Lions Share

 
 
 
Click HERE for Current Announcement Slides
(slides are shown to grades 6-12 during advisory class) 
 
Top Lion
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
High School GPA and Class Rank
Meridian School uses two different GPA calculations: College 4.0 Unweighted GPAand Weighted GPA.

Both Grade Point Average (GPA) systems are a mean (average) of semester grades in high school credit classes.

The College 4.0 Unweighted GPA is similar to the GPA calculation that most Americans are used to. It is on a 4 point scale, with an A equaling 4 points, a B 3 points, a C 2 points, and an F 0 points. The College 4.0 Unweighted GPA includes all classes for high school credit, including those taken in Middle School (for example, the year of French 1a is calculated as one semester, French 1b as another semester, and both semesters of Algebra 1 are calculated). The  College 4.0 Unweighted GPA appears on the high school transcript that Meridian School sends to Colleges.

The Weighted GPA does not appear on the high school transcript. It is used only to calculate which seniors are in the top 10%, salutatorian, and valedictorian.  Meridian School is a non-ranking school, which means that we do not report a class rank on the transcript we send to colleges. We have made this choice because we feel it is best for our students. For example, at most schools that offer the IB Diploma, only a very small percentage of their students are IB Diploma candidates, and most or all of those students are in the top 10%. At Meridian School, the large majority of our seniors are IB Diploma candidates and even among those who are not Diploma candidates most take one or more IB exams. For example, in the class of 2018 70% of seniors were IB Diploma candidates, 61% of seniors not only were candidates but earned the IB Diploma, and 86% of seniors took  and passed one or more IB exams. For comparison statewide in Texas about 20% of students take and pass at least one AP or IB exam (Shelby County Today, 2017). Since Meridian School is a non-ranking school, colleges will look closely at our students' transcripts and note the number of challenging IB Diploma Program courses (and in 9th and 10th grade challenging IB MYP courses) they took and judge their academic quality accordingly.

Some universities, however, have automatic admissions policies for the top 10% and scholarships for salutatorian and valedictorian, and Texas law requires that public schools identify the top 10% and the student with the highest GPA (the valedictorian).  This is the purpose for which Weighted GPA is used. Only high school classes are taken in high school (not French 1a, for example) count in the Weighted GPA.  The Weighted GPA  also distinguishes between different gradations of an A, B, etc. (for example, a 90 is 4.0 grade points and a 91 is 4.1 grade points), and Weighted GPA also distinguishes between the difficulty of IB Diploma Program courses and other courses (for example, a 100 in  junior-level English III is a 5.0 which a 100 in junior-level IB Diploma Program English Year 1 is a 6.0).

More information on Meridian GPA can be found on pages 24 through 26 in the Meridian School Secondary Academic Program of Studies.  In addition to GPA, the Secondary Academic Program of Studies is a resource for information on the International Baccalaureate Programs at Meridian, the Honor Code, Grading Policies, and Graduation Requirements.

Funky Socks for a Good Cause
We are selling AWESOME, FUNKY socks this week and next as part of a school wide fundraiser! The socks will be sold in packs of 3 and cost $12. For each pack of socks that are purchased, We Help Two will donate 1 pair of black socks back to Meridian. We will be able to donate these socks to our local community. In addition to giving back to our immediate community, secondary students will be voting on 1 of 3 possible global projects. We are hoping to sell 500 packs K-12, which would possibly fund 5 prosthetic legs, 5 corrective club foot surgeries OR a complete clean water project! These sock sales will directly change many lives!
 
See secondary's options and remaining inventory HERE.

All are welcome to purchase in M building lobby at 8am every morning and students can also purchase at all lunches in the M building cafe. We will sell until Friday, November 16, or until SOLD OUT!
 
Meridian's Fall Theatre Production (11/8 & 11/9)
Meridian Theatre Presents "Revenge of the Space Pandas or Binky Rudich and the Two-Speed Clock" (11/8 & 11/9)
  • Thursday, November 8th &  Friday, November 9th
  • 6:30pm in Meridian's Black Box Theatre (Mays Building)
  • $5 tickets, sold starting Monday, November 5th in the Middle School and High School offices.  
Meridian Theater's fall production is a comedy that is just as fun and unusual as its name.
 
Concessions will be sold for $1 or $2 to benefit future Meridian Theatre productions. To donate or volunteer for concessions, please sign up here.
Meridian Volleyball Advances to State!
Saturday, November 10th at Wagner Middle School
 
Congratulations to our Regional Champion volleyball teams  ─ Middle School Black, Middle School Red and Varsity!
 
Middle School Red and Varsity will compete in the 2018 TCSAAL State Tournament this Saturday in Georgetown. Please come out and cheer for our Lions! Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.
 
10:00am - Varsity plays in State Semi-Finals
12:00pm - MS Red plays in State Semi-Finals
1:30pm - Varsity plays in State Championship (after winning semi-finals)
2:30pm - MS Red goes for a repeat State Championship (after winning semi-finals)
Attention 7th Grade: Holiday Bazaar & Craft Day - Signup Deadline is 11/9!
 
IMPORTANT DATES
 
Fri, Nov. 9
Deadline for Signups:
Advertising Signup
 
Craft Day
Sat, Nov. 10 @ 10am-2pm
 
Holiday Bazaar
 Fri, Dec. 7 @ 5-7pm
 
Secondary Principal's Coffee (11/12)
Monday, November 12, the second Secondary Principals Coffee will be held from 9-10am.  This is an opportunity for us to sit and have coffee and tea while discussing any questions that you would like for me or other members of Meridian faculty and staff to address. Doors will open at 8:30, giving parents an opportunity to visit prior to the start of the coffee.
 
This will be the second of five coffees scheduled this year.  Dates on the others can be found in Upcoming Dates below.

Speaker Series: (11/13) "Anxiety - Giving your Student the Tools to Cope"
Our Speaker Series for November is on a topic that really is timely as we head into the holidays and final exams:
  • Nov 13th @ 6:00 p.m. in the Mays Cafeteria
  • Erika Blair will present "Anxiety--Giving your Student the Tools to Cope"
Erika Blair is a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist.  She is a former teacher and school counselor and currently works in private practice at Georgetown Child & Family Counseling. Erika has extensive professional experience working with kids of all ages from elementary through the high school years. Her training in Play Therapy and Trust-Based Relational Intervention brings with her a very person-centered approach to her work.  Erika loves working to help families heal through communication and trust-building.
Financial Aid Workshop for Parents of Seniors
Financial Aid Workshop for Parents of Seniors
Tuesday, November 13, 6:00-7:30

If you are still working on the FAFSA and need assistance with your application, this is the night for you!  Stacy Flood, ACC Financial Aid Specialist,  presented an information night at Meridian on September 20, and she will be back on campus to work with those who need assistance completing the FAFSA. Please click on the link below to reserve your spot for this valuable assistance:
Teacher Talent Show & Silent Auction (11/15)
See the fantastic (and sometimes just silly) talents of Meridian's Faculty and Staff! The annual Meridian Teacher Talent Show is Thursday (11/15) at 6:30 pm in the Mays Gym.
  
Thursday, November 15 @ 6:30pm
5:30pm - Early Access (Donor Perk*)
6:00pm - Regular Access
6:30pm - Show Starts

*Those who purchased tickets during the Donor Perk pre-sale will receive a special wristband for early entrance.
 
Wristband Pickup
(coincides with gift card pickup)
 
8-8:30am - Tues 11/13 - Primary Lobby
8-8:30am - Wed 11/14 - Primary Lobby
6:00 pm - Thurs 11/15 - Mays Lobby

And don't forget to purchase an experience in the Silent Auction.  Bidding closes November 15 at 10:00 pm, so act fast!
 
Questions? Contact giving@mwschool.org.
 
Gift Card Pickup (11/13-11/15)
Gift Card Pickup
(coincides with Talent Show wristband pickup)
 
8-8:30am - Tues 11/13 - Primary Lobby
8-8:30am - Wed 11/14 - Primary Lobby
6:00 pm - Thurs 11/15 - Mays Lobby
 
Please understand that we cannot send gift cards home with students. 

Questions? Contact giving@mwschool.org.
 
Book Group (11/29)
Upcoming book club dates are November 29, December 13, January 31, February 28, and March 28 (If you would like added to a reminder email, please contact Nancy Spence).

Nov. 29th  The 5 Love Languages of Teenagers by Gary Chapman (or if you have a primary student--choose The 5 Love Languages of Children)

Semester Exam Schedule (12/14-19)
Students in grades 7 through 12 take end of semester exams. Students in grades 6 through 12 will follow the semester exam class schedule.

Click here for the 2018 Fall Semester Exam Schedule.  
  • Two exams per day
  • 75 minute study period followed by two hour exam period
  • Lunch assignments listed in right-hand column next to 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th periods
  • School lasts until 4:00 all week, including Wednesday (12/19)
  • Study period is shortened on Wednesday (12/19) to accommodate for end of exam activity (faculty-student basketball game high school option, other options still in planning stage).  Study period only 30 minutes 7th period.
Note that semester exams missed due to unexcused absences will have a -30 penalty applied after they are made up. Please avoid scheduling trips that overlap with semester exams. Check with attendance-ms@mwschool.org or attendance-hs@mwschool.org prior to scheduling a trip to see if the reason will be excused. If an unexcused trip must be taken, it is better to schedule for the beginning of a grading period rather than the end, as this will reduce the amount of critical instruction and assessment missed.
Last Day Second Quarter Late Work Accepted Thursday (12/13)
Note that the purpose of this deadline is to provide a clear cut-off for assignments that were due before review week and are now late. It does not negate extra time accommodations in students' 504 or special education paperwork.
txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • November 8 (Thursday): Yearbook Picture Retakes
  • November 8 & 9: Meridian Fall Play: Revenge of the Space Pandas
  • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
  • November 10 (Saturday): Craft Day (for Holiday Bazaar 7th graders)
  • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
  • November 13 (Tuesday): Speaker Series - Anxiety: Giving Your Student the Tools to Cope
  • November 13 (Tuesday): Financial Aid Workshop for Parents of Seniors
  • November 15 (Thursday): Teacher Talent Show
  • November 15 (Thursday): Silent Auction ends at 10pm
  • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
  • November 29 (Thursday): Book Group
  • December 7 (Friday): Holiday Bazaar & Polar Express
  • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
  • December 13 (Thursday): Book Group
  • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
  • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
  • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
  • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
  • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
  • January 31 (Thursday): Book Group
  • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
  • February 28 (Thursday): Book Group
  • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
  • March 14 (Thursday): Service Learning Day (switched from March 15)
  • March 14 (Thursday): Personal Project Exposition
  • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
  • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
  • March 28 (Thursday): Book Group
  • April 15-16 or April 16-17 10th Grade College Trip
  • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
  • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
  • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
  • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
  • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
  • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
  • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am
Veterans Day
Fighting in World War I ended with an armistice signed at 11:00 am on November 11, 1918. Since then, November 11 has been celebrated as "Armistice Day" in many countries that fought in the "War to End All Wars." This hopeful title proved to ring hollow, as fighting began again in the 1930s, culminating in World War II. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs website, in 1954 as the United States was fighting the Korean War, the US Congress changed Armistice Day to "Veterans Day," making it a day to honor US veterans of all wars.  In contrast with Memorial Day (last Monday in May), which is primarily intended to commemorate those who have given their lives in war, Veterans Day's main purpose is to thank living veterans for their service.

This year is the 100th anniversary of the initial "Armistice Day" birth of our Veterans Day, and thus is a particularly good time to remember the service of our veterans!
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


November 8, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
SCHOOL CALENDAR
NOVEMBER
LUNCH MENU
NOVEMBER
BREAKFAST MENU
 
Top Lion
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Halloween Dress (10/31)
Meridian secondary students have a tradition of celebrating Halloween "from the neck up." This means that on Wednesday, October 31, students must wear their regular uniform, but may dress up in a costume "from the neck up." They should not wear dress that interferes with or conceals any part of their uniform (so no capes, no gloves, etc.). They also should not conceal their identity, so no masks that conceal any part of the face other than the eyes (a Lone Ranger or costume ball style eye mask is acceptable).
 
Students may wear crazy hair, a costume hat or wig, costume ears, costume makeup, etc., so long as the costume is only "from the neck up" and a student's identity is evident.
 
Our seniors get an additional privilege--they may dress in a full costume on Tuesday, as may teachers.
College Shirt & Jeans Day (11/7)
The last Wednesday of the month is normally college shirt and jeans day for students and faculty. Because of Halloween, however, this month we will move college shirt and jeans day to Wednesday, November 7.  
Service Learning Days
Service Learning days are days when regular classes (English, History, Math, etc.) do not meet, and instead we have special programming supporting IB goals.  Middle School students might be learning about global issues, the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, and service opportunities. The 9th or 10th graders might be working on their MYP Personal Project, and 11th and 12th graders might be working on their Extended Essay or Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS).

Our next Service Learning Day will be on November 14.  Students will participate in a community volunteer fair, learning about volunteering opportunities in our area.  11th graders will work on CAS, and 12th graders will work on their final draft of the Extended Essay, and 10th graders on their Personal Project.

Please note that the date of the Service Learning Day originally scheduled for March 15 has been switched to Thursday, March 14.  On March 14 after school we will be inviting the community to come to our Personal Project Exposition to see the culmination of the 10th grade MYP experience--so mark your calendars!
Meridian Clubs on Meridian Website (mwschool.org)
6th-12th grade students and parents now have access to a complete listing of Meridian's clubs and student organizations. Find sponsor contact information, meeting times and locations and eligibility criteria. Visit tinyurl.com/MeridianClubs. For questions, please email secondary-enrichment@mwschool.org.
 
Meridian Athletics News Now Online
Find this week's Athletics features and announcements on the Athletics websiteunder Athletics News.
 
Some of this week's highlights include:
· Meridian Cross Country advances to State Meet this Saturday!
· Final Meridian Volleyball home games this week!
· Tennis matches this week!
· High School Swimming participates in Round Rock Invitational this Saturday!
 
Student Nicknames in Yearbook
If your student goes by a different name at school than their given first name, we can list this nickname in the yearbook if the parent makes this request. For example, some students are known by their middle name, or a shortened version of their first name (e.g. Katie instead of Katherine). Please fill out this form if you would like for us to identify your student by his/her nickname in the yearbook.
 
Meridian vs. Local Districts: Comparing the Numbers
Meridian received approximately $8,900 per student in revenue last year compared to our neighboring district schools who ranged between $12,500 and nearly $19,000 per student. The difference is due to those districts' ability to raise capitol through the issuance of bonds, which is how they pay for their facilities and many on-going operations and maintenance costs. 



Meridian paid for facilities and all operations and maintenance from a revenue of $8,900 per student. This amount includes an average of $177 per student received through the annual campaign totaling to $275,000. This pays for most of our technology devices, teacher training, and outdoor improvements.


Thank you to all the families who have made their contribution to the 2018-2019 Annual Fund. Your generosity benefits teachers and students! 

If you have not done so, please consider making your gift or pledge today.

While the suggested donation is $250 per student, a gift of any amount shows your support!

Questions? Contact giving@mwschool.org.
Donor Perk! Teacher Talent Show Ticket Presale
Thursday, November 15 @ 6:30pm
 
 
Donor Perk!
 
As we've done in the past, Annual Fund Supporters will receive early access to purchase their tickets, as well as priority seating. 
 
Read more about
Meridian's Annual Fund
 
(An email invite will be sent to all Annual Fund supporters on Monday, October 29!)
Questions? Contact giving@mwschool.org.
 
 
Holiday Bazaar & Craft Day
UPDATE: We polled the students and have formed a committee of parents. The Holiday Bazaar is ON!

It's an annual tradition at Meridian for 7th graders to raise funds for their 8th Grade Heifer Ranch Class trip by holding a Holiday Bazaar. 7th graders make crafts in advance and put on a late afternoon or evening event for primary students to shop for holiday gifts. The funds raised provide a discount for those 7th grade students who chose to participate. 

Craft Day
Saturday, Nov. 10 @ 10am-2pm
 
Holiday Bazaar
 Friday, Dec. 7 @ 5-7pm
 
 
7th grade families will soon receive a separate email with details on how to participate!
 
Gift Card Fundraiser
Gift card order forms went home with students this week! Purchase them to give as gifts, to use during your holiday shopping, or just to buy your groceries! For every card sold, Meridian will receive a percentage of the sales! Cards will be available to pick up the week before Thanksgiving break -- just in time for Black Friday shopping!

Order Deadline: November 2
Pickup Dates: November 13-15
 
Need an extra order form or want to share with your friends and neighbors? 

Click HERE to print one!

 
Yearbooks On Sale Now!
Our school yearbook, The World, is now on sale! The World is a 200 page four-color book that covers all K-12 students and activities. Order your copy by 10/31/18 to get the lowest price of $45. This $45 does NOT include the name stamp personalization on the front cover; this price includes the yearbook only. Please order package #3 or package #4 if you want your child's name or family name stamped on the front cover. Activity icons (e.g. basketball, volleyball, etc,) can be added to packages #3 and #4 for an additional cost.

Our yearbook is only sold online (and by preorder). Please save your email confirmation from Balfour as your receipt.

All yearbook package prices increase by $5 on November 1st.
 
Click HERE to order today!
txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)

    • November 1 (Thursday): Class of 2019 IB DP Exam Fee Installment #5 due
    • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • November 13 (Tuesday): Special Guest Speaker & ViP Meeting
    • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
    • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
    • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
    • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
    • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • March 14 (Thursday): Service Learning Day (switched from March 15)
    • March 14 (Thursday): Personal Project Exposition
    • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
    • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
    • April 15-16 or April 16-17 10th Grade College Trip
    • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
    • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
    • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am 
Reformation Day
October 31 commemorates the date in 1517 AD when Martin Luther nailed his "95 Theses" on the church door in the city of Wittenberg (in present-day Saxony-Anhalt, Germany), the event that is seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Founded upon a belief of individual (rather than papal) interpretation of scripture and raising serious questions regarding the relationship between church and state, and the state and the individual, the Reformation launched by Luther forced a huge and lasting schism in Western Christianity, and led to major upheavals in Western European society and civilization.
Halloween and All Saints / Souls Day
Halloween is commonly seen as having its origins in the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, occurring at the end of October. Samhain was a celebration of the end of the harvest season, but the Celts also believed that during Samhain the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead were blurred. According to History.com, the ancient Romans, who conquered Celtic lands, also had a festival at the end of October commemorating the dead.

After the fall of the western Roman Empire, Pope Boniface dedicated the Pantheon (a temple in Rome that originally had honored all Roman gods) as a Christian church in honor of martyrs who had died for their Christian faith. The Roman Catholic Church later declared November 1 to be a day to honor martyrs (this came to be known as "All Saints Day," or "All Hallows Day") and November 2 a day to honor the dead ("All Souls Day"). This is the day that is celebrated as "Dia de los Muertos," or "Day of the Dead" in Mexico and in many parts of the United States.

The evening prior to "All Hallows Day" came to be known in England as "All Hallows Eve," shortened to "Hallow'een." Halloween was not much celebrated in the early US, in part due to strong Puritan beliefs against it. It grew as a holiday as more immigrants came to the US in the 19th century, particularly from Ireland.  The custom of children "trick or treating" in costume, however, appears to be a purely American invention.  Halloweenhistory.org states that the first print references to the practice can be found in the 1930s.
Native American Heritage Month
November is national Native American Heritage Month, a time for recognizing the history of American Indians and their contributions to the United States.

Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


October 27, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
SCHOOL CALENDAR
OCTOBER
LUNCH MENU
OCTOBER
BREAKFAST MENU
 
YEARBOOK LOGO
Top Lion
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Design and MYP Assessment
The evening of October 4, our Design students put on a wonderful presentations of the whirlygigs, mobiles, and chimes that they have designed in class. The evening was capped by a presentation by Meridian Middle Years Program Coordinator Katy Garbus on Design and MYP Assessment, which is linked here!
 
National Merit Recognition for Meridian Seniors
The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) has announced the names of the Semifinalists and Commended Students in their annual scholarship program.

Semifinalists are among the 16,000 top scorers on the 2017 PSAT, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors nationwide.  These students will have the opportunity to advance to Finalists and continue in the competition for National Merit Scholarships. Congratulations to Ian Adair and Jennifer Bechtold for becoming the first Meridian National Merit Semifinalists!

Another 34,000 Commended Students are also recognized for their exceptional academic promise.  Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 completion by taking the 2017 PSAT, and the Meridian students earning this recognition are Manini Penikalapati and Abigail Thomas.

NMSC is an organization with the goals of honoring the nation's scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.  Congratulations to these Meridian academic champions!
 
Meridian Athletics News Now Online
Find this week's Athletics features and announcements on the Athletics website under Athletics News.
 
Some of this week's highlights include:
· Cross Country Regionals this Saturday, October 20th!
· Meridian high school volleyball home games this Friday, October 19th!
· Volleyball Senior Night is next Tuesday, October 23rd!
· 3-on-3 Tennis Fundraiser on Friday, November 9th ─ Form your team now!
 
Creepy Carnival Fall Dance: Parent Help Needed! 
Creepy Carnival Fall Dance scheduled for this Saturday, October 20th!
 
The first HIGH SCHOOL dance of the year is this Saturday, October 20th from 7:00-10:00pm  It is a challenging feat to pull a dance together coming off a week-long Fall Break! Will you please step in to help by donating food and/or signing up to volunteer?We cannot have this dance without the help of our high school parents! You can volunteer to help set up/decorate, volunteer during the event, or volunteer to help clean up after (please!). Call a friend and sign up to volunteer together! This is a super fun dance so join us in making this dance a fun night for our hard working high schoolers.  
 
Please sign up to help HERE.  Thank you in advance!
 
Heifer Ranch
Most of our 8th graders are away experiencing a very rewarding and unique learning opportunity. Special thanks to all who have contributed to this effort: 7th grade Holiday Bazaar, gave additional funds to support some of our students with financial needs, and trusting our staff with their children for the over-night, out-of-state stay. Those that are staying behind are also experiencing unique learning opportunities (research enhancement skills thanks to our fabulous librarian) and team building activities with our 8th grade staff.  
 
End of First Quarter Grading Period
Report cards were sent home with students on Tuesday this week.
 
If you have questions about the grade in a particular class, please email the teacher. If you need to set up a meeting with the entire team rather than a few individual teachers, you can email the grade level team lead.

6th Grade Team Leads: Angela Kieke & Aaron Henderson
7th Grade Team Lead: Tori Ray
8th Grade Team Lead: Lacy Vain
9th & 10th Grade Team Lead: Cynthia Castillo
11th & 12th Grade Team Lead: Wendy Riley
 
7th Grade PARENTS: 10/19 Holiday Bazaar Meeting
It's an annual tradition at Meridian for 7th graders to raise funds for their 8th Grade Heifer Ranch Class trip by holding a Holiday Bazaar. 7th graders make crafts in advance and put on a late afternoon or evening event for primary students to shop for holiday gifts. The funds raised provide a discount for those 7th grade students who chose to participate. It's a fun event for all, and we already have a date on the calendar (December 7), but it takes a committee of parents and students to pull it off!
 
Planning Meeting
Friday, October 19 @ 8:30am
 
 Sign up HERE to let us know you'll attend. 
 
Please note that this event requires a committee and will be canceled if there's not enough interest. 
 
Questions? Contact vipleaders@mwschool.org  
 
Campus Improvement Plan - Planning Meeting (10/20)
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has given Meridian an "A" rating based on the new evaluation program. We received distinctions in all four academic subject areas: ELA/Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. The district leadership and administrators are excited to create a plan which will go before our board of directors in November.  Parents, staff, and community members are invited to attend a planning session to provide suggestions and recommendations regarding what they feel should be included in our Campus Improvement Plan. All are welcome and should you wish to join us we will meet on Saturday October 20th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Please report to the primary campus front office. We will then move into the primary building workroom. We look forward to seeing you. Should you have any questions you may contact us at 512-660-5230. Please request to speak with your respective principal. 

Please RSVP HERE so we know how many to expect.

Car Basics Course (10/20)
WHO: Current 10th-12th grade students
 
WHAT: Student will bring his/her own car and learn the following car basics:
  • Raising and Releasing the Hood
  • Checking Fluid Levels
  • Types of Fluid and how to check them
  • How to add Fluids if they are low
  • Dashboard Indicator Lights- what they mean, what to do, when to pull over
  • Locating and Changing Spare Tires
  • Checking Tire Pressure and Tread
  • How to change wiper blades
  • When to clean a battery terminal
  • How to choose what kind of gas you buy
  • What do you do if you are out of fuel
  • What happens if you hit an animal
  • What happens if you are being pulled over by police
  • Information about dealing with car repair shops
  • And much more! 
WHEN: Saturday, Oct 20 (Three class times:  9:00 - 11:00, 11:30 - 1:30, and 2:00 - 4:00)
 
WHERE: Meridian School
 
COST: $100 (discounted from $150 and proceeds benefit Meridian ViP Grants)
 
Click HERE for more information.

Sign up at MySchoolBucks.com and visit the school store.
 
Exchange Student - Host Needed!
From time-to-time, Meridian hosts a high school exchange student directly rather than the student coming through a private company facilitating that exchange. 

We have an opportunity for the spring semester to host a 10th grade student and are in need of a host family.

The purpose of the host family is to provide a home-away-from-home, essentially welcoming this student into your home, providing shelter, meals, transportation, etc. akin to a family. Significant expenses are taken care of by the student's family, including pocket money.

If you are the parent of a high school student and have an interest in hosting a 10th grade girl starting in January, please email mwscoo@mwschool.org (note, the "mwscoo" is not an error).

Parent Coordination Network
The effective and meaningful engagement of students, families, and communities is critical to the successful development and implementation of supports and services that lead to positive outcomes for students with disabilities. 
The Parent Coordination Network is committed to ensuring that parents of students with disabilities receive accurate and timely information to assist in making informed choices in their children's education.

Check out the monthly Shout Out! for more information and involvement opportunities. 
 
txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

No Pass No Play
Per state law and Meridian school rules, any students who fail or receive an incomplete in at least one class for the quarter are ineligible to compete or perform in extracurricular activities (athletics, theater, Model UN, etc.).  Ineligibility starts at the end of school on Friday of the first week of the new quarter. The reason for this one week "waiting period" prior to ineligibility is to give teachers a chance to catch any errors that might have occurred in grading or grade entry, and to give students with an incomplete a chance to clear it.  If errors are corrected or incompletes cleared prior to the end of school that Friday of the first week of the new quarter, then the student is eligible to compete. If not, then they are ineligible until at least the four week progress report period.

At the end of the 4 week progress report period, a student who is passing allclasses on their progress report (and has no unresolved incompletes from the previous quarter) regains eligibility to compete and perform.  Like with the end of the quarter, however, there is a one week "waiting period" before eligibility is regained. The end of the 4 week progress report period for the second quarter is Friday, November 9, and formerly ineligible students passing all classes on that report regain eligibility at the end of school on Friday, November 16.  Note that failing grades on a progress report cannot cause a previously eligible student to lose eligibility. Under "no-pass-no-play," progress reports only will result in a student regaining eligibility, not losing it.
 
Important Reminder from RRPD
We received an email from a Sergeant with the Round Rock Police Department asking that we remind our parents to NOT block the driveways of our neighbors, even after the line has begun moving:
We are needing a little help from you in reference to the car riders. On North Mays by Ultra Electronics which is directly across from the police department they are blocking there driveway while waiting in line. This is occurring while cars are stopped and progressing through the line. Can you send out in your news letter or e mail blast reminding car student pick ups not to block business driveways? Thank you for being a good neighbor to our police department and surrounding businesses.
RRPD and all of our neighbors have been extremely kind and patient with our traffic. Please help us keep these driveways clear for law enforcement and those who work at these neighboring businesses. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
Calling ALL Families: Set up your MySchoolBucks account today!
It's not just for lunch payments anymore! ALL families should set up a MySchoolBucks account to pay for class trips, Triple A, athletics, specialty t-shirts, event tickets, and more!

1. Go to myschoolbucks.com to set up an account

2. For district, select Meridian World School (not Meridian ISD)

3. Add a student(s) to your account using the child's name and date of birth 

Paying invoices and making purchases is easier than ever.
Set up your account today!



Questions? Contact Anna at a.cornett@mwschool.org.

Outstanding balances may limit limit your student's activities!
DON'T MISS OUT ON THE FUN!
 
Participation in many student activities will now be limited if there are fees owed to Meridian, including past-due balances in cafeteria accounts, library fees, and school supply fees. Students will not be able to attend class and club trips, dances, prom, and other paid elective activities if there are balances outstanding more than 30 days or if payment arrangements have not already been made with the Business Office. Many fees can now be paid directly by credit card through your MySchoolBucks account.

Questions? Contact a.cornett@mwschool.org.
Meridian Parent Book Group:  October 25th 
Where: Mays Building, Teacher's Workroom (upstairs workroom in Mays building)
Time:  8:45 a.m.
 
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander, from Preschool to High School and Beyond: Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Creating More Deeply Caring Communities by Barbara Coloroso.
 
Drawing on her decades of work with troubled youth and her wide experience with conflict resolution and restorative justice, Barbara Coloroso offers practical and compassionate solutions and gives parents, caregivers, educators, and most of all-young people the tools to break this cycle.  
 
Please contact Nancy Spence or Haven McMaster if you have any questions or want to be added to the contact list.
 
Yearbooks On Sale Now!
Balfour has promised that the kinks have been worked out, so be sure to order by October 31st to get lowest price of $45!
 
Our school yearbook, The World, is now on sale! The World is a 200 page four-color book that covers all K-12 students and activities. Order your copy by 10/31/18 get the lowest price of $45. This $45 does NOT include the name stamp personalization on the front cover; this price includes the yearbook only. Please order package #3 or package #4 if you want your child's name or family name stamped on the front cover. Activity icons (e.g. basketball, volleyball, etc,) can be added to packages #3 and #4 for an additional cost.

Our yearbook is only sold online (and by preorder). Please save your email confirmation from Balfour as your receipt.

All yearbook package prices increase by $5 on November 1st.
 
Click HERE to order today!
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
 
    • October 17-19: 8th Grade Class Trip to Heifer Ranch
    • October 19: Holiday Bazaar Meeting (7th Grade Parents) - 8:30am
    • October 20: Campus Improvement Plan Meeting - 10am
    • October 20: Car Basics Course (for student drivers)
    • October 20: High School Dance
    • October 24 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
    • October 25: Meridian Parent Book Group, 8:45am
    • November 1 (Thursday): Class of 2019 IB DP Exam Fee Installment #5 due
    • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
    • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
    • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
    • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
    • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
    • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
    • April 15-16 or April 16-17 10th Grade College Trip
    • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
    • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
    • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am 
Twin Baha'i Holy Birthdays
Two central holy figures of the Baha'i faith, the Bab ("Herald" of the Baha'i faith) and Baha'u'llah ("Glory of God," foretold by the Bab) have their birthdays commemorated by followers of Baha'i worldwide on October 20 and October 21 (2018), respectively.According to Bahai.org, "In the middle of the 19th century, [the Bab] announced that he was the bearer of a message destined to transform humanity's spiritual life. His mission was to prepare the way for the coming of a second Messenger from God, greater than himself, who would usher in an age of peace and justice."  Baha'u'llah "is the Promised One foretold by the Báb and all of the Divine Messengers of the past. Bahá'u'lláh delivered a new Revelation from God to humanity."

The Bab and Baha'u'llah are believed by followers of Baha'i to be "twin Manifestations of God." In Baha'i belief, Manifestations of God, such as Moses, Abraham, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Krishna, and Buddha emerge in various periods of history to found the world's great religious systems. There are several million followers of the Baha'i faith worldwide, with the greatest concentration being in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

These two birthdays are among nine holy days of the Baha'i calendar when adherents to Baha'i do no labor.
United Nations Day
October 24 has been recognized since 1948 by the United Nations Organization as United Nations Day, commemorating the day in 1945 when the United Nations charter went into effect.  Since 1971, the UN has recommended that all UN member states commemorate United Nations Day as a public holiday. It is not a public holiday in the United States, but each year United Nations Day is traditionally recognized through a presidential proclamation calling for the observation of United Nations Day "through appropriate ceremonies and activities" (in the words of the 2013 proclamation by President Obama).
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


October 17, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
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This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Important Reminder from RRPD
We received an email from a Sergeant with the Round Rock Police Department asking that we remind our parents to NOT block the driveways of our neighbors, even after the line has begun moving:
We are needing a little help from you in reference to the car riders. On North Mays by Ultra Electronics which is directly across from the police department they are blocking there driveway while waiting in line. This is occurring while cars are stopped and progressing through the line. Can you send out in your news letter or e mail blast reminding car student pick ups not to block business driveways? Thank you for being a good neighbor to our police department and surrounding businesses.
RRPD and all of our neighbors have been extremely kind and patient with our traffic. Please help us keep these driveways clear for law enforcement and those who work at these neighboring businesses. Thank you in advance for your cooperation!
The Meridian Design Classes Night of Kinetic Wonder - TONIGHT!
On Thursday, October 4, (TONIGHT!) from 6 PM to 7:30 PM, the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will be showing their products that were planned and created in the design classes. In addition, the Meridian High School Design Classes have designed commemorative t-shirts that will be on sale during the Showcase hours.

Note: All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are encouraged to attend.
Students may stay after school to help set up, but they must be registered with the Meridian After School 6-12. If, instead, you plan on picking them up after school and returning to school for the showcase then please have students at the school before 5:45.
End of First Quarter Grading Period
The 1st Quarter grading period ends this Friday, October 5. Parents and students may keep up to date with grades through the txConnect gradebook portal. Be aware, however, that many teachers are still grading work and updating the gradebook over October Break.  Grades will be finalized at the end of October Break and report cards will be sent home with students the week we get back from the break.

If you have questions about the grade in a particular class, please email the teacher. If you need to set up a meeting with the entire team rather than a few individual teachers, you can email the grade level team lead.

6th Grade Team Leads: Angela Kieke & Aaron Henderson
7th Grade Team Lead: Tori Ray
8th Grade Team Lead: Lacy Vain
9th & 10th Grade Team Lead: Cynthia Castillo
11th & 12th Grade Team Lead: Wendy Riley
 
No Pass No Play
Per state law and Meridian school rules, any students who fail or receive an incomplete in at least one class for the quarter are ineligible to compete or perform in extracurricular activities (athletics, theater, Model UN, etc.).  Ineligibility starts at the end of school on Friday of the first week of the new quarter. The reason for this one week "waiting period" prior to ineligibility is to give teachers a chance to catch any errors that might have occurred in grading or grade entry, and to give students with an incomplete a chance to clear it.  If errors are corrected or incompletes cleared prior to the end of school that Friday of the first week of the new quarter, then the student is eligible to compete. If not, then they are ineligible until at least the four week progress report period.

At the end of the 4 week progress report period, a student who is passing all classes on their progress report (and has no unresolved incompletes from the previous quarter) regains eligibility to compete and perform.  Like with the end of the quarter, however, there is a one week "waiting period" before eligibility is regained. The end of the 4 week progress report period for the second quarter is Friday, November 9, and formerly ineligible students passing all classes on that report regain eligibility at the end of school on Friday, November 16.  Note that failing grades on a progress report cannot cause a previously eligible student to lose eligibility. Under "no-pass-no-play," progress reports only will result in a student regaining eligibility, not losing it.
 
Calling ALL Families: Set up your MySchoolBucks account today!
It's not just for lunch payments anymore! ALL families should set up a MySchoolBucks account to pay for class trips, Triple A, athletics, specialty t-shirts, event tickets, and more!

1. Go to myschoolbucks.com to set up an account

2. For district, select Meridian World School (not Meridian ISD)

3. Add a student(s) to your account using the child's name and date of birth 

Paying invoices and making purchases is easier than ever.
Set up your account today!



Questions? Contact Anna at a.cornett@mwschool.org.

Outstanding balances may limit limit your student's activities!
DON'T MISS OUT ON THE FUN!
 
Participation in many student activities will now be limited if there are fees owed to Meridian, including past-due balances in cafeteria accounts, library fees, and school supply fees. Students will not be able to attend class and club trips, dances, prom, and other paid elective activities if there are balances outstanding more than 30 days or if payment arrangements have not already been made with the Business Office. Many fees can now be paid directly by credit card through your MySchoolBucks account.

Questions? Contact a.cornett@mwschool.org.
October Break
Meridian School's unique October Break is next week, Monday, October 8, through Friday, October 12.  Enjoy yourselves in the cool weather!
 
October 16 - Special Guest Speaker at ViP Monthly Meeting
Meridian Counselors and ViP are working together to provide guest speakers at each of the monthly ViP meetings. September's speaker was Jacki James of Kindness Matters, and this month's speaker is Jenna Fleming of Georgetown Family and Child Counseling. 

Jenna's presentation Parent/Child Communication -- Reducing Arguments, Encouraging Cooperation and Understanding is sure to benefit parents with children of all ages!
 
We hope you'll join us on Tuesday, October 16 at 6pm! More information can be found here.
 
Meridian Parent Book Group:  October 25th 
Where: Mays Building, Teacher's Workroom (upstairs workroom in Mays building)
Time:  8:45 a.m.
 
The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander, from Preschool to High School and Beyond: Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Creating More Deeply Caring Communities by Barbara Coloroso.
 
Drawing on her decades of work with troubled youth and her wide experience with conflict resolution and restorative justice, Barbara Coloroso offers practical and compassionate solutions and gives parents, caregivers, educators, and most of all-young people the tools to break this cycle.  
 
Please contact Nancy Spence or Haven McMaster if you have any questions or want to be added to the contact list.
 
Yearbooks On Sale Now!
Balfour has promised that the kinks have been worked out, so be sure to order by October 31st to get lowest price of $45!
 
Our school yearbook, The World, is now on sale! The World is a 200 page four-color book that covers all K-12 students and activities. Order your copy by 10/31/18 get the lowest price of $45. This $45 does NOT include the name stamp personalization on the front cover; this price includes the yearbook only. Please order package #3 or package #4 if you want your child's name or family name stamped on the front cover. Activity icons (e.g. basketball, volleyball, etc,) can be added to packages #3 and #4 for an additional cost.

Our yearbook is only sold online (and by preorder). Please save your email confirmation from Balfour as your receipt.

All yearbook package prices increase by $5 on November 1st.
 
Click HERE to order today!
What's the SRM?
The Standard Reunification Method (SRM) provides an outline of best practices for when schools might need to reunite students and parents in the event of a crisis or emergency. A big component of this plan is to create a kit (think rolling carts with binders, safety vests, name badges, posters, clipboards, etc.) that would travel with us if we needed to transport students to an offsite location (as directed by law enforcement).

Thanks to Jeanette Connaker, Amanda Willis, Kay Bursley, and Michelle Butz-Cortez, we created our school's kit this week! While we hope it's never needed, we have the materials ready to facilitate an offsite reunification.

Read more about the SRM in this parent handout.

Questions? Contact j.boese@mwschool.org
10th Grade College Trip in April
The travel dates for the 10th grade College Trip will be either April 15th-16th, OR April 16th-17th.  Further information about cost and logistics will be shared in early Spring. Questions? Please feel free to email s.holcombe@mwschool.org. We are looking forward to it!

10th & 11th Grade Takes PSAT (10/24)
Meridian 10th and 11th graders will take the PSAT on Wednesday, October 24th. Stay tuned for more information about testing day as the date approaches.

txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)

    • October 5 (Friday): End of First Quarter Grading Period
    • October 8-12: October Break 2018
    • October 16: ViP Meeting w/ Special Guest Speaker
    • October 17-19: 8th Grade Class Trip to Heifer Ranch
    • October 20: Car Basics Course (for student drivers)
    • October 24 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
    • October 25: Meridian Parent Book Group, 8:45am
    • November 1 (Thursday): Class of 2019 IB DP Exam Fee Installment #5 due
    • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
    • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
    • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
    • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
    • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
    • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
    • April 15-16 or April 16-17 10th Grade College Trip
    • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
    • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
    • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am 
Columbus Day
The second Monday of October, this year October 8, is Columbus Day. The first national commemoration of Columbus Day was declared by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892, the 400th anniversary of Columbus' voyage. Commemorations of Columbus soon came to be championed by Italian-Americans, who, like many immigrant groups in the United States, faced discrimination. They rallied around Columbus Day commemorations and parades as a time to showcase the positive contributions of Italians. The first state to officially observe Columbus day was Colorado, in 1906, and it became a federal holiday in 1934. The Knights of Columbus, a fraternal organization of American Catholics, proved to be central in the creation of the holiday.

NPR.org notes that, since the 1970s, both scholars and the American public have taken a more critical look at Columbus, with a particular focus upon his treatment of Native Americans he encountered. Three states with significant Native American populations, Hawaii, Alaska, and South Dakota, do not observe the day at all. South Dakota celebrates "Native American Day," Hawaii "Discoverers Day," and Alaska has a separate "Alaska Day" on October 18.

Whoever your family chooses to celebrate on October 8, it is a holiday for Meridian due to our October Break!
Sharad Navaratri
The Hindu festival of Sharad Navaratri is celebrated from October 9 through 19 this year (2018). There are various "Navaratri" festivals celebrated at different times of the year in India, but, according to the Navaratri Days website, the Sharad Navaratri festival is the most popular. The festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, worshipping a universal mother goddess referred to by different names in different regions of India, such as Durga, Devi or Shakti. Sharad Navaratri marks the start of fall.
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


October 4, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
SCHOOL CALENDAR
OCTOBER
LUNCH MENU
OCTOBER
BREAKFAST MENU
CAR BASICS
COURSE - 10/20
Back by popular demand! 
 
Stay Connected

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Top Lion
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Exchange Student Host Interest
From time-to-time, Meridian hosts a high school exchange student directly rather than the student coming through a private company facilitating that exchange. We may have that opportunity again this spring or next fall and are interested in identifying families that are interested in acting as a host family. The purpose of the host family is to provide a home-away-from-home, essentially welcoming this student into your home, providing shelter, meals, transportation, etc. akin to a family. Significant expenses are taken care of by the student's family, including pocket money. Should you have any interest in hosting a student in the near future, please email mwscoo@mwschool.org(note, the "mwscoo" is not an error).
 
College Fair & Visit Opportunities This Week
Thursday (9/27), representatives from Agnes Scott College and Boston University will be visiting Meridian to present information sessions to interested students.  There will also be an MIT information session hosted by UT Thursday evening. For more information on this and other College information opportunities, see mwschool.org --> Academics --> College Planning --> College Fairs & Visit Opportunities.

 Attention Parents of 10th Graders:  Save the Date!
The 10th grade class takes an overnight trip to the Dallas area each year as part of the College Readiness class.  The purpose of the trip is to tour at least two universities and attend the Texas IB College Fair. We have just learned that the date for the college fair has been set for Tuesday, April 16th.  This means that the travel dates will be either April 15th-16th, OR April 16th-17th. Further information about cost and logistics will be shared in early Spring. Please note that it is important for students to exhibit good discipline at school in order to attend this trip.  Questions? Please feel free to email s.holcombe@mwschool.org.  We are looking forward to it!

10th & 11th Grade Takes PSAT (10/24)
10th grade PSAT prep is officially underway! Students are in the process of honing their Reading, Writing and Language, and Math skills in a variety of ways during their College Readiness class.  This includes a combination of computer-based practice with Khan Academy, group problem solving and discussion, and individual paper and pencil practice. Over the next 2 weeks they will be taking each section of the official PSAT practice test and analyzing their answers. All of this practice culminates with the administration of the 10th grade PSAT Test on Wednesday, October 24th (Meridian juniors also take the PSAT on this date).
 
Stay tuned for more information about testing day as the date approaches!
Fall Picture Day for Grades 6th-11th (10/1)
Smile for the Camera! All students in grades 6 through 11 will take school pictures on Monday, October 1st. These are the head and shoulder shots that are used in the Meridian yearbook. Students should wear their regular school uniform. Paper order pre-forms from Lifetouch will be given to students on Monday, September 24th via their advisory class period.
  • Parents may pre-order online at mylifetouch.com
  • Use Picture Day ID: XY708196Q0 (0 = the number zero, not the letter o).  
 
Note: Seniors will not take school pictures on October 1st; they will take senior yearbook photos (in dressy attire) in early November.  
 
Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org
After School 6th-12th Pickup Wednesday (10/3)
Due to the ViP Faculty & Staff Appreciation Luncheon, After School 6th-12th (formerly known as "After School Study Hall") will not be in the cafeteria from 1:30-3:00 on 10/3, but will instead be in the gym area.
 
On Wednesday, October 3 if picking up from After School 6th-12th:
  • Before 3:00please park in the main lot and enter through the M ("Mays") Building lobby.
  • After 3:00After School will move back to the cafeteria and pickup will be in the cafeteria.
Note that the above applies only to After School 6th-12th pickup.  If you pick up your students in carline, just follow regular carline pickup times and procedures.
Meridian Parent Book Group Postponed to Oct. 4
The Meridian Parent Book Group meeting originally scheduled for September 27 will be postponed to October 4.
Thursday Oct. 4th, 8:45-9:45 a.m.
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
 
You are welcome join our Meridian book group open to any parent interested in being a part of a larger community discussion. In September, we will be discussing The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. We meet monthly in the middle school teacher's lounge from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.  It is on the second floor of the M- Building. The intention of the group is to promote thought, raise questions, and to share ideas with each other. Feel free to bring breakfast on the go and enjoy a chance to share your thoughts on the current book of the month.  If you would like to be placed on the book group contact list, please email either Nancy Spence, middle school counselor or Haven McMaster, primary school counselor.
The Meridian Design Classes Night of Kinetic Wonder (10/4)
On Thursday, October 4, from 6 PM to 7:30 PM, the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will be showing their products that were planned and created in the design classes. In addition, the Meridian High School Design Classes have designed commemorative t-shirts that will be on sale during the Showcase hours.

Note: All 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are encouraged to attend.
Students may stay after school to help set up, but they must be registered with the Meridian After School 6-12. If, instead, you plan on picking them up after school and returning to school for the showcase then please have students at the school before 5:45.

What to expect: Between 30 and 40 Whirligigs built by the 6th grade students. Between 30 and 40 Mobiles built by the 7th grade students. And, over 100 Windchimesbuilt by the 8th grade students.

The showcase will last until 7:30 which will include an information session from our own MYP Coordinator, Ms. Garbus. Please plan on staying until the end so that you don't miss a thing.

Come and enjoy the night. Ask questions of the students. Pre-order your own commemorative t-shirts. And, have fun!
Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Trip Forms & Payment Overdue 
8th grade parents, all forms and payment for the Heifer Ranch trip were due September 19. Overdue forms and payment will accrue an additional $25 late fee. No forms or payment will be accepted after October 3! 

For more information please see the school website under Students & Parents --> Class Trip --> 8th Grade: Heifer Ranch Trip. There you will find links to an informational video, the presentation slide deck from our Heifer Ranch parent meeting, and forms to be turned in.
Freshman Conferences with Counselor
Ms. Proctor, High School Counselor, will be meeting with every 9th grader (and ideally their parents as well)  between now and the end of November. If you have not already, Sign Up for Freshman Conferences.
txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

Teachers of Inspiration: 2018 Richard Dewey Awards (Due by 10/5)
Which teacher made an impact on your life?  

Submit your story of the teacher that changed your life for the chance to receive one of three $1,000 charter school grants, given in your name to the school of your choice. Due by October 5 to Charter School Capital.

Click here to learn more.

Parent Workday - Creating the SRM Kit
The Standard Reunification Method (SRM) provides an outline of best practices for when schools might need to reunite students and parents in the event of a crisis or emergency. A big component of this plan is to create a kit (think rolling carts with binders, safety vests, name badges, posters, clipboards, etc.) that would travel with us if we needed to transport students to an offsite location (as directed by law enforcement).

Sign up HERE to join us for our SRM Workday on October 2 to make it happen!


Questions? Contact j.boese@mwschool.org
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
 
    • Oct 2 (SRM Workday and Signup)
    • October 5 (Friday): End of First Quarter Grading Period
    • October 8-12: October Break 2018
    • October 17-19: 8th Grade Class Trip to Heifer Ranch
    • October 24 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
    • November 1 (Thursday): Class of 2019 IB DP Exam Fee Installment #5 due
    • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
    • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
    • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
    • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
    • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
    • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
    • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
    • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
    • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


September 27, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
Stay Connected

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Top Lion
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
(click to read more)
Casual Dress Day Opportunity (9/27)
In order to help raise funds for the 8th grade Heifer Ranch trip, all students in grades K through 12, for a $2 contribution, have the opportunity to dress in casual, non-Meridian uniform attire next Thursday, September 27.  Wristbands authorizing casual dress will be on sale next week (Tues. - Thurs. from 7:45-8:30am in both buildings). On September 27, students who have purchased wristbands will be authorized to wear casual clothes that do not violate general Meridian dress code policies regarding length, modest dress, etc.  More guidelines will be given to students through announcements.

Parents (especially those with 8th graders),
please consider signing up HERE to sell wristbands!

School Rules and Expectations Assemblies
Friday during advisory we will have an assembly for Juniors and Seniors, and Tuesday and Thursday next week for Freshmen and Sophomores. The purpose of these assemblies are to go over school rules and expectations and to give students an opportunity to ask clarifying questions of administration. We go over a variety of school rules of expectations, from minor (such as tardies) to more serious violations. One matter that we will address that we have not before is vaping (use of e-cigarettes), which is a growing problem in schools, and has made an appearance in high school at Meridian.  It is illegal for anyone of any age to vape on a school campus, and illegal for those under 18 to purchase vape products. Vaping and possession of vape paraphernalia are prohibited in the Meridian School Student Code of Conduct. Additionally, it is possible to vape illegal drugs, such as the active ingredient in marijuana (THC). We will stress that serious offenses, which include vaping, and illegal drugs and alcohol, are grounds for suspension and expulsion. It is also possible that the school will conduct unannounced searches of lockers using a police dog.
 
If you have any questions about our efforts to maintain a safe and secure learning environment at Meridian, please reach out to administration (principal-hs@mwschool.orgprincipal-ms@mwschool.org).
Fall Picture Day for Grades 6th-11th (10/1)
Smile for the Camera! All students in grades 6 through 11 will take school pictures on Monday, October 1st. These are the head and shoulder shots that are used in the Meridian yearbook. Students should wear their regular school uniform. Paper order pre-forms from Lifetouch will be given to students on Monday, September 24th via their advisory class period.
  • Parents may pre-order online at mylifetouch.com
  • Use Picture Day ID: XY708196Q0 (0 = the number zero, not the letter o).  
 
Note: Seniors will not take school pictures on October 1st; they will take senior yearbook photos (in dressy attire) in early November.  
 
Questions? Please email s.holcombe@mwschool.org
Freshman Conferences with Counselor
Ms. Proctor, High School Counselor, will be meeting with every 9th grader (and ideally their parents as well)  between now and the end of November. If you have not already, Sign Up for Freshman Conferences.
Senior Conferences with our College and Career Counselor
Mrs. Gregg has been meeting with every senior (and ideally their parents) to review graduation plans, post-secondary plans, and the college application and financial aid process.  If you have not already, click here for the Senior Conference Sign Up.
 
College Financial Aid Info Night for Meridian Senior Parents (9/20)
Thursday, Sept 20, 6:00 pm, High School Building in the Old Secondary Cafeteria
Financial Aid Specialist Stacy Flood will be at Meridian to present information about the overall financial aid process, with details about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a meeting you won't want to miss.
 
And be sure to check your student's colleges for their priority date for financial aid!
 
Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Trip Forms & Payment Overdue 
8th grade parents, all forms and payment for the Heifer Ranch trip were due September 19. Overdue forms and payment will accrue an additional $25 late fee. No forms or payment will be accepted after October 3

For more information please see the school website under Students & Parents --> Class Trip --> 8th Grade: Heifer Ranch Trip. There you will find links to an informational video, the presentation slide deck from our Heifer Ranch parent meeting, and forms to be turned in.
Meridian Parent Book Group (9/27)
Thursday Sept. 27th, 8:45-9:45 a.m.
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
 
You are welcome join our Meridian book group open to any parent interested in being a part of a larger community discussion. In September, we will be discussing The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. We meet monthly in the middle school teacher's lounge from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.  It is on the second floor of the M- Building. The intention of the group is to promote thought, raise questions, and to share ideas with each other. Feel free to bring breakfast on the go and enjoy a chance to share your thoughts on the current book of the month.  If you would like to be placed on the book group contact list, please email either Nancy Spence, middle school counselor or Haven McMaster, primary school counselor.
txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

Teachers of Inspiration: 2018 Richard Dewey Awards
Which teacher made an impact on your life?  

Submit your story of the teacher that changed your life for the chance to receive one of three $1,000 charter school grants, given in your name to the school of your choice. Due by October 5 to Charter School Capital.

Click here to learn more.

Emergency Procedures - SRP & SRM
Meridian is organizing its emergency procedures under the Standard Response Protocol (SRP). Thus far this year, we have had drills each Thursday: HOLD, EVACUATE, LOCKOUT, and LOCKDOWN. Today we had a SHELTER drill (also during advisory and again in after-school activities).

If you receive our text updates, you can now expect notices during our fire drills, which are required monthly, and other drills that may take place (at least once persemester).

In addition, the Standard Reunification Method (SRM) provides an outline of best practices for when schools might need to reunite students and parents in the event of a crisis or emergency. A big component of this plan is to create a kit (think rolling carts with binders, safety vests, name badges, posters, clipboards, etc.) that would travel with us if we needed to transport students to an offsite location (as directed by law enforcement).

At last week's Parent Meeting we shared that the next step our safety plan is to create our school's SRM Kit. We've been told it's a big project, so we're organizing an SRM Workday on October 2 to make it happen!
 
Stay tuned! A signup will be shared next week.

Questions? Contact j.boese@mwschool.org
Middle School Dance 9/22 - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Saturday, September 22 
6th grade 7pm-9pm
7th/8th grade 8pm-10pm

Tickets: $10 ticket pre-sale will take place Thursday, Sept 20 and Friday, Sept 21 in the Middle School Lobby from 7:30-8:20AM. Tickets will also be sold at the door (Meridian students only).

Sign up HERE to volunteer and/or provide food.
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
 
    • September 22 (Saturday): Middle School Dance
    • Sept 25 (Tuesday): See Something Say Something Awareness Day
    • Sept 27 (Thursday): Heifer Ranch Fundraising Casual Dress Day
    • Oct 2 (SRM Workday and Signup)
    • October 5 (Friday): End of First Quarter Grading Period
    • October 8-12: October Break 2018
    • October 17-19: 8th Grade Class Trip to Heifer Ranch
    • October 24 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
    • November 1 (Thursday): Class of 2019 IB DP Exam Fee Installment #5 due
    • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
    • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
    • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
    • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
    • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
    • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
    • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
    • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
    • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am 
Ashura (Shi'a Muslim)
There are approximately 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and 2 billion Christians (together about 55% of the world population).  Like Christianity, the faith of Islam has many different sects. The two largest of these sects are Sunni and Shi'a. The roots of this division can be traced back to the leadership of the Muslim faithful following the death of Muhammad.  After Muhammad died 632 CE, a caliph was chosen to be the head of state of Islam. The third caliph was killed thirty years later, and those who came to be known as the "Shi'a" sect of Islam (often called "Shiite" in English) maintained that the only legitimate successor was Muhammad's closest living male relative.  A Muslim civil war broke out over the succession. Hussein ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, was killed at the Battle of Karbala. This event is mourned by the Shi'a faithful as the Day of Ashura.

This year the observance of Ashura begins at sundown on September 20, and the day of Ashura is September 31 (2018).  According to the Islamic Centre website, Ashura is a day of prayer, religious study and observance, good deeds, and finally to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussein.
Autumnal Equinox
Saturday, September 22 is the Autumnal Equinox, the midpoint between the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year) and the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year).  As such, it is one of two days in the year when the length of day and night are roughly equal, the other day being Vernal (Spring) Equinox. Autumn Equinox is also considered to be the first day of Fall.

It's worth remembering, however, that all of this is only the case in the northern hemisphere.  South of the equator, September 22 is Spring Equinox!
 
Sukkot
Sukkot begins the evening of Sunday, September 23, and ends the evening of Sunday, September 30 (2018).  Known as the "festival of the booths," Sukkot is a harvest festival that also commemorates the period when, according to Jewish sacred writings, their people wandered in the wilderness for 40 days after fleeing Egypt.  Booths known as sukkah are constructed to represent the shelters used in the wilderness, and foods eaten are ones traditionally associated with the autumn harvest.
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


September 20, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 
Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Pinterest
Top Lion
 
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
 
Secondary Principals Coffee
Monday we had our first Secondary Principals Coffee of the year, and our first Secondary Principals Coffee to feature two principals (Middle and High School)!
 
If you were unable to attend, and are interested to see notes on some of the questions and answers, see Minutes from September 10 Secondary Principals Coffee.
Morning & Afternoon Carline Reminders
A few carline reminders:
  • In morning carline, do not drop off in front of the Middle School (Mays) Building before 8:20. This helps traffic slow. And if it is close to or after 8:20, but there is someone still on duty at the crosswalk and they signal you to continue through and drop off at the Lions Cage (the regular blue line 7:30-8:20 drop off / 4:00-4:30 pickup location), please follow their instructions.  
  • As a general rule of thumb, follow the instructions of the person on duty, even if it seems their instructions are not standard procedure. They have a reason for the instruction they are giving, but may not have time to hold up traffic to explain it to you. If you have a question, feel free to email the principal later (principal-hs@mwschool.orgprincipal-ms@mwschool.org).
  • In afternoon carline, do not arrive prior to 4:00. If you do, don't be surprised when primary carline folks tell you to circle back around the block so you don't impede the flow of primary carline.
  • In afternoon carline, proceed down the access road all the way to Paloma (not Jeffrey Way).
Freshman Conferences with Counselor begin Sept 17th
Ms. Proctor, High School Counselor, will be meeting with every 9th grader  between now and the end of November. Please consult with your student and determine a good time that works for both you and them, preferably during their study hall or elective course. Please note that due to trying to fit in all 125 conferences before semester exams, we will not be able to reschedule appointments. Ms. Proctor will meet individually with the student if parents are unable to be present at the appointment and the student will bring home the information discussed. Please select one appointment slot on the Sign-Up Genius. Thanks for the opportunity to get to know your students and hear about their future goals and dreams!
Senior Conferences with our College and Career Counselor, Kathy Gregg
It's college application time! Mrs. Gregg would like to meet with every senior and his/her parent(s) between now and October 1st. The purpose of this meeting is to review graduation plans, post-secondary plans, and the college application and financial aid process. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend. Please consult with your student to select a time that is convenient for their class schedule (e.g. during their study hall if they have one), and then sign up for the time slot below. If you are unable to attend, Mrs. Gregg will schedule a time to meet with your student by October 1st to be sure everything is in place for graduation and their plan for Fall 2019.

See here for the Senior Conference Sign Up.
 
College Financial Aid Info Night for Meridian Senior Parents (9/20)
Thursday, Sept 20, 6:00 pm, High School Building in the Old Secondary Cafeteria
Financial Aid Specialist Stacy Flood will be at Meridian to present information about the overall financial aid process, with details about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is a meeting you won't want to miss.
 
And be sure to check your student's colleges for their priority date for financial aid!
 
Upcoming College Information Sessions
  • Thursday, Sept 20, 11:45 am - Smith College at Meridian School
  • Saturday, Sept 22, 9-12 - U.S.Service Academy Forum in Killeen 
There are many events in the area during the week of September 24-28!  Review the complete list of upcoming events on the Meridian website under Academics --> College  Planning --> College Fairs and Visit Opportunities
Thank you, Parent Super Stars!
Stela Holcombe would like to thank the following parents for giving the gift of TIME to our teachers by serving in specifically assigned, weekly duty stations that are normally covered by teachers.  These Super-Star parents are:
 
Dagne Ameigh - Primary Side Crosswalk Duty, 4:00-4:25 PM on Thursdays
Marcie Flores - Orange Line Radio Duty, 4:00-4:25 PM on Thursdays
Karen Strange -Primary Crosswalk Duty, 4:00-4:25 PM on Tuesdays
Jennifer Sharp - Primary Side Crosswalk Duty, 7:55-8:20 AM on Wednesdays
Melissa Uribe - Mays Side Crosswalk Duty,  7:55-8:20 AM on Tuesdays
Denise Whatley - Orange Line Radio Duty, 4:00-4:25 PM on Mondays
 
Mrs. Holcombe is looking for at least one additional parent to serve for the next four weeks (after school on Thursdays), and for 7 parents who are willing/able to serve for 9 weeks x 30 minutes per week (4.5 hours total) in the 2nd quarter (starting after Fall Break). If you have 30 minutes per week  to be a Super Star so that a teacher can have more time to spend with students before/after school, please email Stela Holcombe at s.holcombe@mwschool.org. Thank you!
 
7th Grade Duke Tip Identification Program
The 2018 Duke Tip identification letters are being sent home to our 7th grade-qualifying students this September. Meridian identifies our potential Duke Tip students based on scores at or above the 95% on their most recent standardized test. However, there are some qualifying factors that Meridian would not be aware of such as your child scoring 125 or above on an accepted IQ test. If you feel your child would do well and you are interested in them being part of the Duke Tip Program which offers summer camps, college planning resources, specialized publications, and enrichment materials, do not hesitate to call or email Nancy Spence, middle school counselor. Please note that the test results cannot be used for college applications, and not being involved with Duke Tip will not negatively impact their college application process in high school. These final scores are merely used to determine the extent of your child's abilities on the standardized SAT/ACT test.
Progress Reports Sent Home This Week
Progress reports for the first half of the grading period were sent home with every secondary student on Tuesday of this week.  Progress Reports of students who took the STAAR Algebra 2 EOC last year (i.e. this year's juniors) should have a STAAR EOC report attached to the progress report.
 
Progress reports only reflect the current average in each class. For more detailed information, please check txConnect Online GradebookIf you have questions, please email the teacher of the class you are wondering about.
txConnect Gradebook & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the txConnect Gradebook (for student grades) and ManageBac (for student assignments, and also some MYP assessment feedback), please see mwschool.org --> Students & Parents --> Online Grade and ManageBac Access.

Heifer Ranch 8th Grade Trip Forms & Payment Due (9/19)
8th grade parents, remember, to avoid a $25 late fee, please turn in all forms and payment for the Heifer Ranch trip by September 19.

For more information please see the school website under Students & Parents --> Class Trip --> 8th Grade: Heifer Ranch Trip. There you will find links to an informational video, the presentation slide deck from our Heifer Ranch parent meeting, and forms to be turned in.
Summary of Previous Drills & LOCKDOWN Drill Today
As Head of School Rick Fernandez shared in his recent  letter to parents, we hope you will come to tonight's meeting to learn more about the holistic approach Meridian is taking in regards school safety.
 
As you know, we've held a drill each of the last three weeks during advisory period. Here is a very brief summary of those drills:
Questions?
 
8/23 HOLD - lasted 5 minutes - classes were only interrupted by a brief announcement on the intercom, otherwise instruction continued as usual (Texas State's Texas School Safety Center recommends these to be conducted a minimum of one time per semester)
 
8/30 EVACUATE - lasted 8 minutes - this was a typical fire drill (required monthly per the State Fire Marshal's Office)

9/6 LOCKOUT - lasted 4 minutes - classes were only interrupted by a brief announcement on the intercom, otherwise instruction continued as usual (Texas State's Texas School Safety Center recommends these to be conducted a minimu
m of one time per semester)

Today's LOCKDOWN drill will last a little longer than the previous three because each classroom will receive a visit from a principal, counselor, or administrator to confirm that the appropriate procedures were followed (doors locked, lights off, students out of sight). 

We know it's important for you to be aware of the drills that are conducted at your child's school, and for this reason we sent home a flyer (image above) with all families during Back to School Nights and invite you to learn more at tonight's Parent Meeting where we'll review the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) training that our teachers and staff have received. 
 
Parent Meeting & Raffle Drawing 9/13

Annual Parent Meeting &
Raffle Drawing
 
Thursday, Sep 13 @ 6:30pm

Click HERE to RSVP

We'll also hold the Carline Raffle Drawing during this meeting.

Want to bypass the afternoon carline?

Purchase your raffle tickets HERE!

 

Questions? Contact giving@mwschool.org
Middle School Dance 9/22 - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Saturday, September 22 
6th grade 7pm-9pm
7th/8th grade 8pm-10pm

Tickets: $10 ticket pre-sale will take place Thursday, Sept 20 and Friday, Sept 21 in the Middle School Lobby from 7:30-8:20AM. Tickets will also be sold at the door (Meridian students only).
 
Help make this a night to remember for your middle school students, all while earning your 20!  Check out the sign up genius below to figure out what will work best for you :)

Remind your kids to visit the link below to add their favorite songs to the playlist!

NEW! - VOLUNTEERING AND FOOD DONATIONS: 
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/409084ba4ae292-meridian


SONG REQUESTS:https://goo.gl/DsVu1G

From Middle School Principal, Melina Berduo:

Come dance the night away with us! Have you ever wondered what goes on at a Meridian middle school dance?  Or do you just want to serve our students for a night that will be very memorable? The dance committee has been at work and appreciates all the donations given to date! We would also like to extend an invite for some of you to donate your time the night of the dance. More details and specifics regarding needs for that night will be sent out in an upcoming Lions Share. We ask that you look at your calendars and see if supporting the dance fits into your schedule. Find a friend to join you and consider being a part of the fun! We promise it will beat staying home for movie night and you will have a good time! 

Please note: 6th grade will enjoy the dance from 7:00-9:00; while 7th and 8th graders will enjoy the dance from 8:00-10:00 pm. All parents are welcome to sign up for a time slot. If you have a 5th grader, you might want to sign up this year, so that when your student is in middle school you know what the dance will entail and what to expect. 
 
Sign up HERE to volunteer!
Teachers of Inspiration: 2018 Richard Dewey Awards
Which teacher made an impact on your life?  

Submit your story of the teacher that changed your life for the chance to receive one of three $1,000 charter school grants, given in your name to the school of your choice.  Due by October 5 to Charter School Capital.

Click here to learn more.

Meridian Parent Book Group (9/27)
Thursday Sept. 27th, 8:45-9:45 a.m.
The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
 
You are welcome join our Meridian book group open to any parent interested in being a part of a larger community discussion. In September, we will be discussing The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey. We meet monthly in the middle school teacher's lounge from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.  It is on the second floor of the M- Building. The intention of the group is to promote thought, raise questions, and to share ideas with each other. Feel free to bring breakfast on the go and enjoy a chance to share your thoughts on the current book of the month.  If you would like to be placed on the book group contact list, please email either Nancy Spence, middle school counselor or Haven McMaster, primary school counselor.
Upcoming Dates Summary (additions or changes in bold)
 
    • September 13 (Thursday): Annual Parent Meeting & Raffle Drawing 
    • September 18 (Tuesday):  First Monthly ViP Meeting (That's you!) w/ Special Guest Speaker
    • September 22 (Saturday): Middle School Dance
    • October 5 (Friday): End of First Quarter Grading Period
    • October 8-12: October Break 2018
    • October 17-19: 8th Grade Class Trip to Heifer Ranch
    • October 24 (Wednesday):  PSAT for all 10th and 11th grade students; 8:30-12:30
    • November 1 (Thursday): Class of 2019 IB DP Exam Fee Installment #5 due
    • November 9 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • November 12 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • November 19 (Monday) - November 23 (Friday): Thanksgiving Break
    • December 13 (Thursday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • December 14 (Friday) - 19 (Wednesday): Semester Exam Week
    • December 19 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • December 19 (Wednesday): End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester Grading Periods
    • December 20 (Thursday) - January 7 (Monday): Winter Break
    • January 14 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • February 8 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • March 4 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • March 15 (Friday): End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period
    • March 18 (Monday) - March 22 (Friday): Spring Break
    • April 18 (Friday): End of 4 Week Progress Report Period (Progress Reports go home following week)
    • April 29 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee 9:00-10:00 am
    • May 20 (Monday): Last day to turn in late work for quarter
    • May 21 (Tuesday) - 24 (Friday): Semester Exam Week
    • May 22 (Wednesday) - School ends at 4:00pm due to Semester Exams
    • May 24 (Friday): End of 4th Quarter and 2nd Semester Grading Periods, and Last Day of School
    • May 25 (Saturday) - Graduation 10:00 am 
Ganesh Chaturthi
Beginning on September 13 (2018) is the 10 day Hindu Festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrating the birthday of Ganesha. Ganesha, the patron of wealth, prosperity, and good fortune, is the elephant-headed god in the Hindu pantheon, son of Shiva and Parvati. According to Metro News (metro.co.uk), Ganesh Chaturthi is "heavily celebrated in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Orissa, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh."  In other words, it is celebrated throughout much of India. The festival is celebrated in part by installing idols of Ganesha in homes and public places, and at the end of the festival the idols are inundated in a river. A food associated with Ganesh Chaturthi is "Modak...a sweet dish prepared using rice or flour stuffed with grated jaggery, coconut and dry fruits."

Although Ganesh Chaturthi is widely celebrated, it is not a public holiday. Due to the variety of religions and religious observances in India, the government does not recognize their holy days as public holidays. There are three national public holidays in India: Independence Day (15 August), Republic Day (26 January) and Gandhi's birthday (2 October).
National Hispanic Heritage Month
September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, and is a time for recognizing the history and contributions of those of Hispanic (Spanish language) heritage. According to hispanicheritagemonth.org, the roots of Hispanic Heritage Month go back to 1968. September 15 is the national independence day for five Hispanic countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua). Three more countries (Mexico, Chile, and Belize) also celebrate independence day during the period of September 15 through October 15.
 
Constitution Day
The United States Constitution was signed by the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. It then had to be ratified by at least nine of the thirteen states in the United States of America in order to go into effect. This was not easy to accomplish, as many criticized the Convention for creating a new, more powerful national government rather than simply amending the existing Articles of Confederation.
 
Writing under the pseudonym of "Publius," Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay published numerous essays urging ratification. Today these collected essays are known as "the Federalist Papers." Many remained unconvinced, and urged that the Constitution be amended to specifically guarantee that the national government would not use its new powers to abridge rights a wide range of natural rights. After promises that this "Bill of Rights" would be added to the Constitution, many of the more reluctant states ratified the document. In May of 1790 Rhode Island became the last state to ratify the Constitution. By this point George Washington was already a year into his first term as president, having been elected after the first ten states ratified the Constitution, and starting his term in April of 1789.
 
September 17 is recognized nationally as "Constitution Day," and is a day to recognize our constitutional form of government, rights, and duties.
 
Yom Kippur
As noted in the Lions Share a couple of weeks ago, the highest holy days in the Jewish faith are Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Yom Kippur occurs on the 10th day in the month of Tishrei of the ancient Hebrew calendar, which this year begins sundown on Tuesday, September 18, and continues until sundown Wednesday, September 19 (2018).

Yom Kippur is the "Day of Atonement," marking the end of the "Ten Days of Awe" that begin with Rosh Hashanah. Huffington Post notes that "during the Days of Awe, Jews seeks forgiveness from friends, family and co-workers, a process that begins with Tashlich, the symbolic casting off of sins that is traditionally observed on the afternoon of Rosh Hashanah by throwing bread into a body of water. On Yom Kippur, Jews attempt to mend their relationships with God. This is done, in part, by reciting the Vidui, a public confession of sins. The holiday has the most extensive prayer schedule of the Hebrew calendar and arduous abstinence from food, drink, sexual intimacy and animal-based clothing, such as leather."
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Middle School Counseling: Nancy Spence (n.spence@mwschool.org)
High School Counseling: Carrie Proctor (c.proctor@mwschool.org)
College Counseling: Kathy Gregg (k.gregg@mwschool.org)
 
Student or Curricular Concerns:
Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Jeff Strickland (j.strickland@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10 (A-L): Toby Bermudez (t.bermudez@mwschool.org)
IB Middle Years Program Coordinator: Katy Garbus (k.garbus@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 10 (M-Z), 11, 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB Diploma Program Coordinator: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
 
Secondary Special Education Coordinator: Haley Weisbrod (h.weisbrod@mwchool.org)
Secondary Librarian: Jan MacWatters (j.macwatters@mwschool.org)
Middle School Nurse: Patricia Crawley (p.crawley@mwschool.org)
High School (and Primary) Nurse: Joann Raskin (j.raskin@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
 
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 

Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo


September 13, 2018












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2018-2019
SCHOOL CALENDAR