Message From The Principal
Can you believe that we have only 30 days remaining to the school year? This year is winding down quickly. With the end of the year approaching, people have begun to think about a wealth of different topics. This week I received a particularly high number of inquiries in my inbox. The Cross Words seems like the best place to share answers with everyone.
When will we know student class placement and teacher assignments?
The topic of greatest interest this week was student placement for the coming school year. Parents know their children best. Many of you have ideas about what type of environment will be most successful. Others have thoughts about student pairings that could be beneficial or problematic. Next week in the Cross Words, I will share with you our teacher lineup for next school year and also share an avenue for any thoughts about classroom placement for next year.
There seems to be more of a backup during drop off since we came back from vacation. How can it get better?
Please remember that drop off is from 7:50-8:10 each morning. This week we have had some late risers! Teachers try to begin their days at 8:15ish and it is super disruptive when children arrive late to class. The quickest drop off time in the car line is between 7:50 and 8:00. I encourage more people to try to get to school on the earlier side, there seems to be an abundance of people who are coming after 8am to drop off.
Will there be a remote option for next school year?
Next school year we do not anticipate having a remote option. There have been some questions about having the option to participate in remote learning. With the current guidance and the trajectory of that guidance, we anticipate that all learning will be in person at MCS.
What can we do to celebrate teacher appreciation week?
Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week. If ever there were a year to show some appreciation toward our teachers, this would be it. Appreciation does not need to come with big gifts, but rather can come with notes of appreciation and kind gestures. It would also be great to appreciate all types of teachers - specials teachers, classroom teachers, related service teachers, and support staff. The current guidance does not allow for food to be brought to school, but there are no rules against nice cards, notes, flowers, and kind words.
Are we having a 6th grade celebration? If so, when will it happen?
This school year we have not been able to participate in the usual MCS traditions. However, the SAU Covid Task Force has approved a modified celebration for our 6th graders. The date will be June 10th, with a rain date of June 14th. This event will take place on the Norwich Green and will be limited in the number of attendees. Although it will not be the traditional MCS celebration of the 6th graders, it will be a way to come together to appreciate this amazing group of students as they make their way to RMS.
Will MCS have a May Festival this year?
Several parents have inquired about whether there will be a May Festival this year. The answer is that, unfortunately, we will not be holding the event this year. Over the summer, the MCS Covid Task Force determined that the safest way to reopen the schools was to have each specials teacher embedded with one grade level for one to two weeks at a time. This decision was made to reduce the chance of in-school transmission while still preserving at least some of the usual specials offerings. This schedule model makes all-school performances like the Holiday Concert and the May Festival impossible. The students are not receiving music instruction weekly so they cannot adequately prepare for a performance. Further, our covid protocols do not allow the entire school to gather together. We are all hopeful that we will be able to return events to the schedule next year.
Thank you for sending your questions my way. I appreciate having an open line of communication. Your questions and comments are always welcome.
Enjoy the weekend,
Message From Student Services
With the last several weeks of school comes Vermont State testing! Grades 3-6 will take the Smarter Balanced tests (SBAC) and Grade 5 will also complete the Vermont Science Assessment (VTSA). Most of these assessments will occur during the third week of May. However, the VTSA will happen next week (Wednesday and Thursday).
Last year, Vermont cancelled these assessments so this will be a brand new endeavor for our 3rd and 4th grade students and a distant memory for our 5th and 6th graders. I wanted to take a moment to highlight a few important details about these tests:
To learn more about Smarter Balanced visit this site where you will find additional information for parents, as well as practice and training tests that will allow you to try out the test similar to the one your student will be taking.
I am hopeful that we can keep these assessments in perspective. The results of this test in Vermont should not be confused with the high stakes associated with testing in other states. In Vermont, we use these tests as just another data point that needs to be properly evaluated and considered as we strive to make sure that all of our students have rich, broad, high-quality opportunities to learn.
Welcome to the Principal's Corner. My name is Shawn Gonyaw, Principal of Marion Cross School. Each week I post a message here to keep you updated on important topics that are happening at our school.
My weekly posts can also be found in the weekly Cross Words newsletter which I highly encourage you to view. I hope you find all this information helpful, informative and fun.