Lions Share

 
 
 
Click HERE for Current Announcement Slides
(slides are shown to grades 6-12 during advisory class) 
bullhorn image
 
 
Top Lion
 
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
  • Spring Picture Update
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
End of Year Thoughts
As we wrap up another school year we want to not only wish the best to our seniors, but we want to take a moment to applaud all our students and their efforts during this phase of their educational journey. We have missed our students dearly during this time. We have grown closer in many other ways but our current situation has highlighted to so many of us that students are the reason we are in this profession. We love our students and we love everything about them!
 
Students, you continue to impress and amaze us. Not only did teachers have to adjust to Zoom and new technology platforms, but so did you. You have been creative in your product outcomes; you have adapted to new instructional delivery modes and you have grown in ways that you may not even realize at the moment. You are resilient and we anxiously await for your return after the summer break. While school may look and feel different upon our return, all of us who work at Meridian know that we are fortunate because you are the reason we love what we do! Looking forward to seeing you all again in person! Stay safe and healthy!
 
Graduation 2020
The moment the Class of 2020 has long been waiting for is almost here. On Saturday, May 23, they will graduate. Adjustments have been made due to current social distancing requirements. Only the graduate's household will be attending.  
 
Graduation 2020 will be held in the Meridian School main parking lot, with the audience in their cars (and family members at home) following along via Zoom Webinar. The morning ceremony in the parking lot will consist of graduation speakers, including Mr. Ryder, Ms. Holcombe, and the Salutatorian Katie Jackson and Valedictorian Caroline Short. Then, one by one, each graduate will be driven by their parent to the "cage" in the middle of the parking lot where they will get out of their car,  enter the cage, and follow a red carpet pathway to a stage to pick up their Meridian School Diploma that has been placed there by Mrs. Holcombe. The evening ceremony will be conducted via a second Zoom Webinar with graduates gathered in their homes with their families.  This evening ceremony will include a faculty address from Ms. Miriam Rodgers, and a viewing of the Senior Slide Show produced by senior class member, Fernando Sandoval Garza. If you would like to view one or both ceremonies live, you can view it live on the Meridian Community Facebook page--but note that you must join this group in advance.  To join the group, you will need to know the name of our superintendent: Rick Fernandez!
 
Graduation Recap:  
Watch via Facebook Live on the "Meridian Community: Facebook Page.
Morning Ceremony - 8:00am
Evening Ceremony - 7:00pm
 
Many thanks to Stela Holcombe and Alexia Thex for their hard work in coordinating this unique graduation. In all, it should be a memorable experience!  Congratulations to the graduating Meridian School Class of 2020!
 
Rising 10th Graders (Current 9th): Personal Project
In lieu of a Personal Project meeting for 9th graders and families that was supposed to happen right before Spring Break, we'd like to offer a very short set of slides that quickly explain the Personal Project. As 9th-becoming-10th-graders will find, the Personal Project is exactly that - personal! Over the summer we encourage the use of ManageBac to document ideas for topics that the students would like to explore. Families - please encourage students to consider topics that are interesting to them, about which they would like to spend a good seven months researching, producing a product, and documenting the journey. A video guide to how to access and enter the Personal Project portion of ManageBac can be found here and was sent, along with the short presentation (same as the one linked above), through ManageBac, emailed to students yesterday. 
 
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact either Mr. Manuszak, Personal Project Coordinator (n.manuszak@mwschool.org) or Ms. Mac, MYP Coordinator (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)! 
 
Meridian Proud Moment
Congratulations to Miriam Rodgers for being recognized as a Commended Teacher of the Humanities by Humanities Texas! Ms. Rodgers teaches US Government, Economics, and IB Diploma Program Theory of Knowledge. Her students won't be at all surprised that she received this recognition--many credit her for "teaching us to think."  We are proud and thankful to have her at Meridian!
Student Awards
Be on the lookout for student awards in next week's Lions Share!
 
Update: 2020 Junior-Senior Prom Cancelled
Prom was tentatively rescheduled to June 5. However, due to the difficulty of organizing a junior-senior prom while adhering to current social distancing, this event has been cancelled. At this time, we are not sure if an event of this size can be planned and executed over the summer. Questions about prom can be directed to Mrs. Holcombe at s.holcombe@mwschool.org.  
 
Athletics Corner
The Athletics Department suggests waiting on getting updated physical forms until the 2020-2021 physical form has been posted on the Eligibility webpage
Yearbook Delivery
Due to Balfour's printing press closure (due to COVID-19) delivery of this year's Meridian yearbook, THE WORLD, will take place over the summer. We will send information when a date is set with instructions for a safe "drive-thru" yearbook pickup.  Thank you!
 
Summer Meal Programs
Check out this flyer for information regarding the Summer Meal Programs available to Texas children. If you have any questions, or concerns, please reach out to our Chef and Food Services Director via email: chef@mwschool.org
Spanish 1a Summer Review
Spanish 1a Summer Review by Ms. Melo is provided to help students from the Spanish 1a course who may be struggling or may just be fuzzy on certain Spanish concepts, or perhaps they just want to keep things fresh in their minds. If clicking on the document link, please start with the Instructions Tab and read that page before moving onto the Resource Tab. Please know that this is to be used as an optional tool to support students and is not a "summer assignment."

From the Nurse: CDC Information on Keeping Your Child Safe From COVID-19
Please click HERE to find helpful information from the CDC.
Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp
In past summers, Meridian School has hosted a Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp on campus. After careful deliberation, Badgerdog has decided to host all creative writing summer camp workshops online instead of in-person this year. We agree that this is the safest course of action for the whole community at this time. With this in mind, Badgerdog has a full new summer schedule with some exciting offerings, and registration is now open! See here for more information on Badgerdog Creative Writing summer camps, the schedule, and registration.
 
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Declaration of the Báb
Beginning the evening of Friday, May 22, through the day of Saturday, May 23, is when followers of the Bahá'í faith celebrate the "Declaration of the Báb." According to Bahá'í Topics, in 1844 a Persian merchant foretold the coming of a divine messenger. Because of his role in foretelling the divine messenger, the merchant took the Arabic title of "Báb", meaning "gate" or "door." This messenger of whom he spoke would be the Bahá'u'lláh, the central prophet of the Bahá'í faith.
Eid-al-Fitr
We are currently in the most holy month of the year for Muslims: Ramadan.  Ramadan ends with the "feast of fast-breaking," or Eid-al-Fitr. This day, occurring on May 24 this year, is spent feasting and celebrating. Timeanddate.com notes that in celebration of Eid-al-Fitr Muslims often wear their finest clothes, decorate their houses, forgive old wrongs, donate to the poor, and generally dedicate the day to God.
Spring Bank Holiday & Memorial Day
In the United Kingdom, eight official Bank Holidays are sprinkled throughout the year, generally on Monday. These Bank Holidays are parliament-approved national holidays, but their roots tend to be found in traditional Christian or agricultural holidays and festivals.  This Monday, May 25, is Spring Bank Holiday in the UK. This holiday used to be the first Monday after the Christian celebration of Pentacost, and a day known as Whit Monday (June 1 this year). In 1971, however, parliament moved this Bank Holiday to the last Monday in May.

In the United States, Monday will be Memorial Day. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, after the US Civil War it became common in many localities to set aside a day in May to commemorate those who died in the war.  This day was frequently called "Decoration Day," as the graves of war dead were decorated with flowers and other memorials. After World War I, the day was expanded to commemorate those who had died in all US wars, and in 1971 the US Congress designated the last Monday in May as Memorial Day, an official national holiday.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
May 22, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Pinterest
Top Lion
 
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
  • Spring Picture Update
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
End of Year Thoughts
As we wrap up another school year we want to not only wish the best to our seniors, but we want to take a moment to applaud all our students and their efforts during this phase of their educational journey. We have missed our students dearly during this time. We have grown closer in many other ways but our current situation has highlighted to so many of us that students are the reason we are in this profession. We love our students and we love everything about them!
 
Students, you continue to impress and amaze us. Not only did teachers have to adjust to Zoom and new technology platforms, but so did you. You have been creative in your product outcomes; you have adapted to new instructional delivery modes and you have grown in ways that you may not even realize at the moment. You are resilient and we anxiously await for your return after the summer break. While school may look and feel different upon our return, all of us who work at Meridian know that we are fortunate because you are the reason we love what we do! Looking forward to seeing you all again in person! Stay safe and healthy!
 
Graduation 2020
The moment the Class of 2020 has long been waiting for is almost here. On Saturday, May 23, they will graduate. Adjustments have been made due to current social distancing requirements. Only the graduate's household will be attending.  
 
Graduation 2020 will be held in the Meridian School main parking lot, with the audience in their cars (and family members at home) following along via Zoom Webinar. The morning ceremony in the parking lot will consist of graduation speakers, including Mr. Ryder, Ms. Holcombe, and the Salutatorian Katie Jackson and Valedictorian Caroline Short. Then, one by one, each graduate will be driven by their parent to the "cage" in the middle of the parking lot where they will get out of their car,  enter the cage, and follow a red carpet pathway to a stage to pick up their Meridian School Diploma that has been placed there by Mrs. Holcombe. The evening ceremony will be conducted via a second Zoom Webinar with graduates gathered in their homes with their families.  This evening ceremony will include a faculty address from Ms. Miriam Rodgers, and a viewing of the Senior Slide Show produced by senior class member, Fernando Sandoval Garza. If you would like to view one or both ceremonies live, you can view it live on the Meridian Community Facebook page--but note that you must join this group in advance.  To join the group, you will need to know the name of our superintendent: Rick Fernandez!
 
Graduation Recap:  
Watch via Facebook Live on the "Meridian Community: Facebook Page.
Morning Ceremony - 8:00am
Evening Ceremony - 7:00pm
 
Many thanks to Stela Holcombe and Alexia Thex for their hard work in coordinating this unique graduation. In all, it should be a memorable experience!  Congratulations to the graduating Meridian School Class of 2020!
 
Rising 10th Graders (Current 9th): Personal Project
In lieu of a Personal Project meeting for 9th graders and families that was supposed to happen right before Spring Break, we'd like to offer a very short set of slides that quickly explain the Personal Project. As 9th-becoming-10th-graders will find, the Personal Project is exactly that - personal! Over the summer we encourage the use of ManageBac to document ideas for topics that the students would like to explore. Families - please encourage students to consider topics that are interesting to them, about which they would like to spend a good seven months researching, producing a product, and documenting the journey. A video guide to how to access and enter the Personal Project portion of ManageBac can be found here and was sent, along with the short presentation (same as the one linked above), through ManageBac, emailed to students yesterday. 
 
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact either Mr. Manuszak, Personal Project Coordinator (n.manuszak@mwschool.org) or Ms. Mac, MYP Coordinator (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)! 
 
Meridian Proud Moment
Congratulations to Miriam Rodgers for being recognized as a Commended Teacher of the Humanities by Humanities Texas! Ms. Rodgers teaches US Government, Economics, and IB Diploma Program Theory of Knowledge. Her students won't be at all surprised that she received this recognition--many credit her for "teaching us to think."  We are proud and thankful to have her at Meridian!
Student Awards
Be on the lookout for student awards in next week's Lions Share!
 
Update: 2020 Junior-Senior Prom Cancelled
Prom was tentatively rescheduled to June 5. However, due to the difficulty of organizing a junior-senior prom while adhering to current social distancing, this event has been cancelled. At this time, we are not sure if an event of this size can be planned and executed over the summer. Questions about prom can be directed to Mrs. Holcombe at s.holcombe@mwschool.org.  
 
Athletics Corner
The Athletics Department suggests waiting on getting updated physical forms until the 2020-2021 physical form has been posted on the Eligibility webpage
Yearbook Delivery
Due to Balfour's printing press closure (due to COVID-19) delivery of this year's Meridian yearbook, THE WORLD, will take place over the summer. We will send information when a date is set with instructions for a safe "drive-thru" yearbook pickup.  Thank you!
 
Summer Meal Programs
Check out this flyer for information regarding the Summer Meal Programs available to Texas children. If you have any questions, or concerns, please reach out to our Chef and Food Services Director via email: chef@mwschool.org
Spanish 1a Summer Review
Spanish 1a Summer Review by Ms. Melo is provided to help students from the Spanish 1a course who may be struggling or may just be fuzzy on certain Spanish concepts, or perhaps they just want to keep things fresh in their minds. If clicking on the document link, please start with the Instructions Tab and read that page before moving onto the Resource Tab. Please know that this is to be used as an optional tool to support students and is not a "summer assignment."

From the Nurse: CDC Information on Keeping Your Child Safe From COVID-19
Please click HERE to find helpful information from the CDC.
Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp
In past summers, Meridian School has hosted a Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp on campus. After careful deliberation, Badgerdog has decided to host all creative writing summer camp workshops online instead of in-person this year. We agree that this is the safest course of action for the whole community at this time. With this in mind, Badgerdog has a full new summer schedule with some exciting offerings, and registration is now open! See here for more information on Badgerdog Creative Writing summer camps, the schedule, and registration.
 
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Declaration of the Báb
Beginning the evening of Friday, May 22, through the day of Saturday, May 23, is when followers of the Bahá'í faith celebrate the "Declaration of the Báb." According to Bahá'í Topics, in 1844 a Persian merchant foretold the coming of a divine messenger. Because of his role in foretelling the divine messenger, the merchant took the Arabic title of "Báb", meaning "gate" or "door." This messenger of whom he spoke would be the Bahá'u'lláh, the central prophet of the Bahá'í faith.
Eid-al-Fitr
We are currently in the most holy month of the year for Muslims: Ramadan.  Ramadan ends with the "feast of fast-breaking," or Eid-al-Fitr. This day, occurring on May 24 this year, is spent feasting and celebrating. Timeanddate.com notes that in celebration of Eid-al-Fitr Muslims often wear their finest clothes, decorate their houses, forgive old wrongs, donate to the poor, and generally dedicate the day to God.
Spring Bank Holiday & Memorial Day
In the United Kingdom, eight official Bank Holidays are sprinkled throughout the year, generally on Monday. These Bank Holidays are parliament-approved national holidays, but their roots tend to be found in traditional Christian or agricultural holidays and festivals.  This Monday, May 25, is Spring Bank Holiday in the UK. This holiday used to be the first Monday after the Christian celebration of Pentacost, and a day known as Whit Monday (June 1 this year). In 1971, however, parliament moved this Bank Holiday to the last Monday in May.

In the United States, Monday will be Memorial Day. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, after the US Civil War it became common in many localities to set aside a day in May to commemorate those who died in the war.  This day was frequently called "Decoration Day," as the graves of war dead were decorated with flowers and other memorials. After World War I, the day was expanded to commemorate those who had died in all US wars, and in 1971 the US Congress designated the last Monday in May as Memorial Day, an official national holiday.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
May 22, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
Stay Connected

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter    Find us on Pinterest
Top Lion
 
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
  • Distance Learning Information
  • New College Resources
  • Spring Picture Update
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Teacher Appreciation Week
A heartfelt thanks goes out to all the families who have sent our teachers notes of appreciation throughout this past week! Volunteers in Partnership sent out this sweet email to our staff yesterday. Thank you to everyone who participated in showing them love. (ViP will soon send out a recap email to parents as well.)

Meridian's administration always does something special for faculty and staff during Teacher Appreciation Week, and this year that was to surprise all 235 staff members with a special yard sign. We're all so proud to be part of the Meridian Family!

National Nurses Week
At the frontline of a world health crisis, nursing professionals need to feel our appreciation and love for their support. Their skill and commitment and dedication to our students and staff does not go unnoticed. They make life saving decisions regularly and we are so fortunate to have them on our team. Wednesday May 6th to Tuesday May 12th is National Nurses Week. Thank you to Meridian's nursing staff: Patricia Crawley, Lynn Gnoit, Shannon Baker, and Karen Laywell.
 
Please help us show them our love and support by sending your gratitude to nurse@mwschool.org. 
End of Year Obligations & Item Pick Up 
Please be on the lookout for an email from our staff regarding items that are to be returned to Meridian as well as overdue items and outstanding balances. We are in the process of determining the best way for this to happen, ensuring social distancing, and thus more details will come with final logistics. This could include: Chromebooks, laptops and cords on loan, textbooks, library books, sports team uniforms, borrowed books and materials from classroom teachers (art. ELA), etc. We are also planning for how to return personal belongings left behind in lockers and other items like musical instruments. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work on the best approach. 
COVID-19 Updates on Website
Since March, we have been updating the school's website with updates regarding the current pandemic and its effects on Meridian's operations.

This "news" page now has links to primarysecondary, and district resources, offering one spot to find everything you need to know.

Check out mwschool.org/covid/ for these resources and more!
DP Art
When the pandemic caused museums and art galleries to shut down, the Getty Museum asked people at home to recreate famous artworks using items at home and photography. HS art classes were challenged with doing the same, while also incorporating a little art history that they shared with the class. HERE is the link to a compilation of some of the recreations. ENJOY!
Adopt-A-Senior!
Meridian Families of Kinder -11th graders! You are invited to ADOPT-A-SENIOR! Let's do this! Let's show some LOVE to our SENIORS, the Class of 2020, who have lost so much in this last quarter of their high school career due to COVID-19. You can adopt more than one senior of you like! Most addresses are provided on the Sign Up Genius (linked below) so you can choose a senior who lives in your area. Get creative! Get your younger students involved! But... remember to maintain social distance as you participate! The school is making them yard signs with their name and pictures on them (to be delivered next week). They will enjoy some additional love from their school community. Read more and sign up below! Note: If spaces fill up, MORE slots will be added, but first let's get each senior adopted x 2. ***If you sign up, please make sure to follow through and complete this task by Friday, May 22nd which is the last day of school.*** Questions? Email s.holcombe@mwschool.org. Thank you!  Sign-Up to Adopt A Senior HERE.
Mask Making Class
Jan MacWatters will be teaching a mask making class to any students who are interested. The masks can be made with or without a sewing machine. Anyone who is interested can contact Ms. MacWatters at j.macwatters@mwschool.org for the Zoom link. The class will take place on Wednesday at 10am. If there is sufficient demand, they can be repeated on future Wednesdays.
 
Students might consider making masks for local hospitals as a CAS activity.  
Free Audible Books
Audible is offering free audible books, including Harry Potter and Call of the Wild, as well as many others until schools go back to regular function.  
 
The 2019-2020 Lettering List is Published!
Congratulations to the 170 Meridian students who earned a letter in their extracurricular activity this year! Please find the lettering list, lettering requirements, letter jacket brochure, and information about the Letter Jacket Ordering Event on the Letter Jacket & Lettering webpage.
Counselor's Corner
From Ms. Cole, Middle School Counselor:
Even though we aren't physically together, I am still here for your child. I'm available via email, lunch bunch, Zoom chats, and through my Google Classroom. 
  •  Lunch Bunch: 
    • All students are welcome to have "lunch" with me (and Ollie) every Friday. Zoom link, password: Ollie
    • 6th grade: 11:15 - 11:45
    • 7th grade: 11:45 - 12:15
    • 8th grade: 12:15 - 12:45
  • Google Classroom:
    • Please encourage your student to join my Google Classroom, code yjdahf7.
      • They will find lots of encouragement, activities, videos, and helpful information here.
LAST CHANCE!  Deadline to order a yearbook is May 15th!
Please be advised that May 15th is the LAST DAY to pre-order a yearbook online. This is the only way to guarantee a copy for your family. A very limited number of extra books will be ordered, but these usually sell out in just a few minutes. Not sure if you have already ordered a copy of this year's yearbook? Please check your bank and credit card statements first,  and then if you still need help please contact Nick Manuszak at n.manuszak@mwschool.org. At this point in time, yearbook delivery is expected to occur during the summer as the publishing plant in Dallas has been closed due to COVID-19. Delivery date and pick up details will be shared as soon as they are available. Thank you!

Order your yearbook HERE today!
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • May 15: Last day to order a yearbook!
  • June 5 (Fri): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Wesak
Wesak, Vesak, or the Buddha's birthday is celebrated by Buddhists around the world. Lunar calendars differ, so though May 7 (2020) is commemorated as Wesak by many, it is celebrated in April in China, Japan, and Korea. BBC.com notes that Buddhists often visit temples on this day, offering prayers and gifts of candles, flowers and food to monks.  Statues of the Buddha are often ritually bathed to remind believers to cleanse their own minds of "greed, hatred, and ignorance."  In Indonesia and Thailand, Wesak lanterns of paper and wood are crafted, and in Thailand caged birds are often released as a symbol of spiritual liberation. 
Mother's Day
This Sunday, May 10, is Mother's Day. The tradition of honoring our mothers has deep roots. In western civilization, observances honoring mothers can be traced back to the Greeks and Romans. In Britain, the fourth Sunday of Lent is known as "Mothering Sunday," and has been celebrated at least since the 17th century.  According to Legacyproject.org, Julia Ward Howe, "a pacifist, suffragist, and author of the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic" suggested a Mother's Day in the United States back in 1872. Disturbed by the wars of her time, she asked "Why do not the mothers of mankind interfere in these matters to prevent the waste of that human life of which they alone bear and know the cost?"
 
Mother's Day as we celebrate it today had its beginnings in the early 20th century, when Anna Jarvis campaigned for a national Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May. She was successful in her campaign, but in 1923 she filed a lawsuit trying to stop a Mother's Day festival, arguing that she "wanted a day of sentiment, not of profit."
 
So let's have a sincere, sentimental Mother's Day this weekend!
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
May 9, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
Top Lion
 
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
  • Distance Learning Information
  • New College Resources
  • Spring Picture Update
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Carline for Dropping Off & Picking Up Items
As you know, the COVID-19 outbreak has progressed to such a degree that schools across the country -- including Meridian -- must remain closed for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. Many of you have reached out to inquire how you may pick up your student's belongings from campus and drop off uniforms or other items. This process is for both DROP OFF of items to return to Meridian (i.e. school athletic uniforms, library books, textbooks/workbooks, books on loan from English Language Arts class, Chromebooks and cords) AND PICK UP of items from the school (locker belongings and musical instruments). Please be sure to read through the instructions, complete the steps required, and watch the video prior to arriving.
 
Item Carline Video & Instructions

For everyone's health and safety, it is important that you not come to school if you are exhibiting any symptoms of illness. We thank you in advance for your patience as we attempt executing this process, especially those who come on the first day. If everyone follows these directions, we are anticipating a smooth experience for all. 
 
NOTE: If you have primary students, plans for dropping off and picking up their items will be shared soon.
 
Student Awards
Due to the school closure, we will not have a student awards ceremony this year, but we will still have student awards! Teachers are currently in the process of deciding upon award recipients, and awards will be announced in next week's Lions Share.
Teacher of the Year (Nominations Due 5/15)
We need your help -- please nominate a teacher who you think merits Middle or High School Teacher of the Year for 2019-2020!

Please submit your Parent or Student Nomination for Teacher of the Year by this Friday, May 15.

Teacher of the Year awards for Middle and High School will be announced next week, along with Student Awards.
Spring Parent Meeting (5/20)
This year's annual spring parent meeting will be held next Wednesday, May 20 at 6pm, and will take place via Zoom.

Please RSVP HERE. Attendees will be sent an email from signupgenius.com prior to the meeting that will include the Zoom link.

We hope you can make it!
Senior Art Exhibitions
As we were unable to hold an in-person show of the Diploma Program Visual Arts students' work, we are publishing links to the work of a few students every week.  Here is this week's installment of Senior IB DP Visual Arts exhibitions:
 
Adopt-A-Senior!
Let's show some LOVE to our SENIORS, the Class of 2020, who have lost so much in this last quarter of their high school career due to COVID-19. You can adopt more than one senior of you like! Most addresses are provided on the Sign Up Genius (linked below) so you can choose a senior who lives in your area. Get creative! Get your younger students involved! But... remember to maintain social distance as you participate! ***If you sign up, please make sure to follow through and complete this task by Friday, May 22 which is the last day of school.*** Questions? Email s.holcombe@mwschool.org. Thank you!  Sign-Up to Adopt A Senior HERE.
Counselor's Corner
From Ms. Cole, Middle School Counselor:
Even though we aren't physically together, I am still here for your child. I'm available via email, lunch bunch, Zoom chats, and through my Google Classroom. 
  •  Lunch Bunch: 
    • All students are welcome to have "lunch" with me (and Ollie) every Friday. Zoom link, password: Ollie
    • 6th grade: 11:15 - 11:45
    • 7th grade: 11:45 - 12:15
    • 8th grade: 12:15 - 12:45
  • Google Classroom:
    • Please encourage your student to join my Google Classroom, code yjdahf7.
      • They will find lots of encouragement, activities, videos, and helpful information here.
LAST CHANCE!  Deadline to order a yearbook is THIS FRIDAY (5/15)!
Please be advised that May 15th is the LAST DAY to pre-order a yearbook online. This is the only way to guarantee a copy for your family. 

Order your yearbook HERE today!
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • May 15: Last day to order a yearbook!
  • May 20: Spring Parent Meeting at 6pm
  • May 20-22: Carling for Dropping Off & Picking Up Items
  • June 5 (Fri): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
May 13, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
 (512) 660-5230
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Lion
 
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
  • Distance Learning Information
  • Lettering & Letter Jacket Update
  • New College Resources
  • Spring Picture Update
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Progress Reports
Progress reports have been sent out to the parents of all students who are failing one or more classes for the 4th Quarter.

Remember that details on Meridian Distance Learning, including the schedule, grading, the Rubric for Quarter 4 Work & Participation, resources, etc. may be found in this document: Distance Learning Schedule, Procedures, and Grading
Teacher Appreciation Week - Write a note of appreciation!
Teacher Appreciation Week is NEXT WEEK! You can express your appreciation from afar by writing a personal note to teachers who have made an impact on your student. To submit multiple notes, simply fill out this form multiple times. Thank you!

Teacher Appreciation Note Submission Form (Deadline: May 5)
LAST CHANCE!  Deadline to order a yearbook is May 15th!
Please be advised that May 15th is the LAST DAY to pre-order a yearbook online. This is the only way to guarantee a copy for your family. A very limited number of extra books will be ordered, but these usually sell out in just a few minutes. Not sure if you have already ordered a copy of this year's yearbook? Please check your bank and credit card statements first,  and then if you still need help please contact Nick Manuszak at n.manuszak@mwschool.org. At this point in time, yearbook delivery is expected to occur during the summer as the publishing plant in Dallas has been closed due to COVID-19. Delivery date and pick up details will be shared as soon as they are available. Thank you!

Order your yearbook HERE today!
Counselor Corner
Parents, please have your student complete this survey to help our counseling staff support them.
 
The counseling staff has compiled a few tips, articles, and information on an upcoming webinar to support parents as they try to motivate and support their kids during online learning. Finding balance is so important right now as students, parents, and teachers continue to adjust to these shifts in instruction and learning. 
  1. Try to create a dedicated work space if possible away from TV, video games, and other distractions.
  2. Encourage your students to plan out their homework schedule for the week that is  realistic on how long tasks will take to complete.
  3. Set expectations and have structure while maintaining flexibility. We are all grieving our norms and connection with others and friendships are a primary focus developmentally  in the teen years.
  4. Encourage physical activity or outside time. Brain breaks are important.
  5. Create together as a family, whether it be learning to cook a new meal or having a dance off,  this is a chance to make positive memories of this time at home. 
  • Khan Academy Parent Webinar on Monday, May 4: "Finding your footing in uncertain times: Balancing multiple kids with multiple schedules" (2 PM PT / 5 PM ET). RSVP here.
From Ms. Cole, Middle School Counselor:
Even though we aren't physically together, I am still here for your child. I'm available via email, lunch bunch, Zoom chats, and through my Google Classroom. 
  •  Lunch Bunch: 
    • All students are welcome to have "lunch" with me (and Ollie) every Friday. Zoom link, password: Ollie
    • 6th grade: 11:15 - 11:45
    • 7th grade: 11:45 - 12:15
    • 8th grade: 12:15 - 12:45
  • Google Classroom:
    • Please encourage your student to join my Google Classroom, code yjdahf7.
      • They will find lots of encouragement, activities, videos, and helpful information here.
Parent Survey
If you have not done so already, please complete this survey (one per family), and answer the questions based on a scenario where authorities have reopened schools but COVID-19 cases continue within the region. While none of us know for certain what the conditions will be when it's time return in the fall, we ask that you offer your best thinking at this time.

Strive Virtual College Exploration Week 
Extended through May 8!
 
Sponsored by National Association for College Admission Counseling, this online fair includes a robust schedule of events, with 300+ representatives from colleges from around the country sharing their knowledge and expertise. Visit the website to explore the schedule of sessions and register for individual events.
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • June 5 (Friday): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month & Jewish American Heritage Month
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month, a time to recognize the contributions to the United States of those of Asian and Pacific Island heritage. It is also Jewish American Heritage month, for the recognition of contributions to American culture and society by those of Jewish heritage.
May Day
Traditionally in Europe, May 1 was celebrated with various rites of spring, such as the gathering of flowers, dancing around maypoles bedecked with ribbons, and the crowning of a May king and queen. According to Encyclopedia Britannica online, in America, New England puritans condemned Mayday for its non-Christian origins, and so the festival never attained the importance that it had in Europe. In the late 19th and 20th century, May 1 came to be increasingly associated with organized labor and socialism. Today it is known as International Workers Day, and is a workers holiday in countries around the world-but not in the United States, whose version of this day, "Labor Day," occurs the first Monday in September.
Cinco de Mayo
In 1861, France invaded Mexico in an attempt to add it to the French overseas empire. France succeeded in installing a figurehead "Emperor" Maximilian  governing Mexico, but forces loyal to the deposed Mexican President Benito Juarez continued to resist. May 5 ("Cinco de Mayo") commemorates the date of an important battle in this resistance.

Although there are celebrations commemorating this battle in Mexico, "Cinco de Mayo" is arguably a much more important celebration in the United States, where it has become a time for Mexican-Americans to celebrate their cultural pride and heritage.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
May 2, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
Top Lion
 
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Principals' Message
As we adjust to distance learning, we want to take a minute to ponder the growth experienced during this time through the lens of the learner profile. Additionally, many of us are recognizing that connections during distance learning are not the same. The goal of IB through incorporating the learner profile is to develop active, compassionate, and lifelong learners. As a reminder, the learner profile attributes are: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced, and Reflective. Our staff have been very open-minded as they embrace distance learning. We have also been communicators through Zoom, Managebac, and our weekly lesson plans. Ms. MacWatters has been showing her care for others through making masks (see image below). What talent!

In an effort to keep us more connected, we want to know more about what you all are doing! We will make an effort to share with our community a few highlights and updates from our Meridian Family. Focusing on the learner profile attribute of Caring, is there anything special that you wish to share with us about how you, as a family, or your children, as individuals, have embodied or modeled the learner profile attribute of Caring during this time? Please consider emailing us your responses to principal-ms@mwschool.org. Please indicate if you give permission for us to share your response with our Meridian community through Facebook, Instagram, and our weekly newsletters. If you want to share, but you do not want us to publicize, we would still like to hear from you, and we will respect your desire not to make it public. If you do not give permission for sharing, we will not share. Additionally, not all submissions will be re-shared. Please include your student's name and grade level with a brief description. We look forward to hearing from you!
 
Distance Learning Updates
Schedule
As you know, the governor has now announced that schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. We will continue with the same Distance Learning schedule that we have used thus far, and expect that will continue through the end of the year. There will be no semester exam week at the end of the year.  

Grading
The grading system that we are using for Quarter 4 Distance Learning was explained in last week's Lions Share. As noted last week, all assignments will be in a single grading category, and will be equally weighted.  

We will begin assessment scores into txGradebook, and these will be visible through the Ascender parent portal. This will include a working end of quarter average, but note that since Quarter 4 grades will be calculated as Pass / Fail at the end of the quarter using the Rubric for Quarter 4 Work & Participation, the working average in Ascender will not necessarily reflect the end of quarter Pass / Fail grade.  Students and parents may still track their progress in Ascender, and can easily calculate whether they are currently passing or failing by referring to the rubric.  

Progress Report May 1
We will send out a progress report by May 1 to the parents of all students who are failing one or more classes for the 4th Quarter.

Remember that details on Meridian Distance Learning, including the schedule, grading, the Rubric for Quarter 4 Work & Participation, resources, etc. may be found in this document: Distance Learning Schedule, Procedures, and Grading
Parent Survey
As our country enters a period of uncertainty regarding the spread of COVID-19 in the coming months, Meridian has organized a planning group consisting of administration and representatives from our faculty, staff, and parents (from the School Health Advisory Committee). This group is considering the various options for delivering instruction in the fall. 

If you have not done so already, please complete this survey (one per family), and answer the questions based on a scenario where authorities have reopened schools but COVID-19 cases continue within the region. While none of us know for certain what the conditions will be when it's time return in the fall, we ask that you offer your best thinking at this time.

Teacher Appreciation Week - Write a note of appreciation!
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up in May! You can express your appreciation from afar by writing a personal note to teachers who have made an impact on your student. To submit multiple notes, simply fill out this form multiple times. Thank you!

Teacher Appreciation Note Submission Form (deadline: May 1)
Principals' Coffee (4/27)
The final Secondary Principals Coffee of the year will be next Monday, April 27, from 9-10am.

Here is the Zoom information for those who wish to join us:

 
Meeting ID: 788 0360 1390
Password: 0mkEv9

Here are some ground rules that help Zoom meetings to run more smoothly:
  • Please use your full, correct name. You will initially be in a Waiting Room before being admitted to the meeting, and may not be admitted if we do not recognize your name.
  • When in the meeting, please keep your microphone on mute unless you are called upon to speak. This will prevent unnecessary background noise in the meeting.
  • Keep your video off, except when speaking. If your audio is lagging, you might want to keep video off even when speaking. Keeping video off saves bandwidth and helps to prevent lag for all of us.
  • Raise your hand to be recognized to speak. You can find the "Raise Hand" button at the bottom of the Participants list. You can open up the Participants list from the bottom of your main Zoom screen. This menu becomes visible when you hover your mouse pointer at the bottom of your Zoom screen.
We look forward to seeing you Monday at 9:00am!
Additional Resource: PBS
PBS will be providing new educational programming while schools are closed. See here for more information: PBS New Educational Programming.
Counselor's Corner (New College Resources)
While the first priority for students is their current coursework, the college admission landscape is changing rapidly and may leave students feeling insecure about that next step in their education. Here are some additional resources recommended by the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling to add to the list shared last week:
A NEW college fair opportunity:
NAVIGATE 2020 - Virtual Conference and College Fair- "Three Days to Master the College Search"
This 3-day event will include live-stream presentations on all aspects of college admissions in addition to access of many universities around the U.S.
Register online at virtual.gotocollegefairs.com
 
Stay safe!  Stay healthy!  Stay informed!
Ms. Gregg
College Counselor
Athletics Corner 
Lettering & Letter Jacket Update - Students who lettered this school year will be announced on May 5th on the  Letter Jackets & Lettering webpage. Visit HERE to learn about this year's Lettering Requirements, Letter Jacket ordering options and more.

 

Staying Fit During COVID-19 - During this time of Social Distancing, our organized sports have been suspended, but your love for your game continues! Please feel encouraged to use the videos found on this webpage to help you stay fit and keep you ready for your sport once the activities we love can resume as normal.

 

For questions, please email Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org
 
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • April 27 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee (9-10am) via Zoom
  • June 5 (Saturday): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Ramadan
The most holy month of the year for Muslims is that of Ramadan, which on our Gregorian calendar will begin the evening of April 23 and will end the evening of May 23 (2020). One of the five central tenets, or "pillars" of Islam is the observance of Ramadan. According to BBC.com, Ramadan is often known as "the month of the Qur'an," because of the believe that the central holy book of Islam, the Qur'an, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad at the beginning of this month.

Muslims spend the days of Ramadan fasting, and the month is also devoted to prayer and introspection, recitations of the Qur'an, and performing good acts for others.

Ramadan ends with the "feast of fast-breaking," or Eid-al-Fitr. This day, occurring on July 18 this year, is spent feasting and celebrating. Timeanddate.com notes that in celebration of Eid-al-Fitr Muslims often wear their finest clothes, decorate their houses, forgive old wrongs, donate to the poor, and generally dedicate the day to God.
Armenian Remembrance Day
April 24 is Armenian Remembrance Day, commemorating the deaths of between 500,000 to 1.5 million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire during World War I (according to National Geographic Magazine online). Widely seen by historians as the first genocide of the 20th century, it is not labeled as such by the governments of Turkey or the United States. The proximity of Armenian Remembrance Day to Yom Hashoah (April 11-12) provides an opportunity to reflect upon the millions who died through violence and persecution during the 20th century.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
April 24, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
Top Lion
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share contains important information on our grading system for Quarter 4 Distance Learning. Please read on!
 
Did you miss a Lions ShareThese important topics were recently covered:
Find information on these topics and more in previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Principals' Message
With social distancing impacting our normal routines, which included being physically together, being physically active by going to the gym, and getting regular pampering through haircuts or getting a new coat on our nails, it is important that we not neglect our need for balance and self care. When we are in school, we build in breaks. When we are in school, we encourage healthy eating and exercise. Now that we are no longer coming together physically, we want to encourage everyone to build in time for adding balance. In prior weeks we encouraged you to find the positives in this situation and to find the humor in the situation by laughing a little. This week, we want to encourage everyone to seek more balance. This is a challenge we will also share with our teachers. When in school, we teach our students our learner profile to encourage positive traits and how to prioritize their assigned tasks. Ask your child if they are using their organizer to manage their time. During times of high stress we can all use a reminder on ways to lower stress in concrete ways. There is research to support how important it is to lower stress and show oneself care. So, we challenge you all to do one or all of these simple suggestions. 
 
According to Noma Nazish, five ways to add and find some balance include:
  1. Take a Break 
  2. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle
  3. Avoid Negativity
  4. Learn to Prioritize
  5. Pamper Yourself
 
Grading for Quarter 4 Distance Learning
Up to this point, students have had assignments to complete through Distance Learning, but teachers have not been entering grades in txGradebook. We have been working on a grading system that balances providing official feedback on student academic mastery with the need to be flexible with both students and teachers, understanding that they have varied needs in the current state of COVID-19 induced shut down. 
 
Overall grades for the 4th Quarter grading period will be Pass / Fail. The Semester 2 average will be calculated as the mean of the Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 grades, with a Quarter 4 passing grade being averaged as 100 and a Quarter 4 failing grade being averaged as a 69.  Credit for the course for the year will be awarded if the mean of the Semester 1 and Semester 2 averages is at least 70. Students transcripts will record a numerical grade for Semester 1 and Pass / Fail for Semester 2, and whether credit was awarded for the full course. Only Semester 1 will count towards GPA--Semester 2 will not count towards students' cumulative Grade Point Average.
 
For each course, as assignments are completed, grades will be entered into txGradebook. There will just be a single category (no distinction between formative / summative, major / minor, etc.). For Middle School classes, all assignment grades will be entered as either 100 (pass) or 69 (fail). For High School classes, assignment grades will be entered on a 0-100 scale, with grades of 70-100 representing pass and grades of 69 or below representing fail. This will enable students and parents to track progress as the 4th Quarter progresses. At the end of the quarter, teachers will enter an overall Quarter 4 grade of either Pass or Fail, using the rubric below.
 
Distance Learning Schedule & Information
The above information on grading for Quarter 4 Distance Learning has been added to the Distance Learning Schedule and Procedures document. For the distance learning schedule, how to access lessons, and other information, please see the document.
Distance Learning Survey
If you have not done so already, please complete this brief survey by tomorrow, April 17. Secondary students received the same link via Managebac.

Counseling Services
For information on Meridian School counseling services, including counseling resources, Middle School lunch bunch and Google classroom for Ms. Cole, and Meridian secondary counselor contact information, please see the Distance Learning Schedule and Procedures document.
College Planning Update
The typical college visit/admission test-taking schedule for students has gone by the wayside during the COVID-19 pandemic. Universities are still interested in showcasing their schools and getting to know prospective applicants, but are all adjusting their policies and procedures to allow different opportunities for students to engage with them at this time. Some common themes that have been communicated from a variety of colleges:
  • Due to lack of equal access to SAT & ACT testing at this time, many schools are going "test-optional," giving students flexibility in taking and/or reporting test scores for the near future. Policy changes range from one to three years, depending on the institution.
  • Colleges still want students to get a feel for the campus atmosphere, and are offering virtual campus tours to replace the physical campus visit.
  • Admissions counselors are typically on the road visiting high schools and participating in college fairs in the spring, but are now increasing their remote access availability for one-on-one contacts with interested students.
  • Colleges understand that resumes may look very different for students this spring and summer due to quarantine restrictions on schools, community activities, and summer programs. Remember that everyone is in this together, and your biggest contribution to the health and safety of all is still to stay at home.  
Several links are included here that may help you with updated access about college visit and admission policies. However, policies are very fluid as schools are constantly pivoting to adjust to the current situation, and your best source of information is the college website.  Keep a close eye on updates from your favorite colleges!
 
Forbes article for students and parents on choosing a college.

NACAC 
 
 
Upcoming Online College Fairs:
  • Verto Education, Friday, April 17 (study abroad program with partnerships with over 40 universities)
Important College Information for Seniors
  • May 1 is still the official national notification deadline for colleges. However, some have extended this deadline and will accept enrollment deposits later this year. Please check on your college for any policy changes.
  • Final transcripts will be sent to the college of your choice in June, as soon as final grades are in and all transcripts finalized. Colleges are communicating that they will be flexible in their review of final transcripts, understanding that grades or pass/fail options may make the final transcripts look very different than usual. Most colleges are simply looking for proof of graduation, with completion of all courses for the senior year.
  • Many summer orientation programs are on hold, and virtual sessions are a distinct possibility. Keep a close watch on your school's website or communication from them about the status of summer programs.
  • How do you make a decision if you're still trying to decide between schools and can't make that final visit? HERE is an article from Forbes that might help.
Hopefully this information will answer some of your questions, and I will send updates as new information becomes available. Please feel free to email me if you have additional questions or concerns.
 
Ms. Gregg
 
Graduation Ceremony for Class of 2020
The Meridian School graduation ceremony for the class of 2020, which had been scheduled for the end of May, has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date. We are currently exploring options, ranging from an altered ceremony format that would allow for social distancing, or holding a traditional ceremony that would be delayed until mid August. A survey on this will soon be sent to senior students and parents, and we will release more information as plans develop.
Athletics Corner 
  • Sports Registration Update - The Athletics Department is planning to open registration for Fall Sports on May 15th. This registration window would close on July 31st. This includes registration for the following sports: Cross Country, Dance Team, Fall Developmental Tennis, Swimming and Volleyball (Girls Volleyball and Boys Varsity). Physical forms would also be due on July 31st for these sports. 
  • Lettering & Letter Jacket Update - Students who lettered this school year will be announced on May 5th on the  Letter Jackets & Lettering webpage. Visit HERE to learn about this year's Lettering Requirements, Letter Jacket ordering options and more.
  • Staying Fit During COVID-19 - During this time of Social Distancing, our organized sports have been suspended, but your love for your game continues! Please feel encouraged to use the videos found on this webpage to help you stay fit and keep you ready for your sport once the activities we love can resume as normal.
For questions, please email Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org
 
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • April 27 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee (9-10am) via Zoom: more details coming at a later date
  • June 5 (Saturday): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Ridván
The Bahá'í festival of Ridván begins at sunset on Sunday, April 19 and ends at sunset, May 1. According to Sacred Acts, Sacred Space, Sacred Time: Bahá'í Studies by John Walbridge, this festival commemorates the period in 1863 when the founder of the Bahá'í faith, known as the Bahaá'u'lláh, announced his claim to prophethood. The name refers to a garden in Baghdad (in present-day Iraq) which the Bahaá'u'lláh named Ridván, meaning "Paradise".
 
According to the Bahá'í Faith website, "Bahá'ís view the world's major religions as a part of a single, progressive process through which God reveals His will to humanity." Bahá'ís believe Bahaá'u'lláh to be the most recent of a long line of prophets, including "Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Zoroaster, Christ and Muhammad."
 
The first, ninth, and twelfth days of Ridván are major holy days when adherents to the Bahá'í faith do not work. Bahá'í elections also occur during this period.
Yom Hashoah
Sundown, April 20, through sundown, April 21, marks Holocaust Remembrance Day. Named "Yom Hashoah" in Hebrew, this day was established by the Israeli parliament in the 1950s, and is also recognized by the US Congress as a national Holocaust Remembrance Day. The UN established an International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the date recognized by the United Kingdom of Great Britain (United States Holocaust Museum website). Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the deaths of an estimated 6 million Jews and millions of others persecuted by the Nazi government of Germany.
Earth Day
Wednesday, April 22 is Earth Day. According to "Earth Day Facts: What it is, when it began, what to do" on National Geographic.com, the beginnings of Earth Day are "rooted in 1960s activism" about the environment, and the desire to protest damage that pollution and other human activity was causing to the environment. The first Earth Day was held in the United States on April 22, 1970, and over 20 million participated across the country. Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day Network, says that today it is celebrated by over 1 billion people in 120 countries worldwide. Rogers encourages people to use the day to make a "public commitment to take environmental action."
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
April 16, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
Top Lion
 
We are now in week two of distance learning. It has been great seeing all of the students, and seeing how classwork is being adapted to an online environment. We are continuing to refine our delivery -- be looking for a survey soon to share your feedback on how things have been going at home!
 
Did you miss a Lions Share?  Previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
Returning Student Registration
Returning registration will be take place online in your Ascender (formerly txConnect) account HERE.

Once you are logged in, click on "Summary" and then you will see the option to register your returning student. 

IF your address has changed,  please send a copy of your most recent utility bill to registration@mwschool.org 

The deadline to complete Returning Student Registration is April 30. Please email registration@mwschool.org if you have any questions. 
Distance Learning Schedule & Information
As noted in the last Lions Share, school is officially closed until May 4, and we think that it is likely that school will remain closed through the remainder of the academic year.
 
The basic schedule, structure, and means of accessing Meridian distance learning has not changed. Please see Distance Learning Schedule and Procedures for more information.
April 10 Holiday
This Friday, April 10, is a school holiday. As a general rule, teachers will not be holding distance learning sessions with students this Friday.
Parent Coffee with the Counselors (aka: book group)
On Friday, April 17 at 9:00am, you are invited to join the counselors via Zoom to chat about whatever is on your mind. For fun, bring an awesome book suggestion; because in these times of isolation and family piled on top of each other, a good book is food for the soul. 

If you are interested, sign up HERE to keep updated and get a reminder email.
 
HERE is the link to Join the Zoom Meeting for April 17 at 9:00am.
Counseling Services
For more information and resources click this link:  
Counselor Resources for Parents

From Ms. Cole, Middle School Counselor:
Even though we aren't physically together, I am still here for your child. I'm available via email, lunch bunch, Zoom chats, and through my Google Classroom. 
 
Lunch Bunch: 
All students are welcome to have "lunch" with me (and Ollie) every Friday using this Zoom link (password: Ollie).
 
6th grade: 11:15 - 11:45
7th grade: 11:45 - 12:15
8th grade: 12:15 - 12:45
 
Google Classroom:
Please encourage your student to join my Google Classroom, code yjdahf7.
They will find lots of encouragement, activities, videos, and helpful information here.
Middle School Counselor: Coco Cole at c.cole@mwschool.org
High School Counselor: Carrie Proctor at c. proctor@mwschool.org
College and Career Counselor: Kathy Gregg at k.gregg@mwschool.org
Spring Picture Update
If your student took Spring Pictures before Spring Break, the proofs are currently being held at the Lifetouch lab. They will be shipped to school for distribution once school resumes. If school does not resume this school year, Lifetouch will work with us to get the proofs to you. Thank you for your patience with this!
After School 6th-12th & Waiters Registration 
Registration begins May 8th. Please visit the Meridian website for more information about After School 6-12 and Waiters.
Assistant Principal Appreciation Week 4/6 - 4/10
This week is Assistant Principal Appreciation Week. Without our assistant principals, we could not do the work we do! During this time they too are working very hard; they are all so amazing and we want them to feel our love, especially in this time of distance learning! Additionally, we also want to include our MYP coordinator, Ms. Kristen Machczynski in our appreciation efforts. Ms. Mac, as most know her, doesn't do some of the administrative tasks, but she is very much a key element of our administrative team! Please consider writing a word of encouragement and note of appreciation to our assistant principals for all they do!  

Assistant Principal for grades 6 & 7: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, & 10: Crystal Lane (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org
MYP Coordinator for grades 6-10: Kristen Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
Principals' Message
As principals, we are so proud of the work from our staff! Our teachers are continuing to plan lessons, deliver content, and make connections with our students. We are also very thankful for each of you and your sacrifices. Thank you for ensuring students are attending Zoom classes Mondays and Tuesdays, and thank you for ensuring they are doing their assignments; keep the submissions coming! Last week, there were some challenges to overcome and there are still some challenges ahead. Your patience and grace are very appreciated. And, your positive words of encouragement support us moving forward. We have comfort in knowing we are not alone and that this current situation will only make us stronger. Last week we encouraged our families to find the positives in the situation. This week we are encouraging you to find some humor. Humor is a great way to cope with life stresses and it brings joy to our souls, not to mention the endorphins our bodies release when we laugh a little at our current realities.   

A few LAUGHS during distance learning...

Still haven't decided where to go for this weekend----- The Living Room or The Bedroom 

I used to spin that toilet paper like I was on Wheel of Fortune. Now I turn it like I'm cracking a safe. 

PSA: every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom. 
 
(All above are random FaceBook Posts shared by D. Regnor)

Feeling guilty about your kids watching too much TV? Just mute it & put the subtitles on. BOOM. Now they're reading. -boredpanda.com
 
 
Meridian Yearbook
Pre-order a yearbook HERE to ensure that you get one.  

Not sure if you have ordered a yearbook?  Check your bank and credit card receipts FIRST and then if you still need help please email Mr. Manuszak at n.manuszak@mwschool.org.
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • April 10 (Friday): Holiday - no school for students or staff
  • April 27 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee (9-10am) via Zoom: more details coming at a later date
  • June 5 (Saturday): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9am)
Passover / Easter
The Jewish festival of Passover begins this evening, April 8. The last day of Passover will be Thursday, April 16. This week is also the Christian Holy Week leading up to Easter on Sunday, April 12. The coincidence of these events is a result of the fact that the Christian Bible describes the crucifixion of Jesus as taking place during Passover. In French, "Easter" is known as Pâques. In Spanish, Pascua. And in Greek, Pascha. These all derive from the Hebrew word for Passover, Pesach. According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia,  the name "Easter" in English and other Germanic languages (German Oster) is of less clear origin, though according to some sources the name is derived from an old Germanic goddess of the rising sun and spring.
Vaisakhi
This festival, celebrated by both Hindus and Sikhs, is a harvest festival that takes place on Monday, April 13. According to the guide to Punjabi culture "Ask Auntyji," it is of particular religious significance to Sikhs and is "the most celebrated religious festival of Sikhs in India" and many other countries. In addition to the festivities of the day, Sikhs will pray, do community service, and donate food to charity.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
April 8, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
 
 
 
Stay Connected

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Meridian School
2555 North IH-35
 Round Rock, TX 78664
 (512) 660-5230
Top Lion
 
We are all adjusting to a new "normal." This has been challenging, but there are definitely positives! We have successfully virtually connected with at least 90% + students. After Friday, we will have a more accurate account as we wrap up week one of distance learning. All our teachers are embracing technology to the fullest and collaboration is at an all time high. Teachers are truly pulling together to support one another and teach one another new platforms; we are continuing to learn. We all have a stronger appreciation for our past "day to day routines," seeing one another face to face, being able to have physical contact, through fist bumps, high fives, and hugs. As we continue this journey together, let's stay positive and try to find the good that is coming from this experience. We are here and missing all our students!  

Tip: Breathe, literally close your eyes and do a few deep inhales and exhales.  
 
Did you miss a Lions Share?  Previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
(click to read more)
School Closure Extended
Following Governor Abbott's most recent executive order, Meridian School campuses will remain closed until May 4. We will continue to update our community as this situation evolves. Your patience during this time is greatly appreciated. Due to our closing, all events that were scheduled during this time have been cancelled. Online classes will continue.

Distance Learning Continues!
Distance Learning for next week and the following weeks of school closure will continue according to the schedule and framework laid out in the Lions Share sent out last Friday. For your reference, the key elements have been copied at the bottom of this week's Lions Share.  Please skip to the bottom for a refresher on:
  • Meals During School Closure
  • Distance Learning Statement to Parents & Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology
  • Distance Learning Orientation & Etiquette/Expectations for Secondary Students
  • Secondary Distance Learning Schedule
  • Weekly Lesson Plans on Managebac
  • Technology Platforms & IT Support
  • What about grades? 
  • IB DP Assessment Updates
  • Special Education Services
  • Meridian Athletics 
  • Meridian Library Resources
  • Meridian Yearbook: Order Now!
But don't skip down yet!  First we have important new information to emphasize in this week's Lions Share.
STAAR & EOC Clarification
There will be no tests for STAAR (primary & middle school) or STAAR EOC (high school credit courses) this year.  Normally, students are required to pass the Reading and Math STAAR tests in 5th and 8th grade to be promoted to the next grade, but those requirements are waived for the 2019-2020 school year.  Normally, students need to pass all high school credit STAAR EOC tests (Algebra 1, English 1, English 2, Biology, US History 11th grade) in order to graduate. Those requirements are being waived as well for the courses that students are in this year (for example, students in Algebra 1 this year will not have to take the Algebra 1 STAAR EOC test to graduate--they will simply skip that test). Normally there are June retest opportunities for the 5th & 8th grade Reading and Math STAAR , and the high school credit STAAR EOC. As STAAR requirements are waived for the 2019-2020 school years, there will be no June STAAR / STAAR EOC retests. 
 
If you have questions about the 2019-2020 STAAR / STAAR EOC tests, please contact Paige Bender at p.bender@mwschool.org.
Counselor Corner
Meridian has always recognized that the mental wellbeing of our students is as much a part of our educational mission as academic content and is integral to nurturing the spark to learn and grow as human beings. With change comes stress, and our Meridian families, while strong and resilient, are having to pivot and completely adjust their way of life right now. We have encouraged our students to reach out to us via email and schedule a Zoom session when they need to talk, and we want to maintain that connection as we truly miss seeing them every day. We also think it is important to provide parents with resources to help support their teens' needs right now and have included some articles and sites to assist you: Counselor Resources for Parents
Middle School Counselor: Coco Cole at c.cole@mwschool.org
High School Counselor: Carrie Proctor at c. proctor@mwschool.org
College and Career Counselor: Kathy Gregg at k.gregg@mwschool.org
HHSC Launches Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line
Texas Health and Human Services has launched a 24/7 statewide mental health support line to help Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
This new resource offers COVID-19-related mental health support for all Texans. People can call the Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week toll-free at 833-986-1919.
Math Acceleration Placement Test Delayed until July
All campus events are cancelled while the school is closed. This includes the Math Acceleration placement test that was to have been held in April. We will hold the test at the end of July.
  • July 23 for incoming 6th graders (9:00 am)
  • July 30 for incoming 7-10th graders (9:00 am)
Please contact the secondary Math Department Chair, Wendy Riley at w.riley@mwschool.org with any questions.
Upcoming Date Summary (additions or changes in bold)
  • April 27 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee (9:00-10:00) via Zoom: more details coming at a later date
  • June 5 (Saturday): Junior-Senior Prom (if COVID-19 situation permits)
  • July 23 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 6th graders (9:00 am)
  • July 30 (Thurs): Math Acceleration placement test for incoming 7-10th graders (9:00 am)
End of Lent and Easter
For Christians, the sacrificial period of Lent ends with Holy Week and Easter, seen by many Christians as their most important holy day. This period commemorates Christian belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Eastern Orthodox Christians start this weekend with "Lazarus Saturday" (April 4), celebrating the Biblical account of the resurrection of Lazarus. In Greece, this day is accompanied by the eating of spice breads known as "Lazariki." Christians in the Western tradition generally start the week with Palm Sunday (April 5), and it culminates with Good Friday on April 10 and Easter on Sunday, April 12. According to New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, the painting of eggs is one of the oldest customs associated with Easter. It may have arisen because the eating of eggs was forbidden during Lent, but also because of the metaphorical connection between an egg and birth or resurrection.
 
Why does the date of Easter move around every year? According to the Christian Council of Nicea (325 A.D. / C.E.), Easter is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Vernal Equinox. The Vernal, or Spring Equinox is based upon the solar calendar, but there are 12 solar months in a 365 day solar year, but 13 lunar months. Therefore these calendars do not exactly coincide. The Vernal Equinox was on March 19, and this year (2020) the next full moon is on April 7, and Easter falls on the first Sunday afterwards, April 12.
Theravada Buddhist New Year
There is much diversity of Buddhist practice around the world, but the two largest divisions of Buddhism are Theravada and Mahayana. Most use a lunar calendar, and according to Buddhanet, in most countries that practice Theravada Buddhism, "the new year is celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April...[while in most] Mahayana countries the new year starts the first full moon day in January."  The first full moon of April is Monday, April 7 this year (2020), making this date the beginning of New Year for most Theravada Buddhists.
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles Ryder & Melina Berduo
 
Important Information from 3/27 Lions Share:
Meals During School Closure
In light of these unprecedented times concerning the COVID-19 Virus, Meridian has elected to support meal programs offered through the Texas Department of Agriculture from our surrounding districts. By pooling our resources across the greater Williamson County area, we are hopeful to make a bigger impact for families in need. 

Please be sure to check out the links below for maps, locations, service times, and pick up areas for meals during school closures:
Should you have any questions regarding meals or locations, please do not hesitate to contact Chef Leslie Sterzinger at chef@mwschool.org . 
Distance Learning Statement to Parents & Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology
Our teachers and staff are working diligently to make decisions about how best to approach providing the highest quality of learning during the school closures. We recognize different families have varied situations and we support that you will do what is best for your family. We will continue to listen and take your input and we are trying to reach a balance and establish plans that are flexible, doable, and maintain high learning standards. We are providing opportunities for students to learn and engage via virtual platforms and you can also anticipate feedback related to student work. We encourage you and students to access and engage, interact, explore, and grow with us. We do expect students to participate in order to maintain their social-emotional as well as academic wellbeing. Please know that we will be flexible with individual students that have varied needs, special circumstances, and/or constraints during this time. Do not hesitate to reach out for clarification and support.  

Please see the link below:
 
IMPORTANT: Parents, as you may, at times, be 'present' in the classroom, viewing the teacher in live or recorded lessons, we ask that you respect the privacy of the classroom, students, and teacher. If you wish to share concerns or thoughts, please do so with the teacher directly. Do not post on any social media. The materials produced are proprietary and may not be reproduced for any purpose other than providing instructional material to Meridian students.
 
Distance Learning Orientation & Etiquette/Expectations for Secondary Students
We will review with all students what the plan is for distance learning, as well as what the expectations are for online learning etiquette. Please remind your child that we all need to do our part to finish the year strong. And, please remember all recordings and class sessions are for school purposes, our Meridian family, and not for the public. You are strongly encouraged to review the presentation we have created for the students here: Distance Learning Student Orientation.
Secondary Distance Learning Schedule
Secondary grades 6-12 will use the following schedule for Distance Learning:

Monday/Tuesday teachers will focus on new content delivery, generally through a live full-class Zoom session. Wednesday we have allotted this to be a workday for both students and teachers. Thursday and Friday will be more for clarification of content and small group follow up--students may not have a live Zoom session these days. Every afternoon our teachers will have office hours from 2:15-4:30, where they will be available to help in ways such as small group Zoom sessions. Each class will have and estimated 90 minutes of independent work assigned (i.e. work done outside of the Zoom session). Therefore, when students and parents are setting their work schedule at home, they should consider how to spread this work out over the week. 90 minutes times 8 classes is 720 minutes of work. One schedule might be to plan to complete all independent work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which would be about four hours of independent work a day (720 minutes divided by 3 days equals 4 hours a day). Of course, the distance learning format will give you freedom to determine what schedule works best for the students in your family.  

We are aware that these are unusual times and that families may have special circumstances that make it difficult for them to consistently follow the schedule below. We are laying out this schedule for those who will benefit from the consistency it provides, and will post materials on ManageBac and Google Classroom (such as recordings of Zoom sessions, videos, documents, etc.) so that those who are not able to follow the schedule may complete school work according to their own pace.
Weekly Lesson Plans on ManageBac
In order to increase consistency for students, all teachers grades 6-12 will be entering their lesson plans for the week into a common Week Plan template. 
 
In Middle School links to these templates will be gathered into a common spreadsheet for each grade which will be posted on ManageBac as a message to your grade level year group.
 
In High School, each teacher will post their template as a task at the beginning of each week. Students (and parents) will be able to view these Week Plan tasks from their ManageBac calendar, listed under either Monday or Tuesday for the week.  
Technology Platforms & IT Support
Our teachers will be providing learning materials and pushing out assignments using Managebac. Most are continuing the usage of technology they exposed to students while in their classroom (such as Google classroom) and most will try out a few additional online platforms and resources. We encourage you and your child to reach out to teachers if you have any questions or initial difficulties or needs with accessing the apps and materials.  

Please download and set up a Zoom account (encourage students to use their Meridian email). Some teachers have already reached out to allow students to join test sessions of zoom classes for today and Friday.  

For support with Managebac, please reach out to the coordinators:
For general IT support, please reach out to Jan MacWatters j.macwatters@mwschool.org.

What about grades?
For the first week, we will have activities and opportunities for students to submit work, with feedback coming from their teachers. We believe students' grades should not be harmed given the current circumstance (e.g. lack of access, illness, and responsibilities). 

For now, we will be recording Quarter 3 grades into Quarter 4. How we use the work submitted in Quarter 4 is yet to be determined. For any assessment for which we are providing feedback, we will input marks into managebac per the IB rubrics, but may not enter these into the TxGradebook system, Ascender. This is an area that we need to continue to study before making any definitive decisions.

Quarter 3 report cards should currently be visible through Ascender. If there is unresolved work left over from Quarter 3, such as a student who received an incomplete, or who did not receive an opportunity to retest on a major assessment at the very end of the grading period, the individual teacher will work out a plan for the individuals in their class who are affected. Please reach out to the teacher with inquiries and to learn more about the plan.  
State & IB DP Assessment Updates 
STAAR & EOC: While the state has cancelled all STAAR and EOC exam requirements, we are still expecting students to show mastery of grade level content in order to be prepared for the coming school year. 

May 2020 IB Exam Update: The IBO has cancelled the May 2020 IB examination session. Ms. Holcombe has been in touch with the juniors and seniors who are affected by this circumstance. The good news is that the IBO is offering seniors a pathway to the IB diploma, but the details on this are still forthcoming.  If you have questions about this please feel free to reach out to Ms. Holcombe directly at s.holcombe@mwschool.org
Special Education Services
Please see this letter for parents with students who receive special education services for information on how these services will be provided through distance learning.
Meridian Library Resources
This document contains links to our video databases for parents and students:
 
All students and teachers have an account for Discovery Ed and Learn 360.
Meridian Athletics 
Meridian Athletics follows school closures. While the school is closed and utilizing distance learning, all Athletics activities and in-person gatherings will be suspended. Please email questions to Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org.  
Meridian Yearbook Update: ORDER NOW!
On the Friday before break, when we learned that school might be out for an undefined period of time, we were able to get into virtually every classroom to get the last pictures we needed for the secondary classroom pages. We were building and proofing pages during Spring Break and even this week because the yearbook must go on!  
 
During this uncertain time we have been advised to order fewer books because it is hard to sell extras when you can't sell to customers face to face. Balfour has extended our "exacting" deadline which is the date that we have to decide on the number of books that will be published. Once this number of yearbook covers are printed there are NO re-orders.
 
All of this is to ask that you PLEASE pre-order a yearbook HERE as soon as possible. Do not count on getting one after delivery. Also, note that the yearbook price will increase by $5 on April 1.
 
The online yearbook store opened just about a month ago, so it should be fresh in your memory if you ordered a book or not. If you are not sure, PLEASE check for email confirmation from Balfour, and then your bank and credit card statements FIRST If you still aren't sure then feel free to email Nick Manuszak at  n.manuszak@mwschool.org.
Contact Information
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email the appropriate contact for support:
 
Counselors
Middle School Counseling: Nicole "Coco" Cole (n.cole@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: Matthew Castaneda (m.castaneda@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 8, 9, and 10: Crystal Lane-Cox (c.lane@mwschool.org)
Assistant Principal for grades 11 & 12: Stela Holcombe (s.holcombe@mwschool.org)
IB MYP Coordinator: Kristen "Mac" Machczynski (k.machczynski@mwschool.org)
IB DP 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)
 
Additional Contacts
School Nurse (nurse@mwschool.org)
Middle School Attendance: Olga Alexander (attendance-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Attendance: Shawn Seaman (attendance-HS@mwschool.org)
Giving - Annual Fund & Car Decals (giving@mwschool.org)
 
Principals
Middle School Principal: Melina Berduo (principal-MS@mwschool.org)
High School Principal: Charles Ryder (principal-HS@mwschool.org)
 
April 2, 2020












Charles Ryder
High School Principal
Melina Berduo
Middle School Principal
 
 
2019-2020
SCHOOL CALENDAR
 






















 
 
 
 



 
Top Lion
 
We assure you that your child's continued learning and emotional well being are a top priority. Please know that our teachers, administrators, and counselors are also available during this time to help with your concerns and questions. We can not stress enough for you to reach out so that we can assist as best we can during this time. 
 
Did you miss a Lions Share?  Previous editions of the Lions Share.
 
This week's edition of the Lions Share includes information on:
(click to read more)
Closed Campus
We are officially closed through April 12. We will continue to assess this situation as time passes, and we appreciate your patience during this time. As such, all events through this period are canceled. Given this situation, some events are also cancelled beyond the 12th because of our inability to adequately prepare for them. For example, the spring band/orchestra concerts scheduled for April 13, 14, and 21 are canceled.

At this time, we are unable allow visitors to pick up instruments, supplies, or books that may have been left in lockers. Due to the stay-at-home order, we have very limited personnel on campus, and must minimize the number of people coming to the campus buildings. More information will be shared when we are able to coordinate such visits.
Medication Pickup
Medication pickup has been completed. Should there be a need to contact the nursing staff, please do so at nurse@mwschool.org.
Device Checkout (Deadline: TODAY)
For students without access to a device (computer or tablet), parents were asked to contact Meridian at tech-assist@mwschool.org to arrange a time to check out a device from school. Because of the need for our staff to also follow the stay-at-home order, today (3/27) is the last day to do so. Checkout times fall between 10am-2pm. Again, we've asked that these arrangements were made in advance by emailing tech-assist@mwschool.org.
 
NOTE: As advised by our attorney, parents are permitted to travel in order to pick up education materials. This includes traveling to school for a device.
Meals During School Closure
In light of these unprecedented times concerning the COVID-19 Virus, Meridian has elected to support meal programs offered through the Texas Department of Agriculture from our surrounding districts. By pooling our resources across the greater Williamson County area, we are hopeful to make a bigger impact for families in need. 

Please be sure to check out the links below for maps, locations, service times, and pick up areas for meals during school closures:
Should you have any questions regarding meals or locations, please do not hesitate to contact Chef Leslie Sterzinger at chef@mwschool.org . 
Distance Learning Statement to Parents & Acceptable Use Policy for Information Technology
Our teachers and staff are working diligently to make decisions about how best to approach providing the highest quality of learning during the school closures. We recognize different families have varied situations and we support that you will do what is best for your family. We will continue to listen and take your input and we are trying to reach a balance and establish plans that are flexible, doable, and maintain high learning standards. We are providing opportunities for students to learn and engage via virtual platforms and you can also anticipate feedback related to student work. We encourage you and students to access and engage, interact, explore, and grow with us. We do expect students to participate in order to maintain their social-emotional as well as academic wellbeing. Please know that we will be flexible with individual students that have varied needs, special circumstances, and/or constraints during this time. Do not hesitate to reach out for clarification and support.  

Please see the link below:
 
IMPORTANT: Parents, as you may, at times, be 'present' in the classroom, viewing the teacher in live or recorded lessons, we ask that you respect the privacy of the classroom, students, and teacher. If you wish to share concerns or thoughts, please do so with the teacher directly. Do not post on any social media. The materials produced are proprietary and may not be reproduced for any purpose other than providing instructional material to Meridian students.
 
Distance Learning Orientation & Etiquette/Expectations for Secondary Students
We will review with all students what the plan is for distance learning, as well as what the expectations are for online learning etiquette. Please remind your child that we all need to do our part to finish the year strong. And, please remember all recordings and class sessions are for school purposes, our Meridian family, and not for the public. You are strongly encouraged to review the presentation we have created for the students here: Distance Learning Student Orientation.
Secondary Distance Learning Schedule
Secondary grades 6-12 will use the following schedule for Distance Learning:

Monday/Tuesday teachers will focus on new content delivery, generally through a live full-class Zoom session. Wednesday we have allotted this to be a workday for both students and teachers. Thursday and Friday will be more for clarification of content and small group follow up--students may not have a live Zoom session these days. Every afternoon our teachers will have office hours from 2:15-4:30, where they will be available to help in ways such as small group Zoom sessions. Each class will have and estimated 90 minutes of independent work assigned (i.e. work done outside of the Zoom session). Therefore, when students and parents are setting their work schedule at home, they should consider how to spread this work out over the week. 90 minutes times 8 classes is 720 minutes of work. One schedule might be to plan to complete all independent work on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, which would be about four hours of independent work a day (720 minutes divided by 3 days equals 4 hours a day). Of course, the distance learning format will give you freedom to determine what schedule works best for the students in your family.  

We are aware that these are unusual times and that families may have special circumstances that make it difficult for them to consistently follow the schedule below. We are laying out this schedule for those who will benefit from the consistency it provides, and will post materials on ManageBac and Google Classroom (such as recordings of Zoom sessions, videos, documents, etc.) so that those who are not able to follow the schedule may complete school work according to their own pace.
Weekly Lesson Plans on ManageBac
In order to increase consistency for students, all teachers grades 6-12 will be entering their lesson plans for the week into a common Week Plan template. 
 
In Middle School links to these templates will be gathered into a common spreadsheet for each grade which will be posted on ManageBac as a message to your grade level year group.
 
In High School, each teacher will post their template as a task at the beginning of each week. Students (and parents) will be able to view these Week Plan tasks from their ManageBac calendar, listed under either Monday or Tuesday for the week.  
Technology Platforms & IT Support
Our teachers will be providing learning materials and pushing out assignments using Managebac. Most are continuing the usage of technology they exposed to students while in their classroom (such as Google classroom) and most will try out a few additional online platforms and resources. We encourage you and your child to reach out to teachers if you have any questions or initial difficulties or needs with accessing the apps and materials.  

Please download and set up a Zoom account (encourage students to use their Meridian email). Some teachers have already reached out to allow students to join test sessions of zoom classes for today and Friday.  

For support with Managebac, please reach out to the coordinators:
For general IT support, please reach out to Jan MacWatters j.macwatters@mwschool.org.

What about grades?
For the first week, we will have activities and opportunities for students to submit work, with feedback coming from their teachers. We believe students' grades should not be harmed given the current circumstance (e.g. lack of access, illness, and responsibilities). 

For now, we will be recording Quarter 3 grades into Quarter 4. How we use the work submitted in Quarter 4 is yet to be determined. For any assessment for which we are providing feedback, we will input marks into managebac per the IB rubrics, but may not enter these into the TxGradebook system, Ascender. This is an area that we need to continue to study before making any definitive decisions.

Quarter 3 report cards should currently be visible through Ascender. If there is unresolved work left over from Quarter 3, such as a student who received an incomplete, or who did not receive an opportunity to retest on a major assessment at the very end of the grading period, the individual teacher will work out a plan for the individuals in their class who are affected. Please reach out to the teacher with inquiries and to learn more about the plan.  
State & IB DP Assessment Updates 
STAAR & EOC: While the state has cancelled all STAAR and EOC exam requirements, we are still expecting students to show mastery of grade level content in order to be prepared for the coming school year. 

May 2020 IB Exam Update: The IBO has cancelled the May 2020 IB examination session. Ms. Holcombe has been in touch with the juniors and seniors who are affected by this circumstance. The good news is that the IBO is offering seniors a pathway to the IB diploma, but the details on this are still forthcoming.  If you have questions about this please feel free to reach out to Ms. Holcombe directly at s.holcombe@mwschool.org
Meridian Counseling Support
Counselors are still available for student support during this time of uncertainty. Students should email to set up a time to talk individually via Zoom. Both Ms. Gregg and Ms. Proctor will also be in contact to finish up the senior and sophomore individual conferences. 

Middle School Counselor: Coco Cole at c.cole@mwschool.org
High School Counselor: Carrie Proctor at c. proctor@mwschool.org
College and Career Counselor: Kathy Gregg at k.gregg@mwschool.org
Special Education Services
Please see this letter for parents with students who receive special education services for information on how these services will be provided through distance learning.
Meridian Library Resources
This document contains links to our video databases for parents and students:
 
All students and teachers have an account for Discovery Ed and Learn 360.
Meridian Athletics 
Meridian Athletics follows school closures. While the school is closed and utilizing distance learning, all Athletics activities and in-person gatherings will be suspended. Please email questions to Meridian-athletics@mwschool.org.  
Junior/Senior Prom Update
The junior/senior prom that was scheduled for April 4 was rescheduled for May 8, but the date has been moved again to June 5 (still at The Rabb House). Time will tell if this date will stick, but we are holding out hope that we will be able to have an event when it is safe for our students--even if this happens sometime in the summer.  
Meridian Yearbook Update: ORDER NOW!
On the Friday before break, when we learned that school might be out for an undefined period of time, we were able to get into virtually every classroom to get the last pictures we needed for the secondary classroom pages. We were building and proofing pages during Spring Break and even this week because the yearbook must go on!  
 
During this uncertain time we have been advised to order fewer books because it is hard to sell extras when you can't sell to customers face to face. Balfour has extended our "exacting" deadline which is the date that we have to decide on the number of books that will be published. Once this number of yearbook covers are printed there are NO re-orders.
 
All of this is to ask that you PLEASE pre-order a yearbook HERE as soon as possible. Do not count on getting one after delivery. Also, note that the yearbook price will increase by $5 on April 1.
 
The online yearbook store opened just about a month ago, so it should be fresh in your memory if you ordered a book or not. If you are not sure, PLEASE check for email confirmation from Balfour, and then your bank and credit card statements FIRST If you still aren't sure then feel free to email Nick Manuszak at  n.manuszak@mwschool.org.
Ascender Parent Portal & ManageBac Assignment Calendar Access
If you have not yet signed up for parent access to the Ascender Parent Portal (previously txConnect) 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)
  • April 27 (Monday): Secondary Principals' Coffee (9:00-10:00am) via Zoom: more details coming at a later date
Spring Celebrations
Thursday, March 19, marked the official astronomical start of spring, the Vernal Equinox. It is also central to the celebrations of many religions around the world, including the Shinto Spring Festival in Japan and Noruz, the start of the Persian New Year.
Mothering Sunday
The fourth Sunday in the Christian season of Lent is known as "Mothering Sunday" in Britain. According to the BBC website, for centuries domestic servants and other workers in the United Kingdom have been given this day off to travel to their home parish and visit