Principal Updates

 

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Mt. Ararat Middle School

66 Republic Avenue, Topsham, ME 04086

Phone:  (207)729-2950     Fax: (207)729-2964

Website:  mams.link75.org

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Megan Hayes Teague, Interim Principal

hayesteaguem@link75.org
Friday, January 22, 2021

 

Dear MAMS Families,


I hope this update finds our MAMS Families well and enjoying this uncharacteristically mild January! Please see below for the latest news and information. You can expect the next newsletter to arrive on Friday, February 5--however, if any questions or concerns arise before then, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Here are a few things coming up in our school:

Important Dates:
*
Friday, January 22: Second Quarter End
*
Monday, January 25: Third Quarter Begins
*
Thursday, February 4: Report Cards Mailed Home: Allagash
*
Friday, February 5: Report Cards Go Home: Cohort B
*
Monday, February 8: Report Cards Go Home: Cohort A
*
Tuesday, February 9 and Thursday, February 11: Parent/Teacher Conferences


Hybrid Plan Update. At the January 14 meeting of the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors, a plan was approved to return students to the middle school for late-start Wednesdays beginning February 24th with Cohort B. This plan will allow all students to receive more in-person instruction, reduce the number of remote assignments, maintain our current class sizes, continue our adherence to safety protocols, and allow teachers to continue teaching using engaging, student-centered techniques. The calendar for these days can be found HERE. While this will disrupt our plans for Wednesday Intervention and Clubs & Activities, we are planning to strengthen our after-school extra help offerings, reintroduce the late bus for students getting extra help, and move some clubs to after school. More to come on these plans with the next newsletter in February.


I will continue to update you with any changes adopted by the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors, as those decisions are made. As always, you can provide your thoughts and feedback, questions and concerns to me.


Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held via ZOOM on Tuesday, February 9 and Thursday, February 11 after school. Teams will be sending out instructions on how to sign up for conferences in a stand-alone newsletter on Friday, January 29th. Conferences will be available with individual teachers in ten minute time slots. We encourage all parents to sign up for as many teachers as you wish! If you have any problems with the sign-up, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 


Report Card Feedback. This fall the K-8 schools implemented a new report card. The report card was designed after gathering input from parents, staff, and students. It is our goal to provide a meaningful report card that helps families understand their child's progress. If you have a K-8 grade student, please use this LINK to provide feedback on the new report card. If you have students who attend more than one school, please complete one feedback form for each school. Thank you in advance for your response.


NOW OPEN--Infinite Campus’s Parent Portal. As you are aware, MAMS recently changed its grading and reporting system to Infinite Campus. At the end of the first quarter, we began registering families to use the Parent Portal. Because families now have access to Infinite Campus, we will not be printing progress reports this quarter. We encourage all families to check their child’s progress regularly. 


If you haven’t yet registered for the Parent Portal, please email the parent name and student name to portal@link75.org. If you have any difficulties with the registration process, please reach out to me directly (hayesteaguem@link.org) and I will connect you with whatever technical help you may need.



The Show Must Go On-Line! This spring, the Mt. Ararat Stage Company will go On-Line to create, write, and perform an original piece of virtual theatre entitled “Missing Stories.” Inspired by a collection of independent drawings, titles, and short captions, “Missing Stories” celebrates the powers of imagination, exploration, and discovery.


Students who are interested in participating in this year’s virtual production will be asked to commit to a 10-week rehearsal and production schedule. Students will be divided into two groups and will meet once a week. Meetings will take place via Zoom on Tuesday or Wednesday from 3:30-5:00 PM. A final product will be available for viewing in the Spring.

A full schedule can be found by visiting https://mtastage.weebly.com/middle-school.html

Students should email Drama Director, Adam P. Blais at blaisa@link75.org to sign up or receive more information.




H2O Filling Station. Through a CARES Act grant MAMS recently received a touchless water bottle filling station located just outside of the cafeteria. We encourage all students to bring their water bottles to school and fill up!


Staff Spotlight. One of the greatest resources at Mt. Ararat Middle School is our amazing staff. HERE in the Staff Spotlight, you will get to know some interesting information about a member of our faculty! Staff members are chosen at random and will be featured on our website. We hope you enjoy this extra look inside our community and that you learn something new about the people that make MAMS such a special place! This month is Abigail Hight, Speech and Language Teacher for the middle school (above)!  

 

 

The Learning Commons. NEW DATE: The 3rd annual MSAD 75/MSBA Battle of the Books (aka "BOB") will be held on Wednesday February 10 at 10:30am via ZOOM. Please reach out to the Learning Commons or check the MAMS Daily News for more information. Hopefully, we'll add another MAMS team to the list of winners!

 

Remote students have full access to Learning Commons resources. We offer curbside pickup of books on school days during school hours. On Wednesdays, remote learners can pick up books during food pickup at MAMS. Instructions for requesting books are found on the MAMS Daily News.

 

#20BookChallenge

CONGRATULATIONS to Darian Smith of Team Allagash. He's the first MAMS student to complete the MAMS 20 Book Challenge. Darian has read 20 books from 20 different categories, ranging from "Read a Maine Student book award title" to "Read a book by your favorite author."

 

Let It Snow? If Superintendent Shawn Chabot calls for a Remote Learning Day due to Inclement Weather, students scheduled for in-person learning will follow their “Plan C” schedule. This plan calls for synchronous ZOOM classes in the exact same order as a regular in-person school day. Teachers and teams will send out information with all the necessary links. In the event of a Remote Learning Day due to Inclement Weather, there will be no change to the plan for students scheduled for remote learning or for virtual students (Team Allagash). Students scheduled for remote learning will follow their weekly planner and Team Allagash will follow their normal schedule. This day will count as a regular school day and will not need to be made up at the end of the school year. If any families experience power outage or internet loss, we ask that you contact the Main Office as soon as you are able so that we may mark your child’s absence as excused.

 

If Superintendent Chabot calls for a School Closure, then all classes, activities, and meetings will be cancelled for the day for all students: Cohort A, Cohort B, and Team Allagash. This day will not count as a regular school day and will need to be made up at the end of the school year. 

 

This decision will be communicated via School Messenger, through the district website and Facebook page, as well as via local radio and news channels.  

 

Counseling Corner. We hope you were able to have a restful, peaceful break.  As this new year begins, we're looking forward to a second half of the school year with longer days (sunlight!), and a more hopeful vision as we move forward in 2021.

 

One of the best resources in our community  to support families who are experiencing stress or difficulties related to Covid-19 is the Midcoast Maine Community Action (MMCA) program.  

 

Help is available when people are experiencing symptoms, waiting for test results, have a positive test or are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. MMCA is the local area agency providing social supports for people in quarantine and isolation due to COVID, and they are easy to access and quick to respond.

 

MMCA offers support with:

*Food (groceries/cooked meals/food delivery)

*Transport to testing centers, medical care centers and shelters

*Pickup of supplies and medications

*Health prevention and medical referrals

*Mental health services

*Safe housing/shelter during isolation/quarantine

*Cultural brokering and language services

*Connection to additional support services    

 

Families can reach out to the MMCA social supports team via email (Crissia.lindsey@mmcacorp.org, Theresa.Dow@mmcacorp.org, Claire.Berkowitz@mmcacorp.org) or their main line @ 207.442.7963.  

 

You can also contact your child's school counselor if you want more information or assistance with accessing this resource.  We encourage you to reach out to this community resource during this time.  They are friendly, easy to connect with, and are very quick with their responses.

  

Be Well and Safe~ 

Danielle, Maura, Mary Ellen, Colin, and Matt

 



Attendance. This is just a reminder to let families know that the school must track student attendance for in-person and remote days. On remote days, students are assumed present and available to complete work unless the school is notified otherwise. The process for reporting an absence is the same, regardless of whether your child is in-person or not. If your child will not be available for learning for one of the state excused reasons (personal illness, medical appointment, religious holiday, family emergency, planned absence, or educational disruption due to homelessness or hospitalization), please call the Main Office. Attendance is taken during advisor period on in-person days, as well as on Wednesdays. We thank you so much for your help in keeping our attendance records accurate!

Student At Risk of Self-Harm Outside of School Hours?  If you and/or your child become aware of a student that may be at risk of self-harm when school is not in session, please DO NOT attempt to contact school personnel during this time.  Staff are not working at their desks and may not be checking email or voicemail during these times.  Therefore, vital safety information could easily be missed and students could be placed at greater risk. Instead, please utilize THIS step-by-step guide for how a parent could respond to such a concern outside of school hours.  This guide is placed prominently on our MAMS webpage, and was created in collaboration with local police, mental health providers, and the local Crisis Response Center.


With Gratitude,

Megan Hayes Teague

Interim Principal



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