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MSW Update - May 1, 2020

posted May 1, 2020, 2:40 PM by Barbara Quintangeli   [ updated May 1, 2020, 2:45 PM ]
Mrs. Donna Milligan, Principal
Dear West Families and PVMS West Faculty and Staff,

(Teacher Appreciation Week, 2020!)

It is very hard to find the words to thank you (parents/guardians, family members, faculty, and staff) for all you have done and continue to do for our students during this unprecedented school closure.  You have literally redefined what it means to be a teacher.

All of us at MS West, and those throughout the city, state, country, and world remain in awe of teachers’ grace, stamina, determination, steadfastness, and composure.  Thank you, most sincerely, for keeping our students safe, secure, and focused on the things that they can control.  Collectively, you have reminded me that the definition of an “educator” is a broad one, a noble one.  As we teach/learn in makeshift classrooms and live our lives very differently, I thank you for your commitment to our students, school community, and district, now more than ever. 

Albert Einstein once wrote, “There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  There other is as though everything is a miracle.”  He said he chose the latter.  I do, too.  Though much remains unsettled/uncertain, I will continue to look to our West Strong teachers and community for goodness, inspiration, and hope.  Stay safe and be well!  

This week’s updates/reminders:

Home and School – Teacher Appreciation - Please look for Home and School’s reminder, sent on Thursday, 4/30/20.

Trip/Musical Reimbursements – Quebec:  Our district office is awaiting a reimbursement from JumpStreet to begin processing FULL reimbursements to all families.  Musical:  Advanced ticket sales reimbursements should go out next week.  (We are still investigating the possibility of a fall date for our musical.)

PVSD Scholastic Virtual Book Fair - Need new books? The PVSD library department is excited to announce a K-12 virtual Scholastic Book Fair, running from May 4-17. Getting students and families excited about reading is what we do best. 

  • Books for all ages: infants to teens

  • Ability to shop by age

  • Free shipping for orders above $25

  • Delivery in about a week

  • All sales benefit district libraries

  • Share the link with friends, neighbors, and grandparents

Brighten someone’s day with a surprise delivery!  https://www.scholastic.com/bf/pvsdvirtual PVSD Librarians -Joan Curtis, Jen Derstine, Karen Gehman, Gina Kratz, Lisa Lane, Kirsten Petro, and Barb Quintangeli

East-West Reading Union - Students, don’t miss out on a great opportunity to connect over a book with your PV Middle School East and West friends. A new reading group called the East-West Reading Union is beginning the week of May 4th. We will read a few chapters each week during the month of May and participate in weekly virtual book discussions.   We will be reading, Squint, by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. This book shows how “through a series of challenges, two friends learn how to trust each other, believe in themselves, and see what really matters” (MackinVIA). Squint is available as an ebook (with audio support) through our Destiny Discover card catalog. It is also available as a FREE audiobook for Audible members. Go to Audible for details.  If you are interested in joining, CLICK HEREWhen we receive your entry, directions will be emailed to you to get started. We look forward to experiencing this East-West reading adventure with you!  

Yearbook Sale, continued - Hey, West! If you didn't order your copy of the Perkiomen Valley Middle School West yearbook, you still have time! The ordering window has been extended to May 20th, 2020. Yearbooks are $30.00. Order online at jostens.com or by phone 1-877-767-5217.  There will be NO in-school, year-end yearbook sale this year due to the pandemic shutdown. Yearbooks and accessories will be mailed directly to your home!  Quantities are limited! Get your own piece of West history; order today! You’re in this book!

Scheduling Surveys for Grades Six and Seven – A reminder with pertinent links was sent on Monday, April 27th.  Please contact Mr. Creeden (rcreeden@pvsd.org) with any questions/concerns.

Attendance - Attendance is defined as “connecting with learning”; students should connect with instruction and their teachers each week.  The goal is to connect with all students and ensure they have access to virtual learning.  Attendance may look like a student attending office hours or joining a live session, posting in Google Classroom, completing activities, attending morning meetings, etc.  Attendance is not equivalent to assignment completion.  (Assignment completion will be reflected in a student’s grades.)  Students are expected to login to Google Classrooms (Grades 3-12) as per the posting schedule; Click here to see the Middle School Virtual Schedule.

Teachers are recording attendance and submitting it once a week to the school office for review.  Attendance/office staff and, in some cases, counselors and/or social workers will communicate with the families of students who have not made connections in multiple classes any given week to ascertain any barriers to the virtual learning environment.  This includes phone calls, emails, and/or letters.  

Grading – May 8th marks the mid-point of the fourth marking period.  

All middle school teachers are currently using a points-based gradebook.  This means that for the fourth marking period, teachers will enter all assignments into one category (assessments) in their gradebook so that all work is weighted equally.  The fourth marking period will only constitute 10% of the final grade for each yearlong course.  Final grades will be determined by weighting the first three marking periods as 30% each and the fourth marking period as 10%.  Students’ final grades on report cards will reflect the calculation indicated above.  

Counseling Newsletter - May 1, 2020  

Counselors - Mr. Montgomery (wmontgomery@pvsd.org), Ms. Militello (lmilitello@pvsd.org), and Mrs. Hildreth (khildreth@pvsd.org) and/or visit West’s counseling page, https://sites.google.com/a/pvsd.org/perkiomen-valley-middle-school-west/departments/counseling

Eighth-grade Awards – We are currently planning a virtual awards ceremony.  Home and School has some creative ideas to recognize our eighth graders as well.  More to come!

COVID-19 Page -  http://www.pvsd.org/departments/health-services/coronavirus-covid-19

West’s Announcements -  https://sites.google.com/a/pvsd.org/perkiomen-valley-middle-school-west/home/announcements

Personal items – There are currently no updates regarding the retrieval of personal items from lockers/gym lockers.

Technology needs – Chromebook, not working?  Please email the PVSD helpdesk at helpdesk@pvsd.org.  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. 

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

Instructional Calendar, Revised – June 4th-June8th are the last three half days for MS West students.

Stay safe and be well!

Donna Milligan, PVMS West

dmilligan@pvsd.org - Always happy to help and/or direct your questions!