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COVID-19 PTC's PTSA Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Skylert: Community Council, Red Ribbon Week

PTC Survey

Now that parent-teacher conferences are over, we want to know how it went and what we can do to improve communication. If you could take this brief survey, we’d love your feedback!

Community Council Nominations

Would you like to be involved in the big picture planning at Elk Ridge? If you or someone you know would like to join, let us know using this form. Depending on interest, we’ll send out a voting form once nominees are confirmed. Thanks for you nominations in advance!

Red Ribbon Week

Red Ribbon Week starts next Monday, and our PTSA has a lot of excitement in store. To get in on the fun, follow this Instagram account. Red Ribbon week runs from 10/5 to 10/9.

Picture Retakes 

Retakes for student pictures will take place on October 7th. More information to come.

Chalk Art Festival

Our Chalk Art Festival will be happening on October 9th, and students can participate in person or from home. Applications for in-person and online participants can be found here. In-person participant applications are due to Mrs. Gonzales by October 1st at 3 pm.

Quarantine Process at ERMS

We get a lot of questions about symptoms and quarantine. If you have any questions, feel free to use this tool to see current guidelines we have from the health department and quarantine types specific to your situation. We use a modified version of this tool when determining exposure and length of quarantine. This tool is for your information only and does not collect any data. Please contact the school if you have symptoms or confirmed exposure to a positive COVID case.

Stress and Anxiety Group

Feeling stressed out or anxious? We want to help! Let one of our counselors know and we’ll make sure we connect you with resources and others that can support you.

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Wally the Wapiti

Chalk Art Festival

It’s time for the Chalk Art Festival, and we can’t wait to see what you come up with. This year’s theme is: “Courageous, Caring, and Cactus.”

Because we have students in person and at home, we’ll be running both a social media and at-school event.

The festival for all students will take place on Friday, October 9th.

For those participating at school, you will come in on a Friday to decorate your section of the front of the school. Use this link to apply by October 1st at 3 pm:

For students participating at home, you can find all the information you need to make a submission using this link:

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Gonzales.

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SBO Election Videos

It’s time to vote on this year’s Student Body Officers. Use the links below to access the videos for your grade. You’ll cast your actual votes during your language arts class on Monday, September 28th.

Enjoy, and vote wisely! For students participating virtually, your ballot has been emailed to your school email address.

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COVID-19 PTC's Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Schedule a Parent-Teacher Conference

UPDATE: If you are having issues entering the meeting, please go back to the Zoom link list and try again. A few links required passcodes and have been fixed.


Parent-teacher conferences are this week, and will be held virtually. We appreciate your patience with another new process. By the end of this school year, we’ll be capable of so much more than we ever thought possible.

Important Note: Meetings with teachers don’t have to just happen now during the conference, and are not required. If you ever want to meet with a teacher, just email or call to set up a time. We want meaningful, two-way communication and we’ll take it whenever it works for you.

Another Important Note: We ask that appointments be kept to around 5 minutes. If you need a meeting with a teacher that will take longer than that, please reach out to the teacher directly.

One Last Important Note: If the technology doesn’t work on your end or ours, don’t panic. We’ll figure it out and schedule it once it does. Just let the teacher know.

For students in virtual classes, visit this sheet for Zoom meeting links and information. All in-person students should follow these steps:

Step 1: Video Recaps

With conferences, there is often a lot of information that applies to the whole class. Each teacher has made a video of what’s happening in their classes for you to view prior to scheduling an appointment.

If you still have a question after viewing the video recap for a particular teacher, move on to Step 2.

Step 2: Schedule an Appointment

If you still have questions or something to discuss with a teacher, use the button below to book an appointment. Teachers will be primarily available:

  • Wednesday from 4 – 8 pm
  • Thursday from 4 – 7:30 pm
  • Additional times vary by teacher

Keep in mind that appointment slots may fill up quickly. It’s okay. If you are unable to find an appointment slot that works for you, please contact the teacher to set up an appointment. Communication can happen all year, and at almost any time.

Step 3: Join the Meeting

When your appointment time arrives, go back to the sheet where you signed up for the appointment to click the Zoom link for that teacher.

You will enter a waiting room where the teacher will be able to see who is waiting and bring you into a private meeting at your scheduled time. Drop-ins are accepted, but only if an appointment hasn’t shown or no one signed up for the slot.

Step 4: That’s It

Really, that’s all. And not to sound like a broken record, but if you don’t get the time you need or the technology breaks, just let us know and we’ll get you in touch with the teacher. Our goal is to communicate with you about your student to whatever degree is needed, so just reach out and we’ll get it figured out.

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COVID-19 PTSA Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Skylert: Parent Conferences, Curbside Lunch

Parent-Teacher Conferences Update

Parent-teacher conferences are September 23rd and 24th. Due to COVID-19, conferences will be held virtually this year. We will send out more information on Monday and post it on our website, but here are the basic steps for you as a parent:

  1. Review recap videos from teachers (available Monday afternoon) for general information about each class
  2. If you need to meet with a teacher, make an appointment (links on the website Monday afternoon)
  3. At the time of your appointment, connect via Zoom.

While drop-in conferences are possible between 4-8 pm on Wednesday and 4-7:30 pm on Thursday, an appointment ensures the teacher is available. If you are unable to connect with a teacher for any reason, please contact the teacher to set up a time to meet. Our goal is meaningful two-way communication, so please reach out if this format doesn’t work for any reason.

In order to meet with as many parents as possible, we are asking that meetings be no longer than 5 minutes. Please also only set up an appointment if you need to speak to the teacher live and email or phone communication that happens normally won’t suffice. As a reminder, you are always able to set up an appointment to call, email or video conference with a teacher, regardless of the time of year. Read next Monday’s Skylert, check back on our website, and watch for information from your teachers for appointment and Zoom links for next week’s conference.

Curbside Lunch/Breakfast Service

Elk Ridge, along with South Hills and Joel P. Jensen, will be offering curbside and walk-up lunch/breakfast to-go meals for any JSD students regardless of grade level who are attending school virtually.

Prepared meals (lunch today, breakfast tomorrow) will be available in front of the school from 10-11 am. As with in-person lunches, all meals for students will be free of charge through the remainder of 2020. Menu options will vary based on what is being served in school each day. Students attending in-person should eat at the regular time in the cafeteria.

Last Chance to Get Prepaid Memory Books

Memory Books have arrived! If you have already purchased a memory book, just swing by the main office to pick it up. If your student is at another school, you can pick up your memory book at the main doors of Elk Ridge on Sept. 16 (Wed) from 5 pm – 7 pm.

At this point, we do not have extra memory books for sale. If some become available, we’ll let you know. The books look simply amazing, and we appreciate our PTSA’s ongoing efforts with this and so many other things!

PTSA Ambassador Application Deadline Extended

You can now submit your application to the PTSA Ambassadors until September 24th. It’s a great way to get involved and serve others. Talk to Kimberly Gilbert with any questions.

PTSA Newsletter & Reflections Contest

Our PTSA Fall Newsletter and annual Reflections contest are now live. Visit this link to view the newsletter and get information on the contest.

Quarantine and Symptom Check Online Tool

We get a lot of questions about symptoms and quarantine. If you have any questions, feel free to use this tool to see current guidelines we have from the health department and quarantine types specific to your situation. We use a modified version of this tool when determining exposure and length of quarantine. This tool is for your information only and does not collect any data. Please contact the school if you have symptoms or confirmed exposure to a positive COVID case.

Online Courses

Online courses are up and running, and you should be underway. If you have any lingering logistics with online courses, please let us know and we’ll do what we can to help.

Stress and Anxiety Group

Feeling stressed out or anxious? We want to help! Let one of our counselors know and we’ll make sure we connect you with resources and others that can support you.

Friday Appointments

If your student is coming to the building on Friday, please remember that in order to limit people in the building, we ask that parents remain at home or outside. If you are dropping off your student, arrange a time to pick them up or have your student call home when finished. Thank you for your understanding!

Friday Priorities

In a word, Friday is about differentiation. Our goals each Friday are to:

  1. Meet individual needs of students
  2. Provide flexibility via individual or small-group instruction (virtual and in-person)
  3. Extend learning from earlier in the week and prepare students for the upcoming week
  4. Preparation and collaboration according to normal Fridays

What Work on Friday Should Be

  • Based on what teachers have seen earlier in the week
  • A time to meet the individual needs of students
  • Reworking and demonstrating learning
  • Activities at the level of the student

What Work on Friday is NOT

  • Another day of class as usual, but online
  • A day off of school
  • Busywork

The Question to Always Ask

Whether you are a parent or a teacher, the ultimate litmus test regarding what you are doing on Fridays is:

Is what happens on Friday helping my student succeed?

This year is full of unknowns. Fridays were set aside by the school board to help teachers be more responsive to the needs of students, and to actually give them time and space to do so. 

It should not be business as usual. It should be better business than ever before. It’s a day for the hopes and dreams of educators everywhere to become a reality: to have time to effectively and thoroughly differentiate for our students. Not everyone needs the same thing on Friday, and the goal is for Friday to become a day personalized to what each student needs.

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COVID-19 PTSA Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Skylert: Memory Books, PTSA Newsletter, Quarantine FAQ

Memory Books

Memory Books have arrived! If your student is still at Elk Ridge (8th and 9th graders), they should have received it already. If they didn’t and they ordered one, just have them swing by the main office to pick it up.

If your student is at another school, you can pick up your memory book at the main doors of Elk Ridge on:

  • Sept. 11 (Fri) from 10 am – 1 pm
  • Sept. 16 (Wed) from 5 pm – 7 pm

We’ll put the word out at other schools, but if you know someone who went here last year, we would love the help spreading the word. If we don’t hear from you and have your memory book after all of that, we’ll send it to you in the mail. The books look simply amazing, and we appreciate our PTSA’s ongoing efforts with this and so many other things!

PTSA Newsletter & Reflections Contest

Our PTSA Fall Newsletter and annual Reflections contest are now live. Visit this link to view the newsletter and get information on the contest.

Quarantine and Symptom Check Online Tool

We get a lot of questions about symptoms and quarantine. If you have any questions, feel free to use this tool to see current guidelines and quarantine types specific to your situation. We use a modified version of this tool when determining exposure and length of quarantine. This tool is for your information only and does not collect any data. Please contact the school if you have symptoms or confirmed exposure to a positive COVID case.

Online Courses

Online courses are getting closer to being finalized. Once individual courses are finalized, your teacher will reach out via Canvas and your school email account to more officially begin coursework. Thank you again for your patience as we work to provide as many options to students learning from home as possible!

Stress and Anxiety Group

Feeling stressed out or anxious? We want to help! Let one of our counselors know and we’ll make sure we connect you with resources and others that can support you. 

Mask Reminders

When you are outside, your mask should only be off if you can keep yourself 6 feet away from others. Measure it. It’s further than you think. 

Dress Code Reminder

Just a friendly plug to make sure your pants stay up, your shirts are long enough, and that you aren’t advertising things that aren’t school appropriate. Positive school culture starts at home, and we appreciate your help!

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COVID-19 Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Skylert: Picture Day, Memory Books, Tech Basics

Picture Day

This year’s picture day is September 2nd. Students will come to the auditorium in small groups based on their language arts teacher. We’ve attached a copy of the form here, and you can also look up the information on the LifeTouch website (as well as safety information) using the Picture Day ID: EVTK448JR

Memory Books

Memory Books have arrived! If your student is still at Elk Ridge (8th and 9th graders), they should have received it last Thursday in 7th period. If they didn’t and they ordered one, just have them swing by the main office to pick it up.

If your student is at another school, you can pick up your memory book at the main doors of Elk Ridge on:

  • Sept. 11 (Fri) from 10 am – 1 pm
  • Sept. 16 (Wed) from 5 pm – 7 pm

We’ll put the word out at other schools, but if you know someone who went here last year, we would love the help spreading the word. If we don’t hear from you and have your memory book after all of that, we’ll send it to you in the mail.

The books look simply amazing, and we appreciate our PTSA’s ongoing efforts with this and so many other things!

Skyward Basics

Skyward can do a lot, but most importantly it’s where students check their grades. Visit this page to see how to help your student learn to use Skyward. They’ve also seen this information in their math class.

Canvas and Google Classroom Basics

Skyward houses grades, but Canvas and Google Classroom often house the actual learning. If you want to learn how to set up an observer account, help your student log in, etc., we’ll be adding a page to our website soon. Until then, here are some videos from ERMS and other places that cover the most-asked questions courtesy of our ever-prepared math department:

Submit Assignment

Submit More Than One File

Set Notifications

Check Grades

Use The Canvas Inbox

Set Up Parent Observer Account

See how teachers can track your activity in Canvas

How to make sure your submission pictures are right-side-up

How to take a picture using a Chromebook

Scan to PDF using Microsoft Lens App on iPhone or Android

Screenshot your: iPhone, Android, Chromebook, Windows, Windows with Snipping Tool, Mac

Canvas Student App: iOS Devices, Android Devices  

IMPORTANT:  If you don’t know how to do something, ask a friend, ask your teacher, ask the internet…Google it!  There are tons of things you can learn on your own by asking Google or YouTube.

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COVID-19 Wally the Wapiti

Memory Book Pick-Up

Memory Books have arrived! If your student is still at Elk Ridge (8th and 9th graders), they should have received it last Thursday in 7th period. If they didn’t and they ordered one, just have them swing by the main office to pick it up.

If your student is at another school, you can pick up your memory book at the main doors of Elk Ridge on:

  • Sept. 11 (Fri) from 10 am – 1 pm
  • Sept. 16 (Wed) from 5 pm – 7 pm

We’ll put the word out at other schools, but if you know someone who went here last year, we would love the help spreading the word. If we don’t hear from you and have your memory book after all of that, we’ll send it to you in the mail.

The books look simply amazing, and we appreciate our PTSA’s ongoing efforts with this and so many other things!

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COVID-19 Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Skylert: Memory Books, Fridays

We have a few last time-sensitive updates before we resume sending out information primarily once a week and on our website. Before we get to that information, I heard a perspective this week that’s worth passing along:

Whenever change happens rapidly, we face the choice of prioritizing efficiency or flexibility. Obviously we strive for as much of both as we can, but as a district, we have decided that providing the most choices to people in crisis as possible is our priority. With that in mind, please continue to be patient and kind as we work to give you that flexibility, especially if things take a bit longer than usual. The feats pulled off by staff so far have been superhuman, and I couldn’t be happier with how many seemingly impossible things have already been accomplished.

Now the updates:

Friday Basics

Students should have something to do in each of their classes. This may range from new assignments or preparation activities for the coming week to enrichment and extension activities. It can also be meeting with the teacher in person by appointment or virtually. Most of all, it allows teachers to be responsive to the needs of our students and proactive in intervening and enriching as needed. This will develop and improve week to week, and we would love your input on how it goes. 

Counseling Center Priorities

Our counselors and registrar have been working overtime (literally, a lot of overtime) to get schedules arranged and students placed where they need to be. For your information, this is the priority breakdown as they run triage on schedules:

  1. Completing enrollment of students in online courses
  2. Correcting schedule errors and optimizing class size distribution
  3. Working on emergency schedule changes
  4. Accommodating schedule requests

Please contact the counselors by email if at all possible so there is a paper trail of your request and communication can happen at any time of day. If you feel you need to speak with a counselor in person, please make an appointment before coming in so that we can make sure they are available to meet with you.

Memory Books

At long, long, long last our memory books have arrived! Our wonderful PTSA has sorted them by students’ 7th period classes and we handed them out to students today if they are still at Elk Ridge. If they are at Bingham, West Jordan, or Copper Hills High School, our PTSA will be set up outside the school soon for drive-by pick-up. More on that as soon as it’s scheduled. Any books not picked up will be brought back to the main office and after a week or two of waiting to see who picks them up, we’ll send them to you in the mail. Thank you for a wonderful 25th-year anniversary!

Skyward Registration

If you haven’t completed registration in Skyward, please do so ASAP. Your student can’t be issued a Chromebook until it is complete.

Online Courses Update

There are still some minor changes to online courses. Please be patient if you haven’t heard much from your teacher just yet. As rosters settle, we’ll hit our stride and really get going.

Cafeteria Note from Mrs. Taylor

Dear Parents,

Welcome back! I hope everyone’s summer was great and fun. It’s time for another year at Elk Ridge Middle School, and I wanted to go over a few changes in the cafeteria this year. Everything will be prepackaged in 3 compartment containers that will be labeled. They will be able to choose a fresh fruit or canned fruit, and a milk that we will hand them. Everything else will be ready for them in the container. It makes me sad that we won’t be able to offer everything else like normal, but welcome to the new normal. Breakfast and lunch prices will be the same as last year – regular lunches are $2.00, reduced are $.40 , and breakfast is $1.00, reduced is $.30

Because of Covid – 19 we are only serving on 4 lines:

  • Line 1 & 3, which are Ala Carte, will have:
    • Hamburger’s, spicy chicken sandwiches and chicken rings every day
    • One day a week we will have popcorn chicken, mini corndogs and corndogs
  • Line 2, which is our main line, will change every day as it shows on the lunch calendar
  • Line 4, will have only pizza   

There will not be a salad bar, deli line, desserts, ice cream. There will not be money exchanged from student to cashier for everyone’s safety. The only money that is handled will be lunch payments and all money will have to be deposited into their lunch accounts. You are welcome to make online payments and bring payments to the main office.  PLEASE let your student know that they will not be able to get change for the candy machines. There are a lot of changes, and it will take time for all to adjust. If you have any questions, please feel free to call 801-280-0206.

Thank you for your support with all the changes.

–Holly Taylor, ERMS Cafeteria Manager

Future Updates

We hold tightly to avoiding inbox overload for you by only sending out a Skylert once a week on Mondays. This first week has been the exception, as there are so many moving parts that were time-sensitive for a smooth experience. Continue to look for weekly updates in your inbox, and we’ll post mid-week updates on our website and include it in our Skylert the following week. This should allow you to have as much or as little communication as you want. We also only use the text message function of the Skylert sparingly so that when we do need it, you know it’s especially important.

Thank You!

This first week has been incredibly smooth, especially considering how many moving parts are involved for everyone from the students to staff to parents. Our goal is to be safe, kind, and responsible, and as an Elk Ridge community, that mark has definitely been hit. Thank you again for your patience, kindness, and feedback. It’s good to be back in school!

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COVID-19 Skylert Wally the Wapiti

Skylert: First Day Notes

Online Students: There is a section of this email specifically for you below.

IN-PERSON STUDENTS

Thank you to all of your wonderful children for their active participation in 7th Grade Orientation. They are an absolute delight, and made our first day back so enjoyable! With one day under our belts, we have a few things that we can pass on to make tomorrow even smoother:

Drop-Off and Pick-Up

Please pull as far forward as possible, and continue to move forward as the line moves. One car stopped can back us up all the way to 9800 S. We’ve normally had much more to say about drop-off and pick-up, so thank you for navigating it so well!

Please also drop your students off as close to the start of school (or their schedule, if partially online) as possible. Also please pick them up directly after school. Students will not be allowed to linger on campus until we are able to resume after school activities unless they have an appointment with a teacher.

Masks

Everyone was phenomenal today with masks. It’s a new experience for all of us, but everyone seems to be adjusting quickly. The only area we could use some reinforcing at home is reminding students that they should still stay 6 feet apart while outside, especially if they have removed the mask to eat or drink. If students are unable to do so, we’ll have to have them eat inside where it’s monitored more closely, and it’s much too nice outside for that. A few steps back while eating make it possible for us to enjoy the outdoors while we can.

Complete Skyward Registration

If you still haven’t completed registration in Skyward, please do so tonight. We cannot give your student a Chromebook unless it has been completed. Students attending in-person should plan to use the school device. This allows us to ensure they have access to programs purchased by the district.

Cash Lunch Payments

Lunch payments should be made in Skyward. If you must use cash, please pay in the main office and not in the cafeteria.

Locker Information

Locker numbers and combinations can be found in Skyward (both mobile and desktop) under Student Information/Profile. Lockers should only be used at the beginning and end of the day, and only when necessary. 

Student Check-Out

Please request via Skyward (Attendance > Attendance Request) if you need to check out your student. Put the name of the person checking out the student in the comment field. When you arrive at the school, show your ID in the attendance office and return to your car. We’ll take it from there!

ONLINE COURSE UPDATES

Thank you so much for your patience as the online course structure is established. The flexibility and options we are offering as a district require more finesse and legwork than a rigid structure, and we are excited to do everything possible to ensure you have the best learning environment possible!

Online Course Platform

All district virtual courses are offered through Canvas. Use the login on our website to access course materials, communicate with the teachers, and much, much more. In-person courses may use Google Classroom, but all virtual courses have been asked to use Canvas as a starting point.

Class Schedules and Teachers

There is still some movement across the district with online courses in order to ensure the most people are able to take the courses they requested virtually. Please be patient if you’re not seeing a lot from your online course for the first few days, and if your assigned teacher is changed. More information should be coming related to online classes from the district.

Times and Locations for Online Courses

The times currently listed in Skyward for online courses don’t line up with our bell schedule, and the school listed is often Copper Mountain Middle School. It’s a technical issue, but don’t worry, you’re still an Elk Ridge student! The times can be ignored completely unless you are participating in an in-person class virtually, which the teacher will communicate to you in the first week or so of class.

Virtual Courses with In-Person Counterparts

The original plan for virtual courses involved a separate online course option for all virtual students. While that was possible for most classes, DLI, ALPS, AP Geography, and a few other classes either preferred or needed to be taught in a blended format. If you are in a blended class, your teacher will communicate the times, access instructions, and other logistics in the coming week. It will also be modified as needed to provide the best possible experience. This change happened very recently, so please be patient as teachers work to find the best ways to include those students.

Chromebooks Not Required for Virtual Students

You will need a device for your online classes, but are not required to use a school device. However, if you want one, we’ll have one for you. Once in-person classes resume for all students, a school device will be assigned.

We are sure you have more questions. Please let us know and we’ll work as fast as we can to get answers. We have never been more proud of the staff, students, and community that makes Elk Ridge so great. Thank you, and we can’t wait to continue the adventure tomorrow!