a few words from mrs. Mannion
Rather than wish folks a happy new year, Mr. Marshall, our assistant principal, has adopted the greeting, Hopeful New Year! My hope is that we will soon be able to again capture images of the great things happening at Miscoe such as these photos from years past. We can all agree that 2020 tested us in many ways. Unfortunately, 2021 seems to have kicked off in much the same way. A spike in positive COVID cases in the MURSD community has brought us back to the remote model, which is not where we hoped to be, as we value the face to face opportunities for human interaction the hybrid model offers. The events that unfolded in our nation's capital have brought us back to questioning who we are and who we want to be as a nation. However, these challenges do not diminish our hope for better things to come. Nor do they diminish the relationships we have or the skill employed in the important work we do in educating the children of the MURSD. In celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King this month, we will have time to reflect on all that we have overcome, and on our hopes and dreams for our future as a community and nation.
a few of the happenings at miscoe
Mrs. Gentili: One of our two wonderful art teachers, Mrs. Alice Gentili, has announced her retirement. She will wrap up an illustrious career here at Miscoe prior to the February break. I'm borrowing from Mrs. Genili's own words when I say that as an educator, she has remained deeply devoted to bringing visual and media art experiences to the students of the Mendon Upton schools. She has consistently worked to promote art as a vehicle for self expression, embodying the attributes of the MURSD's Portrait of a Learner in her practice. The number of lives she has impacted over her twenty-two and a half years as an educator is immeasurable. She will be missed. On behalf of our school community, Thank you, Mrs. Gentili!
Basketball: It has been wonderful to hear the excited voices of students outside my office waiting to be picked up from practice. Though we cannot have spectators at upcoming games, Mr. Glassman has arranged to live stream the games on Youtube. Details will be shared in the weekly newsletter.
1/11/21 UPDATE: Athletics at MURSD are currently on hold due to the surge in COVID cases and our transition to remote learning. The superintendent will determine when athletics will resume.
Deck the halls: Prior to the holidays, Miscoe students literally decked the halls with messages of gratitude for our cafeteria, nursing and custodial staff members. They are still up and serving to remind us that our students are at the heart of all we do, and they will be filling these hallways again soon!
a few ways to support the learning this month
End of term grades: The second quarter ends 1/29/21. Please check Powerschool to monitor your child's progress and connect with any teachers as needed prior to grades closing. There is still ample time to make up any missed assignments.
Extended deadline for flu shots: Flu shots are required for all students in Massachusetts schools, from child care through colleges, the Department of Public Health announced earlier this year. In previous years, the flu shot was recommended but not required. Students older than 6 months will have to be vaccinated by Feb. 28, unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided to the school nurse. The original date was Dec. 31. New students entering school before March 31, 2021 must have received a dose of vaccine for the current flu season for entry. Students who are home-schooled are exempt from the policy, but health officials said students at elementary and secondary schools that are using a remote learning model are not exempt. College or university students who are entirely off campus will also be exempt from the mandate.
A few words from mrs. Mannion:
As we move to a new month and close in on the end of autumn, we have an opportunity to look in the rearview mirror and reflect on what it has taken to bring us us to this point in the school year. We've experienced many firsts over the past several months. We finished out the first term, and within it we experienced remote learning, hybrid learning, and for some, a fully stand alone remote model of schooling. We had our first experience with contact tracing while we were in school and had our first experience contact tracing over a long holiday weekend. We had our first year with two days of Halloween celebration to accommodate students in both cohorts. We piloted our first iReady assessment in ELA and math classes and are taking first dives into the data to see what we can learn from this new tool. And, we had our first fire drills during a pandemic, in which we learned how to evacuate the building safely in terms of both fire and COVID-19. Our first snow fell, and we elected the first female vice president in our country's history. Now, we are witnessing the first distribution of an approved vaccine in the UK. It's been quite a ride! Through it all, our students, staff and families have found innovative ways to stay connected and sustain the learning. This month, we will experience another first as teachers host our first parent-teacher conferences via Zoom. We know the home-school partnership is vital to students' growth and look forward to "seeing" as many of you as week can on the 8th and 9th. Should you not have been able to secure a conference appointment, please remember that you can reach out to your child's teacher to discuss progress for any reason at any time. If there's one thing we've learned since March, it's that although we prefer to connect face to face, there are myriad ways to connect in the digital age. Please don't hesitate to reach out and let us know what you need.
a few words about the happenings at miscoe:
Walk for Giving: This year's walk may have looked a little different, but it was a great success in terms of engaging students in community service, raising a substantial amount of money to support families in our community during the holidays, and getting kids moving outdoors! Thank you for your support of this event.
Term I grades: Grades will be published in Powerschool for parent and guardian viewing at the end of the school day Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020.
Click HERE for the district calendar.
Schedule changes for December:
a few ways to get involved at miscoe this month:
For students: Newspaper club sign ups are out. Please have your child contact Ms. Holloway at email@example.com if interested in this online opportunity.
Parent teacher conferences: Our faculty looks forward to connecting with you on your child's progress. Sign ups for parent teacher conferences on 12/8 and 12/9 went out in the Monday newsletter. Newsletters are available on our school website if you miss an edition in your inbox. Here's the link to the 11/23 newsletter for quick access: https://www.smore.com/z31vj
Raising Funds for the learning at Miscoe: Did you know you can get some holiday shopping done and donate to Miscoe at the same time? Our PTO has set us up as a charitable foundation under the name Miscoe Hill Parent Teacher Organization Incorporated on Amazonsmile. You can select us as your donation site by going to https://smile.amazon.com/ .
Tech Support: If your child is experiencing technical difficulties, please use the iPad Help Desk Request form to obtain support. This form is received by our entire staff and using it will lead to an expedited response to your technology issue.
a few covid reminders and updates:
All in this together: While the Thanksgiving holiday offered respite, we anticipate an increase in positive COVID cases over the next few weeks. Our goal is to stay in the hybrid model as long as possible. Therefore, we ask for your continued vigilance in attending to the following:
-Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
-Muscle or body aches
-New loss of taste or smell
-Congestion or runny nose
-Nausea or vomiting
Updated COVID close contact guidelines: If you or your child is within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more, the state guidelines now state the need to remain quarantined for the following:
Attendance: Students may be excused from school for the following reasons: illness with a doctor's note (or negative COVID-19 test result), funeral-bereavement, and recognized religious holidays. When a student is going to be absent, a parent or guardian must call the school office (508-634-1590) to report the absence before 9:00 AM. Families are asked to schedule family trips on non-school days, as vacation time counts as an unexcused absence.
a few words from Mrs. Mannion
At Miscoe, we believe an education wherein academics and social-emotional learning are intertwined allows students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to thrive. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, or CASEL, defines social and emotional learning (SEL) as an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. https://casel.org/what-is-sel/
The pandemic has stressed the importance of this for all. Balancing work and play is always an important part of the middle school model. It is also an important component of self care. Joining in the fun of dressing up and experiencing the delight in walking the building and observing the many staff and students in costume last month felt medicinal. As the popular children's song states, "The more we play together, together, together, The more we play together, the happier we'll be." We will continue to identify ways to engage students in fun, celebration and play as we navigate our way through educating students during a pandemic.
A few of the happenings at Miscoe:
Parent-Teacher conferences: The conferences schedule for this month have been postponed. The dates are to be determined and will be shared as soon as they are available.
Subsequently, the November days originally scheduled for conferences, November 9 and 10, will now be FULL SCHOOL DAYS rather than half days.
A way for students to have fun learning outside of school:
From Boston College:
BC Splash is a 1-day event held at Boston College each semester where students in grades 7-12 can take fun, interesting, and engaging classes that are taught and designed by our undergraduates!
In response to COVID-19, our event will be virtual this semester, but we have put together a great day and fantastic lineup of classes over zoom for the students. They can take classes such as The Economics of Friendship, The Physics of Airplanes, The Power of Positive Affirmations, and many others!
BC Splash will be held virtually on Sunday, November 8th from 10am - 3:15pm.
Students can register at our website, bcsplash.learningu.org
Registration closes on Friday, November 6th at 11:59pm.
- Homeroom is 8:10-8:25.
- From 9/16 through 9/18, homeroom will be MANDATORY for all students. This will be a chance for students to form connections, review the daily schedule, ask questions, and be directed to their first period class, which will be C block on Wednesdays due to the rotation of periods.
- Beginning 9/21, homeroom will be by invitation from a teacher to offer extra help or a check-in. Students can request a meeting during this time as well.
- Homeroom teachers will share their Zoom links in this week's Communication Chart, which will be accessible via the Monday newsletter sent electronically by one of our awesome administrative assistants, Mrs. Peroba.
- We will ask for feedback on homeroom after the first four weeks of school.
- Most students have two electives (certain scheduling needs may mean a student has fewer). One meets on Mondays and Thursdays, and one meets on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- On Wednesdays, we will alternate weekly, using an A Week, B Week schedule.
- On A weeks, which we will start on 9/16, students will attend their Monday/Thursday elective. On B weeks, the first of which will be the week of 9/21, students will attend their Tuesday/Friday elective.
Due to positive feedback regarding the weekly chart shared with parents Monday mornings during remote learning last spring, we will continue this practice during remote and hybrid schooling. Because we are following a more typical schedule than we did in the spring with student attendance being mandatory every period, the information in the chart will be modified. It will allow for adults supporting students to understand the learning following:
- Learning objectives for the week
- Specific materials needed
- What special resources will be used instructionally.
- Information regarding how to access teachers.
- Technology: Mr. Schwab accepted a position as assistant principal in a neighboring district. Mrs. Kahler, formerly a grade 7 science teacher, has taken on a new role as technology teacher for students in grades 5 and 6. Mrs. Gervais will now teach grades 7 and 8.
- We are in the process of hiring for grade 7 science and will announce the finalist as soon as we are able. Mr. Adcock, who was a long term sub for Mrs. Parent last year, will be assuming Mrs. Kahler's vacancy until final decision are made.
- We welcome Mrs. Parent back to grade 7 science!
- Mrs. Raposa is back and will be a grade 7 special education teacher.
- Mrs. Wellington has moved from long term sub to grades 5 and 6 special education teacher.
- Ms. Drew has left her para educator role at Miscoe to become a grade 3 teacher in a neighboring district.
- Mrs. Hardcastle has left her para educator role at Miscoe to become a Health/PE teacher in a neighboring district.
A few words from Mrs. Mannion:
We excitedly await the reentry of students on September 16. Though it will be remotely, we will be grateful to be together again. Below you will find the schedule for remote learning at Miscoe. This schedule will be in effect at least until October 13, at which point the determination will be made to move to hybrid or stay in the remote model. Our hybrid schedule mirrors our remote schedule for ease of transition.
A few words about the happenings at miscoe:
Virtual Grade 5 Meet and Greet on September 10: Grade 5 families will receive a zoom link via email on 9/3 so 5th graders can join a Zoom session on September 10 to get to know their teachers and peers. In the first portion, students will get to know the faces of, and some fun facts about, their teachers. Students will then use a separate zoom link to spend the second half of the time with their team getting to know each other and what a day in the life of a fifth grader will be. There will be time for students to ask questions as well. We hope to see your child then!
Homeroom and schedules: You will receive your child's homeroom placement and schedule by September 3.
A few ways for you to support the learning:
If you are looking for the supply lists shared in the spring, please click here: supply lists by grade
Communicate: In addition to utilizing Powerschool, email, and Google Classroom, the district will employ the Remind app to promote consistent home/school communication. We encourage you to stay informed and engage in consistent communication with the adults working with your child. There are going to be glitches, mistakes, failures, and frustrations. Together, we can use them as opportunities for learning and growth!
Celebrate: Notice and acknowledge the positives, no matter how small! Teaching and learning in a pandemic is challenging for all stakeholders, and we need to have an attitude of gratitude if we are going to do our best to do what's best for kids.
Please check out this article by clicking the title for six ways families and schools can foster adolescent development: Supporting Teenagers in a Pandemic
a few dates to remember:
Sept. 10 - Virtual Grade 5 Meet and Greet/Orientation
Sept. 16 - Students reenter school remotely
A few words from Mrs. Mannion:
a few words about what's happening at Miscoe:
Placement: At Miscoe, students are divided into two teams at each grade level, the green team and the white team. They are then assigned homerooms within these teams. Due to the remote start and potential transition to a hybrid learning model, we are altering our practice somewhat. The model we are currently exploring is assigning students to one of the two teams by last name, with the first half of the alphabet on one team and the second half on the other. This will allow siblings across the district to attend school on the same days when we ultimately adopt a hybrid model and for consistent bus routes to be created. For safety reasons, students will remain with the same cohort of peers throughout the school day, both remotely and in person. We will share your child's placement as soon as this work is finalized. We intend to share student placement by the week of August 31.
Some changes in regard to attendance: We know students are far more likely to experience growth academically when they attend school consistently, regardless of the model in which they attend. In alignment with state guidelines, our schedule will look quite different from the spring. Staff will be expected to meet time on learning requirements, and students will be expected to attend and meet these requirements. Therefore, we have additional state attendance requirements for the 2020-2021 school year. Attendance will be tracked by days attended/days absent remote, and attendance will be taken during each synchronous learning period.
School Supplies: While we are remote, work will be submitted digitally. Therefore, it's up to families to decide if you want to purchase school supplies prior to the transition to a hybrid model. If you ordered the Schoolkitz from our wonderful PTO, you will receive soon information about how to receive your kit.
Specials/Electives: Our intention is to offer music, art, technology, PE, Health, and World Language (grades 7,8)/World Cultures (grades 5,6) within the remote and hybrid school-day schedules. Unlike in the spring, participation in synchronous lessons and asynchronous learning will be mandatory. We will know how many specials students will be able to participate in each semester/term once our schedule is finalized.
iPads: All students iPads were updated in the summer of 2019, so our devices should be in good shape for the coming school year. The following message comes from Mr. David Quinn, Director of Tech Integration for MURSD:
- We’re pleased to announce that grade 5 and new student iPad distribution will take place on 8/24, 8/25 & 8/31 at Miscoe Hill Middle School from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. All grade 5 students and students new to Miscoe will be provided with a school-issued iPad at this time. While students may bring their own iPad to school, they will need a MURSD-issued device for specific coursework.
- We ask that families please read and submit the 1:1 Learning Enrollment form. The form will provide information on accessing Miscoe Help Desk for support and iPad insurance information. You can find the form here: https://forms.gle/KnMUs8AAJrSpw3ns9.
- A virtual 1:1 Learning / iPad information session will be held in the coming weeks and recorded for all those unable to attend. The date and time will be announced next week.
Grade 5 orientation: Our fifth grade team and specials teachers are planning a virtual grade five orientation event, building on the orientation Mr. Marshall and I did in the spring. We hope to finalize the plans on or near August 21st and will share with grade 5 parents following. We are excited to officially welcome our newest members of the Miscoe community!
Summer Reading: If you child hasn't had a chance yet, this is a good time to do some summer reading! Please click HERE to access summer reading information.
Using masks: Here is some simple guidance for middle school students in regard to safe use of masks: Wear a Cloth Face Covering to Protect You and Your Friends
And, here is guidance for parents trying to get their middle schoolers to safely use masks! Mask Wearing Toolkit
Coffee with the admin: Please consider joining Paul Marshall and me in a Zoom session to share your questions and hear our thinking on one of the following dates:
Aug. 20 7:45-8:45 am
Aug. 25 7:45-8:45 am
Please see the email sent by Mrs. Peroba with the links and passcodes.
A few additional dates to remember:
Aug. 31 Teachers' back to school start date
Sept. 4-7 Long Labor Day Weekend - no school
September 16 Students' back to school start date
a few words from mrs. Mannion
Brynn Di Anni, and Greyson Blalock were awarded FIRST PLACE for sixth grade for their project studying drinking water. eCybermission will be providing each student a $1000 savings bond. Additionally, Patrick Connolly, Jack Olesyk, and Justin Fransen were awarded HONORABLE MENTION for sixth grade, the equivalent of 3rd place, and while there is no monetary prize, it is an amazing accomplishment. The remainder of the students were honored with certificates of appreciation for their participation.
The eCybermission competition asks a lot of a middle school student. Over the span of several months, the competition requires they identify a real-world problem, use science or engineering to address this problem, and then, most importantly, communicate all of their work through a written submission package that is judged by DoD scientists and engineers. This requires them work with a high degree of autonomy and to think critically, helping to develop important life skills as well as content knowledge. Each of our Miscoe competitors truly rose to the expectations.
We are grateful to Michael Manser and Mrs. Manser for their commitment to our students and for extending themselves and volunteering their time this way.
And, we are grateful to the Miscoe community for the many ways in which we all pulled together to continuing doing our best to do what's best for kids. This school year has certainly tested our strength. Remember Triple E? It seemed like a significant, life altering experience. Now it feels like it was just the warm up for a school year we will be talking about for decades to come. Life has certainly been altered. And, there have been many positive outcomes, experiences, and relationships built out of much challenge, sadness and, now, strife. Together we are strong. And, in some ways, apart we've grown stronger. Everyone at Miscoe is committed to life-long learning. So, we will take what we've learned and use it to plan how best to meet students' learning needs in September and beyond, despite what challenges it may bring. Thanks for being such an integral part of what makes Miscoe a great place to work and learn!
A few words about the happenings at miscoe:
Our eighth grade staff has been working since April to ensure our eighth grade students' are celebrated as they transition from being middle schoolers to high school students. Based on feedback from the student survey done in April, decisions were made to do the following:
- Wednesday, June 17th Miscoe offer a virtual awards ceremony.
- Thursday, June 18th, staff will host a drive-through parade/send off to celebrate our 8th graders at Miscoe Hill. We will follow all mandatory social distancing guidelines.
- Friday, June 19th we will host a virtual commencement ceremony.
A few parents have asked about holding a live commencement ceremony this summer. Because the recently released state guidelines on graduations are intended for high school ceremonies only, we will hold off on planning any live events and will continue to follow the state guidelines regarding large gatherings until we are confident we can ensure everyone's safety.
We are also determining how best to distribute yearbooks and class t-shirts to eighth grade students.
Report cards: Report cards will be published for parent and guardian viewing in Powerschool on June 19, our last day of school. Because we shifted to Pass/Fail grades for terms three and four, final grades for the year will not appear on report cards this year.
Retrieving belongings: Mr. Marshall has prepared a system and schedule for families to retrieve belongings from school. Once we are allowed to access the building, this information will be share with you. Until then, the building remains closed. Please do not attempt to access it. Should you need medications or supplies from the nurse's office, please email Mrs. Farquharson at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A reminder about academics: Work will be assigned the week of June 8, so you should expect to receive the weekly chart that Monday morning per usual.
iPads: We will not be collecting iPads as we typically do in June. This will allow for a smoother transition when we return to school, whether remotely or in the building, in September.
a few ways to keep children engaged this summer:
Project Giving Kids: PGK has launched some free, online resources for students and families eager to give back. Here are some tools to get you started while at home this summer.
- Cause-related pages under the "Learn" section of our website which highlight a variety of topics (e.g., Aid the Animals, Save the Planet, Help Fight Hunger) and include thought-provoking, short, digital animation videos; lesson plans; books suggestions; and more for each cause
- COVID response page offering simple ways to help others in this challenging time
- Give Back App in iOS and Android for teens to help them find and track service hours
- And soon, a 6-week Summer Service Series which will offer young families the chance to take part in live Zoom sessions where we will hear from nonprofit leaders and do service projects together to benefit our local communities
A few resources to support parents during this challenging time:
too significant to allow to pass.
- Please click HERE to download a pdf file of Beyond the Golden Rule: A parent's Guide to Preventing
- How Can Parents Teach Tolerance? https://gctpnews.org/how-can-parents-teach-tolerance/ Feb 22, 2018,
celebration of diversity. The article states that,"Like all attitudes, tolerance is often taught in subtle
ways. Even before they can speak, children closely watch — and imitate — their parents.
Kids of all ages develop their own values, in great part, by mirroring the values and
attitudes of those they care about." Please click the Read More button below to
access the entire article.
A few words from Mrs. Mannion:
This excerpt from Thank You (Teachers' Day Song) applies not only to our teaching professionals, but also to all caregivers who are supporting the learning remotely during this time of crisis!
See the good inside me
Take my hand and guide me
Teacher when you see me giving up
Teacher me how to stand up
Thank you for all that you've done
Thank you for all you do
I've been moulded by your hands
So thank you...
Teacher we are still the young ones
But we won't be young young ones for long...
Take me and define me
When you are beside me
When I'm old and wiser
I'll remember you
Promise I'll grow stronger
At the thought of you
Teacher appreciation week is well timed this year. Please, take a moment to let teachers know
the esteem we as a community have for them and the respect we share for the important work
they do. This is a good time to encourage kids to get creative and find a fun way to connect
with their teachers!
Robert Heinlein said, "When one teaches, two learn." As a parent I share with you the challenges
learning remotely presents. It's helpful to remember, our Remote Learning Plan and schedule are
emergency responses to a crisis situation. We are adaptable, but this situation is not permanent.
We will return to "normal" at some point. However, we will bring what we've learned from this
experience to the work, and I'm convinced we will be better for it.
A few additional things to note:
School Lunch Hero Day: Governor Baker has proclaimed May 1, 2020 as School Lunch Hero Day in tribute to all school nutrition professionals in the Commonwealth. Please join me in giving a big shout out to Laurie Armstrong, Sherri Burton, Charlene Doe, Nancy Gannon, Lucy Johnson, Miscoe Manager, and Diane Mucci, MURSD Director of Nutrition Services.
Most will be at Miscoe Monday to close the kitchen for the year, so if you drive by,
HONK to show you care! More information on School Lunch Hero Day
nationally is available online.
Grading of individual assignments: As previously shared, all assignments are mandatory. Teachers' goal is to provide actionable feedback on all work submitted. Assignments are being assessed using the following criteria, and parents can view their child's score on each assignment in Powerschool, just as you would during the typical school year.
Survey Feedback Data: The responses we received from students, staff and parents/guardians showed innovative thinking and a positivity we appreciate! People have definitely been inspired by our experiences with this crisis to create interesting solutions and options as we seek to do what is best for students. We will use this data to assess our practices and make any necessary changes as we continue to develop our skills in remote learning over the next seven weeks. Any changes will be clearly communicated to you prior to implementation.
End of year events: Staff is thoughtfully considering how to engage students in end of the school activities in a way that provides connection, fun and closure. Our 8th grade teachers are currently working on our awards and commencement ceremonies. We are exploring a collaboration with Jostens, as they are donating Zoom sessions that can accommodate up to 1000 invitees. We will also reach out to students and parents for their ideas. As seen in this photo, there are certainly some innovative ideas on the web! In addition, 8th grade teachers are working on yearbook distribution to all 8th graders, and a Drive By Sendoff through Miscoe.
Please keep an eye on the weekly newsletters sent by Mrs. Peroba for more information.
Consider taking the TED-Ed Challenge: On Instagram, TEDEd has created a fun way for students
and their families to use their brains and common household items to creatively respond to
educational challenges issued by TED speakers throughout the world. Each weekday at 2pm,
head over to @tededucation for a brief educational talk and challenge from a new TED speaker.
Speakers of all ages will use Instagram Stories and Instagram Live to deliver brief educational talks
and issue creative, interactive, family-oriented challenges to Instagram users around the world.
Viewers can respond using their own Instagram accounts, and TED-Ed will feature the most creative
responses on our channel.
- Excessive crying or irritation.
- Returning to behaviors they have outgrown.
- Excessive worry or sadness.
- Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits.
- Irritability and "acting out" behaviors in teens.
- Difficulty with attention and concentration.
- Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past.
- Unexplained headaches or body pain.
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.
Ms. Minahan suggest responding with compassion. "Their behavior is their way of telling you "I'm scared, nervous, or uneasy." It's helpful to share this information with caretakers, who may misunderstand the student's behavior as just being lazy or having an attitude. For a detailed list of common anxiety-related behaviors by age, with suggestions of how families can respond, refer to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's factsheet.
You may find youself experiencing some of these behaviors during this crisis. Don't forget to also respond to yourself with compassion!
From the US Consumer Product Safety Commission: Quinn the Quarantine Fox.
“Good night, kind friends. Tomorrow we care for one another all over again.”
Let me know what we can do to support you!
Our students, staff and families have done a great job staying connected and practicing previous learning. In this update you will find specifics about the upcoming shift from providing practice opportunities to students to providing instruction of new content and skills.
This shift will begin on Monday, April 6. The specifics are found in the district’s Remote Learning Plan, shared with you by Dr. Maruszczak. For an overview, click HERE for Dr. M.'s screencast.
Some elements of the learning plan will look familiar in the coming weeks:
- By 9 am on Monday, students will receive all work for the week organized into a chart by team.
- Students can check into Virtual Office Hours for any questions, support, or extra help from their teachers and may be invited by an educator for extra help as well.
- All assignments should be turned into Google Classroom by 11:00 am on Friday
- Students and parents/guardians can contact teachers digitally and expect a response within the school day or by the end of the following school day.
- We will continue to adhere to the school calendar, so students will not have remote learning on Good Friday or over April vacation week.
Some elements of the plan will be new beginning Monday:
- Students are encouraged and expected to attend each Remote Learning Session during the scheduled times. Should a student miss a session, they will be able to access materials and supports through each teacher's Google Classroom.
- There will be a schedule provided with the assignment chart indicating when students should plan to attend live instructional times, or Remote Learning Sessions, by content area for large group instruction and when students can access staff members for support through Virtual Office Hours.
- Remote Learning Schedules have changed a bit. Miscoe's was generated collaboratively with faculty. We are going to try it for two weeks and revise if needed based on staff, parent and student feedback.
- Accountability will be based on satisfactory completion of work submitted. Further information about grading is outlined in the MURSD Remote Learning Plan and additional guidance will be shared in next week's newsletter. You will be able to monitor your child's work completion in Powerschool.
- Term 3 will be extended until April 17, and both terms 3 and 4 will be graded on a pass fail basis.
Here is a link to a document with frequently asked questions to support your understanding: FAQs Thank you to Nipmuc administrators for sharing their work with this.
As Winston Churchill stated, "Perfection is the enemy of progress." Please remember that we are creating this system as we are working within it. Therefore, we appreciate your patience, support and feedback as we continue to refine it to reflect the unique needs of this time and our middle school students.
Review of the plan and the answering of questions will occur in the upcoming communication sessions:
- Dr. Maruszczak will host a "Town Hall" style zoom session on Saturday, April 4, at 10:00 am to review the plan and answer questions.
- Mr. Marshall and I will be available for virtual office hours from 4-5:00 on Monday, 4/6, via THIS UPDATED ZOOM LINK for any parents or guardians with questions specific to Miscoe regarding the plan for learning or anything else that is on your mind. You should receive and email/text with the log in and password Monday afternoon. We may not have all the answers, but we look forward to hearing your thinking.
- Mr. Marshall and I will be available to your children from 1-2:00 on Monday, 4/6. An email has been sent to them with the Zoom link. Please encourage them to check their inbox.
- Sal Khan in “Straight Up on COVID-19: Sal Khan on Teaching 40 Million Kids at Home” by Rick Hess for EdWeek said,“My first piece of advice is - Don't beat up on yourself, whether you're a parent, teacher, or student. It's OK to give yourself time. If you're not up and running, or if it looks like other people have their act together today and you don't, don't feel bad about it. Take care of yourself and take care of your family.”
- Click this title to access the full piece from National Public Radio on How To Turn Your Home Into A School Without Losing Your Sanity!
Sharing my musings just as food for thought:
My name is Mrs. Jennifer Mannion, and I am the proud principal of Miscoe Hill Middle School. This is my second year at MURSD. While relatively new to Miscoe, I am not new to education. Prior to becoming principal of Miscoe, I was an administrator and teacher for many years. My husband and children are my first loves, followed closely by family, friends, and (too many!) pets. When I'm pursuing my own interests, I can be found reading, painting, or doing something outdoors. I am so happy to work and learn with the members of the Miscoe community!
“Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney