Midtown Friday Folder News 10.22.21
November 4 Quarter 1 ends
November 5 Quarter 2 begins
November 9 Brass Tapp Restaurant Night SAVE THE DATE
November 24 12:30 Dismissal for Thanksgiving Holiday
November 25-26 School Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday
Kindergarten and First Grade Scholars had a Great Trip to the Zoo!
October 15 We missed your students last Friday, but Midtown staff were busy attending data, guided reading and Leveled Literacy Intervention PD sessions as well as beginning to assemble new laptop storage towers. Every classroom has an interactive display board this year, and we are working to get to a place where every classroom has a set of laptops to help differentiate instruction and meet students’ needs. Our staff also enjoyed lunch provided by Midtown supporter and former parent, Ms. Peace! We love our Midtown family!
Students are NOT permitted to wear hooded sweatshirts at shcool. If you need assistance in ensuring your student has a dress code sweatshirt/sweater to wear during the school day, please reach out to Ms. Penny.
CELL PHONE POLICY Students are not permitted to carry cell phones at school. They are required to turn them in at the start of the day. This policy is for THEIR benefit. It removes the distraction and temptation of using it during the school day and allows our students to focus on learning.
September 6 - NO SCHOOL
Back to School Nights
Teachers will send links out directly to families!
Virtual Intermediate Grades 3-5
Tuesday, September 14, 6:00 PM
Virtual Middle School Grades 6-8
Wednesday, September 15, 6:30 PM
Virtual Primary K-2
Thursday, September 16, 6:00PM
Midtown T-Shirts- If you ordered Midtown gear it will be sent home with your student on MONDAY, sorry for the delay.
WATER BOTTLES- PLEASE SEND YOUR STUDENTS TO SCHOOL WITH A LABELED WATER BOTTLE! THANK YOU!!!
Testing Consent Forms
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU COMPLETE YOUR STUDENT’S TESTING CONSENT FORM. BALTIMORE CITY IS A NATIONAL LEADER IN SCHOOL TESTING AND IT IS SOMETHING WE CAN DO TO HELP US ALL STAY SAFE!
SUMMER UPDATE 2
Midtown Dress Code:
If you are looking to review our dress code, please go to themidtownacademy.org
If you need dress code support for this school year, please complete the following form by this Friday, or call our main office (410-225-3257) and ask for Ms. Mckinney or Ms. Price.
Classroom supply lists are still available on our website and for your convenience I am sending them again as attachments on this email!
You can pay your $75 school fee at themidtownacademy.org under "Make Payment" or drop by in our main office to make a cash or check payment, or we can guide you through paying online with credit card!
Thank you to those who have made their payment already.
Our Office will be open next week Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 9AM-3PM.
Next Wednesday and Thursday it will open at 7AM and close at 3PM for people that need to drop off paperwork/laptops early in morning before heading to work or other engagements!
Technology Return August 11 and 12 (next Wednesday and Thursday):
Please make arrangements to return all laptops/hotspots and chords/chargers to Midtown next Wednesday and Thursday between 7AM and 3PM!!!
Midtown AfterCare is currently full, if you would like to be on the waitlist, please email Ms. McKinney or call 410-225-3257. There are several families already on the waitlist.
You can check out info for other After Care Programs at themidtownacademy.org
Message from Ms. Penny:
I am so excited to be welcoming back our students on August 30! Yes, August 30 is the first day of School Year 21/22!!!
We have been so busy preparing for this school year. Similar to last year, one of our challenges has been waiting for certain guidance from the district before sharing it with you! I do not like to share information that changes 10 minutes or even 2 days later. What I am confident in, is that everyone is working diligently to prepare a great school year for your students. I will be sending out information regarding the following by the end of next week:
• Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures
• Basic Health and Safety Protocols that will be followed
• New Bell Time Impacts (reminder: district assigned us 8AM start time)
• Acadmeic Programming Updates
• New School Year Orientation Info.
• Grade Level Back to School Night Info.Staffing Update
• PTO Updates
AND MORE! :)
Summer 2021 Update 1
Please Read ENTIRELY!
Midtown will be open for in-person learning this fall. Health and Safety Protocols change and are updated frequently but this is what City Schools is CONSIDERING for the fall. I just want to inform you as I am informed of what is being considered.
REMEMBER, these are POTENTIALLY what will be in place, nothing is FINAL right now.
Fall 2021 Masks will be required indoors for ALL.
Fall 2021 Masks are needed outside when less than 6 feet apart.
Fall 2021 Health Screenings MAY be done at home.
Students will be spaced as close to 3 feet apart in classrooms, 6 feet in cafeterias.
Students will be allowed to be seated facing different directions.
May add option for in-person parent meetings.
Weekly or bi-weekly asymptomatic testing will continue.
District Virtual Academy/Learning Program
Are you interested in the district’s Virtual Academy/Learning Program for School Year 21-22? DEADLINE TO APPLY is JULY 20th!
All the info is on the website which I recommend going to and reading carefully!
Here is a bit of info, to get you started;
City Schools will offer a virtual learning program for the 2021-22 school year. The program will serve about 2000 students in kindergarten to 12th grade. Students who apply will make a one-year commitment to the virtual program.
Criteria being considered is attendance during virtual learning during SY 20-21 and success in the virtual setting.
The application is only available on Campus Portal - you must have an account to access the application. Please take the following steps to apply:
Click here to access Campus Portal or go to https://baltimore.infinitecampus.org
After you sign in, click the link in the message center about the Virtual Learning Program application.
You will be taken to your student's profile page. Click the link at the top of the page for the Virtual Learning Program. There is also a similar link in the bottom right of the screen, under the COVID-19 testing section.
Complete the survey and click "submit".
If you do not have a Campus Portal account, visit
https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/campus-portal for directions on setting up your account.
If you have any trouble email Ms. Penny at email@example.com
Midtown Dress Code
Just a reminder that students are required to be in dress code for school each day.
Dress Code Gist:
Solid Navy Blue or Solid White shirt with collar or turtle-neck. (unless a Midtown t-shirt)
Bottoms: Solid Khaki or Solid Navy pants, shorts, jumpers, skirts.
Solid Navy Blue, Solid Gray, or Solid White shirt with collar or turtle-neck. (unless a Midtown t-shirt)
Bottoms: Solid Khaki or Solid Navy pants, shorts, jumpers, skirts.
ALL LAYERS MUST BE SOLID WHITE, SOLID NAVY, or SOLID GRAY (sweaters, cardigans, hoodless sweatshirts)
Hoods are not allowed on sweaters/sweatshirts.
Full Dress Code Document will added to the website within the next week.
Interested in ordering Midtown T-shirts or Fleece?
Bell Time Study
City Schools has been conducting a transportation time study and they have shared that charters will not have the autonomy to set their own start times. I was told that we would have a beginning bell time of 8AM, I rejected that and provided my reasoning. They came back and said that it will remain 8AM. I have asked if there is a further appeal process and I know that this could change again before August, however I wanted to let you know, because and 8:00AM start time would mean an earlier dismissal. While fall protocols are far from finalized, we will need to keep in mind that a staggered start time for our K-8 students may need to exist just for health and safety reasons. I will keep you informed as I work this out with the district.
Enjoy these last weeks of summer!!!
Good evening middle school families,
The district is making an announcement this evening regarding the return of grades 6,7,8. As I have previously shared, Midtown faces unique challenges to bringing back students to in-person. I have surveyed middle school families and am working with the middle school team to review middle school needs and challenges to determine what we might be able to implement. I will notify you Thursday.
Dear Midtown Families,
Today City Schools announced that traditional schools will begin a "Phase 1" of bringing back K-2 students on February 16. At this point Midtown IS NOT part of Phase 1, but is working to evaluate our ability to begin returning students to in person learning during Phase 2.
First it is important to acknowledge that I know firsthand and understand how difficult virtual learning can be on your patience and the sanity that exists in all of our households. I also know that many of our teachers and students had to make major adjustments to learning and teaching online. Many of our students are thriving virtually and yet many are not making the progress they would if they were in person, especially our youngest learners. Returning to “in person” learning does not mean returning to normal. In person learning will be anything but normal during the current circumstances.
The health and safety of Midtown students, staff and families will remain our primary consideration as we look at bringing students and staff back into our building. Feedback received from December’s family and staff surveys, as well as consideration of what instruction will look like if half of our families are virtual and half are in person are extremely important as well. Our building has been “ready” in many ways since September (based on guidelines initially provided for a hybrid model) for in person learning. 50% of student desks were fitted with plex-glass dividers, dividers installed between bathroom sinks and in offices, signage posted, hand sanitizing stations assembled, PPE supplies gathered, air purifiers placed in each classroom, and teacher portable shields purchased. This being said, Midtown’s unique qualities pose additional challenges to the model that the district has decided on and to returning in general. These include the small size of our building and classrooms, our staffing model of one teacher per grade level, small size overall of support staff positions, having one administrator, and the condition of our windows.
As we consider our ability and strategy to participate in Phase 2, you will receive several requests/opportunities to share your feedback, questions, and concerns.
City Schools is committed to our plan to extend in-person learning in measured, monitored steps for prioritized groups of students. This phased approach and reduced expansion of small group in-person learning will help maintain the highest health and safety levels for students and staff.
Nothing means more to me than the trust that each Midtown family puts in me and our staff and the trust you have that the decisions we make are in the best interest of your students.
Thank you for your partnership, now more than ever.
Suzanne Bell Penny
Principal, Midtown Academy
Family Back to School Update 8.18.20
Device Distribution for Midtown Students
Due to the time and effort it has taken to secure Chromebooks to ensure that every Midtown student begins the year “connected”, device distribution has been happening in waves. If you have not heard from me yet, DON’T WORRY, you will when your student’s device is ready. I image them as I receive them and then get them ready for your student.
I am currently waiting to hear when the district is scheduling certain trainings for our staff. In an effort to not have to change dates, I have not set Orientation Dates yet, but they will be coming to you next week. Thank you for your patience! There will also be Parent Trainings scheduled for GoogleClassroom (Grades 3-5) and SeeSaw (Grades K-2).
Last week I submitted draft schedules to the district for approval. Once I receive approval I will share them with families. Students will have both synchronous(LIVE) sessions and asynchronous sessions. Certain elements will be added to schedule as students and parents become comfortable with their schedules.
We are preparing Back to School Learning Kits for EVERY Midtown student. These kits will have necessary supplies, novels, workbooks etc.
There will be several pick-up dates and those dates will be shared next week!
Fall 2020 Meal Program Outline - Overview
Meal Site locations are available on District Website
Program will operate Monday-Friday, on all regularly scheduled school days, beginning Tuesday, September 8.
Breakfast and lunch will be available for pickup from 8:00am-2:00pm at pre-determined sites.
Snack and Supper will be offered at eligible sites beginning Monday, October 5.
Meals are Grab N Go options and should not be consumed on-site.
Parents and guardians can pick up meals on behalf of their students. Children are not required to be with an adult.
Meals can be picked up at any school building serving as meal site and are not limited to the sites where students are enrolled.
Menus will be posted on the district website, with detailed nutrition and allergen information: https://www.baltimorecityschools.org/menus or via the City Schools App.
P-EBT Card Next Steps
Due to the large volume of customer inquiries through email, DHS requesting that all customer inquiries, as it relates to the pandemic benefits, be referred to https://dhs.maryland.gov/p-ebt/. This website answers all frequently asked questions. This website also provides a customer service inquiry form for parents to complete for inquiries about their child's status. Completing this form is the first step that a customer must take. All pertinent information needed in order to conduct a thorough search is retrieved from that form. Please allow one to two weeks for follow up to occur once that form is completed.
July 20, 2020
Dear Midtown Families,
As many of you may have already heard, Baltimore City Schools announced that our students will begin their 20-21 year virtually. While ultimately this disappoints me, trying to balance the desire to have kids in our building learning and knowing the most important thing is the health of everyone in our school community, I understand the decision.
Dr. Santelises shared today that we will begin virtually into at least mid-October, while continuing to plan and prepare for opening for a Hybrid model when it is determined "safe". She will also ask the School Board to approve a delayed start day for students of September 8. That calendar change needs to be approved by the Board.
Last spring, the school closure caused us to be reactive. Knowing how we will begin our school year, allows us to prepare for a virtual learning environment that will be different in many ways from this past spring and as proactive as possible. Your input will continue to be extremely valuable, so please respond to future surveys!
We will continue to prepare our building and learning spaces for the day we can welcome your students back through our doors!
If you have not yet completed your student's registration papers for this school year, please do so NOW at the following link: https://forms.gle/RWVPV75a5fVoSxYZ6July 17, 2020
As we work around the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Maryland’s immunization requirements for the 2020-2021 school year have not changed. Immunizations continue to be a school requirement whether we are in traditional in-person settings or virtual classroom.
Where can families receive immunizations: Families are encouraged to contact their primary health care provider to schedule an appointment for immunizations.
The Baltimore City Health Department has a limited schedule.
Giant Pharmacies and Minute Clinics in and around the Baltimore area have the ability to provide immunizations. Families should call their select location to inquire about vaccine availability, insurance requirements, appointments and social distancing guidelines.
Summer Emergency Distribution Sites - PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!
Through August 21st, City Schools has partnered with 18 schools across the city to serve as distribution sites for grab-n-go meals, produce and grocery boxes, academic materials, and other key resources for our communities! In coming weeks, sites will be distributing summer learning challenges from the Pratt, personal hygiene products from Colgate, book bundles for K-8 scholars from the Parent's Choice Foundation, and much more!
- In July, sites will be open Monday to Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- In August, sites will be open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Maree G. Farring Elementary/Middle School
300 Pontiac Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21225
Lakeland Elementary/Middle School
2921 Stranden Road
Baltimore, MD 21230
Gwynns Falls Elementary School
2700 Gwynns Falls Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21216
Sandtown-Winchester Achievement Academy
701 Gold Street
Baltimore, MD 21217
Dorothy I. Height Elementary School
2011 Linden Avenue 21217
Alexander Hamilton Elementary School
800 Poplar Grove Street
Baltimore, MD 21216
The Historic Cherry Hill Elementary/Middle School
801 Bridgeview Road
Baltimore, MD 21225
John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School
701 Rappolla Street
Baltimore, MD 21224
Matthew A. Henson Elementary School
1600 N Payson Street
Baltimore, MD 21217
Arlington Elementary School
3705 W Rogers Ave
Baltimore, MD 21215
Beechfield Elementary/Middle School
301 S Beechfield Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21229
Sinclair Lane Elementary School
3880 Sinclair Lane
Baltimore, MD 21213
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
1400 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21231
The Belair Edison School
3536 Brehms Lane
Baltimore, MD 21213
Leith Walk Elementary/Middle School
5915 Glennor Road
Baltimore, MD 21239
Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary/Middle School
3501 Hillsdale Road
Baltimore, MD 21207
Baltimore International Academy
4410 Frankford Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21206
Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy
100 N. Calhoun St.
Baltimore, MD 21223
June 17, 2020
If you had told me that we would close-down school buildings in March and not return for the remainder of the year, the only reason I would have believed you is because I trust you. Students, families, and teachers were thrust into virtual learning, feeling all the bumps along the way. So many chose to handle the tough situation with grace, commitment, and kindness.
Thank you. I know all of us faced different challenges, obstacles, and losses. I also know we will never know the depth of loss or pain that some of us experienced. I imagine this unique (I just can’t use the word unprecedented anymore) time has forced us all to learn new things and step out of our comfort zones. I know how hard so many teachers worked behind the scenes to get things right for their students and find ways to connect and still move them along academically. I also know so many parents flexed their work schedules to help with school work, strained their patience in signing on for meetings as they tried to juggle younger siblings, and well I just know how hard it was to make this all work. It was hard finding the balance and trying to meet the different needs and wants of families, all that were experiencing different things. I am so grateful for the commitment and perseverance of our families, teachers, and students.
Although I join the biweekly calls with both our Chief of Schools and CEO of schools, I don’t know any more than you do right now about how school will look in the fall. I do know that different options and scenarios are being considered. Such options include 100% back in buildings, a hybrid model that would combine in person and virtual learning, and 100% virtual. The second two mentioned make my brain slightly explode as I think about full time working parents, staff members that have school age children that might be on different schedules, transportation to and from school, etc. The real explosion happens when I think of the vast needs of our students, the importance of students working and communicating with one another and their teachers, and the strength of our community when we are all together learning. In these moments, I remind myself that change is needed to uncover new possibilities, new triumphs, new stories of success. Together we will figure it all out. I will continue to update you as much as I can as I am updated by our district leaders.
I would also like to share some staffing changes and updates as this school year closes. Earlier this week, Jennifer Smith shared with me that she will be taking a different teaching position with City Schools. We wish her the best in her new position. Mr. Morales will also be leaving us as he has made the decision to move back to New York to be closer to family. I know he will continue to have a positive impact in his next teaching position.
As we say goodbye (more like see you less often I hope) to Charlie Greenawalt, we will welcome Nicole Petrilena to our community as our new art teacher. We have always said Midtown is a family and once a part of it always a part of it. Ms. Nicole, a graduate of MICA, came to my attention through a former Midtown parent, who also works at MICA. Mr. Greenawalt, Ms. Al-Uqdah, Ms. LeCompte, and I interviewed a group of impressive candidates. However, we all instantaneously agreed that Ms. Nicole was the right person to be Midtown’s next great art teacher. After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts from MICA, she went on to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching as well. Her work experience ranges from Art Healing Therapy, Teaching Artist for Young Audiences, and has teaching experiences at Highlandtown Elementary, The Greenmount School, Garrison Forest School and Hammond High School. Some of her strengths lie in fibers, print making, drawing, painting, sculpture, and more. She will be a great addition to our staff, and we welcome her to our school community.
I am also extremely excited to welcome Maria Jison as our new special educator. She will work as our IEP chair and special educator and Ms. Lopez will work fulltime as a special educator supporting our students. Maria’s professional experiences include being a Special Education Director for Alamo Navajo Community Schools, an Education Specialist for City Schools Special Education, and a Multi-Tiered Support System Coach for City Schools, as well as a special educator for many years. Ms. Lopez proves every year that she is truly a phenomenal educator and staff member at Midtown, I think she and Maria are going to be the most talented, knowledgeable and effective special education team Midtown has ever had.
In recent weeks. as so much of our country was passionately letting their voices be heard in the name of justice, equality, and an ending to systemic racism, I was watching as I worked at night putting together a virtual graduation for our 8thgrade graduates. In many ways it felt exactly what I should be doing. Graduation is always such a special day to acknowledge, appreciate, and lift up our graduates, the amazing young people that inspire my work every day. I found myself having to convey virtually that powerful moment when they usually stand front and center on MICA’s stage and I talk about their greatness and what they have added to our school community, and what I know they will contribute to our world. This year’s class was exceptional in many ways. They TRULY were role models for our younger students, and we were saddened that our time with them was cut short. Our virtual graduation was held on June 10 and as soon as I figure out how to successfully send the large file, I will send it out to all families. Due to our zoom pilot license, we were limited with how many could attend.
A few logistical reminders/announcements are below:
1) REPORT CARDS- Final report cards will be mailed. Students received Pass/Incomplete for the 4thQuarter. Final Grades reflect bonus points added to their average of Q1-Q3.
2) REGISTRATION 20-21- If you have not yet registered your student for next school year, please do so below.
If you cannot access the link and need a paper copy sent to you, please email Ms. McKinney at: AMcKinney@bcps.k12.md.us
3) AFTER CARE- If you need to register for After Care next year, please use the following link:
4) SUMMER WORK: If you did not pick up your student’s summer workbook, they will be available beginning the week of June 29. Summer office hours are listed below. These workbooks are not meant to torment your students, so please set a goal of them working on it maybe 2-3 times a week. To be honest, we really debated whether to send summer work home, because I think the last thing parents wanted to see was more work they had to have their students do. In fact, I recommend not having them start until July! 😊 If the workbook is not a good fit for your student to continue their learning, then I recommend setting a personal book challenge and do it with your student! With libraries being closed, if you do not have access to books, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org
5) LAPTOPS- All laptops that were borrowed from Midtown should be returned by the end of the first week in July during our summer office hours.
6) SURVEY- If you haven’t already, please respond to the survey sent to you Tuesday evening. It came from Survey Monkey. The link to complete it if you did not receive email is:
Please know that your feedback helps in planning for next year and helps us continue to be better. All feedback will be received knowing that everyone was doing the best in their current circumstances.
Summer Office Hours beginning the week of June 29:
I miss your students’ smiles, laughter, funny stories, and all their amazingness.
Be well this summer, take care and let me know if you need anything!
Suzanne Bell Penny
Principal, Midtown Academy
Midtown Parent Updates
Registration for 20-21 School Year
Returning Families Registration for 20-21 School Year is Electronic:
Midtown’s last day for students.
Personal Item Pick Up Day 10:00-2:00
On this day, you can pick up your child’s left behind items. All items will be bagged. Unfortunately, there will be no socializing, just handing over their items. You will pull up in carline and someone will retrieve bag for you. If you plan on coming to pick up whatever your child may have left in their seat sack or desk, please email Ms. McKinney at email@example.com By RSVPing, your bag will be ready to go on courtyard and ensure we are following safe protocol.
LAPTOP DEVICE RETURN This is also the day that laptop devices should be returned to Midtown if they were borrowed. Weather permitting, the laptop return station will be in front of school on the Terrace.
We also hope to have summer workbooks in by this date for pick up.
Midtown staff has discussed what might be the best option for students who want to continue to maintain foundational skills that bridge the grade they are leaving and the grade they are entering. We also know that there will need to be a recovery plan for learning that was lost. We have chosen to provide families with the Summer Bridge workbooks from Scholastic. These workbooks provide a pace guide and answer key in back for parents and guardians. They also do not require any screen time!!!! This work is highly encouraged along with reading good books and lots of safe, summer play!
Do you need aftercare next year but did not get your form in before buildings closed? Click on this link to complete your form:
https://forms.gle/3hBVEmCUVwZkruQA9day of School- June 10
All students enrolled in Baltimore City Public Schools are eligible for the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) Program. Households will receive approximately $114/month in benefits for each school-aged child in your household. P-EBT cards will allow families to purchase food directly from approved grocery stores and other outlets that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), EBT, or the Independence Card.
If your household currently receives SNAP benefits, the P-EBT payments are automatically added to your SNAP card. If you think you may be eligible for SNAP, we encourage you to apply. View SNAP eligibility criteria and apply online at mydhrbenefits.dhr.state.md.us by clicking “create account.” You can also call the MD Department of Human Services (DHS) at 1-800-332-6347 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. If you have trouble or need help applying for SNAP, call Maryland Hunger Solutions at 1-866-821-5552.
If your household does not currently receive SNAP benefits, you are eligible to receive a new P-EBT card from the Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS). To help ensure access to these benefits, households should update their current contact information in their City Schools’ profile by emailing updated address documentation to the enrollment official at their student’s school. Providing updated address information ensures that City Schools is able to share the most accurate and up-to-date information with the responsible state agencies. It also should reduce wait times to be contacted by the Maryland Department of Human Services. Inaccurate addresses or telephone numbers in your City Schools’ profile could delay the Maryland Department of Human Services’ distribution of a P-EBT benefit card to your family.
For more food options, visit: https://coronavirus.baltimorecity.gov/food-distribution-sites
5.19.20 Midtown Updates
Our 8th graders will be graduating on June 10. We would love to include a pic of your student and a sign you make congratulating them. This is OPTIONAL. Some things you could write on your sign are:
Congratulations Class of 2020
Good Luck in High School!
We will miss you!
Please send your pick to firstname.lastname@example.org if you choose to have your student do it.
Student Item Retrieval:
We will be scheduling a time for families to come get any student belongings they believe their students left before school closing. It will be scheduled for a time after June 1.
Distance Learning Packets:
If your student is completing paper packets DO NOT forget to send pics of their work or an email sharing a description of a few things they have worked on to their teacher. CC me at email@example.com
Last Day of School
Although we only had one snow day, we used four days as emergency closure days in March after the state superintendent originally closed schools (the other emergency closure days we made up for by moving our spring break).
The district has applied for a waiver. The waiver would be for five days, making our calendar year essentially 175 days rather than 180.Taking into account the 5 emergency days, Midtown’s 180th day would be on June 17.
If the waiver is granted, our last day for students (day 175) would be June 10.
So.....our last day will either be June 17 or June 10. Will let you know when I know if the waiver is approved!
Dear Midtown Academy Families,
I hope this email finds you doing okay and staying healthy. The teacher appreciation video that many students sent in messages for was greatly appreciated and adored by our staff. Thank you!
One of the most challenging things about our Stay at Home experience, besides not being able to have your students in our building, has been the ever-changing circumstances and situation. This has left it difficult at times to provide informative, timely, and comprehensive communication.. It is no ones fault, everyone is working as hard as they can, it has just been a reality of the current circumstances. One of the things that has been rolled out over time is grading and attendance.
Beginning this week, students working online will have "participation" recorded based on completion of assignments or attendance of a session/meeting. We are required to enter this into the district system. This means if your student is not completing the work online, they will not have participation points recorded, unless they are doing packet work instead.
If your student is doing learning packet work, please do one of the following by Thursday each week:
1) email their teacher pictures of at least two pieces of work (cc me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
2) email their teacher a summary of what they have worked on that week.
(cc me at email@example.com)
Learning packets for the weeks of 5/18-6/8 will be available next Monday 5/18 between 10-12. Please RSVP to request a packet from Ms. Penny by this THURSDAY!!!!! This will help us not make copies unnecessarily.
If you have any needs, please don't hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continued partnership,
4.29.20 Grading Update
Students will be assigned PASS/INCOMPLETE for Quarter 4.
PASS- Pass is issued to students who have been able to engage in distance learning, to include learning packets.
All students may submit work assigned to them via our distance learning platforms. Students engaging with learning packets will return them for review.
INCOMPLETE- Incomplete is given to those students that teachers and staff are unable to contact through the entire quarter 4 and gather evidence of their engagement in distance learning.
Students’ final grades for SY19/20 will be an average of Quarters 1, 2, & 3. Students may have up to an additional 6 points added to their final grades based on their work completion and effort during distance learning. The rubric below shows how those potential 6 points will be assigned.
A complete assignment is when a student has given a sincere effort and demonstrates learning. Successful engagement in distance learning will result in the improvement of the students' final grade.
0- Students complete 0 to 19% distance learning assignments. Teachers will provide feedback weekly throughout the quarter. Engagement in distance learning will result in the improvement of the students' final grade.
2- Students complete 20 to 39% distance learning assignments. Teachers will provide feedback weekly throughout the quarter. Engagement in distance learning will result in the improvement of the students' final grade.
4- Students complete 40 to 79% distance learning assignments. Teachers will provide feedback weekly. Engagement in distance learning will result in the improvement of the students’ final grade
6- Students complete 80% or more distance learning assignments. Teachers will provide feedback weekly throughout the quarter to discuss student work. Engagement in distance learning will result in the improvement of the students’ final grade.
If your student has been completing learning packets, notices about drop off dates for completed packets will be made available throughout the remainder of the year. Your students’ completion of the learning packet will be recorded to assign the points added to their final grade.
I know the circumstances that everyone has been working through have been challenging to say the least. I understand that some students have completed learning packets and then transitioned to online learning. I understand some students have joined online learning late due to staying with relatives or a different household than usual. I understand some families have chosen to stick with the learning packets over online learning. I also understand there might be 30 more scenarios than the ones listed above.
Ultimately the goal is that your student has continued to engage in learning. From what I have seen online and from those of you that I have seen picking up packets, Midtown parents are ON IT (as you always are) and your kids are so fortunate to have you! And speaking from personal experience, if any of you have found this time difficult with ups and downs, you are not alone.
Below are some questions I have created based on what I think some might be wondering about grading.
Why is my student’s working being scored online if he/she will ultimately not get a number score?
Student work is being graded online because that is important feedback your student needs in order to see how they are doing. It also lets you and the teacher see how your student is doing with the content.
How will I know how many points my student has earned at the end of the quarter?
While I do not know exactly what it will look like, you will receive a notification that lets you know how many points your student has earned that will be added to your student’s final grade.
What if I have difficulty dropping off my student’s learning packet?
Contact Ms. Penny at email@example.com
I heard learning packets weren’t being collected, why are you saying differently?
The district (traditional schools and possibly other charters) are not collecting work packets. Midtown made the decision to collect work packets to be able to assign students points for their hard work. We want to honor their work.
How will retention work this year?
We have not yet received guidance regarding retention. HOWEVER, at Midtown, we always make the decision for a student to breathe another year at a grade level as a team. We take that decision very seriously and evaluate potential academic and social impacts on that student. We only recommend retention when we believe it is truly the best thing for the whole student. You will be contacted directly if this is a discussion that needs to be had regarding your student or if this is a discussion that has been ongoing prior to the school building being closed. 4.14.20
Dear Midtown Families,
I hope this email finds you staying healthy and safe. For those families that celebrated Easter this weekend and for those families celebrating Passover, I hope you found a creative way to connect with family. Last week our teachers launched online learning through Google Classrooms(3-8) and SeeSaw(K-2). I have been so inspired by the learning that our students have been demonstrating in unique ways and the unique opportunities teachers have started to create. I thank all of the parents and family members who are persevering through this difficult time as you balance family, work, loss, and online learning or work packets. As our teachers balance the same challenges, I think we have made great progress in a short period of time. Please remember that we understand flexibility is key at this time. I will restate again that while teachers will give deadlines, which are important for developing responsible scholars, students will NOT be penalized for late work. Again, we all should do the best we can under the current circumstances.
If your student has an Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan you have or will be hearing from Ms. Lopez and I this week. I also want to share that Quarter 3 report cards will be emailed to you by April 23. We have not yet received guidance regarding 4th quarter grades.
Our Midtown staff has continued to have staff meetings virtually and last week I asked staff to send me a pic from their “stay at home” time. I have shared them below. I would love to share a pic of your student working hard or your family during this time. You can even send me a picture of a piece of work your student is really proud of. Reminder, these pictures may be shared with our school community. Send your pic to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sincerely missing your kids,
Dear Midtown Families,
As we get ready to move into online learning next week, please know that I acknowledge everyone is entering this new way of learning at different points. I encourage all of you to do what you can in your current circumstances to support your student's learning experience. That is all any of us can do. Please know that this experience will be fluid and flexible. Assignments may be given due dates as a way for us to help students learn time management and build some structure to their work, but please know that students WILL NOT BE PENALIZED for work that is “late”.
We understand that everyone is facing different obstacles.
We have not received guidance on how quarter 4 grades will work at this point. Please don't stress about that part. First and foremost, the "grades" your students receive online are FEEDBACK that help your students know how they are doing, what they did well, and what they need to work on.
You will receive your student’s invitation to join their seesaw or Google classroom by the end of the day today, for some they have already received them. As our teachers grown in their online capacity the opportunities online will grow as well.
Many families picked up their learning packets today and it was so good to see you (from 6 feet away). Some families did not pick up the packets they RSVPd for. If you are unable to access the online work, please know that you can pick up a district work packet each week at any of the City Schools Meal sites.
The district will also have online learning opportunities on their television channel and website. I will send those resources out in a different message early next week.
My thoughts and prayers go out to our Midtown community members who are working in an essential emergency fields, have lost a loved one, or who are dealing with illness. A few of the emails I have received from students have truly made my day, picturing their personality sitting their typing a message to me. If your student would like to email me, have them email me at email@example.com They can also me a picture of their at home learning to that email if I have permission to share with staff!
Also, please remember you can look for resources and update on themidtownacademy.org
I add to that as I can!
During Packet Pick Up for those that RSVPd--we will follow the below steps
The following steps reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure include:
Dear Midtown Families,
I hope my messages continue to find you well. I am hopeful that each of our families is safe, healthy, and has what they need. Please be reminded that meals are available at the meal sites located on the district website. The meals will be available from 10am-2pm and children and adults can each receive 4 meals/person.
I am also listing them at the bottom of this message.
We obviously find ourselves in unchartered territory with many questions unanswered. During times like these it is so easy to feel unsure, anxious, and fearful. What I do know is that everyone is working as best they can in their current circumstances to try to take care of each other. As we move forward as a school community, I ask that we treat each other with understanding and empathy. Each one of us is facing different circumstances, dealing with different challenges, and yet trying to maintain some sense of normalcy.
Teachers have been working hard this week to become trained on remote learning sites. After acknowledging that we in are in a less than ideal situation we must move forward the best we can!
Many of you have RSVPd for paper packets. That window for pickup is 9:30AM-11:30AM. The pick up has changed to in front of the school. (there is a truck that is expected to arrive in alley at some point and I don't want it to get messy.) For everyone's safety you will simply get out of your car and come get your packet on the sidewalk in front of the school. This will not be a time for conversations.
If your child has internet access and a device, it is highly recommended that they do the online learnin