Principals' Message

As you know, Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As we remember and celebrate Dr. King and his tireless efforts as an advocate of the American ideals of liberty, equality, and justice for all, let us also take action and honor our IB mission. 

His wife Coretta Scott King has said, “We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. The holiday must be substantive as well as symbolic. It must be more than a day of celebration ... Let this holiday be a day of reflection, a day of teaching nonviolent philosophy and strategy, a day of getting involved in nonviolent action for social and economic progress.”

Central to the IB philosophy and Meridian are the following IB learner profile traits and practices: reflection, open mindedness, caring, and service learning. This day is a call to action, not just remembrance. 

In our present times, we reflect and acknowledge that racism, bias, and inequalities are ever present. Let us come together as a force, actively working towards not just remembering the Dream of Dr. King, but making it a reality. Let's seek to make a positive difference in our local community and the world beyond through service

Meridian is committed to embracing the different attributes, experiences and backgrounds of all our students, staff, families and larger Meridian community. Further, we are dedicated to ensuring that everyone within our school and extended family has equal opportunity, regardless of the color of their skin, their gender, sexuality or religious beliefs to realize and embrace their unique potential. We have shared in prior newsletters links to our webpage and information regarding the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

MLK day should not be a “thing” we “do” this time of the year. It represents who we are, what we stand for, and practice regularly. Our efforts and our work for achieving a safe, more equitable school, is our promise to all. 

For more information on the Martin Luther King Day of Service, see the Holidays and Holy Days section at the end of this Lions Share.
Meridian Equity Update - Student Assemblies

As we move forward with our work in equity, Meridian faculty will lead discussions for our students that define racism and the harm it causes to all. Secondary grade-level assemblies are being scheduled next week.

To quote Dr. Rosanna Barrett, Meridian parent,
"… Equity includes addressing the concerns and needs of those who are most affected while maintaining support to those who are not. Racism does affect all of us, creating divisions between groups of people because of misinterpretation of differences. I pray that we can find common ground."
Change to Asynchronous Days in Spring 2021 Semester
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TEA has issued a clarification regarding Asynchronous days (such as the one we had on December 11). We had announced that we would have Asynchronous days on January 29 and February 1, and April 23 and 26. In its clarification, however, TEA stated that we cannot have consecutive Asynchronous school days. 

We have reworked our plan so that, between asynchronous days and holidays, there are regular breaks (with fewer breaks in April and May due to STAAR and IB testing).

These will be:

February 1
February 12
March 5
April 30

Please see the AB Day Calendar for the Asynchronous days (in purple), as well as the A-days, B-days, and AB days.
Course Selection for 2021-2022 School Year

Now that we are in the spring semester, we start looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year! In January, we begin meeting with parents about the transition to the next grade, and counselors and administrators visit classes to discuss course selection.

Please see the Course Selection Guide for 2021-2022. This guide contains flow charts that show the course options each year based upon courses taken the previous year (definitely worth a look, on pages 9-14), as well as course descriptions and details on the Middle Years and Diploma Programs.

For more details on school academic policies and procedures, including graduation requirements and high school grade point average, see the Academic Program of Studies 2020-2021.

Parent Diploma Program Information Meeting for 8th-10th Grade: Jan. 19
Tuesday, January 19, we will hold an IB Diploma Program information night for parents. 

  • 6-7 pm: For 8th-9th grade parents regarding general IB Diploma Program information
  • 7:15-8:30 pm: For 10th grade parents regarding IB Diploma Program and 2021-2022 course scheduling information

All parents are welcome to attend either portion. The meetings will be held via Zoom.

Meeting ID: 889 8370 2039
Passcode: 960742
PSAT Makeup Jan. 26; Action Required
10th & 11th grade students who did not take the PSAT in October may take the exam January 26. Students cannot take the PSAT twice in the same academic year.

Paige Bender e-mailed students who did not take the PSAT in October to find out if they will take the January PSAT. Please respond as quickly as possible to help us plan for space and staff.
 
The PSAT test is a practice test for the SAT. Sophomores take the PSAT for practice. Juniors who have exceptionally high scores may qualify for National Merit Scholarships. If you have concerns about coming to campus to take the PSAT but would like to practice for the SAT, students can instead do timed practice tests on the College Board website. Additionally, Khan Academy has partnered with College Board for free PSAT and SAT preparation.
 
Email Paige Bender or Ms. Gregg with questions about the PSAT.
7th Grade Hearing and Vision Screenings
 
The Health Team will conduct the state-mandated hearing and vision screenings through 7th graders' PE classes Monday, January 25 and Tuesday, January 26. 
 
Please remind students who wear glasses to bring them on those dates. 
 
If you have any questions, please reach out to Patricia Crawley, LVN.
Requesting Changes of On Campus/Distance Learning Mid-Quarter
 
Now that the 3rd quarter has begun, parents/guardians 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.
Middle School Spelling Bee Results

Ten students from 6th through 8th grade represented Middle School in the Meridian School Spelling Bee last Wednesday. Shrethan Botla got a perfect score of 25/25 and will represent the Middle school in February for the semi-finals. Congratulations, Shrethan!
College Board Opportunity Scholarships

The College Board Opportunity Scholarships program is now open to all juniors (class of 2022)! Since 2018, nearly one million students have joined this program, which provides students with a digital college planning guide and chances to earn $500 for each action they complete. When students complete all six steps, they earn a chance at a $40,000 scholarship.

Students whose families earn less than $60,000 per year have double the chances to earn scholarships. High school juniors can visit These scholarship awards are random drawings based on completion of the steps for getting ready for college, and juniors can begin the process now by building a list of at least 6 colleges on their College Board Big Future account. High school juniors can visit cb.org/opportunity to join.
Upcoming Events and Useful Links
Events At-a-Glance
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  • January Cafeteria Calendar: Breakfast and Lunch and Distance Learning menus
  • MLK Day of Service (no school): 1/18
  • IB Diploma Program Parent Meetings for 8th-10th grade: 1/19
  • Secondary Principals Coffee: 1/25
  • Commitment Forms Due (look for separate email today): 1/31
  • Asynchronous Day: MOVED to 2/1
  • Overview of secondary events; subject to change
Holidays and Holy Days

Makar Sankrati is a HIndu harvest festival that began Thursday. Bahá’í World Religion Day is January 17. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service encourages American citizens to volunteer their time making their community better. Timkat, celebrated in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, commemorates the baptism of Jesus January 19.

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: Laura Docherty
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