News from Marshall Simonds Middle School- September 13, 2020

September 13, 2020

 

We hope that you had to enjoy the beautiful, late summer weekend with your family.  It was exciting to have students in the building for the first time since March 12, 2020.  This past Thursday and Friday, we welcomed one cohort each of grade 6 students into the building.  In addition to providing the newest members of our community the opportunity to be in the building for the first time (as all of our transition programs were conducted virtually), this “soft opening” provided us an opportunity to implement some of our necessary, new procedures on a small scale. We are certain, despite our best efforts, there will be some unanticipated challenges in the coming days and weeks as we begin to “live” this year’s schedule and new reality.  Please know that we are constantly assessing our current situation and circumstances and will make adjustments, as necessary.  Thank you for your continued patience, understanding, and support.  

 

School Start and End Times

The MSMS start and end times are one of the only things that have not changed this school year.  Our school hours are 7:35am - 1:55pm.  Because it will take additional time to have our students enter the building practicing social distancing and because we expect an increase in parents drop-offs and students walking, we are adjusting our homeroom practices to extend the length of time students can arrive at school.  We will allow students to begin entering the building at 7:20am.  Will will not be taking homeroom attendance until 8:00am.  We are hoping that most students are in homeroom by 7:45 am.  We hope that the flexible arrival time will allow us to safely fill the building.  Once we get the year up and running, if needed, we will make adjustments to these times to lengthen or shorten the arrival window.  We will begin dismissal at 1:45 pm, and continue until all students are safely on their way home. 

2020-2021 Schedule

The first two days of school provided us many opportunities to orient students to the 2020-2021 school year.  Teachers were able to review team specific schedules with students, familiarize students to Google Classroom, review new health and safety protocols, and most importantly, established relationships with students that will continue to grow throughout the school year.  In addition, the MSMS administrative team was able to hold team meetings (grades 7 & 8) or cohort meetings (grade 6) to welcome students to the new school year, review expectations, and further review the health and safety protocols. Recordings of these meetings and the presentation were sent to students and families last week. 

 

Cohort Schedule

 

Cohort A 

(Hybrid and Fully Remote)

Cohort B 

(Hybrid and Fully Remote)

Monday

Primary Instruction

Remote Learning (synchronous and asynchronous)

Tuesday

Primary Instruction

Remote Learning (synchronous and asynchronous)

Wednesday

Remote Learning (synchronous and asynchronous)

Remote Learning (synchronous and asynchronous)

Thursday

Remote Learning (synchronous and asynchronous)

Primary Instruction

Friday

Remote Learning (synchronous and asynchronous)

Primary Instruction

 

We are required to take attendance every school day, whether it is a remote or in-person day for students.  Virtual homeroom will take place at 7:45 am on remote learning days, which will then be followed by the live stream of the morning announcements.

 

This week will be the first week of implementing the hybrid schedule.  Please be patient as we navigate having students in-person and virtually for the first time.  

 

At the beginning of every school year, it is important to establish relationships with students while teaching them the routines and procedures, before jumping into the curriculum. As we enter the first few weeks of this new instructional model, it is likely that students will have fewer asynchronous learning activities.  As students experience more direct instruction, you can expect to see more learning activities assigned for students to be engaged in during their remote learning days.

 

Arrival and Dismissal

The beginning of the year is always hectic as students learn their bus number and families learn the drop-off and pick-up procedures.  The challenges presented by the current circumstances will likely result in additional beginning of the year growing pains.  

Drop-off/Pick-up

We are expecting increased volume during drop-off and pick-up.  Please review the drop-off and pick-up handout to review the morning and afternoon procedures. 

 

Morning

Students should not arrive at school before 7:15 am, as there is no guarantee that adequate supervision will be in place.  Although we have extended the arrival window until 8:00 am, we are hopeful that most students are in homeroom by 7:45 am. The Winn Street entrance is for buses only during the morning pick-up

 

Afternoon

We are asking that families display their child’s name (Last name, first), grae/team, and homeroom number in large font on the passenger side of the vehicle during afternoon pick-up.  This will help the school personnel assist students to quickly get into cars.  

Students Taking the Bus

The bus routes for the 2020-2021 school year were posted on the Burlington Public School’s website this past Wednesday (links to MSMS Cohort A and MSMS Cohort B are located on the right of the linked page).  As you know, there have been significant changes to bus transportation in order to minimize risks on the buses.  Families who had completed the survey to indicate that they needed transportation and were eligible for transportation considering the increased restrictions, should have received an email notification from the district.  Please make sure that you are looking at the correct cohort and that you review both the AM and the PM list to confirm your child’s bus number and stop.  It is very helpful if you can assist your child with identifying the bus that they should ride home in the afternoon before their first in-person day at school. There will likely be adjustments made to these routes and assignments over the course of this week and next.

 

Please note that we will not be able to allow students to switch buses or ride a bus they are not assigned to as we have in the past.  

Gratitude

As we head into the first full week of school, Mrs. Chen Fein, Mr. Murphy, and Ms. Perchase wanted to take a moment to share our gratitude with members of our staff who have been integral in getting MSMS ready for the return of students.  

 

First, we would like to thank Mr. Camerlengo, lead custodian, and the entire custodial staff.  Every summer, the custodial staff and facilities department are busy with routine cleaning and maintenance.  This summer, in addition to their regular tasks, the custodial staff had the added task of readying the building for our return under the current restrictions.  They quickly responded to room moves, moving ½ of the student furniture into storage, and increased their regular cleaning and sanitation.  Their hard work and effort is greatly appreciated.

 

Next, we would like to thank our secretarial staff for all that they have done to ready the school for the return of students and families.  Ms. Bianchi, Mrs. Harrington, and Mrs. Shaikh have gone above and beyond this summer to make sure students, families, and faculty have what they need to be successful for the school year.  While the role of a school secretary is far reaching, each of them have gone above and beyond what is typically expected and asked of them.  The example of this is how they stepped in during the iPad distribution to make sure students got what they needed for their first days of school.

 

We would be remiss if we did not mentions Mrs. O’Leary, who is our Instructional Technology Specialist.  If your child needed a password reset, had difficulty logging into their iPad, or had apps magically disappear (it happened, you were not imaging it), Mrs. O’Leary likely was the person who assisted you.  Her role will be more important than ever, as we begin to live in the hybrid instructional world that is now our reality.

 

Finally, we would like to thank our faculty and instructional staff for all that they have done to prepare for students.  The faculty and staff of MSMS will be teaching their third schedule in as many years.  Beginning last spring, they have had to completely rethink how they plan and deliver instruction.  We continued to be impressed with their dedication to our students and their commitment to their profession.  This group of educators have demonstrated MSMS PRIDE in every aspect of their professional life.

 

It is an honor and privilege to work alongside the MSMS faculty and staff and in a community that values education.  

 

Back to School Nights

As we enter into the school year, it will be necessary to reimagine some of our typical family outreach events.  This year, we are planning on hosting three separate Virtual Back to School Nights for families.  More information will be shared as we get closer to these dates.

 

Grade 6, Thursday, September 24

Grade 7, Tuesday, September 29

Grade 8, Thursday, October 1

Communication

Effective communication is the foundation for strong, home-school collaboration.  As we enter into the school year, we wanted to take a moment and share with you the different methods of communication that we will use throughout the year.  If you ever have a question, comment, or concern, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.  

 

Main Office Telephone Number 781-270-1781

 

Name

Administrator 

Contact Information

Cari Perchase

Principal

cperchase@bpsk12.org

Jennifer Chen Fein

Assistant Principal, students with last names ending with M-Z

jchenfein@bpsk12.org

Josh Murphy

Assistant Principal, students with last names ending with A-L

jmurphy@bpsk12.org

Jackie Vigneau

Special Education Team Chair 

jvigneau@bpsk12.org

 

Updates/Blog

In the beginning of the year, you can expect weekly communication through the News from Marshall Simonds Middle School. Once we settle into the school year, this will change to about every two weeks.  This communication will include important information, including upcoming dates, events, and happenings.  This update will be sent by email, posted on the website, and an announcement will be made through social media.  

 

Website

We are in the process of updating our website and hope that it will become a good reference for our students and families.   You are able to subscribe to the website to receive email alerts when information is updated.

 

Social Media

MSMS celebrates school events on social media. If you are interested, you can follow us on @msmsbps on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We use the hashtag #PRIDEatMSMS.  We primarily use social media to share the awesome things that happen at MSMS everyday!

 

Community Coffee Hours

We will continue to host Coffee Hours to provide a forum for two way communication.  These regular informal meetings will provide us invaluable feedback about what makes Marshall Simonds great and will assist us in identifying opportunities for growth.  We will continue to host these events virtually and look forward to “seeing” you at an event soon.

 

Old News


Here is a link to last week’s communication for your reference.