Principals' Message

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ... whatever affects one directly, affects everyone indirectly.”

--Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963)
Over the summer, a collective of Meridian alumni petitioned the school regarding their experiences of discrimination and prejudice while at Meridian School. We have since had conversations with current parents and students, and it is clear that we must do better in building a school culture and climate free from this injustice.  

Our upcoming Anti-Discrimination student assemblies differ from previous traditional assemblies where we all come together in the gym or cafeteria, and will instead be held via Zoom. These assemblies, and our follow-up discussions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion topics, will spark varied reactions.

It is natural to want to avoid conversations that cause discomfort. But only through the principled risk-taking, the courage of having such conversations, and our open-minded and caring listening to others, can we meet the challenge of assuring that Meridian School is a safe space for all. And in doing this, we equip our students to be responsible citizens who can artfully navigate our complex world, and enjoy a good life with others. 

As educators, we are taking steps to become more aware and proactive in uprooting racism, prejudice, and inequities at Meridian. We are engaging in professional development and evaluating current systems and practices so that we support all students equitably and assure that they feel a sense of belonging and personal value in the Meridian community.    

The presentation slides from the student assemblies are below, and will be posted to the DEI webpage. Our teachers, administrators, and counselors are here to support you and your students through these conversations. We encourage you to have conversations at home as well. You may want to read this resource from UNICEF on Talking to Your Kids About Racism.

You can also find resources on our DEI page, and watch the video we shared earlier today regarding where we are right now in making Meridian a more equitable school.
Anti-Discrimination Student Assemblies

Thursday and Friday we are holding student assemblies to address the topic of Anti-Discrimination, presented by the campus principal and grade level assistant principal.  Here is a copy of the Anti-Discrimination Assembly Slideshow. We encourage you to have a conversation with your children about this topic, and administrators and counselors will follow up with visits to advisory classes next week so that they can address student questions and concerns.
Meridian Proud Moment
On January 7-8, 2021, our seasoned Secondary Model UN team participated in the Model United Nations San Antonio (MUNSA) Conference. Five of our delegates from Meridian MUN took home awards from the conference.

Then on Saturday, January 15, the Meridian High School Debate Club participated in the Lindale Invitational Tournament. This was the club’s second tournament ever and first virtual tournament, and we won first place team! 

We are so very proud of all of the participants, in both Secondary Model UN and High School debate. Read more.
Secondary Principals Coffee Jan. 25 at 8:40 am

The Secondary Principals Coffee will be this Monday, January 25. Because we have a drill that day, the time frame will be a bit earlier. It will start at 8:40 am and last until 9:40 am.  

Meeting ID: 881 9809 3865
Passcode: 685891
10th Grade Families - Personal Project Reminder
Students in 10th grade should be working diligently on their Personal Projects, which are due in March. This may seem like a long time from now, but with all the other activities and responsibilities students have, the time will pass more quickly than we can imagine.

Please encourage your students to check in with their advisor and keep on track with making the product and writing the paper, the latter of which is happening in Mr. Manuszak’s College Readiness class. Personal Projects are awesome, and we can’t wait to see what our amazing students have dreamt up this year! 

Questions? Please reach out to Mr. Manuszak, Personal Project Coordinator or Ms. Machczynski, MYP Coordinator.
10th Grade Families - IB Diploma Presentations in College Readiness Classes
Mrs. Holcombe will visit the 10th grade College Readiness classes this Thursday and Friday to share information with students about the IB diploma program. Mrs. Holcombe will email the information covered to both students and parents Friday evening. 
Course Selection for 2021-2022 School Year; Info Night Links 
Tuesday night we had parent meetings for 8th & 9th grade parents and 10th grade parents, and we are currently visiting classrooms for course selection. 6th and 7th grade students do not need to turn in course selection forms, but 5th, 8th, and high school students do. 

Links to the course selection forms will be published in the Lions Share after we have met with students of that grade level.  The final deadline for forms is February 8.

For links to the presentations from the Parent Info nights we have held, as well as to our timeline for classroom visits and links to course selection forms and the Course Selection Guide for 2021-2022 and Academic Program of Studies 2020-2021, read more.
Counselors Corner: Preparation for Life After Graduation

Texas Reality Check is a planning tool that allows students to research occupations while also learning about living expenses and creating a budget. This is a fun way to explore options and  start conversations as a family about your child's future. 
Athletics Update

In order for second semester sports to start, Williamson County must experience a drastic decline in COVID-19 cases. Although we are not optimistic, we have planned second semester sports allowing for as much time as possible to reach the necessary phase for each sport, which is based on the ability to remain physically distanced while participating. Read more.
Distance Learning Supply Pick Up Jan. 22

For distance learners in grades 6-12, except 7th grade, we will have a supply pick up event this Friday, January 22, from 5:30-7 pm. You may visit at any time within this time frame.

Read more to learn which specific classes have items for pick up.
Upcoming Events and Useful Links
Events At-a-Glance
Holidays and Holy Days

January 27 marks UN Holocost Memorial Day, followed by Tu B'Shvat and Mahayana Buddhist New Year on January 28. Read more about these events.
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