Middle School Welcome Back Letter

Dear Schalmont Middle School Families,

As summer concludes, we are all preparing for this new and unique school year. Yes, we know this is a school year like no other, but none of us are facing this alone. We want to emphasize that the Schalmont administrators, teachers, and staff are here to support you every step of the way. Yes, things will be different, but as our Superintendent, Dr. Reardon, keeps reminding us, “We got this!” At Schalmont, we are truly all in this together.

Schalmont’s amazing educators have been working tirelessly throughout the summer to create innovative, engaging, and “COVID-friendly” instructional lessons for their students. Education, now more than ever, requires a community approach. All staff members have been working to modify systems and procedures in order to ensure that we keep our students safe while still preparing and presenting them with a quality educational experience. Our operations and maintenance staff, transportation personnel, custodians, food-service workers, clerical staff, monitors, teaching assistants, IT Department, teachers, and administrators have all come together to modify and adapt our typical school day in order to meet the needs of our families and students.

Before students begin school in-person or at home on Monday, September 14th, we want to share some important information and reminders with you:

COVID Screening: All parents will be required to take their child’s temperature every morning before they leave for school. Any child with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher must be kept home from school. If your child develops a fever during the school day, parents will be notified to pick up their child immediately from the Health Office. Additionally, parents must complete an attestation form every two weeks. The form will ask parents to answer various questions regarding their child’s health before sending him/her to school.

Transportation: All students and all bus drivers must wear a mask at all times on school buses (entering, exiting, and seated).

The Schedule: Grades 5 and 6 students will attend school Monday -Friday. Grades 7 and 8 students will attend school twice a week for in-person learning. Students with a last name that starts with A-L will attend on Mondays and Thursdays. Students with a last name that starts with M-Z will attend on Tuesdays and Fridays. The days students are not attending school, they will be required to log onto their Chromebooks in order to be present and engaged in virtual instruction. If families have opted for remote learning, students will be responsible for logging onto their Chromebooks each day to engage in online learning and instruction with their teacher.

*At this time, all parents should be able to log into the Parent Portal and view their child’s schedule. If you are unable to view your child’s schedule, please contact Deb Falcone: dfalcone@schalmont.net.

Full Remote Option: Families that have chosen the full remote learning option will be receiving a separate communication regarding this plan. If families would like to explore the full remote learning option to begin the school year, please contact me as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfecting: Daily and frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing will be a part of your child’s routine at school. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in convenient locations for students to access throughout the school day. Each classroom will be equipped with a cleaning spray solution as well. Tables and desks will be cleaned daily.

Social Distancing and Masks: All students are expected to wear masks throughout the school day, with the exception of eating lunch and designated mask breaks, while maintaining proper social distance. Policies and procedures have been established for maintaining social distance for all students, faculty, and staff. Examples include directional arrows in hallways and social distancing signage for maintaining the six feet separation recommendation.

Chromebooks: Now, more than ever, technology is an essential part of our children’s education, both in and out of school. Your child must bring their Chromebook and charger with them to school each day. If you have any questions or issues regarding your child’s Chromebook, please contact the Help Desk from 7:30 AM to 3 PM, 518-355-9200 Ext. 3099, or send them an email: helpdesk@schalmont.net.

Student Arrival: Students who take the bus will arrive on campus and will enter the building at approximately 7:38; they will then proceed directly to their homeroom. Parents who are dropping off their children will pull into the big loop at the front of the school, forming two lines. Students need to stay in their car until directed to exit, once they exit the car, they will go directly to their homeroom.

Water Bottles: Please send your child to school with a water bottle; they will be able to refill their water bottle at our various water filling stations.

Lockers: Students will not have access to their lockers at the start of the school year. This will be monitored and reviewed as the winter months approach.

Hallway and Stairwell Movement: Students will follow the signage posted around the school in regard to hallway and stairwell movement. Students will be traveling in a one-way direction in order to maintain social distancing.

Lunch Periods: Lunches will be served or students can bring lunch from home; students should wear masks when not eating, in the lunch line, or discarding garbage, and tables will be spaced out six feet apart with two students per table.

Bathrooms: Only two students will be allowed in the restrooms at any one time. Students are required to sign in and out of class when using the bathroom.

Student Dismissal: Dismissal for all students is 2:13 pm. Parent Pick-Up will be in the staff lot located by the LGI (first right when entering the campus).

Schoology and Parent Portal: Our official reporting platform for storing grades, attendance, student schedules and transcripts is eSchool. You have access to eSchool via the parent portal. If you have not done so already, you may sign up for access by going to the district website and clicking the eSD Parent Portal link on the right hand side. You will be able to sign up for online access to your child’s report cards and schedule. There is also information on how to continue paper mailings if needed.

Schoology is a Learning Management System (LMS) that provides a secure learning network for teachers, students, parents, and schools. It allows us to connect, share content, access homework, participate in discussions, receive class information and also comprises the online gradebook we will be using. Schoology is accessible online and through any mobile device with internet capabilities. This will be the main mode of instruction for your children during their remote learning days.

Safety and Security (Parent/Visitor Access to School): Students who arrive late to school will check in at the main office, receive a pass, and report directly to class. Parents will not be permitted to enter the building during the school day; please leave any materials for your child labeled and in the vestibule off of the main entrance. Parents picking up a child during the school day must present identification.

After School: As of now, there are no late buses and no after school activities. Students are expected to be picked up or take a bus home directly after school.

We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work towards planning and developing an instructional program that meets the needs of your children. Despite the many barriers we have faced and the unforeseen challenges that we have encountered, we feel fortunate to have been part of this process. I am looking forward to meeting our students when they come to school on the 14th and 15th for the start of the new school year. The combined commitment of our school and our community will guide us through whatever challenges we face.

Looking forward to an awesome school year!

Sincerely,
Scott Ziomek, Building Principal, sziomek@schalmont.net
Melissa Judge, Assistant Principal, mjudge@schalmont.net