The OMS Community Newsletter
May - June 2020
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Happy Retirement Wishes
There was a special edition of the OMS Knightly News (remote version) on Wednesday, May 20th. We recognized our two retiring teachers for years of dedicated service to the O'Donnell Middle School. Math teacher Dave Prudden and French teacher Maria Driscoll both contributed so much to our school community over the years. They will be missed. They were both scheduled to be cleaning out their classrooms, so we invited them to be guests on the OMS Knightly News morning announcements. Then, we took them out front for a surprise "Happy Retirement" drive-by with parents, students, and teachers saying farewell. It was pretty wonderful. Thanks to all who participated.
Check out the full video below.
Wrapping Up a Most Unusual School Year
In a typical school year, we would be planning our Memorial Day assembly for the 8th grade to honor those men and women who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. That assembly would be the start of all sorts of end of the school year routines and traditions. This is usually the time I say something like, "it's hard to believe that the school year is almost over." But nothing this school year is hard to believe.
Yes, it has been quite an adventure to get from September to June in 2020. Though we have been apart for the end of this school year...we have come to the end together. It has not been easy; that is for sure. Like many of you, I have found a new appreciation for some things I took for granted before this extended school closure: seeing students every day, observing great teaching and learning, downtime, the value of human connections, sports, and the list goes on. I will always be a teacher at heart, and I look for the lesson in any experience, good or bad. Maybe appreciating the simple things more and dealing with adversity are two of the lessons here.
That said, the end of the school year is approaching, so here are some things you need to know.
Student Item Pick-up and Return
Students will be able to pick-up and return items starting on June 8th. All of the details and links for signing up for that are listed separately below.
Grade 8 Information
We will celebrate our 8th graders as they prepare to move on from OMS. Here is the email I sent out about that:
Attention 8th Graders and 8th Grade Families,
Even in the midst of this most unusual school year, it is hard to believe that you're about to finish your time in middle school and prepare to move on to high school. And despite the extended school closure, we are going to recognize your accomplishment and say farewell in a special way. We will have a two-part farewell recognition celebration for 8th graders in 2020.
1. We will be producing a virtual class day video that incorporates as many elements from our typical Class Day Ceremony as possible. This video will recognize every 8th grader for completing middle school and for all of the accomplishments we would typically recognize (academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, Presidential Awards, Marisa Ramos Spirit Award, Emile Farrington Award, Madalena Fernandes Award, Principal's Award). We will also have some special photos, videos, and music elements in the video.
2. As always, the PTSO will be providing each 8th grader with a class gift. These gifts, your middle school certificates, and any of the awards and certificates you receive this year will be available for you when you pick up your items from school in June. 8th graders will have specially designated pickup days, and we will do our best to make these days as special as they can be under the circumstances.
Trimester 3/Final Report Cards
A reminder that there will be no percentages or regular letter grades (A,B,C,D,F) associated with remote learning assignments. Students will receive “credit” or “no credit” for participating. This credit is based on a student's participation only.
For Trimester 3, students who receive credit for participating in remote learning will see a P on their report card and a comment based on Participation. Students who do not receive credit for participation will see an I on their report card and a comment based on Incomplete Participation. These marks and comments in Trimester 3 will have no negative impact on a student's overall, final average in their yearlong courses. The final grades for these courses will be based on the two trimesters we were able to complete before the school closure. T3/Final Report Cards will be sent home via email.
The official last day of school is June 16th. Expect the last week of the school year to be a slowdown period for remote learning...some fun activities and an opportunity for make up work.
Remember that we are following the state guidelines for promotion to the next grade level by focusing on the standards to best prepare students for the next grade level. Students will not be retained due to this extended school closure. The district is developing plans to adjust the curriculum and transition plans for all students in preparation for the fall. Middle school students will get a suggested summer reading list this year.
Student Item Pick Up & Return
Starting on June 8th, students and parents/guardians will be able to start coming to OMS to pick up their belongings and return school-issued materials. Students and their parents/guardians will sign up for a ten minute appointment, using the Sign Up Genius links below.
6th and 7th graders will be able to choose their ten minute appointment slots on June 8, 10, 11, or 12th between the hours of 8am and 2pm.
8th graders will choose a ten minute appointment on June 15th or 16th between the hours of 8am and 2pm.
All students must be accompanied by an adult.
All visitors will park and use the gymnasium entrance on the side of the building. All visitors must wear masks to enter. Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry and exit. Only eight students maximum will be scheduled for each ten-minute time slot. Only those scheduled for each ten-minute time slot will be allowed to enter the gymnasium. Inside the gymnasium, all student items will be available for pick-up:
- contents of lockers (will be bagged and labeled)
- student work and projects
- musical instruments
- Canobie Lake trip refunds
- unclaimed "lost and found" items
Also, 8th graders will receive:
- your OMS certificate of completion
- your other awards and certificates earned
- your Class Gift, courtesy of the PTSO (and a little something extra this year)
Students will also be able to return any items they owe to the school. School-issued items have already been removed from lockers and accounted for, so no need to open the locker bags once you pick them up.
PLEASE NOTE: STUDENTS WHO BORROWED A CHROMEBOOK DO NOT HAVE TO RETURN THEM ON THESE DAYS. THEY CAN HOLD ONTO THEM. THERE WILL BE A SEPARATE DAY SCHEDULED FOR CHROMEBOOK RETURNS AFTER THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL.
There will be areas for item returns clearly marked in the gymnasium and staff on hand to assist in the process. Sign Up Genius is very user friendly. You do not need to create an account or do any set-up. Just click on your desired "sign-up" date and time, and fill in the necessary information. If you need any help signing up, or have any questions at all, please call the main office for assistance. We would be happy to help get you signed up for a day and time that works for your family.
CLICK ON THE BUTTON BELOW FOR YOUR GRADE TO SIGN UP.
Hello to Students from Staff
We did it...again!
The 38th Annual statewide Arson Watch fire safety poster contest took place recently, despite the cancellation of their typical in-person ceremony. Earlier in the school year, Deputy Chief Breen from the Stoughton Fire Department visited Mrs. Jarasitis and her seventh grade artists to talk about fire safety and about the contest. OMS students have partipcated in this statewide contest for the past several years, and we have had quite a few winners. This year was no exception.
Norfolk County Winners
1st place -Jailyn Carey (poster below with candle) $200
2nd place- Jalisiyah Peddy (poster below with the trees) $100
3rd Place -Jailyn Carey $250
Congratulations Jailyn and Jalisiyah, and thanks to Deputy Chief Breen and Mrs. Jarasitis.
And Check this Out!
Click on the title of the show below to see an appearance by OMS sixth grader Sriram Akella!