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August 30, 2020 Principal Message

Hello Patriot Families!

This past week I was able to pop into numerous classes to see students practicing new technology skills during the final week of orientation.  What a joy to see their faces!  Next week begins our first full week of classes focusing on academic subject matter.  I look forward to another 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 but elects to keep it off, there are opportunities that may be missed by doing so.  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 that your child logged on to the lesson, not the level in which he/she was engaged.  Again, use of the camera is not a requirement, just something to think about in your expectations for your child in the virtual classroom space.  Update:  Some activities will require an alternate assignment in lieu of turning on the camera.  These activities are not designed to be punitive but  to ensure students are working toward mastery of the curriculum standard being taught.  For example, if a student is asked to demonstrate a skill and elects not to turn on the camera, he/she may be required to submit a video showing him/her demonstrate the skill. 

Classroom Interruptions:  Unfortunately, we have had a handful of inappropriate class interruptions from outside students over the past week.  We have been able to identify all but one perpetrator, and we have contacted their parents or their school’s administrators to address the misbehavior.  Administrators across the district are working together to address these intrusions.  Access to HMS classes occurs when one of our students shares the class meeting code with an outsider and then dares them to come in.  This kind of interruption will not be tolerated.  I sincerely regret if your child has been exposed to any of these incidents and that other children in your home may have heard them as well.  I am proud to say that none of my colleagues has contacted me about a Heritage Middle student who has entered a class of another school.  

Free/Reduced Lunch Information:  Food distribution sites for families remain open.  Meals are provided free of charge until the end of August. Beginning Tuesday, 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 Update:  The deadline for withdrawing from a Math I course has been changed by the NC Dept. of Instruction to December 1.  Please contact your child’s math teacher with concerns. 

Math II UpdateWCPSS will not participate in the fall PSAT administration.  The winter administration of the PSAT NMSQT is on January 26, 2021.  Students will be notified when it is time to register. 

PTA Information:   The first PTA meeting of the year will be September 1 at 7:00pm.  All are welcome.  The meeting link will be available on the PTA site Tuesday. 

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 aworley@wcpss.net

REMINDERS FROM PREVIOUS WEEKLY MESSAGES:

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.  Vaccinations - English     Atención: Padres con Niños Entrando al Séptimo Grado ¡Su hijo va a necesitar más vacunas!

Daily Schedule:  While working virtually, all HMS students will adhere to the following schedule: https://bit.ly/2Xifp3o .  Teachers will provide students information and links to attend classes through Google Classroom.  

PowerSchool Access for Parents:  PowerSchool (Homebase) provides 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 (or need to create one for another student) and would like one, follow these directions:   https://www.wcpss.net/student-information.   You can drop a completed form by the office during regular hours. 

PTA Information:  PTA Information packets were delivered to you during the Drive By Pick Up.  Please use our website https://heritagemiddlepta.weebly.com/ to complete these forms or you can fill them out and mail them to the school.  Forms and information can also be emailed to HMSPTAWF@gmail.com.  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!

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

Supply Drive:  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 https://heritagemiddlepta.weebly.com/.  All funds will be used by the counselors to make sure all students have the supplies they need to start this new school year! 

Take Care,

Jo Ellen Newhouse, Principal

Heritage Middle School