News

October 13, 2020

Greetings Margaret Mead Community,

This past week, we were proudly able to show our “Mead Made” commitment to Fostering Academic Achievement and Creating a Positive Culture!  During student goal-setting conferences, it was great to see our Mustangs articulate their power to make a difference by sharing their Fostering Academic Achievement and Creating a Positive Culture goals for the school year.  If you haven’t already, please ask your child to go through their goal-setting slide deck that they created with you.  The student goal-setting process is a key component to ensuring we work together to Foster Academic Achievement and Create a Positive Culture at Mead.  Our Student Ambassadors finished their school-wide service project called, “I Stand for Change, so I Move with Mead”.  One of their chosen organizations will receive a monetary donation from Mead Junior High School thanks to our students’ incredible collective effort!  Starting this coming Monday, October 19, we are excited to enhance our Mustangs’ school year by safely welcoming back over half of our students to Mead for Hybrid In-Person learning.  Our students who will remain in full remote learning will continue to receive the same high quality virtual learning experience.  Our students who enrolled in hybrid in-person learning will have the chance to experience a more authentic junior high school experience.  We look forward to working within this mixed learning platform as we continue to look for better ways to connect-engage-support our students during this challenging time in our community.  The Mead staff is ready!  Please continue to provide us feedback as we add work through another new way of educating our Mustangs—your opinions help us better help our students!  Please read below for more information about our school-wide goals to Foster Academic Achievement and Creating a Positive Culture at Mead. 

Fostering Academic Achievement

Hybrid In-Person Learning:  As a reminder, the hybrid in-person learning model includes two full days of in-person instruction and three days of remote learning each week. This hybrid in-person learning model will allow us to lower class sizes and adhere to social distancing guidance. In addition, various safety protocols have been developed to protect our students and staff, including a daily screener, the requirement of masks and temperature checks.  As required by Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois Plan, a 100% return to in-person learning will not occur until there is broad access to a safe and effective vaccine, a highly effective treatment and/or when there are no new cases over a sustained period of time.  Full details can be found in the Reopening D54 Plan (Spanish Reopening D54 Plan). We have also created a Reopening District 54 Video, which can be shared with your children to help them better visualize the school day. A Spanish Video is also available.  Reminder that all students who are enrolled in the hybrid in-person model are required to wear a mask on the bus and during their time in school, unless there is a health risk documented by a physician. The school team will reinforce mask-wearing with reminders, visual supports, and mask breaks, when able.  Please read below for important upcoming dates about Mead’s Hybrid In-Person instruction:

  • TODAY Tuesday, October 13:  At 4:00 pm, families that have signed up for Hybrid In-Person Learning will receive an email from me informing them of their assigned group (A or B).  Group A attends Mead on Mondays and Thursdays.  Group B attends Mead on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Please know that in almost all cases, District 54 schools have used alpha ordering to determine group assignments.  So, A-L is assigned to Group A, and M-Z is assigned to Group B.  By staying consistent from school to school, District 54 has assured that our families with children in multiple schools will have their children be grouped on the same in-person days. 
  • By Friday, October 16:  I will send an email with an instructional video containing important information for our Mead families.  The video will contain safety protocols that will be in place for your child when they arrive on campus.  We will be training our Mustangs on these protocols during the opening days of hybrid in-person learning 10/19 and 10/20—we are calling these days, “Move into Mead”. 
  • Friday, October 16:  Our Mustangs will NOT attend school on this day and, instead, will participate in a School District 54 event called, “I Am Human”—please see below for more information about this special day!
  • Monday, October 19:
    • Hybrid In-Person (Group A):  When our Group A students arrive on campus, they will be directed by our staff to go to the field on the south end of Mead to meet their Advocacy teachers.  The alternate bell schedule for “Move Into Mead” is below for your reference.  On this day, our Group A Mustangs will only need to bring the following:
      • Mask
      • Lunch
      • One Kleenex box (to give to their Advocacy teacher)
      • Chromebook
    • Virtual Learning (Full Remote Learners and Group B):  Our full remote learners and Group B students on this day engage with their learning “asynchronously” where their teachers will be posting assignments for them to complete in their Google Classrooms.  Students are free to follow the schedule that works best for them on this day. 
  • Tuesday, October 20: 
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning (Group B):  When our Group B students arrive on campus, they will be directed by our staff to go to the field on the south end of Mead to meet their Advocacy teachers.  The alternate bell schedule for “Move Into Mead” is below for your reference.  On this day, our Group B Mustangs will only need to bring the following:
      • Mask
      • Lunch
      • One Kleenex box (to give to their Advocacy teacher)
      • Chromebook
    • Virtual Learning (Full Remote Learners and Group A):  Our full remote learners and Group A students on this day engage with their learning “asynchronously” where their teachers will be posting assignments for Group A and enrichment activities for full remote learners for them to complete in their Google Classrooms.  Students are free to follow the schedule that works best for them on this day. 

  • Wednesday, October 21: Virtual learning for ALL students
  • Thursday, October 22:
    • Please note that we will begin an updated and NEW bell schedule on this day for ALL students.  Please see below for the new bell schedule.
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning for Group A
    • Virtual Learning for Group B
    • Virtual Learning for Full Remote Learners
  • Friday, October 23:
    • Please note that we will continue the updated and NEW bell schedule on this day for ALL students.  Please see below for the new bell schedule.
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning for Group B
    • Virtual Learning for Group A
    • Virtual Learning for Full Remote Learners

Academic Support: The Mead staff is here to support your child’s work completion.  Please see below for ways that we can partner together to ensure your child’s academic success in this unique school year:

  • Mead Homework Website:  On a daily basis, you can see what assignments your child has to complete and to see when they have upcoming tests/assessments by visiting our Mead homepage and clicking on our Mead Homework Website—you can click on this LINK to begin using it now.  Be sure to bookmark this site to stay up on your child’s assignment list!
  • Parent Portal:  Our Infinite Campus Portal can be accessed HERE.  If you need assistance getting a Portal account, then please call our office at 847-357-6000.  On the Portal, you can access your child’s missing assignments by following the steps in the screenshot below:

  • Academic Study Halls:  Our virtual academic study clubs will also continue to be offered virtually for the remainder of the year.  If your child would like help with mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, Spanish, or just help with organization, then please have them visit our “After-School Clubs” Google Classroom and click on the link of the virtual academic study club during the day and time it is being hosted.  No permission slip is required. 

Technology Tips:

  • D54 Virtual Learning Website and Technology Support:  Please visit our Virtual Learning Website to find helpful resources you and your child can use to help troubleshoot any technology problems you are experiencing.  For more immediate concerns, please email [email protected] so that we can troubleshoot the problem via phone or email. If the problem cannot be resolved, we have a technology drop-off program. To schedule an appointment to drop off a broken Chromebook, you must first email [email protected].  Please do not stop by without an appointment. By making an appointment, we can abide by the rules of social distancing and ensure we have a replacement device ready for you when you arrive.
  • Chromebooks/Google Calendar:  For more information about Chromebooks, please click here: What is a Chromebook?  In addition, please click on this link: Parent/Community Instructions for accessing their Child’s Google Calendar for helpful information for you to help your child manage their Google Calendar. 
  • Troubleshooting if you are having Chromebook issues:  Please remind your child to completely power down their Chromebook and charge it each night.  By completely powering down the Chromebook each night, when your child turns it back on in the morning, the Chromebook will search for updates, and automatically download them.  Closing the screen each night only puts the Chromebook in a low power sleep mode.  If your child only does this, then it may cause the Chromebook to not function properly, not connect to Zoom, etc.  To properly power down the Chromebook, your child should follow the steps listed below:
    • Click on the time in the lower right corner
    • Click on the shutdown button
    • Whenever possible, plug your Chromebook into an outlet when in use.

Eighth Grade High School Transition: District 211 has posted some basic information including information about their course placement process on their website at Class of 2025 Incoming Freshman Information Page 

MAP Assessment Results:  Your child’s Virtual Fall MAP 2020 assessment results are available on your child’s Infinite Campus Portal. Please login here to view your child’s MAP assessment results and following these steps:

  • Log into the parent portal and click “More” at the bottom of the left column
  • In the middle of the screen you will see a list of options – please click on “Assessments”
  • In the upper right corner is a toggle where you can change the student to view each individual student’s information

District 211 Parent Night for Students Receiving Special Education Services:  Please see this FLYER for more information. 

Creating a Positive School Culture

PTA: Please read below for important information from our Mead PTA:

  • Dine to Donate: The PTA will be offering “Dine to Donate” nights at local restaurants weekly.  You will just need to bring the flyer that is emailed weekly or mention Mead when ordering over the phone (or type in Mead if ordering online).  Please consider dining or picking up from these restaurants on these dates to help Mead.
  • Amazon Smile:  Amazon offers a free opportunity to turn your normal Amazon.com purchases into a source of donations for our Mead PTA.  With the COVID situation, we need to find ways to raise funds for the PTA – which in turn works for your children, school and community. Here is a very simple and free method to raise funds without any work.  Most of us, and including our friends and families are using Amazon for our online purchases. Amazon has a program that donates 0.5% of all your purchases to a charity of your choice – at NO COST to you. We would like to request you and your friends to please set this up as soon as possible before you make any more purchases at Amazon. All you have to do is to (1) use https://smile.amazon.com or change your Amazon app setting to use Amazon Smile and (2) Select “Margaret Mead Jr High School PTA” as the charity  Let’s see how much Amazon can share with us over this academic year.  Please see the attached document HERE  for specific instructions on this setup, and a link to Amazon’s website that describes the program in more detail if you like.
  • Become a Member!  As evidenced above, the Mead PTA is planning on an incredible year. Another way to contribute to PTA is to register as an official Mead PTA member by clicking the link here: https://meadpta.memberhub.store/.  Please visit the Mead PTA Facebook page for more information about our fantastic parent organization!

Friday, October 16—“I Am Human”:  District 54 will provide an asynchronous day of learning on Friday, October 16.  This day will focus on activities based on the book I Am Human by well-known author Susan Verde and Art by Peter H. Reynolds.  Their book, I Am Human, is a book about embracing empathy and the potential of each day. This book and the activities for the day, encourage us to make good choices by acting with compassion and having empathy for ourselves and others. The social-emotional lesson activities will focus on being The Best Version of Me! Students will be able to select activities that support their social-emotional well-being. Our school will also have a padlet where students can share a picture, post or video of their work from the day.  The interactive link for activities will be sent to you on Friday, October 16.  This day will focus on how we learn, dream, and wonder to be the best version of ourselves. We hope you’ll join us to share how you’re connected to your friends, your family, your school, and your community. After all, we are all humans together!  

Yearbook: We are happy to announce that we will still be offering a yearbook this year! Order forms are available online on our Mead website (mead.sd54.org) or on the Jostens site (jostensyearbooks.com). The cost of the yearbook this year is $20 as our book will be a bit smaller than normal and will also be soft cover instead of our normal hardcover book.  Because of our unique school year, we will need your help to fill the book! Jostens offers a program called ReplayIt. This program will allow you to upload photos of your child participating in the wonderful after school clubs and sports that Mead has to offer. Please read the following criteria before submitting your photos:

  • Pictures should only include your Mead student in them (social distancing guidelines should be followed with all pictures)
  • Their Chromebook can be in the picture, but please don’t show any faces on Zoom
  • Please make sure the picture is as clear as possible; use a flash when necessary
  • Try to capture some candid pictures of your child participating in the club or sport
    • I.e. running for Cross Country, working on an article for Magazine Club, etc.

Once you have collected some pictures of your child, please see the attached FLYER  for how to upload them to the ReplayIt site via Jostens.  We can’t thank you enough for helping us collect pictures to fill our 2020-2021 yearbook! If you have any questions at all, please contact Julie Morrison ([email protected]) or Amelia Reimel ([email protected]). 

V-Mead Clubs:  Our V-Mead Clubs will continue to be offered virtually for the remainder of the year.  Students may join any club they are interested in by simply visiting our “After-School Clubs” Google Classroom and then clicking on the link of the club during the day and time it is being hosted.  No permission slips are required!  Our virtual club offerings this school year include Drama Club, Magazine Club, Chess Club, and Yearbook.  We look forward to our Mustangs getting involved in life at V-Mead by participating in our virtual clubs!       

Financial Support:  Recently the US Department of Agriculture approved the extension of the Summer Food Service Program.  This program allows all students, regardless of income levels, to take advantage of our free milk and lunch program.  Lunches are available on Tuesday and Thursday.

Important upcoming dates:

  • Friday, October 16:  No school (students are encouraged to participate in the D54 activity above)
  • Monday, October 19: 
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning begins for Group A
    • Asynchronous lessons for Group B and full remote learners (students follow the schedule that works for them to complete the posted assignments on this day)
  • Tuesday, October 20: 
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning begins for Group B
    • Asynchronous lessons for Group A and full remote learners (students follow the schedule that works for them to complete the posted assignments on this day)
  • Wednesday, October 21:  Virtual Learning for ALL students
  • Thursday, October 22 (new and revised bell schedule above begins this day):
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning for Group A
    • Virtual Learning for Group B and full remote learners
  • Friday, October 23:
    • Hybrid In-Person Learning for Group B
    • Virtual Learning for Group A and full remote learners
  • Tuesday, November 3:  No school
  • Tuesday, November 10:  End of First Trimester
  • November 25-27:  Thanksgiving break

Please visit our newly updated Mead website for the building calendar.  Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and watch our Mead YouTube Channel to stay updated with the latest news and information about the great things happening at Mead.  As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  Thank you for your continued support and commitment to ensuring your child’s educational success.

Scott