Memorial Messenger 10-08-20

A Message from Mrs. Hennessey

Happy October to our Memorial School families! This month, students have started to settle into the routines of the school day (in-person or remote) and are learning new information and skills everyday. We are so proud of the resilience, the enthusiasm for learning, and the can-do attitudes our students demonstrate every single day! 

We are finishing our fall benchmark assessments and will be using this data to help identify student strengths and areas for growth. Your child’s teacher will provide assessment results and information about strategies families can use to practice literacy and math skills at your parent/teacher conference later this fall.

Please continue to send your child to school with his/her charged iPad, a lunch (if he/she is not enjoying school lunch), Tote folder, and any other materials specifically requested by the classroom teacher. We do ask that students refrain from bringing extra items to school as our students are small and their backpacks can get quite full and heavy. If you have questions about what is necessary to be brought to school each day, please check in with your child’s teacher. We are happy to provide clarification.

Here’s to a good October! Thank you so much for your continued partnership and support. We are so lucky to learn and grow with all of our Memorial learners and families. Please feel free to contact me directly at ahennessey@sad15.org or by phone at 926-4322 at any time.

Reporting of Student Progress in 2020-21

We are returning to routine Memorial School grading practices this fall. This means that students will earn a score (1, 2, 3, or 4) on their report cards in courses such as math, reading, and science. Students will also earn scores (1, 2, 3, or 4) for their specials classes (art, PE, music). Please see the description of the grading scale on the next page. 

It is important that students take part in the remote instruction provided by their classroom and specials teachers. The synchronous classes and follow-up assignments are included in the assessment process and do contribute to students’ report card grades. If you have any questions about the assessment and reporting process, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher or Mrs. Hennessey. 

As always, we continue to partner with families to ensure that all students have the learning opportunities they need to be successful. Much more information will be provided when Trimester 1 report cards are distributed in December. Thank you for your partnership and support!

Memorial School Report Card Scoring Guide:

4 – Proficient With Distinction: The student demonstrates an in-depth understanding of course standards. The student chooses more efficient and/or sophisticated processes to determine his/her learning and/or the student offers insightful interpretations or extensions. 

3 – Proficient: The student’s work consistently meets proficiency and has few or minor errors that do not distract from the demonstration of knowledge and skills related to the standard(s).

2 – Partially Proficient: The student offers a partially correct demonstration of knowledge and skills that may contain flaws indicating an incomplete understanding of the standard(s) and/or student’s responses may show faulty reasoning leading to  weak answers or conclusions.

1 – Emerging: The student demonstrates minimal knowledge and skills, indicating little to no understanding of the concepts.

October School-Wide Spirit Days

Memorial School will host our first Spirit Days later this month! On Thursday, October 29th (red cohort) & Friday, October 30th (blue cohort),  students are invited to wear a school-appropriate costume of their choice to school. As always, Memorial School Spirit Days are totally optional!

Student costumes will need to meet the following expectations:

  • Students must wear their cloth face coverings (as they usually do). So please do not wear costume masks.
  • Costumes and accessories must be school-appropriate.
  • Students must wear sneakers or other footwear appropriate for school and outdoor recess.
  • Weather permitting, we will have outdoor recess and mask breaks, so students are encouraged to wear clothing suitable for the weather.
  •   Please refrain from sending in hand-held props as they may be hard to keep track of through the day. 
  • Please only wear costumes that allow students to sit, walk, and hear well throughout the school day.
  • Hat, wigs, and face paint are allowed as long as they are not a distraction to learning.

We hope that our students will enjoy the chance to dress in a costume and share some fall spirit! Also, we encourage our young learners to kindly enjoy candy at home (rather than at school) in the days around Halloween. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Hennessey at 926-4322 or ahennessey@sad15.org. 

Halloween Candy Give Back – Reboot for #2020!

 Each year Memorial School partners with Pineland Family Dentistry for a Halloween Candy Give Back. Typically, students are invited to bring in their extra Halloween candy to trade for a goodie bag from Pineland Family Dentistry. This year, we will be unable to collect candy or distribute to Operation Gratitude. However, Memorial School and our friends at Pineland Family Dentistry do want to make the end of October special for Memorial Schools students! 

This fall, we will give all students a goodie bag with prizes and tooth care items generously donated by Pineland Family Dentistry and a special star chip & lanyard from Memorial School. We will plan to send these items home with the in-school learners on Thursday, October 29th (red) and Friday, October 30th (blue). All-remote learners will also be given a goodie bag with their next item pick-up. We hope our students enjoy this special October treat!

School Picture Day(s)

Picture Days will be on Tuesday, October 20th (Blue Cohort) and Thursday, October 22nd (Red Cohort). Please see the links below to order online. We will also have paper copies of the order form available for families by request (please call or email Miss Lisa at 926-4322 or lhaughey@sad15.org). 

Here is a link to the pricing for this year’s fall photos: http://myportraitsonline.net/PEFXMaine/PEFX-SchoolPortraits-ClassPhoto-Fall2020.pdf

Here’s a link to pre order pictures online: http://maine.portraitefx.com Questions? Please call PortraitEFX of Maine at 207-657-6372 or email: maine@portraitefx.com

There will be a district-wide opportunity for fully remote students to have their pictures taken at a later date (if families should choose to do so). We will keep you posted on that information!

Mystery Teacher Kick-Off Assembly

The Memorial School Community remotely gathered on Thursday and Friday, September 17th & 18th, for the Kick Off Assembly for the Mystery Teacher Program! Students learned all about the program which began the next week. 

Here’s how the program works:

  • Each week, Memorial School Staff members will serve as the Mystery Teachers. (The identity of the Mystery Teachers will remain a mystery to students.) All week long, the Mystery Teachers will be on the lookout for students who are being safe, kind, responsible, and respectful.
  • At the end of each week, on Thursdays and Friday afternoon, at least six students will be nominated and celebrated for safe, respectful, and responsible behavior. Mrs. Hennessey will also announce the nominated students in a Seesaw post at the end of the week.
  • Parents: Be on the lookout for Mystery Teacher certificates that will be sent home with the celebrated students each week. We will send certificates in the mail to fully remote students.

Second Semester Learning Options

During the month of November, MSAD 15 will reach out to families to conduct a survey about which school option each family will select for their child(ren) for the second half of the 2020-2021 school year. 

  • Family choice data will be collected in November. The survey will be open from November 9th-30th. Parents may opt to have their child be on the district plan for instruction or choose the remote-only option for the second half of the school year. The district’s plan currently is in the yellow mode but may switch to red mode (remote only) or green mode (all students at school every day) depending upon State guidelines and health conditions. 
  • In December, schools will plan placement adjustments based on the information provided by families.
  • Parents will be notified of any placement changes by January 4, 2021. 
  • The option parents chose for their child will go into effect on January 19, 2021.
  • If you have any questions about this process, please feel free to contact Mrs. Hennessey (ahennessey@sad15.org or 926-4322).  

Bus Safety Lessons

On October 26th and 27th, Memorial School in-person students will participate in Bus Safety lessons. These lessons will occur outside (rain dates have been set) and only with members of their own classroom cohort. Students will be able to learn about the bus safety expectations and practice skills to have a safe and pleasant ride. We look forward to this training each fall and know the kids do too! Thank you to Mrs. Hamilton and the Transportation Department for their expertise and time. 

Arrival & Dismissal at Memorial

Please read on for information about changes to our Memorial School Drop-Off and Pick-Up routines (effective 9/14). Thank you to families for their patience last week as we gathered information about traffic volume and bus timing.

To allow for adequate physical distancing and because visitors are not permitted to enter Memorial during the school day, we will have a drive-in drop-off and pick-up routine for parents wishing to drive their child(ren) to or from school.

Arrival: The parent drop-off will occur after buses vacate the Memorial loop. Parents should plan to drive into the Memorial Bus Loop (closest to the building) between 8:20 am and 8:30 am. (This is an updated, earlier timeline.) Please be sure to drive 5mph once entering the Memorial School lot to ensure student and staff safety. Once in the loop, parents should pull up toward the main entrance. A staff member will approach your vehicle. When the staff member approaches, students should get out of the car and proceed to the sidewalk in front of the school and into the building. We ask that parents stay in the vehicle to ensure proper physical distancing and keep the process moving along for the families waiting to unload.

Dismissal: Parents should plan to drive into the Memorial Campus between 1:15 and 1:25. (This is an updated, earlier timeline.) Please be sure to drive 5mph once entering the Memorial School lot to ensure student and staff safety. Once in the lot, parents should drive around the school building by entering the one-way alley that goes between the playground and the building (K wing). Please proceed at 5mph and use extra caution when you turn left at the end of the playground. Please drive behind the school and then take another left onto the tar (and drive toward the gymnasium).

At the first gym door, please roll down your window and a staff member will approach your vehicle. Once the staff member approaches, please inform her of which child you are picking up. Please be prepared to show a picture ID to our staff. We will only release students to parents/guardians unless we have been contacted in advance to set up an alternate arrangement. You can call 926-4322 to let us know of alternate pick-up arrangements, or you can email Miss Lisa at lhaughey@sad15.org. Please call or email prior to 11 am with any changes to your dismissal plan. Once we have identified which child(ren) you will pick up, we ask that you pull up to the second gym door, and we will bring the children to the car, and the kids can climb in.

Like in the morning, we ask that parents stay in the car to ensure proper physical distancing and to keep the process moving along for the families waiting. After your child is loaded, please proceed with caution toward Intervale Road and the front parking lot. Please stop your car at the corner of the building to check for bus traffic, and then proceed toward Intervale Road when buses are not in the lane and their lights are not flashing. We will have staff members stationed at the corner to assist in this process.

Attendance  Information

Attendance, even at the early elementary level, is so important for many reasons. Missing just two days of school every month equals twenty days or one month of lost instruction over the course of a year. Missing school can cause students to fall behind in math and/or reading. Attending school every day does make a difference!

Being present for school, both in person and virtually, allows your child the opportunity to build connections with their peers and with teachers/staff within the building. This connection could be made with a caring adult outside of their classroom teacher – such as their bus driver, art teacher, custodian, principal, school counselor, etc. Also, when students are present for school (in person or remotely), they are able to learn and practice the school/classroom routines. This provides a sense of predictability that feels safe and supportive to children.

Of course, if your child is sick, it is important for them to stay home (this is more important than ever this year). It is those other times we are talking about where your child may not want to go because they are feeling anxious, having difficulty separating from their parent or caregiver, would rather sleep in, etc.

How is my child marked present each day?

If your child attends in person, they will be marked present if they are in school – just like in past years. For students who are fully remote and on remote days for hybrid students, children are marked “present” by doing at least one of the following options.

  • Attending a synchronous class meeting (specials class, morning meeting, or a live session with another staff member) would ‘count’ as attendance on a given day. We encourage your child to attend all scheduled synchronous sessions. 
  • A child/family can also submit evidence of work completed via Seesaw to ‘count’ as attendance.

What do I do if my child will be absent (due to illness or pre-planned)?

Each child who attends in person should be screened on each day with the Covid-19 Screener before boarding the bus or arriving at school. Please follow the flowchart, and please keep your child home if he/she demonstrates one symptom from the “Most Common Symptoms List” or two or more symptoms from the “Less Common Symptoms List”. (Link to Covid-19 Screener: https://msad15.org/covid-19-pre-screening-tool-for-school-attendance/) If you have any questions about symptoms or the checklist, please call Memorial and speak to our nurses’ office staff. We are happy to help! With any absence, please call the school at 926-4322 or email Miss Lisa (lhaughey@sad15.org) to let us know.

If you are going on a planned trip, please inform Mrs. Hennessey (ahennessey@sad15.org) of your plans in advance if possible. It is especially important this year for us to touch base about any plans that involve traveling outside of the State of Maine.

Who do I contact if my child is having difficulty attending school?

We know that each year, some children and families need extra support to help with the transition to school. This year has a whole new set of expectations and changes. This may leave your child, even one who has never had difficulty transitioning to school, feeling more worried or stressed. If you or your child need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our School Counselor, Katie Banks at kbanks@sad15.org. Thank you for partnering with us! We are here to help if you need any assistance!

Remote Specials Times

Here is the updated schedule for remote specials. Kindergarten and first grade specials times remain the same. We did move up second grade specials by 15 minutes in order to avoid the distraction of the afternoon in-school announcements. We plan to use this schedule moving forward!

Kindergarten Grade 1 Grade 2
Specials’ Time 9:30-10:30 am 10:30-11:30 am 12:15-1:15 pm

Please Dress in Layers

This fall, we will experience outdoor learning and play at every opportunity. We encourage you to dress your child in layers so that she/he can be most comfortable while we are outdoors. We also plan to leave windows open later into the fall season to increase classroom ventilation, so students may benefit from having a sweatshirt or sweater to wear during the day. 

School Lunches are Free this Fall!

There is very exciting news to share regarding your child’s school meals! The USDA has extended waivers that allow school districts to continue operating under the summer meals program – which means free meals for all children 18 years of age and younger (through 12/31/20)! 

HOW DO I GET MY FREE MEALS?

FREE breakfast and lunch are available to ALL students learning IN SCHOOL on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday through December 31, 2020. Breakfast and lunch times and choices vary at each school. For more information, please see your child’s school schedule and menu under “Food & Nutrition” at www.msad15.org. Should your child choose “milk only”, there will continue to be a charge of $.50 (PreK-8). Money should be applied online through My School Bucks, mailed to Nutrition Services, 14 Shaker Road, Gray, ME 04039, or given to a teacher in a clearly marked envelope which will be delivered to the Kitchen Manager.

FREE MEALS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE TO ALL REMOTE LEARNING STUDENTS (THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2020). 

Breakfast and Lunch meals will be offered daily, Monday through Friday, to all remote learning students! Pre-order your meals the day prior by calling or emailing Miss Julia at the number or email provided below. Again, menus are posted under “Food & Nutrition” on the school website at www.msad15.org. You can pick up meals for your child(ren), both lunch and breakfast each day between 10-11 am. Pick up areas will be at the back kitchen entrance at Memorial (by the large Field Day field). (Look for the signs.) This is a NO CONTACT PICKUP! When you arrive, call the Kitchen Manager, indicate the number of children you need meals for, and your meals will be brought out on a cart. Once the food service worker steps away from the cart, you can exit your vehicle to pick up the food. 

Memorial Kitchen Manager contact information: Julia Hutchinson, Kitchen Manager, 926-4307 /jhutchinson@sad15.org

Also, please don’t forget to COMPLETE YOUR FREE/REDUCED MEAL APPLICATION FOR SY21–Although meals are free through December 31, 2020, it is still very important that your family submit an SY21 Free and Reduced Price Meal Benefit Application. After December 31, 2020, all meals will be charged accordingly, depending on your child’s eligibility status at that time. Once free or reduced eligibility is determined, it is good for the entire school year, as well as the first 30 days of the following year. However, if an application is not submitted in the first 30 days, eligibility will automatically change to “full price”. If you have not yet received an application with your “back to school” packet, paper applications can be printed from the Food & Nutrition Services page on the MSAD 15 website or picked up at your child’s school. You can also apply using the following online application: http://sad15.schoollunchapp.com/

Daily Health Checks

Please remember parents must conduct daily health assessments of each child before boarding the school bus or entering a school building. By sending your child to school, you are indicating that you have conducted a health assessment that determines it is safe to send your child to school. The health assessment can be found at: https://msad15.org/covid-19-pre-screening-tool-for-school-attendance/

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