On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed into law. The US Department of Education is providing an additional $121.9 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III Fund). This legislation will award these grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) for the purpose of providing local educational agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the nation.
South Carolina will receive $2,112,051,487 in ESSER III funds from the Act, of which 90 percent will flow through to school districts with amounts determined in proportion to the amount of Title I, Part A funds they received in Summer 2020 from funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The remaining funds will be used for state-level activities to address issues caused by COVID-19. ESSER III funds also include some additional requirements on the part of the LEAs and the SEAs, please see below for more detailed information.
As part of a two-phase process to receive ESSER III funds, districts must draft a “Safe Return to In-Person Instructional and Continuity of Services Plan” for the 2021-2022 school year and seek input on this plan from all stakeholders. The second phase of the process includes seeking input on a plan to use ESSER III funds over the next few years.
The South Carolina Public Charter School District (SCPCSD) has compiled plans from each school and asks that you review the “Safe Return to In-Person Instructional and Continuity of Services Plan” for each school by clicking on the link below. After reviewing the plan(s), please share feedback by completing the survey below. The survey will help inform the final “Safe Return to In-Person Instructional and Continuity of Services Plan.”
Return to In-Person Plans by Schools (excel file)
Return to In-Person Plan Feedback Form
The SCPCSD has developed this website to provide information, guidance, and resources to school district personnel and stakeholders with respect to ESSER III funds under the ARP Act. It will be updated as often as new information, guidance, and resources becomes available. Please note that ESSER III funds are entirely separate from ESSER I and ESSER II funds issued through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) respectively.
These are your LAST announcements for the 2020-2021 school year. We hope you all have a wonderful summer! To our graduates: we wish you the very best in all your future endeavors. To our returning students: we look forward to seeing you back in the fall. School starts August 11!
Graduates, be sure to arrive by 3:00 today. If you still haven’t removed your gown from the original package, please do so and give it a quick iron to remove the creases. Refer to the email on May 6 with all the details for today’s ceremony.
If you still have a school chromebook or charger at home, please return it by next Wednesday, June 9. Missing chromebooks will result in a charge of $260 and missing cables will be charged $30.
Plans for Fall 2021
Throughout the summer, MMC staff will be developing plans for next year. At this time, it appears MMC will offer full-time, face-to-face instruction. There will be no hybrid model, and only supplemental virtual options. Returning students and families will receive more information as we get closer to the beginning of the new school year.
Returning students are automatically re-enrolled. If you have decided to transfer to another school, please contact the office to complete the withdrawal process.
We have plenty of spaces remaining for the fall. Please consider referring your friends and family members who could benefit from the opportunities at MMC!
Beginning June 7, the MMC office will be open Monday through Thursday, 9:00 to 4:00. The school will be closed on Fridays.
Masks for Graduation Ceremony
Per the CDC, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear a face covering. The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center continues to strongly advise individuals who are not fully vaccinated to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC which include wearing a face covering/mask. Temperature checks will not be required at the door. Social distancing WILL still be maintained for our ceremony.
Enrollment at Midlands Tech
Graduating seniors – are you interested in attending Midlands Tech in the fall? An admissions counselor from MTC will be here next Friday, May 28, at 11:00 to answer any questions you might have and help you get started with enrollment. See Mr. Whatley to sign up.
Dual-enrollment students, please return your textbooks to Mr. Whatley as soon as possible. Thank you!
Update on Face Masks
The SC Department of Education has removed the requirement for students and staff to wear face coverings. The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is still STRONGLY RECOMMENDING their use, particularly by anyone who has not been fully vaccinated.
From this point forward, MMC will not enforce the wearing of masks in our classrooms and our area of Congaree Hall. Everyone WILL be required to wear a face covering if visiting any other part of the Midlands Tech campus.
You may have seen the governor’s announcement Tuesday evening, which mentioned that parents could sign a waiver for their child to not wear a mask. This new statement from the Department of Education makes the waiver unnecessary.
MMC will continue to keep social distancing practices in place. Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated is still strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
Masks for Graduation Ceremony
We are in communication with the Convention Center regarding their mask policy. At this time, they are still enforcing the mask requirement, but that MAY change prior to June 4. If so, we will communicate that to all graduates. Unless a change is announced, each graduate and guest should be prepared to bring their own mask to the ceremony.
Tickets are on sale NOW for our End-of-Year Semi-Formal, to be held Friday, May 21. More details about the event can be found here. Let’s celebrate the end of this very memorable year!
Graduation Ticket Pickup
Tickets for the graduation ceremony may be picked up beginning Monday, May 17. The graduate MUST complete the Graduate Info Form PRIOR to picking up tickets. This is information the state requires public schools to collect and report about our graduates’ plans for life after high school. We will verify the form has been completed before handing out tickets.
If you checked out a chromebook for use at home, you may begin returning those now. All devices should be returned by Friday, May 28. Missing chromebooks will result in a charge of $260 and missing cables will be charged $30. If you are unable to meet the return deadline, please speak with an administrator about an extension.
Hello MMC Students and Parents! Below are your announcements for the week:
We are thrilled to announce that MMC will host an end-of-year semi-formal celebration on Friday, May 21, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Phillips Market Center in West Columbia. DJ Ronny Lane will provide music for a fun evening of dancing!
Tickets will go on sale next Wednesday for $35 each. Please see this document for full details on the event, including guests, attire, behavior, safety protocols, etc.
Parents, if you would like to help support this event, please consider making a monetary donation to go towards the purchase of decorations and food. Checks should be made payable to Midlands Middle College with the memo line “semi-formal 2021”. Thank you in advance for your support in giving our students this opportunity.
We have made a few minor adjustments to our final exam schedule for the spring semester. Below are the new dates:
US History and English 2 courses through Virtual SC
Tuesday, May 11 @ 9:00 a.m.
US History and Biology courses at MMC
Thursday, May 27 @ 9:00 a.m.
Makeup date: Friday, May 28 @ 9:00 a.m.
“A-Day” courses – Wednesday, May 26
“B-Day” courses – Thursday, May 27
“A-Day” courses – Wednesday, June 2
“B-Day” courses – Thursday, June 3
Any student may exempt the final exam if he/she has a final course average of 80 or above. Graduating seniors are exempt from each MMC spring semester exam with a passing grade in the course. Exemptions do not apply to MTC, VirtualSC or EOC courses. Any student with an exemption may choose to take the exam to earn a higher course grade.
Federal Programs Planning Meeting
As a public charter school, Midlands Middle College (MMC) receives funding from various public sources. Each year, the school holds a planning meeting to identify and prioritize needs, develop activities and strategies to meet those needs, and determine the appropriate sources to fund each activity. All stakeholders – students, parents, teachers, staff, board and community members – are invited to participate in this planning process. This year’s meeting will be held Friday, May 7. Please see this letter for details if you are interested in participating.
Learning Models: New Legislation & Plans for Next Year
You may have seen in the news this week that Senate Bill S. 704 was passed by our state legislature and was signed into law by the governor. This legislation requires that schools offer five-day, face-to-face instruction on or before April 26, 2021. This does not limit the flexibility for schools to provide other modes of education. MMC has offered an everyday option to our students since the beginning of the school year, so this new legislation DOES NOT change our current learning models for the remainder of the year.
As we look ahead to the 2021-2022 school year, MMC will continue to offer an everyday learning option for students. Our hybrid (A/B) model is under consideration and must be approved by our district’s board to be continued. We will update our families as decisions are made regarding the hybrid model.
For 2021-2022, MMC will no longer offer a fully-virtual model. All students will be expected to come on campus for some or all of their classes. We will continue to supplement our in-person instruction with virtual courses for students who need or want that option. For students who are currently in our fully-virtual model, we will work with each of you individually to discuss your decision for next school year.
Dual-enrollment courses through Midlands Tech will be shifting toward more in-person instruction. However, some online options will still be available next year. Please contact Mr. Whatley with any questions related to dual-enrollment courses.
We have worked diligently this year to provide consistency to our students in offering all three learning models – virtual, hybrid, and everyday. We understand that preparing for change and any uncertainty about next year may be difficult. We welcome your feedback as we are making plans, and we pledge to provide you with as much information and advance notice as possible. Please reach out to Mrs. Girolamo with any questions or concerns about learning models.
MMC will offer courses this summer through VirtualSC. Registration begins May 26. Please speak with a counselor or administrator to discuss course selections before registering.
Reminder: The SAT is scheduled for this Tuesday, April 27. If you (or your student) signed up for this test, you should have received an email containing all the details regarding the preregistration session, times, etc. Please contact Dr. Lee with any questions.
Free Application to MTC
Attention Seniors! Midlands Technical College wants to help you reach your educational and career goals. They are waiving the application fee during MTC Application Week – April 19th – April 23rd. See this flyer for more information.
Good news! We still have tickets available for our graduation ceremony on June 4. Additional tickets may be purchased for $10 each in the front office until they run out! Please note: our credit card reader is currently not working, so we can only accept cash or check at this time. Thank you for your understanding.
We are exploring the possibility of hosting a prom this year. We have found a facility and need to know if there is enough student interest to go ahead with the planning. All students received an email yesterday with a link to a brief survey to indicate interest. If we move forward, the prom will be held Saturday, May 22, from 6:00 to 10:00 PM. Tickets will be $35 each, and students will be permitted to bring one guest. Parents, please encourage your student to complete the survey by Monday so we can decide whether to move forward with the event.
Statewide Parent Survey
Each year, the South Carolina Department of Education conducts a survey to give parents a voice in our public education system. Please take a moment to read this letter from State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, and then click here to complete the survey. Please complete the survey by May 17th. We hope your feedback will help spotlight the work we do here with your students everyday!
Kid’s Day of Lexington
Midlands Middle College will participate in Kid’s Day of Lexington next Saturday, April 24, from 10am to 2pm, at Virginia Hylton Park (111 Maiden Lane, Lexington). This is a FREE event where the mission is to “create a better community by educating and caring for families with love, honesty and laughter.” We are seeking a few MMC students to represent our school and talk with potential future students about their experience here. If interested, please speak to Mrs. Girolamo or Mrs. Lee. Everyone is encouraged to attend!
To commemorate the historic school year of 20-21 and to honor the endurance and perseverance that our students have had to undergo due to COVID, the Leadership Class is piloting MMC’s first time capsule! Each item placed in the capsule costs $1.00. Money is due no later than Tuesday, April 27th. Items need to be brought by the following day, Wed, April 28th; when we will bury it. Students can bring money to Mrs. Knight.
COVID Vaccine for Students
Today, Governor Henry McMaster announced that COVID vaccine eligibility in South Carolina will open to everyone aged 16 and older starting Wednesday, March 31. At this time, we have not received any guidance on when, or if, the vaccine may be required for high school students. However, you may choose to visit the SC DHEC website to schedule an appointment.
This week, we rolled out our school-wide project for students to create a graduation portfolio. Parents, be sure to watch the introductory video and encourage your student’s participation. The graduation honors indicated here are open to EVERYONE – including our fully virtual and dual-enrollment students. We look forward to seeing the final products they will take with them when they leave us.
Graduation Ticket Reminder
Next Thursday, April 1, is the initial deadline to order graduation tickets. Your order form and payment must be submitted by the deadline to guarantee tickets. Printed order forms are available in the office. At this time, each graduate may request up to SIX tickets to the ceremony. After April 1, additional tickets may become available and will be offered first come, first served.
Cap & Gown Pickup
The first shipment of cap and gown orders have arrived. If you are on campus anyway, please stop by the office to see if yours is ready for pickup. Our fully virtual students may wish to call first (803-822-7043) to verify we have yours before you stop by.
MMC will be closed Friday, April 2, through Friday, April 9, for Spring Break. There will be no in-person or eLearning lessons for MMC classes. Please note this does NOT apply to dual-enrollment courses through Midlands Tech or virtual courses through VirtualSC – those classes will continue to meet!
Army National Guard Hiring Event
Our National Guard recruiter, SSG Daniel Smoak, has asked us to share with you an upcoming hiring event. On Saturday, May 22, anyone between the ages of 17 and 34 is invited to learn about careers with the National Guard, including some on-the-spot job offers. Please see this flyer for more details.
Also, if you attended the National Guard safe driving event this week and signed up for the raffle, you have a prize waiting for you. Come by the office to claim it!
WIN Assessment Make-up
Due to the weather concern yesterday, the make-up session for the WIN Assessment has been moved to Tuesday, March 23. Students who are eligible for this session have been contacted via email. Please contact Dr. Lee with any questions.
Refer a Friend!
Enrollment at MMC is now open for the 2021-2022 school year. We encourage you to follow our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter), share our posts, and encourage your friends to apply. Anyone who refers a student who actually enrolls will receive a $20 gift card to a local restaurant!
Friday PLT Reminder
Please remember that Friday IS a school day. Students are expected to attend each class unless they have zero unexcused absences, tardies, or missing assignments. Students will be marked absent if they are expected to attend on Friday and are not present in each class. Be sure to check in with your advisor at 11:00 each Friday to develop a plan for the day.
No School Monday, March 15
March 15 was scheduled to be our first weather make-up day. We have not had to close school due to severe weather this year, so Monday now becomes a holiday for students and staff. There will be no in-person classes or E-Learning assignments.
Tickets for Graduation
Update! We are working with our graduation venue – the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center – on the latest safety guidelines and the maximum capacity for guests. At this time, our graduates may order up to SIX tickets to the ceremony. This order form and payment are due April 1 to guarantee tickets. Printed order forms are available in the office.
Dual-Enrollment Course Registration
Registration for college courses through Midlands Tech will open next week. Current Juniors – if you are interested in earning college credits while you are still in high school, please speak with Mr. Whatley to begin the process. The sooner you register, the more choices you will have in creating the schedule you want! Graduating Seniors – if you plan to attend MTC in the fall, schedule your advising session as soon as possible!
Did you know your Amazon purchases could benefit MMC, at no cost to you? Register for Amazon Smile and all those porch deliveries could turn into dollars for our school. Please consider signing up today!