2020-21 Back To School Letter

  • Our 2020-21 Back-To-School Letter, included below, is being mailed to families during the week of Monday, August 17.

    Dear Southern Middle School Families,

    It gives me great pleasure to welcome you and your child to Southern Middle School. The beginning of the school year is always an exciting time, filled with new experiences, teachers and learning. COVID-19 has certainly impacted what school will look like, but, rest assured, we will all stand “U-Knighted” and work together to educate our children.

    As a reminder, Reading School District will begin the 2020-21 school year with all students and teaching staff working at home through FULL REMOTE LEARNING during the entire 1st Quarter. Our teachers and staff have been busy this summer preparing engaging online learning programs and lessons for our incoming students. Even though we will not physically be together inside of our school and classrooms for now, you can still expect that your child will receive a high-quality education in a safe, supportive and successful environment. We believe that all students – without exception – can achieve at high levels, and we are committed to ensuring each student’s continuous growth.

    Important Dates:

    • Monday, August 31, 2020
      First Day of School

    • Monday, August 31, 2020 through Thursday, September 3
      Orientation Week for Families (more details below)

    • Friday, September 4 and Monday, September 7
      Labor Day Holiday - School Closed

    • Tuesday, September 8, 2020
      School Reopens - First, full instructional day for students

    • Wednesday, November 4, 2020
      End of the 1st Marking Quarter

    Orientation Week
    To welcome our new and returning families to Southern Middle School, we will host a special Orientation Week from Monday, August 31, 2020 through Thursday, September 3. Families will visit the school to receive their chromebook (if needed), textbooks, a bag of school supplies and other important information. In addition, teachers will host special online sessions throughout the week to meet students and families, as well as share some fun back-to-school activities. Following Orientation Week, we will begin our first full day of school with remote learning instruction on Tuesday, September 8.

    Please reference the Orientation schedule below for specific times for each grade level. Upon arrival, parents and students will line up at the 10th street doors. Parents and students will need to wear a mask to enter and social distance should be maintained at all times.

    Orientation Schedule

    5th grade

    6th grade

    7th grade

    8th grade

    Monday August 31st

    8:00am -10:00am




    Tuesday Sept. 1st

    10:00am -12:00pm




    Wednesday Sept. 2nd

    12:00pm -2:00pm




    Thursday Sept 3rd

    2:00pm – 4:00pm




    *** Wednesday September 2nd, there will be evening hour option for Student Orientation from 5pm-7pm for all grades.

    School Schedule Information
    With FULL REMOTE LEARNING, the school day will be structured, and students will follow a set class schedule from 8:30am-3:30pm. For middle school students, the schedule will include a Morning Meeting with their teacher, on-demand video lessons and daily, small group live instruction with their teachers throughout the school day.

    Daily attendance will be taken, and our teachers will use Google Classroom to share and collect school assignments. During the 1st Quarter, grades will return to the standard A-F grading system and we will no longer use the Pass-Fail grading system for core academic classes. ***Students will not be required to wear school uniforms during FULL REMOTE LEARNING however, students should dress appropriately to share their image on the Google Meets.

    Reading Virtual Academy
    If you feel your family cannot follow the set FULL REMOTE LEARNING daytime school schedule outlined above, we encourage you to enroll in our district cyber school – Reading Virtual Academy (RVA), which is expanding to grades K-12 for the 2020-21 school year. With RVA, families will have a more flexible learning schedule that allows students to watch on-demand virtual video lessons at any time and then complete their work assignments by a designated date. While students in RVA do not have a full-time RSD teacher, they would have access to RSD teachers who are available to assist with tutoring, as needed. To enroll in Reading Virtual Academy, you must complete a RVA application. The application is available online in English and Spanish at www.readingsd.org/virtualacademy or you can pick up a print copy at the ROCC Building, located at 800 Penn St.

    School Communications
    Our school website is https://www.readingsd.org/southern.

    We use Class Dojo to communicate directly with families, and the school district uses Blackboard for mass notifications, such as emergencies. You will receive more information about how to connect with your child’s teacher and our school during Orientation Week.

    If you have any questions prior to the start of the school year, please contact our main office at (610) 371-5803, visit our website https://www.readingsd.org/southern or visit the district’s Back To School information page at www.readingsd.org/backtoschool.

    Together, we share the responsibility for our children’s education. I look forward to working with you to create a strong partnership so your child can achieve great success and have a wonderful 2020-21 school year!

    Andrew Kidd
    Principal, Southern Middle School