Signal Mountain Middle High School

Admin

Parent Update

Parent Update

We hope this message finds each of you having a safe and relaxing summer with your families.  With the district’s re-opening plan recently shared, we wanted to share some initial information related to the plan and begin communications about how that plan will look at SMMHS as we look ahead to the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.  To access the HCS Re-Opening Plan as presented to the district Board on 7-2-2020, please click here.  In particular, and as shared in the district plan, we also wanted to highlight the three learning options that are available for our HCS families for returning to school in August.  Those options are:

2020-2021 School Year Learning Options

Option 1 – In-Person Learning – This option is for families who plan for their students to return to school for in-person learning on campus.  Families who choose this option understand that their students are expected to attend school in-person each day during regular school hours following the schedule set forth by the current phase of operation.  For instance, if a school is operating in Phase 3, all students attend school each day during regular school hours.  If a school is operating in Phase 2, due to the need to limit the number of students in the building, students will attend in groups (A or B groups) on certain days during regular school hours.  This would mean that Group A students would attend school in-person on Monday and Tuesday and Group B students would attend school in-person on Thursday and Friday.  Students in both groups A and B would continue their teaching and learning online each week at home through ManageBac on the days they are not scheduled to be in school, including the Wednesday that is designated as a virtual learning day for all students.

Option 2 – HCSatHome – This option is for families who prefer their students to not attend school in-person at this time due to various circumstances.  Families who choose this option understand that their students will be learning and completing work online each day from home as assigned by their SMMHS teachers.  It is important for students and parents to also understand that HCSatHome will be different than our online Continued Learning that took place at the end of the last school year.  Students and families will be committing to actively engaging in online learning activities and assignments each day as rigorous new learning will take place, traditional grading will be in effect, and students will be held accountable for timely work completion and “attendance” requirements set by the school.  Families who choose the HCSatHome option will be committing to this type of learning for an entire semester, and students will be allowed to participate in athletics and extracurricular activities as long as they are in good standing with work completion, grades, attendance, and online behavior.  At this time, SMMHS is planning to provide all of our typical classes through HCSatHome including IB, AP, and Dual Enrollment courses. 

Option 3 – HCS Virtual School – This option is for families who want a completely virtual learning experience that includes self-guided and self-paced courses offered through the HCS Virtual School.  Families who choose this option actually register with the HCS Virtual School and become a student at that school.  If a family chooses this option, the student does not participate in SMMHS activities.

Making Selections

Families have from July 8 through July 22 to choose their learning option for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.  If your family is choosing Option 1 for In-Person Learning, then no action is needed other than completing the student registration steps outlined in the next section.  If your family is choosing Option 2 for HCSatHome, or Option 3 for HCS Virtual School, then you will need to click here and follow the directions to sign up.  As a reminder, any families choosing to sign up for HCSatHome or HCS Virtual School are committing to those learning options for the entire semester.  Also, any families who do not sign up for HCSatHome or HCS Virtual School will be registered for Option 1 for In-Person learning by default.  For additional information, or if you have questions or need assistance, please visit https://www.hcde.org/HCSatHome or call 423-498-5437.

Learning Option Notes

  • As of now, Dual Enrollment classes will be offered either Virtually (the college instructor will be connecting with the students remotely on the regularly scheduled class days and times for synchronous teaching and learning) or Online (the college instructor will be facilitating completely online learning through the Chattanooga State online learning platform for asynchronous teaching and learning).  We are currently working with Chattanooga State to determine if our DE courses will be offered Virtually and/or Online.  No matter which format is used, an SMMHS staff member will be supervising these classes on their regularly scheduled days and times when school is physically in-session for those students whose families choose to participate in Option 1 In-Person Learning.
  • Understanding that parents will have until July 22 to choose their learning option, several student, teacher, and class specifics will have to be finalized after that date.  Depending on the number, grade levels, and course selections of students committing to Option 2 HCSatHome Learning, some virtual learning sections may or may not be scheduled to include only those students participating in HCSatHome Learning.  This would mean that a specific teacher would have such a “class” as part of their teaching schedule.  If certain courses do not have as many HCSatHome students, then those students may be scheduled in a section with our In-Person students with our teachers providing the online teaching and learning.
  • If we have a staff member who has qualified to teach from home, that teacher will still have a full teaching schedule that may include both In-Person and HCSatHome Learners.  If the student numbers work out for that teacher to have a section of HCSatHome Learners, then both the teacher and students would be working together remotely from home.  For all other sections of In-Person learners, the teacher would connect with the class each day during their regularly scheduled day and time with another SMMHS staff member supervising the class.  This would be similar to the DE Virtual option described above.

Student Registration

Returning Student Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year

  • To register a returning student, parents will have two parts to complete:  updating student information in Power School, and providing 2 approved proofs of residence within the SMMHS zone.  Approved proofs of residency must be dated July 1 or after and may include mortgage or lease bills, utility bills, agency or court documentation (IRS, SS Disability, etc.), insurance statement (medical, life, auto, or home), or current bank statement or employment check stub.
  • To complete the requirement of updating Power School information for all students returning to SMMHS, parents will log into their Power School Parent Portal by clicking here.
  • Last year, parents were required to upload their 2 proofs of residence before student registrations could be completed and approved.  This year, parents will still have to submit 2 proofs of residency, but they will have to be submitted via email or provided in-person on registration day.
  • To avoid having to go through the residency verification process on registration day, parents of returning students can begin on July 1 emailing copies of their 2 proofs of residency (dated July 1 or after) to Kim Adams at adams_melissa@hcde.org or Susan Patton at patton_s@hcde.org.  Parents can also bring their proofs of residency to Mrs. Adams in the main office Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  The documents must show the parent/guardian name and address within the SMMHS zone and parents must note their student’s name and grade level on the proof of residency copies or in the email.
  • Once received, Mrs. Adams will review the submissions and will only reach out to parents if the residency submissions are not in order and if different or additional residency documentation is needed.
  • On registration day, we will have a list of all returning students noting whether or not their residency verifications have taken place.  If 2 proofs of residency have already been received and approved, then this will be noted and the student and family will move quickly along to complete their registration, pay fees, pick up schedules, etc.  If a family has not started, or has not completed the registration process including submitting 2 approved proofs of residency, we will have a designated area for families to complete the required online process and verification of 2 approved proofs of residency within the SMMHS zone.  Approved proofs of residency must be dated July 1 or after and may include mortgage or lease bills, utility bills, agency or court documentation (IRS, SS Disability, etc.), insurance statement (medical, life, auto, or home), or current bank statement or employment check stub.
  • If you have any registration questions, please contact Susan Patton at patton_s@hcde.org or Kim Adams at adams_melissa@hcde.org.

New Student Registration for the 2020-2021 School Year

  • To register a new student, parents will have two parts to complete:  completing online registration through Power School, and providing 2 approved proofs of residence within the SMMHS zone.  Approved proofs of residency must be dated July 1 or after and may include mortgage or lease bills, utility bills, agency or court documentation (IRS, SS Disability, etc.), insurance statement (medical, life, auto, or home), or current bank statement or employment check stub.
  • New student online registration will open on June 1, 2020 for students who will be new to SMMHS in the fall in grades 6-12.  To begin the online process for a new student, click here.
  • Proofs of residency for new students can be uploaded electronically as part of the registration process through the Power School Parent Portal.
  • Once received, Mrs. Patton will review the submissions and will only reach out to parents if the residency submissions are not in order and if different or additional residency documentation is needed.
  • On registration day, we will have a list of all new students whose families have completed both the online registration process and has had their 2 proofs of residency approved.  If both steps have successfully taken place, then this will be noted and the student and family will move quickly along to complete their registration, pay fees, pick up schedules, etc.  If a family has not started, or has not completed the registration process including submitting 2 approved proofs of residency, we will have a designated area for families to complete the required online process and verification of 2 approved proofs of residency within the SMMHS zone.  Approved proofs of residency must be dated July 1 or after and may include mortgage or lease bills, utility bills, agency or court documentation (IRS, SS Disability, etc.), insurance statement (medical, life, auto, or home), or current bank statement or employment check stub.
  • If you have any registration questions, please contact Susan Patton at patton_s@hcde.org.

Rising 6th Grade Information

  • Due to the uncertainties at this time, we will not be able to host our Class of 2027 Eagles Night that was planned for the evening of August 6.
  • If you have not yet registered, please follow the directions above for “Returning Students” and email your 2 current proofs of residency to Mrs. Adams at adams_melissa@hcde.org.
  • If you have not had an opportunity to view our 6th grade virtual school tour, please click here.   
  • In preparation for some of the uncertainties of the 2020-2021 school year, our MS counselors and teachers are developing a tutorial providing parents and students with training associated with ManageBac.  As some you know, ManageBac is our IB online learning platform used at SMMHS in grades 6 through 12 with great success for many years.  In the event that we have to move to online teaching and learning at any time during the school year, ManageBac allows our students and teachers to do so with much greater ease.  As such, we want to be sure that our rising 6th grade students and parents learn how to navigate and utilize ManageBac as an important learning tool at SMMHS.  Once the tutorial is available, all of our rising 6th grade families will be contacted.
  • At SMMHS, we are a 1:1 school with all students in grades 6-12 having a school-issued Chromebook.  Chromebooks are typically distributed to students during the first week of school, but in consideration of our current circumstances, we are exploring the possibility of issuing Chromebook to our rising 6th graders prior to school starting.  We will most likely look to schedule a date toward the end of July or early August to distribute Chromebooks in a drive-through format, so please be on the lookout for additional communication.
  • With our in-person Class of 2027 Eagles Night orientation being cancelled, our MS counselors will be hosting some upcoming Virtual Orientation Sessions via Zoom.  During these sessions, rising 6th grade students and their families will learn more about 6th grade and SMMHS, ManageBac and the IB Middle Years Program, and more.  The Zoom sessions will be scheduled at different times to accommodate as many parents as possible, so please be on the lookout for additional communication including session dates and times.

In closing, we appreciate everyone’s understanding and support of our school, our teachers, and each other during this very different time.  As we continue to plan for so many different scenarios, it is important to understand that things can change at any time due to all of the unpredictable factors of the global pandemic.  Throughout, our focus will continue to be on providing safe and purposeful learning opportunities for our students.  As we continue over the next few weeks, additional information will be shared regarding specific SMMHS logistics for the 2020-2021 school year, decisions and information regarding our typical in-person student registration days, and any updates regarding the district plan, operation phases, and schedules.  As always, thanks so much for all you do to support your students, our teachers, and our school!

 



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