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August 23, 2020 Principal Message

Hello Patriot Families!  

I hope that your children and you are beginning to adjust to the new normal.  Thank you to all who participated in our Drive By Pick Up last week.   Next week continues our Orientation into 2020-21 with five full days of classes.  Teachers will begin introducing more academic content during this time.  We look forward to an engaging week of teaching and learning.    Here are this week’s updates: 

Cameras in Classrooms:  WCPSS does not require the use of student cameras in Google Classrooms.  However, if your child has access to a camera, there are opportunities when students are asked to turn them on that may be missed by keeping the camera off.  Without seeing a student, a teacher’s ability to build rapport becomes more challenging and the ability to monitor students while working is greatly diminished.  If a student does not turn on his/her camera, a teacher can only report to you that your child logged onto the lesson, not the level in which he/she was engaged.  Again, this is not a requirement, just something to think about in your expectations for your child in the virtual classroom space.  

Classroom Interruptions:  Unfortunately, we have had a few classes that have been interrupted by outside students over the past week.  As we have identified the perpetrators, we have contacted their parents or their school’s administrators to address the misbehavior.  The primary method students have access to these classes occurs when one of our students shares their meeting code with an outsider and then dares them to come in.  This kind of interruption will not be tolerated, and we regret that your child has been exposed to them.  We are continuing to learn about ways that we can prevent these disruptions from happening in the digital platform.

Free/Reduced Lunch Information:  Food distribution sites for families remain open.  Meals are provided free of charge until the end of August. Beginning September 1, students need an updated form approved in order to receive free/reduced breakfast and lunch: Free/Reduced Lunch Info from CNS  

Math I Information:  This letter identifies the 20-day deadline (September 14) for withdrawing from a Math I course.  Math I letter

PTA Information:   The HMS School Supply Drive will still continue virtually!  If you would like to make a donation to the School Supply Fund for HMS please visit our website at  All funds will be used by the counselors to make sure all students have the supplies they need to start this new school year! 

PTA Information packets were delivered to you during the Drive By Pick Up last week.  Please use our website to complete these forms or you can fill them out and mail them to the school.  Forms and information can also be emailed to  If you have any questions please email us or contact us through our website.  On our new and improved  website we also have information about Spirit Rock Rental, Sponsorship Program and much more.  Thank You for your continued support of HMS PTA!

Roles and Expectations for Families:  This information is provided by WCPSS in both English and Spanish to review with your child:  Roles Document 

School MessengerIf you'd like to customize the type of communications you receive on your phone or email, you can create a School Messenger account.  This is also a good way to check that your contact information is accurate.   School Communication (School Messenger) / Overview

Single Subject AccelerationThe Single Subject Acceleration nomination window for reading or math has been extended to August 31. If you feel your student would benefit from the next grade level in reading or math, contact Ms. Worley at


  • 7th Grade StudentsALL 7th grade students (whether in Virtual Academy or Plan B) need to provide proof of the Dtap and Meningococcal Immunizations by September 30.  Additional information is available on our website.
  • Daily Schedule:  While working virtually, all HMS students will adhere to the following schedule: .  Teachers will provide students information and links to attend classes through Google Classroom.  
  • PowerSchool Access for Parents:  PowerSchool (Homebase) is the program we use to provide real-time information regarding student updates such as attendance and grades.  All students have a PowerSchool account.  If you already have a parent PowerSchool account for your child, you do not have to reapply.  If you do not have a parent PowerSchool account and would like one (or need to create one for another student), follow these directions: .   You can drop a completed form by the office during regular hours.  

Take Care,

Jo Ellen Newhouse, Principal

Heritage Middle School