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MSW Update - April 17, 2020

posted Apr 17, 2020, 3:58 PM by Barbara Quintangeli   [ updated Apr 18, 2020, 8:29 AM ]
Mrs. Milligan, Principal
Dear West Families,

I hope you and your family/friends have remained safe and healthy during this extraordinary time.  West’s faculty and staff understand how important it is for you to stay connected and supported, and we hope that you will reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, and/or concerns to share.  As always, we hope to partner with you in keeping your child/ren safe and secure so they may continue to learn, to achieve.

At the beginning of the school closure, West teachers focused on reestablishing connections with their students and instituting review work until we were ready to turn our attention to new learning.  Now that we have learning targets, lesson planning, a posting schedule, and modes of delivering content much more fluid, we will be attending to interacting more consistently via audio, video, recorded lessons, Google Hangouts, Office Hours, etc. with our students.  (We miss them as much as they miss their friends, classmates, and, us!) Our teachers have done a remarkable job in collaborating, preparing, planning, and learning/transitioning/perfecting new tools and resources to keep West’s momentum.  

I am very proud of the way West’s teachers have come together as departments, grade-level/subject-area/inclusion partners, teams, and specialty committees to reestablish “business as usual.”  As I speak with individual teachers and teams, visit Google classrooms, attend teachers’ office hours and a variety of virtual meetings, it is apparent to me that our students are indeed accessing their assignments, assuming responsibility, and doing their best to transition to virtual learning expectations.  We are very proud of our students’ commitment to their studies in this virtual environment. (Parents, thank you for your patience and support!)  

West faculty and staff is a remarkable, child-centered team, and I firmly believe that the West community, and that most certainly includes you and your child/ren, is setting the example for how our kids will respond to difficult/stressful situations not only now but also later in their own lives.  Flexibility and resiliency are certainly key! We understand the importance of preparation for the academic impacts of the pandemic and subsequent school closure, but that is not our sole focus. We remain cognizant of the social, emotional, mental, and physical health needs (the overall wellbeing) of our students; supporting the kids emotionally is integral to both teaching and learning.  Please keep us in mind if you find your child/ren or your family struggling or faltering in any way. We are here to help!  

[Please email our counselors, Mr. Montgomery (wmontgomery@pvsd.org) or Ms. Militello (lmilitello@pvsd.org) and/or visit West’s counseling page, https://sites.google.com/a/pvsd.org/perkiomen-valley-middle-school-west/departments/counseling.  West’s counseling newsletter will be updated next week.]  


Since the district has offered a number of recent communications, I am offering a quick reference in lieu of a lengthy update. 

New Learning/Fourth Marking Period - Students have been engaging in new learning since March 30th, so they should be checking email and logging into their Google Classrooms, daily, and they should be participating in all posted activities and assignments (our primary mode of attendance).  Important - This week’s assignments will be affiliated with the fourth marking period grades.  If your child is struggling, please reach out to his/her teacher, team, counselor, or administrator for advice/support via email.  We want to reduce child/family stressors sooner than later.  Any/all communications are welcome! We will continue to follow the posting schedule, Click here to see the Middle School Virtual Schedule.

 

Student Behavior Expectations during Google Hangouts, Office Hours, etc. - Please refer to the graphic found at the end of this document.  When engaging with teachers, paraprofessionals, and/or peers, students should remember that school-appropriate language and behavior is expected.

 

Report Cards and Final Vector Change - Third marking period report cards will be posted electronically on Wednesday, April 23, 2020 at noon.   The fourth marking period started on April 14th, and vector five, for sixth and seventh graders, will begin on April 21st.  This means students will connect with a new special area teacher/Google Classroom.


Fourth Quarter and Cumulative Averages – The fourth quarter will be points-based (no weighting) for all subjects, and all graded assignments will be posted under one grading category, “assessments.”  The cumulative average for year-long courses will be calculated as such: first marking period, 30%; second marking period, 30%; third marking period, 30%; and fourth marking period 10%.  


20-21 Scheduling - Google Forms will be sent home to current fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders/their parents next week.  Student/family responses will be utilized in the spring/summer scheduling process.


Fifth graders will choose one of the following:

no music

band

orchestra

chorus

band and chorus

orchestra and chorus

band and orchestra

band, orchestra, and chorus

 

Sixth graders will choose one of the following*:

Coding

French

Spanish

*Students who receive reading support or instructional seminar may not be eligible for the aforementioned classes.


Seventh graders will choose one of the following OR a combination of two or three of these music* organizations:

Special Area Classes


*band, *orchestra ,*chorus


NOTE: Students who elect band, orchestra, and/or chorus will have Reading, Coding, French, or Spanish and PE/Health.  However, they will not be scheduled in specials such as: Art, FCS, Tech EdA and Tech EdB.


Eighth-grade Program Planning - West’s counselors will complete all ninth-grade course requests by the end of April.

 

Events and Activities – Many (April) events have already been cancelled or postponed; we are awaiting additional information from the state in specific regard to May/June.  More to come about our musical, the Eighth-grade Dance, and Eighth-grade Awards….


Instructional Calendar, Revised - June 4th, 5th, and 8th are the last three half days for West students.  Link to Instructional Calendar: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Q_PhBgeLaFNVEXrQVNN-0Vulxh2Oi_WQ/view


Retrieving Personal items – The district is considering this request; currently, no date/ time has been set.  We are hoping to announce a date in early May.


Chromebook Chargers - Students/families are responsible for purchasing Chromebook chargers. Click here for the web page with device specifications. Scroll down on the page to see information about chargers. 

 

If students have a problem with their Chromebook not working, they should send an email to heldesk@pvsd.org.


Food Provision Information - https://sites.google.com/a/pvsd.org/district/departments/health-services/coronavirus-covid-19/food-provision 


District Committee Work - If you are interested in attending/participating in district committee work, opportunities to do so will be published on our district website/calendar.


Summer Programming – The district is currently discussing/planning for such programming.  More to come.

Additional Information - Please refer to the district website for additional information as well as past videos and correspondence.

West’s faculty and staff is ready and willing to both help and support you and your student(s); just reach out to us through email.


Stay safe and be well!

Donna Milligan, PVMS West

dmilligan@pvsd.org – I will be happy to help and/or direct your questions!

 

Reminders:


In addition, Montgomery County Mobile Crisis is also available to PV families: 

------- Click here to see the Montgomery County Mobile Crisis brochure

The Safe2Say tipline will remain active during the closure.  This tip line enables one to send anonymous tips to notify the proper authorities to any number of concerns, such as, but not limited to:  mental health concerns, personal safety, drugs/alcohol abuse, bullying and more.  There are several ways to report a concern: you can call 1-844-safe2say, go to the Safe2Say, or download the app.  Your tip will be forwarded to a dispatcher, and administrators and/or counselors will do their best to address the issue.  Don't forget, in an emergency, please call 911!

 

Also, during the school closure, MS West will continue to run SAP (our Student Assistance Program) meetings; West’s SAP team will continue to take referrals and provide connections for students and families.  The mission of the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services is to provide leadership for developing a safe and drug-free environment and mental health wellness in schools and communities across the commonwealth.  Please contact a school counselor for more information. 


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