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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April 12, 2018


Dear Parents and Guardians,

We wish everyone an enjoyable and relaxing spring break in a couple days.  I have a few quick items for you:


Quarter 3 Report Cards. Paper copies will be going home with students in student backpacks today or tomorrow.  We encourage all parents to go online and view grades within the Empower Program any time.  Quarter Three Honor Roll will be posted on our website after break.  As always, if you have any further questions about how your child is doing in school, please reach out to your child’s teachers.  We are happy to spend as much time with parents to better understand where their son/daughter is at in their learning.

Athletic Academic Eligibility.  A reminder that in order to be eligible to fully participate in Spring extracurricular activities, including clubs and sports, students will need to have at least 80% of their Quarter 3 work habits scores be at the “Meets” (3) or “Exceeds” (4) level from the previous quarter.  If they are not academically eligible, they must complete a weekly checklist, signed by each of their teachers, in order to play in games.



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Junior Achievement.  On Tuesday, April 10, Mt. Ararat Middle School 8th graders participated in an all-day Junior Achievement program called, “JA: It’s My Future.” Students rotated through innovative activities and games that focused on exploring potential careers, discovering how to plan for a job, developing a personal-brand, and job hunting tools.  The program was facilitated by community volunteers from TD Bank branch in Brunswick.

The unique aspect of JA’s programs is the use of volunteers in the classroom to teach the student activities. Instead of developing curriculum for teachers to use on their own, JA programs provide lesson plans for volunteers from the business community to engage in with the students. This relationship, which develops between the students and the volunteer, sets JA apart from any other economic education programs. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in grades K-12 about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. This year, JA will be reaching out to almost 11,000 Maine students.


Exploratory Classes Update.  With the new quarter starting this week, many students will see a change in many of their Exploratory classes.  Please click HERE to learn more about what is happening in your child’s exploratory classes (Health, P.E., Art, Cultural Literacy/World Language, Learning Commons, Music, and STEM).  The vision of our amazing Exploratory program is for students to discover their particular interest, talents, values and preferences. The intent of the program is to acquaint students with enriching, healthy pursuits in order for students to become well-rounded adults.  

MAMS Book Drive. MAMS is hosting a book drive the week of April 9-13. Please consider donating any new or used middle-school appropriate book in good condition. Tables will be set up outside the main office, so books can be dropped off upon entering the building. These books will be used to replenish classroom libraries. Thank you for your generosity!

MSAD 75 Budget Process.  Every year, the MSAD 75 Board of Directors and Superintendent Brad Smith develop a school budget for the following year.   We welcome all parents and community members to attend the Budget Hearing at the Orion on May 24th at 6:30 and the Budget Validation Referendum Vote on June 12th.

Spring Student Surveys Letters  On Wednesday, May 16, all our students will be taking two surveys in Advisor Group.  

  • Student Hope, Wellbeing, and Engagement Survey: Grades 5-12 - The questions on this survey, which we have adapted from the Gallup Student Poll, ask students about their hope (ideas and energy for the future), engagement (involvement in and enthusiasm for school), and well-being (how the student thinks about and experiences his or her life).

  • Clarity Survey: This survey is designed to gauge our students’ perceptions of the use of technology, and also measure how our students’ use of technology is affecting their learning in school.

Please visit HERE to learn more about these surveys and your option to opt your child out of these surveys.

8th Grade Science MEA.  The Science MEA is given to all Maine 8th grade students. This is a measure of our students’ proficiency in the Maine Learning Results for Science and Technology.

We will be testing all 8th graders for three 50 minute sessions on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27.   During this time, your child’s normal schedule may be modified in order to accomplish the testing. We have arranged the testing to maximize student readiness by distributing the sessions, including motor breaks, and, of course, having time for lunch! Our goal is for all students in these grades to engage in these assessments and put forth their best effort.  If a student is absent during testing, make-ups will be scheduled to allow for all students to complete the tests. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s testing experience, we ask that you contact the school principal before testing.  This will help to ensure that we’re all prepared to make testing as successful as possible for your child. We will share the results of your child’s testing after they become available to us. As always, we are proud of our students, and we thank you for your support.   


Donation for Future Intramural Program.  We are excited to announce that our school is planning on starting an intramural sports program next year.  A special thanks to future MAMS student Garrison Hawkes (pictured above) for his donation to our Student Activities Fund to help support this program!

8th Grade Parent Volunteers NEEDED!  The farewell tradition for the graduating 8th graders is the semi formal.  The dance always occurs on the last day of school in the evening. In order to make this memorable event happen, we need parent volunteers!  The event is designed, organized and executed by the students but they need parental support! If you are interested in helping out please watch for more information!

Orion Performing Arts Center events: Please eat at the 99 Restaurant on Thursday, May 3, and give them a coupon for donation to the Orion.  We will receive 15% of your food purchases. Coupons at the school office, or www.orionperformingartscenter.org.

"Peter Pan, Jr."  MASC middle-school drama presents popular musical.

Fri., April 27--7 pm

Sat., April 28-- two shows: 11 am and 4 pm

Tickets at mtastage.weebly.com

Elementary Band and Chorus Concert

Tues., May 15--7 pm

Students from all five elementary school play instruments and sing.  Free of charge.

Mt. Ararat High School Band--Final concert

Wed., May 16--7 pm

Al Graffam conducts.  Farewell to the seniors.  Free of charge.

If you would like to help sell concessions or contribute baked gods or water, we'd appreciate it!  Orion is now raising money for an installed projector. We sell concessions at a number of school events.  Please contact Coordinator, Judy Lloyd, for more info, at lloydj@link75.org.

If any questions, comments, or suggestions arise, please feel free to call the school at 729-2950 or send me an email at: ottowj@link75.org.

 

Sincerely,
Josh Ottow
Principal

 

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