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Greetings Nichols Middle School Families,

As we continue on this unprecedented journey together, I hope this note finds you safe, happy, and healthy. 

For those that don’t know, I am a huge Walt Disney fanatic. I have always been drawn to his imagination, innovative approach to life, and sense of wonder. No idea was too big for him and there was no problem that couldn’t be solved.

In fact, I’ve always been inspired by one of his quotes, which reads, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

I am not sure if you’d agree with me that this quote applies 100% to the journey we’re presently on together, but I think it does. I feel like as a district, and more specifically,, as a school community, we’ve been asked to do what seems like the impossible. Prior to three weeks ago, remote learning was a term few of us had ever thought about. Now, it’s a term forever etched in our minds.

However, we ALL were presented with this “impossible” challenge and together are making it work. I am so inspired by the work of our district administrators, teachers, custodians, administrative assistants, cafeteria workers, and everyone else that has pulled together in innovative ways to ensure our students continue to receive an education, even if it is virtually.

I am most impressed by the resiliency of our students and the dedication of our families. There is nothing easy about what you are doing at home. Motivating your children and getting them to engage in their education remotely I’m sure is no easy task. But, you are doing it and I am so impressed and appreciative.

As stated in a previous message to you all, we have updated our extended learning program. 

Over this past week our faculty and staff have collaborated to develop a more comprehensive extended learning plan. This new plan represents an effort to be more aligned from grade to grade in each subject. This plan also represents an effort to be more balanced in our suggestions for the use of technology, project based learning, social emotional learning and enrichment. Lastly, our plan has detailed steps to ensure equity and inclusion for all students.

At the start of each week you will receive a grade level plan that will outline your child’s virtual learning opportunities with each of your child’s teachers, as well as the times they will be available throughout the week via email (Office Hours). You will also be able to access this through the District Website by clicking here In addition, you can expect to hear from your child's teacher via their Google Classroom first thing every Monday morning. This correspondence will include your teachers assignments and expectations of your child in each particular class for the week.

Our priority as educators is to engage our students. However, this is a collaborative effort.  Please provide feedback to your child's teacher about the weekly/daily plans as we move forward. There is very little we will be able to do successfully without you as parents and guardians on board. We know the challenges you are facing and we want to be responsive to your needs, so please do not hesitate to reach out, we will be adjusting this plan each week based on the level of engagement and feedback we receive.

If you do not hear from your child's teacher by Monday morning please email me directly.

Our plan and guiding principles were developed in accordance with the guidance provided from DESE.

Guiding Principles

  • Our number one priority is student engagement, and the physical and mental well being of our students and families.
  • We do not expect our extended learning to replicate or replace learning that takes place during the traditional school day.
  • We will seek to offer meaningful, fun, engaging and productive learning opportunities that will take approximately half the length of the regular school day.
  • We will provide opportunities for students to connect directly with teachers multiple times per week.
  • Teachers will provide feedback to students on work submitted but we will not be grading work.
  • We will focus on reinforcing skills already taught this year and giving opportunities to apply and deepen those skills. We will not be teaching new concepts.
  • We will include opportunities for physical activity and enrichment such as art and music.
  • We will offer a wide variety of learning opportunities that will be consistent across grade levels and classes and will include both the use of online resources and activities that do not require a computer.
  • All teachers and special education staff will be working to ensure equity of access for all students.

Remember, we are ALL Tigers! Show us your stripes!

All my best!

Heather Tucker
John T. Nichols Jr. Middle School

Extended Learning Information By Grade Level

Resources By Content Area