BLOOD DRIVE: American Red Cross. Seniors Keagan Kantor and Lexi Jones are hosting a Blood Drive with the Red Cross on Wednesday April 13 at the Decatur Civic Center. Timeslots to donate are available after 3 pm. Simply go to: https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=MeridianHS Please help meet their goal for donations that directly benefits our local Red Cross!
Two pep assemblies tomorrow for our boy’s b-ball team before their SuperSectional game at Carbondale. The boys will be at MES at 9am and the HS 10:30. These are open to the public for those who want to attend.
Tickets for Monday’s SUPER-SECTIONAL game at SIU Carbondale will go on sale tomorrow in the Great Hall at the high school. Tickets are $10 and are reserved seating. Sat. 3/5 Ticket Sales: ◦ 12-12:30 Players/Coaches/Athl Officials Families ◦.12:30-1 Cheerleaders Families ◦ 1-1:30 District Faculty/Staff ◦ 1:30-2:30 Student Section ◦ 2:30-4:30 General Public Sun. 3/6 Ticket Sales: TBD
Congratulations to the boys' basketball team on their Sectional win over Tuscola! On to Super-Sectionals - Monday. Preliminary plans include an early dismissal for all Meridian students on Monday (March 7). 11:10 for Macon campus and 11:30 for MES. More information to be provided tomorrow. WE ARE MERIDIAN!
Meridian Schools will have an e-learning day for Friday, February 18th due to the continued winter weather conditions for our area. Students should follow the directions previously provided for accessing instructional activities and please direct any questions to the building principal or your student's teacher.
Meridian K-12 students will have an early dismissal today due to the inclement weather forecasted for the area this afternoon. The Macon campus will dismiss at 11:10 am and the Blue Mound campus will dismiss at 11:30 am. The Pre-K program has been cancelled for today.
The Meridian Pre-K program will not meet tomorrow (Thursday February 17) due to the possibility of an early dismissal for students in K-12 as a result of inclement weather conditions. By not having Pre-K sessions, we can be better positioned to provide busing if needed for the possible early dismissal.
The Meridian Board of Education provided the following statement today at the scheduled special board meeting: Effective immediately, the use of masks will temporarily NOT be required in our schools within the Meridian CUSD #15 District until further notice, but the use of masks is still recommended. As always, we expect all students, faculty and staff to be respectful of others' decisions on masking at school. There have been many tough decisions to make throughout the pandemic. While very many of us within the Meridian District have not agreed with the mandates issued by the State, and the strong-arm tactics that the State and others within our own District have used to try to ensure compliance to these mandates, we have demonstrated and maintained a high standard of civil discourse for our students to see and follow. At the beginning of the school year, it was agreed the most important issue was getting our children back to school as well as not jeopardizing the long term sustainability of our District to be able to provide an education to the children of our District. It is understood that the vast majority of people within our District are very ready to unmask. We have all likely seen the news clips of other places where there was unrest that did not end peacefully. We have also likely seen where other States, operating similar to Illinois, have recently changed their masking policies. The path that many school districts throughout Illinois have been traversing has temporarily changed given the ever-changing landscape that continues to evolve daily. Until further future ruling(s) from the Judicial Branch occur, in the interim the Meridian District will deem null and void the terms of the previous executive mandates issued by the Governor of Illinois. The Temporary Restraining Order issued by a Sangamon County judge last week is a victory for freedom of local control - an opportunity for decisions to be made within our District and not in Springfield or Chicago. There has been confusion and mis-information floating around the general public about the ruling on Friday Feb 4. Even though Governor Pritzker, on the afternoon of Wednesday Feb 9, issued a statement indicating that he will lift the indoor mask mandate at the end of February, he is still excluding K-12 schools from that action. It is apparent that the legal proceedings and appeals stemming from the ruling will continue and may take longer than originally thought. The reasoning behind staying status quo locally was to avoid even more confusion being created, as different statewide parties continue to try to make decisions for local school districts, until things come to a natural close in our State's Judicial Branch. This possibility still exists, but it is now believed that a final ruling on the case may take several weeks. Please note that the District’s original decision back in August was to have masking recommended but not required – but our local decision was trumped by the statewide mask mandate imposed by Gov Pritzker, and the threats and actions taken by the Governor’s bureaucrats for funding being lost for any Districts that did not comply. We are making this change with the hope that our District can end the divisiveness and come together to support each other regardless of political bias, ideology bias, or whether one chooses to wear a mask or not. While the belief remains that the status quo decision was the right one, we have all seen almost all school districts in the area who made this same decision, reverse course this past week. In the end, our District simply asks for all to have just a little more patience and understanding as we hopefully near the end of this weary chapter of our existence.
For students riding buses: please take notice of the conditions around bus stop areas as they may be cause for the bus driver to alter pick up and drop off location to ensure the safety of everyone. If you live in an area that has limited accessibility, please contact the bus garage regarding alternative pick up and drop off locations if necessary.
A recent court ruling in Sangamon County ruled on a lawsuit filed by more than 700 parents across the state that challenged state-mandated COVID-19 mitigations. Meridian CUSD #15 was not named in that lawsuit. It is anticipated that an appeal of this case will take place over the next few days and while the judicial process continues, Meridian will continue with it the current policies in place as outlined in the Executive Order for school mitigations. Students, staff and visitors are required to wear masks while on school premises and while on school buses. We understand the various viewpoints for this topic. Our goal is to provide a safe and productive learning environment for all students and staff while remaining open for in-person instruction. To date, our students, parents and staff have done a great job of working through the various frustrations this pandemic has created to progress through the school year. We hope that everyone will continue to be treated with respect while either working within their assigned job responsibilities or expressing their opinion on this matter. Sincerely, Andy Pygott, Superintendent Meridian CUSD #15
Due to extent of the winter weather at this time and continued travel concerns over the next 24 hours, Meridian will utilize an e-learning day for Friday February 4. Teachers will provide curriculum expecations. It will be considered a student attendance day and if your student is not able to "attend" please let your teacher(s) know. Unfortunately, due to the expected travel conditions, we will not be able to provide meal availability at either campus. Please be safe!
Due to the inclement weather forecast for our area, Meridian will use emergency snow days for Wednesday, February 2 and Thursday, February 3. If a travel advisory remains in the area for Friday, February 4, Meridian may utilize an e learning day. Students have been instructed to take the necessary materials home for this possibility. We are hopeful that we can return to in person attendance for Friday but we also want to ensure the safety of our students and staff members when considering the commute to and from school for our area. We hope our students, staff and families remain safe during this predicted weather event!
Meridian will have an early dismissal on Friday, January 14; MS & HS students will dismiss at 11:10 and MES students at 11:30. This In-Service Day was on the original calendar approved by the school board and was unfortunately omitted from the listing the district provided to students and parents listing important dates during the school year. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we are hopeful that adequate notice will permit the necessary arrangements for this early dismissal day.
School districts have been aware of a circulating social media post threatening incidents of school violence for Friday, December 17. The post is general and not directed at any specific district or school. At this time, the origins of this post are unknown. The district administrative team is aware of this information as well as local law enforcement. Meridian remains diligent in our building's safety routines for students, staff members and visitors. While there is no indication of a known threat within our school district at this time, I wanted to share this information with you out of an abundance of caution. Safety will always remain a top priority at Meridian. Andy Pygott, Superintendent Meridian CUSD #15 "We Are Meridian"
Dear Meridian Parents, Our district’s transportation department has struggled since the beginning of the school year with staffing levels attributed to COVID-19. From staff members with positive test results, contact tracing quarantines and/or the care of family members in quarantine, our transportation department has not been fully staffed and in efficient operation since the first day of school. We sincerely regret the delays that have taken place and the inconsistencies in bus service expectations among our parents and students. In many cases, the staffing shortage has been unpredictable and sudden. Regrettably, we have also been hampered by sudden employee resignations due to additional work expectations placed on individuals that were not equipped to handle it. We have been hopeful that as each new week approaches, our staffing levels would return to the necessary level to adequately address the bus transportation needs of our students and parents. We remain optimistic that this will occur and that we will be able to return to normal daily bus route procedures and expectations. We continue to work on resolving these issues and apologize for the inconvenience this results in. We appreciate your patience and understanding for bus schedule changes that occur due to this. Sincerely, Andy Pygott, Superintendent Meridian CUSD #15
Due to a staffing shortage for district transportation, various bus routes will be impacted regarding their normal pick up and drop off times. Each school will do their best to provide contact for changes that may impact a student's drop off time at the end of the school day. Please be patient with us as we work through this current issue. Thanks!
Each Friday, the district will provide an updated COVID-19 report on the district main web page. The icon for the link is in the right hand corner (COVID-19 Reporting 2021-2022). This page will also include information regarding local testing and vaccination sites as those are made available and updated.