March 15, 2021

Kent Principal Grant Althouse

Greetings Kent Families,

Kent Middle School is hard at work preparing for the return of full in person instruction starting March 22nd. We will do our best to streamline communication for you and your child(ren) this week, to ensure that you have all of the necessary information to prepare for this important transition. Below are a few essential elements to know in anticipation of next Monday.  

  • Last Friday’s Principal Chat recording, and slide deck, are two resources that may prove helpful to address questions about our new schedule.
  • When full in person instruction begins, children will stay with the same group of students, and rotate between 7 classes on their schedules (fewer classes for 5th grade). These stable groups may include some students from their previous homerooms, but they are mostly new groupings.
  • School begins at 9 a.m. each day, and ends at 3 p.m. on Mondays, and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, following this linked bell schedule.
  • Distance Learners have also been assigned to one stable group, and will follow the same schedule as in person learners, attending a Zoom lesson with their teacher at the time indicated on their schedule.
  • These stable groups will also be assigned to a recess zone for lunch recess, and may not interact with other stable groups.
  • Students will bring backpacks to school with essential materials for their school day.  Backpacks will be brought between classes and kept safety under student desks. Lockers will not be utilized this year, and students will wear school clothes for Physical Education classes, rather than changing in the locker rooms.
  • Each student will come to school with a Chromebook and Chromebook charger. Students may bring a personal Chromebook, or a school-issued Chromebook. We will be sending a survey today to determine which students may still need to be paired with a school-issued Chromebook. Other personal devices may not be utilized for school work on campus.
  • By Friday, March 19th at noon we plan to send students information about their new schedule. Depending on how this week of scheduling students into our new master schedule progresses, we may be ready to share full 7 period schedules on Friday, or we may only be ready to share students’ first period classes. If we only report students’ first period classes, full schedules would be distributed to students as a part of that first period on Monday, March 22nd.

In addition to our full in person academic day outlined above, on Monday March 22nd 6th through 8th grade musicians are invited to participate in Instrumental ensembles, and 5th through 8th grade singers are invited to participate in Choir ensembles before and after school with our music director, Mr. Michael Martinez. He has officially announced this opportunity to all students through Squawk Talk this morning, and we will be sending out a survey on Wednesday of this week for formal signups.

7th/8th Instrumental class will consist of flute, clarinet, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba, string bass, cello, viola, violin and percussion (drums and mallets). This is the third level of music instruction and is for students who have completed 6th grade band/orchestra or by audition, and will be offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 8:10 a.m. 7th/8th Choir is for 7th and 8th grade students who are interested in singing in a large ensemble, and will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:10 a.m.  7th/8th Jazz/Rock Band will consist of guitar, bass, keys, drums, horns, strings and singers. It will be open to 7th and 8th grade students, and will be held on Fridays at 8:10 a.m.

6th Grade Instrumental class will consist of the same instruments as 7th/8th grade instrumental, and will be held on Mondays from 3:05 to 3:50 p.m. and Wednesdays from 2:05 - 2:50 pm. This is the second level of music instruction and is for students who have completed 5th grade band/orchestra or by audition. 5th/6th Grade Choir is for students who are interested in singing in a large ensemble, and will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:05-2:50 p.m. 6th Grade Jazz/Rock band will consist of guitar, bass, keys, drums, horns, strings and singers. It will be open to 6th grade students, and will be held on Friday afternoons from 2:05-2:50 p.m.

Students participating will be required to adhere to masking guidelines as well as individual instrumental guidelines with respect to bell covers and water disposal (brass Instruments). Students will be spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart and we will rehearse outdoors, weather permitting. Should the rehearsal need to be moved indoors, wind Instruments will not play that day.

As a more comprehensive middle school program continues to take shape at our school, thank you for your partnership in emphasizing the importance of all safety protocols with your child(ren). Our ability to provide this program is due in part to the efficacy of our safety strategies, and this is a time to commit to continuing what is working.

Be well,

Grant Althouse
Kent Principal