Ready, set, go!

Ready, set, go!
Posted on 11/18/2020
From Mrs. Deb Haag, MMS Principal

November 18, 2020 - We all knew it was coming! Students, teachers, parents, and community members had conversation after conversation about how long in-seat schooling would last due to the rise of COVID numbers. Some thought two weeks- we made it!  Some thought no more than a month- we made it! Some thought through first quarter- we made it!  Some thought Thanksgiving- we did not make it!  We were so close! When the district made the extremely hard decision to move to distance learning we knew there was a lot to do to complete the final preparations for #MakingMindsStronger from a distance.

For the past several years Mexico Middle School has worked hard to teach students how to use Google Classroom as an online platform to receive and turn in assignments. All semester teachers have spent time building fluency in the use of Google Meets, which allows teachers to connect with their classes virtually. Teachers have also had discussions and practiced relationship building and engagement techniques to help virtual classrooms seem more like a regular classroom.  

Last week was filled with distributing student supplies for at-home learning. Each student was provided a Chromebook case, charging cord, whiteboard, and dry erase marker.  If a family indicated that a hot spot was needed to learn virtually during registration, a hotspot was checked out to those families to supply internet service. Teachers then spent the week solidifying expectations when online as well as attendance expectations. Our second round of distance learning brings a new set of expectations for teachers and students. Students are expected to engage in online learning and complete assignments. Teachers are expected to move forward in the curriculum with new concepts and monitor students for mastery. 

Finally, teachers spent the end of last week reviewing the distance learning schedule with students and guaranteeing students had a solid understanding of when classes were being held and helping them organize their personal schedules. Distance learning has provided extended opportunities to teach executive function skills that will help students the rest of their lives.  

Are we ready, set, go? Yes, we are!  Both students and teachers have worked hard to be prepared to distance learn under a new framework of expectations. Today we celebrated as kids joined virtually from living rooms or kitchen tables across our community and continued #MakingMindsStronger. There were jumping jacks done, Petree dishes with antibiotics and bacteria studied, discussions about the point of view and tone in writing as well as verb tense clarification. Learning is still happening, even from home, and we could not be more proud of our students and staff for rising to the challenge of going virtual!