November 8, 2020
    Greetings!  Wow!!  Where has the time gone?  The first marking period is behind us and we are beginning a new quarter.  The first marking period was full of newness, and we all learned a lot about how this year is going to go.  The kids have done a great job figuring things out, and we couldn't be more proud of how they have handled the transition to the middle school. 
    We feel grateful that we are still and school, and we are thankful for everyday with have in-person with the kids.  As you are well aware, this could change in a heartbeat.  We cannot stress enough being prepared for a possible shut-down.  The kids need to remember to take all of their materials home each night, and bring these materials back to school so they are prepared in the classroom.  We will be working on reorganizing binders and folders with the kids this week.  
    This is a great time to restock school supplies.  We have many kids without scissors and glue sticks, two supplies that they need a couple of times a week, and some kids have run out of pencils which they need daily.  Thank you for your help with this. 
    Report cards will be available on the Parent Portal on Friday, November 13th.  We do not send home paper copies of the report card unless you request that one be sent.  If you would like a paper copy, please contact the main office.  If you need any help accessing the PowerSchool Parent Portal, please call the middle school office.  The kids have all been taught how to log in and check their grades.
    We have learned that many parents do not know how to find our assignments online.  Here are the steps you need to take:
             1.  Start at the district homepage.
             2.  Click on "Our Schools" and choose Southwestern Middle School
             3.  On the lefthand side of the page, click on Middle School Teams
             4.  Click on Team 6
             5.  Click on Homework Assignments Grade 6
             6.  Click on the Team 6 Homework link.   **I suggest bookmarking this page so you can easily access it each day.
    Please let us know if you have any questions.  We would be happy to schedule a Zoom meeting if there are things that you need to discuss with the team, or you can email individual teachers with your concerns.  
    Thank you for all that you are doing at home.  We know that this hasn't been easy, we appreciate your help and support.  If you need anything from us, please reach out.  
    #trojanstrong  #trojantough
    Have a great week!
    September 20, 2020
    Greetings!  I feel like we are making progress on getting into a routine.  The kids were much better about being on time for Zoom classes, and there were only a few kids who confused the A day and B day schedule.  We are still covering a lot of necessary back-to-school activities, and this week will be no different.  Bus drills and walker drills will be taking place on Monday and Tuesday, and the kids will be taking a Panorama survey on Tuesday and Wednesday. 
    Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.  We would much rather discuss your concerns with you than hear about them through the grapevine or read about them on Facebook.   We recognize that this is not a perfect system, but we need to work together to make it work for our kids.  
    Parent Portal information should be arriving in the mail this week.  Please get signed up for the portal ASAP.  We will begin putting grades in very soon and it is a great way to keep trackof your child's progress.  If you need help getting your account set-up, please call the main office.
    Thank you for all that you are doing at home to help your child navigate this school schedule.   We know that this is hard on a lot of famililes.  The kids have really stepped up and done a great job with a difficult situation.  They could not do it without the support that you give them at home and we thank you for that.  
    Have a terrific week.  apple
    September 13, 2020
    We survived week one!  The kids were fantastic, and it was so nice to see them back in the building!  While we had a few hiccups, I think things went as expected. 
    Please look on the middle school webpage for the September Instructional Calendar.  This will tell you what day it is (A Day or B Day) and what group should be in the building.  
    When Zooming in, please follow the times on your schedule.  Please try to be prompt.  If you can't connect, reload the page and try again.  Kids were saying that the links weren't working, but others were able to join the class.  Keep trying.  
    Remember to follow the Zoom rules that were discussed on the first day of school.  You need to pay attention so you don't miss any directions.  Sometimes you will stay "in class" and other times you will be given work to complete on your own during the class period.  Use your time wisely so your work does not pile up. 
    If you have Miss LaGrega, Mr. Beckerink, or Mr. Kellogg for EET, you need to Zoom in.  If you don't have one of these teachers, you do not have to Zoom in until 1st period.  Also, you do not have to Zoom in for study hall.  
    Microsoft Teams is new to most of us.  Be patient as we work through it together.  Once we have a better understanding of how it works, it should be an easy way to do your work and keep track of your assignments.   
    Finally, if you are not sure about something, please ask.  
    Have a terrific week!  
    September 7, 2020
    Ready or not, here we go!!!  The 6th grade team is as ready as we can be.  It will be a different year for sure, and there are bound to be some issues that come up, but together we will figure things out.  Please be patient with us, our school secretaries, the nurse, and our adminstrators as we navigate these uncharted waters.  
    Don't forget to do your health screening by 7:15 each morning.  The link can be found at the top of the district homepage.
    If you have any questions, please ask us.  We know that transitioning to a new building can be hard under the best of circumstances.   We want to make this transition as positive and productive as we can under these difficult circumstances.  
    We will meet our new 6th graders in the cafeteria on the first day of school.  From there, we will be going to our 1st period class.  The kids will be staying in their homeroom while the teachers will be changing rooms each period.   We will walk the kids to their specials, lunch, etc.  We will do lockers first thing in the morning and practice opening them as time permits throughout the day.  
    Please send your child to school with all of his/her supplies.  If you had trouble getting supplies, please let me know.  We always have extras and we are happy to share.  
    Again, please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. 
    Wishing all of you a stress-free, productive, and positive first week of school.
    #trojantough  #trojanstrong
    Amy Pearson
    August 31, 2020
    Hello All!
    Here we are, one week from the beginning of the school year.  I wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts of what this year is going to look like and what I need to do to prepare for it.  Even with 27 years of experience in 6th grade, I feel like a new teacher trying to wrap my head around all of the changes.  One thing that hasn't changed is my excitement about meeting my new students and working with them through this chapter in their lives.  The 6th grade team is committed to making this a great year for our kids regardless of the situation.
    What can you expect during the first couple of weeks of school?  We are going to be focused on policies, procedures, and technology.  We want our kids to be comfortable with using Microsoft Teams, OneNote, the portal, and all of the online platforms that we will be using this year.  We will be teaching them how to use Zoom and helping them to understand our expectations for participating in remote classes.   You will see a lot of "getting to know you" activities which we are going to use for Teams and OneNote practice.  Teams is new to all of us, so we expect that there will be some hiccups along the way.  Please be patient with us as we learn to use this new platform.  We will do our best to make things simple for the kids to follow, but there will be a bit of a learning curve.  The more we practice, the easier it will be for all of us.
    Communication between school and home is going to be a key component to the success of your child this year.  Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.  
    Please make sure your child has a couple of comfortable masks to wear.  Also, if you can practice opening a combination lock, that would be a huge help!    
    Enjoy this last week of summer vacation, please reach out if you have any questions, and in the words of Bob Marley, "Don't worry about a thing, 'cause every little thing, gonna be alright." 
    Amy Pearson
    August 21, 2020
    I want to take this opportunity to thank you for attending our virtual 6th grade orientation last evening.  I also want to apologize again for the Zoom bomb that occurred.  When we Zoom with kids, we send them an invitation and we admit them to the Zoom through the "waiting room" feature.  If a name that we do not recognize appears in the waiting room, we do not admit that person.  Like Mr. Rybicki said, the link to this meeting was public, so anybody could join.  This will not be the case when the kids are attending class. 
    If you thought of any questions after the meeting last night, please feel free to contact me, Mr. Rybicki, Mrs. Lindquist, or any of the 6th grade teachers.   There were a couple of questions that Mr. Rybicki was going to look into.  When we have answers to those questions, he will contact the person who asked the question, and I will post the response here as well.
    Thank you again for attending the orientation.  Like I said, this isn't the way any of us would like to begin the school year.  Working together, we can make this year a positive and productive year for our kids.  
    Please reach out if you have any questions or if you need any clarification on anything that we discussed last night.  
    Enjoy these beautiful summer days!
    Amy Pearson

     August 11, 2020


    By now you have heard that schools can open this fall.  The district is planning on an alternating day schedule and will also be offering a virtual-only option.  I encourage you to check the distrct homepage regularly for updated information.  The district reopening committee continues to meet to work on the details of our reopening, and as the pieces fall into place, we will update this page.  

    The sixth grade team is committed to making your child's transition to the middle school a positive one regardless of what our schedule might look like.  We recognize that under the best of circumstances, sending your child to a new building with new teachers, new schedules, new lockers, and new expectations can be stressful. We will do everything we can to work with you and your child to allievate any anxiety about coming to the middle school.  It really is a great building, and we are always so excited to welcome our new students.  

    Knowing that your child will be learning at home every other day, I encourage you to create a space where your child can work comfortably and somewhat distraction-free.  Students will be remotely checking into classes throughout the day and we want them to focused on the lessons that they will be participating in.  This space can be at the kitchen table, at a desk in the bedroom, in a corner of the living room, or even in the basement.  They need a space to put their laptop, as well as some space for notebooks, supplies, etc.

    Our school supply list has been updated to include supplies for special area classes.  Students will not be sharing/borrowing materials, so it is important that they are prepared.  If you have any trouble getting these supplies, please reach out to us.  

    As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.   

    Enjoy these beautiful summer days and stay #trojanstrong!

    Amy Pearson

    6th Grade Team Leader




    July 23, 2020

    Greetings to all of our new 6th graders and families!

    I hope that you are all having a terrific summer in spite of COVID-19 putting a damper on many of our usual summer activities.  I always like to find the lesson in the situations that life hands us.  In this situation, I think we are learning patience, perserverance, and hopefully an appreciation for the simple pleasures we have in our lives.  It could be worse, right?  

    I wish that I could give you more information about what 6th grade is going to look like, but at this time, I don't know any more than you do.  What I do know is that the 6th grade team will do everything we can to help you make the transition to the middle school as smooth as possible.  As soon as I know more, I will let you know.  In the meantime, read some books, practice your math facts, and learn how to open a combination lock.  :-)

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via email.  I know that all of the newness of starting middle school can be stressful, and with the pandemic driving a lot of our decisions, stress levels might be unusually high.  Remember that we are all in this together.  We will do everything that we can to make 6th grade a memorable and positive experience.  

    Enjoy making memories this summer.  Don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

    Best regards,

    Amy Pearson

    6th Grade Team Leader