Hi Parents -

Again, I hope things are going well for you under very different and difficult circumstances. I apologize for adding one more message to your life. I know we have pushed out a lot of these this past week and I very much appreciate your patience and understanding with all the changes we are going through.

Monday Pick Up

This will occur in our back parking lot, to the south of the HMS gym. Remember 5th graders should come from 8:00-9:30, 6th graders from 9:30-11:00, 7th graders from 1:00-2:30, and 8th graders from 2:30-4:00. Anyone can pick up things from 4:00-5:00.

1. You can drive or walk up along the building and an HMS staff member will meet you and collect any library books, track sweats, or any other school things your child may have at home right now.

2. A staff member will then collect your child's things from the gym and return them to you. No students will be allowed into the building.

3. The next stop will be for those students who are needing a computer and there will be some very simple paperwork to complete to receive that device.

4. Somewhere in all of that we have an extra stop for fifth graders. They will each receive a tree sapling, courtesy of the Hesston Tree Board. They have a long standing tradition of giving trees to our fifth graders each year.

"Re"starting school on Monday

HMS teachers have been busy preparing to deliver learning in a very different way. We think we have a good plan, but I have no doubt there will be some hiccups to work through. I have asked our teachers to start slow, just like they do each August. This first week of virtual school will not be loaded with assignments. Rather it will give an opportunity for students and teachers to get used to some very different sorts of procedures. Students should expect their workloads to gradually increase as everyone gets more comfortable.

  • Connecting with students is, and will remain, our primary focus. RS leaders have already been reaching out to students and this will continue daily.
  • Both core and encore teachers are completing a weekly calendar for each grade level that will be sent to students on Monday of each week. This should help students stay organized with assignments and activities.
  • There will be an independent reading challenge, headed up by our librarian, Mrs. Rachel Yoder. It is also listed on that weekly calendar.

Please let me know if I can help in any way, and again, I so very much appreciate all the support you have provided as we gear up to restart school.

Have a great weekend,

Greg Heinrichs

Principal, Hesston Middle School

3.20.2020 UPDATE

Parents and Families -

Hope you have had a great Spring Break, although I know it definitely had a different feel to it. I also know you are probably being bombarded with emails from our school district. I apologize for adding one more to your inbox. This one does have some repeat information for some of you, but also some new information for all. Please let me know if you have questions at any point over the next few weeks.

School Lunch & Breakfast: Beginning March 23, we will be serving lunch and breakfast each weekday from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm outside the middle school gym. This is free for all kids ages 1-18, even those who are not USD 460 students will get a free lunch and breakfast if they need one. If you need food delivered, we can do that too. Please use the following link to let us know if you would like to pick-up food at the middle school or need delivery, which will begin at 11:00 am.... Lunch and Breakfast Form. In an earlier email I mistakenly communicated that the district would also offer meals to adults but we can NOT serve adults at this time.

Technology Needs: As we transition to a new way of teaching and learning, technology will become an essential aspect of our new model. We recognize that some students need a device and some need internet access. To identify those in need, we ask you to complete the Technology Needs Form. The school district is working to make sure that every family has at least one device, and our teachers will be flexible when delivering instruction. No one needs to purchase new technology.

Personal Belongings from School: At some point we will send out information about the process for students to enter the building and gather their things, clean out their lockers, return athletic equipment, etc. I am hopeful we can do this sooner rather than later, but at this point we do not know what this looks like or when it will happen. If you have an urgent need for something, let me know and I'll get it for you.

Yearbooks: Students who purchased a yearbook will still receive them, but I'm unsure of exactly when that will happen.

Next Week: Our teachers and staff will focus on two things next week. The first is connecting with students. I have asked our RS leaders to do this and many have already begun reaching out to students in their RS group. These connections will continue in some form through the end of the year. Our second focus is to provide time to teachers to prepare how they will deliver instruction through the rest of the year. Obviously this will be different on many levels but I believe we can offer some good opportunities for learning to our students. Teachers will begin contacting students and delivering this instruction the week of March 30.

What you can do: I'll again promote the idea of reassuring your children. Keep talking and spending time with your children. There is never a good substitute for those things. Also remind them to be checking their emails.

I plan to send out information over email to HMS parents as needed over the next few weeks, but please reach out to me if you have something with which I can help.

Greg Heinrichs
Principal, Hesston Middle School