April 10, 2020
Dear Meridian Middle School Families:
Thank you for your continued support and patience while we work through the many details of our Remote Learning Plan. The main goal of our plan is to provide opportunities for students to continue learning and to reestablish any sense of normalcy. This letter is intended to explain how the Remote Learning Plan will proceed in the coming weeks. Please note that while we have been working hard to determine our plan moving forward, any upcoming dates or specific plans may be altered due to decisions being made by agencies at the federal, state, and local level.
Purposes of Remote Learning Plan:
- Provide educational resources for all students.
- Lessen the educational impact of the pandemic outbreak on the students.
- Provide a system including schedules that allows students and staff members the opportunity and flexibility to work remotely.
- Be socially responsible to the community during a pandemic outbreak
Beginning April 13th, the Remote Learning plan will be initiated with students. The remote learning plan has two phases.
Phase 1- April 13th- April 24th: Review, Re-Do, and Re-Assess:
- Second semester grades have been frozen as of March 13th.
- Students who would like to improve their current grade may turn in and/or re-assess any work that was assigned from January 21st-March 13th (the beginning of Semester 2 through our last day of school). Students may need to contact their teachers to determine how to redo or re-assess content. Any make-up work/reassessments that are submitted will only be used if the work positively impacts (raises) the student’s grade.
- Any schoolwork that was collected right before our school closure that had yet to be entered into PowerSchool may be excluded from the student’s overall grade (if the student’s grade is lowered by the score).
- Weekly Learning Resources will be online or available for pick up starting April 13th. During Phase 1, content will be focused on reviewing, practicing, and reinforcing what has been previously taught in class.
- Weekly learning resources will not be provided for all electives, although there will be some options provided.
- Students who were enrolled in a 9-week 4th-Quarter class will not have a grade assigned to them. All learning tasks that will be provided will be completely optional.
Accessing Weekly Learning Resources – Phase 1 and 2:
On site @ MMS: Weekly paper packets will be available to any of those students who prefer or may not have access to technology. Weekly learning packets will not be turned in.
Phase 2- Beginning April 27th until End of Closure or School Year: Advanced Learning and New Content:
- Content in the four main subjects will be introduced that will enable students to continue their education and gain knowledge that will prepare them for the next year. The main subjects will include language arts, math, social studies, and science.
- Weekly learning resources will continue to be provided for other courses and electives; students may choose to engage in these as they choose.
- Weekly learning tasks are not required and will not be collected or graded. However, we strongly believe staying academically engaged is in our students’ best interest.
Packet Pick-up Information for Parents & Students
It is important that we follow state issued social distancing protocols for your safety and the safety of our MMS staff. Do not exit your vehicle. If you walk to MMS, please keep a 6-foot distance between you and our staff members as well as other patrons. It is also suggested that you wear a mask and gloves if you have access to them.
Currently, packets will be available every Monday and Tuesday from 8am to 10am and 4pm to 6pm. This is subject to change and you will be notified of any future adjustments to this process and/or schedule. Access to all student work is also available on our school website under the Remote Learning tab on the Meridian Middle School webpage.
- Please see the map below that will guide you the appropriate pick up area for your student.
- We have different pickup spots based on grade level for 6th, 7th, and 8th.
- Packets for students who receive special services will be available at every location. Go to your student’s assigned grade level and tell staff that you need this resource.
- Follow the entrance signs and pull up.
- Indicate to staff know how many copies and which packets you need.
- Pop the trunk of your car and your packet(s) will be placed inside.
- Exit the area following the directions indicated below.
- If you walk, please stand in line near the table keeping a 6ft distance from the table, staff, and other patrons.
- PLEASE NOTE: If you have students in multiple grades, please choose one spot and other grade level packets will be available to for you to access.
Turning in missing/makeup work:
Students are strongly encouraged to turn in missing/late work to their teachers. This is any work assigned or collected prior to March 16th, 2020. We would prefer any missing, makeup, or reassessment work be turned back into teachers digitally. We recommend students take pictures of work or scan documents as PDFs in order to email to their teachers.
If digital submission is not possible, there will be a locked collection bin at MMS for students to drop off work every Friday beginning April 17th from 8 am – 4pm. The bin will be brought back into the building at 4pm.
- Students will be asked to place the work in a large envelope (provided), seal the envelope, and write the name of the teacher(s) on the outside of the envelope.
- Students should put their name on the work they have completed.
- Safety procedures will be followed per CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. After 72 hours, the work will be scanned to teachers to grade.
Additional Learning Resources: Please refer to the West Ada School District website for suggested learning opportunities and optional educational resources: https://www.westada.org/Page/72485
Communicating with Teachers – Email or Phone Messages
STUDENTS: The preferred mode of communication to teachers will be through e-mail. Using e-mail will allow students to ask individualized questions to specific teachers in a private manner.
- Teachers will do their best to respond to questions during their designated office hours during the school week: 1:00-2:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
- Students who do not have access to email may call the main office line and a message will be relayed to the specific teacher with whom you are needing to connect. (208) 855-4225.
PARENTS: The preferred mode of communication to teachers will be through e-mail. Parents may also call the main office, and a message will be relayed to the specific teacher with whom you are needing to connect. (208) 855-4225.
MMS Website - Remote Learning Section: There is now a tab titled Remote Learning on the Meridian Middle School website: https://www.westada.org/mms Information, resources, and frequently asked questions related to the Remote Learning Plan is available to parents and students here. This information will be made available beginning on 4/13/20.
Wi-Fi: The Wi-Fi signal has been boosted at every school site. This can be accessed from the parking lot at any WASD school. We ask that if accessing Wi-Fi, you stay in your car and follow all Center for Disease Control guidelines.
I understand the information regarding our Remote Learning Plan can be overwhelming and you may still have many questions. This is a unique experience none of us has ever prepared for, but all MMS staff members are working incredibly hard to ensure our plan works for all our students. If any piece of our plan changes, I will communicate with you through Blackboard ParentLink via email and/or text. Teachers may be emailing and calling you or your student during their office hours Monday through Friday from 1:00pm – 2:30pm.
We look forward to working with our students and families through this unprecedented situation. On behalf of every MMS staff member, I want every MMS student to know that they are missed, important, and loved! Even though we aren’t together in the same building, we are still here for you. Thank you for being a part of the Meridian Middle family.
We Can, We Will, We Are Chiefs!
Lisa Austin, Principal