Principal's Page

Welcome to Wilkinson Middle School!

8/25/2020

Dear Wildcat Families,

First, thank you for your support and understanding, as our communities, state, and nation respond and adjust to the Covid19 pandemic.

I understand the mixed feelings families have as they enter the school year. As a father, I share those feelings. As your student’s principal, there isn’t one decision I make that doesn’t carefully consider every potential outcome, benefit, and burden our families face.

Our start to the 2020-21 school year will be online, Tuesday, September 8, at 8:30 am. I’m excited about our plan to increase structure, academic rigor and tutoring support. Our instructional and leadership team dedicated their summer to building an online experience that, we believe, better meets the needs of our learners. Enclosed in this letter is your student’s daily schedule. We’ve also included information about food pickups and delivery.

This past spring underscored the power of teamwork. I have never been more proud of our teachers, more awed by our students, and more thankful for you -- our Wilkinson families. We’ve been blessed to celebrate 8th grade graduates at your homes and have cried and laughed with you on the phone as we’ve grown closer and shared our personal experiences. In a circumstance when no one could be faulted for showing their frustration, I never once heard a complaint. No communities have more grit, more pride and more determination than those we serve at Wilkinson.

Our district’s plan is to remain Virtual until November 13. Throughout the fall, the district will monitor the progress of our virtual learning and work with county and state officials to determine a safe return to in-person learning, for those seeking it.  

Our virtual learning plan is comprehensive. Our team has created a schedule (see next page) that provides daily structure, opportunities for 1-on-1 learning, increased support for special needs and English Language Learners, scheduled parent/teacher appointment opportunities, and evening tutoring.

Families in need of learning devices are encouraged to call the main office (248-399-0455) to schedule a device pick up. In addition, please save this number – 248-953-7434. That’s my personal cell phone number. If you need help, have questions, or need to share a concern, call or text me anytime.

This, I promise you, will pass. If we continue to work together, our students will be better positioned for success when it does.

I deeply appreciate all you do and am honored to serve your family.

Ben Harwood
Principal
Wilkinson Middle School

 
ben.harwood@madisondistrict.org
248-953-7434

Mr. Harwood





Daily Virtual Learning Schedule

 

Event

Times

Student expectation(s)

Period 1

8:30 to 9:15

Engage in learning

Break

9:15 to 9:30 am

Take care of personal needs, additional learning support with teacher, when available

Period 2

9:30 am to 10:15

Engage in learning

Break

10:15 to 10:30

Take care of personal needs, additional learning support with teacher, when available

Period 3

10:30 to 11:15

Engage in learning

Lunch

11:15 to 11:45

Learning break / meal

Period 4

11:45 to 12:30

Engage in learning

Break

12:30 to 12:45

Take care of personal needs, additional learning support with teacher, when available

Period 5

12:45 to 1:30

Engage in learning

Tutoring / student support

1:30 to 3:30* by appointment

Engage in learning

 

School wide grading plan:

  • 50% projects/tests/assessments
  • 25% engagement in learning during class time
  • 25% coursework/homework

Helpful tips for parents and students:

COMMUNICATION: 

  1. Make sure we have your updated contact information (phone, address, email).
  2. Our teachers will be using the Google suite of applications. Parents are strongly encouraged to create a Gmail account. This will better allow for scheduling appointments on teachers’ shared calendars and participating in Google Meet videoconferencing with teachers.
  3. Connect with your student’s teachers early. Make sure you have their contact information (phone number, remind, schedule, email) and they have yours.
  4. Attendance for every virtual class will be taken daily. If your student requires an excused absence, please be sure to notify the office.

 

CREATE A ROUTINE: 

  1. Set aside a designated area in your house for virtual learning
  2. Try to eliminate potential distractions as much as possible
  3. First period meets live, online, every weekday, at 8:30 am
  4. Have fun creating a Google profile image for live classes and Google Meets.
  5. NEW THIS FALL: Classes meet at scheduled times  45 minutes on / 15 minute break (or 1-on-1 help)
  6. Avoid staying up too late and sleeping through your morning classes. 

STAY INVOLVED: 

  1. Take advantage of tutoring opportunities
    1. 1:30 to 2:30 daily for each teacher
    2. 2:30 to 3:30 opportunities during planning
    3. Free scheduled tutoring with WMS teachers between 4 to 8 pm.
  2. Ask your teachers questions. Ask about planned assessments, upcoming projects, additional exploration, and their learning expectations. 

DON’T BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT: 

  1. Contact your student’s teachers
  2. Contact Mr. Harwood 

WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER: 

It’s going to be okay. We’ve strived to build a better plan, but we know nobody is perfect. If we aren’t meeting your needs, let us know so we can work to address it. You are not alone. We are not alone.