Knightly News 09/04/2020 Edition

Knightly News

Congratulations. Just a few weeks ago I couldn’t have imagined a better start to the year. This week has been wonderful. Although we terribly miss our students and the buzz and excitement of the first week of school with all of our kiddos, it was great to see so many faces on zoom, it was great to see so many smiling teachers excited for their experiences with their students, and I am just so proud of our students. I am so impressed with their adaptability, their technology know how, and their participation in this new way of starting school.

I am more excited than ever for this school year!!!!!

GOOOOOOO Knights. We wish all of our families a wonderful long weekend to recover!!!!!!

Staff Highlights

Christian Mueller, Principal

Kim Vergauwen, Assistant Principal

Meet Our Counselors

Our Smith counselors are always here to help. Please feel free to contact our counselors with questions or concerns anytime.

Mrs. Hartenburg (A-L)


Mr. Denyes (M-Z)


Frequently Needed Links Below

Our first week of school

Relationships are always a top priority Smith! We believe that our focus over the first days and weeks of school must be to build relationships with our students and to support strong learning communities in each of our virtual classes. This means we will work up to challenging academics very soon. First, we want to develop virtual learning environments with all students in which they look forward to returning each and every day with positive attitudes and a will to achieve. You may notice our teachers spending time during class getting to know your students, doing activities to get students to open up with one another, and practicing skills that will support their learning in our virtual environments. So much of what we will do with your children over the first days and weeks of school will be no different that what we would normally do to support our strong learning classroom environments at the start of any school year. We can't wait to get started. See you on Tuesday!!!

Cell phone use during class time:

One of the important parts of our virtual classroom expectations discussions has revolved around creating a distraction free environment during class time. We have shared many tips and suggestions for doing so throughout our classes. One thing we are asking for your support on is limiting the distraction of student cell phones during class time. Our teachers have outlined and will continue to work with students on the following. In partnership, please help us in supporting your student’s distraction free learning environment:

i. Keep cell phones on vibrate

ii. Take cell phone and place in somewhere where you will not be distracted by it.

iii. Suggestion: take and place cell phone upside down out of reach

iv. Share the why:

i. It is a distraction to your learning and can keep you from participating fully in class

ii. You could be distracting someone else during their learning experience

iii. Each day we are going over important material you will be responsible for learning – we don’t want you to miss important information

5. Screenshots and taking pictures of class is unacceptable – also part of our code of conduct

Zoom Chat

Zoom has a chat feature that can allow for students to communicate with one another in an open forum and privately. We are sharing with students the importance of utilizing the zoom chat function for classroom discussion and class related chats only. We have taken time to remind students that:

i. Zoom chat is for classroom use only. The zoom chat feature is not for extraneous conversation. Refrain from using the personal chat feature as this is also distracting.

First Week of School Orientation Activities

In each of your child's virtual classes, for all grades, we will be providing orientation support as we begin our school year adventure virtually. The following departments will share with students the following topics:

English - Communicating with Teachers

6th Grade only ELA - all about me collage

Electives - How to read your schedule and schedule questions

Math and Counselors - Getting help & Smith Community Supports

Science - Smith learning expectations & TSD online code of conduct

Social Studies - Using Schoology

Troy School District Virtual Code of Conduct

We will be taking time in our classes to go over the code of conduct with our students starting next week.

New Student to Troy iPad Pickup

New students/parents can go directly to our Troy Services Building to pick up an iPad during the week of 8/24-8/28

To get to the Services Building, enter the Troy District driveway at 4400 Livernois and then turn left at the fork. Head through the cattails to the Services Building.

Technology and iPad Support

Monthly Calendars

The monthly schedule is for parents and students to track A/B days. Students, make sure that you have a copy of this schedule handy each day to remind yourself if it is an A or B day.

7th Grade Families Only

Below is information about the FERPA consent form for parents of our 7th grade families to fill out via Powerschool. This will also be sent through school messenger separately.

Simply follow the instructions below to access the FERPA consent form and fill out the necessary information. Be sure to click submit when form is complete.

After-School Clubs

After school clubs that may meet online may continue as we start the year virtually. There will be future communications inviting students to join clubs they may be interested in!

PTO Volunteers Needed!!!!

The SMITH PTO is actively recruiting for future Board Members / Committee Leaders for next year NOW, to shadow and train with current parent volunteers to make transitions super easy!

Work with Mr. Mueller and Ms. Hartenburg and other amazing parents at Smith on the PTO Board.

Commitments are generally 1 hr a month for board members and a an hour or two more depending on activity that month. Board operates as a team.

Openings for 20/21 school year President, Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator.

* BONUS — we now offer board members front row seating at key Smith events (plays, orchestra/band, choir, graduation and more)

Contact: SmithKnightsPTO@gmail.com

Thank you for your support of the PTO

Smith Twitter - Follow us!!!

Feel free to follow the great things happening at Smith Middle School on Twitter.


We will share weekly notes for coming weeks closer to our return to school