February 2021 Newsletter

Principal Message 

Dear MMS Families,

It is very exciting to have in-person students back for five days a week learning. It is challenging as well. We work to follow the CDC guidance of maintaining six feet of social distancing whenever possible. At 59% of MMS students in-person, we are not able to maintain the full six feet at all times in all classrooms. However, masks are worn and frequent hand sanitizing is encouraged. Classroom surfaces are sanitized between classes. We follow Illinois Department of Public Health guidelines. 

How many symptoms does a person need to have to be considered a suspect COVID-19 case? (Updated 10/27/2020) Students and staff exhibiting one or more COVID-like symptoms are considered suspect cases and should be immediately isolated, and evaluated. Schools should evaluate each symptomatic student/staff to determine if this symptom is new or if it is part of an existing condition for this student/staff.

The evaluation of symptoms being new or part of an existing condition is primarily through our paperwork. Documentation from a physician, on file here at the school is the primary evaluative tool. When called, if your child has a symptom in question as a chronic or an ongoing condition that you may not have documentation for, please get this documentation to our Nurse, Colleen Henson. We want to make sure that we are all safe but do not want to send students home unnecessarily. If you know of an ongoing condition, like allergies for example, that could become evident as we enter spring, please be proactive and get a note from the doctor to the school early so that we can readily evaluate symptoms that could be confused with COVID. Again, we want to keep everyone safe and avoid infection but also want to make sure that we do not send students home for symptoms that have other documented explanations.

Lastly, I would like to give a shoutout to our students who are working so heroically through these challenging times and to remind them that, as with all difficult times, “this too shall pass.” Thank you to our parents and caregivers who are going above and beyond in our communities and in their duties to their families. You have my highest respect. And to our teachers and staff, the job they are doing is beyond phenomenal. Together we will make it through these days to brighter ones ahead.

Virtual Office

February Word of the Month

Humanity: Believing that people of different cultures, abilities, religions, sexes, and races are equally valuable members of our society 

MMS School Wide Celebrations

During the month of February, MMS staff and administration, have planned several activities to celebrate National African American History Month 2021. The activities are designed to deepen our students’ knowledge of the history and achievements of African American people both currently and historically. Take the opportunity to ask your student questions and participate along with them.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. - Maya Angelou


MMS Upcoming Events 

PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES (STUDENTS IN ATTENDANCE FOR REGULAR SCHEDULE) Feb 11 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

 - Parents needing to conference will be contacted and invited by their child’s teacher(s)

TEACHER IN-SERVICE DAY Feb 12 - no school

PRESIDENTS' DAY Feb 15 - no school


Office News

If you have not paid your instructional fees, please do so at this time. Instructional fees are in Skyward.  Reminders have been sent to the families that have not paid.

A reminder that masks will still be required upon the return to school in the second semester and that social distance of six feet, when and wherever possible, will be observed. Frequent handwashing will be encouraged along with personal or classroom hand sanitizer use. Students need to come with a certification lanyard showing that they are symptom free and have not had recent exposure.

As we have Valentines Day on the horizon, please do not send snacks or Valentines for students to exchange as a part of our COVID prevention.

Congratulations to Ms. Mulvihill for her reception of the Illinois Principals Association’s Assistant Principal of the Year Award. She is a highly organized and a hard working administrator in her 12th year as an Assistant Principal. She understands all of our students' needs and does a great job of guiding each of them in the right direction when they make mistakes both academically and socially. We are all very proud of Mrs. Mulvihill here at Mascoutah School District 19 and the hard work she puts in to support the students and the staff of Mascoutah Middle School. 


Erin’s Law Parent Letter

The following link will take you to the updated Erin's Law parent letter. The law requires all public schools in each state to implement a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program.Since there is no health this year, our social workers are working with grade level teams to schedule a time to go into classes to give presentations.

Counselor’s Corner

8th grade students will be starting the process to get registered for high school.  Here are some dates to be aware of as we move closer to this process.  

February 10-11     Remote student registration materials available for pickIn the MMS Office

February 11       Virtual Incoming Freshman Orientation 

February 17-18     Counselor Registration Presentation to 8th graders in SS classes

February 22-23     High School Counselors meet with 8th grade students in SC classes

February 24       Parent Appointments available on zoom between 8-2

      Call the MMS Office (566-2305) to schedule your zoom appointment.

      Your email address will be needed to send the zoom link.

6th and 7th grade Registration for next year will be taking place late February/early March.  Look for more details in the March Newsletter.

The Counseling Office Staff provided all students and teachers with the supplies for a Breathing Technique called Hot Cocoa Breathing.  Ask your child to tell you about it.  This technique can be used when experiencing anxiety, frustration, or when a break is needed.  Try it for yourself too!  It can help all of us!

School Pictures

 The deadline for ordering the 2020-2021 MMS Yearbook is March 1st.  Place your order now!

Place your order now at ybpay.lifetouch.com  Yearbook ID Code: 1422921

Absences

We will continue to be using Zoom or in-person attendance to take hourly attendance.

For an in person student to be counted as present they must physically be present in their classroom at school on their days. 

OR

Students who are remote-only days MUST Zoom for attendance and instruction. That is, students who are attending school remotely and remote-only are to attend school in their classroom Zoom each period. Teachers have one classroom, some students are geographically and physically in their classroom and others are present electronically.

Please contact the office beckerl@msd19.org or call 618-566-2305 if your child will be absent from in-person or remote instruction. Please call by 9 AM.

MMS Library 

The MMS library is open! Remote students may request books, and the books will be pulled and placed in the MMS office for pick up!  In-person students' books will be delivered to them in class.

Click on the heading above to go to the MMS Library web page where you can find instructions on how to request books.  

PE Opportunities

As mentioned in our Plan, PE will continue to be asynchronously taught in the second semester unless conditions improve to indicate the change. This is to assist staffing matters as we are faced with the current COVID situation. However, when available, our very dedicated and excellent PE teachers are offering PE opportunities at school for in-person students. The course work is still offered online asynchronously but opportunities for some activity are happening when staffing allows it. If students want to participate in these opportunities it is important to wear PE friendly shoes each day. 

Health/Wellness

In-Person Students will self-certify their health daily by wearing their self-certified lanyard as they enter the building. Please remember masks covering the nose and mouth are required when in the building. Wash your hands frequently.

COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS

The world as we know it has changed. COVID-19 affects us all everyday. Please review the precautions listed on the MSD Health Center and prepare to follow the guidelines. 

Clubs and Activities

Click Here for the activities fair!

If you are looking for ways to get involved or interact more with your peers in our remote environment, take a tour with the MMS Virtual Activity Fair. Some of the sponsors and activities have changed for this year so we have provided updated information. 

Sports

Mascoutah Middle School COVID-19 Athletic Information

(Tentative Information) 

On Friday, January 22nd, the Governor and IDPH made a major announcement dealing with athletics within the state of Illinois. Up until Friday, our region among many others has been in Tier 3 mitigation status. This meant that we had a "pause" on all athletics at that point.  Our Governor and IDPH, on the 22nd, announced that they have changed the state's guidance of each individual Tier status and what they mean in regards to each level of scholastic athletics. 

The announcement moved our COVID region (Region 4) from Tier 3 status to Tier 2 status. At this moment this information means the following for our winter sports: 

Lower Risk Sports (Cheerleading, Bowling)

  1. Full practices are permitted.

  2. Contests may be conducted with opponents within conference, or their EMS region. All contests must be conducted with opponents at a mitigation level that allows contests to be played. 

 Gathering Limitations

No spectators are allowed. 

 Medium Risk Sports (Volleyball)

  1. Full Practices may be conducted.

  2. Intrasquad scrimmages may be conducted with parental consent.

  3. No contests may be conducted

 High Risk Sports (Basketball)

  1. Non-contact practices may be conducted.

  2. Intrasquad scrimmages may NOT be conducted.

  3. No contests may be conducted.

 Wrestling is deemed a High Risk Sport but at this time in accordance with the IHSA, we are still unsure of the direction of our wrestling program at this time.

 **All athletic participants MUST have a current up to date physical (395 days) on file with Mascoutah  Middle School in order to tryout

 ** All athletes MUST have a signed Covid Waiver before they can participate in practice.

 **All participants and coaches must wear a face covering that fully covers their nose and mouth and fits snugly against the sides of the face with no gaps, whether indoors or outdoors, when unable to maintain at least 6 feet social distance from another individual, unless a medical condition prohibits the participant from wearing a face covering. Please follow MSD19 proper face coverings policy.

 Our association, the Southern Illinois High School Athletic Association (SIJHSAA) has adjusted the schedule of athletics for the rest of the year.

 **Volleyball-   6-7-8th

Regular Season February 1-27

Regionals March 1-6

**Tryouts will be on Monday February 1st  (3:30-5:30.)- Wednesday February 3rd. 

 The first practice will take place on Thursday February 4th  (3:30-5:30)

 

**Boys Basketball  (7th-8th) 

7th and 8th Graders Feb 1st.  1:30-3:30 - Wednesday Feb. 3rd 1:30-3:30

Regular Season 

Regionals March 8-13

**Students are to check announcements in Skyward messages for further information

 

** Middle School Bowling

Mid February due to High School Bowling starting now and lanes being booked.

 

 **Girls Basketball and 6th Grade Boys

Regular Season March 8-April 10

Regionals April 12-17

**Students are to check announcements in Skyward messages for further information

 

**Track and Co- Ed Soccer

March 15- May 8

Regionals April 24-May 1

State May 8

**Students are to  check announcements in Skyward messages for further information

As our regional metrics continue to decline we are hoping that our region can move to Tier 1 and then to Illinois Restore Phase 4. Medium level sports (Volleyball) will be allowed to have contests in Tier 1. Our high risk sports (basketball) will be allowed to compete once we reach Phase 4.

*Additional mitigation information is available on the home page of the SIJHSAA

Website and in the Forms and Documents Section of the site.

(www.sijhsaa.com)

Must have before Tryouts: Current Physical and Mascoutah Covid and Parent Waiver Form

For further information or clarification, please contact the school.

Technical Support

We are offering training videos and additional troubleshooting information for parents and students to learn more about products and procedures during Remote Learning. 

For Chromebook issues, please visit the District Help Desk.

https://sites.google.com/msd19.org/e-learning-portal/help-desk

Cafeteria: Lunch and Breakfast

Students who are in-person as a Hybrid student can order lunch each day they are in the building during their first hour class. They will get lunch for that day and breakfast for the following day in their grab-n-go at dismissal. Hybrid students on their remote day AND remote only students will continue to order their meal through Skyward as we have done since the beginning of the year. Meals for remote day and remote only students will be picked up at the Elementary Schools only from 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Click here for the menu.

PTO

The PTO is teaming up with Tom Evans Fundraising and will hold a Spring Fundraiser in mid February.  Students can earn prizes for selling items.  Look for more details to come soon!

 

 

Wear your PURPLE every Friday to show your spirit!!!

Engaging every student, every day, in quality learning opportunities.

Remember to check out the MMS website for News, Events and our Live Feed. Follow us on Twitter and follow the District’s Facebook page for even more information.