principal-s-welcome

Principal's Welcome

Dear MMS Family,

With great pleasure, I welcome you to the 2020-2021 school year! I hope each of you has had a restful and safe summer, in spite of the current challenges. Your flexibility, understanding, and support are greatly appreciated. This year has truly been a learning experience for all of us, and new learning will continue as we navigate this pandemic. 

The safety and welfare of our students is our top priority. Therefore, Martinsville City Public Schools will reopen on August 10, 2020, with remote learning for students. Students will receive daily instruction through zoom, videos, and interactive programming. Orientation for students will be held via zoom during the first week of school. At this time, teachers will review expectations, procedures, and the structure of our learning platform. Our goal is to personalize learning and meet the individuals needs of every student. We have learned a lot from the crisis teaching that took place last spring and have been planning lessons using best practices that will effectively deliver hands-on distance learning. We know what works in face-to-face learning and will simulate these practices to support students in a remote learning environment.

Our teachers and staff are enthusiastically waiting to meet their new students. We miss our students and want this school year to be a positive learning experience. It is important we set our expectations high from the beginning of the school year. In order that we have a smooth start to the school year, we need your help with the following:

Registration

·      Parents and caregivers MUST REGISTER children who are returning to school in PowerSchool. Call the school if you have questions.  Students must register to pick-up a laptop and orientation information. See attached directions for registering students.

Schedules

·      Our school counselor completed student schedules during the summer. Enclosed are your schedule and a school supply list for the 2020-2021 school year. Student learning materials will be provided by the school. To ensure an orderly opening of school, all schedules and teacher assignments are final.

Technology

·      Laptops will be distributed on August 4 through August 7 to students who have registered in PowerSchool. At this time, students will also receive information for orientation, including zoom links for the first week of school, and Unified Classroom passwords. If you do not have broadband internet, please notify the school.

Immunization

·      All students entering 7th grade must have submitted documentation for the TDAP immunization. We have sent home several reminders this summer. Students will NOT be allowed to start school until we receive this documentation. Please call the school if you are not sure we have received your child’s TDAP documentation at (276) 403-5886. Documentation may be faxed to (276) 638-4140.

Meal Services

·      Again, this school year, our school will be participating in the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program called the Community Eligibility Provision (C.E.P). This means all students enrolled at Martinsville Middle School will receive a healthy meal at no charge to your household each day of the 2020-2021 school year. No further action is required of you. Meals will continue to be delivered by bus during remote learning. Students should make sure you are at the bus stop to pick up meals.

See the attached flyer for more details.

Communication

·      The best source of information about what is going on at MMS is your child. We encourage you to regularly discuss with your child his/her learning. Our division will also provide periodic updates on the MCPS website www.martinsville.k12.va.us and Facebook page. Expect the following means of communication during this school year:  newsletters, a monthly calendar of events, student agenda, progress reports, report cards mailed home every nine weeks, teacher phone calls, and positive contacts. In addition to zoom meetings, teachers will have office hours during remote learning where students can contact them for support. Many teachers will ask permission from parents and guardians to send texts messages and emails. Our message notification system allows us to send a telephone or email message to parents and guardians to provide information about school. Please make sure you have registered your child and updated addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses.

Ways Parents Can Help With Remote Learning

·      Help students follow the routine/schedule.

·      Set up a designated work-space.

·      Collaborate and communicate with teachers to get to know Unified Classroom (our online learning platform). 

·      Attend our Family Nights. Our first virtual Family Night will be held at the beginning of the school year to provide parent training. Although students have used Unified Classroom, we will provide more training during orientation to students.

·      Stay in communication with teachers and call if you have questions.

·      Monitor your child’s progress and check your child’s grades in PowerSchool often.

·      Encourage, motivate, and praise the positive things students have accomplished.

Visiting Martinsville Middle School

·      Under normal circumstances, visitors are welcome in our building. However, during this pandemic, we will follow CDC and the Virginia Department of Education guidelines and limit visitors. Please call us and schedule an appointment if you need to talk with school personnel. We are happy to arrange a conference call or zoom meeting. Office hours are from 7:45-4:30. We check Sex Offender Registry Notifications.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or concerns. You can reach me at (276) 403-5886. We appreciate all you do as parents and welcome you to another school year!

Cynthia Tarpley
Principal
Martinsville Middle School
276.403.5886