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

March 5, 2021

Dear MAMS Families,


It’s March. Spring is just around the corner. I hope that this letter finds you enjoying late winter activities, warmer sunshine, and longer days. You can expect the next newsletter to arrive on Friday, March 19--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:
**
Wednesday, March 10--NO LATE START--and Thursday, March 11: Regular School Days, Cohort
**Friday, March 12: No School, Professional Development Day (PK-8, Teacher Comp.
**
Wednesday, March 17: LATE START WEDNESDAY (8:40)--COHORT B IN PERSON
**
Wednesday, March 24: LATE START WEDNESDAY (8:40)--COHORT A IN PERSON
**
Wednesday, March 31: LATE START WEDNESDAY (8:40)--COHORT B IN PERSON
**
Wednesday, March 31: SAVE THE DATE: Parent-Principal Coffee
**
Friday, April 2: Third Quarter Ends


 

Change to Inclement Weather Plan. At the February 25, 2021 meeting of the M.S.A.D. No. 75 School Board, the decision was made to discontinue the practice followed within the Inclement Weather Closure guidelines that were approved by the School Board on November 12, 2020. For the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, any M.S.A.D. No. 75 emergency school closing will be aligned with Policy EBCD: Emergency Closings. Any school closing associated with a District-wide weather-related closure (i.e. snow day) will be added to the end of the school year calendar. There will no longer be remote learning days scheduled during emergency closures due to weather.

 

Snow Day decisions will be communicated via School Messenger, through the district website and Facebook page, as well as via local radio and news channels.  

 

8th GRADE PARENT VOLUNTEERS are needed for the time-honored privilege of coordinating an end of the year celebration to remember! This year's send-off will consist of two days of activities for each Cohort, as well as Team Allagash, during the last week of school with lots of student input, parent-made magic, and a few surprises for the kids.  Planning will take place from March through June over Zoom and a MAMS 2020 8th Grade Celebration group on Facebook that will be shared on the class parent page.  Many hands make light work for this creative project so there is plenty of room for everyone to help! Contact Tessa Kingsley (tessieanne@gmail.com, 607-0090) with any questions.


MAMS Spring Sports. Plans for the MAMS Baseball, Softball, and Track seasons are underway. Our Athletic Director is currently working with other ADs in our athletic league to determine the extent to which area schools will be offering spring sports and to coordinate for potential games and meets. Right now, we anticipate spring sports sign-ups occurring in late March/early April, practices beginning in April, and games *hopefully* happening after April vacation. More specifics will be forthcoming in the next parent newsletter. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we work to give you the clearest and most up-to-date information around what we can offer safely. 



GUITAR CLUB STARTING! Mr. Dugal’s Guitar Club will be starting up Wednesday, March 3rd after school for Cohort A. Cohort B will go the following week. Both cohorts will alternate weeks from then on. The club runs from 2:30 to 4pm. We will meet in room 2740. Students must have transportation home. All interested students should grab a permission form from the main office or click HERE to print one. This will provide more detailed information.


ART CLUB UPDATE. Art Club members have been busy creating and we wanted to share some of our artwork!  Students have been working hard to improve their art skills and practice using new materials and digital drawing tools.  We have been meeting on Wednesdays via zoom and it has been so wonderful to connect and create together!  Every week I am so impressed by the talent and unique art our MAMS students create. If any students are interested in joining Art Club please contact Mrs. Michel: michele@link75.org

(Featured Artwork by: Liliana Hoskins; Molly Kloberdans; Brooke Gregory; Aly Hoskins; Miles Dailey; Brianna Harris)



Photo caption: BOB winning team (top row L-R) Lyra Legawiec, Wesley Hart, Erryl Timblin and (bottom row L-R) Merlin Schlawin-Whittlesey and Candice Wright (team moderator).


Battle of the Books Winner Announced! The 3rd Annual MSAD 75/MSBA Battle of the Books took place on 2/10 and included a video-taped visit by Maine author Rodman Philbrick. The tournament is affectionately known as BOB. The tournament took place via Zoom and in person. Mt. Ararat Middle School (MAMS) fielded 4 teams; Bowdoinham Community School and Woodside Elementary School had 1 team apiece. The winner of BOB was MAMS Team "Sorry, I'm Overbooked~" (and yes, the ~ is part of their name). Congratulations to team members Lyra Legawiec (7th grade), Merlin Schlawin-Whittlesey (6th grade), Erryl Timblin (7th grade), and Wesley Hart (7th grade)! The Bowdoinham "Resilient Readers" came in a close second. Congratulations to all the participants!

 

The participants used their knowledge of Maine Student Book Award nominees to play a trivia-type game using Kahoot! The winning team will go on to compete in the regional round of the Great Maine Book Tournament later this spring. Their team name will be added to the BOB tournament plaque and MAMS will have the honor of displaying the plaque until next year’s tournament.


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 January/February Students of the Week!

Lexi Kimball 
Danica Almy
Ethan Card
Chris Jellison-Bozeman
Kira Chown
Will Stewart
Kolby Fontaine
Abby Montejo
Joey Bernier
EJ Hymers-Horne
Elliott Larsen 
Noah Duncan
Josh Whitcomb
Reece Ware
Phoenix Norton
Maeve Acker
Natalie Lidback
Caiden Chase
Harlow Weaver
Sheldon Pennell
Kai McBrady
Gavin Armstrong
Will Middleton
Carly Satterfield
Maddie Nalls
Brennan Fitzpatrick
Oliver Yenco
Madison Caron
Averi Gordon
Brady Hiltz
Jenna Jensen 
Jaelyn Jensen
Josy Hollenbach
Ben Horrocks
Erin Aulman
Lyra Legawiec
Theo Forcier
Sasha Fusco
Ethan Melanson-Preble

Counseling Corner. As we begin to transition from winter to spring (yes we are hopeful!!) it can be a great time of year to consider some of our habits of health.  One of the most important aspects of promoting well-being is prioritizing healthy sleep habits.  While sleep is important for all ages, during the middle school years, the developing brains are growing rapidly, making regular and ample sleep even more important!  Beyond feeling “well rested” after a good night’s sleep, the The American Academy of Pediatrics tells us that regular and adequate sleep leads to improved attention, behavior, focus for learning, memory, emotional regulation, quality of life, and mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep each night is associated with a lack of physical and mental well-being. At the same time we know there are many challenges for adolescents to maintain a great sleep habits.  

 

What can help promote healthy sleep habits? 
**
Turn off all screens 30 minutes before sleep time, no screens in the bedrooms. 
**Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.  If you sleep in on the weekends try to do so within two hours of your usual sleep/awake times.
**Have a bedtime routine- find some things that help you relax and unwind before bed like taking a bath, reading a book, listening to music. 
**Try and avoid taking naps during the day- especially those mid to late afternoon naps when students get home from school! Avoid drinking anything with caffeine, energy drinks, coffee, and tea- especially late afternoon and evening time
**Teach children to go to bed when they begin to feel tired and before they naturally get their “second wind”
**Lastly, re-establishing a healthy sleep pattern or getting your child’s circadian rhythm back on track can take time- don’t get discouraged!   If your child cannot fall asleep after lying in bed for 20 mins, have them get up and do some of those pre-bedtime relaxation strategies until they start to feel sleepy again! 

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s counselor if you have any further questions or concerns!

Be safe and well,

Danielle, Maura, Mary Ellen, Colin, and Matt

 


NEW WEBPAGE--Parent Information: Infinite Campus. If you are looking for instructions on how to access your student’s information on Infinite Campus, there is now a resource page for you that can be accessed through the middle school website available to you.  Simply direct your browser to mam.link75.org, hover your mouse over the “Parents” menu, and then select “Parent Information: Infinite Campus.” On this page you will find instructions for how to access your student’s report card, fees, technology information, and attendance.  There are also links to instructional videos showing how to access each of these items. 


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.



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 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 (207-729-2950). 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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