MAMS Update March 31, 2017

MAMS Exterior

Mt. Ararat Middle School

66 Republic Avenue, Topsham, ME 04086

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


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March 31, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I have a few items for you, starting with an exciting announcement/invitation:

Weallbelongwalk poster

“We All Belong Walk”  After school on Thursday, April 6, the students of Mt. Ararat Middle School will walk from our school and students from Brunswick Junior High School will walk from their school.  They will meet in the middle of the renowned “Green Bridge” between Topsham and Brunswick at 3:00 pm.  The walk will send the message that the students of both schools are UNITED THAT ALL STUDENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO FEEL THAT THEY BELONG AND SHOULD BE TREATED WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT AT SCHOOL.  At the bridge, each student will find a student from the other school and exchange a bracelet as a sign of cooperation and friendship.  

The middle school years can be dynamic and challenging as young people are figuring out who they are and how to get along with others.  This collaborative event between the two schools draws attention to the positive values of kindness, respect, and inclusivity that we want for everyone in our schools.  The walk is being organized by the Mt. Ararat Middle School "Change the World" Club, the Interact Club, the Student Council, and the Student Ambassadors.

We are collaborating with the Town of Topsham, Topsham Police Department, the City of Brunswick, Brunswick Police Department, and the Maine Department of Transportation to ensure a safe and orderly walk for our students, including police assistance crossing the major intersections. Here are other “Nitty Gritty” details of the “We All Belong Walk”:

  • We will leave MAMS by 2:20 and be back by 4:15

  • The event is rain or shine, so bring umbrellas and rain coats if the weather is not good

  • Students may take the late bus home or get picked up by parents.  Parent pick up must occur back at MAMS, not down by the bridge

  • There are no sports, play, or music practices planned during this time, so no one will miss anything.

  • When we get to the green bridge, we plan to assemble at the “125th Anniversary” park on the Brunswick side of the river for music and celebration, however this portion of the event may depend on the weather and ground conditions.

  • Because the event is a positive statement, not a protest, we ask students not to carry signs.

  • The event will be covered by television news stations and other media outlets.

We are hoping to have many parent volunteers attend this event to walk with the students.  If you are able to help with this event, please report to the front of the school building by 2:10.  We will meet with all the parent chaperones before the walk begins to go over the logistics.  

Quarter 3 Report Cards. Grades close for this quarter nextFriday, April 7.  Teachers will finalize their grades in Empower by Wednesday, April 12.  Paper copies will be sent home with students by that day.  We also encourage all parents to go online and view grades within the Empower Program any time after that.  Quarter Three Honor Roll will be posted on our website within a week of report cards.  

Attention 6th Grade Parents Re/ Immunization.  The State of Maine has instituted a new immunization requirement for students entering the 7th grade for the upcoming school year.  Effective for the 2017-2018 school year, all students entering, advancing or transferring into 7th grade will need to receive 1 dose of Tdap(tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine before school starts. This requirement is for 7th grade students only; grades 8-12 are not included in this rule change.  If you are unsure if your child has already had this vaccine, please call the school nurse, Patty McGovern who can help you.  HERE is the formal letter describing this change.  HERE is the state website regarding this law revision.  HERE are FAQs.

3d printerproducts from 3d printer

New 3-D Printer!  Our 7th and 8th Grade STEM Classes are enhanced through a brand new 3D Printer.  We are now one of the few middle schools in New England with two 3D printers!  Our STEM lab classes, taught by Ms. Bickford and Ms. Michel will engage students in hands-on art, science, and engineering learning goals where students use the printer to design their own models for CO2 cars, Wind Energy models, and other projects.  HERE is a demonstration of our new “FlashForge” 3D printer.

Science Club News.  Have you ever wondered what sound is?  How do we hear sounds?  Why do we see lightning long before we hear thunder?  What sound waves look like. Bring your favorite musical instrument (or just your voice) to our Science Club meeting on April 13.

* If you are involved in a spring sport or other activities let your coach or leader know we have two more science club meetings on April 13 and May 4.  See Ms. Vandenberg for more info.

Last Day of School.  The MSAD 75 Board approved Friday, June 23 as our last day of school for this year (half day, per usual).  If we have any additional snow days (hoping not, but one never knows!) we’ll begin to look at switching a staff professional development day into a student day (likely May 30th, but that has not been finalized yet).  You can find an updated version of the calendar here.  Also, the 2017-2018 District School Year Calendar has been approved for next year here.

yearbook poster

Yearbooks are on sale now! Bring home a memory of your year at Mt. Ararat - your friends, your team, sports, clubs, maybe even teachers! Each year, the Yearbook Club, made up of (6th, 7th, and 8th grade students) plans and designs our yearbook, including taking many of the photographs featured in the book. The Mt. Ararat Middle School Yearbook is a great way to remember your time here through the eyes of other students. Soft cover books are $20, hardcover is available for $26.95.  New this year, if yearbooks are ordered online by April 13th, two pages can be customized at no additional charge. Customizing your yearbook is only available if ordered online. Non-customized books can still be pre-ordered at school or online, as they have in the past. ALL YEARBOOKS MUST BE PRE-ORDERED. We do not order extra books to sell at the end of the year. Custom Yearbooks need to be ordered byApril 13th

Non-custom Yearbooks can be ordered up until April 28th and no additional orders can be taken after this date! All books will be delivered in the last week of school. Parents can purchase and personalize the 2017 Mt. Ararat Middle School Yearbook HERE.

8th Grade Semi Formal.  The farewell tradition for the graduating 8th graders is the semi formal.  The dance always occurs on the last day of school from 6:00-9:00 pm.  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!  We need a couple of parents to oversee the planning and coordination of the event, and we need a group of parents to assist the students in making their dreams of semi formal come true. If you are interested in chairing this event please contact the main office. If you are interested in helping out, but can not chair the committee, please watch for more information!

book fair poster

From the Learning Commons.  We're here to help you get ready for summer! Drop by the MAMS "Buy-1-Get-1" Book Fair in the Learning Commons April 3-7. Buy 1 book and we'll give you a 2nd book (of the same or lesser value) for FREE! We open at 7:30AM each morning and will be open until 3:30PM on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. We'll be open until 4:30PM on Wednesday.  Parents - Please sign up to help here.  We hope to see you at the Book Fair!

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


Josh Ottow Signature

Dr. Josh Ottow


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