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Principal's Message 2/4/22

Posted Date: 02/07/2022

Principal's Message 2/4/22


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

IMPORTANT: In Case You Missed It Last Week!

Please take a moment to complete our survey - we have had very few parents respond.


Parent Survey (linked to the School Improvement Plan)

The degree to which families become involved with and interact with their child’s school has been a point of focus for NHMS this year. Last spring’s parent survey indicated that only 9 percent of our families felt as though they were provided an opportunity to be involved with their child’s school. COVID safety measures have been a contributing factor to our efforts to establish greater family engagement with our school. Preventing spread remains a focus districtwide. 


This year, we have been fortunate enough to open our school to visitors at various points in the school year. We have hosted a play, seasonal musical performances, athletic competitions, and school community meetings. Through the use of Zoom technology, we have been able to host several parent meetings, an annual school-wide Open House event as well as monthly Parent-Teacher Association, School Governance Council, and Equity Committee meetings. Finally, we continue to provide weekly communications with families to keep everyone up to speed with the many happenings taking place at NHMS.


We would appreciate your feedback regarding our efforts to date to support family involvement in our school. As a means of providing us with midyear data, please access one of the two survey options. One is written in English and one in Spanish. We will plan to keep the survey open for the next two weeks. Thank you very much in advance for taking this relatively quick survey that will inform us of our next steps to make progress in this area. 


Please click the blue link below to take the survey in English!

NHMS Parent Survey - Winter 

Important Contact Numbers You Need:

Please keep for future reference.


Main Number: 203-899-2910, then extension number

Fax: 203-899-2914


Attendance Line: ext 18200 - leave a message

Attendance, Early Dismissal, Registrations & Withdrawals:

Mrs. Vernita Grasty - - ext 17208


Nurse: Mrs. Page Seyfried - - ext 17207


Counselor, Grade 6: Mrs. Luisa Borea - - ext 17212

Counselor, Grade 7: Ms. Erica Satterfield - - ext 17210

Counselor, Grade 8: Ms. Tasha Sherrill - - ext 17211

Social Worker: Ms. Elle Zopounidis - - ext 17214

School Psychologist: Mrs. Olga Larina - - ext 17206


House Leader for Arts House: Mr. Jay Gerlach -

House Leader for Traditional House: Mrs. Christy Counts -


Dean of Students: Ms. Stephanie Peckham - - ext 17205

Assistant Principal: Mr. James Crouch -

Principal: Mr. Eric Jackson -


Issues with Chromebooks and Chromebook Replacements:

Tech Coordinator for Nathan Hale: Mr. Keith Morey -

Verizon Liaison for Chromebook Program: Mr. Malcolm Welfare -


BARK After School Program Director: Dr. Thomas Stanford -

BARK Cell Phone: 203-804-7550 - For early dismissal from the program, absences and or questions. Please DO NOT call the Main Office, or show up at the front door after the regular school day for BARK pick-ups. Please call the BARK number first. Thank you!


After School Programs Coordinator (Sports & Activities): Ms. Jan Folchetti -


Email is the BEST way to reach a staff member. Counselors and administration are often in meetings and not available to take phone calls. If you do call, PLEASE leave a message so they can return your call when they are available.


Durham School Buses 203-428-4092 - contact for late buses, items left on bus, etc

Transportation Dept at Norwalk Public Schools - for bus pass replacement, bus stop issues, etc -




Attention Parents of Current Grade 6 Students:

State law requires ALL Grade 6 students to have a physical exam at their doctor during their Grade 6 year BEFORE they enter Grade 7. Doctors' offices quickly get booked during the summer months. Please schedule your child's physical for this Spring. Without a recent physical, your child will not be able to enter a Connecticut School at the end of August. Students entering Grade 7 next year must be up to date on all vaccinations. Any questions, please contact School Nurse, Mrs. Page Seyfried at the email address listed above.


Please note: The physical exam must be on the Connecticut Health Form which is available from your Pediatrician's office. Forms can also be printed at home using this link:


Reminder from Central Office:

Workshop for Parents, Presented by the Norwalk Public Schools' Equity Institute:

Equity 101: What is Equity Anyways? Zoom Presentation

In this session, Norwalk families will deepen their understanding of equity in education. Participants will understand the difference between equity and equality and how Norwalk is working towards its equity goals.

February 16, 2022, 5:00-6:30pm (English presentation)

6:45-8:15pm (presentation en español.)


Register for the Equity Workshop here:


First Semester Grades

Semester 1 report cards will go live on PowerSchool on Monday, February 7. Please reach out to your child's counselor if you have trouble accessing grades online. (see contact list above.)


Black History Month

NHMS is proud to join our nation in honoring Black History Month. We champion this month as an additional opportunity to educate our students about the triumph of African American History, and the work ahead of us as a nation to achieve educational equality. As we kick-off this important time, teachers across all three grade levels are teaching lessons and holding events in honor of Black History Month.


NHMS Production of High School Musical

Nathan Hale is proud to present our first-ever school musical, High School Musical on April 8 and 9, 2022. The cast had a very successful first week of choreography rehearsals. Students who are interested in working on Stage Crew: Due to the cancellation of school today, our meeting will be rescheduled to Monday, February 7, at 8:20am (right after announcements). This meeting is required for any student interested in joining. Please reach out to Mr. Schule with any question -


Grade 6 Winter Music Concert

Congratulations to our sixth-grade band, orchestra, and chorus students on a fabulous virtual winter concert. Please be on the lookout for a link to the concert from your music teacher! We’d like to offer big shout out to Ms. Guda, Ms. Gallagher, and Ms. Nida for their flexibility in making this virtual concert happen for our sixth-grade music students. Thank you!


NHMS is on Social Media!

Nathan Hale is officially on Social Media! Please follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to keep updated on all the happenings within our school.


Instagram: @nathanhalems_ct

Twitter: @nathanhalems_ct

Facebook: Nathan Hale Middle School (with the blue "Star" logo:)



Upcoming Boy's Soccer Clinic with Coach Laughton from Norwalk High School!

The Soccer Clinic will be February 10 and 25 after school from 3:00-4:00pm. Please see Ms Folchetti or Mr. DeVito for permission slips.


Girls’ Basketball 

The Nathan Hale girls’ basketball team won their first game against West Rocks Middle school by a score of 41-12. Mia McCauliff-Grant led the team in scoring with 16 points, while Natalia Martinez chipped in with 13 points. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots showcased their promising underclassmen, who did not disappoint, displaying tough defense and a willingness to compete. 


The Nathan Hale girls’ basketball team won their second game vs Ponus Middle School by a score of 40-18. Once again, the team was led offensively by the duo of Mia McCauliff-Grant and Natalia Martinez. McCauliff-Grant finished her day with 12 points and Martinez with 14. Savanna Jack contributed with 6 points and tough rebounding. 


The Nathan Hale girls' basketball team won their third straight game beating Roton Middle School by a score of 41-14. This is their third straight game scoring over 40 points. The Patriots were able to play fast, pushing the ball up the court all game. Sah’ni Kinlock proved to be tough to defend, penetrating the defense and leading the team with 14 points. On the perimeter Zahri Jarrel was automatic, knocking down shot after shot, finishing with 13 points for the Patriots. 


Boys' Basketball 

The Nathan Hale boys team started off the season with an impressive 20-point win over West Rocks. Justin Beazley led all scorers with 13 points followed by the strong guard play of Dylan Izzi contributing 11 points. Overall, it was a great team win with balanced scoring and hardnosed defense. 


During game 2, the boys put it all together with a 31-point blowout of Ponus Middle School. Whether it was executing plays on offense to perfection or locking up defenders, the team got it done in an impressive manner. Everyone on the team made the stat sheet with a balanced team effort led, once again, by Justin Beazley with 12 points. 


Game 3 saw Nathan Hale go to a 3-0 record with a hard-fought, gritty win over a talented Roton team. The boys edged out Roton Middle School 25-24 in a game that came down to the wire. Justin Beazley led in scoring with 8 points, but it was a dominant team defense that secured the win. The boys have been putting in hard work in the practice which has led to a certain tenacity and willingness to win come game time. Very proud of the team for overcoming adversity to keep us at the top of the table in the battle for supremacy in Norwalk Middle School basketball!


Mr. Gerlach's Theater Group

Coach Morey and the Boy's Basketball Team

Coach Sullivan and the Girl's Basketball Team

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 - 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:


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.


Re-Cap: 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.


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 -


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:


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.


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.



Tuesday, February 8: Travel Basketball. Home Game vs. Ponus 3:30-5:00pm


Thursday, February 10: Travel Basketball. Away Game at Roton 3:30-5:00pm

Thursday, February 10: Boy's Soccer Clinic with Coach Laughton, 3:00-4:00pm


Tuesday, February 15: Travel Basketball. Home Game vs. West Rocks 3:30-5:00pm

Wednesday, February 16: Equity Workshop for Parents via Zoom, 5:00-6:30pm


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

Tuesday, February 22: Travel Basketball. Away Game at Ponus 3:30-5:00pm


Thursday, February 24: Travel Basketball. Home Game vs Roton 3:30-5:00pm

Friday, February 25: Boy's Soccer Clinic with Coach Laughton, 3:00-4:00pm


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.