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MCS News Update

Frequently Asked Questions – July 29th

When does school begin?
August 10 is the first half day of school for first through sixth grade. Phase in kindergarten begins on August 11. Please see the complete calendar on the website.

Distance Learning

Will my child be assigned a teacher from my school as a homeroom teacher for Distance Learning? Yes

What type device do I need to have for my child to do Distance Learning? First and foremost, you will need to have a dependable internet/Wi-Fi connection. Your child will need access to a laptop, desktop, or Chromebook with full browser capabilities. This includes access to Firefox or Google Chrome. The list of requirements for laptops/computers can be found on the Parent Technology Resources Home Access Sheet on the MCS website. (Download the Parent Technology Resources Home Access Sheet)

Are laptops available for loan? MCS does not currently have the technology resources to provide every student with a laptop. We ask parents who have access to a laptop or desktop to please provide a device for your child. However, a set number of computers will be loaned to students until our resources are depleted on a priority basis. The Laptops on Loan application deadline has been extended to Saturday, August 1 for all students utilizing Distance Learning. (3rd – 6th grade students will be given a higher priority rating.) Parents will be notified by Tuesday, August 4.

What is a typical day for Distance Learning?
Just like the traditional classroom setting, the Distance Learning classroom will vary by grade level and will consist of real-time learning with the teacher as well as teacher assigned activities for the student. This is a similar schedule as students in traditional classroom will follow.

For instance, a third-grade distance learning class would look comparable to the following:
15-minute morning group meeting
60-minutes of English Language Arts
This will be online with the teacher as well as in breakout sessions in Google classroom.
15-minute break
60-minutes of Math with interactive student activities
30-minute lunch break
30-minutes of Science/Social Studies
15-minute break
30-minutes of small group breakout sessions
45-minutes special areas like music, art and physical education
There will also be recess time and afternoon individualized computer assistance learning like iReady and Lexia.

Will there be any technical help?
Yes, a dedicated line will be manned at schools for the first hour of each school day. This will help parents and students with questions about logging onto Zoom, Google Classroom and other platforms.

Are there exceptions?
Parents of 3rd through 6th grade students who need to enroll their child in the traditional school setting due to lack of childcare or internet access, must sign the enrollment form located on our website or at your school. This form must be returned to your school principal by Monday, August 3.

Traditional Classroom

Will students be required to wear masks all day? Students and staff are required to wear masks during the school day. There are masks free zones in the classroom and in the building with social distance guidelines in place. Breaks and recess may be taken outside to allow additional masks free areas.

Will the supply list change? No, the supply list remains the same.

Will attendance be taken? Attendance will be taken, and grades will be given for work completed.

Once the school year begins, and unless the school district moves to another instruction plan, all students must remain in the instruction plan they start until the end of a nine-week grading period. At any point during the academic year, MCS may switch instructional models based on the circumstances of the pandemic.

MCS News Update

Back to School – Updated plans as of July 28

Additional information regarding the Back to School Plan will be available Wednesday, July 29 after 2 p.m. Please continue to check for updated information on this website.

In response to ongoing monitoring of the COVID-19 numbers, Murfreesboro City Schools will open the 2020-2021 school year on August 10th with Plan 2: Hybrid Instruction. This is a change from our original opening plan.

In this plan, Pre-k through 2nd grade students will begin in the traditional school setting while 3rd through 6th grade students will utilize the distance learning model.

Grades Pre-k through 2

· Students in grades pre-k through 2nd will begin the school year in the traditional classroom setting.
· Parents have the option of choosing the choice distance learning model for their Pre-k – 2nd grade student(s). A Choice Distance Learning Agreement must be returned to the school by July 31.
Download the Distance Learning Agreement
Download the Distance Learning Agreement (Spanish)
Download the Distance Learning Agreement (Arabic)
· Bus routes will be offered for kindergarten through 2nd grade students who attend the traditional school setting.
· ESP is available for pre-k through 2nd grade.
· All safety protocols previously outlined in the traditional school setting will remain in place.

Grades 3 through 6

· Students in grades 3 through 6, will begin the school year with distance learning.
· If a 3rd through 6th grade child needs childcare due to their guardians’ work schedule and/or does not have internet access, they may choose to opt-in to the traditional school setting.
· 3rd through 6th grade siblings of kindergarten through 2nd grade students will be able to ride the bus if they plan to attend the traditional school setting because of lack of childcare and/or internet access.
· Parents with students in grades 3 through 6 who opt-in to the traditional school setting, and do not have a sibling in grades K through 2, must provide transportation to and from school.
· If a student needs to arrive at the school before the school day begins and/or stay after the school day ends, ESP is available.

· Parents of 3rd through 6th grade students who need to enroll their child in the traditional school setting because of the reasons noted above, must sign the enrollment form located on our website or at your school. Return this form to your school principal by Monday, August 3
(Download the Hybrid Enrollment Exemption Form)
(Download the Hybrid Enrollment Exemption Form in Spanish)

· If parents do not have the technology resources at home, you may apply for a Laptop on Loan through this link: (Laptops on Loan)

Other:

Once the school year begins, and unless the school district moves to another instruction plan, all students must remain in the instruction plan they start until the end of a nine-week grading period.

Special transportation will be provided to students in accordance with a student’s IEP.

With all models, students will be expected to receive 6.5 hours of instruction for 180 days. Attendance will be taken, and grades will be given for work completed.

Students who spend the majority of their day in the Comprehensive Developmental Classroom (CDC) or have special education requirements will have the opportunity to start in the traditional school setting.

At any point during the academic year, MCS may switch instructional models based on the circumstances of the pandemic. Please know that there is no playbook for a pandemic, and we ask parents and the community-at-large to be patient and flexible as we make uncharted decisions.

A few of the many steps being taken when school opens for traditional classes include:
· Temperature checks of students and staff daily
· Frequent handwashing/sanitizing required
· Physical distancing will be encouraged
· Students will be contained to one classroom/hallway when possible
· Students will have their own school supplies and manipulatives
· Student desks/tables will be arranged to promote social distancing
· Teachers will wear masks/face shield when 6’ social distancing is not an option
· Water fountains will be utilized for filling water bottles or cups, no direct drinking
· Strict cleaning protocols will be implemented throughout the day
· Students will wear masks with a few exceptions

Distance learning will include 6½ hours of instruction delivered live via Zoom and other on-line platforms and hard copy instruction during the traditional school day.

(Return to School Guidelines 2020-2021 updated on August 5)

MCS News Update

Choice Distance Learning Option

Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS) is pleased to offer Choice Distance Learning as options for our students and parents. The signed Choice Distance Learning parent agreement should be returned to your child’s school by July 31. Parents may download and print the document or pick up a paper copy of the agreement from your child’s school beginning July 20. The document must be signed and can be returned via mail, email or drop off at the school.

Choice Distance Learning –
Parents may choose for their child to attend full day classes at home utilizing the choice distance learning option. ­

This option will include 6½ hours of instruction delivered via Zoom, other on-line platforms and hard copy instruction.

Parents may reconsider schooling options at the end of a 9-week grading period. Parents should notify school two weeks prior to the end of the 9-week grading period if they wish to change to Traditional School instruction.

Choice Distance Learning students should have daily access to:
High speed internet connection.
Laptop or desktop computer access by parents/guardians.
(Exceptions may be made for students with significant health conditions with relevant documentation.)

Please note:
· Students must stay in good standing with school in regard to absences and completion of assigned classwork.
· Students not following school policies will be reviewed for possible return to the traditional school day.
· Students will adhere to the schedule outlined in the Choice Distance Learning day.
· ESP is not available for students utilizing Choice Distance Learning

Overview of Choice Distance Learning Day:
School days will begin based on the school bell time.

15-minute Morning Meeting
1 hour of English Language Arts; followed by a 15-minute break
1 hour of Math; followed by a 15-minute break
1 hour of Social Studies and/or Science
30 minutes for lunch
45 minutes for Special Area; followed by a 15-minute break
45 minutes of computer assistant learning (Lexia, I-Ready)
1 hour teacher led small groups

Download the Distance Learning Agreement
Download the Distance Learning Agreement (Spanish)
Download the Distance Learning Agreement (Arabic)

Will your device work? Please see the Parent Technology Resources Home Access Sheet for guidance.

Choice Distance Learning Technology Information

What type of laptop or tablet does my child need?

Your child will need access to a laptop, desktop, or Chromebook with full browser capabilities. This includes access to Firefox or Google Chrome. Unfortunately, we have discovered that iPads may not be compatible with some apps. To check to see if you have a compatible device, please visit the Parent Technology Resource Home Access Sheet on our website.

Murfreesboro City Schools uses a Google Chromebook 3100 Education with 16 GB.

Chromebook recommended minimum specifications:

  • Processor: Intel Celeron N4020 (Dual Core, up to 2.8GHz, 4M Cache, 6W) 1USB Type-C, 1 USB 3.1
  • Display: 11.6″ HD (1366 x 768) Anti-Glare Non-Touch, Camera & Microphone, WLAN Capable
  • Memory: 4GB 2400MHz LPDDR4 Non-ECC
  • Hard Drive (Storage): 16GB eMMC Hard Drive

___

Will MCS be providing a laptop for my child?

MCS does not currently have the technology resources to provide every student with a laptop. We ask parents who choose Choice Distance Learning and have access to a laptop or desktop to please provide a device for your child. However, a set number of computers will be loaned to students until our resources are depleted. Laptops will be loaned with the following priorities:

  • 1st priority – Students with current Individual Health Plans (IHPs) with qualifying medical conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis and asthma.
  • 2nd priority – Students who qualify for Direct Certification of Resources through State (WIC, SNAP, etc.)
  • 3rd priority -Students who qualify for free and reduced meals.
  • 4th priority – If there are remaining Chromebooks available after the first three priorities are fulfilled, a lottery will be held for the remaining laptops.

 

If you do not have the technology resources at home and are choosing Choice Distance Learning, you may apply for a Laptop on Loan through this link:  Laptops on Loan

 

Laptops will be loaned based on the priorities outlined above. Choice Distance Learning Parent Agreements and the Laptops on Loan online application must be completed by July 31 to be considered for the Laptops on Loan program.  Laptops will be assigned based on the priorities and parents will be notified during the week of August 3.

 

Preschool Registration Sign

MCS Preschool Program

Thank you for your interest in the Murfreesboro City Schools Preschool Program.

The MCS Pre-K program is funded by a grant for low income or at-risk children. We serve four-year old children who are zoned for a city school. Your child must be 4, but not yet 5, years old on August 15th, 2020.

UPDATED to begin April 13, 2020

Due to COVID19, Pre-K Registration procedures have changed. Please read the requirements of the program and follow the instructions below to submit an application.

  • • Children must be 4 years old by August 15, 2020.
  • • Children must live within the Murfreesboro city limits.
  • • Eligibility and tentative placements will be determined following the completion of the application process. You will receive a letter on or before July 15th letting you know about your child’s acceptance. 
  • • If you have specific concerns or questions, you may email preschool@cityschools.net.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLYING FOR PRE-K

The Application should be filled out completely and attach the following documentation.

  • • Proof of income – might include current pay stubs, W2, or a 2019 tax return, and public assistance verification like SNAP. Please submit a W-2, 2019 tax return, or current pay stubs to expedite the processing of your application and ensure determination of eligibility for all Preschool Programs including partnership slots with CDI – Head Start serving Mid-Cumberland.
  • • Proof of your address.  The only documentation that will be accepted is copy of an electric, water, or gas bill or lease with the parent’s name and the service address on it. These bills may be no more than 60 days old.
  • • Copy of Official Birth Certificate.

If you have concerns mailing the documentation due to the confidential nature of these items, you may submit only the application at this time. Our preschool staff will contact you at a later date to obtain the documents. Eligibility cannot be determined until all documentation is submitted.

Mail the application and/or documents to:

Murfreesboro City Schools
Attn: Preschool
2552 South Church Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37127

Preschool staff will contact you for any additional information needed via phone or email. If your address, phone number, or email changes, please send the updated information to preschool@cityschools.net.
______________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Our preschool classrooms will be located in several schools for the 2020-2021 school year. The school locations for the preschool classrooms will be based on the space available. We will continue to offer classrooms at our off-site location at Mercury Court. Children who reside within the Murfreesboro city limits and meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of your child’s zoned school, may be placed in a classroom based on location, zones, and proximity as long as space is available.

***Please follow the instructions for applying and guidelines for documentation carefully so that your application may be considered as complete.

If after reading the information on submitting an application, you have further questions you may email preschool@cityschools.net or call 615-904-1015.

Applications can be picked up outside any MCS school location in a crate titled Pre-K Applications after April 13 or simply download and complete both application forms below. Forms should be mailed to Murfreesboro City Schools at the address provided at the top of this page.

Additional details will be added soon.

Did You Know?

Every child in Tennessee, birth to age five, is eligible to receive high-quality, age appropriate books in the mail monthly at no cost to families. Enroll in the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and United Way of Rutherford & Cannon Counties.

Enroll Now for Free Books

****  Integrated Preschool is separate from PreK. This information is not intended for the Integrated Preschool Classroom. For further information regarding the Integrated Preschool contact the Special Education Department.

Email: Integrated.Preschool@cityschools.net

CHOW BUS SCHEDULE

CHOW bus schedules – buses will be CHOW buses plus traditional school buses

The Chow Buses will continue running through the summer.  Buses will run one time per day delivering both lunch and breakfast for the following day.  We will not be feeding on the buses, we will be distributing meals as pick up and go options.

The Food Service Program is funded by the USDA and is open to any child birth to eighteen.

Please note the times and locations as well as the type of bus that will be used at each site in the information below. Sites may change slightly, please be sure to view the Feeding Site list weekly.

You can view the current CHOW buses schedule at the following link. (Download the MCS Feeding Sites Flyer)

MCS News Update

Focus on the Whole Child

Recent tragic events in our country have put the anguish of senseless injustice and inequality at the center of our national discourse.  As individuals, each of us have had strong personal and emotional responses to the shocking and heartbreaking death of George Floyd.  Our grave concerns regarding racism, prejudice, and discrimination should never be far from our minds and should motivate action in promoting respectful, fair and compassionate behavior every single day.  At Murfreesboro City Schools, the faculty, staff and administrators work continuously to do so.

As one of the ten most diverse school districts in the state of Tennessee, we strive to be a haven where education, acceptance, support, and inspiration thrive.

Over the past decade, Dr. Linda Gilbert built a family that includes everyone in our school system with a focus on the whole child and meeting their needs as a valued, respected person. When one of us hurt, she hurt with us.

Today, we are hurting for those in our community, state and country who are feeling alienated, marginalized, and frustrated by a system that has failed them.

I want to assure you Murfreesboro City Schools will not fail you. It is my personal goal – and the mission of our system — to provide a safe and nurturing environment for each of you, our family.

Let’s unite in our determination to look for and actively create better days tomorrow.

 

Ralph Ringstaff
Interim Superintendent
Murfreesboro City Schools

Ralph Ringstaff

Ralph Ringstaff Appointed Interim Director

The MCS School Board has appointed Ralph Ringstaff to serve as the interim director of schools until a new director is appointed. Ralph Ringstaff will work with the current leadership team to ensure a smooth transition into the new school year. Mr. Ringstaff currently serves as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and ESP.

A search for the new director will begin immediately.

Northfield Principals Mark Gonyea and M'Lisa Bryant Miffleton

MCS Announces Northfield Administrators

Murfreesboro City Schools (MCS), is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Mark Gonyea and Mrs. M’Lisa Bryant Miffleton as principal and assistant principal of Northfield Elementary respectively. These appointments come following the retirement of the current leadership team of Dr. Gene Loyd and Mrs. Julia Williams.
Gonyea and Bryant most recently served as administrators with Rutherford County Schools. Gonyea has over twenty-five years of experience in education and Miffleton joins the team with over 20 years of experience.
“I am honored to be named the new principal at Northfield Elementary,” says Gonyea. “Northfield is a school with strong traditions, an enthusiastic faculty, and a rich history in Murfreesboro.”
Gonyea holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Literacy from Middle Tennessee State University, and Education Specialist and Doctorate of Education degrees from Carson Newman University. He is a member of the 2019 Governor’s Academy for School Leaders Cohort.
“As an administrator, my goal is to inspire faculty and staff to do their jobs with the highest levels of excellence and enthusiasm. This journey is one of constant learning and a realization that mistakes will be made, and things may not always go as planned. However, if the primary lens is on what’s best for students, we will not falter,” says Gonyea.
Gonyea believes that all students can learn at high levels given the proper supports and motivation. “As educators, it is our job to meet the needs of the students where they are and take them to where they have never been. Education is more than imparting knowledge to students, it is igniting a passion in them to desire life-long learning,” says Gonyea.
Miffleton joins MCS with a wealth of classroom and administrative experience. Miffleton holds her Master’s and Educational Specialists degrees from Middle Tennessee State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Martin Methodist College.
“I believe in building strong relationships while encouraging others to focus on their passions and strengths,” says Miffleton. “I look forward to continuing the strong collaborations that are part of the Northfield experience and working with students, staff, parents and the community.”
These leaders will join the existing leadership team of Murfreesboro City Schools as the district moves forward in creating an environment of success for each of our 9,200 school children. Murfreesboro City Schools is an exemplary district of thirteen schools committed to the academic and personal success of each child.

M'Lisa Miffleton

Mark Gonyea

Bradley and Erma Siegel Earn STEM School Status

Bradley and Erma Siegel Elementary Earn Tennessee Designated STEM School Status

Bradley Academy and Erma Siegel Elementary have been named Tennessee Designated STEM Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education in partnership with the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. The Tennessee STEM School Designation denotes that a school meets the highest standards of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) instruction and is a model for schools across the state.

“We are thrilled to receive this designation,” says Emily Spencer, Erma Siegel Principal. “This designation took the vision, leadership and hard work of a dedicated group of teachers. I am privileged to work with this outstanding faculty and staff.”

STEM education is a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students. STEM is focused on building critical and creative thinking and analytical skills by addressing how students view and experience the world around them.

“As an Arts Integrated School, I am extremely proud of our team embracing the STEM model while keeping arts in the forefront,” says Raeshon Torres, Bradley Academy Principal. “This designation is the result of years of hard work. We truly are a STEAM team working tirelessly for the Bradley students.”

STEM designated schools integrate STEM curriculum with project-based learning across all subject areas and programs both inside and outside the classroom. To receive this momentous designation, Bradley and Erma Siegel successfully completed the designation rubric including five focus areas: infrastructure, curriculum and instruction, professional development, achievement, and community and post-secondary partnerships. As a part of the process, schools were required to submit a plan of action for implementing and sustaining STEM education for the next five years. From this process, a total of twenty-two schools received the Tennessee STEM School Designation.

This is the fourth STEM designation received by Murfreesboro City Schools including Overall Creek in 2018 and Discovery School in 2019. Strong STEM teaching and learning opportunities rest on inquiry, technology, and project-based learning activities. It is a diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum where activities in one class complement those in other classes.

The Erma Siegel team is led by Principal Emily Spencer, Assistant Principal Crystal Farris, and teacher leaders Emily Clark, Kim Taylor, Devontae Kelley, Jenifer Scott, Amberly Sandberg, Brandy Cheatham, Rachel Pepper, Leigh Ann Weaver, and Gretchen Campbell.

The Bradley team is led by Principal Raeshon Torres, Assistant Principal Kennye Holt, Dana Stem, Abbey Sanders, Ginger Hazelbaker, Billie Jo Thompson, Taylor Witsaman, Regan Clark, and Evelyn Burnett.

“I am delighted that Bradley and Erma Siegel are receiving this well-deserved recognition. The schools are engaged in experiential, real-world learning, linking today’s STEM learning to tomorrow’s workforce,” says Dr. Linda Gilbert, Director of Schools. “Both schools have worked tirelessly to expand the teaching and learning of STEM in their classrooms.”

The Tennessee STEM School Designation was developed to provide a “roadmap” for schools to successfully implement a STEM education plan at the local level. The Tennessee Department of Education and Tennessee STEM Innovation Network developed tools and resources to define the attributes of a comprehensive STEM learning environment for students.

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