News

April 19, 2021

Greetings Margaret Mead Community,

At Mead, we have an exceptional community with exceptional family support.  Our family support is formalized through our Parent Teacher Association (PTA).  In this unique school year, we want to recognize the Mead Made work of our Mead PTA!  This year alone, the Mead PTA has hosted a Family Trivia Night, treated our staff to many wonderful dinners, run our Mead Spirit Wear sales, sponsored multiple Dine to Donate evenings, purchased each of our Mustangs their very own Mead water bottle to start the year, gifted a graduation memento for our eighth grade students last school year and are set to do the same again this year, and is currently planning an end-of-year event and, potentially, the return of the hot lunch program before the close of this school year.  Every great PTA’s lifeblood is their executive board.  We want to thank Rich Menzia, Prashant Gosavi, Rachel Janssen, Lorie Simon, and Christine Szarzynski for their creativity, ambition, and countless hours of volunteer work for Mead Junior High School.  As we welcome a new executive board for next school year, we know that the work of these five parents this year has set the stage for assured PTA success moving forward!  The strength of the Mead PTA is a great example of our continued work towards our school-wide goals of Fostering Academic Achievement and Creating a Positive Culture.  Please read below for more information about these goals. 

Fostering Academic Achievement

2021-2022 School Year Learning Model Preference Selection:  Based on the current health and safety guidance from the Illinois Board of Education and Illinois Department of Public Health, District 54 is planning to open schools on August 16 with students attending in person five days a week.  However, given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the medical needs of some students or their family members, we are also offering families the choice of remote learning for the 2021-22 school year. These students would participate in the District 54 Virtual Learning Academy.  Parents/guardians please log in to families.sd54.org using your portal log-in information by Friday, May 14, and select In-Person Learning or Virtual Learning Academy for every student in your family.  Please note that this is a full-year commitment.

  • In-Person Learning:  District 54’s plan for in-person instruction next year will be less reliant on technology. Students will engage in small group, differentiated instruction as they have in years past. While they will still have devices, they will also engage with books, write with pens and pencils, and work on hands-on projects.  Teachers leading in-person classrooms will not be assigned any remote students, and will only engage on Zoom if one of their students needs to quarantine for COVID-related reasons.  To keep our students and staff healthy, District 54 will continue to implement the mitigation strategies defined in state guidance. By adhering to these strategies, we anticipate being able to offer music concerts, a modified junior high athletics program, clubs and extracurricular activities.
  • Virtual Learning Academy:  The Virtual Learning Academy will include students from across District 54. District 54 teachers will lead these classes, but your child’s teacher may not be from their school.  The instruction will be based on the District 54 curriculum but designed specifically for remote learning. Social-emotional learning lessons will continue to be embedded in the curriculum to support the student needs during this pandemic.  Junior high students will have live instruction with teachers through Zoom for 80 minutes of language arts, 60 minutes of math, and 40 minutes each of science and social studies daily for 3.5 hours total. They will also have 40 minutes of PE and 80 minutes of electives synchronous and asynchronous.  Special education, gifted and bilingual services will be provided. However, dual language and Chinese immersion programs will not be offered in the Virtual Learning Academy. Families of students with IEPs in self-contained classrooms will receive a separate email today with more detailed information about instructional offerings next year.   Dates will be set for supply pickup in August, so that students can receive any technology, textbooks and other supplies necessary to engage in virtual learning.  Extracurricular activities will be open to students in remote learning.

Please make your selection by May 14 by logging in to families.sd54.org using your portal log-in information. If you have not created a portal account yet, please email [email protected] for assistance.  Thank you for your support and flexibility throughout this worldwide pandemic. As you may know, health and safety guidance from the state and federal government is subject to change at any time, and we cannot predict what may happen in the months ahead. However, we can promise to keep you informed and to continue to put the wellbeing of our students and staff at the forefront of our decisions.

Registration for the 21-22 School Year:  Registration for the 2021-22 school year is now open through the Infinite Campus Portal. Please login to review the current information and make any necessary changes. If you do not have a portal account, you should have received an email on March 13 inviting you to create one.  As a reminder, all families are required to prove that they live within District 54 boundaries every year.  If we are unable to verify your residency electronically, you will receive a letter by U.S. mail, which will list the residency documents you can upload through your portal or provide to the school office to complete your registration.  You are also able to pay the consumable fee for 2021-22, as well as purchase milk and sign up for the instructional device insurance through the portal.  If you believe you will qualify for the Free Lunch Program in the 2021-22 school year, and therefore will receive a fee waiver, do not pay the consumable material fee now. Applications will be available in August for the Free Lunch Program.  Should you have any questions, please contact our front office at 847-357-6000.

Eighth Grade Graduation is scheduled for Sunday, May 23, 2021.  Please see below for information about the ceremony including ordering graduation gowns. 

  • The ceremony is from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Wintrust Field, also known as the Schaumburg Boomers Stadium.  A livestream of the event will be posted to the District 54 YouTube Channel for those who do not wish to participate in person or are unable to be there that day.  All students’ names will be read during the ceremony, whether they attend in person or remotely. 
  • Due to social distancing requirements during the pandemic, we will be limiting each student to four tickets. Students will sit on the field with their classmates, while families will sit in the stands. Masks will be required for all individuals. In the event of rain, we will transition to a drive-through event with a tent in the stadium parking lot. 
  • GOWN PAYMENT IS DUE ASAP!  If your student is participating in the ceremony at Wintrust Field, they are required to order a gown in our school colors.  The gown will cost $15.00.  To pay for your Mustang’s graduation gown, please follow the directions below.  We will be ordering the same color and style gowns that we have used in past Mead Graduation ceremonies; so, please feel free to reuse a gown that you currently own again for this year’s ceremony.  Please note that District 54 does NOT have graduation caps as part of our ceremonies—only gowns.  To pay for your graduation gown, please visit our parent portal HERE to visit our School Store and follow the steps below.  If you prefer to pay for your student’s graduation gown with cash or check, then please stop by the Mead office during office hours Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 3:30 pm to make payment.    

Student Attendance:  All students are expected to be present for learning daily.  Please read below for student attendance reminders: 

  • Attendance will be taken daily, periods one through nine.
  • If your child is unable to participate in learning either virtually or in-person, please call the Mead attendance line at 847-357-6002.  Please ensure you call even if your child is missing only part of the day (for example, to attend a doctor’s appointment).   
  • If your child is expected to be at Mead for in-person instruction and they will need to attend virtually instead, please call the attendance line to inform us. 
  • Reminder that parents/guardians began receiving an automated email when their child has been marked absent from a class.  The purpose of this communication is to provide daily, real time information to parents regarding their child’s attendance to each class period.  In the event you have contacted our front office to inform us that your child will not be attending school for the day, then you will not receive the automated email.
  • We encourage parents to check the Infinite Campus Parent Portal on a daily basis to see a more detailed breakdown of your child’s attendance and academic progress.  

Technology Tips:

  • D54 Virtual Learning Website and Technology Support:  Please visit our Virtual Learning Website to find helpful resources you and your student 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.
  • Troubleshooting if you are having Chromebook issues:  Please remind your student to completely power down their Chromebook and charge it each night.  By completely powering down the Chromebook each night, when your student 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 student 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 student 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.

Creating a Positive Culture

 

PTA:  Please register as an official Mead PTA member by clicking the link here: Member Hub.  Please visit the Mead PTA Facebook page for more information about our fantastic parent organization.  See below for more information regarding our PTA:

  • Our next PTA meeting is Tuesday, May 11 at 6:00 pm over Zoom and our General Membership meeting where we install the 21-22 Executive Board is on Monday, May 24 at 6:00 pm in-person before the seventh grade band concert. 
  • Amazon Smile: Amazon has a program that donates 0.5% of all your purchases to a charity of your choice – at NO COST to you.  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.  Also, if you log into your Amazon Smile page and then choose Amazon Fresh from the menu, your Amazon Fresh order will result in a donation to Mead JHS.  Please see the attached document HERE for specific instructions on this setup.

2021 Summer Enrichment Opportunities:  Summer is right around the corner and the perfect way to enjoy it is to join a Summer of 54 camp! Your child can build robots, design a t-shirt, learn a new sport, brush up on music skills, and so much more! T-shirts are included with registration, which is now available in your Parent Portal. Seats fill up fast so sign up now to be a part of the Summer of 54 Camp family! If you would like more information on each camp and the courses, please click on 2021 Summer of 54 Camp Brochure.

SEL Survey:  District 54 is committed to ensuring not only the academic success of each child, but also their social-emotional wellbeing. Similar to this winter, we are asking for your insight as a parent/guardian in creating the most well rounded picture of your child’s strengths and opportunities for growth. To gather your perspective, District 54 will send families of students in grades 3-8 an email link for each child to the D54 Social Emotional Learning Survey on Monday, April 26.  Thank you in advance for participating in this survey, as we believe the home-school collaboration is critical to best support your child’s overall well-being. 

Mead Made Spirit Wear:  Our Mead PTA is selling Mead Spirit Wear beginning today and running through Wednesday, April 21—please see below for the Spirit Wear offerings for sale right now!

Please see below for two ways that you can shop for Spirit Wear and place your order:

  • Mead School Store: Please log into your Infinite Campus Parent Portal HERE to place your Mead Spirit Wear order through our School Store by following the steps below: 

  • Spirit Wear Order Form:  Please open the order form HERE and follow the steps below:
    • Indicate the item(s) you want to order on the form and then complete the reset of the order form
    • Submit the order form with a personal check made out to “Mead PTA” by dropping it off at the Mead office, sending it with your student to drop off in the office, or mailing it to Mead JHS Attn: Mead PTA 1765 Biesterfield Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007 

Ordering Pictures from Picture Day:  If you would like to order your student’s photographs from the Lifetouch Picture Day in March, then please do one of the following:

DUE April 30: Last Day to Purchase 2020-2021 Mead Yearbook:  Please do not miss out on this memorable keepsake to commemorate this unique year.  The yearbook is 52 pages and has a soft cover.  We will have an August ship date so that we can include as much of this year as possible.  The cost per book is $20.00.  To make it easier to purchase, you can now buy your yearbook through your Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  Please login into your Portal account by clicking HERE and look for the School Store to make your purchase.  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 student—we will accept posed photos of students participating in virtual learning or any of the wonderful after school clubs and sports that Mead has to offer.  Pictures should only include your Mead student in them (social distancing guidelines should be followed with all pictures).  Once you have collected some pictures of your student, please see the attached DOCUMENT for how to upload them to the ReplayIt site via Jostens.  Reminder that District 54 has also arranged with Lifetouch that the photograph taken of your student during Picture Day on March 31 will be used for the 2020-21 Mead Yearbook.  If your student was unable to attend Picture Day, Lifetouch and Shutterfly have come together to assist with student photos.  Please see the following information for further reference: Snaps @ Home.pdf   If you have any questions at all, please contact Julie Morrison ([email protected]) or Amelia Reimel ([email protected]).

District 54 Happiness Gifts:  To celebrate District 54 Happiness Month, District 54 has purchased a gift for every student!  Our in-person students received their gift last week.  Our remote students can stop by Mead during regular school hours to pick their gift up—simply come to door 1 and ring the bell and one of our secretaries will let you in to retrieve your gift!

Social Emotional Learning:  At Mead, we have been talking about Personal Emotions and would like to share ways you can continue the learning at home.  The following questions/scenarios can be completed anytime.  Talking with your children will reinforce the social emotional life skills needed. We hope you enjoy the valuable discussions with your children:

  • Ask your child to explain The Doubler. Complete this activity as a family. 
  • Spend time retelling happy family memories or stories. Use pictures or objects as conversation starters. 
  • How can you maintain a positive mindset when you initially fail at a task that you have to continue working on?
  • What strategies can you use to manage your own emotions?

School District 54 Food Pantry at Mead:  The D54 Food Pantry at Mead is ready to serve our District 54 families.  Although you will not be able to come into the pantry due to COVID restrictions, you will be able to place an order online and pick up at the pantry site.  Please click on this link to place your order online.  If you have any questions, please call (847) 357-6000.  Our D54 Food Pantry Supervisors at Mead are Sherry Scheel and Beth Knief.  You can also access other community food distribution centers available for our Mead families:

  • Willow Creek Mobile Food Truck:
    • Muir Elementary School 1973 Kensington Ln, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 from 4:00-5:00 pm every Tuesday
    • Keller Jr. High School 820 Bode Rd, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169 from 4:00-5:00 pm every Friday
  • For our families of students who qualify for Free & Reduced Lunch, please visit the following locations open every Thursday from 4:00-5:00 pm:
    • Palatine HS:  1111 N. Rohlwing Road Palatine, Il 60074
    • Fremd HS: 1000 S. Quentin Road Palatine, IL 60067
    • Conant HS: 700 E. Cougar Trail Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
    • Schaumburg HS: 1100 W. Schaumburg Road Schaumburg, IL 60194
    • Hoffman HS: 1100 W. Higgins Road Hoffman Estates, IL 60169

District 54 has set up a District 54 Food Pantry Donation page for families to donate money through the Infinite Campus Portal.  To make a monetary donation, please log in to the Infinite Campus Portal HERE

Important upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, April 19 – Friday, April 21:  Illinois Science Assessment (8th grade only)
  • Monday, May 10:  Spring MAP
  • Friday, May 21:  Last day of school for eighth grade students
  • Sunday, May 23:  Eighth grade graduation
  • Friday, May 28:  Last day of school for seventh grade students

Please visit our 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 student’s educational success.

Scott