Signal Mountain Middle High School

Admin

Principals corner/Parent Survey

Dr. Shane Harwood
Principal

Week of April 20th

Dear SMMHS Families – As we all continue to navigate these unprecedented times, we will continue to share periodic information and updates to keep everyone informed.  New information will be highlighted and please note that our Parent Updates will take the place of our Weekly Parent Communications.

Updated Timelines

April 20 through May 20 – Online Continued Learning Takes Place

Celebrations

  • Congratulations to all of our Seniors as they are receiving college acceptance notifications and deciding where they will continue their education next year!  Over the next few weeks, be on the lookout for our SMMHS Seniors Soar student spotlights to be shared via various social media platforms and on our school website as we celebrate our Seniors and their accomplishments!
  • Congratulations to all of our teachers, staff, and students as SMMHS was recently ranked #31 out of 349 schools in the State of Tennessee as part of the Niche 2020 Best High Schools in America ratings!  The Niche ratings are based on academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and athletics success, website comments, diversity, and several other factors.
  • A big shout out to our Student Council and their sponsors for collecting items that have been donated throughout the week to those families who were affected by the recent tornadoes.
  • A big shout out to all of our amazing teachers for all of their efforts to support our students through online learning during our Continued Learning period!  Also, a big thanks to all of our students for their amazing transition to online learning and to all of our amazing parents and caregivers who are providing lots of support at home during this very different time!  We miss you all, but we are so proud of you!
  • A big thanks to the Mountain Education Foundation (MEF) as they have continued to support our MEF-funded personnel as they continue work and provide support to our students and families during our Continued Learning period!

Physical School Closing Update

  • With Governor Lee’s recent recommendation that students not physically return to school for the remainder of the year, HCS has followed this recommendation and has announced that online Continued Learning will continue through the remainder of the school year.
  • The last day of school is still scheduled for Wednesday, May 20.  As part of the Governor’s announcements, the school year will not be extended into the summer.
  • In regards to grades, and the grading criteria shared by the State, the Quarter 3 (Q3) grade will serve as the last official grade for the year and will also count as the Semester 2 grade.  As such, we will continue as we have for the past few weeks utilizing our Continued Learning time for students to complete any Q3 make-up work while also continuing to complete their Quarter 4 (Q4) assignments as those Q4 grades can also help to improve a student’s final Q3 grade.
  • Since the Q3 grade will be the final grade, our teachers will be incorporating our students’ Q4 grades into their Q3 grade ONLY IF THE Q4 GRADES IMPROVE THEIR Q3 GRADE.
  • As a reminder, assigned 4th quarter work is not optional.  Q4 work that is scored as MISSING or INCOMPLETE will not help to increase a student’s final Q3 grade and does not meet our common goal of continuing to prepare our students for their next course or grade level.  Please continue to partner with our teachers with all you are doing at home to keep your students engaged in completing their work with their best efforts.
  • With students officially not physically returning to school, plans are being made for locker cleanouts, Chromebook returns, textbook returns, instrument returns,

Senior Updates

  • Prom – Due to the timing, and the continued social distancing requirements, proms have been cancelled.  A district committee is continuing to explore options depending upon future timelines and social distancing recommendations.
  • Graduation – The district has tentatively re-scheduled graduations with new June and July dates.  In regards to our SMMHS graduation, the tentative dates, times, and locations are:  Saturday, June 27 at 7:00 pm at Memorial Auditorium or Monday, July 27 at 7:00 pm at Memorial Auditorium.
  • Graduation Requirements – Per the State, any student scheduled to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year must earn a minimum of 20 credit hours including: 4 required math credits, 4 required English credits, 3 required science credits, 2 required social studies credits, and 7 additional credits.  All students will also still receive the course grade points associated with our IB, AP, and Honors courses.
  • Testing – Requirements for taking the ACT or SAT and passing the Civics exam have been waived for any student scheduled to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year.  The re-scheduled ACT exam date of April 21 has been cancelled, and the next national ACT date is planned for June 13.  Although IB sit-down exams have been cancelled, other assessments are continuing to be submitted to IB by our teachers.  AP exams are still being offered as online exams by College Board.  Decisions regarding Dual Enrollment will continue to be facilitated and communicated by Chattanooga State.
  • GPA – A student’s GPA will continue to be calculated as a result of the final grade in a course.  Students will receive a final course grade no lower than the grade earned in the course for Quarter 3, but will have opportunities to improve their Q3 grade as shared.  Additional weighting will still be added to courses for students in IB, AP, Honors, or postsecondary courses.
  • Senior Projects – Per the district, Senior Project requirements for students scheduled to graduate during the 2019-2020 school year have been waived.  Although the requirement has been waived, we are deciding how to reward the efforts of those students completing their Senior Project with extra credit.  If students have questions, they should contact their supervisor or email Mrs. Roddy at roddy_shannon@hcde.org.
  • Seniors and their parents should also be on the lookout for an email early next week from Dr. Dagnan sharing some additional information and specifics.

SMMHS Seniors Soar Spotlights

  • As we await further direction regarding various Senior activities, our Senior teacher sponsors are celebrating our Seniors through our SMMHS Seniors Soar spotlights! 
  • To participate, all Seniors have received an invitation to create their spotlight using the format and program shared by Dr. Dagnan. 
  • Each of our Seniors will continue to be highlighted over the next few weeks via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and on our school website. 
  • Please encourage your child to participate, but if for some reason a parent DOES NOT WANT their child’s information to be shared as part of our SMMHS Seniors Soar spotlights, please contact Dr. Dagnan at dangan_s@hcde.org.  
  • Our Seniors have also been asked to mark the school he or she will be attending in Naviance to be posted on our virtual “Senior College Wall”.  As the “wall” is updated, please be on the lookout for additional information from Mrs. Tharp about how the “wall” will be shared!

PTSA Senior Yard Signs

  • Our senior sponsors have been working with our PTSA to have special “Senior Signs” printed to be placed in their family yards celebrating our seniors and the Class of 2020.
  • Once the signs are printed, we will be communicating with our seniors and their parents regarding pick-up logistics.
  • Our hearts continue to go out to our seniors, and we are so appreciative of our PTSA for helping us to celebrate their accomplishments during these times.

Spring Athletics

  • Per the TSSAA, all spring athletics are now cancelled.  The TSSAA will continue to monitor the circumstances to make decisions regarding summer activities, the summer Dead Period, fall sports start dates, etc.
  • In light of these cancellations, SMMHS has tentatively planned a “Spring Fling Tour” drive-through event to take place on the evening of Saturday, May 9 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm to celebrate and recognize our students who will not be able to participate in spring athletics or other spring school activities.
  • Dependent upon the social distancing recommendations and requirements at that time, the Spring Fling Tour will allow students, parents, and community members to “drive through” our campus along a designated route to pass by our various spring athletics facilities and other designated areas to celebrate our spring athletes and spring activities participants by way of field and area displays.  Pictures can be taken, but everyone will be required to remain in their cars and continue moving along the route before exiting the campus.
  • In preparation for the tour, our coaches and sponsors will spruce up, mow and line, etc. their facilities or designated areas at different times exercising the current social distancing requirements.  In addition to the facilities setup, they will also plan to display banners, signs of encouragement and celebration, senior jerseys or displays, etc. to recognize our students, and in particular, our seniors.
  • Certain areas will be designated along the route for those athletics teams who do not have on-campus facilities and our non-athletics activities.
  • In regards to athletics and group banquets, we will continue to communicate with our coaches and sponsors and make decisions at a later date dependent upon the social distancing requirements at that time.
  • If you have questions, please contact Mr. Reese.

Online Continued Learning Reminders

  • Students are expected to continue engaging in online learning activities and completing and submitting assignments posted in ManageBac.  
  • Our teachers will continue to post all assignments for their class in ManageBac at the beginning of each week by Monday with students expected to complete and submit their assignments by Friday at midnight of that week.  This allows students and parents to work on assignments throughout the week in a way that works best for your family and circumstances.   Our teachers will continue to assign work that should take a total of 1 ½ hours per subject area per week to complete.  Students taking DP and AP classes may experience a little more, but this should equal about 2 hours of schoolwork per day for our students.  As our Continued Learning period progresses, the work amount may or may not increase based on our circumstances.
  • Students are expected to designate a certain amount of time each day to devote to online learning activities and work completion.  Parents, we need your help at home to ensure that your student(s) are establishing productive routines for learning and work completion.
  • During our Continued Learning period, students should use this time as an opportunity to make-up any missing assignments from Quarter 3.  During our online Continued Learning period, our teachers will be showing some flexibility in this area and will be excited to see their students put the extra work in to catch up on missing 3rd Quarter assignments as part of our Credit Repair process.  Students who communicate with their teachers about missing Quarter 3 assignments and put forth the effort to complete those missing assignments will have their assignments graded for full credit.  Students can check for missing assignments by logging into Power School and ManageBac and can contact their teachers to discuss options for completing any missing or failing Quarter 3 assignments.
  • As 4th quarter assignments are submitted, our teachers will be posting a score of MISSING in PowerSchool for any missing assignments.  A score of MISSING would be relative to a Zero if school were in session. 
  • If a student submits below standard or incomplete work, our teachers will be posting a score of INCOMPLETE in Power School.  A score of INCOMPLETE would be relative to a low or failing grade if school were in session.
  • Q4 work that is scored as MISSING or INCOMPLETE will not help to increase a student’s final Q3 grade and does not meet our common goal of continuing to prepare our students for their next course or grade level.  Please continue to help our teachers with all you are doing at home to keep your students engaged in completing their work with their best effort.
  • As you check on your student’s progress in Power School, please be sure to review the listed assignments and each assignment’s grade in addition to the overall 4th quarter grade.  With missing and incomplete assignments not being listed with a numerical grade, the overall  4th quarter grade can be misleading.  As you have done throughout the year, if you see any MISSING or INCOMPLETE assignments listed, please make sure your student acknowledges those missing or incomplete assignments and has a plan in place to submit or complete those assignments with more effort.
  • As part of their Continued Learning assignments, students may be required to complete online assignments through Edgenuity, Khan, Delta Math, iReady, Mastery Connect, etc.  Students should have all of their login usernames and passwords for these programs and should contact their teacher if they need assistance logging in.
  • Understanding that not all students have access to printers and scanners, students will be provided different options for submitting their work including uploading the completed work to ManageBac, emailing completed work, emailing or uploading pictures of completed assignments, etc.  Please note that our teachers will communicate these methods with our students as needed.
  • Throughout our Continued Learning window, our teachers will be working from home each weekday from 7:45 am to 2:45 pm to post and grade assignments, answer student and parent questions, provide feedback on assignments, and more.  Although our teachers will be working hard to support your students throughout our online Continued Learning period, please be sure that you and your students are considerate of their non-work time by not contacting them outside of school hours or on weekends as they will be devoting time to their families as well.
  • Our teachers have been asked to assign both purposeful and reasonable assignments for our students to complete during Continued Learning.  If a student devotes the necessary time and attention to completing their work each day, they should be able to do so successfully.  As part of our established procedures, our teachers will continue monitoring student work and will be contacting parents if a student is not turning in their assignments or is turning in insufficient work.  If student work does not improve after the teacher contact, then additional contacts will be made by our school counselors, administration, and school social worker.

Zoom Teacher-Student Video Conferencing Reminders

  • As an added layer of support and instruction for our students, our teachers have been conducting Zoom conferences with their classes. 
  • Zoom is being widely used across our district and we specifically selected it over Google Meet to allow our teachers, students, and parents to focus on learning and using one specific video conferencing platform.
  • We have established norms for our teachers to conduct one Zoom conference with their classes each week.  Teachers will utilize Zoom conferences for quick check-ins, pre-teaching, mini-lessons, re-teaching, modeling, and more.
  • When a teacher schedules a Zoom video conference, the teacher will post the conference as an Event in ManageBac along with the date, time, and other specifics related to the session.  Teachers may also email Zoom video conference invites to students as well.
  • Please note that although students are not required to participate in scheduled Zoom video conferences with their teachers, students will benefit from these sessions and may miss key information and teaching through the live interactions with their teachers and their classmates.
  • Our teachers will be sharing specific behavioral expectations with their students regarding their participation in Zoom video conferences.  All students are expected to interact and act appropriately during all video conferencing sessions and school rules related to acceptable technology use and behavior are in effect.  Please be sure to discuss these expectations with your student(s) as they are still participating in school-related activities while at home.  If a student does not behave appropriately during a teacher’s online video conference, the teacher will report the misbehavior to the grade level administrator who will contact the parents regarding disciplinary actions.
  • To avoid multiple class Zoom video conferences being scheduled at the same time, our teachers will use the following schedule:

 

Times

Monday OR Wednesday

Tuesday OR Thursday

Fridays

9:00 – 9:30

Period 2

Period 1

OPEN

10:00 – 10:30

Period 4

Period 3

OPEN

10:30 – 12:00

BREAK

BREAK

OPEN

12:00 – 12:30

Period 6

Period 5

OPEN

1:00 – 1:30

Period 8

Period 7

OPEN

Chromebook Support

  • If you have not already, please be sure to remind your students of the importance of taking care of their Chromebooks while they have them at home.

Special Education and Learning Center Tutoring Supports

  • Throughout our online Continued Learning period, our special education teachers will be available to support our students with work assistance as needed.  If a student has questions, we encourage the students and/or their parents to reach out to your student’s case manager for assistance. 
  • As an added layer of support for our students, our MEF-funded Learning Center Coordinator, Abbey Duncan, will be available for virtual tutoring sessions as well.  To coordinate tutoring support during online Continued Learning, contact Ms. Duncan at duncan_abbey@hcde.org to participate in a virtual tutoring session.  For students who receive support from our SMSS tutors, Mrs. Murdock and Mrs. Summar, they will receive direct communication regarding tutoring support they plan to provide during our online Continued Learning.
  • With our Continued Learning period extended, we have begun holding virtual IEP meetings.  If your student’s annual IEP meeting was to be scheduled during our extended Continued Learning period, our case managers will be contacting you to schedule a virtual meeting.

SAILS Math

  • Due to schools being out and online Continued Learning taking place, the SAILS Math course has been modified to allow students to progress without the typically required teacher interventions.  All Quiz and Review assignments have been set to unlimited attempts.  Assignments still must be completed in order, but students are being directed to move past the Module Reviews, AI Quizzes, and Module Tests.  The Reviews and AI Quizzes will have to be completed at a later date and the Module Tests will still need to be proctored at some point.  If you or your student has questions, please contact Mrs. Vance at vance_polyanna@hcde.org.

TN Ready/EOC State Testing Updates

  • The Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) recently announced that all TN Ready/EOC state testing has been cancelled for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Although state testing has been cancelled, we still remain committed to continuing to prepare our students for their next course and grade level through our online Continued Learning.
  • With state testing being one piece of teaching and learning, please have a discussion with your student(s) to ensure they understand our shared expectation that all assigned work completion is still required with their best effort.  Assignments will continue to be graded, feedback will continue to be given, and grades will continue to be recorded in Power School.

IB Sit-Down Exams

  • Per IB, all “sit-down” exams for May have been cancelled. 
  • Students have completed, or are in the process of completing, the required “classroom” work of the two-year program and will receive the IB diploma and/or course certificates.
  • Students will continue to work to complete all assignments and deadlines related to all coursework components they can including any unfinished Internal Assessments (IA’s), and all Arts external assessments.
  • Ms. Thomas will continue to send updates to our DP students and their parents as we receive them.
  • If you have IB Exam or DP questions, please contact Marquita Thomas at thomas_marquita@hcde.org.

ACT Testing Updates

  • The national ACT testing date of April 4 has been rescheduled for June 13.  All students registered for the April 4 date will receive an email from ACT informing them of the date change and instructions to reschedule for the June 13 date or a future national testing date for free.  There is a July date set in the event that the June date is cancelled.
  • If you have questions regarding ACT testing, please contact Sherry Dagnan at dagnan_s@hcde.org.

AP Testing Updates

  • Per the College Board, all AP tests will be administered online and will be able to test from home.
  • Each test should last approximately 45 minutes and will assess information that should have been taught through the beginning of March.
  • Students will have 2 dates to choose from to take their tests.
  • Additional information is expected in regards to the actual testing dates, test format, etc.

Dual Enrollment (DE) Information

  • An email was recently sent by Dr. Dagnan regarding fall Dual Enrollment information and a live chat/webinar session being offered by Chattanooga State.
  • Parents can visit https://www.chattanoogastate.edu/early-college for details on registering your student(s) for Dual Enrollment classes in the fall.
  • Students who want to take Dual Enrollment (DE) classes in the fall, but do not have qualifying ACT scores, should contact Aragorn Thacker (Early College at Chattanooga State Technical Clerk) at aragorn.thacker@chattanoogastate.edu or at 423-697-4427 to schedule a future Accuplacer test.  Students will need qualifying ACT or Accuplacer scores prior to the start of school in August.
  • If you have questions, please contact Sherry Dagnan at dagnan_s@hcde.org.

IB Middle Years Program (MYP) Information

  • Due to school being cancelled, Mrs. Bouldin’s MYP Parent Information Meetings have been cancelled. 
  • In an effort to provide some initial information related to our MYP program, Mrs. Bouldin will periodically share informational presentations that can be accessed online.
  • To access the current presentation titled “What is an IB Education?”, please visit https://tinyurl.com/tzz47lt .
  • If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Bouldin at bouldin_m@hcde.org.

10th Grade MYP Personal Projects

  • Our teachers are now in the process of scoring our students’ Personal Project submissions.
  • If students have questions, they should contact their supervising teacher directly or contact Melissa Bouldin at bouldin_m@hcde.org or Tracy Haydon at haydon_tracy@hcde.org.

TN Promise Mandatory Meeting

  • All tnAchieves mandatory TN Promise meetings have been cancelled and will not be re-scheduled.  All seniors and their parents should be receiving an email from tnAchieves regarding a mandatory webinar.  Students should have followed the directions in the email and viewed the webinar by April 3 at 11:59 pm CST.  The deadline was communicated several times, and students must have viewed the mandatory webinar to not lose TN Promise eligibility.
  • The April 1 community service requirement has been waived.  This means that a TN Promise student enrolling at an eligible institution for the Summer 2020 term will not be required to complete and submit community service to maintain eligibility for that term.
  • If students or parents have questions, please contact Sandy Mitchum at mitchum_s@hcde.org or Sherry Dagnan at dagnan_s@hcde.org.

Athletics and School-Related Activities

  • While schools are closed, no school-related activities can take place.  Those activities include, but are not limited to field trips, athletics events, athletics practices, school-related club activities, etc.
  • Our coaches may provide our student-athletes with workouts to be done at home.
  • Any non-school related activities that would have involved facilities use previously approved by the district are also cancelled until further notice.
  • Per HCS, our stadium track and fields are closed until further notice.
  • If you have questions about athletics, please contact Bumper Reese at reese_michael@hcde.org.

Cancelled Field Trips and Refunds

  • As we progress through our Continued Learning period, several field trips and activities that have been paid for by parents will be cancelled or re-scheduled. 
  • We will continue to post updates on field trips and activities in our Parent Updates.
  • If a paid-for field trip or activity is cancelled, parents have the option of requesting a refund, requesting that the amount paid stay at the school to apply to a later field trip, or donate the collected funds as a general school donation.
  • If requesting a refund, parents will complete the Payment Voucher form found on the school website and email the completed form to Julie Queen at queen_j@hcde.org.  Please note that refunds may take several weeks depending on the circumstances.
  • If requesting the previously paid funds to go toward a future field trip for a student, please email Mrs. Queen with that request.
  • If you want to donate your previously collected field trip funds, please email your intentions to Mrs. Queen as well.

Food Service

  • For those in need, the district will be providing cold meals at various school locations and making bus stop deliveries in some areas as well.  The location on Signal Mountain will be at Nolan Elementary.
  • All meals are provided free to children ages 0 to 18.
  • Families do not need to provide proof of school enrollment, income, or free/reduced eligibility.  Meals are provided with no questions asked.
  • Children must be present to receive the meal and extra meals cannot be provided for additional children not present.
  • Pick-up meals (breakfast and lunch) will be available at the front school entrance each day from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Low-Cost Internet for Families in Need

What Parents Can Do

  • Continue to talk with your children about the unprecedented circumstances that are upon us all.  Continue to provide them assurance that everything will be okay and remind them of the support systems that are in place through our partnership.
  • If you have not done so already, please take some time early next week to sit down with your student(s) to familiarize yourself with ManageBac and discuss how online Continued Learning will look in your home.
  • Establish clear expectations and routines with your students regarding dedicated work time, communicating with their teachers, submitting assignments in a timely manner, and other expectations you have for their purposeful engagement in our online Continued Learning.
  • Please be sure to discuss these expectations with your student(s) as they are still participating in school-related activities while at home.  If a student does not behave appropriately during a teacher’s online video conference, the teacher will report the misbehavior to the grade level administrator who will contact the parents regarding disciplinary actions.
  • Consider limiting use or having cell phones off limits during designated schoolwork times.  As we all know, removing such distractions can allow our students to focus more on the important tasks and responsibilities at hand.
  • Check in on your student’s progress in completing their assignments.  Online learning can be a challenge for some students, so they need all of our help in keeping them accountable for work completion.  Please encourage your students to not procrastinate and wait until the last minute to complete daily or weekly assignments so they can remain on-pace for completion.

Cancellations

  • HS Band Trip to Charleston (March 26-29) – Cancelled
  • 7th Grade Nature Center Field Trip (Monday, March 30) – Cancelled
  • Signal Showcase (Tuesday, March 31) – Cancelled
  • Spring Picture Day (Tuesday, March 31) – Cancelled
  • 7-12 Band Yearly Performance Assessments (April 1-2) – Cancelled
  • DP Visual Art Exhibition – Cancelled (Virtual Options Are Being Considered)
  • TN Ready/EOC State Testing – Cancelled
  • Superintendent’s Honors Banquet – Cancelled (Options Being Considered)
  • Prom – Cancelled (Possibly Re-Scheduled)
  • GA Renaissance Festival Field Trip – Cancelled
  • Special Olympics Track and Field – Cancelled
  • TN State Choral Festival – Cancelled
  • Legally Blond Spring Theatre Production – Cancelled
  • IB DP Sit-Down Exams – Cancelled
  • TN State Math Counts Competition – Cancelled
  • GAPP German Exchange Trip – Cancelled  
  • Cheerleading Camp – TBD

Contacts

In closing, we want to thank all of our families for all you do to support your students and our school.  These are certainly unprecedented times and circumstances, but together, we will continue to partner to provide the very best for our students.  Thank you, and please be on the lookout for additional information and updates as they become available.

 

 

 



Parent Continued Learning Survey


Good Evening SMMHS Families - We want to begin by thanking you for all of your support of your students, our teachers, and our school during this very different time.  Having completed 2 weeks of our online Continued Learning period, we have developed short surveys to gather information from students, teachers, and parents as we continue to refine our procedures and supports.  We have received some amazing feedback from our students, and overwhelmingly, they cannot say enough about how appreciative they are of the support and communication they are receiving from their teachers and you as their parents during this time.  If you will, please take a few moments to complete the Parent Survey by clicking on the link below.  As always, and especially during this time, we greatly appreciate all that you do!

Parent Survey Link: https://forms.gle/4oQCFWUnQBLAAZWw7 

 

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