you're looking for help or resources, Hannah is a great place to start.

SEL Support In New Trier Township

New Trier High School and the Family Action Network (FAN) present numerous outstanding presenters and topics throughout the year. Check out their next upcoming event.

Grown & Flown: A Conversation on How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults

  • October 28, 2020 from 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • LISA HEFFERNAN: Co-founder, Grown and Flown

Last Call For Family Needs Assessment Survey

Getting your feedback on a variety of topics helps us make the informed decisions when it comes to the multitude of goals and interests that we are working towards during this most unusual of school years.

In trying to determine what social and emotional supports our students need, we are asking you to complete this family needs assessment survey.

The results of this survey will assist Avoca West and Marie Murphy in providing social and emotional supports and resources for students and families as we continue to navigate these challenging times. Please complete one survey per family.

Social Emotional Resources Beyond North Shore

Willow House, located in Bannockburn, offers a variety of programs and services to students and families. Check out their website and their upcoming events flyer below.
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