The Falcon

Fieldstone Middle School August 2021

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Dear FMS families,


We hope that all of you are well and continuing to enjoy time with family and friends as the summer winds down. As we near the beginning of the school year, we couldn't be more excited to welcome our students back to a full school day and the enriching middle school programs that Fieldstone provides. As the pandemic continues to present challenges, thoughtful planning has gone into our preparation as per the guidelines set forth by the New Jersey Department of Education and public health officials. We know that coming together is essential and can't wait to reconnect as learners and members of the Falcon Community.


We're looking forward to greeting your children on Wednesday, September 1st. Our daily schedules can be accessed by clicking here. On or about Wednesday, August 25th, you will receive an email providing access information to the Parent Portal. At this time, individual student schedules for the 2021-2022 school year will be made available. If you experience access difficulties, tech support should be contacted at support@montvalek8.org. (Please allow our Tech Department time to respond to your request). Many variables were taken into consideration when devising students' schedules. Due to the complexity of the process, the individualized attention to student placement, and carefully balanced class sizes, we will not be able to honor any requests to change schedules


We are especially excited to welcome our incoming fifth graders and will be offering opportunities to assist with their acclimation to Fieldstone. In-person orientations have been scheduled for August 27th as follows:

  • 9:00 -10:15 - Students with last names A-L


  • 10:30 -11:45 - Students with last names M-Z


It is a privilege for us to work with the outstanding faculty at Fieldstone Middle School. Your children will continue to benefit from our teachers' high level of professionalism, strong commitment to educational excellence, and deep concern for the wellbeing of middle school children. We appreciate your partnership as we work to optimize your children's academic growth while nurturing their social and emotional development.


Because of the efforts of many, our school is ready for the return of students. Mrs. DeGraw and Mrs. Duffy have done an amazing job of handling all of the necessary tasks that will ensure a smooth opening of school. Our technology department members have worked tirelessly to enable the tools that will play an essential role for teachers and students. Our school nurses, Ms. Leem and Ms. Cieszko, have diligently planned to support the health and safety of us all. Without the committed efforts of our custodial and maintenance staff, our building would not be sparkling and ready for learning. As always, we are appreciative of the ongoing support of our Superintendent, Dr. Petersen; Business Administrator, Mrs. Wasserman; and Mr. Collier, Director of Curriculum.


Knowing that the end of the summer and the adjustment to new routines can cause angst for children, we have included the following resource for your reference.

Managing BackTo School Anxiety - Parent Guide for children . Please do not hesitate to reach out to us, Ms. Walker, or Ms. Stadtlander if we can assist your child with any aspect of adjusting to the return to school.


The Montvale Return to School Plan previously shared by Dr. Petersen is linked below for your reference.


We can't wait to begin the school year with your children and look forward to continuing to partner with you!


All the best,

Gina McCormack, Principal

Richard Scherer, Assistant Principal

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What Can Students Expect this Fall?

To wear masks when indoors

To attend school daily for a full day of in-person instruction

To eat lunch with their grade level

To attend recess outdoors whenever possible.

To have access to bottle-filling stations. (Students should bring a water bottle each day.)

To switch classes.

To sit spaced apart in classrooms

To use lockers!

To be able to participate in clubs and athletics

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Staff Updates

We look forward to welcoming the newest members of our staff, and are sure they'll immediately recognize what a wonderful school community they have joined.



The following staff members have assumed new roles in our school:


  • Stephanie Alboum - Resource Math and Language Arts Program

  • Doris Bartel - Family Life Teacher

  • Meg Ferreira - Innovation Teacher in Charge of the IMC

  • Janice Raimondi- Extended Academic Enrichment/Basic Skills Teacher

Attendance

If a student is going to be absent, it's essential that the parent call the school nurse, Ms. Leem, at 201-391-9000 ext. 2502. The message to Ms. Leem should state the child's name, reason for absence, her/his home room teacher and whether the child will be absent for more than one day. This call should be made prior to the start of the school day.
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School Arrival Procedures


  • Students should not arrive at school until 8:25. Prior to this time, supervision will not be provided and students will be unable to enter the building.
  • Students arriving by bus will enter the building through the main entrance
  • Students being dropped off by car will enter through the gym doors behind the building.

ANY STUDENTS RIDING A SCHOOL BUS MUST BE MASKED.

Cars arriving should:

Pull through the parking lot and make a right turn to the back of the building.

Pull all the way up to the second gym door to drop off.


Students should not be dropped off in the staff parking lot. This creates a dangerous situation for both students and arriving staff members.

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School Dismissal Procedures

Students will be dismissed at 3:06, and will exit through designated doors.


Students will board buses in the front of the school on the circular drive.

ANY STUDENT RIDING A SCHOOL BUS MUST BE MASKED.


Students being picked up by car must be met at the back of the school.

Because of the high volume of vehicles that arrive at dismissal time, it is very important for the safety of our students that our procedures be carefully followed.

• Pick-up curbside only; do not park in the parking lot.

• Form two lanes when approaching the rear of the building.

• Wait for a staff member to help your child cross to your car; do not wave him or her over.

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Lunch/Cafeteria Use

Students will have the option of bringing or purchasing their lunch. The options are listed below and must be purchased in advance). Lunch is not scheduled on single-session days, including our first day of school.

Procedures for 2021-2022:

To practice social distancing whenever possible, the capacity of our cafeteria will be limited to a single grade level at one time, and students will be spaced along benches at assigned tables.

There will also be a peanut-free lunch table in the cafeteria for those children who need to utilize it.

Purchasing Lunch

If students wish to purchase lunch, please see the two options below.

1. PTO Lunch - Lunch is available to be purchased in advance from the PTO on Mondays and Fridays. Please visit the PTO website for additional information. The site will be open for ordering as of August 26th. The tentative first day for lunches will not be until 9/20.

2. Cornerstone Lunch - Hot lunch can be purchased from Cornerstone on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Please visit their website for additional information. Hot lunch will be provided beginning on September 14th.

Milk - Milk can be purchased for lunch on an annual basis only. Please see Community Pass under resources to order.

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Fall Sports Update

Calling all Falcons! We are excited to announce the return of our fall athletic season.


Tryouts for Soccer and Volleyball will take place during the week of September 13th.


Please reach out to the following coaches with questions regarding the upcoming season.

Ms. Megaro - Volleyball

Mrs. Hennessy - Girls Soccer

Mr. Conti - Boys Soccer

Mr. Scherer - Athletic Director


ALL necessary paperwork is due NO LATER THAN September 10th. Please do not wait until the last minute to make appointments, as physicians' appointments will be filled at the end of the summer. Students will not be permitted to attend fall tryouts unless they have a current physical on file.


Physical Paperwork can be submitted to main office or emailed directly to our school nurse Mrs.Leem hleem@montvalek8.org


More information can be accessed on our school's site by clicking on the Athletics tab, or by accessing it using the direct link: https://sites.google.com/montvalek8.org/fmsathletics

FMS Clubs and Co-Curriculars

Clubs and co-curriculars will be running this year. Information will be provided during morning announcements, on our website as schedules are established, and in future newsletters.
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There's still time to gather supplies for the school year! Copies of the supply lists for each

grade can be found by clicking below:


FMS SCHOOL GRADE LEVEL SUPPLY LISTS

Chromebook Insurance

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Students in grades 5-8 will be using a Chromebook throughout the school year. All families will be expected to purchase insurance for each user. Please click here to view the attached letter for instructions regarding setting up your Family Community Pass account. This is the preferred method by which we will be accepting payment. If you are unable to use this service, please mail a check to Mrs. Helen DeGraw, Fieldstone Middle School 47 Spring Valley Rd. Montvale, NJ 07465.


If this expense poses a financial burden for your family, please reach out to Mrs. McCormack at gmccormack@montvalek8.org


Coverage is effective for the school year. The annual cost is $45.00 per student. Chromebooks are considered an integral learning tool and are a valuable piece of school property which must be handled with care. Intentional abuse is a serious offense and may be subject to additional fines and disciplinary action.

Please note the following conditions:

  • Insurance only covers accidental damages. Students will be responsible for any damage or loss caused by neglect, abuse, or misplacement. For accidental damage, coverage will be provided as follows:

    • $0 for 1st incident

    • $25 for 2nd incident

    • $50 for 3rd incident

  • In the event of theft or vandalism of a Chromebook occurring outside of school, a police report must be filed.

  • Any repair needs must be reported using the online form available on the FMS website under:

Parents/Students/ 1:1 Chromebook Initiative/ Repair Form


  • Failure to return the school’s Chromebook, case, and power cord in good working order will result in the following charges:

    • Chromebook $ 299

    • Charger $ 40

    • Case $ 15


Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

HEALTH AND SAFETY REMINDERS

Masks


Masks must be worn daily. This includes surgical masks and reusable multilayer fabric masks that must be washed daily. Neck gaiters do not provide sufficient protection. If a child’s mask becomes dirty at school, we will have additional disposable masks to provide as a replacement. Please reinforce how to wear a mask with your child. They must perform hand hygiene (handwashing or using alcohol sanitizer) prior to handling their mask.

Handwashing

Please reinforce the importance of handwashing with your child. In the absence of soap/water, your child may use an alcohol based sanitizer which will be available at school in each classroom and throughout the hallways. You are also permitted to send your child in with hand sanitizer.

Health Screening

Parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to monitor your children for signs of illness every day as you are the front line for assessing illness in your child(ren). Students who are sick should not attend school. The NJDOH recommends that students with the following symptoms be promptly isolated from others and excluded from school:

At least two of the following symptoms: fever (measure or subjective), chills, rigors (shivers), myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose; OR

At least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new olfactory disorder, or new taste disorder.

We will NOT be conducting temperature scans and/or requiring families to complete the COVID-19 daily screening attestation form on RealTime.

West Bergen Mental Health Services "Warmline"

Ms. Walker and Ms. Stadlander will continue to work closely to coordinate the social and emotional support of students throughout the school year, and we are very fortunate to once again partner with West Bergen Mental Health services. Families will continue to have access to a “warmline." Parents can reach out to West Bergen for free and confidential assistance by calling 201-688-7098 Monday through Friday. Calls will be returned by a West Bergen licensed therapist.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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A virtual Back to School Night will take place this year on Tuesday, September 14th for all

grades. Grade level team members will introduce themselves, share expectations for the school year, and provide an overview of essential learning outcomes.

The schedule and related Zoom links will be shared in the near future.

Friday, 8/27 - Fifth Grade Orientation - Students will attend one of two sessions based on last names.


Wednesday, 9/1 - First Day for Students- Single Session Day


Monday, 9/6 - Labor Day - School Closed


Tuesday, 9/7 and Wednesday, 9/8 - Religious Holidays - School Closed


Tuesday, 9/14 - Back to School Night


Thursday, 9/16 - Religious Holiday - School Closed


Thursday, 9/29 - PTO Meeting 7:00 PM - Virtual Meeting


Monday, 10/11 - Professional Development Day - School Closed for Students