Posted on 12/07/2020

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Mt. Ararat Middle School

66 Republic Avenue, Topsham, ME 04086

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


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Megan Hayes Teague, Interim Principal

Friday, December 4, 2020

Dear MAMS Families,


Wow! It’s December! Although it seems strange that we haven’t had any measurable snow yet, we know it’ll be here soon (maybe this weekend!). As we approach the annual winter break, I want to send along best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season and wonderful new year. You can expect the next newsletter to arrive on Friday, January 8th--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:
Monday, December 7 through Friday, December 11:7th/8th Grade Basketball Sign-ups
Friday, December 11: Midterm Second Quarter 
Monday, December 14: Basketball Practice Begins (Details to Follow)
Monday, December 14: *Anticipated* Chorus and Band Signups
Monday, December 21 and Tuesday, December 22: Regular School Days, Cohort B
**Wednesday, December 23 through January 3: Winter Break
Monday, January 4: Students Return from Winter Break
Monday, January 18: No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Wednesday, January 20: Parent-Principal Coffee 6:00pm via ZOOM


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 If you have any difficulties with the registration process, please reach out to me directly ( and I will connect you with whatever technical help you may need.   


It’s Basketball Season! Basketball sign-ups for seventh and eighth graders will be held the week of December 7th, with practices beginning the week of December 14th. Practices in December will focus on skills, drills, and teamwork, and move to scrimmaging within our student cohorts in January. Students in Cohort A will practice Mondays and Tuesdays. Students in Cohort B will practice Thursdays and Fridays. Interested Team Allagash students may sign up as well, and will be assigned practice days by the Team’s Coach based on numbers and availability. 

7th Grade Girls Basketball: Coach Rebecca Singleton,

8th Grade Girls Basketball: Coach Jack Rioux,

7th Grade Boys Basketball: Coach Andy Morris,

8th Grade Boys Basketball: Coach Mark Dugal,

Items to Note:

**As we do not anticipate having to cut any students, there will be no tryouts this year
In keeping with the guidelines, we cannot have parents attend practices at this time
Students with the earlier two practices will need to change at school in individual bathrooms
Students with the later practices are asked to return to school dressed to play
Students must wear masks throughout the practice sessions
Students must practice social distancing whenever not actively scrimmaging
Students may enter the building ten minutes prior to the start of practice, waiting in the Fitness Center
No decision has been made regarding competition with other schools at this time
There will be no Late Bus--Students must be picked up at the conclusion of practice

Practice Schedule: Coaches will communicate with players the rotation for these sessions.

Session 1: 2:30pm to 3:45pm (Directly After School)

Session 2: 3:45pm to 5:00pm (Supervision Provided by School)

Session 3: 5:00pm to 6:15pm (Must Go Home and Return to School)

Session 4: 6:15pm to 7:30pm (Must Go Home and Return to School)

All students participating in athletics must turn in a completed Parent Consent Form and Medical Questionnaire to their coach at the first practice. Both can be found on the MAMS Athletic Page. This year ALL students must sign up online via the Athletics webpage. For any questions about Athletics, please contact our Athletic Director, Rick Crawford at, visit our Athletics webpage, or call us at 729-2950.

MAMS Focused--Respectful--Responsible Student of the Week. Because of the great value we place on focused, respectful, and responsible behavior in our community, we have established a program to recognize our students. Each Friday, teams are asked to submit the name of one student whom they believe most exemplifies the team's definition of focused, respectful, and responsible behavior. Those students are called to the office, presented a certificate, and entered into a monthly drawing for a gift certificate. Additionally, Ms. Phillips calls the families to describe the behaviors that led teachers to their choice! Congratulations to the November Students of the Week

Ethan Myatt, Merrymeeting

Jacob Kessler, South Bay 

Gavin Armstrong, Exploratory

Amia Kennedy, Exploratory

Evie Goudreau, Merrymeeting

Lila LaRose, South Bay

Kylie Goulet, Sheepscot

Adam Lin, Allagash

Ian Britt, Androscoggin





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 Linda Dowd, MAMS Food Nutrition Manager (above)!


Managing Student Laptops at Home. Parents frequently reach out to the Learning Commons seeking help monitoring laptop use at home. Parents are fully in charge of all laptop use decisions at home. This is true for all students --  6th, 7th, and 8th. MAMS hosted a Parent Academy last Fall that addressed some of these issues. This video might be helpful as you navigate the use of technology at home. The tips for parents start at 13:00.

There are a lot of excellent resources to help parents monitor and manage laptop use at home:
This article from Common Sense Media is a good place to start: What to Ask When Your Kid Brings Home a School-Issued Laptop\Common Sense Media provides excellent resources on digital citizenship.
**Common Sense Media is also a helpful source for detailed reviews of books, movies, and videogames. 
“Out Tech your Kids” Facebook group
Learning Commons staff, Technology staff, administrators, and teachers at MAMS -- please reach out if you have any questions.

As a reminder, all MacBook Airs (7th and 8th grade devices) lock from 10pm to 6am daily. That is because MAMS believes that students should have some time away from their devices to recharge and “unplug.” We encourage parents to ask 7th and 8th grade students to close their laptops at 10 so the lock will take effect. 6th grade devices do not lock and we encourage parents to consider having students unplug from 10-6 as well.


Peeking into 8th Grade STEM.




Question from Ms. Bickford: Was this hands-on, minds-on challenge enjoyable to you? Why or Why not?

Josy H. - Yes, I like this a lot better than having to sit down and listen for a while, it’s better to actually do something

Julie A. - Yes! I just enjoy hands-on stuff because it keeps me interested and focused.



Question from Ms. Bickford: Why did you do this project in STEM class?

Josy H. - We did this project to learn about the engineering design process. We went through all the steps, plan, and sketch. Everyone got their own chance to come up with a project but still used the engineering process. It was very interesting and fun!

Julie A. - We did this project to work on problem-solving.



Early College Planning Program Workshops. While it may seem early, middle school is actually a great time to begin discussing various post-secondary opportunities for 8th grade students, whether that be career, military, or college. For this reason, we are collaborating with Colby College to host an online workshop focused on building college awareness specifically for 8th grade students. 


Below, you will find the dates and registration links to two, identical sessions of the 8th grade workshop.

Thursday, December 10, 4:00pm-6:00pm
Thursday, December 10, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Registration to these workshops can be found by clicking on the corresponding links above. Please reach out to your child’s counselor for more information or with any questions.


Counseling Corner:

Hello Everyone, 

In these difficult times, it's really important to know that there are resources out there for all of us, and we want to keep you informed of this information.

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 close contacts 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 (,, 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.

Other important community resources are listed below:  

Here is the information for Winter Resources 2020 for Sagadahoc County, Brunswick, Harpswell, and Freeport. THIS document is the holiday resources guide put together by the United Way each year. 

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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