Hello Middle School Community –
The Haunted Forest is this Friday, October 29th from 5:00 pm -7:00 pm!
Parent Conferences – Thursday, November 11th & Friday, November 12th: Our fall student-led parent conferences will take place on Thursday (5:00 to 8:00 pm) and Friday (1:30 to 3:30 pm). We encourage all parents to attend with their child who will lead them on a review of their 1st quarter work along with an opportunity to meet with each teacher for a brief discussion of their academic progress. Conferences take place on a first-come, first-serve basis. Lines can be long on Thursday evening so we encourage you to attend Friday’s afternoon session if possible.
PowerSchool: With our new innovative middle school master schedule, we have been working since summer with our partners at Northwest Ed (formerly the TBAISD) to complete master scheduling and give you parent/guardian access. Northwest Ed hosts and manages our PowerSchool program. We hope to have that access released to you very soon. Unfortunately, the program prefers a very standard school schedule causing complications in how middle school students and parents/guardians view their progress. We have been testing it the last several weeks and believe we are very close. In the meantime, in many of your child’s classes, you can have them show you their progress in Google Classroom. Fun fact – in loading our master schedule into PowerSchool, we actually maxed out the system in terms of the number of class periods. It is the price we pay for innovation . Thanks again for your patience!
School-Related COVID-19 Cases: I wanted to send a quick clarification to the community regarding any notice of school-related cases.
Whenever there is a positive case, schools are required to notify the school community. Some schools choose to do a scoreboard with vague information and only a “public notification” on the website. Some schools prefer to do letters to the community which are sent to the community via email and posted on the website. I prefer to provide as much information to you as possible, so I choose to do community letters and post to our website on the transparency page with a link on our homepage. With that, the letters sent to the community are form letters provided to us with the required information that we must communicate to you. We are not able to disclose any identifying information in those letters such as pod(s) affected or whether or not your students was in that pod. If your students is identified as a close contact, you will be notified directly by the health department, usually shortly before or after my letter to the community is distributed.
Why do we notify the entire pod? We prefer to err on the side of caution with close contacts. Since students do not stay in the same room all day, in the same seat, and are not completely stationary during class, we have chosen to notify the entire pod. With some of our students not yet able to be vaccinated and the increase in breakthrough cases, we would rather be safe than sorry by having the health department notify the entire pod.
What if I receive a letter from the health department and have questions regarding what my student should do? Last year, it was cut and dry whether or not a student should quarantine. This year, with some students vaccinated and some not, some students with preexisting health conditions, etc… the best person to ask if you receive a recommended quarantine notice is to ask the health department or your primary care physician for advice. The school is unable to provide you with any medical advice. We can only require that the individual(s) that were positive remain out of school during their mandatory isolation.
Below is the guidance used for school-related exposures by county health departments…
Just know this – if we did not wear masks indoors as you can see above, those recommended quarantines would be mandatory quarantines. By wearing masks indoors, we reduce the need for mandatory quarantines greatly and the possibility of a school transmission. We thank you for your assistance in keeping our school community safe and working with us to maintain in-person learning.
Robert Walker, EdD