Back to school info for MCS parents

Straight from the principals desk

Message From the Principal

Good Afternoon MCS Families:

Ready or not, the start of school is within reach!  With the start of the year comes a wealth of questions.  This communication is an attempt to answer some of those.  I will start by saying that the most important pieces of the first day and week of school are all about showing up and feeling welcome.  We will do everything possible on our end to make your child feel welcome at MCS.  If I fail to answer your question below, please do not hesitate to send me an email with your questions.

What does drop off and pick up look like this year?

Drop off will be closer to normal this school year.  Students can be dropped off starting at 7:40AM.  To drop off please use the Church Street pull in.  There are many people who will be using this location to drop off, please have your child ready to exit the vehicle.  Students will go to a designated zone on the playground based on their grade level.  There will be supervision in each zone.  There will be staff members available during the first week of school to help your children make it to their zones.

Pick up will be similar to last school year.  Students who are picked up by parents will be assigned a post around the Norwich Green.  We ask that you be prompt and at the post by 3:10PM to pick up your child.  This practice was not only a perfect way to keep distanced, but also was a super efficient way to dismiss.  Teachers will communicate your child’s post number prior to the start of the school year.  Bus students will wait on the playground until the buses arrive.  We ask that students picked up from school and walkers not use the playground directly after school in order to allow us to ensure that all students get where they need to be safely.    

What supplies does my child need to bring?

In most instances, all your child will need is a positive attitude!  It is never a bad idea to send a water bottle, snacks, and weather appropriate clothing.  It is always fun to bring new pencils or pens.  In some instances, teachers will request specific supplies.  You will know that through communication directly with your child’s teacher(s).  

Does my child need to wear a mask at all times?

At the time that this note is coming your way, your child will be wearing a mask inside the building.  The VT guidance encourages not wearing masks outdoors.  That being said, there have been a number of families who have asked if their child can wear a mask outdoors.  The answer is, certainly!  If you would like your child to wear a mask outdoors, please communicate that to your teacher and we will do our best to encourage mask wearing.  If the guidance changes, we will notify you and adjust as necessary.  At this time, we will continue to wear masks inside until 80% of our student population have been vaccinated.

How do I contact the school?  Who is the best person to talk to about my child?

The best person to contact about your child is always the classroom teacher.  They are best reached via email.  All staff emails are first and last name @hanovernorwichschools.org.  If you have an urgent question, they please call the front office and Joy Smollin will assist you.  Because teachers are busy teaching during the school day, they are not always available to check email.  You should always allow a 24 hour turnaround time with email communication.

Will there be an open house this year?

At this time we are going to take the first two weeks of school to let the dust settle and allow staff and students to get school off to a great start.  At that point, if the covid numbers allow, we will have grade level open house evenings.  This will be a time for families to visit their child’s classroom.  We will not be having a school-wide open house this year.  I know that we all long for the time when everyone came together as a community to celebrate the start of the school year.  At this time, I am going to choose safety.  

What measures are in place to keep my child safe?

We are following VT guidance, which is simple but based upon our past experiences and science.  We will wear masks indoors, stay home when sick, wash hands and use good hygiene, there will be limited mixing of students, cohorting on the playground, 3 foot distance when possible, and additional cleaning of our school.  As the guidance changes, so will our approach.  Each time a change happens, you will be notified.  

How often will MCS students be using the Norwich Town Forest?

Unfortunately, we will have a hiatus from using the Norwich Town Forest.  The School District is working with the Select Board to determine funding that will make the trails accessible to all of our students.  At this time, the trail system is not accessible to all members of the MCS community.  We hope to resume use of the Norwich Town Forest as soon as possible.     

Can I visit MCS or volunteer in my child’s classroom?

At this time, we are limiting the number of non-school employees in the building.  Please be sure to make an appointment before coming to the school.  When you arrive, please buzz in and let us know how we can help.  As the school year begins, we will consider how to safely incorporate volunteers.

Will there be health screening this school year?

Yes, we will be asking that all families conduct health screening at home prior to sending your child off to school.  If your child has any signs of sickness, please keep them home from school.  If a child becomes ill at school or shows any symptoms of sickness, we will call to have you pick up your child from school.  Thank you in advance for taking the health screening seriously.  This is our first safety measure and depends upon your help.

What is the story with the buses?

Buses will be running their normal routes.  Masking will still be required on busses.  The bus schedule will be released this week and can be found on our website. If you have any questions about buses, please contact Jamie Teague at the SAU office.  

Will we know if there is a positive COVID case at MCS?

Yes, if there is a positive case at MCS we will send a notice.  The notice will come from Robin Steiner, our Covid Coordinator.  We will NOT be able to give details about the grade level of the student or any details, but will let you know that a student has tested positive.  

What will recess look like this school year?

This school year we will have recess in grade level groups.  This allows more students to see one another.  Students are not required to wear masks at recess, but are welcome to do so if they wish.  The playground will be divided into zones to keep grade levels cohorted.  

What can you do to help this school year be successful and keep school in person?

Last school year, MCS families were a pleasure to work with and made managing a pandemic easier.  Please help by continuing to be an amazing community willing to help out, be flexible, and trust us.  Please take the health screening seriously, keep a positive attitude, reach out when you have questions, and continue to be a partner with our school.  Together, we will allow students to have a safe educational experience, be happy, and enjoy the school year.    

As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Enjoy the remaining week of summer,

Shawn and Greg

News from the PTO

Welcome all from the MCS PTO to the 2021-2022 school year! We have some great events planned to start the year, join if you can.

September 

  1. PTO meeting, Norwich Inn front room, Thursday September 2nd, 7pm

  2. New Parent Night, Thursday September 9th, MCS 6-7pm

Informational session for new parents, to help acquaint them with MCS. 

  1. Welcome to Norwich Fair, Saturday September 11th, 1-3 on the grounds of Norwich Historic Society (rain day 12th) This event will be for the families that have recently moved to town, though may be useful to all Norwich residents. The Fair will provide useful information and resources for Norwich Residents. Many local organizations, including the PTO, will be there to share the knowledge of the many and varied services available to all so near to home.

Calling All Volunteers! 

The PTO needs your help with the following: 

  1. Supplemental Food Project

Volunteers stock MCS with healthy food for children who have mishaps with their lunches or snacks. 

  1. Class Room Representatives

A representative from each class serves as a communication liaison between the teacher, class parents and caregivers, and the PTO, sharing information about both the PTO and class events. 

  1. Norwich Public Library Display  

A public relations program that displays MCS students’ work in the front entrance of the Norwich Public Library.

  1. Book Buzz

Based on the popular Pages in the Pub event for adults, Book Buzz allows kids to be the experts and present their favorite books.  Students in grades 4-6 review books they recommend for preschool and elementary aged kids to read or receive for the holidays.  Books can be ordered at the end of the event from the Norwich Bookstore with the added benefit that 20% of the proceeds go to the MCS PTO.

If interested in one of these positions or would like more information please email marioncrosspto@gmail.com


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