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Principal's Message 3/4/2022


Posted Date: 03/18/2022

Principal's Message 3/4/2022

HOLIDAYS & CLOSURES:

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

Greetings Nathan Hale Parents and Guardians, 

 

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

 

NHMS has much to celebrate this week! Athletically, it is with incredible pride we share with you that our girl's and the boys' basketball teams won their district intermural middle school championship games Wednesday evening! The games were amazing with the boys’ game culminating in a nail-biter victory. Our student athletes represented our school so well in terms of play and conduct. Congratulations to all our incredible players, our coaches - Mr. Morey and Mr. Sullivan and our athletic coordinators - Ms. Folchetti and Mr. Fedeli. Currently, we are working out plans for a school-wide celebration of our teams one week from today as part of a red, white, and blue spirit day. More details will be forthcoming soon.

 

March represents our school’s final stretch to prepare our students for high-stakes assessments. Several teachers are conducting data-chats with their students as they review NWEA midyear results. They are taking the time and energy to share their progress and set personal goals so that each student may to strive towards reaching them between now and State assessments. Thank you to our teachers for continuing to use a data-driven approach in your lesson planning so that we are all properly differentiating and scaffolding tasks that supports the learning for all our students.

 

Thank you for a productive week! As always, please let us know how we may be of service to you. Enjoy your weekend… 😊

 

Sincerely, 

NHMS Leadership Team 

 

Academic Updates    

Arts Integration

We had an exciting week in Arts Integration, shout outs to Mrs. Jessup, Mr. Sullivan, Mrs. Fallon, Dr. Stanford, and Mr. Byrne for thinking outside the box and trying new ways of engaging students! And a shout out to all our homeroom teachers for creating Tableau for Black History Month. Way to go!

 

Operations Update  

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. It also serves as an opportunity to proactively plan. If you have questions or concerns tied to any of those broad categories to be discussed and resolved, please pass them along to Mr. Fedeli. 

 

School Community Updates  

School Governance Council

Our SGC met Wednesday night to review staff feedback to the vision statement draft that was presented to them on Monday. After considerable discussion among members of the council, they were able to agree upon the following statement:

 

Vision Statement - Final

“We empower all Nathan Hale Middle School students to develop the values, skills, and mindset for lifelong learning and realize their fullest potential in a global society.”

 

This new vision statement will serve our school as the direction our school will be striving to achieve over the next five years. Next, the council will focus its efforts to finalize our school’s new mission statement. The mission statement serves as our school’s pathway to fulfill the vision statement. Please read the following statement:

 

Mission Statement (First DRAFT):

"Nathan Hale Middle School is an inclusive arts-integrated middle school that provides a place of belonging where everyone is valued and respected. Providing skill sets (motivation) (guidance) (mentorship) and education to do so. (Foster) Setting goals and fulfilling them (self-directed learner) (self-advocacy). Students are empowered to meet current and future global challenges through developing social and cultural awareness, civic responsibility, and personal growth."

 

SGC has opted to take the next month to review some language from the IB Learner Profile to incorporate into our mission. Please take a look at the IB Learner Profile here: https://www.ibo.org/globalassets/publications/recognition/learnerprofile-en.pdf

 

Please know that we are seeking feedback from all stakeholders regarding our mission statement. If you have thoughts regarding ways we may add or tweak our draft, we greatly appreciate your input in advance. The SGC will be meeting on March 30 to finalize our school’s mission statement.

 

COVID Test Kits/Masks

Effective March 1, masks are now optional for all students and staff in Norwalk Public Schools. Just a reminder that masks are still required during certain activities according to guidelines such as chorus. Together as a community, we encourage everyone to model acceptance and kindness as this transition takes place, and families make individualized decisions about mask wearing.

If NHMS parents or guardians have any questions, please reach out to our school nurse.

 

March is Women’s History Month

To celebrate Woman’s History Month, we are hoping to form a committee to lead a culminating assembly at the end of the month. If you are willing to be on the committee, please see Jay Gerlach. If you are interested in ideas to celebrate Woman’s History Month in your classes, the Makers website offers hundreds of short PBS documentaries about powerful and intelligent modern women in science, business, politics, art, and other fields who are changing the world for the better.

 

Student Leadership Team

The Student Leadership met this morning with a focus on having positive interactions on social media. A group of students from Norwalk High School who are part of a club called “Bears Cares” will be meeting with the SLT in the upcoming weeks to discuss ways they can help support positive social media conduct in and out of school.

 

Important Contact Numbers You Need:

Please keep for future reference.

 

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

Fax: 203-899-2914

 

Attendance Line: ext 18200 - leave a message

Attendance, Early Dismissal, Registrations & Withdrawals:

Mrs. Vernita Grasty - GrastyG@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17208

 

Nurse: Mrs. Page Seyfried - SeyfriedP@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17207

 

Counselor, Grade 6: Mrs. Luisa Borea - BoreaL@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17212

Counselor, Grade 7: Ms. Erica Satterfield - SatterfieldE@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17210

Counselor, Grade 8: Ms. Tasha Sherrill - SherrillT@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17211

Social Worker: Ms. Elle Zopounidis - ZopounidisE@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17214

School Psychologist: Mrs. Olga Larina - LarinaO@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17206

 

House Leader for Arts House: Mr. Jay Gerlach - GerlachJ@NorwalkPS.org

House Leader for Traditional House: Mrs. Christy Counts - CountsC@NorwalkPS.org

 

Dean of Students: Ms. Stephanie Peckham - PeckhamS@NorwalkPS.org - ext 17205

Assistant Principal: Mr. James Crouch - CrouchJ@NorwalkPS.org

Principal: Mr. Eric Jackson - JacksonE@NorwalkPS.org

 

Issues with Chromebooks and Chromebook Replacements:

Tech Coordinator for Nathan Hale: Mr. Keith Morey - MoreyK@NorwalkPS.org

Verizon Liaison for Chromebook Program: Mr. Malcolm Welfare - WelfareM@NorwalKPS.org

 

BARK After School Program Director: Dr. Thomas Stanford - StanfordT@NorwalkPS.org

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 -

FolchettiJ@NorwalkPS.org

 

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 Departnment at Norwalk Public Schools - for bus pass replacement, bus stop issues, etc - Transportation@NorwalkPS.org

SCHOOL NEWS:

 

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:)

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.

 

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.

A FEW IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR PARENTS:

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:

 

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.

Nathan Hale Middle School

176 Strawberry Hill Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851

ph: 203-899-2910; fax: 203-899-2914