Dear New Students and Families:
The summer is sailing by and before we know it the new school year will begin. As you may well imagine, we are busy making plans for how to adapt MSSM for the challenges due to the current pandemic. Looking ahead, our staff want nothing more than to see students arrive in Limestone in August but we recognize there continues to be uncertainty as to how we can safely assemble. Rest assured, we are working on a series of scenarios, all of which include your enrollment in classes taught by our faculty.
So, as we prepare for your first year at MSSM, I would like to review what you can expect this summer regarding preparations on the academic side. This is being sent to students via their MSSM email accounts and will be forwarded to parents via the email accounts we have on record. Henceforth, we will no longer send or receive email to student personal email addresses. All student school related correspondence must be conducted via the MSSM account. During the school year, we expect students to check MSSM email on a daily basis. For now, every two weeks is sufficient.
One of the first emails you will have received via your new student mssm email account is from Dr. Debbie Eustis-Grandy (Dr. E.G.) who, in addition to teaching biology courses and chairing the Science Department, does our scheduling. In that notification, she has shared a document containing course descriptions for first year students (also attached) and a Google form to submit course requests. You will notice that descriptions for most of our math, science, and English courses are not included as those are determined for you by placement and transcript review. Because we are not able to build your schedule until you indicate your preferences for world languages, fine arts, and a number of electives, please complete the registration form as soon as possible and no later than July 15.
Should you indicate, on the form, an interest in an upper level language class, you will be contacted by the instructor of that class. He or she will ask you a few questions regarding your placement. Until you are assigned to your individual academic advisor, Dr. EG will answer questions you might have regarding the scheduling process for new students.
Once all new students have completed the scheduling form, we will add students to rosters and finalize schedules. From that point on, your 2020-2021 academic advisor will help you with any requests to add or drop classes. Look for an email from your new advisor sometime next month.
We are working on revisions to the Community Handbook for 2020-2021. We expect changes to be minor this year, but until they are completed in the weeks ahead, you can peruse last year’s handbook available on the MSSM website.
Your only other suggested preparations for the academic program portion of your year involve organizing your school supplies. Typically, at the end of your first week at MSSM, students have an opportunity to ride a bus to the mall and box stores, but you should consider locating and/or purchasing the following items in advance:
- Planner - paper or electronic
- Binder with paper and dividers - one for each of your four core classes (2- 2” and 2 -1.5”)
- Pens and pencils
- Graphical Calculator - (TI-83 or TI-84 is recommended, TI-89 is not permitted in some math classes)
- Book covers or paper to cover books
- World language dictionary - (French, Spanish, or Chinese - wait to see your schedule!)
Useful but not essential
- Stack of index cards for flash cards
- Sticky notes
- 3-hole punch
- Composition Book (must have stitched binding)
- Ream of printer paper
- Computer or tablet - (laptop preferable - chromebook not useful for programming classes)
We do hope to see you at the virtual “Meet and Greet” in July. There will be opportunities for you to ask any lingering questions you might have about our academic program.
Deborah F. McGann | Science Instructor | Dean of Faculty