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Middle School Weekly Update

Week of January 24 – 28

COVID Landscape
Over the last several weeks, the School has continued to analyze COVID data and the impact of Omicron within and beyond the School community. As of Friday, January 21, COVID positive cases reflect 2% of Lower Campus students, 1% of Upper Campus students, and 3% of Lower Campus and Upper Campus faculty/staff members. Coming back from the break, we temporarily suspended large gatherings such as chapel, assemblies, and fans from attending indoor athletic events. Beginning Monday, January 24, the School will allow for Chapel to reconvene on both campuses and for fans to attend indoor athletic events. In the midst of the surge, face coverings will continue to be required for large gatherings as they are required in classrooms on both campuses currently. However, the School is eager to transition from required to recommended for face coverings on the other side of the current surge we are experiencing. Applying the same criteria since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to make adjustments and communicate any shifts for the future. 

Monday, January 24 – Monday, February 7: Perennial Enrollment Period
Coming off a record enrollment year of more than 1,200 students in PS-12, the upcoming re-enrollment process for the 2022-2023 school year will occur between January 24 and February 7. Detailed enrollment process will be emailed on Monday, January 24. 

Monday, January 24: Milepost Grade
Milepost grades will be published on the MV Parent Portal (Veracross).

Wednesday, January 26: All-School Late Start
9:10 am Carpool begins
9:30 am School begins 
*Childcare is not available before school begins

Wednesday, January 26: Ages 12+ Vaccine Clinic
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Upper Campus, Middle School Lightbox
The next Pfizer vaccine clinic (1st dose, 2nd dose or booster) for ages 12+ is Wednesday January 26, from 11:00 – 1:00 on the Upper Campus, MS Building, Lightbox area. Please review and sign the Pharmacy waiver and the MV School waiver – previously sent via email – and bring the documents with you. Please sign up here to reserve your time.

Thursday, January 27, 2022: Parent University- Trends in College Counseling, 2022 for K-8 families
9:00 – 10:00 am
Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 861 8198 0265
Passcode: 877s0G
Please join us to learn more about Mount Vernon’s College Counseling – an added advantage to the Mount Vernon education. Since March 2020, all schools (high schools, K12 schools, and colleges) have been dealing with an unprecedented shift in the educational landscape due to the impacts of COVID19. We look forward to sharing with you what we’ve learned through this admissions cycle and highlighting the ways that Mount Vernon students are uniquely prepared to be competitive even in the most uncertain of times.

Your MV College Counseling Team of Erin McCubbin, Ryan May, Aerial Dickerson, and Alejandro Ramirez are excited to meet with you! Feel free to submit any specific questions or topic requests in advance here. Sample topics:

  • The current structure and goals of the MV college counseling program
  • How MV’s grading and assessment philosophy (Altitude and CBE) align with today’s shifting college admission landscape
  • Statistics and outcomes from previous graduating classes
  • What the person who reads your child’s college application is looking for in a future student

Friday, January 28: MV Cares, Parent Prayer Group
*the time and date for this event have been updated since previously announced
8:00 – 9:00 am 
Gailey Hall, Lower Campus 
We invite all parents, grandparents, and caregivers to help lift up our Mount Vernon community in prayer. At each meeting, we reflect on a very relevant and timely devotion and pray for different MV students, faculty, and staff members by name. Prayer requests may be made here.

Friday, January 28: Grade 6 Class Trip Parent Meeting
8:00 – 9:00 am
Zoom link 
Meeting ID: 224 251 3804
Passcode: JR3Mj7
Join us for a virtual general information meeting with details about the upcoming Grade 6 class trip. If you are unable to attend, we will send a summary via email post meeting.

 

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, February 1: Uniform Resale
7:30 – 9:00 am 
Administration Building 2, Upper Campus
Stop by the Uniform Resale to purchase gently used uniform and spirit wear items: Shirts/$5, Bottoms/$10, Sweatshirts, jackets, sweaters/$10. The Uniform Resale is open the first Tuesday of each month. 

Tuesday, February 1: Parent University – Courage, Connection, and Resilience 
9:00 – 10:00 am 
Zoom Meeting
Join by Phone: (US) +1 301-715-8592
Password: 34616476
Author of Odd Girl Out and The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Girls with Courage and Confidence, and Enough as She Is, Rachel Simmons encourages parents to be role models for self-compassion and courage. Rachel currently serves on the faculty for the Google School for Leaders. She is the co-founder for Girls Leadership and serves as a regular correspondent for Good Morning America. Many of her writings have appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Saturday, February 5: The MVat50 Benefit
7:00 – 11:00 pm
Guardian Works, 755 Echo St NE
The MVat50 Benefit is still being planned. The safety of MV students, faculty/staff and families is paramount, and as we get closer to the date, we will determine the viability of the event, based on the same interdependent factors in deploying protocols and mitigation strategies for the health and well-being of our community. Purchase your tickets before January 28, take a look at the unprecedented live/silent auction items, and get ready to Yacht Rock with us, and! View more information here and reach out to the Benefit Chairs with questions:

Ashley Giardino
Marci Ehrlich
Ashly Cox 

 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

We ask for your partnership in checking students out during the day. Please check your child out at the front desk with the MS Executive Assistant. This ensures that we have an accurate account for where students are during the day. 

Grade 8 parents, add Coffee with Kristy on your calendar for February 3, from 8:30-9:00 am. February’s theme for the conversation is: Course selection – how might we build a transcript to reflect my child’s passions and build on their strengths? 

As we approach another milepost grade, please remember that this is only a snapshot of a moment in the course. Rich feedback is available in Altitude Learning. Milepost grades will be viewable on January 24. 

In partnership,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School

Communication Archive

January 10, 2022

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Thursday, January 13: Parent University with Dr. Lisa Damour: Helping Children and Teenagers Manage Challenging Emotions in Challenging Times
9:00 – 10:00 am
Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85081015382?pwd=cytxT1N3Z1VmNm03U1FsTXI2Y3VXUT09
Meeting ID: 850 8101 5382
Passcode: GiN3Hf
Dr. Lisa Damour explains the psychological science key to understanding how stress and anxiety operate, both under everyday conditions and at times of heightened concern and disruption. Join us to learn more about how we can:

  • cultivate and protect kids’ psychological health
  • help kids develop adaptive strategies for managing intense emotions
  • address the specific challenges which come with each stage of development

Recognized as a thought leader by the American Psychological Association for her work on stress and anxiety, Dr. Lisa Damour is the author of two New York Times best-selling books, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood and Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls.

 

SAVE THESE DATES

Monday, January 17: No School for Students

Tuesday, January 18: Bone Cancer Awareness Day

Wednesday, January 19: MV Cares, Parent Prayer Group
8:45 – 9:30 am
Gailey Hall, Lower Campus
We invite all parents, grandparents, and caregivers to help lift up our Mount Vernon community in prayer. At each meeting, we reflect on a very relevant and timely devotion and pray for different MV students, faculty, and staff members by name. Prayer requests may be made here.

Thursday, January 20: Coffee and Conversation with Head of Middle School
8:15 – 8:45 am
Middle School Art Gallery
Join Leah Nestor for Coffee and Conversation from 8:15 am – 8:45 am in the Middle School Art Gallery.

Monday, January 24 – Monday, February 7: Perennial Enrollment Period
More information to come.

Thursday, January 27, 2022: Parent University- Trends in College Counseling, 2022 for K-8 families
9:00 – 10:00 am
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86181980265?pwd=RnVFWEFYWStvc3BJTWNDUmlNZy9tdz09
Meeting ID: 861 8198 0265
Passcode: 877s0G

Please join us to learn more about Mount Vernon’s College Counseling – an added advantage to the Mount Vernon education. Since March 2020, all schools (high schools, K12 schools, and colleges) have been dealing with an unprecedented shift in the educational landscape due to the impacts of COVID19. We look forward to sharing with you what we’ve learned through this admissions cycle and highlighting the ways that Mount Vernon students are uniquely prepared to be competitive even in the most uncertain of times.

Your MV College Counseling Team of Erin McCubbin, Ryan May, Aerial Dickerson, and Alejandro Ramirez are excited to meet with you! Feel free to submit any specific questions or topic requests in advance here. Sample topics:

  • The current structure and goals of the MV college counseling program
  • How MV’s grading and assessment philosophy (Altitude and CBE) align with today’s shifting college admission landscape
  • Statistics and outcomes from previous graduating classes
  • What the person who reads your child’s college application is looking for in a future student

Saturday, February 5: The MVat50 Benefit
7:00 – 11:00 pm
Guardian Works
755 Echo St NE

The MVat50 Benefit Gala will be here before we know it on Saturday, February 5 at Guardian Works in Midtown. Volunteers are planning a spectacular night for our community and you will not want to miss it – dress is cocktail attire. Dance to live music by the band Yacht Rock Schooner, enjoy heavy appetizers followed by dinner, and bid on unique experiences and items through both a silent and live auction. Get your tickets now! 

More event information.

Wine/Bourbon Drive for MVat50 Benefit Gala

The MVat50 Benefit event Parent Co-Chairs are looking for donations of high-end quality bottles of bourbon and/or wine for the MVat50 Benefit Gala. The donations will be used at the event in the Wine/Bourbon Toss game.

If you would like to donate a bottle of wine or bourbon they are looking for a variety of labels that range at $50/bottle and above.

The event chairs will be at the morning and afternoon carpools on Lower Campus on Thursday, January 13 to collect any donated bottles. On Upper Campus they will be at morning and afternoon carpool on Friday, January 14 to collect donations.

Please reach out to the co-chairs with questions:
Ashley Giardino
Marci Ehrlich
Ashly Cox 

 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

Welcome back! We are thrilled to have students back in the building. The second trimester continues with new Choice Connections classes and a new Arts & Design mod. We started the year with new Covid protocols, and I remain grateful to our students for the care they show one another in adhering to the face covering requirement. Committing to the protocols helps us tremendously to stay in a face-to-face, on-campus setting. We are looking forward to a great year full of exciting opportunities from class trips to social events.

On January 18, the middle school will show support by going yellow for Grade 7 student, Isla Walker. We will distribute yellow wristbands to all of our students and wear yellow attire. We are so blessed to see our students rally around one of their classmates through an incredibly challenging time. We are truly stronger together.

In partnership,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School

December 6, 2021

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COVID LANDSCAPE
The following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, December 3, 2021.
Middle School COVID Positive: 0 out of 295
Lower & Upper Campus Employees: 0 out of 257

Monday, December 6 – Wednesday, December 15: Toys for Tots Drive
Students are encouraged to donate a new, unwrapped toy to Toys for Tots in partnership with the United States Marine Corps. On Wednesday, December 15, the drive will culminate with a special Toys for Tots chapel on each campus where members of the USMC are expected to be present to accept the donated toys. Lower Campus toy collection will take place in each classroom, while Upper Campus collections will take place at each respective front desk.

Tuesday, December 7: Uniform Resale
7:30 – 9:00 am
Administration Building 2, Upper Campus
Stop by Uniform Resale on the first Tuesday of each month to pick up lightly used uniform and spirit wear items.

Wednesday, December 8: All-School Late Start
9:10 am Carpool begins
9:30 am School begins
*Childcare is not available before school begins 

Thursday, December 9: Parent University – Parenting in a Tech World: Live Q&A
8:15 – 9:15 am
Fellowship Hall, Lower Campus
Please join Chief Parent Officer Titania Jordan and Vice President of Business Development Matt McKee, co-authors of Parenting in a Tech World and leaders at Bark.us, as they answer families’ questions live and in-person. Although Preschool through Upper School families are invited to attend, this event is most applicable for families of children in grades 4-12.

Friday, December 10: Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic for ages 5-11
1:00 – 3:00 pm
Fellowship Hall
MV has partnered with a local pediatrician’s office and pediatric nurses from CHOA to offer a Pfizer COVID vaccine clinic for students ages 5 – 11. Prior to the clinic, please sign up here.

 

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, December 14: Christmas Arts Showcase
6:00 – 9:30 pm
Upper Campus
Join us for our 10th Annual Christmas Arts Showcase on Tues, Dec 14. Visitors will be guided on a 90-minute immersive tour with short performances, visual art installations, showcases of learning, virtual reality, hot cocoa and more. Mount Vernon’s creativity will be on full display as our instrumental and vocal ensembles, dance teams, theatre troupes, VR club, and iDiploma programs join forces to create a truly unforgettable experience. Get your tickets today here.

Wednesday, December 15: Rising Upper School Walk & Talk
8:30 – 9:30 am
Upper Campus, Upper School Cafe
Have you wondered what life will be like in a few years when you have an Upper Schooler at Mount Vernon? Join us for a walk and talk on December 15 at 8:30 am to see MV Upper in action! We will meet in the Upper Campus Cafe to begin the Walk & Talk. Register here to reserve your space.

Wednesday, December 15: MV Cares, Parent Prayer Group
8:45 – 9:30 am
Gailey Hall, Lower Campus
We invite all parents, grandparents, and caregivers to help lift up our Mount Vernon community in prayer. At each meeting, we reflect on a very relevant and timely devotion and pray for different MV students, faculty, and staff members by name. Prayer requests may be made here.

Friday, December 17 – Monday, January 3: School Break

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: LEARN, SERVE, GIVE

Volunteers Needed: Faculty Appreciation Lunch
Thursday, December 9
Upper Campus, Middle School Building
Help is needed for the annual Faculty Appreciation Lunch, a moment faculty and staff look forward to each year. Volunteers can sign up to help serve lunch or to provide student coverage during lunch and recess. With questions, please contact Hunter Pierce, [email protected].

Make an End-of-Year Impact: MVFund
With the end of the calendar year fast approaching, we invite you to make an impact with a year-end gift! Thank you to these 400+ families that have already contributed to the MVFund, the School’s annual giving campaign.

Please make a gift or pledge to the MV Fund to provide additional learning opportunities and expedite key projects. As a reminder, you have until June 30, 2022, to fulfill your pledge for 2021-22. Thank you in advance for your generosity and participation!

The MVat50 Benefit
Tickets and sponsorships are going fast for the MVat50 Benefit – be sure to reserve yours today. You can find more detailed information about the Benefit here, as well as on Instagram and Facebook. Proceeds from ticket sales, as well as both the silent and live auctions, will benefit our entire community by providing the opportunity to purchase a new fleet of buses for the School. Don’t miss your chance to attend this event!

 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

We were so thankful to see you at MS Family Night. Our families were able to meet teachers, immerse themselves in a student activity, and fellowship with one another. This event provided an opportunity for parents to ask questions of teachers, administrators, and peers, providing space for connection.

The first day of December was a timely message in chapel about friendships and forgiveness. Matthew 6:14-15 talks about the power of forgiveness and how when we forgive, God forgives us. Forgiveness can be hard in Middle School as friendships ebb and flow and feelings are hurt. It is a great reminder for us to guide, support, and help students find peace and power in forgiveness.

We look forward to celebrating these next few weeks of holiday cheer and festivities with you.

In partnership,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School

November 12, 2021

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COVID LANDSCAPE
In case you missed it, be sure to review November 3 COVID letter to PS-Grade 6. The following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, November 5.
Middle School COVID Positive: 0 out of 295
Lower & Upper Campus Employees: 0 out of 257

Wednesday, November 10: MS Community Teacher Share Conference (Signups are live in MV Parent Portal on Veracross)
No School for Middle School students
We are looking forward to MS Community Teacher Share Conferences on Wednesday, November 10. The conference signup is now live in the MV Parent Portal on Veracross.

The Community Teacher Share Conference serves two primary purposes: 1) for your child’s Community Leader to share with you their observations and perspectives about the work your child is doing in Community, and 2) for the Community Leader to review the importance and methods of regular review of Altitude Learning, so that you have the most complete view of your child’s learning and progress in each of their courses. To prepare for the Community Teacher Share Conference, please be aware of the following:

  1. Appointments will be 15 minutes long, and you can reserve a meeting time through the MV Parent Portal on Veracross.
  2. Appointments may be in person or via Zoom, depending on your preference. We just ask that you indicate your preference when scheduling a time.
  3. By bringing a device such as a laptop or iPad, you can access the Altitude Learning parent portal and receive support about accessing the vital information that is available on Altitude (this review in Altitude can be more challenging on a phone-sized screen).
  4. Please make sure you can login to the Altitude Learning parent portal before the conference. There are additional resources below, if you need a refresher. Additionally, Mrs. Katie Cain will be available in the MS Art Gallery on the day of conferences, should you need additional technical assistance with logging into Altitude Learning.
  5. If you’d like to discuss more course-specific information about your child’s learning and progress, as always, please contact your child’s specific teacher to arrange a time to talk.

In years past, a scheduled conference day was a very efficient way for parents to get a glimpse into a child’s school experience. Now, of course, the combination of a learning management system like Altitude Learning, as well as access to teachers via email and mutually convenient times throughout the year, allow for a much more complete picture of your student’s learning and progress.

Additional Resources:

Thursday, November 11: Vaccine Clinic
11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Middle School Lightbox
The next vaccine clinic is scheduled for Thursday, November 11 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm located on the Upper Campus, MS Lightbox. This clinic will be available to employees and students ages 12+ wanting the Pfizer vaccine or booster.

 

Friday, November 12: Managing and Monitoring K-12 Children’s Online Presence
9:00 – 10:00 am
Hosted by Katie Cain and Bark
Register for webinar here
Back by popular demand, Katie Cain and our partners at Bark will share strategies and resources for managing children’s online presence. From school-issued iPads to personal cell phones, from web filters to parental controls, we aim to equip families with resources to confidently approach technology use with their children/teenagers.

 

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, November 16 – 18: Upper Campus Production of Little Women the Musical
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Mount Vernon Studios is thrilled to bring you Little Women. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s life, Little Women follows the adventures of sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested – her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from her life experiences. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their lives growing up in Civil War America. Reserve your tickets here.

Thursday, November 18: MV Grandparents Reception at the Night of the Arts”
All Grandparents have received an invitation to a Grandparents only reception from 5:30-6:30. This will take place prior to the performance of Little Women. Please RSVP and reserve your tickets through the Paperless Post Invitation.

Friday, November 19: Early Release for Students
12:00 pm
All Middle School students will be released at noon on the Friday prior to Thanksgiving break. No extended play will be available.

November 29: Authentic Connections: Virtual Lunch and Learn
11:45am – 12:45pm
Join Zoom Here
The Mount Vernon School is advancing its mission by engaging all students – through stories, experiences, data, and research serving as guides. As a result of the pandemic, MV students have had to adjust to a variety of circumstances, learn to be agile, and develop resilience. Partnering with Authentic Connections to collect and analyze data, we will be able to strengthen our focus on supporting well-being and resilience within our students. Join us virtually to hear from experts regarding trends and best practices for supporting adolescents through these unique times.

Wednesday, December 1: Vaccine Clinic
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Middle School Lightbox

December 3: Babysitter Bootcamp Class
The Mount Vernon School is offering a Babysitter Boot Camp class to all Middle School and Upper School students through the CPR Training Center. View more information here.

 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

In chapel this week, we heard from one of our teachers in our Bridging the Gap series where teachers have the opportunity to share their testimony. We were reminded that no matter what we go through, God will not give up on us. Matthew 14:31 tells us that we must keep the faith because He is always there for us.

Middle School Community Share Conferences will be held on November 10. You will have the opportunity to hear about the relationship building students are doing in Community. You will also have the opportunity to login and see the best way to view your child’s Altitude Learning progress. Community Share Conferences will not be an in depth look into a child’s progress in each class. Remember that Altitude Learning houses a great deal of information and evidence of student learning and progress. Please schedule a time to meet with the respective teacher for a deeper discussion into your child’s progress. Post your conference, a great conversation starter with your child could be: Where have your Glows & Grows been these first three weeks? Let’s look (together) for the evidence in your cards in Altitude.

Have a wonderful weekend.

In partnership,
Leah Nestor

November 5, 2021

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Tuesday, November 2: School Portrait Makeup Date
Due to the forecast for rain, we will be moving Retake Picture Day to Tuesday, November 2. School Portrait Retakes will be taken on Upper Campus from 8:20 am – 3:30 pm. If you would like your student to retake their photo, sign up here. If your student was absent on the original Portrait Day, you should have received a separate email from the School and do not need to sign up using the above form. Should you have any questions, please contact Reagan Langston at [email protected].

Tuesday, November 2 – Uniform Resale
7:30 – 9:00 am
Administration Building 2, Upper Campus
Stop by Uniform Resale on the first Tuesday of each month to pick up lightly used uniform and spirit wear items.

Thursday, November 4 – Saturday, November 6: Middle School Production of Puffs
The School of Magic is coming to Mount Vernon – Don’t miss an opportunity to see PUFFS or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic. For seven years a certain boy wizard went to a certain Wizard School and conquered evil. This, however, is not his story. This is the story of the Puffs… who just happened to be there too. A tale for anyone who has never been destined to save the world. Reserve your tickets here. 

Friday, November 5: Early Dismissal
The Mustang Varsity Football Team is hosting their final regular season game of the year. Since we don’t have field lights, games typically start earlier, later in the season. With a 3:00pm start time, carpool, parking, guests, and other logistics impact both campuses. On November 5, the Middle School will have an early dismissal at 2:00 pm. Extended Play will run 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm.

  • 1:30 Preschool and Lower School Dismissal
  • 1:45 Upper School Dismissal
  • 2:00 Middle School Dismissal

 

SAVE THESE DATES

Wednesday, November 10: MS Community Teacher Share Conferences
We are looking forward to MS Community Teacher Share Conferences on Wednesday, November 10. The Community Teacher Share Conference serves two primary purposes: 1) for your child’s Community Leader to share with you their observations and perspectives about the work your child is doing in Community, and 2) for the Community Leader to review the importance and methods of regular review of Altitude Learning, so that you have the most complete view of your child’s learning and progress in each of their courses. To prepare for the Community Teacher Share Conference, please be aware of the following:

  1. Appointments will be 15 minutes long, and you can reserve a meeting time through the MV Parent Portal on Veracross.
  2. Appointments may be in person or via Zoom, depending on your preference. We just ask that you indicate your preference when scheduling a time.
  3. By bringing a device such as a laptop or iPad, you can access the Altitude Learning parent portal and receive support about accessing the vital information that is available on Altitude (this review in Altitude can be more challenging on a phone-sized screen).
  4. Please make sure you can login to the Altitude Learning parent portal before the conference. There are additional resources below, if you need a refresher. Additionally, Mrs. Katie Cain will be available in the MS Art Gallery on the day of conferences, should you need additional technical assistance with logging into Altitude Learning.
  5. If you’d like to discuss more course-specific information about your child’s learning and progress, as always, please contact your child’s specific teacher to arrange a time to talk.

In years past, a scheduled conference day was a very efficient way for parents to get a glimpse into a child’s school experience. Now, of course, the combination of a learning management system like Altitude Learning, as well as access to teachers via email and mutually convenient times throughout the year, allow for a much more complete picture of your student’s learning and progress.

Additional Resources:

Thursday, November 11: Vaccine Clinic

Friday, November 12: Managing and Monitoring K-12 Children’s Online Presence
9:00 – 10:00 am
Hosted by Katie Cain and Bark
Register for webinar here
Back by popular demand, Katie Cain and our partners at Bark will share strategies and resources for managing children’s online presence. From school-issued iPads to personal cell phones, from web filters to parental controls, we aim to equip families with resources to confidently approach technology use with their children/teenagers.

November 29: Authentic Connections: Virtual Lunch and Learn
11:45am – 12:45pm
Join Zoom Here
The Mount Vernon School is advancing its mission by engaging all students – through stories, experiences, data, and research serving as guides. As a result of the pandemic, MV students have had to adjust to a variety of circumstances, learn to be agile, and develop resilience. Partnering with Authentic Connections to collect and analyze data, we will be able to strengthen our focus on supporting well-being and resilience within our students. Join us virtually to hear from experts regarding trends and best practices for supporting adolescents through these unique times.

 

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: LEARN, SERVE, GIVE

Connect to and with our MV Community through volunteer engagement, impact projects, and service learning. The Mount Vernon Parent Network (MVPN) works to promote a strong sense of community by encouraging families to Learn, Serve and Give. Our success is grounded in a shared mission, supportive community, and strong parent participation.

The MV Fund: Make a significant impact in the School’s 50th year by supporting our annual giving campaign, Mount Vernon Fund, with a gift or pledge. Your contribution helps the School provide additional learning opportunities, while accelerating key projects this school year.

In honor of the School’s 50th year, please consider contributing a $5050 anniversary gift. Learn more about how to make an impact in our 50th year.

The MVat50 Benefit
Plan to join us on Saturday, February 5, for an evening of fellowship with a purpose. Tickets will go on sale next week. All proceeds from sponsorships and auctions will benefit our entire community by providing the School the ability to purchase a new fleet of buses, allowing students to take advantage of expeditionary learning, athletes to travel to away games, and artists to take shows on the road. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities for The Benefit here.

 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

In a recent MS Coffee and Conversation session, I was able to share through images and stories the many ways our students show up as collaborators, creative thinkers, solution seekers, communciators, innovators, and ethical decision makers. Though all of the mindsets are important, ethical decision maker can sometimes not shine as brightly because it isn’t easily captured in a picture. Below are a few ways you can inquire (and then celebrate!) the mindset of an ethical decision maker in your child. Here are a few questions you can ask: What choices did you make today that had a positive impact on a peer? Did you lend a helping hand today? What were some ways you used technology for good? What opportunities were there to show empathy for someone?

In chapel this week, we learned about the importance of understanding the journey of faith through prayer and Bible reading. It’s in these moments that we can hear the message God has for us and the fullness of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).

In partnership,
Leah Nestor

October 25, 2021

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COVID LANDSCAPE
As a reminder from the October 21 announcement, effective Monday, October 25, the School is shifting the face covering protocol from required to recommended for grades 7-12. The School recommends that students, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face covering in classrooms and hallways. However, all Upper Campus students and faculty/staff, regardless of vaccination status, will continue to be required to wear a face covering in confined spaces during larger divisional gatherings such as Chapel, assemblies, and pep rallies.

The following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, October 22.
Middle School COVID Positive: 0 out of 295
Lower & Upper Campus Employees: 0 out of 257

Tuesday, October 26
Parent University, 8:30 – 9:30 am – Affinity and Alliance Program at Mount Vernon School (virtual only) Join via Zoom
Mount Vernon norms call upon community members to start with questions and to share the well. These actions make a difference for individuals, and research shows that when individuals are able to gather in groups where they see themselves reflected, the questions and sharing take on new meaning and deeper impact toward positive ends. In this academic year, the Mount Vernon School will begin hosting Affinity Group gatherings for members of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. As a school grounded in Christian values, we draw upon sound research, stories, and experiences of our students, alumni, and families in the action of convening these affinity groups. Join Stacey Lee, Mount Vernon’s Chief IDEA Officer to experience, first-hand, the ways in which the design of Affinity Groups will enhance our school community.

Wednesday, October 27
New Family Drop-In Coffee, 7:45 – 9:15 am
MVPN’s New Family Chairs Amanda Woodall and Amanda Richmond invite new families who joined MV in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 to the Upper Campus Green to build community among our newest Mustangs. Come as you are, bring your morning caffeine, or grab a cup of coffee at the Ground Floor Coffee Shop in the US Cafe.

Thursday, October 28
Portrait Retakes RESCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2
On October 28, School Portrait Retakes will be taken on Lower Campus from 8:20-11:20 am and on Upper Campus from 8:20 am – 3:30 pm. If you would like your student to retake photo, sign up at mountvernonschool.org/retakes. If your student was absent on the original Portrait Day, you should have received a separate email from the School and do not need to sign up using the above form. Should you have any questions, please contact Reagan Langston at [email protected].

Friday, October 29
No School for Students/Upper Campus Faculty RDI & Work Day
Trimester 1 and MS Mod 2 end
As students near the end of the Trimester, they will receive the first of three, official trimester grades that will post permanently on report cards and student transcripts. Students in Humanities and Write Minded classes will rotate to a new teacher for Trimester 2 and will continue to master their learning outcomes through the trimester. The Trimester 1 milepost grade will be live on November 1, at 8:00 am. The most complete and robust information about student learning continues to be archived on Altitude Learning.

Monday, November 1
Trimester 2 and MS Mod 3 begin

SAVE THESE DATES

Friday, November 5: Early Dismissal
The Mustang Varsity Football Team is hosting their final regular season game of the year. Since we don’t have field lights, games typically start earlier, later in the season. With a 3:00 pm start time, carpool, parking, guests, and other logistics impact both campuses. On November 5, the Middle School will have an early dismissal at 2:00 pm. Extended Play will also be available until 6:00.

  • 1:30 Preschool and Lower School Dismissal
  • 1:45 Upper School Dismissal
  • 2:00 Middle School Dismissal

November 10, MS Community Teacher Share Conferences
We are looking forward to MS Community Teacher Share Conferences on Wednesday, November 10. The Community Teacher Share Conference serves two primary purposes: 1) for your child’s Community Leader to share with you their observations and perspectives about the work your child is doing in Community, and 2) for the Community Leader to review the importance and methods of regular review of Altitude Learning, so that you have the most complete view of your child’s learning and progress in each of their courses. To prepare for the Community Teacher Share Conference, please be aware of the following:

  1. Appointments will be 15 minutes long, and you can reserve a meeting time through the MV Parent Portal on Veracross.
  2. Appointments may be in person or via Zoom, depending on your preference. We just ask that you indicate your preference when scheduling a time.
  3. By bringing a device such as a laptop or iPad, you can access the Altitude Learning parent portal and receive support about accessing the vital information that is available on Altitude (this review in Altitude can be more challenging on a phone-sized screen).
  4. Please make sure you can login to the Altitude Learning parent portal before the conference. There are additional resources below, if you need a refresher. Additionally, Mrs. Katie Cain will be available in the MS Art Gallery on the day of conferences, should you need additional technical assistance with logging into Altitude Learning.
  5. If you’d like to discuss more course-specific information about your child’s learning and progress, as always, please contact your child’s specific teacher to arrange a time to talk.

In years past, a scheduled conference day was a very efficient way for parents to get a glimpse into a child’s school experience. Now, of course, the combination of a learning management system like Altitude Learning, as well as access to teachers via email and mutually convenient times throughout the year, allow for a much more complete picture of your student’s learning and progress.

Additional Resources:

Thursday, November 11: Vaccine Clinic

Friday November 12: Managing and Monitoring K-12 Children’s Online Presence 
Hosted by Katie Cain and Bark
Registration to attend will begin next week.
From 9:00 – 10:0 am, Back by popular demand, Katie Cain and our partners at Bark will share strategies and resources for managing children’s online presence. From school-issued iPads to personal cell phones, from web filters to parental controls, we aim to equip families with resources to confidently approach technology use with their children/teenagers.

 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

This was my inaugural Middle School Halloween Bash and what a blast we had! Costumes, dancing, games, and food were all a hit. Thank you to our parent volunteers for planning, organizing, and decorating this event to ensure our students were able to #havefun on Friday.

This month is Hispanic Heritage Month. We celebrated our Hispanic teachers and students through music, dance, learning about Hispanic culture, and trivia throughout the month of October. In chapel, Senõr Freeman led us in The Lord’s Prayer in Español and the Middle School teachers and students performed Vivir Mi Vida. Vivir Mi Vida tells us to laugh, dance, and enjoy life. I was reminded of Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” How blessed we are to celebrate and rejoice with one another.

We are pleased to introduce Mount Vernon’s Middle School Counselor, Ms. Lycedia Gasaway. Ms. Gasaway started with us on October 20, and she has been a wonderful addition to the Mount Vernon Community. Read more about Ms. Gasaway here.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership.

Leah Nestor

October 17, 2021

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Coming Up This Week in Middle School: October 18 – 22

Monday, October 18

Tuesday, October 19

Veracross Parent Portal Hands-on Workshop for Upper Campus families
11:45 – 12:45 in the MAC on Upper Campus
Families are invited on-campus to learn more about the Veracross system, including a hands-on tutorial on the many capabilities of the platform: subscribe to your student’s class schedule, update your profile information, find families within a 10-mile radius, donate to the MV Fund, link to key resources, and much more.

Wednesday, October 20
Vaccine Clinic for Adults and Students who are 12 or older
11:00 -1:00 in the MS Lightbox – Required forms:
1) Briarcliff Health Mart Vaccine Immunization Form
2) MV School Consent, Waiver & Release Form

Thursday, October 21
8:15 – 8:45 am Coffee and Conversation with Leah Nestor
Relationships are foundational for learning and the success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. We will review Mount Vernon’s Continuum and discuss how the following Mindsets show up in the Middle School everyday: creative thinker, solution seeker, communicator, innovator, collaborator, and ethical decision maker. Join me from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Upper School One-Act Play in the Upper School Black Box
6:00 pm
Don’t miss The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong this week in the Upper School. This super-hilarious one-act is a hilarious 75 minute comedy like you’ve never seen before. The actors are accident-prone, and everything that can go wrong…does! Reserve your tickets here.

Friday, October 22
MS Halloween Bash
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Middle School students at The Mount Vernon School are invited to the 2021 Halloween Bash on Friday, October 22. Students are encouraged to wear costumes to showcase their Halloween spirit. Costumes should be appropriate for a school setting. The evening will feature games and activities in the Upper Campus Gym and surrounding hallways, food and drinks, and a DJ playing music. The music and dancing will take place in an outdoor tent. The Halloween Bash begins at 6:00 pm and concludes at 8:00 pm. Students should be dropped off and picked up in the MS Carpool circle.

Friday, October 22 at 6:00 pm and Saturday, October 23 at 2:00 pm
Upper School One-Act Play in the Upper School Black Box
Don’t miss The One-Act Play That Goes Wrong this week in the Upper School. This super-hilarious one-act is a hilarious 75 minute comedy like you’ve never seen before. The actors are accident-prone, and everything that can go wrong…does! Reserve your tickets here.

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, October 26: Parent University – Affinity and Alliance Program at Mount Vernon School (virtual only) Join via Zoom
8:30 – 9:30 am Mount Vernon norms call upon community members to start with questions and to share the well. These actions make a difference for individuals, and research shows that when individuals are able to gather in groups where they see themselves reflected, the questions and sharing take on new meaning and deeper impact toward positive ends. In this academic year, the Mount Vernon School will begin hosting Affinity Group gatherings for members of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. As a school grounded in Christian values, we draw upon sound research, stories, and experiences of our students, alumni, and families in the action of convening these affinity groups. Join Stacey Lee, Mount Vernon’s Chief IDEA Officer to experience, first-hand, the ways in which the design of Affinity Groups will enhance our school community.

Wednesday, October 27: New Family Drop-In Coffee
7:45 – 9:15 am MVPN’s New Family Chairs Amanda Woodall and Amanda Richmond invite new families who joined MV for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 to the Upper Campus Green to build community among our newest Mustangs. Come as you are, bring your morning caffeine, or grab a cup of coffee at the Ground Floor Coffee Shop in the US Cafe.

MS Community Teacher Share Conferences
We are looking forward to MS Community Teacher Share Conferences on Wednesday, November 10. The Community Teacher Share Conference serves two primary purposes: 1) for your child’s Community Leader to share with you their observations and perspectives about the work your child is doing in Community, and 2) for the Community Leader to review the importance and methods of regular review of Altitude Learning, so that you have the most complete view of your child’s learning and progress in each of their courses. To prepare for the Community Teacher Share Conference, please be aware of the following:

  1. Appointments will be 15 minutes long, and you can reserve a meeting time through the MV Parent Portal on Veracross.
  2. Appointments may be in person or via Zoom, depending on your preference. We just ask that you indicate your preference when scheduling a time.
  3. By bringing a device such as a laptop or iPad, you can access the Altitude Learning parent portal and receive support about accessing the vital information that is available on Altitude (this review in Altitude can be more challenging on a phone-sized screen).
  4. Please make sure you can login to the Altitude Learning parent portal before the conference. There are additional resources below, if you need a refresher. Additionally, Mrs. Katie Cain will be available in the MS Art Gallery on the day of conferences, should you need additional technical assistance with logging into Altitude Learning.
  5. If you’d like to discuss more course-specific information about your child’s learning and progress, as always, please contact your child’s specific teacher to arrange a time to talk.

In years past, a scheduled conference day was a very efficient way for parents to get a glimpse into a child’s school experience. Now, of course, the combination of a learning management system like Altitude Learning, as well as access to teachers via email and mutually convenient times throughout the year, allow for a much more complete picture of your student’s learning and progress.

Additional Resources:

Thursday, November 11: Vaccine Clinic

Wednesday, December 1: Vaccine Clinic

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

What an exciting short week in Middle School. We lived into our #havefun norm this past week. Including, but not limited to, dress up days, Upper and Middle School pep rally, and the mini-golf course. The fun continues as we host the Halloween Bash in Middle School on October 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.

I look forward to seeing you at the October 21 Coffee and Conversation in the Middle School from 8:15-8:45 am where we will take a deep dive into the Mindsets and how they appear each day.

This is a great time to check your child’s progress in Altitude Learning. Questions to ask your child: How might we best support you in your courses? What is giving you pause? What are you hoping to accomplish over the next few weeks?

Thank you for partnering with us.

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

October 10, 2021

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COMING UP THIS WEEK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: OCTOBER 11 – 15
HOMECOMING WEEK

Monday, October 11: NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, October 12
Superhero Tuesday (wear a superhero top with uniform bottoms, no masks or accessories)

Wednesday, October 13
Jersey Wednesday (wear your favorite team’s jersey or tshirt with uniform bottoms)

8:00 – 8:20 Chapel
Thursday, October 14

Tacky Thursday (wear mismatched clothing, fun patterns, turn things inside out or backward)
Friday, October 15

Tropical Friday (wear island getaway gear) 
9:30 – 10:05 Pep Rally

Homecoming Football Game and Activities
4:00 pm Varsity Mustangs take on Providence Christian Academy for Homecoming 2021
Join 50 years of families, 14 years of Alumni, 1200+ current students including 117 seniors, 900 current families, and 250 faculty and staff members for the largest collection of Mustangs in one place, ever, as our entire community celebrates the School’s 50th year. Past performers and athletes, along with active service members, will be recognized. Former Homecoming Kings and Queens will participate in the halftime tradition of honoring this year’s Homecoming Court and the crowning of our new King and Queen. 

Grade-Level Tents: Families are welcome to gather with grade-level peers for snacks and connection at their respective tents:

PS – Grade 1 Tent
Grades 2 – 5 Tent
Grades 6 – 8 Tent
Grades 9 and 10 Tent
Grades 11 and 12 Tent

Silent Online Auction: Visit the MVHOCOAuction online to bid on school-related experiences, including carpool VIP, front row seats at student performances, out-of-uniform days, and more. Text MVHOCOAuction to 76278. Bidding ends at 11:00 pm on Friday, October 15.

Putt the Vern – A Journey Through Time 9-Hole Golf Course: This student-conceived, planned, designed, and executed mini-golf course on the Upper Campus Green will be available for all ages to play during Homecoming. Relive iconic MV-places, spaces, and events, while learning more about the School’s history. Every structure on this course was created or repurposed in the Upper School maker space by the Innovation Diploma (ID) Grade 10 Cohort. Thoroughly and intentionally crafted, every hole has a story. Innovation Diploma – where age does not indicate capability.

Join us to participate in all of the Homecoming festivities, meet up with long-term Mustangs, and continue the celebration of our School’s 50th year.

COVID LANDSCAPE

The following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, October 8.

Middle School

COVID Positive
0 of 295

Lower Campus & Upper Campus Employees
0 of 257

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, October 19: Veracross Parent Portal Hands-on Workshop for Upper Campus families
11:45 – 12:45 Families are invited on-campus to learn more about the Veracross system, including a hands-on tutorial on the many capabilities of the platform: subscribe to your student’s class schedule, update your profile information, find families within a 10-mile radius, donate to the MV Fund, link to key resources, and much more. 

Wednesday, October 20: Vaccine Clinic for Adults and Students who are 12 or older
11:00 -1:00 in the MS Lightbox – Required forms:
1) Briarcliff Health Mart Vaccine Immunization Form
2) MV School Consent, Waiver & Release Form

Thursday, October 21
8:15 – 8:45 am Coffee and Conversation with Leah Nestor
Relationships are foundational for learning and the success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. We will review Mount Vernon’s Continuum and discuss how the following Mindsets show up in the Middle School everyday: creative thinker, solution seeker, communicator, innovator, collaborator, and ethical decision maker. Join me from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery. 

Friday, October 22
6:00 – 8:00 pm MS Halloween Bash
Middle School students at The Mount Vernon School are invited to the 2021 Halloween Bash on Friday, October 22. Students are encouraged to wear costumes to showcase their Halloween spirit. Costumes should be appropriate for a school setting. The evening will feature games and activities in the Upper Campus Gym and surrounding hallways, food and drinks, and a DJ playing music. The music and dancing will take place in an outdoor tent. The Halloween Bash begins at 6:00 pm and concludes at 8:00 pm. Students should be dropped off and picked up in the MS Carpool circle. 

Tuesday, October 26: Parent University – Affinity and Alliance Program at Mount Vernon School (virtual)
8:30 – 9:30 am Join via Zoom
Mount Vernon norms call upon community members to start with questions and to share the well. These actions make a difference for individuals, and research shows that when individuals are able to gather in groups where they see themselves reflected, the questions and sharing take on new meaning and deeper impact toward positive ends. In this academic year, the Mount Vernon School will begin hosting Affinity Group gatherings for members of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. As a school grounded in Christian values, we draw upon sound research, stories, and experiences of our students, alumni, and families in the action of convening these affinity groups. Join Stacey Lee, Mount Vernon’s Chief IDEA Officer to experience, first-hand, the ways in which the design of Affinity Groups will enhance our school community.

Wednesday, October 27: New Family Drop-In Coffee
7:45 – 9:15 am MVPN’s New Family Chairs Amanda Woodall and Amanda Richmond invite new families who joined MV for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 to the Upper Campus Green to build community among our newest Mustangs. Come as you are, bring your morning caffeine, or grab a cup of coffee at the Ground Floor Coffee Shop in the US Cafe.

Friday, October 29: No School for Students

Thursday, November 11: Vaccine Clinic

Wednesday, December 1: Vaccine Clinic 

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

MVCares

MVCares is a part of the Mount Vernon Parent Network (MVPN) created to serve our community through appreciation, service, and support. If interested in participating on a committee, please contact Telisha Jackson, MVCares Chair.
Appreciation: Help with faculty/staff appreciation days in the fall and winter, snack donations for monthly faculty meetings in each division, assist with gifts, meals, and other classroom activities per grade.

Service:  Impacting our local and global community through community service, participating in community outreach. 

Support: Join the Parent Prayer Group, organize meal trains, send care cards, video cards, and other special expressions that best meet the needs of our MV families going through challenging times. Support Request Form

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

This week Middle School students displayed the #collaborator mindset in and outside of the classroom. My observations this week were exciting as I joined Ms. Terry’s digital arts students in collaboration with each other using props for a camera angle scavenger hunt, Mr. Chiapetta’s Spanish students using their talents to create a music video in Spanish, and Ms. Abernathy’s science class partnering in a microscope and cell lab. As collaborators, they are designing, reiterating, and producing evidence of their learning journey. 

As our students design and reiterate, we faculty also model this process to continuously innovate meaningful learning experiences. We’ve adjusted the Write-Minded course and combined the assessment and feedback process to better align with their Humanities course. Moving forward, you will not see a separate grade for Write-Minded in your child’s Milepost Grades in Veracross, but you will be able to see Write-Minded specific assessment and feedback in Altitude Learning, as you have been able to do already.

Milepost Grades can be seen in Veracross on Tuesday, October 12. This is a snapshot of your child’s learning journey. For a complete look at their learning and feedback from their teachers, head to the Altitude Learning Portal and click on the Progress tab. 

This week’s chapel was a great reminder as we head into our Fall break. James 4:6a reminds us that no matter what we are going through, “…He gives greater grace…”. 

I am deeply grateful for our teachers and staff who pour their heart and soul into building relationships and creating impactful learning experiences for our students. We have asked them to rest from their work, so they can work from their rest. We look forward to seeing everyone for a great week of Homecoming festivities. 

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

October 3, 2021

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COMING UP THIS WEEK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: OCTOBER 4 – 8

Monday, October 4
Community: Welcoming Spaces

Tuesday, October 5
7:30 – 9:00 am: Uniform Resale in HQ2

8:00 – 9:00 am: Grade 7 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 7 families will be held in-person in the MS Overlook.

Wednesday, October 6
8:00 – 8:20 Chapel: Dress uniform

Thursday, October 7
8:00 – 9:00 am: Grade 8 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 8 families will be held in-person in the MS Overlook.

Friday, October 8: NO SCHOOL

COMMUNITY

In Community, students will be engaging in reflection and dialogue about the “spaces” we want to create as a community. After a year of being socially distanced from each other in all areas of our life, we are now in close proximity. The pandemic has redefined how we understand what it means to be together with others and offers an opportunity to reexamine what we want or need from the spaces we inhabit. Specifically, how do we create a “well being space” that supports our needs and where people feel welcome and included? How do we create “brave spaces” where we feel comfortable being ourselves and taking risks, or “engaged spaces” where we feel invited to share our unique perspectives and ask others about theirs? We are excited for this continued work with structured, reflective dialogue.

SAVE THESE DATES

Monday, October 11: No School

October 12 – 15: HOMECOMING
Spirit Days

  • Tuesday: Superhero Tuesday (no masks or accessories)

  • Wednesday: Jersey Wednesday (wear your favorite team’s jersey or tshirt)

  • Thursday: Tacky Thursday (wear mismatched clothing, fun patterns, turn things inside out or backwards)

  • Friday: Tropical Friday (wear island getaway gear)

Friday, October 15: Homecoming Game and Activities
Fourteen years of Alumni, New Mustang Families, Grandparents, and our entire MV community are invited to celebrate the School’s 50th year by drawing the largest collection of Mustangs in one place, ever. We will recognize past performers and athletes, active service members, and former Homecoming Kings and Queens, while honoring this year’s court and crowning our new King and Queen. Varsity football kicks off at 4:00 pm against Providence. Be there to participate in the festivities, meet up with long-term Mustangs, and continue the celebration of our School’s 50th year.

Homecoming Tents by Grade-Level
Providing an opportunity for families to gather together at Homecoming, grade-level tents and tables will be set up behind the stadium seating. If interested in participating, please sign up to bring food and beverages to share.
PS – Grade 1 Tent
Grades 2 – 5 Tent
Grades 6-8 Tent
Grades 9 and 10 Tent
Grades 11 and 12 Tent

Homecoming/Fall Silent Auction
Celebrate Homecoming by bidding on school-related experiences. This online silent auction will open for live bidding at 8:00 am on Thursday, October 7. Bidding will end on Friday, October 15. Register today to preview the auction items or text MVHocoAuction to 76278. Be the next Carpool VIP, reserve your seating for performances, or buy an out-of-uniform day.

Thursday, October 21
8:15 – 8:45 am Coffee and Conversation with Leah Nestor
Relationships are foundational for learning and the success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. We will review Mount Vernon’s Continuum and discuss how the following Mindsets show up in the Middle School everyday: creative thinker, solution seeker, communicator, innovator, collaborator, and ethical decision maker. Join me from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Friday, October 22
6:00 – 8:00 pm MS Halloween Bash
Middle School students at The Mount Vernon School are invited to the 2021 Halloween Bash on Friday, October 22. Students are encouraged to wear costumes to showcase their Halloween spirit. Costumes should be appropriate for a school setting. The evening will feature games and activities in the Upper Campus Gym and surrounding hallways, food and drinks, and a DJ playing music. The music and dancing will take place in an outdoor tent. The Halloween Bash begins at 6:00 pm and concludes at 8:00 pm. Students should be dropped off and picked up in the MS Carpool circle.

Tuesday, October 26: Parent University – Affinity and Alliance Program at Mount Vernon School (virtual)
8:30 – 9:30 am Join via Zoom
Mount Vernon norms call upon community members to start with questions and to share the well. These actions make a difference for individuals, and research shows that when individuals are able to gather in groups where they see themselves reflected, the questions and sharing take on new meaning and deeper impact toward positive ends. In this academic year, the Mount Vernon School will begin hosting Affinity Group gatherings for members of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. As a school grounded in Christian values, we draw upon sound research, stories, and experiences of our students, alumni, and families in the action of convening these affinity groups. Join Stacey Lee, Mount Vernon’s Chief IDEA Officer to experience, first-hand, the ways in which the design of Affinity Groups will enhance our school community.

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Parent Volunteers Needed for the ARTS
Do you enjoy designing, building, making, or creating? Would you like to use the design skills you have or gain experience learning new skills? The MV Arts Alliance is looking for parent volunteers to support Arts and Design. There are hundreds of opportunities from making robots and building sets, to painting Christmas trees and designing experiences. Chase your passion.

MVCares
MVCares is a part of the Mount Vernon Parent Network (MVPN) created to serve our community through appreciation, service, and support. If interested in participating on a committee, please contact Telisha Jackson, MVCares Chair.
Appreciation: Help with faculty/staff appreciation days in the fall and winter, snack donations for monthly faculty meetings in each division, assist with gifts, meals, and other classroom activities per grade.

Service:  Impacting our local and global community through community service, participating in community outreach.

Support: Join the Parent Prayer Group, organize meal trains, send care cards, video cards, and other special expressions that best meet the needs of our MV families going through challenging times. Support Request Form

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

We know the impact that curiosity and passion has for learning as students apply what they are learning to real life situations. I was able to witness this over and over in Middle School this week. Our Middle School students joined the Upper School band, the Fabulous Mustangs, on piano, guitar, drums, and voice in chapel this week. In our classrooms, Grade 6 students are completing a Design Thinking challenge as a part of their A Long Walk to Water Unit, Grade 7 Humanities students are exploring and making compelling arguments on whether they would be loyalists or rebels in 1764, and Grade 8 Theatre students are directing, acting, and managing the stage, props, and costumes for a play in their Arts & Design class.

This week’s chapel message was an important reminder to make time in our busy lives for the messages that God is sending. Luke 11:28, Jeremiah 25:4, and Matthew 18:12 reminds us to not get so busy that we can’t make time to hear the important messages we need in our lives to guide us.

Lastly, we look forward to seeing you for the Class Trip Meetings this week. Grade 7 will be held on October 5 and Grade 8 will be held on October 7. Grade 6 trip meetings have been cancelled until further notice. Please find an overview of Middle School class trips here.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

September 26, 2021

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COMING UP THIS WEEK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: September 27 – October 1

Monday, September 27
Student Portraits, Grades 6-11: Dress uniform
12:00 – 1:00 Parent Admissions Ambassadors – live webinar
Learn more about how you can be an extension of MV’s Admissions team and make an impact as a Parent Admissions Ambassador. Engagement opportunities include engaging with prospective families during admissions events, assisting with direct outreach, submitting online reviews, and discussing your creative ideas with us. Be an integral part of our School’s future.

Tuesday, September 28

Wednesday, September 29
8:00 – 8:20 Chapel: Dress uniform
11:00 -1:00 Vaccine Clinic for adults and students who are 12 or older. The clinic will be held in the MS Lightbox. Required forms to complete: 1) Briarcliff Health Mart Vaccine Immunization Form; 2) MV School Consent, Waiver & Release Form

Thursday, September 30

Friday, October 1: Spirit Day
Community: My experience with welcoming spaces
First Friday

COMMUNITY
In Community, students will be engaging in reflection and dialogue about the “spaces” we want to create as a community. After a year of being socially distanced from each other in all areas of our life, we are now in close proximity. The pandemic has redefined how we understand what it means to be together with others and offers an opportunity to reexamine what we want or need from the spaces we inhabit. Specifically, how do we create a “well being space” that supports our needs and where people feel welcome and included? How do we create “brave spaces” where we feel comfortable being ourselves and taking risks, or “engaged spaces” where we feel invited to share our unique perspectives and ask others about theirs? We are excited for this continued work with structured, reflective dialogue.
October 1: My experience with welcoming spaces
October 6: Making welcoming spaces

ATHLETIC TRYOUTS

Winter sports tryouts for Middle School have been published. Please reach out to the respective coaches for additional information.

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, October 5, 7:30 – 9:00 am: Uniform Resale in HQ2

Tuesday, October 5: Grade 7 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 7 families will be held in-person from 8:00 until 9:00 am in the MS Overlook.

Thursday, October 7: Grade 8 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 8 families will be held in-person from 8:00 until 9:00 am in the MS Overlook.

Friday, October 8 and Monday, October 11: No School

October 12 – 15: Homecoming Week Dress Up Days
Tuesday: Superhero Tuesday (wear superhero-themed shirt with uniform bottoms, no masks or accessories)
Wednesday: Jersey Wednesday (wear your favorite team’s jersey or tshirt with uniform bottoms)
Thursday: Tacky Thursday (wear mismatched clothing, fun patterns, turn things inside out or backwards)
Friday: Tropical Friday (wear island getaway gear with uniform bottoms)

Friday, October 15: Homecoming Game and Activities
Fourteen years of Alumni, New Mustang Families, Grandparents, and our entire MV community are invited to celebrate the School’s 50th year by drawing the largest collection of Mustangs in one place, ever. We will recognize past performers and athletes, active service members, and former Homecoming Kings and Queens, while honoring this year’s court and crowning our new King and Queen. Varsity football kicks off at 4:00 pm against Providence. Be there to participate in the festivities, meet up with long-term Mustangs, and continue the celebration of our School’s 50th year.

Monday, October 18: Grade 6 Class Trip Parent Meeting Note: The Grade 6 Class Trip Meeting has been postponed until further notice, while final details are being planned.

Thursday, October 21
8:15 – 8:45 am Coffee and Conversation with Leah Nestor
Relationships are foundational for learning and the success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. We will review Mount Vernon’s Continuum and discuss how the following Mindsets show up in the Middle School everyday: creative thinker, solution seeker, communicator, innovator, collaborator, and ethical decision maker. Join me from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

Are you curious what goes on at school on a late start day? Our teachers took off their teacher hats and put on their learner, thinker, and designer hats for a morning of rich professional learning and collaboration across grade levels. This year’s RDI focus is on foresight and strategic planning as well as the School’s four priorities: Competency-Based Education, Inquiry-Based learning, IDEA, and Wellness & Resilience.

Last week the mindset that continued to emerge over and over in the Middle School was Solution Seeker. Whether it was a problem to be solved in the classroom, a bump in the road with a friendship, or conflicting club proposals, our students leaned in and became solution seekers.

Lastly, thank you for joining me for coffee and conversation this week. I hope to see you at the next coffee and conversation on October 21.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

September 19, 2021

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COMING UP THIS WEEK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: September 20-24

Monday, September 20
Arts & Design Mod 2 Begins

View Milepost 2 Grades in Veracross

Tuesday, September 21
Student Portraits, Grades 6-11: Dress uniform (rescheduled to September 27 due to rain forecast)

Wednesday, September 22

All-School Late Start
9:10 am Carpool begins
9:30 am School begins

Thursday, September 23
8:15 – 8:45 am Coffee and Conversation with Leah Nestor
Relationships are foundational for learning and the success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. We will review Mount Vernon’s Continuum and discuss how the following Principles of Practice show up in the Middle School everyday: Relationships are Foundational for Learning, Curiosity and Passion Drive Learning, Learning Demands Interactive and Flexible Spaces, Empathy Influences Learning, and Learners Apply Knowledge to Make an Impact. Join me from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Friday, September 24
Spirit Day

Second Friday

*Community
In Community, students will be engaging in reflection and dialogue about the “spaces” we want to create as a community. After a year of being socially distanced from each other in all areas of our life, we are now in close proximity. The pandemic has redefined how we understand what it means to be together with others and offers an opportunity to reexamine what we want or need from the spaces we inhabit. Specifically, how do we create a “well being space” that supports our needs and where people feel welcome and included? How do we create “brave spaces” where we feel comfortable being ourselves and taking risks, or “engaged spaces” where we feel invited to share our unique perspectives and ask others about theirs? We are excited for this continued work with structured, reflective dialogue.

September 24: Thinking about my favorite space
October 1: My experience with welcoming spaces
October 6: Making welcoming spaces

ATHLETIC TRYOUTS
Winter sports tryouts for Middle School have been published. Please reach out to the respective coaches for additional information.

September 12, 2021

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September 12, 2021

COMING UP THIS WEEK IN MIDDLE SCHOOL: SEPTEMBER 13-17

Monday, September 13

Tuesday, September 14
ERB Milestone AssessmentRead the Educational Review Bureau (ERB) Milestone Assessment information

Wednesday, September 15
8:00 – 8:20 am MS Chapel

8:30 – 9:30 am MV Cares Parent Meeting via Zoom: Join the Community Development team to learn how, with your help, we can better support our MV community and make a strong impact through appreciation, prayer, and service. (ID: 95415716123 Passcode: YDOD9UoK)

Thursday, September 16

Friday, September 17: Spirit Day
3:00 pm Milepost 2 Assessment and Grading Period Ends

Faculty will post Milepost letter grades in Veracross that will be viewable by parents and students on Monday, September 20. These Milepost grades are indicators of current progress, and final letter grades are not posted until the end of the 12-week trimester. For the most robust and complete information about student work, progress, and feedback, see Altitude Learning through the Parent Portal.

COVID LANDSCAPE

The following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, September 10.

Middle School

COVID Positive
0 of 295

Lower Campus & Upper Campus Employees
0 of 257

 

SAVE THESE DATES

Tuesday, September 21: G6 – G8 Student Portraits

Wednesday, September 22: Late Start
Mount Vernon will implement a late start across all divisions five times this year to allow faculty and staff to participate in cross-divisional professional learning prior to students arriving on campus. On these select days, carpool will begin at 9:10 am and the school day will start at 9:30 am. Childcare will not be available before carpool on either campus. (Remaining four late starts: December 8, January 6, March 23, April 27)

Thursday, September 23: Coffee and Conversation
We know that relationships are foundational for learning. The success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. Join me on the fourth Thursday of each month for Coffee and Conversation from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Tuesday, October 5: Grade 7 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 7 families will be held in person from 8:00 until 9:00 am.

Thursday, October 7: Grade 8 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 8 families will be held in person from 8:00 until 9:00 am.

Friday, October 15: Homecoming 
Varsity football kicks off at 4:00pm against Providence for 2021-2022 Homecoming. Join the festivities as we welcome 14 years of alumni back to campus, crown a new Homecoming King and Queen, and continue the celebration of our School’s 50th year.

Monday, October 18: Grade 6 Class Trip Parent Meeting
Class trip information meetings for Grade 6 families will be held in person from 8:00 until 9:00 am. 

ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

MV Serves: Year of Impact
Year of Impact is a year-long integration of service. Beginning on September 11, our MV Community committed to logging 50,000 hours of selfless service through May 11, 2022. This impactful opportunity will give us the chance to collectively give back while commemorating Mount Vernon’s 50th year. We ask our community to log every hour served, to reach our goal of 50,000 hours this year. Together we give back. #MVImpact

Mustang Athletic Club and MV Arts Alliance
Joining the Mustang Athletic Club and/or the MV Arts Alliance is a great way to support Mount Vernon students outside of the classroom – on the court, track, and field, or on the stage, in the recording and art studios. 

  • The Mustang Athletic Club is your guide to all things athletics. Whether you have a student-athlete participating or you’re just a Mustang fan, learn more about supporting MV athletes and joining the Mustang Athletic Club.
  • The MV Arts Alliance provides an opportunity for families to support artists – students, faculty, and staff – while building a community of parents and grandparents at the School. Your membership to the MV Arts Alliance helps celebrate all of the School’s artists from Preschool through Upper School. 

A WORD FROM YOUR HEAD OF MIDDLE SCHOOL

This week, Middle School continued with our norms of #sharethewell, #havefun, and #startwithquestions. Our new students were able to gather during GTD (Get Things Done) for a Q&A session, fun, games, donuts and a warm welcome from MS Learning Coach and IDEA Coordinator Dr. Chaundra Suddith and the Mount Vernon staff. In chapel, we were honored to have our Middle School voice teacher, Ms. Kathleen Kelly-George, lead our voice students in a song entitled, American Tears. These students set the stage for remembering 9/11. As we took our moment of silence, I was reminded of the power of community. What an honor it will be to serve our community with family, friends, and peers this year. Our chapel message led us into Galations 5:13 and Matthew 23:11-12 with a reminder to humbly serve one another. Students were reminded to be bridges and connectors by serving one another, giving to others, and leaning into We Over Me. 
Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

September 5, 2021

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September 5, 2021

Dear Middle School Mustangs,

September is an exciting time in the Middle School. Students will begin clubs and apply to be junior prefects. Grounded in I Corinthians 6:17, Jeremiah 1:5, and Romans 8:31, this week’s chapel asked the question: what does strength look like to me? Students learned that, “if God is for you, who can be against you?” We had a Middle School student lead worship and it was heartwarming to see the cheers and support from her classmates for a #sharethewell moment. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure students follow our health and safety protocols.

Family Share Conference Feedback
Click here to provide us with feedback on how we can continue to improve your conference experience. We value and appreciate your feedback.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 6-10

Monday, September 6: NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, September 7
We are excited to offer a MV Middle New Student Meet & Greet on Tuesday, September 7 during their Getting Things Done (GTD) block. We can’t wait to host our new students for a Q&A session, fun, games, and donuts!

Wednesday, September 8
8:00 – 8:20 am Chapel

11:00 am – 1:30 pm Vaccine Clinic
As part of our continuing commitment to the safety of our community, our next vaccine clinic will be offered on September 8 in the Middle School Light Box from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm. This opportunity is available for all students who are 12+ years of age, staff, and families.

Thursday, September 9
ERB Milestone AssessmentRead the Educational Review Bureau (ERB) Milestone Assessment information. This information was also shared in the Grade Level Week at a Glance email.

8:30 – 9:30 am Parent University: Essential Partners Virtual Zoom
Equipping Mount Vernon to Dialogue Across Difference: Why do conversations get stuck? Why do discussions sometimes leave participants feeling misunderstood and attacked for their perspective? Essential Partners will lead families through an experiential session designed to equip participants with an understanding of how to shift the dynamics of a stuck conversation to support effective communication. At Mount Vernon, dialogue across difference directly advances the work of IDEA by supporting an environment of listening and inquiry to further understanding—where students are partners in cultivating a community that acknowledges and communicates across differences. Thus, they are prepared to effectively engage with complex issues in their future beyond Mount Vernon, whether at a university campus, in the workplace or boardroom, or on the international stage.

Friday, September 10: Spirit Day
6:30 – 9:30 pm Rock the Block Adult Social (80’s Theme)
Our MV community is ready to socialize! Connect with parents, faculty, staff, grandparents, and alumni (21 and older) to celebrate the School’s 50th year. Join us on campus, dress up in full-on 80’s attire, and relive the neon decade with The Breakfast Club band playing on the Upper Campus lawn from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Purchase tickets prior to September 7.

SAVE THESE DATES

Wednesday, September 22: Late Start
Mount Vernon will implement a late start across all divisions five times this year to allow faculty and staff to participate in cross-divisional professional learning prior to students arriving on campus. On these select days, carpool will begin at 9:10 am and the school day will start at 9:30 am. Childcare will not be available before carpool on either campus. (Remaining four late starts: December 8, January 6, March 23, April 27)

Thursday, September 23: Coffee and Conversation
We know that relationships are foundational for learning. The success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. Join me on the fourth Thursday of each month for Coffee and Conversation from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Friday, October 15: Homecoming
Varsity football kicks off at 4:00pm against Providence for 2021-2022 Homecoming. Join the festivities as we welcome 14 years of alumni back to campus, crown a new homecoming King and Queen, and continue the celebration of our School’s 50th year.

Mustang Athletic Club and MV Arts Alliance
Joining the Mustang Athletic Club and/or the MV Arts Alliance is a great way to support Mount Vernon students outside of the classroom – on the court, track, and field, or on the stage, in the recording and art studios.

  • The Mustang Athletic Club is your guide to all things athletics. Whether you have a student-athlete participating or you’re just a Mustang fan, learn more about supporting MV athletes and joining the Mustang Athletic Club.
  • The MV Arts Alliance provides an opportunity for families to support artists – students, faculty, and staff – while building a community of parents and grandparents at the School. Your membership to the MV Arts Alliance helps celebrate all of the School’s artists from Preschool through Upper School.

MS Class Trips 2022
Below you will find the information for Middle School Class Trips. We will be partnering with Kanuga’s Mountain Trail Outdoor School in Henerdersonville, North Carolina for the Grade 6 trip. Worldstrides will be our travel partner for the Grade 7 trip to Boston and the Grade 8 trip to Washington, D.C. The trips will allow students to explore learning experiences beyond the regular-year MV curriculum.

  1. Middle School class trips will be held the week of March 1 – March 4 for Grade 7 and Grade 8. Grade 6 dates are TBD but will be held the week of February 28 – March 4.
  2. Class trip information meetings for families will be held in person on October 5 for Grade 7, October 7 for Grade 8, and October 18 for Grade 6, all from 8:00 until 9:00 am.
  3. Of course, we are working with our travel service provider to monitor Covid-protocols in the cities that we visit. We are thrilled to be finalizing “Plan A” details, as well as “Plan B” contingencies.

Parent Engagement Opportunities
As a member of the Mount Vernon community – parents and grandparents are automatically a part of the Mount Vernon Parent Network (MVPN), which works to promote a strong sense of community by encouraging MV families to Learn, Serve, and Give. We provide our families the opportunity to support each other, as well as faculty and staff in an informed, welcoming environment. Our success is grounded in a shared mission, supportive community and strong parent participation. If you haven’t already determined how you would like to share your time and talent with the School, please complete this engagement interest form and you will hear back from Hunter Pierce, Director of Community Impact.

Parent University: Wellness Jumpstart Recap
Recently, our parent community joined together on Zoom to learn more about Wellness at Mount Vernon – how students and families are holistically supported throughout the School. The work and the progress being made in every department is focused on the betterment of our community, developing character, empathy, confidence, and safety, in addition to expanding on the foundation of academic growth.Hear from representatives of Community Development, IDEA, Athletics, Arts, Counseling, and Technology Safety.

As the exciting and familiar feeling of fall comes, I am reminded of the importance of our mission. We are a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact. We are committed to creating and sustaining a school culture where all members feel valued and safe, sharing their authentic selves to design a better world together. Thank you for being a part of this journey to be better together.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

August 29, 2021

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August 29, 2021

Dear Middle School Mustangs, 

This week brought wonder and connection as students chose their independent reading, made real life connections in humanities, started on new instruments, auditioned for the fall play, reviewed mathematical concepts, and more. Week two demonstrated the continued positive impact of empathy and collaboration between our students, families, and teachers. Thank you for the words of gratitude as well as patience and willingness to adhere to our health and safety protocols.

COVID Announcement
Beginning Monday, August 23, the School transitioned the face covering mitigation strategy from “strongly recommend” to “required” for all students and faculty/staff members regardless of vaccination status. Students in grades 7-12 are currently required to wear face coverings while indoors only, entering buildings, walking through hallways, and during classroom settings. Read the announcement sent on August 20 from the School for more details.

COVID Landscape
The following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, August 27.

Middle School

COVID Positive
2 of 295

Lower Campus & Upper Campus Employees
0 of 257

Milepost 1- Altitude Learning and Veracross

The first Milepost grading period ended on Friday, August 27. For students in grades 6-12, their ongoing work, learning progress, and feedback are viewable anytime in Altitude Learning. Additionally, every three weeks, teachers post Milepost letter grades in Veracross. These Milepost grades serve as benchmarks at regular intervals. The official, final grades are posted at the end of a nine-week module (Upper School) or at the end of a twelve-week trimester (Middle School). In Upper School, the honors distinction is only designated at the end of a mod. Because teachers may be completing the assessment of submitted student work at the end of a Milepost, grades typically will be viewable on the following Monday. For this Milepost 1, grades will be available in Veracross by Monday, August 30.

For the first week in the Middle School, teachers facilitated activities to create and build invaluable relationships with students that are essential to the giving and receiving of constructive feedback. Consequently, and because of the nature of the alternating-day block schedule, a number of classes have met around five to seven times thus far. For this first milepost, you will see a Pass, Fail, or Incomplete in Veracross in each discipline. As students experience more class meetings in the coming weeks, the number of assessments will increase. At our next Milepost on September 17, teachers will post letters grades based on more complete formative and summative assessments in six weeks of classes.

Please feel welcomed and encouraged to reach out to a particular teacher should you want to discuss any questions you may have related to assessment and grading in a course.

Additional Resources:

Family Share Conferences
Thank you for signing up for Family Share Conferences. We have two days left for Family Share Conferences. We appreciate your time and commitment to building relationships with your child’s Community Leader as you shared your thoughts and concerns. If you still need to sign up for your virtual conference, the instructions are below. Once you have completed your Family Share Conference, please click here to provide us with feedback on how we can continue to improve your conference experience.

How to sign up and attend Family Share Conferences:

  1. Use Veracross to sign up for a Family Share Conference with your child’s Community Leader.
  2. Review your child’s Stream share through your email and Altitude Learning.
  3. Come to the conference ready to expand on the following questions:
    • How does the information from your answers connect with what you already know?
    • What did you learn that brought up new ideas or extended your thinking?
    • What would you like to challenge or what challenges would you like to share?
  4. Join via Zoom:

WEEK OF AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 3

Monday, August 30
View Milepost 1 grades in Veracross

Wednesday, September 1
8:00-8:20 am Chapel

Friday, September 3
First Friday

12:00 pm Early Dismissal (No Extended Play)

Save These Dates

Wednesday, September 8: Vaccine Clinic
As part of our continuing commitment to the safety of our community, our next vaccine clinic will be offered on September 8 in the Middle School Light Box from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm. This opportunity is available for all students who are 12+ years of age, staff, and families. More information will be coming, but please keep that date in mind as you plan your coming weeks.

Thursday, September 9 and 14: ERB
Mount Vernon has continued to partner with Educational Records Bureau (ERB) for standardized testing for students in grades 6-8 using ERB’s Milestones, a condensed version of the CTP-Online. The milestones consist of two, 40-minute tests; one in literacy and one in math. All students in grades 6-8 will participate in Fall assessments on September 9 and 14. Students approved for school accommodations will have access to extended time for their assessments. Please direct any questions to Executive Director of Learning and Innovation Nicole Martin ([email protected]) or your respective divisional leadership team.

Friday, September 10: Rock the Block Adult Social (80’s Theme)
The School’s 5th Rock the Block evening social will be hosted on campus for the first time as we celebrate our parents, grandparents, special guests, faculty, staff, and alumni (21 and older) for our 50th year. The Breakfast Club – an 80’s tribute band – will be playing on the Upper Campus lawn from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Wear your totally tubular 80’s attire. Purchase tickets today!

Thursday, September 23: Coffee and Conversation
We know that relationships are foundational for learning. The success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. Join me on the fourth Thursday of each month for Coffee and Conversation from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Friday, October 15: Homecoming 
Varsity football kicks off at 4:00pm against Providence for 2021-2022 Homecoming. Join the festivities as we welcome 14 years of alumni back to campus, crown a new homecoming King and Queen and King, and continue the celebration of our School’s 50th year.

MS Class Trips 2022
We are excited to share that we are moving forward with planning for Middle School Class Trips the week of February 28 – March 4, 2022. We will again be partnering with Kanuga’s Mountain Trail Outdoor Outdoor School in Henerdersonville, North Carolina for the Grade 6 trip. Worldstrides will be our travel partner for the Grade 7 trip to Boston and the Grade 8 trip to Washington, D.C. The trips will allow students to explore learning experiences beyond the regular-year MV curriculum. These trips have been an integral part of our MV Middle student experience, with a COVID-related hiatus last year. We are thrilled to be finalizing “Plan A” details, as well as “Plan B” contingencies. Information will be forthcoming regarding informational meetings for Mount Vernon families.

The theme for chapel over the next few weeks is around “Making Your Mess Your Message.” In Deuteronomy 34:10, Moses overcame his mess to share a powerful message that was needed by the people of Israel. Students were told to be brave, be resilient, and be proud through the mess. A timely message as they navigate changing protocols, new teachers, new friendships, new interests, wins and losses, and personal challenges. Thank you for continuing to partner with us to shepherd each and every student through a fun and healthy school year.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

August 22, 2021

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August 22, 2021

Dear Middle School Mustangs, 

What a great first full week of school. This week we began our units of learning, started Arts and Design Mod 1, and placed students in their connection choices. Our chapel lesson this week was out of Romans 12:10. We were encouraged to reflect on what it means to lead an impactful life and lift up our community and peers. This week held the familiar buzz of school as students moved through their day engaged in Mount Vernon norms: Start with Questions, Fail Up, Share the Well, Assume the Best, and Have Fun. 

The biggest highlight of the week was Dr. Jacobsen’s Convocation on Friday in the Upper Campus gym. What an honor it was to be with students, parents, and faculty and gather as a Mount Vernon community. We will continue to explore Dr. Jacobsen’s charge to be Connectors and Bridges. Grounded in II Corinthians 12:10 and Proverbs 4:23, being a connector requires strength and maintaining guardrails along the journey. We will continue to explore Dr. Jacobsen’s charge for us all year. Considering questions and ideas such as:

  • How might we build bridges between different classes within the Middle School and with other grades from Preschool to Upper School?
  • How might we connect to our local community in moments of service, to share our talents and to learn in real and relevant ways?
  • How might we build connections to students around the world that lead to real collaboration around designing solutions to problems?

COVID Announcement
Beginning Monday, August 23, the School will transition the face covering mitigation strategy from “strongly recommend” to “required” for all students and faculty/staff members regardless of vaccination status. Students in grades 7-12 will be required to wear face coverings while indoors only, entering buildings, walking through hallways, and during classroom settings. Read the announcement sent on August 20 from the School.

WEEK OF AUGUST 23-27

Monday, August 23

8:30 – 9:30 am Parent University: Wellness Jumpstart (via Zoom)
Parents are invited to join a Zoom meetup to learn how Mount Vernon is developing relationships and furthering the School’s mission by getting to know each child and family through work related to Academics [Bo Adams], IDEA [Stacey Lee], Athletics [Brad Dehem], Arts [Matt Neylon], Counseling [Kelli Bynum], Technology Safety and Integration [Katie Cain], and Community Engagement [Anne Katz]. 

Join Zoom Meeting
ID: 84259200873 / Passcode: 6n82D9QF

Wednesday, August 25

8:00-8:25 am MS Chapel
Please note that we are unable to accommodate parents for chapel at this time. Students are required to wear their Dress Uniform.

9:00-10:00 am Parent University (via Zoom)
Join us for an informative session focused on competency based learning and the Altitude Learning platform. The session will be recorded for families unable to participate via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting
ID: 864 6065 8882 / Passcode: 127683

Friday, August 27: Spirit Day

First Friday
Week at a Glance

3:15 pm Mod 1, Milepost 1 Assessment and Grading Period
At the conclusion of the first three weeks of school, faculty will post Milepost letter grades in Veracross that will be viewable on Monday, August 30. These Milepost grades are indicators of current progress, and final letter grades are not posted until the end of the 12-week Trimester. For the most robust and complete information about student work, progress, and feedback, see Altitude Learning through the Parent Portal.

4:30 pm All-School BBQ at the 1st Varsity Football Home Game
Join our entire community to kick off the football season with a complimentary BBQ tailgate and special gathering spots for new families, grandparents, and alumni. Admission is free for all Mustangs for this first game. Future home game admission is $7.

Save These Dates

Friday, September 10: Rock the Block Adult Social (80’s Theme)
The School’s 5th Rock the Block evening social will be hosted on campus for the first time as we celebrate our parents, grandparents, special guests, faculty, staff, and alumni (21 and older) for our 50th year. The Breakfast Club – an 80’s tribute band – will be playing on the Upper Campus lawn from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Wear your totally tubular 80’s attire – more details to come.

Thursday, September 23: Coffee and Conversation
We know that relationships are foundational for learning. The success of our students comes in the partnership we build with each of our families. Join me on the fourth Thursday of each month for Coffee and Conversation from 8:15 – 8:45 am in the Art Gallery.

Family Share Conferences
Please sign up for your Middle School Family Share Conference, through the sign up link in the Veracross Parent Portal, which can be scheduled between August 23 and August 31. The purpose of this conference is to strengthen your home-school partnership during this critical stage of child development. It is a time for you to share your thoughts and concerns with your child’s Community Leader, who will then cascade the information to their respective grade-level team of teachers. 

Please look at this as an opportunity to share and the teacher’s opportunity to listen. Your child will answer questions about themselves, then Stream this information home to you via Altitude Learning. You will receive a notification to your email inbox from [email protected] when the Stream is sent, and you can also view it in your Altitude Learning Parent Portal. You will be able to review their thoughts before the conference, where we ask that you come ready to expand on the questions below:

  • How does the information from your child’s answers connect with what you already know?
  • What did you learn that brought up new ideas or extended your thinking?
  • What would you like to challenge or what challenges would you like to share?

While you will see each of your child’s teachers in the signup portal, you will only sign up to meet with their Community Leader. If you have any issues signing up for Family Share Conferences in Veracross, please reach out to Middle School Executive Assistant, Joelann Toppin.

To summarize, you have four action steps:

  1. Use Veracross to sign up for a Family Share Conference with your child’s Community Leader.
  2. Review your child’s Stream share through your email and Altitude Learning.
  3. Come to the conference ready to expand on the bulleted questions above. 
  4. Join via Zoom:
    1. Grade 8 Family Share Conference Links
    2. Grade 7 Family Share Conference Links
    3. Grade 6 Family Share Conference Links

I am deeply grateful for your partnership as we join together in our mission of inquiry, innovation, and impact – grounded in Christian values.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor

Head of Middle School l x2902

August 15, 2021

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Dear Middle School Mustangs, 

It has been a great first week of school. Our focus this week has been on community, expectations, and fun. Students connected with their Community Leaders, entire grade, and classmates. They were introduced and reintroduced to Altitude Learning and had multiple opportunities to become familiar with their schedule. Students were able to meet the 10 teachers who are teaching the choice connections classes and learn about each class before ranking their choices. There is exuberant excitement around being in the building and being together again. 

COVID Landscape
As communicated in the July 30 COVID announcement, the School has designed a set of thorough and thoughtful COVID protocols and mitigation strategies influenced by, among other things, the interdependence of the following factors: recommendations from public health officials; consulting with experts within the Mount Vernon community; proven effectiveness of multiple layers of mitigation strategies; analysis of COVID positive cases and transmission data at the School; real-time COVID data in counties surrounding the School; strong vaccination rates for age-eligible adults and students (12+); maintaining as many students on campus as possible and preventing extended periods of being sent home; affect on social-emotional health of students and faculty/staff members; and impact on the quality of teaching and learning between teachers and students.

After the first week of school, the following reflects the COVID landscape as of Friday, August 13.

Middle School

COVID Positive
3 of 295

Direct Exposure
4 of 295

Upper Campus Lower Campus Faculty/Staff
0 of 257
0 of 257

Week at a Glance
Each Friday, Middle School Heads of Grade will share a Week at a Glance through the Stream feature in Altitude Learning. This will provide an overview of what students should expect in the coming week. The goal is to help students organize their week ahead. 

Community
In Community, we focus on connections. Research shows that when kids connect to one another, to their teachers, and to their school community, they are happier and more successful. Community activities include, but are not limited to, games, snacks, mindfulness, individual check-ins, and more. Community sets the conditions for the academic day and for personal connections. Anchored in Christian values–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control, relationships at Mount Vernon are foundational to learning. We welcome opportunities to wrestle with voices and perspectives that challenge our assumptions. To further strengthen the stamina and abilities of our students to make these connections, we are partnering with Essential Partners this year to build dialogue competencies. On August 19 & September 1, in preparation for two dialogue activities on September 24 & October 6, Community Leaders will introduce skill building frameworks in listening and inquiry to equip students to better engage with the dialogue and each other. Deep, multifaceted listening and inquiry allows students to connect better with their peers and navigate moments of challenge and controversy in more holistic and complex ways. Starting from how we listen and ask questions of each other, we can invite this complexity into a conversation and shift the dynamics of communication patterns. 

Preparing students to be college ready, globally competitive, and engaged citizen leaders is about leaning in to creating and cultivating connections between all people, ideas, and sectors. Rather than allowing our differences to divide us, we empower students to appreciate and respect those who have differing perspectives. Our trust for each other strengthens our sense of individual freedom, autonomy, and interdependence.

WEEK OF AUGUST 16-20

Monday, August 16
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Vaccine Clinic in the Black Box Theatre in the Upper School Building
Mount Vernon is offering a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine clinic, free of charge, administered by Briarcliff Health Mart Pharmacy on Monday August 16, 2021 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Upper School Building for all age-eligible students (12 or older), employees, and parents that would like to participate. In order to receive a COVID-19 vaccine please complete both forms below and bring them to the vaccine clinic. 1) Briarcliff Health Mart Vaccine Immunization Form, and 2) Mount Vernon School Consent, Waiver & Release Form

Tuesday, August 17
3:30 – 5:30 pm Little Women: The Musical Auditions 

Wednesday, August 18
8:00-8:25 am MS Chapel

We are excited to get back to weekly worship. Please note that we are unable to accommodate parents for chapel at this time. Students are required to wear their Dress Uniform.

Friday, August 20
Spirit Day: MV spirit shirt with uniform bottom or jeans

Week at a Glance: Look for a message from your Head of Grade through the Stream feature in Altitude Learning

Second Friday: Each week we will have a first or second Friday to balance out the schedule

10:15 am Convocation for Grades 6-12: Students, parents and faculty/staff are invited to the Upper Campus gym to hear Dr. Jacobsen and Head Prefect Jaden Ward set the tone for the 2021-2022 school year, the School’s 50th.

Save These Dates

Friday, August 27: All-School BBQ at the 1st Varsity Football Home Game
Join our entire community to kick off the football season with a BBQ tailgate and special gathering spots for new families, grandparents, and alumni.

Friday, September 10: Rock the Block Parent Social 
The School’s 5th Rock the Block evening social will be hosted on campus for the first time as we celebrate our parents, grandparents, special guests, and alumni during our 50th year. More details coming soon.

Altitude Learning
In the August 8 Weekly Update, we shared a big picture overview of Altitude Learning, and we encouraged families to login to the Altitude Learning Parent Portal. Some families have contacted the School regarding some difficulties or issues with login. Thank you! Here’s a quick update and some additional resources:

Meeting ID: 864 6065 8882

Passcode: 127683

Family Share Conferences
We invite each parent to speak with your child’s Community Leader for Family Share Conferences. Family Share Conferences will run from August 23 – August 31. The purpose of the family share conference is to strengthen the home-school partnership during this critical stage of child development. It is a time for you to share your thoughts and concerns with your child’s Community Leader, who will then cascade the information to the grade-level team of teachers. This conference is your opportunity to share and the teacher’s opportunity to listen. Your child will answer questions about themselves and then Stream this information home to you via Altitude Learning! You will have the opportunity to review their thoughts before the conference, where we ask that you come ready to expand on the questions below:

  • How does the information from your child’s answers connect with what you already know?
  • What did you learn that brought up new ideas or extended your thinking?
  • What would you like to challenge or what challenges would you like to share?

You may sign up for Family Share Conferences beginning on August 20. If you have any issues signing up for Family Share Conferences in Veracross, please reach out to Middle School Executive Assistant, Joelann Toppin on or after August 20.

Important Middle School Contacts

Joelann Toppin, Middle School Executive Assistant | x2100
Max Hanson, Associate Head of Middle School | x2103
Dr. Jennifer Santi, Middle School Head of Learning and Innovation l x2129
Samantha Flowers, Director of Academic Resources l x2007
Cathy Fiacco, Middle School Nurse | x6126
Kelli Bynum, Director of Counseling Services | x2020

Please reach out to me or any of the contacts above with any questions you may have. Thank you for your partnership in ensuring we have a successful, healthy, and fun school year.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902

August 8, 2021

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August 8, 2021

Dear Middle School Mustangs,

It is my pleasure to welcome everyone back to Mount Vernon for the 2021-2022 school year. I eagerly await the moment I can meet every single student and family in the Middle School. The entire staff is excited to feel the energy and enthusiasm of students as they fill the hallways and classrooms, compete on a Middle School athletic team, perform on the stage, start a new club, or become a junior prefect. We are all looking forward to everyone returning to Mount Vernon for what will surely be an amazing year for the Middle School full of learning, reuniting with old friends and forging new friendships, failing up, exploring interests and more.

During the first week of school, students will meet their teachers, become familiar with and review Altitude Learning, learn about Middle School expectations, and participate in Grade Level team building activities.

WEEK OF AUGUST 9-13

Monday, August 9
Orientation

Tuesday, August 10
First Day of School

Friday, August 13
Spirit Day

Orientation
We look forward to welcoming you back to Mount Vernon on Monday for Middle School Orientation. This event is an opportunity for both parents and students to connect with faculty and staff members to learn more about the academic program for the upcoming school year. As a reminder, consistent with the COVID announcement last week regarding larger gatherings, parents, students, and faculty/staff will be required to wear a face covering while attending the opening assembly in the Gym, and we strongly recommend wearing a face covering while traveling throughout the building. While this is not an ideal way to start the year, we anticipate hosting a large group of students and parents in each grade level orientation. Thank you for your support and cooperation in launching the 2021-2022 school year. As a reminder, any student who needs medicine administered during the school day should bring their labeled medication to Nurse Cathy Fiacco during Orientation.

  • Grade 6: 8:30 – 9:30 am
  • Grade 7: 10:30 – 11:30 am
  • Grade 8: 1:00 – 2:00 pm

COVID Protocol – Indoors
Face Coverings are required for Grade 6 students regardless of vaccination status in classrooms, hallways, and large group gatherings. Students will be given face covering breaks throughout the day. Face coverings are strongly recommended for Grades 7 and 8 in classrooms and hallways. Face coverings are required for all students regardless of vaccination status in large group gatherings. Large group gatherings include but are not limited to: all-school gatherings, chapel, grade level assemblies, and drills. For unvaccinated students, wearing a face covering inside on a daily basis will allow students to remain at the School if a COVID positive case is identified and ultimately, will prevent them from having to quarantine at home for an extended period of time.

Carpool
Middle School morning carpool begins at 7:30 am. Parents are asked to drop their students off by 7:55 am, for everyone to be settled in class prior to the start of school at 8:00 am. Students will be released at 3:00 pm for afternoon carpool. While there will be assistance during both morning and afternoon carpools, please take a moment to review and become familiar with carpool details for grades 6-8. Carpool number cards for all Middle School families will be distributed in each student’s welcome packet on Monday during Orientation.

Save the Date
Monday, August 16: Vaccine Clinic for 12+
Providing an additional layer of protection within the MV community, the School will offer a vaccine clinic free of charge for students who are 12-years-old, faculty, parents, and grandparents. More details will be shared later this week regarding times, process, and required forms.

Altitude Learning
Altitude Learning is Mount Vernon’s primary learning management system that encourages and supports students having agency in their learning journey, and it gives parents a window into how students are progressing. Altitude Learning allows for organizing learning experiences, assigning work, submitting assignments, receiving feedback, and tracking learning relative to the goals and objectives of a course. As students and teachers engage with Altitude Learning, they can share reflections and highlight learning through the Stream feature, which allows parents a great view into student learning. Students will be oriented to Altitude Learning in the first week of school. Parents can find a brief handout linked here to read more and review how to login to the Parent Portal of Altitude Learning. More information will be provided soon about a Parent University focused on competency-based learning and Altitude Learning.

Veracross
Veracross will be used to report attendance, view schedules and provide resources to families. Veracross will also be where parents can find a summary “Milepost” letter grade for each course approximately every three weeks. You can expect the first “milepost” grade after Friday, August 27. The most robust details about student progress will continue to be found through Altitude Learning.

Family Share Conference
Beginning August 23, we invite families to set up a time with their student’s Community Leader for a Family Share Conference. The purpose of the family sharing conference is to strengthen the home-school partnership during this critical stage of student development. It is a time for you to share your thoughts and concerns with your student’s Community Leader, who will then cascade the information to the grade-level team of teachers. This conference is your opportunity to share and the teacher’s opportunity to listen. We will send more information in the coming weeks.

Important Middle School Contacts
Joelann Toppin, Middle School Executive Assistant | x2100
Max Hanson, Associate Head of Middle School | x2103
Dr. Jennifer Santi, Middle School Head of Learning and Innovation l x2129
Samantha Flowers, Director of Academic Resources l x2007
Cathy Fiacco, Middle School Nurse | x6126
Kelli Bynum, Director of Counseling Services | x2020

Please reach out to me or any of the contacts above with any questions you may have. The entire Middle School faculty and I are so excited to connect and reconnect with you. Meet our newest Middle School faculty.

Thank you for your partnership in ensuring we have a successful, healthy, and fun school year.

Sincerely,

Leah Nestor
Head of Middle School l x2902