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April 11, 2021 Principal Message

Hello Patriot Families!  


We are excited to see all students back in school on April 14, both in Virtual Academy and in Plan A.  We hope everyone had a restful Track Out and all are ready to end the year on a strong note.  Quarter 4 here we come!  Here are this week’s updates: 


Notes for All Students

Attendance Letters:  Due to issues surrounding gathering of attendance in the remote setting, we were originally told not to send attendance letters this year.  We have now been advised to do so.  The first notification was sent on Wednesday via School Messenger to all students who have missed three days this year.  Please note that we do not consider three absences to be excessive but must send this letter prior to other notifications. The next letter (for six cumulative absences) will be sent in about two weeks via US Mail.


Bell Schedule:  Due to the need for two lunches per grade level in Plan A, our bell schedule has been adjusted slightly.  All students will need to follow the new schedule since we have teachers who teach in both Plan A and the Virtual Academy. Quarter 4 Bell Schedule 


Scheduling:  Schedule changes that were made over the break will be available on April 14 in PowerSchool.  Counselors and assistant principals will be communicating with students who had schedule changes on Monday.  If your child changed from Plan A to VA or vice versa and you do not hear from anyone on Monday, please contact the appropriate assistant principal on Tuesday.  6th =; 7th  =; 8th =     


Notes for Virtual Academy Students

Drive By Pick up for Virtual Academy:  Don’t forget the Drive By Pick Up  Monday, April 12, noon-6 pm or Tuesday, April 13, 7:30 am-1:30 pm for Virtual Academy Families.  Please return your child’s current novel and plan to pick up a new novel and/or new workbooks.  Students returning in Plan A DO NOT need to attend the Drive By Pick up.  Your child's current novel will be collected by April 14th in class and new materials will be distributed in class.


Google Meet Information:  Teachers will be sending class Google Meet invitations to any student new to Virtual Academy or to all students if the class meeting link has changed for 4th quarter.  You can expect this information Monday or Tuesday. 

Notes for Plan A Students

Attendance Notes:  If you need to provide an absence note for your child, please continue to do so digitally by contacting our data manager at  


Cafeteria Changes:  Students will now be seated every other seat, rather than every third seat.  Every student will have an assigned seat (with their input).  Students will be instructed to complete eating and then replace their masks before talking to another student who has also completed eating and replaced his/her mask.  We will eat outside as often as we can.  Due to the number of students in the building, we may take shifts outside as supervision allows.


Carpool:  We will no longer be completing Health Screenings during Carpool (see Health Screening below).  We also anticipate having triple the number of cars we’ve had during Plan B.  Please encourage students to be ready to exit with masks on and all materials ready when it is their turn to exit the vehicle.  Finally, please do not drop students off prior to 7:40 since there is no supervision until the bell rings.  If we are able to get there a few minutes early to receive students, we will communicate that with the cars at the front of the line.    


Covid Diagnosis:  If a student should receive a positive Covid diagnosis, please contact the principal at  I am required to report these numbers to Health Services and to ensure that appropriate deep cleaning has occurred in the spaces the student has recently occupied.  Additionally, we start contact tracing as needed from these notifications.  


Forgotten Materials:  Do not bring materials that were forgotten by students to the office during the school day.  If a student forgets his/her lunch, the school lunch is free this year and will be available.  In order to avoid handling others’ personal items and to avoid interrupting  classes, we will not be delivering materials that were left behind.  Please help students to remember to bring all materials before leaving home. 


Health Screening:  Students should not be in school if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, exposed to someone with COVID-19, instructed to quarantine, or if they are sick or experiencing any of these symptoms: 

  • 100.4° fever or higher
  • Sore throat
  • New cough
  • New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • New severe headache

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, he/she should not report to school. 


New to Heritage Middle Building?:  Please assure your student that we will have many staff members available to assist students who have never been in our building prior to April 14.  We will provide directions throughout the day to ensure that all students get where they are assigned. 


Social Distancing:  The recommended spacing for social distancing in Plan A is 3 feet or to the extent practical.  We have moved classes to larger spaces where we are able to accommodate the 3 feet distance but some classes are very full.  Desks will continue to be disinfected between classes.


 Reminders from Previous Weekly Messages


Athletics Conditioning Workouts:  Refer to the athletics website regarding sports updates.  Spring Sports Conditioning Workouts continue through April 30.


Library/Media Center Access:  Media Center Reservation 


PTA Help Wanted:  We need parents to serve in leadership roles in the PTA for 2021-2022.  The following roles are available: 

           Box Tops for Education Equity Spring Celebration

Hospitality Firecracker Awards                Beautification Sponsorships Advocacy Rep

Please contact the current PTA board at with any questions.  


Yearbook Information:   The school ID code is 14310021.



Take Care,

Jo Ellen Newhouse, Heritage Middle School Principal