In the Middle of Things - MS News

Happy New Year!

If you have not already, please make sure to upload your son's PCR COVID-19 test result to Magnus. As a reminder, we will need the result before he can return to campus next week.

Enrollment information for the 2021-2022 school year will be emailed to you at the end of January. Please be on the lookout for this important communication.

We are in the process of finalizing the 2021-2022 All School Calendar (first day of school, holiday breaks, etc.) and plan to share it with you in the coming weeks.

Middle School Lunch Update | January 11-15: Cycle 2
 Please see the MS lunch menu for next week attached.

Since the weather has changed and we are officially in winter, please have your son wear enough layers to be outside for lunch, recess and athletics. Please make sure your son has a coat, hat, gloves and a water bottle daily. Students will eat lunch outside in the tent, with more panels staying open to increase ventilation. We will continue to eat lunch outside unless the conditions are deemed unsafe by the Middle School administration.

Monday, January 18: School will be closed to commemorate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Friday, January 22: Half Day for MS, 12:00 Noon Dismissal

Tuesday, January 12: Virtual Parent Coffee (Eighth Grade)
Join Amy Summer, Middle School Counselor, and Kim Eddinger, Middle School Director of Academic Support, for an evening of conversation on Tuesday, January 12, at 7:00 PM. They will discuss topics including typical signs of stress in teenage boys and how parents can spot them, offer support, and help foster new and old friendships during a pandemic. They will also advise on ways to make sure the boys are getting the most from their asynchronous classes. The evening will also feature a Q and A session.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 944 5308 8377
Passcode: 2021

Our next Service Saturday will take place on January 16, 2021. Please access the link below and take a look at the service options for this month.

In previous years, the Middle School has used several data points to assess how boys have progressed academically and should move forward to the Upper School. In order for the eighth graders to move forward under the same standards as the previous years, there are two data points from Math and Science that need to be collected. As a result, eighth-grade students will be taking a Math and Science mid-term on Friday, January 22. That Friday will now become a noon dismissal for all Middle School students.

End Of Second Quarter / End Of First Semester
Friday, January 22, is the end of the First SemesterThe second semester / third quarter begins on Monday, January 25. Eighth graders will be going to their new semester elective and sixth and seventh graders will be going to their new quarter class.

As we get closer to returning to campus on Monday, I wanted to remind you to bring appropriate clothing to be outside for an extended period of time. We will remain outside unless the conditions are deemed unsafe by our athletic training staff. That means that you would be outside for a minimum of (2) hours throughout the day. Please assume that we will be outside every day. Gloves and a hat would be a huge help to keep you warm and happy.

Sixth and Seventh Graders: We will be switching the A and B athletic period starting Monday, January 11. The B group will go to athletics during the first athletic period and the A group will go to athletics during the second athletic period. If you are in squads 1 and 3 you will be in Polar Bears and should report to the far end of the oval. If you are in squads 2 and 4 you will be in Ultimate Frisbee and should report to Brown Field.

Eighth Graders: During the athletic period I would like you to sign up for one of the 3 activities by going to the location of your selected activity. For the first rotation (6 weeks) we will offer Basketball, Polar Bears and Lawn Games.

Basketball-located in the two main gyms and the auxiliary. For the first day, please report to the Arena. We will be allowed to play 3 on 3 basketball at each basket.

Polar Bears-located on the oval. For the first day, please report to the center of the oval. We will play a variety of games such as Ultimate Frisbee, All-American Ball and Capture the Flag.

Lawn Games-located on Brown Field. For the first day, please report to Brown Field. We will play a variety of “lawn games” such as Kan Jam, Spike ball and Corn Hole.

Gilman Libraries January 2021 Newsletter
The Gilman Libraries are excited to wish you a Happy New Year! Follow the link to view our January 2021 Newsletter filled with photos, new resources, information on upcoming events, including a special visit from Carole and Jeffery Boston Weatherford, and more.
Gilman Libraries Newsletter-January 2021

Books and Bagels Homeroom Meetings-Winter/Spring 2021
Please click the link below to view the Winter/Spring Books and Bagels 2021 Schedule:

ESF Summer Camp Registration
ESF is proud to be celebrating 28-years in the Gilman School community. The in-person 2021 summer camps will be chock-full of enrichment opportunities and action-packed activities. Check out ESF’s 2021 Camp Line-up! All program offerings will be focused on creating the ultimate safe, fun, positive environment for all campers, parents, and staff. Learn more about ESF’s Advanced Safety Plan.
Early Bird Enrollment is your opportunity to take advantage of ESF’s best savings of the camp season now through January 31.

MS General Schedule

COVID-19 Updates
For information on COVID-19 Updates, please visit here: COVID-19 Updates

Daily Screening: Each morning you will receive a text message and email with a link to complete your daily health screening. You do not need to download an app to have access to the link. The link will be pushed out to you at 5:30 AM. If you do not fill out the screening by 6:30 AM, you will receive a reminder. Once the screening is complete, you will be presented with a digital “pass” (QR code) or a message stating that your son should not come to school. If you receive the latter and have questions, please reach out to School Nurse Edie Meacham.

It is very important that you complete the screening prior to arriving on campus as you will need to present the digital pass on your phone or son’s Ipad to a faculty or staff member prior to your son getting out of the car. For students who walk or ride to campus, if you take a picture or snapshot of the QR code, the date and name must be visible. Please click here to learn more about the screening process.

Students Arriving Late to Campus
If your son will be arriving late to campus, please notify Ms. Phyllis Pollard, via email ( Students arriving late to campus, after 8:05 AM, should report to the middle school main entrance doors to have his daily QR code checked and will proceed to class.

Arrival and Dismissal Instructions: Please see the attached diagrams which detail how arrival and dismissal will work each day. Rest assured that Gilman faculty and staff will be outside to help. (Please see attachments at the bottom of the email)

After entering campus, do not take any pathway that bypasses health checkpoints. Once on campus, your health pass only needs to be checked once.

  • Students may arrive on campus at 7:35 AM. Please do not arrive at campus any earlier than time to go directly to your first synchronous classroom.
  • Students arriving late to campus, after (time), should report to the middle school main entrance doors with their QR code or a copy of their QR code. Once their QR code has been checked, he can proceed to class:
    • Sixth Graders will enter through the front of the Middle School using the left and right door.
    • Seventh Graders will enter through the rear of the Middle school. Both doors may be used.
    • Eighth Graders should take the designated pathways to the Terrace Level of the Upper School.
  • Dismissal time is 3:45 PM. for all grades but the eighth graders will be dismissed from the lower lot.
  • Sixth Graders will dismiss through the front of the Middle School using the left and right door.
  • Seventh Graders will dismiss through the rear of the Middle school. Both doors may be used.
  • Eighth Graders are being dropped off and picked up from the lower lot and should take the designated pathways to the Terrace Level of the Upper School.

Early dismissals
If your son has an early dismissal, please discuss the dismissal time and pick up arrangements in advance and email Ms. Phyllis Pollard at ( by 8:30 AM at the latest. Once you have picked up your son from in front of the Middle School or lower lot, please call or email the main office.
  • All MS students will learn virtually on Wednesdays.
  • All assignments will be posted to teachers’ Canvas pages by 8:00 PM Sunday.
  • Please remember to submit your health forms daily.
  • If lunch was not ordered for the week, please bring to school a packed lunch. Students will not have access to a microwave or a refrigerator.
  • Students must bring a water bottle to school for drinking water during the school day.
  • Students must bring their noise canceling headphones, which are needed for asynchronous classes and morning meeting.

Daily Absences
If your son will be absent for the day, please notify Ms. Phyllis Pollard, via email as soon as possible (

Decision Tree: We want to take this opportunity to provide some additional information and reiterate what you can expect moving forward:

•Please make sure to review our Decision Tree that we first shared with you in early August. This will continue to guide our decision-making process.

•Your partnership and flexibility are paramount. We are doing all that we can to keep our community healthy and safe by adhering to CDC and MDH protocols and will communicate in as timely a manner as possible.

•The number of faculty and staff who are in direct contact with the person with symptoms will also impact our decision-making.

•Please understand that there remains a possibility that an entire grade will need to stay at home. Contact tracing will determine the number of affected people but in special circumstances, we may need to err on the side of caution.

Go Ravens!
Have a nice weekend,

Stay well,

Shonique L. Alexander
Interim Head of Middle School