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Principal's Message 1/14/22


Posted Date: 01/18/2022

Principal's Message 1/14/22

HOLIDAYS & CLOSURES:

Monday, January 17, 2022: School Closed for the Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Holiday

MESSAGE FROM MR. JACKSON,

 

Greetings Nathan Hale Parents and Guardians, 

 

Here’s hoping this message finds you healthy and well! 

 

Welcome back and happy new year to all! NHMS welcomes back our students and staff after a much-deserved winter break. Due to an extensive number of COVID illnesses, our staff has been spread thin covering several colleagues daily. Thank you to every staff member who has willingly provided coverage when needed. To this end, we will continue to maintain health and safety measures to ensure students and staff are safe. Please know that the health and safety of our children, families, and staff is our highest priority. 

 

A special note of appreciation goes out to the many teachers who have been recently observed through a series drop in visits. Over the course of this week, teachers have been observed implementing strategies such as clarifying bookmarks, tableau, think-pair-share, and forms of academic discourse supported by text evidence. Together, we are making great strides to enhance our ability to support student learning and growth.

 

The second quarter closes on January 27, 2022. As the marking period comes to an end, teachers will continue to work closely with students and families and maintain timely communication. We want to ensure that all students have every chance possible to improve their grades with the limited time remaining in the second quarter. Looking ahead, we encourage families to visit PowerSchool to receive up to date student attendance, grades, and academic progress of their child. If you are in need of access to PowerSchool for the first time, please reach out to our secretary, Mrs. Vernita Grasty in Guidance for assistance - GrastyV@NorwalkPS.org.

 

We hope everyone enjoys a relaxing weekend. Please remember that there will be no school this Monday as we will be honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. 

 

As always, please let us know how we may be of service to you.

 

Sincerely, 

NHMS Leadership Team 

 

Academic Updates    

ILT/Professional Development Cycle 

Our professional development continues to focus on data-driven instruction. A special note of gratitude goes out to Ms. Riley Northrop and Mr. Don Mundt for provided a well-planned session using student data to plan and provide appropriate supports. Throughout the cycle of learning, members of the ILT and school leadership team will monitor teacher progress with focused walkthroughs that will help determine our next steps to support our collective learning. 

 

Special Education

Effective immediately, Ms. Sue Peryea will be managing PPTs and evaluation testing for both Grade 7 and Grade 8 students with special needs.

 

SRBI/SEL 

Our extended homeroom time has shifted - our current daily social and emotional learning sessions will be condensed to 15 minutes of homeroom. "SEL" homeroom is followed by 30 minutes of academic support four days a week (Monday – Thursday). This will greatly enhance our ability to provide intensive academic support for students who need it the most.

 

School Wide Support Team (SRBI for attendance and behaviors)

Our support team will be reviewing the first semester student attendance report and grades. Identified students who are struggling in one or both categories will continue to be discussed and supported.

 

Operations Update  

Staffing Update

Our new custodial team began last week. They have performed remarkably well since their arrival. Last week, Mr. Crouch was part of a committee that interviewed several high-quality candidates for school counselor. The committee selected Ms. Erica Satterfield who will be joining us as our new Grade 7 Counselor on January 18 to replace Ms. Kia McKelvey, who left the district. Please give her a warm welcome. Ms. Satterfield can be reached at SatterfieldE@NorwalkPS.org or 203-899-2910 x17210.

 

NWEA MoY Testing

Due to Covid affecting staff and student numbers, our testing window has been pushed to begin on January 25 due to COVID.

 

Reporting Your Child's Positive Covid-19 Test to the School:

Parents, please email your child's positive Home Test or document showing a positive PCR test, to our school Nurse, Mrs. Page Seyfried - SeyfriedP@NorwalkPS.org. She will reach out to you if any additional information is needed. Please also include our Attendance Coordinator, Mrs. Vernita Grasty, so she can update attendance: GrastyV@NorwalkPS.org.

 

Those students who are in isolation or are quarantining should check Google Classroom daily for any assignments to complete at home - if they are well enough. Please realize that many teachers are also home sick, so assignments for some classes may be missing. Any missed classwork will be made up when your child, or the teacher, is back in school.

 

We have been asked by Central Office to suspend sending home emails regarding positivity numbers among students, as it is not a perfect science. Therefore, we will send an email advising that a new case of Covid-19 has been identified within the school community (staff and students) each day that new cases are reported.

 

Student Discipline 

Together, we will maintain a safe and productive learning environment where all students are 

engaged in productive learning. Thank you for your contributions and cooperation. Let’s all do our part to tackle small problems before they become bigger. Students respond well to consistent adult structure. Staff has been instructed to do their part by doing the following: 

·       Issue hall passes (one student out at a time)

·       Cell phones are off and away all school day

·       Document student behavior issues

·       Communicate with parents/guardians regarding behavioral issue.

 

Shared Decision-Making Team  

Our SDMT meets monthly to discuss various topics associated with academics, school operations, and the school community. The intention is for the group to address issues and problem-solve together.

  

School Community Updates  

Middle School Athletics  

Intramurals have started. Travel teams will begin this month. The basketball team rosters were finalized yesterday.

 

School Governance Council 

Our School Governance Council met on January 5. The focus of our discussion was to develop a new vision and mission statement for NHMS. Together, we brainstormed our school’s values by building a word bank based on one-word responses to the following questions: What does our school value? What makes our school successful? What does our school aspire to be? We plan to meet later this month to continue our work and craft a new school vision statement.

 

Parent/Teacher Association

The Parent Teacher Association met on Wednesday January 12. The group discussed the possibility of heading up a golf outing fundraiser. They also committed to sponsoring a quarterly student celebration of students demonstrating consistently acceptable or improving academic performance, behaviors, and attendance.

 

Equity Committee

Our school’s equity committee met January 12. We are in the process of coming up with short- and long-term plans for moving forward with our equity work in the classrooms and in the NHMS community.

A FEW IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR PARENTS:

MASKS: Masks must be worn by students at all times. WIth Covid-19 positivity rates soaring again, we need to remind everyone that masks need to be up and over the nose!

 

PHONES: Students should not have cell phones out during the school day. Phones are being confiscated if they are out and being used. Air pods are not to be word during the day. Remember, the school is not responsible for lost phones or airpods.

 

WATER BOTTLES: Students should have their OWN water bottles in school for water fountain use. The school does not supply cups for students. Please make sure your child's name is written in permanent marker on the bottle.

 

CHROMEBOOKS: Broken or damaged chromebooks must be reported to our Tech Coordinator, Mr. Malcolm Welfare - WelfareM@NorwalkPS.org

 

PICKING UP FOR EARLY DISMISSAL: Finally, parents are arriving at school to pick up their child for early dismissal without prior notification. Notes are required in the morning so your child will be ready for pick up. No early dismissals between 2:30-2:50pm at the end of the day. Please read below for the full overview - we keep this in every week's email to families.

REMINDER: Early Dismissal Procedure

If you are picking up your child EARLY from school, send in a written note with your child in the morning - include your child's name and the time and reason they are leaving early.

 

Notes are to be brought to Mrs. Grasty in the Counseling Office before homeroom She will then update the Daily Attendance to indicate that your child is leaving early. Her direct line in 203-899-2910 x17208.

 

Your child should come on their own to meet you at the Security Desk at the appointed time. This will eliminate us looking for your child in the building and interrupting classes.

 

Please sign them out in the notebook and have your ID ready. Only those friends and family members listed on your child's emergency form are allowed to pick up your child.

 

No Early Dismissals between 2:30-2:50pm as busses are entering the parking lot for the close of the school day.

 

Thank you for your understanding and following this procedure. We are currently getting between 15-20 "emergency" or last-minute requests to find students for Early Dismissal. This is disruptive to classrooms and takes both security and office staff away from their locations to find your child.

Be sure to scroll down to the end of this email for a Calendar list of important dates!

In-School Covid-19 Testing at Nathan Hale Every Wednesday

In collaboration with Progressive Diagnostics, NPS is offering free Covid PCR testing for all unvaccinated NPS elementary and middle school students beginning with the week of September 27.

 

Research shows that school-based screening testing helps to identify cases sooner, rather than waiting for symptoms to develop. 

 

Progressive Diagnostics will offer free testing once a week at each school to unvaccinated students, not exhibiting any Covid-related symptoms, with parental consent.

 

Consent forms can be accessed by clicking on this link: https://progressive-diagnostics.com/school-testing/consent-form/

 

Schools will not be responsible for selecting students to participate in this program. Parents interested in having their child participate may submit the form electronically.

 

The test is a non-invasive swabbing of the lower nostrils (no “brain tickling”) and takes only a few seconds to collect.

 

Results will be available to parents within 24 hours via a HIPAA compliant online portal.

As we work together to keep our students and staff safe, please continue to keep your child home if they aren’t feeling well, or exhibiting any Covid symptoms. For additional information regarding Progressive school testing click here. FAQ’s in English or Spanish are available for viewing as well.

B.A.R.K. CONTACT INFORMATION:

For parents whose children are enrolled in the Carver Foundations' B.A.R.K. After-School Program: The program Director is Dr Thomas Stanford. If you need to pick up your child early, or have to inform Dr. Stanford of a change in plans, please contact him directly on the BARK Phone Number: 203-804-7550. That is the most efficient way of reaching the program.

CALENDAR:

 

Monday, January 17: All Schools Closed in observance of Dr Martin Luther King Day

 

Monday, January 24: All Schools 2-Hour Early Dismissal, due to Professional Development for Staff. Nathan Hale closes at 12:50pm

 

Thursday, February 17, Friday, February 18 and Monday, February 21 - All Schools Closed for President's Day Recess

 

Thursday, March 17: All Schools 90-min Early Dismissal, due to conferences at the elementary school affecting buses. Nathan Hale closes at 1:20pm

 

Thursday, March 24: All Schools 90-min Early Dismissal, due to Professional Development for Staff. Nathan Hale closes at 1:20pm

 

Monday, March 28: All Schools 2-Hour Early Dismissal, due to Professional Development for Staff. Nathan Hale closes at 12:50pm

 

Friday, April 15: All Schools Closed for Good Friday

 

Monday, April 18 - Friday, April 22: All Schools Closed for Spring Recess

 

Monday, April 25: All Schools 2-Hour Early Dismissal, due to Professional Development for Staff. Nathan Hale closes at 12:50pm

 

Monday, May 16: All Schools 2-Hour Early Dismissal, due to Professional Development for Staff. Nathan Hale closes at 12:50pm

 

Monday, May 30: All Schools Closed in observance of Memorial Day

 

Tentative last day of school: June 16, 2022, subject to change due to snow closures.