June 16, 2020
Dear MSMS Community,
We made it! The last three months have been a whirlwind. As I have said many times recently, I could never have imagined the school closure, remote learning, or ending the school year remotely. I want to thank you for your patience, understanding, and partnership as we worked together to support our students.
As we head into the summer and a much needed break, I wanted to share a few reflections. I want to commend all members of our community, students, teachers, and families, for persevering through the challenges created by the public health crisis. The public health crisis impacted each individual and family differently, and no one was untouched by the circumstances it created. I am so proud of our students who did their best to stay connected with their school community, continued their learning more independently, and kept a positive attitude. Especially while worrying about their families, friends, and community. I am grateful to our teachers. Virtually overnight, they were asked to change their instructional practices that have been in place for longer than they were in the classroom. Although our teachers regularly collaborate, the level of collaboration over the past three months was inspiring. I am in awe of all of the parents, family members, and teachers who stepped up to manage their own busy lives while helping our students access learning in person, supplementing what we have only been able to do virtually for the last three months. We know that this was not easy for parents and families and we appreciate your continued support. Finally, I am thankful for the privilege to work in a community that cares deeply for its children, putting their health and wellbeing above all.
In addition to surviving a pandemic, we were once again reminded of the pervasive, systemic racism and the inequities for people of color and other traditionally marginalized groups of people experience daily in the United States. While extremely saddened by the lack of progress we as a country have made, I am hopeful that our community will continue to learn, advocate, and work towards equitable opportunities for all members of our community. I am looking forward to continuing the conversations that we have started, as we learn alongside our students.
As we continue planning for the next school year, there are many more questions than answers. We are anxiously awaiting the guidance from the state which is due this week. In the meantime, we are thoughtfully considering the best way to welcome our students back, whether in person, virtually, or some combination. Each year, our educators work hard to establish and maintain strong relationships with our students. This will be even more important as we address the unknown impact that the public health crisis and extended school closure has had on our students, socially, emotionally, and academically. We are working with our teachers this summer to develop a re-entry plan, which will include assessing where students current skill levels are and creating a plan that addresses their individual needs. We will also be considering the feedback that you provided through the Remote Learning Survey that the district sent to families a few weeks ago.
Developing a master schedule is always a complex process. Planning for multiple realities makes this even more challenging. It is our practice to communicate with students and families of teacher/team assignments in mid August. Beginning at the end of July, as we have had time to develop a plan, we will begin to send family updates about our return to school in the fall.
I hope that all of our students have a fun, safe, and healthy summer. We look forward to the day when we can all be together again!
Virtual Talent Show
MSMS has talent! Thank you to all the students who shared their talent with us. While we miss seeing the performances in person, the virtual format did provide additional opportunities for students to share their talents in a variety of ways. We will be releasing a different segment of the talent show over the next few days.
The virtual talent show would not have been possible without the help of some very special people! Thank you to our music department teachers, Mrs. Gendron, Mr. Mullen, and Mrs. Schauer for helping our Band, Chorus, and Orchestra students share their accomplishments with us. Also thank you to our student master of ceremonies, Julia Boldezar and Bobby Nevola, who did an amazing job introducing each of the acts. Finally, we are eternally grateful to Mrs. Sturtevant and Mrs. Crowley for acting as our executive producers, artistic directors, and chief editors. We would not have been able to create this opportunity for our students without your hard work!
Virtual Field Day
On Friday, students received an email with a code for the Virtual Field Day Google Classroom. Everything students need to participate in the virtual field day is included in that site. School wide, the three teams (Red, White, and Blue) are competing to win. The prize...a bucket of water on Mr. Murphy (White), Mrs. Chen Fein (Red), or Ms. Perchase’s (Blue) head. So when your team “wins”, we lose!
Grade 8 Promotion and Awards Ceremony- change in time
The first ever Virtual Grade 8 Promotion and Awards Ceremony will premiere on BCAT's Education Channel this Thursday night at 8pm.
For our education channel, RCN users can tune into channel 13, Verizon users can tune into channel 40, and Comcast users can tune into channel 22. The ceremony will air in the same time slot for the rest of the weekend and into next week as well. The night after the ceremony premieres, we will share the link to view the ceremony online at any time.
Congratulations to all of our 8th grade students. We know you will bring your MSMS PRIDE with you, no matter what your next steps are. Thank you to the parents and family members who have allowed us to be partners in educating your child these last few years. We hope your celebration of this milestone is meaningful. We will leave the banners out until Friday, June 19, so feel free to drop by to take a picture of your child.
Finally, we want to see pictures of our 8th graders with their promotion certificates! Please use the hashtag #msmsontohighschool when posting pictures of your child on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or email Mrs. Chen Fein at email@example.com. Any picture that we get or can find on social media before Thursday, 6/18, will be included in one final celebratory slide show.
Summer Learning Resources
Marshall Simonds Middle School wants you to have a wonderful summer filled with sun, fun, and reading! Research shows that participating in summer reading boosts academic achievement and prevents a summer slump. We are hopeful that all members of our community will continue to read for pleasure this summer.
Here is a message from Mrs. Floyd, our Library Media Specialist
Please click this link to access information regarding Summer Reading for 2020. Accessing books and literacy opportunities over the summer is crucial for our students and this site will provide you with the information and resources to do this easily. Continue to encourage your child to read throughout the summer. Pre-teens/teens begin to discover more about themselves, their interests, and the world we live in through what they read. Create opportunities to share what you are reading or read together. Start virtual book clubs or read a book with a friend or group of peers. Feel free to share pictures or titles with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and please tag any social media posts with #MSMSreads. I look forward to working with your children.
Here are a couple of additional resources that may be helpful for you to assist your child in finding a “just right” book for them!
Summer Math Enrichment
Our math department has put together some resources to support students’ continued math practice over the summer.
iPad Return, June 22 and June 24 from 10:00am until 12:00 pm
If your child borrowed a school issued iPad to engage in remote learning, we ask that you return it on June 22 or June 24. School personnel will be at MSMS to collect all iPads K-8 from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm on those days.
Book Drop-off/Item Pick-up
If you have not been able to pick up your child’s belongings, please contact the main office. While we do not have any additional times scheduled for pick-up, we are accepting drop-offs by leaving your child’s items on a table outside of our main entrance. If you come across books or other materials that belong to the school, You can drop them off at our main entrance anytime between Monday and Thursday.
News from our Nurses
Incoming 7th grade Physical Exams
Thank you to everyone that has already turned in a copy of their child’s most recent physical exam with immunizations to the school nurses. A more detailed reminder email had been sent from the school nurses on 6/1/2020 to the parents who have not yet turned in this documentation. Please continue to send these documents to the school nurses throughout the summer as your child's appointment is completed.
Burlington Public Schools is requesting an updated physical, with your child’s Tdap and Meningococcal immunizations (Men B not accepted) which are required for students entering 7th grade. This document is required of all Massachusetts children to attend public school per the Department of Public Health immunization requirements and must be dated between January 1, 2019 and September 1, 2020.
We are mandated to adhere to state guidelines so that we provide a safe school environment for all students. If your child’s appointment dated between January 1, 2019 and September 1, 2020 has already happened please forward this required document to your school nurses at your earliest convenience prior to September 1, 2020 via email to: Leigh McGillivray at email@example.com or Olive Schulze at firstname.lastname@example.org, fax to: 781-270-1696, or mail to: MSMS Nurse's Office. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
Healthy Habits, Bicycle Safety
The weather outside is getting nicer so many people are enjoying more physical activities outside. It’s the time of year when bicycles get dusted off, tires are inflated and then ride! It’s a great form of exercise but it is important to practice bicycle safety. One very important factor is wearing a helmet when riding a bike. Yes, helmets can sometimes be uncomfortable or hot to wear but they protect a very important part of the body; the brain. So have fun exploring the world on your bikes but remember to use safe practices while doing it.
News from our Guidance Counselors
Life can be overwhelming. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to work through difficult times. The Virtual Calming Room was designed to assist students in locating different strategies and tools for managing their emotions. We hope these tools will provide helpful outlets and practices for when life gets tough.
Have an excellent summer! Stay safe and healthy!!