Skip to main navigation Skip to section navigation Skip to main content
MRH Logo
Show search

Middle School Principal's Page

April 3, 2020


April 3, 2020



Students at MRH Middle School are immersed both inside and outside the classroom in a variety of experiences through the metaphor, “School as Expedition.”

Learning expeditions are in-depth studies of a topic that engage students through authentic projects, real-life studies, fieldwork, and service. Expeditions occur within the school walls when the community is brought into the classroom through expert guest speakers and outside of the classroom, as a journey to conduct fieldwork.

Facebook ‌ Twitter ‌

Video from Mr. Dittrich

A lot of information below is covered in the video above. We took information from emails the last two weeks that were important and tried to put them all in once place. Thanks for all your help and stay safe. We are all in this together but need to do it six feet apart!



Although we are learning from a distance, MRHMS will maintain all early release days! Please note that April 7, 2020 will be an early release day for the Middle School! HOW DOES THAT WORK?! Well, we will have 8 classes but most classes will be simple surveys or questions regarding remote learning and how we can help students with this delivery model. Please take the additional time on Tuesday to relax as a family!

Parents & Guardians, we need your help!!!



What can Parents/Guardians do to help us during this time? 

Help ensure students spend time daily online interacting with their class content each day.  Please spend time checking your students Its Learning page and Powerschool!


Create a space/time where they interact with their learning materials. We realize parents/guardians have jobs, other kids to take care of, younger siblings and a plethora of other things to worry about so we appreciate any support you can give. We do know who is interacting on Its Learning and can use that to mark daily attendance. Here are some daily questions to ask your student: “What 4 classes did you have today?” “Talk to me about your learning session in _____class?” “What do you still have to get done?” “Did you interact on Its Learning today?” “Do you need to email a teacher for anything?” We realize this is a new model of learning and we as educators are also learning as we go.  

This is a link to our Its Learning instructional video we released earlier in the year. itsLearning Youtube video Click Here




Earlier this year we shared a video on Its Learning, our curriculum repository. You can find daily agendas for your children's courses and check for current and future assignments. For access to this you will need your child's access code which your child should be able to provide.

Teaching and Learning:

We have completed over 3/4 of our school year, but we still have two months to go. The teaching and learning will continue and we will interact with our content and students via Its Learning and other teaching websites. MS students already use and reference Its Learning to interact with their curriculum and they are familiar with it. Teachers will have their daily class plans up for that day (we are still following our A-B, 4-class a day schedule) by 8:30 AM each day. The plans will include a mix of reading links, educational videos, educational links related to the topic of the day, and student work/practice opportunities. The length of time that students will be working may vary per class, but it is not expected that students are sitting at their computer from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm working as in a traditional school day. Expect approximately 40-60 minutes of instruction per class, with 4 classes each day. All courses began on Wednesday, March 25th. While teachers do have scheduled office hours, feel free to break up the learning that takes place throughout the day. Remember that this is new to us as well. We are making the best decisions we can with the information we have at the given time. I would like to thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation as we work together to overcome this obstacle. 


Teachers will be available each day via Its Learning, chat or school email for students. If students have any questions, teachers are ready to respond as each teacher has a designated 2 hour “office hour” time period each school day to respond to students and parents. Of course, if anyone has any questions/concerns, please email me at  You can also call my office phone at 314-446-6604 and please leave a message, I will get back to you as soon as possible. Here is a link when all teachers in middle school and high school will have office hours along with a link to their email. 


 Need for Counseling

We know this may be a stressful time for our students. Students are at an age when they may feel distanced from their peers and now we are asking them to purposely practice social distancing. Our counselor, Ms. Brown, has regular office hours. Students can email Ms. Brown and she will reach out to them via email or phone. If students are in need to speak with someone immediately, YouthConnection Helpline is available at 314-819-8802, text: BHEARD to 31658, or webchat:


Students with IEP’s

Students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) will be provided with lessons and activities to support their learning as it relates to IEP goals. IEP Case Managers and other special education staff (Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, ABA Associate, Social Worker, etc.) will be in contact via email with each family regarding the next steps and to provide lessons and/or support. Students will receive lessons and/or staff support for each area of service on their IEP. For special education classes (Foundations courses, Learning Strategies, Life Skills), the special education teacher will provide lessons. For CWC classes, the general education teacher will provide lessons and the special education staff will be available to provide learning support, accommodations, and modifications. Completed work can be turned in electronically, it can be turned in on paper when school resumes, or parents/guardians can keep a daily log of completed lessons and submit the log to the special education staff. Additionally, all MRH staff are committed to ensuring accommodations and modifications are provided so that students with IEPs can continue to access meaningful learning activities. Special education staff will be available for support, at minimum, between 7:45 and 3:15 each school day. The first point of contact for families is your child’s special education Case Manager (Teacher or SLP). Ben Gleason, Special Education Coordinator for MRH, is also available at



Earlier Thursday morning our communications department informed MRH stakeholders that food distribution would be temporarily placed on hold. This was the same system we were going to use to distribute our plants for remote learning gardening lessons. We will follow up with a communication when this event will be rescheduled. Until then, thank you to our wonderful Buildings and Grounds department for keeping them watered. Thank you in advance for everyones understanding. Below is the communication sent by the district.


The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District is temporarily suspending distribution of meals to students at all three locations beginning today, Thursday, April 2. An MRH Food Services worker this morning reported having a fever without other symptoms. However, out of an abundance of caution, and after consultation with the Health Department, the District has asked the employee to not report to work and to contact a physician. It is MRH policy to ensure that any employee is fever-free for 72 hours prior to returning to work. Our Food Services employees rigorously follow all food-handling protocols required by the Health Department. Pending the results of the employee’s health tests, the District intends to resume distribution of meals on Monday, April 6. We regret any inconvenience to our families. 


Families are welcome to pick up meals at Affton High School Commons, 8309 Mackenzie Road, 63123, between 11:30 am and 12:30 pm today and Friday. This is drive-through distribution only; PLEASE REMAIN IN YOUR VEHICLE.


There are other school sites throughout St. Louis to pick up meals today and Friday. Here is a link to those resources: STL Regional Food Sites


In addition, STL County Library is distributing meals at several of their locations: STL County Library Food Distribution


Finally, check the MRH Community Resources Guide: COVID-19 for additional food resources.





A computer or other tech item can be dropped off or picked up 8:00 am - 3:00 pm Mon-Fri.


1.   Students and staff will create a tech work order by calling 314-446-3999 and leaving a message or emailing


2.   Students and staff will drop off the computer to be repaired on the designated table in the MS/HS Gym Lobby. (Please be sure computer has the students' or staff members' name on it)


3.   Remove the computer or other tech items from its case. (Take the case with you.)


4.   Wipe down the computer or item thoroughly, inside and out, with a Clorox wipe. Leave the computer in the designated area on the table.


5.   Use Clorox wipes to wipe the door handles on the way out.


6.   Deposit used Clorox Wipe in the trashcan by door.




1.   Check email for the ticket response indicating that the computer has been repaired and is ready to pick up. Typical repair time will be one business day.


2.   Enter MS/HS Gym Lobby and pick-up computer or tech-related items from the designated table. Be sure you are taking yours.


3.   Take a Clorox Wipe from the cleaning supplies table and wipe down the door handles on your way out. 


4.   Deposit used Clorox Wipe in the trashcan by door.



Due to the uncertainty in our current educational situation and out of an abundance of caution regarding the spread of COVID-19, the PTO is postponing the pizza and coffee/tea spring fundraiser indefinitely. If we are able to resume it upon the school's re-opening, we will provide an update at that time. If you have any questions, please contact Amy Peach at middleschool@mrhpto.orgThank you for your ongoing support of our school and students in these challenging times.


Thank you and stay healthy!

Michael Dittrich | 7539 Manchester, Maplewood, MO 63143