August 10, 2020

Greetings Margaret Mead Community,

At Mead, the unique start to the 20-21 school year has presented us with three important opportunities.  An opportunity to connect with our Mustangs.  An opportunity to support our Mustangs.  An opportunity to engage with our Mustangs.  Although the conditions we are facing will certainly provide challenges, the Mead staff commits to a “Mead Made” start of the year full of learning and growth for our students at Margaret Mead Junior High.  Mead is known for a tradition of academic excellence and we will do whatever it takes to continue this tradition within the virtual learning platform.  We look forward to working with you as we fulfill our two success criteria of Fostering Academic Achievement and creating a Positive School Culture.  To meet our goals, it is our desire to provide quality programs for our students so that they continue to achieve the academic excellence that the community has come to expect from Mead.   I would like to highlight a few key instructional programs that allow us to provide your child with a high quality educational experience at Mead whether in-person or in a virtual learning platform:

  • All of our students will have balanced instruction in language arts for 80 minutes a day, balanced instruction in mathematics for 60 minutes a day, and balanced instruction in social studies and science for 40 minutes a day.  We have found that these instructional time allotments are necessary to meet the needs of our students. 
  • All of our students will be receiving literacy and mathematics curriculum aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards.  These past several school years, we have seen strong results in student achievement and growth that supported the use of these curricular materials.
  • All of our students will be receiving social studies curriculum aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards and science curriculum aligned to both the Illinois Learning Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
  • All of our students will begin receiving innovative instruction through “problem-based learning” that requires students to work together to solve real-world problems by using communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. 
  • All of our students will be supported at Mead through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).  As educators, we acknowledge that students feel more comfortable and excel academically when they are taught and reminded how to best interact in academic and social situations at school.  At Mead, we teach and remind students what it looks like to be respectful, responsible, and safe in all school-related settings. 
  • All of our students will receive social-emotional education through our District 54 Social-Emotional Learning curriculum.  As educators, we recognize the importance of helping to develop high character in our students as they pass through this important time in their maturation.  At Mead, we teach students about matching behavior with values, learning from mistakes, speaking honestly and kindly, making the most of every moment, making your dreams happen, taking responsibility for actions, being willing to do things differently, and living your best life. 
  • The 2020-21 Virtual Learning platform is focused on the following instructional priorities: Connections (establishing relationships), Engagement (Guaranteed and viable high quality virtual curriculum that includes daily live lessons), and Support (differentiated instructional and social-emotional support).  In the Virtual Learning platform, your child should expect to see their teachers daily via Zoom or Google Meet.  In addition, students will be assessed for their learning and issued grades aligned to standards. 

Each new school year provides us with an opportunity to improve and continuously meet the needs of our students and families.  Mead will be successful because of the partnership we have with you—now more than ever!  With the continued commitment from students, staff, and community, we expect the same high levels of achievement and quality instruction this year as we focus on sustaining that standard of excellence at Mead.

I want to inform you of important upcoming dates:

  • Monday, August 17 and Tuesday, August 18  V-Learning Instructional Material Pick-Up days when you pick up a “Welcome to Mead” folder, textbooks, and other materials (more information to come later this week about these days)
  • Wednesday, August 19  Virtual Curriculum Night at 6:00 pm (more information to come on this night)
  • Monday, August 24  First day of attendance for ALL students through V-Learning

Please remember that our staff is here to assist with your transition into the new and unique school year.  If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to let us know.  It will be my pleasure to serve you and your student this school year as the principal at Margaret Mead.  Do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance throughout the school year.


M. Scott Ross