Good morning Murch families,
It is Monday, August 2nd, and this is my first communication regarding the upcoming school year. Please refer to my blog, “Straight from Mr. C.” which is found on the Murch webpage at www.murchsool.org. I will be posting information on a regular basis.
The big questions on many parents’ minds are, “Will our kids be attending school in person and what happens if there is a positive case of covid while students are in session?” and, “What are the rules for travel?” I have been advised by DCPS to hold off on final communications regarding this information until DC Health provides final guidance to DCPS.
What I do know is that all students and teachers will start school in person on August 30th, unless a student has been approved for virtual learning due to a medical condition. All students, staff, and parents are expected to wear masks while on the Murch campus. I have created a master schedule that will accommodate all students and teachers with safety measures being adhered to.
Student class assignments will be sent via email by the end of the week of August 9th (from MurchClassPlacement@gmail.com) and if you haven’t received an email by the 13th, reach out to the class placement team at MurchClassPlacement@gmail.com for your child’s placement.
Along with the assignment, you will receive a student profile form which is essential that you complete. It is your first conversation with your child’s teacher and will provide insights which will help teachers to develop child-centered plans prior to the first day of school. The information you submit will be confidential and will not be shared with anyone but your child’s teacher. The exception to this is if your child receives services from other teachers than the homeroom teacher (i.e., special education, EL students) the information will be shared with them as well. We are doing this because we want to be equipped with the knowledge about your child that can make a difference as school starts.
We are in the process of making final decisions as we await guidance form DCPS on:
- Arrival and dismissal
- Lunch and recess
- Field trips
- After school programs
Along with the staff, we will be discussing and creating new policy for homework and student feedback on completed work along with weekly progress reports you will receive on Friday of each week.
Teachers come back to school on Friday, August 20th where will begin to cement transition plans for the first three weeks. All DCPS schools are creating a “First Three Weeks” plan to help all students transition to in person learning. This includes a targeted focus on academics, social emotional development, and relationships. This Three-Week plan will be published prior to August 25th.
I will be hosting orientation evenings for parents in grades K-5. Pre-K will have a separate orientation. This orientation is for parents only. The schedule is:
Tuesday August 17th, grades K-1, 7:00pm.
Wednesday, August 18th, grades 2-3, 7:00pm
Thursday, August 19th, grades 4-5, 7:00pm.
I will host these three events in person but will also be simulcasting in case you want to participate in the event from home. Information will be shared on how to join the event online. Information will be posted on my blog which will explain how to join a live event from home.
We will hold our annual Sneak-Peek on Friday, August 27th. This is an opportunity to see your child’s classroom, meet the teacher, and drop off school supplies. We will make a final decision on how we will schedule this event once we receive the guidelines from the CDC/DC Health.
Finally, we have several new staff members joining us for the 2021-22 SY. As you may recall, Ms. Cresswell and Dr. Lyon retired at the end of last year, and Ms. Kelly and Ms. Silver are moving out of state to start new adventures. Ms. Bell accepted a position as the Vice-President of the teacher’s union, and Ms. Gainey accepted a position working at Ron Brown High School. In addition, Jenn Allen is moving from kindergarten to become a reading specialist and Sophie Schwadron is moving from kindergarten to pre-K4. Thank you again and good luck to all who have started their new adventures.
Assistant Principal, Penelope Miller accepted a position as a resident principal in DCPS’ RISE program. In this role, the Rise Resident Principal receives targeted coaching and job-embedded development designed to help accelerate the acquisition of the competencies critical to the principalship. We will miss Assistant Principal Miller and wish her the best of luck in her new role.
Devario Hawkins, former Manager of Specialized Instruction has been named the new assistant principal where he will continue to focus on families whose students received specialized instruction in addition to responsibilities he will take on as the new AP. I am excited to have Mr. Hawkins join the administrative team!
I am thrilled to introduce ten new staff members to the Murch community. Later this week, I will share a brief bio about each of our newest staff members. They are:
- Katie Webb – Pre-K4
- Raymond Pyle – Kindergarten
- Lucie Mendelson – Kindergarten
- Chloe Wellens – Kindergarten
- Karley Sessoms – 4thGrade ELA
- Marc Fry – PE/Health
- Stephanie Kay – Art
- Sam Fisk – Psychologist
- Rebecca Burton – Library/Media Specialist
- Natalie Troadec – Math Instructional Coach
There will be much more information coming your way. Continue to check my blog daily during the week of August 2nd for the most current information. Feel free to reach out and contact me with your questions. I will respond to your questions/concerns within 72 hours. Again, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great rest of your week!