MAMS UPDATE~JANUARY 8, 2021

MAMS UPDATE~JANUARY 8, 2021
Posted on 01/11/2021
  

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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 8, 2021


Dear MAMS Families,


Happy New Year! I hope that the recent holidays provided an opportunity for rest, relaxation, and connection with friends and loved ones. As we move towards the midway point in the school year, as usual, there is a lot going on! Please see below for the latest news and information. You can expect the next newsletter to arrive on Friday, January 22th--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, January 18: No School, Martin Luther King Jr. Day
*
Tuesday, January 19 and Wednesday, January 20: Regular School Days, Cohort A
*
Wednesday, January 20: Parent-Principal Coffee 6:00pm via ZOOM
*
Friday, January 22: Second Quarter Ends
*
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


Parent-Principal Coffee. We plan to continue to offer quarterly Parent-Principal Coffees as a way to meet with families in our MAMS community and gather feedback about what is going well and what could be going better. Some sessions may have a focus or a theme, while others will be more open to topics that attendees are interested in discussing. Our second Parent-Principal Coffee is scheduled for Wednesday, January 20 at 6pm via ZOOM. Our focus will be on gathering feedback, answering questions, and hearing concerns on our grading and reporting changes. Please join us for this opportunity to connect!


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.


Chorus and Band Return to MAMS! Chorus and Band practices began this week for students who signed up prior to winter break. If you missed the signup window and are interested in having your sixth, seventh, or eighth grade student (Cohort A, Cohort B, or Team Allagash) participate in band or chorus, please contact Rachel Williams (williamsra@link75.org) for Band or Renovia Day (marrodayr@link75.org) for Chorus. All Chorus and Band classes will meet virtually via ZOOM for the time being in order to conform to Maine DOE and CDC guidelines.


  

Not Throwin’ Away My Shot. Hamilton At Home Club has had its first few meetings in the month of December.  There are 14 excited students involved in this club.  Some of the reasons they joined are that they love history, they love music and performing and of course that they love the musical Hamilton. Some have had the opportunity to see it live in a theater and others have watched it multiple times on Disney+.  The club members are learning about how historical events can be turned into music, rap, poetry and performance.  Each student or small group will select a person, event or historical document from the American Revolution era to research and then they will create an original song, rap, poem or skit which includes what they have learned.

Hamilton At Home is part of a national program created by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute to encourage students to learn about the past while creating a performance piece.  Each participating school has the option to submit their top three performance projects to be shared on the Hamilton Education website.  Selected winners will be invited to see a performance of Hamilton in NYC once it is safe for theaters to open again. We can't wait to share our creations later this winter!

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.  


Team Sheepscot is a Winner! Teacher John Hawley and Paraprofessional Martha Simpson received notification of two grant awards in November, which were accepted by the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors at December’s Board Meeting. The first award from the Maine Environmental Education Association in the amount of $1500 will be used to buy new bicycles for Team Sheepscot (MAMS Alternative Education program). The second award from the Mid-Coast Retired Educators’ Association in the amount of $200 has been used to add materials for their culinary arts department. Congratulations to Team Sheepscot, John Hawley, and Martha Simpson! 

News from the Nurse. Happy 2021! I want to take a minute and express my heartfelt gratitude for your kindness and spirit when dealing with the pandemic. Receiving a phone call from “the nurse” or another team member informing you that your child has been a close contact of a person with Covid can be unsettling. Thank you for your understanding, cooperation and willingness to follow the CDC protocols when your child or a family member has Covid , been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for the virus, or has traveled out of state. Our school is doing a great job keeping students and staff as safe as possible. Please know how much I appreciate working in this community. Feel free to call me with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Naomi Mullane, School Nurse

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 contacts the families to describe the behaviors that led teachers to their choice! Congratulations to the December Students of the Week!

Addie Chubbuck

Kylie Goulet

Hailey Stark

Trent Bailey

Gretchen O'Connor

Zepplyn Quinlivan

Sarah Middleton

Marie Alberico

Sara Applebee

Jeremy Wallace

Mailie Smaha

Tarynn Keleher

Mikey Langley

Avery Desjardins

Tyler Thibeault

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

 

 

Are You Ready to Rumble? Save the date: The 3rd annual MSAD 75/MSBA Battle of the Books (aka "BOB") will tentatively be held on Wednesday February 24. Who will take home the trophy this year and go on to compete in the state tournament?

 

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.

 

 

It’s Electric! In STEM class students use a hands-on, minds-on approach to learning. Our 6th graders have been designing and creating original 3D models based on their ideas. First they brainstorm and sketch ideas and then they use a web based program called Tinkercad to create their models for 3D printing. Students also learn about simple electric circuits by creating a light-up greeting card and they each build a working Lego model that represents the inside of a piano.







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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Megan Hayes Teague
Interim Principal, Mt. Ararat Middle School
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