June 2, 2020
Dear Marshall Simonds Middle School Community,
Earlier this week, Dr. Conti and Mr. Larkin published a statement acknowledging the feelings of fear, anger, and hurt that the members of our community, especially our Black students and families, are feeling after the death of George Floyd.
Mr. Murphy, Mrs. Chen Fein, Ms. Vigneau and I have regularly communicated our core values of Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Empathy to all members of our community. In light of the spotlight that has been shown on the persistent inequities that exist in our country for people of color, we wanted to revisit our core values.
We Persevere through challenges despite obstacles.
We have Respect for human differences.
We act with Integrity by doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.
We welcome and celebrate all members of our Diverse community.
We are Empathetic, we try to understand how others feel and respond with kindness.
As educators, we have the immense responsibility to provide students a safe place to understand the world in which they live and to develop the skills to make it better. This year, we have established a building based equity team which has met regularly to discuss ways that we can better respond to the needs of our diverse community, how we can address systemic inequities, and how we respond to incidents of intolerance. During a professional development day earlier this year, our faculty engaged in an exercise to reflect on the many facets of their own identity. This past year, our counselors engaged our students in similar exercise, to help them understand their identity and to respect those who may identify differently than themselves. These were early steps to continue to make Marshall Simonds Middle School a place where everyone is accepted, celebrated, and affirmed. These steps are a beginning and we know that there is more work to be done.
This week, we are providing virtual spaces to process with staff and students. We encourage you to engage in conversation with your children about the protests. Here are some resources that may be helpful:
Cari Perchase Jennifer Chen Fein Josh Murphy Jaclyn Vigneau
Remote Learning- Weeks at a Glance
Here is a timeline for remote learning for the remainder of the school year.
Virtual Talent Show
The students at Marshall Simonds Middle School have many talents! Last year, we hosted our first talent show and we are excited to continue this tradition, virtually, this year. If your child would like to share their talent to be included in our virtual talent show, they should follow these guidelines:
Students should submit a video that is no longer than 2 minutes in length to Ms. Perchase (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Students in an ensemble group who choose to participate should submit their video to their ensemble teachers, Mr. Mullen, Ms. Schauer, or Mrs. Gendron
Students should include the following information with their submission
Description of the Talent
We will be compiling videos into short episodes to be shared the last week of school.
We encourage students to get creative! In addition to musical acts, talents can include comedy, acting, poetry reading, or plate spinning (we know that some of you are accomplished plate spinners).
All submissions must be received by Friday, 6/5 in order to be included in the talent show. Please follow social distancing requirements (we know there are some great duets and trios out there, but if you can’t partner up remotely, please go solo).
Virtual Field Day
The last week of school is often filled with celebrations and activities meant to celebrate and provide closure to the school year for students. This year, we will be hosting a Virtual Field Day the last week of school! Details about the events will be sent out on Friday, June 12, 2020. Students will have until Thursday, June 18th to submit their video to earn points for grade level and team.
End of Year Plan
The end of the year is always a hectic time of year. Thank you for your patience as we developed a plan that meets a wide range of needs while maintaining social distancing guideline to close out the 2019-2020 school year.
Trimester 3/Semester 2 Grades
Since remote learning began, we have communicated that students would not be graded in traditional ways. When report cards are published and made available on the Parent Portal at the end of the year, you will see the code UG for trimester 3 and semester 2 grades. Full year classes will receive a final grade that will be the average of trimester 1 and trimester 2 grades.
School personnel are in the process of cleaning out student lockers. We will be collecting school materials (textbooks and other materials) and returning them to teachers. Student’s personal items will be placed into a labeled bag and will be available for pick-up the week of 6/8 (see schedule below).
As we cleaned out lockers, there were a number of books (novels) that we were not sure if they were student’s personal books or books from classroom libraries. If your child is missing a book, please reach out to us with the title and we will get it back to you.
Mrs. McGillivray and Mrs. Schulze will be on hand the week of 6/8, during locker pick-up, to return any prescription medications that are still in the nurse’s office.
When families come to the school to pick-up items, we are asking for you to return any items (textbooks, novels, library books, or other materials) that belong to the school. Here is a grade level list of what books students may have at home. Thank you for your assistance in returning the materials for future use.
We will be scheduling a separate time to return iPads borrowed from the school to allow students to use the iPad to complete the last week of remote learning assignments. Families should anticipate returning iPads the last week of school, prior to 6/19. More details will follow.
The Book Drop Off and Locker Pick-up will take place the week of 6/8 between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm. We ask families to follow the schedule included below.
Grades 6 & 7
Monday, 6/8 Last Names Beginning with A through G
Tuesday, 6/9 Last Names Beginning with H through O
Wednesday, 6/10 Last Names Beginning with P through Z
Grade 8 (and their siblings in grades 6 or 7)
In addition to dropping off books and picking up personal belongings, grade 8 students will get their certificates of completion and awards.
Book Drop-off/Personal Item Pick-up
Thank you in advance for adhering to the following guidelines.
Before leaving your home, please write your child’s last name on a piece of paper in dark marker/large font, and display it on your dashboard
Enter the bus loop from the Winn Street entrance
Stop at the first sign (near the main entrance)
A staff member will take your name and collect any items you are returning to the school
Pull up to the cafeteria entrance
Your child’s personal belongings will be brought to your car
Exit through the Locust Street exit
These guidelines will allow us to minimize contact and will accommodate a large volume of cars.
Burlington Food Pantry
Please consider donating to the Burlington Food Pantry.
canned vegetables (except corn and green beans)
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 email@example.com 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.
News from Our Nurses
The weather is getting warmer and with warm weather the time that is spent outside is increased. Our skin will be exposed to more sunlight and it is important to stay safe while playing, working or just lounging in the sun. The sun does help the body produce vitamin D which is essential for calcium absorption and bone health. Just remember to follow safety precautions when you are in the sun. These are tips to help you stay safe while still enjoying the sun.
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 will be sent 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Olive Schulze at email@example.com, or fax to: 781-270-1696. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
News from Our Counselors
The strategy we are sharing this week focuses on Optimistic Thinking. As we continue with this remote learning and the challenges associated with COVID-19 last longer than we expected, maintaining a sense of hopefulness and optimism is critical. Encourage your child to add “even if” to statements they are making and realize that even if they can’t do something there are still things they are able to do and still positives in life.
One of our 7th grade students is running a fundraiser to support Boston Children’s Hospital. Please consider ordering a “Light at the End of the Tunnel” t-shirt to support this worthy cause.