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    School Update 9.17.20
    Posted on 09/17/2020

    Dear Hamilton Community, 

    I hope this message finds you safe and well. It is hard to believe we are rapidly moving towards the end of our first full week of school. Our teachers and students are so excited to be back “together” in the virtual classroom setting. We continue to adapt and improvise when we are met with challenges such as problems with technology and highly unhealthy air quality during our scheduled materials distribution. As you can imagine, a lot is happening behind the scenes right now as we work to improve our systems and streamline our remote learning platform. We appreciate your continued patience with us and especially appreciate your messages of support and encouragement.  

    I recognize our school community will continue to have more questions and concerns as we move forward through the school year. My goal is to alleviate stress and anxiety as much as possible with each communication. We are sharing the following details for families today based on community feedback: 

    • Materials and Supply Distribution Next Week 

    • Daily Schedule Clarification- Synchronous and Asynchronous Learning, Enrichment, and Wednesdays  

    • Instructional Focus and Content This Week 


    Materials and Supply Distribution: 

    Assuming the air quality in our area has moved back into at least a “Moderate” status, we will be distributing supplies at Hamilton Middle School on Monday, September 21 from 4-6 pm, and on Wednesday, September 23 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Please check our website the morning of the date you are planning to come – we will confirm the schedule by 8:30 am each day, or we will post a notice of cancellation if it is deemed necessary to preserve the good health of staff and families.  

    On Monday and Wednesday, the following items will be available for pick-up: 

    • Art Supplies for those students in Mr. Serpe’s classes first semester only who have not already picked up their supplies 

    • Geometry & Algebra textbooks for students who are enrolled in Ms. Anex and Mr. D. Evans’ math classes 

    • Musical instruments as pre-arranged with Music teachers 

    • Computers/tech as needed 

    • Library books 

    • Basic school supplies for students who need them 

    • Printed out copies of the School Start forms for anyone who might need them 

    • Yearbooks from the 2019-2020 year 


    You can also return any items to Hamilton that you need to – tech items, library books, language arts books from last year, School Start forms, etc. 

    Many content areas do not require textbooks. We will notify families soon when we do another round of textbook distribution for any Language Arts and Social Studies classes. Science classes and our Math classes except for Algebra and Geometry do not require textbooks.   


    Daily Schedule Clarification: 

    What is synchronous learning? 

    We are calling our synchronous time “Live Sessions” which includes: 

    • Welcoming routine and an entry task or a “Do Now” 

    • Review of the learning objective 

    • Direct Instruction/Class Lecture (Instructional Council recommends no more than 20 minutes of continuous direct Instruction) 

    • Time for Q and A and student discourse  

    • Whole group, small group, and independent work with teacher available 

    • Optimistic closure and a “To Do” slide for asynchronous activities  


    What is asynchronous learning? 

    • Students complete assignments posted on Schoology on their own schedule. 

    • This is time for 1:1 or small group check ins.  Teachers will invite students to these meetings with a separate meeting link in advance. 

    • The goal is for students to be able to complete their asynchronous work during the school day and not be overwhelmed by homework. 

    • Students can show their learning in a variety of ways. 

    • Teachers will maintain availability during this time and have clear procedures for how students can reach them.  


    What is enrichment time? 

    • Enrichment time will be allocated for students to participate in clubs, affinity groups, and other activities. 

    • We are currently working on our club schedule and club fair for students. 

    • We will be communicating our plans soon about how students can access enrichment opportunities.  

    • This is optional time for students to do asynchronous work, take a break, or join an enrichment activity.  


    What happens on Wednesdays? 

    • Students will start the day in a 35-minute advisory period focused on social emotional learning and community building.  

    • Asynchronous learning will be posted for the day. 

    • Teachers will schedule small group lessons for each period with specific student groups.   

    • Students will be informed in advance and the links will be posted in advance by the classroom teacher for small group or 1:1 check ins during any asynchronous sessions including Wednesdays.  

    • Students end the day with enrichment. 

    • Clubs will begin the end of September or early October. 



    Instructional Focus and Content Covered This Week: 

    The first two weeks have been focused on connecting with students and families, distributing supplies and materials, trouble shooting and learning about technology, and building a positive and welcoming classroom community.  

    • Time is spent every day, each period on building a strong community and getting to know one another, so students feel safe in a virtual learning setting. 

    • A significant chunk of time is spent each day on technology. Here are the topics we are covering this week to ensure that students have a solid foundation for remote learning.  

    • Schoology- Calendar/Events, Notifications, Where/what to check daily, How to submit work, Where to find feedback. 

    • Microsoft Outlook- Accessing email, Sending email, Creating folders, Setting up notifications  

    • Teams- How to add a profile picture, Managing notifications, Hand raising, mute and chat options, Changing a background  

    • Using a Planner- Digital Planner via Outlook or Schoology, Non-Digital Planner  

    • Digital Citizenship- Changing Name, Camera/Mic Comfort and Reflection, Discussions  

    • Office 365 and Computer Organization- Bookmarking, Opening up Office 365, Cleaning up Office 365, Creating Folders, Naming Documents, Sharing Documents, Creating Folders 


    We are excited to dive into content and subject matter next week after taking the time to intentionally prepare all students for success. 


    Go Hawks! 


    Dorian Manza (he/him) 

    “A collaborative community of inspired and engaged learners.”  
    Telephone: 206-252-5810