Principals' Message

Middle School Principal Melina Berduo has remained out on medical leave due to continued health concerns after suffering a COVID-19 infection in early summer. Assistant Principal Crystal Lane has stepped in to help as Acting Principal while Ms. Berduo continues to heal.  

Ms. Berduo has not had an active case for many months now, but her recovery continues. Health concerns with COVID-19 are very real, and we are grateful for all in our community for putting safety first and adhering to the health and safety protocols. The steps you take to wear face coverings properly, wash your hands frequently, and monitor your health and your children's health have profound effects. 

We wish Ms. Berduo the best as she takes time to heal, and we thank Ms. Lane for stepping up to the helm in the interim. We truly consider ourselves lucky to have such amazing administrative staff on campus. 
How to Request Changes of Learning Status (On Campus/Distance Learning)
Change of Status for Q3

Each Quarter, families have the opportunity to change students’ status, switching from Distance Learning to On Campus, or vice-versa. If you wish to change your students’ status for Quarter 3 and have not yet done so, you may do so through 11:59 pm Monday, Dec. 7. Forms were sent to the primary parent on enrollment forms on Nov. 20. We share the link here, but please confirm that another adult in your household has not completed the form before filling it out so that we do not get duplications.

Change of Status During the Quarter

After the deadline for changing status has passed or the quarter has begun, you should use this form (MWS On Campus / Off Campus Change) to request a change of status. Requests to switch from Distance Learning to On Campus will be evaluated based upon space available, and you will be contacted if the request is approved.

Requests to switch from On Campus to Distance Learning will always be approved. Please assist us in maintaining proper record keeping, however, by completing the MWS On Campus / Off Campus Change form.

Temporary Change of Status

To request a temporary change of status to Distance Learning (for example, due to the need to quarantine), parents, please complete the MWS On Campus / Off Campus Change form.

Students should not simply email their teachers--the form should be completed first so that we know that there is parental consent for the switch.

Please explain in the comments that you are requesting a temporary move to distance learning, the reason for the change, and the requested duration of the change.
Free Meal Participation through End of School Year
Are your students enjoying the delicious free breakfasts and lunches from our Meridian Cafe Crew? 

We are currently operating under the Seamless Summer Operation Waiver now through the end of the school year. 

This waiver allows us to offer Breakfast and Lunch meals at no cost to enrolled students and any children in our area that are 18 years and younger.

Find menus, distance learning pick up info, and more on the website.
Asynchronous Days

In an effort to relieve stress on both teachers and students, the administrative executive team has recently approved five days of asynchronous instruction, where students will not come to school and regular class Zoom sessions will not take place. Though students will need to turn in a work product to be counted present on these days, the idea is to avoid creating extra work for teachers and students. In general, students will use this time to complete previously assigned work and / or study for assessments the following week.
 
We will have staff on campus to monitor any students who need to come to school on the asynchronous days. Our hope is, however, that most families will choose for their students to stay home, minimizing the staffing need of monitoring students on campus, and allowing teachers to stay at home as well. 
 
The first asynchronous day will be Friday, December 11 (the last day prior to finals week). This should be a review day for students.
 
Please let us know whether or not you will be bringing students to school on December 11 by completing this form.
 
Because December 11 will be an asynchronous day, and this eliminates a B-day, Thursday, December 10 will be an AB-day  with all eight classes meeting. Here is the Bell Schedule for the AB Day Thursday, December 10.
 
There are two more asynchronous days planned for mid-way through the third quarter.  Friday, January 29 and Monday, February 1 bookend Saturday and Sunday, effectively making this a four day weekend.
 
Another two asynchronous days are planned for mid-way through the fourth quarter: Friday, April 23 and Monday, April 26 (also making a four day weekend).
New MS Bell Schedule (Goes into Effect 2nd Semester) 

The Middle School Building will be switching to two-way hallways, and Middle School will be adopting a new bell schedule with more staggering of passing periods with the goal of reducing crowding in the hallways. 

At its core, the new Middle School schedule is still based upon the High School schedule, with core 85 minute class time for instruction and 10 minutes for passing periods. To stagger MS passing periods within that 10 minute span, however, students in the different grade levels will be held in class for varying amounts of time, which makes it appear on paper that classes vary in length from 85 to 91 minutes. Lunch periods (3rd / 7th) are somewhat longer to accommodate B lunch.
Athletics Update

Because Williamson County is in the Red / Uncontrolled Community Spread phase, Meridian has suspended indoor sports, with the potential for cancellation, until further notice.  See a note from Meridian detailing why.
  
  • Volleyball - Moved outdoors (weather permitting); new schedule and location
  • Dance Team  - Moved outdoors (weather permitting); updated schedule
  • Swimming – Cancelled
  • Fall Cross Country - Unaffected
  • Fall Tennis - Unaffected
  • Basketball –
  • Condensed season possible after Winter Break.
  • Registration ends January 6
  • Learn more
Counselors' Corner - Presentation on Suicide Prevention Dec. 7
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Given the stresses of this year on everyone, and our students in particular, we want to do all we can to offer support to our students.

We will host an optional discussion on suicide prevention for 9th-12th grade students during Advisory on Monday, December 7. High school counselor Carrie Proctor and Mental Health Awareness Club sponsor Tom Oldfield will share warning signs to be aware of that might appear in friends, as well as resources.
 
Since this is a sensitive topic, we want to make sure parents are informed and have an opportunity to discuss with their students in advance. While talking about suicide has been shown to be successful in helping students deal with these issues, it can also be upsetting for some. Some students may be triggered due to their own struggles with depression or it may remind them of loved ones lost to suicide.

For these reasons, the talk is optional and students will self select to attend by filling out an interest form in the advisory slides. Ms. Proctor will be available for the rest of the day to talk to students who need support or want to further discuss the topic. Please consider checking in with your student in person if they are attending the talk via distance learning; this is a great way to open up discussion about a difficult topic.
 
If you have questions, please reach out to Carrie Proctor. You can also learn how to talk to your student about issues like these at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and look through helpful resources.
Upcoming Events and Useful Links
Upcoming Holidays, Holy Days and Observances
December 7 marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. Read on

December 8, Bodhi Day, is a holy day celebrated in many Buddhist traditions commemorating when the historical Buddha is believed to have first achieved enlightenment. Read on
Events At-a-Glance
  • December Cafeteria Calendar: Breakfast and Lunch options
  • Giving Tuesday: Dec. 1 (You can still support Meridian at any time)
  • Asynchronous Learning Day: Dec. 11
  • End of Semester: Dec. 17
  • Winter Break: Dec. 18-Jan. 5
  • Overview of secondary events; subject to change
Student or Curricular Concerns

Assistant Principal grades 6-7: Matthew Castaneda
Assistant Principal grades 8-10: Crystal Lane
MYP Coordinator grades 6-10: Kristen Machczynski
Assistant Principal grades 11-12, IB DP Coordinator: Stela Holcombe
Secondary Special Education Coord: Haley Weisbrod
Secondary Librarian: Tina Van Winkle

Principals

Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo
High School Principal: Charles Ryder
Counselors

Middle School Counseling: Nicole “Coco” Cole
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg

Additional Contacts

Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman
Cafe: Chef Leslie Sterzinger