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Summer Resources

Many parents have expressed concern in regards to next year, wanting to ensure that students are ready to take on the next grade level. Not having our students in front of us for the duration of 4th quarter definitely posed a challenge, and we recognize that they may not have mastered all we hoped they would. I can assure you that this will be a huge consideration as we're planning for next year. In the meantime, teachers put together a list of resources that you're welcome to check out this summer. I will be using some of these for my own children in hopes that we can reduce the summer (and spring) slide as much as possible. The resources are linked below.

 Summer Resource Link

 8th Grade Virtual Promotion Celebrations

These presentations were sent to parents at 9:00 AM on Thursday, May 28. I'd like to extend a final congratulations and farewell to our amazing 8th graders! They have been an absolute joy, and we will miss them dearly!

 Student Materials & Yearbooks

At this time we have wrapped up our scheduled days for materials and yearbook distribution. Per CDC recommendations and Governor Pritzker's guidance, administrators will continue working from home in June. Therefore, we will not be in the building unless it is deemed essential. If you were unable to pick up locker materials or yearbooks, please continue to look for email updates from Gregory throughout the summer. If you still have items belonging to Gregory, please hold on to them and return them when school reopens.

If you would still like to purchase a yearbook, parents will be able to do that through PushCoin. This process is not yet set up, so please look for updates about in the near future. 6th and 7th grade students who purchase yearbooks will receive them when school reopens in the fall. 8th grade students will receive their books in the mail.

 

Yearbook Distribution

Yearbooks are scheduled to arrive (earlier than expected) this afternoon. Therefore we are scheduling pick up times on Wednesday and Thursday of next week. Please check the schedule below.

Last Name (A-H)

Wednesday, May 27 -10:00-11:00 AM      or    Thursday, May 28 -10:00-11:00 AM

Last Name (I-P)

Wednesday, May 27 -11:00 AM-12:00 PM     or   Thursday, May 28 -11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Last Name (Q-Z)

Wednesday, May 27 - 12:00-1:00 PM    or   Thursday, May 28 - 12:00-1:00 PM

Before you arrive at your scheduled time, please check to ensure that you in fact ordered a yearbook. You can do so by following the directions below.

Did I Order A Yearbook?

· Vi·       Visit www.yearbookordercenter.com and enter either school code (8986) or school name, city and        state. (Gordon Gregory Middle School, Naperville, IL)

·       Provide your confirmation number

·       If you don't know your confirmation number, you can call Herff Jones Order Center (866-287-3096) and provide school name (Gordon Gregory MS), school code (8986), and student information.

·       If you can't get in touch with Herff Jones, you can send an email to our yearbook sponsors, sue_lichter@ipsd.org or andrea_arnold@ipsd.org.

If you did not purchase a yearbook but would still like to do so, this opportunity will come at a later date. The district is working on a way in which parents can purchase a yearbook through PushCoin, and this will be communicated when a process is in place.

We will not be selling yearbooks on the distribution days.

Student Materials Distribution

Students will be able to pick-up their belongings and return school materials next week. HERE are the details explaining in detail the process. Please see the schedule below for your time slot. We ask that you also refer to the map and follow the traffic pattern in order to ensure the safety of our staff volunteers. Additionally, we ask that if anyone is not feeling well or has symptoms to please stay home and we will arrange another time for your family. 

·       Wednesday, May 20 – 8:00-11:00 AM (A-D)

Wednesday, May 20 – 12:00-3:00 PM (E-K) 

·       Thursday, May 21 – 8:00-11:00 AM (L-O)

·       Thursday, May 21 – 12:00-3:00 PM (P-S)

Friday, May 22 – 8:00-11:00 AM (T-Z)

Yearbooks: We were hopeful that yearbooks would be delivered and ready to distribute next week. However, due to circumstances beyond our control, there has been a delay. Therefore, we will be scheduling a time in June for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students to be able to pick up their yearbooks. If for some reason you are unable to pick up student materials during the dates and times listed above, you can do that during yearbook distribution.

Car Tags: Car tags were sent on Friday through email. If you did not receive this email containing your car tag, please check or spam/junk folder or email Jen Wikoff.

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EOY Grades

We are nearing the end of the quarter, which means grades will soon be finalized. Our grading system has looked much different during remote learning, and we realize this has been a difficult transition for students, parents, and staff. Due to the Illinois State Board of Education's guidance during the shelter in place, no student shall receive lower than a C and grades cannot be negatively impacted. Thus, teachers have used an N rather than a Z to identify assignments that are not turned in. The difference between these two codes is that a Z is calculated as a zero, which negatively impacts the overall grade. An N is not calculated into the grade at all, which does not negatively impact the overall grade. Therefore, when looking at HAC parents should NOT look at the overall grade. Rather parents should be looking at each individual assignment. If parents are seeing several Ns, that means many assignments are not turned in, and your child is at risk of receiving an incomplete for the quarter. Teachers will be reaching out to parents of students who are at risk of receiving an incomplete. If you have questions about your child's grades, please reach out to the teachers for clarification.

 

Supporting Mental Health for Parents During COVID-19

Join 360 Youth Services for a virtual parent support group!

This will be a free education and peer support program for parents and caregivers of middle and high school aged teens who are experiencing difficulties during the current pandemic.

They will discuss ways to support your emotional health and your child’s mental well-being along with strategies for taking care of yourself and your family. They will be offering virtual groups through Zoom to accommodate varying schedules. To register, please email the date and time you would like to attend to the email address listed below.

Michelle Sturgill - msturgill@360youthservices.org

Tuesday, May 12th from 8:00 am to 8:45 am

Thursday, May 14th from 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm

HAC Tutorial for Parents

We understand that as the shelter in place order continues to be extended, our students' motivation is decreasing. Therefore, if you're like me, you're having to do more hand over hand supervision of your child in order to ensure they're completing their work. This is very difficult to do while also working a full time job from home! I'd like to thank our LMC Director, Esther Bevan, for putting together a HAC Tutorial that will help you keep track of your child's academics. This tutorial can also be found on our website.

Tracking Student Engagement

While we would much rather have direct access to your children, I can assure you that the Gregory teachers will continue to work hard to engage them and provide them with valuable learning experiences. In an effort to keep students engaged and connected, we have implemented a student engagement tracker. We are tracking student engagement on a weekly basis to ensure that we are reaching all of our kids. If we notice that students are not engaged or not turning in their assignments, core and exploratory teachers and counselors will be contacting parents. There is no judgement here! In all honesty, I have been contacted by my own kids' school on more than one occasion. As I said, working from home and overseeing a child's education at the same time is extremely challenging.

Our goal and purpose is simply to check on the social emotional well-being of our beloved Pioneers. Because our core teams and exploratory teachers are separate entities, it is possible that if your child is not engaging on either end, you might receive multiple emails or phone calls - one contact for the core team and up to three contacts for the exploratory classes. Our intention is not to overwhelm you, rather to let you know that we are missing your child.

A Special Note to Our 8th Graders

On behalf of the entire staff at Gregory Middle School, we are so sorry and our hearts are broken for you. We wanted nothing more than to give you the send off and celebration that you have earned and that you deserve. We have enjoyed watching you grow, and we will miss seeing your faces everyday. Please, promise to come back and visit us next year!

Although we will not be able to host a promotion ceremony, we are currently working on a plan to be able to celebrate your promotion to high school. This is still an exciting time, and you should be so proud of your accomplishments! Please stay tuned for updates as we work to finalize our plans.

Help Me Understand this New Grading Process!

Indian Prairie School District created a plan that aligns with the Illinois State Board of Education's recommendations for remote learning. Based on these recommendations, students grades cannot be negatively impacted during this time. Therefore, teachers will be assigning grades of A, B, C or N (not turned in). However, this can be misleading in the gradebook because unlike a "0" or a "Z," the N does not negatively impact the student's overall grade. Therefore, when checking Home Access, parents should look at the assignments entered rather than the overall grade. If you're seeing multiple N's, that is an indicator that work is missing, and you should talk with your child. Teachers should still be updating their gradebooks every two weeks, which is the same as in the past. However, you will notice less assignments entered due to the fact that ISBE's recommendations require less instructional time for students per day than a typical school day. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's progress, please contact the teacher.

When Can I Get into My Locker?

This is the burning question for teachers and students! The district is currently working on a plan for students to be able to collect their belongings from the building. This plan must be in compliance with the CDC's guidelines for social distancing. I promise to share this plan with you as soon as it is finalized.

 Remote Learning Plan

At this time teachers have shared information with students and parents in regards to expectations and schedules. Please understand that these schedules are flexible, as we are committed to providing an asynchronous structure to accommodate the availability of all teachers and families. If you have not had the opportunity to read the district's Remote Learning Plan, I strongly encourage you to do so, as this will help you understand expectations moving forward. Information specific to Indian Prairie expectations for middle school can be found on page 18.

Zoom Video Conferencing

Many teachers are taking advantage of Zoom in order to have face to face meetings with students. However, it is not a requirement for students or teachers to engage in this manner. I understand that some parents are cautious of this platform for safety, privacy, and confidentiality purposes. Therefore the district added this topic to the their FAQ page on the district website. You can access the FAQ page here and scroll down to the section titled "How does the District protect students and staff when using Zoom for video conferencing?"

Remote Learning Communication

We want to make sure our families know how to find information during Remote Learning Days. We are going to be doing our best to simplify the communication and information you are receiving as we understand it's coming to you from many different places. This section will outline how we will provide information to students and parents. FYI - email has been added to communication for students.

For Students:

  • Teacher Google Classrooms: Each teacher will be providing information and instruction to students through this avenue. Google Classroom pages can be accessed through students Chromebooks. Please ask your student to walk you through this process.
  • Admin Google Classroom: Administration will be engaging and connecting with students through our own Google Classroom page. The access code for our page is zfudsxs.
  • Zoom Meeting Calendar: This is what teachers will be using to schedule Zoom meetings throughout the week. They will continue to update it in real time.
  • Counselor Website: Our new guidelines for remote learning require us to ensure that students' social emotional needs are being addressed above anything else. Teachers will be keeping this in mind as they deliver content and instruction during the coming weeks. In addition, Mrs. Leibfried will continue posting daily happiness challenges and providing other helpful SEL resources.
  • Email: Students should check their email daily as teachers and support staff (counselors, social workers, speech, etc) could be communicating in this way.

For Parents:

  • District Communication: Communication from the district level will be emailed consistently from Dr. Sullivan. All of these updates will be available on the District Website.
  • The Frontier: This newsletter will be sent on Fridays each week. You will no longer receive a monthly Principal's Newsletter, rather The Frontier will include a brief note from the principal each week. We recommend that you bookmark this website as updates will be made weekly in real time.
  • Gregory Website: All information that is shared in the Frontier in regards to remote learning will then be transferred to this page on the Gregory website.

Encouragement for Our Heroes!

If you or someone close to you is a healthcare or essential worker and would like Gregory Middle School to send some words of encouragement and gratitude, please complete the following nomination form here. Students, staff, classes, teams and GMS families will express their gratitude or share encouragement through either letters, emails, pictures, videos and/or donations. We are grateful for your service, strength, sacrifice, and dedication to helping us combat COVID-19!

 

 

 

 


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