As local COVID-19 conditions are still in Phase III / Red, the board voted last Thursday that we will continue in Distance Learning for the next several weeks, with a phased reopening of the school to begin September 21. 

Please see below for more details on school reopening. We also have a survey asking for your feedback on Distance Learning, and information on an Item Pickup that we have scheduled for September 8 and 9 so that items needed for continued Distance Learning classes may be picked up. 

See below for this information, and more!
Distance Learning Survey

Students and parents, we would like your feedback! Please complete a quick survey on Distance Learning resources.

Grades in Ascender and Progress Reports

This Friday is the end of the 4-week progress report period, and progress reports should be available through the Ascender grade portal next week. 

Parents and students can continually track their grades and progress through the Ascender grade portal (see here if you have not signed up for access). Many of you have noticed, however, that some classes seem to have no grades. This is due to technical difficulties with the Ascender gradebook portal that we are working with the state Educational Service Center for Region 13 to resolve, and we hope to have them resolved as quickly as possible!
Plan for Reopening for On-Campus Learning
Last Thursday, the Meridian School Board considered the Return to Campus plan and approved a phased return schedule based upon the science-driven methodology prepared by the Williamson County & Cities Health District (WCCHD).

We have created Return to School Protocols and are on track to reopen Meridian School as early as September 21 on a phased return schedule. 

On Thursday, you will receive an email with a commitment survey for each child attending Meridian. (If you have three children, you will receive a separate email for each child). Emails will be sent to the adult listed as parent/guardian number one on enrollment forms only. If you do not receive it, check with the other adults in your household. 

You may commit to on-campus or distance learning for the remainder of the first quarter, starting as early as Sept. 21 (see return-to-campus guidelines for details). You may also register for after school care. You will also have the opportunity to commit to either on-campus or distance learning for the second quarter beginning Oct. 19, if you choose. 

Based upon previous surveys with variations by grade levels, 45% to 58% of our families 
will return their students to on-campus instruction when the campus re-opens. 

Distance Learning in Secondary

It is not logistically possible in the secondary school at Meridian to split in-person and Distance Learning students into different groups with different teachers. As such, when the majority of students return to in-person learning at the Meridian School building, the framework of Distance Learning expectations for those remaining at home will remain largely the same. 

Distance Learning students will still be expected to follow the daily class schedule, logging into Zoom sessions. In these Zoom sessions they will follow the class as it is taught to students in-person at school. As such, it is likely that Distance Learning students, in Middle as well as High School, will generally be expected to stay logged into Zoom for the entirety of each 85 minute class. At times, teachers may provide asynchronous (i.e. “not live”) learning activities for Distance Learning students, but the goal will generally be for Distance Learning students to follow the in-person class synchronously (“live”) and complete the same activities as the in-person students, as they are completing them.
CDC: How to Choose the Right Mask

With students returning to campus starting in late September and all grades on campus by the beginning of October, the school nurse’s office has asked that we share this guidance from the CDC on Choosing the Right Mask.
Important: Item Pickup Sept 8 and 9

As we will be continuing with Distance Learning for another month, there are items that students need for several classes that need to be picked up from school. We will do this through carline in a socially-distanced manner, with opportunities to pickup items in the morning and afternoon September 8 and 9.
 
Please see this Item Carline Fall 2020 Letter to Parents for more information.
Spirit Wear Pickup

Spirit wear is here! Drive through pick up of your order is scheduled for Saturday, September 12. Please arrive during your designated time slot. Times are organized by last name of the parent who placed the order.

12:00-12:30 A-F
12:30-1:00 G-L
1:00-1:30 M-R
1:30-2:00 S-Z
 
We will also need volunteers to help make this successful!
 
We are also planning on having spirit wear available for pickup for those who are coming to the secondary supply pickup (Sept. 8 or 9). 
Extracurriculars Update
Letter Jacket Sizing & Ordering

For Juniors, Seniors and students who Lettered in 2019-2020:
find details and sign up for appointments Sept. 15 and 16 at our Letter Jacket representative's office.



Athletics


Model United Nations - The mandatory meeting and registration have been postponed while the 20-21 officers are getting up and running and conferences are being selected. We'll share the rescheduled meeting date in future editions of the Lions Share.

After School Virtual Band is now enrolling for masterclasses!
No Pass No Play
With activities such as Model UN starting up and other competitive extracurricular activities starting in the near future, parents and students need to be aware of No Pass No Play, the rule that states that students are not eligible to compete or perform in extracurricular activities unless they are passing all of their classes. This will take effect after the end of the 1st Quarter grading period (October 9).

For more information, please see No Pass No Play Guidance for Students and Parents
Two New Ways to Read!
From Secondary Librarian Tina Van Winkle

Curbside Checkout is Coming

Starting September 8, you can pick up library books with our new contact-free service. Simply place a hold in the library catalog, wait for email confirmation, and then pick up your books on your designated day! Visit the website or contact the librarian for more information.
 
Sora: App for Reading

Now you can easily read eBooks and audiobooks on your web browser or mobile device.
Download the Sora app or visit the Meridian portal and log in with a Meridian Google account to get started.
One-on-One College Counseling for Seniors

Seniors and their parents have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Mrs. Gregg about where you are with your college applications! Not many people have signed up. Please do so ASAP! Please try to sign up during Study Hall or a class that you can afford to miss.  
Extra Yearbooks from 2019-2020
We have a few more copies of the 2019-2020 yearbook available. If you would like to purchase one of these for $65, please email Stela Holcombe
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Summermoon Gift Card Delivery on 1st Day of School

Thank you to the parents who organized and delivered the gift cards for Summermoon Coffee Shop on the first day of school!  These gift cards were delivered with love by Marwa Bishr, Pam Chalsani, Amel Montez, and Melissa Seigman. Thank you so much--what a great way to start the senior year! The gift cards were made possible by donations from Summermoon & KAS Contracting (a local roofing company).  
Upcoming Events and Useful Links
Upcoming Holidays, Holy Days and Observances
Secondary Events At-a-Glance
Questions or Concerns? We're here to support you.
Counselors

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

Student or Curricular Concerns

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

Additional Contacts

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


Principals

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