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

April 9, 2021
 

Dear MAMS Families,


I apologize for the delay in sending out this newsletter. There were many communications last week, and I was concerned about overwhelming your inbox. At the middle school, we are getting into the swing of having all of our students back! It’s been exciting, exhausting, and exhilarating to finally feel some normalcy. If you can, please remind your students to pack two clean masks in their backpacks each night. With the increase in the number of students, we are running through our supply of spare masks much more quickly. Please look for the next newsletter on Friday, April 30. 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:
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Monday, April 5: Fourth Quarter Begins
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Monday, April 5: 6th Grade Hybrid Students Return to Full time
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Tuesday, April 13: Report Cards Mailed Home: Allagash
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Wednesday, April 14: REGULAR START WEDNESDAY (7:40AM)
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Wednesday, April 14: Report Cards Go Home: In Person Students
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Friday, April 16: Professional Development Day, NO SCHOOL
Monday, April 19 to Friday, April 23: April Vacation

 

UPDATED Parent Drop Off and Pick Up. I want to take a moment to thank you all for your kindness and patience as we worked through improving our drop off procedures. Even with all students back this week, arrival has continued to go smoothly. I don’t anticipate any additional changes to arrival this year. 

 

Dismissal has been a challenge, and we are continuing to look for ways to improve it. We ask that all parents park in authorized spaces and follow all traffic rules. Please note that the Front parking lot is one-way. The other lots have two-way traffic. Please be cautious when driving through parking lots and when backing up as students may be crossing to connect with their parents. SEE UPDATE BELOW FOR MONDAY 4/12.

 

ARRIVAL

Parents will continue to drop their children off around the front of the building by turning right into the front staff parking lot, pulling up to the second crosswalk and looping into the drop off lane (see diagram below). 


While parents may drop off at 7:30am (or 8:30am on late-start Wednesdays), please consider dropping off between 7:40am and 7:50am (or 8:40am to 8:50am on Wednesdays), the time we have set aside for parent drop off, in order to avoid traffic congestion and to stagger arrival. Students will not be marked tardy unless they arrive after 8:00am.

 

No students will be allowed entry into the school until 7:30am for supervision purposes. All students must wear masks and maintain social-distancing as they enter the building.  All students will start every day in their homeroom, from 7:40am to 8:00am.  We extended this time so that students do not feel pressure if they arrive after 7:40am.  

 

DISMISSAL 

Beginning, Monday, April 12, students will be dismissed from three points: North exit, South exit, or Front exit. Parents are asked to park in one of three lots: the North parking lot (by the rotary), the South parking lot (near Central Office), or the Front parking lot/Drop-Off Lane. Please coordinate with your child ahead of time so that they know which exit to use.

 

Parent pick-ups will continue to follow bus departure, starting at 2:20pm.



Spring Sports Update! First practice for all sports teams will be Monday, April 26th. All games and meets will be held starting in May. All students must turn in a completed Parent Consent Form to their coach on the first practice. If students turned in a form to their Fall or Winter Coach they will not need to complete another form. Spring Sports Covid Protocols will be posted on the Athletics Page in the next few weeks.

7th Grade Girls Softball: Coach Kelly McCarthy, mccarthyk@link75.org

8th Grade Girls Softball: Coach Sandy Bickford, bickfords@link75.org

7th Grade Boys Baseball: Coach Mason Griffin, griffinm@thomas.edu

8th Grade Boys Baseball: Coach Mark Dugal, dugalm@link75.org

6th-8th Girls Track: Coach Heather Hollenbach, hollenbachh@link75.org

6th-8th Boys Track: Coach Julie Petrie, petriej@link75.org

Items to Note:

**In keeping with the guidelines, we cannot have parents attend practices at this time
**
Students must wear masks throughout the practice session 
**
Students must practice social distancing at all times
**
Spectators for games/meets must wear masks and practice social distancing 
**
There will be no Late Bus--Students must be picked up at the conclusion of practice

For any questions about Athletics, please contact our Athletic Director, Rick Crawford at crawfordr@link75.org, visit our Athletics webpage, or call us at 729-2950.


MAMS in the News! Eighth grade students on Team Merrymeeting recently completed a memoir project about their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic entitled, “Behind the Mask: Real Stories of Middle Schoolers During Covid19.” Many students are quoted in THIS article in The Forecaster. You can see the project in its entirety HERE. Congratulations to Mrs. Bosarge and Team Merrymeeting for their hard work and creativity!


Important Food Service Announcement

Beginning Thursday, April 8, 2021, the weekly meal pick-up for the District will move to Thursday for the remainder of the 2020-21 year. Due to the changes in the Wednesday schedule, we feel this will be easier for families to pick up meals.

They will be available at the following locations from 12-1:00 pm:

Bowdoinham Community School – Pick-up by the ball field

Bowdoin Central School – Bus Loop

Williams Cone School – Bus Loop

Woodside Elementary School – Bus Loop

Harpswell Community School – Bus Loop

Mt. Ararat Middle School – Bus Loop

We will continue our nightly pick-up on Thursday at Mt. Ararat Middle School from 5-7:00 pm. If you have any special requests, or need a meal delivery in lieu of pick-up, please email dicarak@link75.org. As a reminder, these meals are free to all children age 18 and under through the end of the school year.

Thank you for your continued support of our Food Service Program.

8th GRADE CELEBRATION UPDATE: Planning is off to an enthusiastic start with lots of work ahead to create an amazing end of year 8th grade celebration!  Parents are encouraged to join the "MAMS 2021 8th Grade Celebration" group on Facebook to take part in the process. Many hands make light work for this creative project and there is plenty of room for everyone to help! Contact Tessa Kingsley (tessieanne@gmail.com, 607-0090) with any questions.


Counseling Corner: Organization

We’ve been blessed with some amazing first days of Spring. There is enjoyment in longer days, warmer breezes, and the heat from the sun!  With the arrival of Spring may also come this overwhelming sense to throw the windows open, freshen up the inside and begin the age old tradition of Spring Cleaning.  A feeling of calm and peace may start to settle in as we organize and tackle one room at a time.  

 

For many of us, even as adults the daunting task of organization is a struggle!  We also know that organization is even more than just keeping track of things. It also encompasses organizing your thoughts, managing your time, planning, and knowing how to get things done. 

 

People struggle with organization for different reasons. A common one is difficulty with a set of skills known as executive function. The part of our brain that is responsible for executive functioning is called the prefrontal cortex and this part of our brain is not fully developed until 25 years of age or so!  So...that’s right... the adolescent brain does not have a prefrontal cortex that is fully developed and mature.  

 

This could be evident in their messy rooms, unorganized backpacks, or simply not remembering that earlier in the day you asked them to empty the dishwasher!  Some signs of organizational struggling might not be so evident.  You may see things like:

-Forgetting to take important items back and forth from school, like laptops! 
-Forgetting to gather the right materials for an assignment or project- or what teachers like to call “having everything you need for class- pencil, notebook, laptop!”

-Not keeping things in a regular place so they’re easy to find. 

-Struggling to think about or do more than one thing at time. 

-Having trouble telling a story in a logical way. 

 

 

Attached is a great article to read with your child- even if your child has some organizational strategies.  This is a skillset that takes practice and strategies may change overtime!  It’s always good to reflect and learn and grow! 

 

Be well and safe~

Danielle, Mary Ellen, Maura, Matt, and Colin

 

REMINDER: MAMS COVID-19 Rapid Test Pilot Program. One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through testing. That is why MSAD No. 75 began the new year with a Pilot Program at Mt. Ararat Middle School and Mt. Ararat High School (MAMS and MTA) to make testing of students quick and easy, should it be needed. There is no charge for testing.

NOTE: THE TEST WE ARE USING IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO DEVELOP SYMPTOMS DURING THE SCHOOL DAY. IT IS A TOOL TO BE USED BY A SCHOOL NURSE WHEN ASSESSING FOR POTENTIAL SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19.

As part of this Pilot Program, MAMS and MTA have opted into a State of Maine program that will allow us to receive and use Abbott BinaxNOW Ag (antigen) Tests. We will only use this test for students who develop some of the signs and symptoms during the school day.

If a nurse determines testing should be done, we must have a signed consent form on file to proceed. Students will be directed to self-swab with supervision by the school nurse. If you are interested in giving permission to the school nurse to administer the rapid test, then complete the attached Consent form and return it to: Naomi Mullane, RN at MAMS, via US mail, as soon as possible.

We are very excited to be able to offer this Pilot Testing Program. If you have questions, please contact Mary Booth, at 729-9961 x 1015.

What To Expect with Covid Test

Rapid Testing Consent Form



Attendance. This is just a reminder to let families know that the school must track student attendance for 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. 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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