MAMS Update March 7, 2017

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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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March 7, 2017


Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope everyone is enjoying the (slow) arrival of Spring weather.  I have a few items for you:


Progress Reports. This afternoon at 2:30 pm, your child’s Quarter Three Progress Report will be live and up to date on the Empower Parent Portal.  The quickest way to view students’ entire progress report is to click the "Print progress report" link.  By doing so, you can view the entire report at once and you can print out copies if you wish.  By clicking on the “Goal Browser” in the upper right hand corner, you can see a more longitudinal view of the important knowledge and skills that your child is and will be learning.  We have provided DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS HERE.  


New MTA Building Project. Today is the Referendum on the Mt. Ararat High School project.  Voting is done at all the town polling locations. The Referendum contains two questions:

  • Question 1 is the entire project (both state funded and additional local only funded items) except a synthetic turf field.  

  • Question 2 asks if the first question passes, if the voters would approve another $649,000 for a synthetic turf competition field.

Please note that Building Committee has determined that crumb rubber infill will NOT be used if the turf field is approved.  Alternative fills are available and will be used.

It is important that all voters understand the total cost of this project is $60,704,671 if both questions are approved. The project qualifies for state support, with $53,486,792 of the total amount as state approved costs. The project is asking local taxpayers to provide the additional $6,857,347 to pay for items in the project that are not paid for by the State, and that were identified through the numerous meetings for inclusion.  For additional information, you can access the MTA construction website or contact our Superintendent.  Please vote!


The Maine Education Assessment will occur during the week of March 20-24.  The MEA is  the  State’s test  that  measures  our  students’  achievement  in  mathematics (grades  6-­8),  reading,  writing,  and  language, (grades  6-­8), and science  (grade 8).  Our  goal  is  for  every  student  to  engage  in  these  assessments  and  put  forth  their  best  effort.   While  it  is  true  that State  and  federal  laws  require  that  we  test  all  students,  for  us  it  means  more.  When  all  students participate,  the  results  of  these  tests  help  us  to  inform  our  programming  for  students,  reflect  on  our  teaching, and  they  serve  as  one  of  the  many  ways  that  we  are  accountable  to  our  community. Though  students  take  the  test  on  a  computer,  we  will  provide  allowable  supports  ­  in  multiple  formats  based  on our  students’  needs   ­  during  testing.  During  this  time your  child’s  normal  schedule  will be modified  in  order  to  accomplish  the  testing.  We  have  arranged  the  testing to  maximize  student  readiness  by  distributing  the  sessions  and  including  motor  breaks.   If  a  student  is  absent during  testing,  make­ups  will  be  scheduled  to  allow  for  all  students  to  complete  the  tests.   We  have  posted  some  frequently  asked  questions  HERE.  If  you  have  other  questions  or concerns  about  your  child’s  testing  experience,  we  ask  that  you  contact  me  before  testing.  If your child completed the MEA last year, we are still awaiting the release of student reports from the Maine Department of Education. We will share the results of your child’s testing from both years as soon as they become  available  to  us. We  are  proud  of  our  students,  and  we  thank  you  for  your  support.   



Staff vs. Student Basketball Game.  On Friday, February 17th, we held our annual Staff vs. Student Basketball Game in the gym with the entire 8th grade as spectators in the stands.  As you can see above, it was a tightly-fought contest.  While the staff pulled out the win, the real victory was that no one was injured!


8th to 9th Grade Transition.  All 8th grade parents should have recently received COMMUNICATION from Mt. Ararat High School principal Donna Brunette regarding the transition process.  All 8th grade parents are encourage to attend a Parent Information Night on Monday, March 13 from 6:00-7:30in the high school Commons.   


Blood Drive.  6th Grade Health classes will be hosting the MAMS Annual American Red Cross Blood drive on Wednesday April 12 from 2:30-7 pm in the MAMS Cafeteria.  One donation can save 3 lives.  Power Reds are accepted at this drive if you wish to enhance the positive impact.  Our goal is collect 100 units of blood.  Please help, share this link with family and friends.


Art News.  Congratulations go out to 8th grader, Olivia Tobin and 7th grader Olivia Cox who both have had their artwork selected to be included in this year's Maine Art Education Association's, 2017 Youth Art Exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art. This exhibit includes the artwork of students throughout the state of Maine and is on view at the museum, March 1 through April 2, 2017 with an artists reception and celebration on Sat., March 11th from 4-7:30pm.

IMG_0440 (1).jpgA Fierce Flame and a Tame Icicle.jpg

Fennec Fox (Pencil on Paper) by Olivia Cox A Fierce Flame and a Tame Icicle by Olivia Tobin

The 7th and 8th Grade Art Classes have scheduled their quarter three, art field trip to the Farnsworth Museum and Wyeth Center in Rockland, ME for Friday, March 10, 8:30am -1:30pm. This is a wonderful museum that features both traditional and modern Maine art with their specialty being the work of NC, Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. Any 7/8th gr. student having art this quarter is encouraged to sign up and come along, so if there are any "artsy" parents/guardians out there that want to come along, we most definitely welcome your company.


Cultural Appreciation.  The Cultural Literacy and World Language Overview classes were very fortunate to have a parent volunteer, Delina Malo Juvera (center) visit and share first hand experience of what it is like to grow up in Mexico and emigrate to the United States. The students have been studying appreciating and respecting the cultural differences of all members of our community at-large. The students had some very astute questions to ask our guest and the teaching opportunity was a very rich experience.  World Language teacher Ms. BB Adams is  always open to bringing new cultural experiences into the classroom.  If you would like to share your cultural heritage with our students, please contact her.


Drop Off Traffic Flow. We are asking all parents when they are departing the drop off area to please NOT STOP and let busses through at the end of the bus lane.  These busses have a yield sign and will remain stopped until traffic clears.  When cars stop at that spot, it can exacerbate the traffic build-up in the parent drop off area.  


Richard A. Ferrier Scholarship. The Maine Community Foundation's Richard Ferrier Scholarship offers financial assistance to Bowdoinham residents between the ages of 13 and 18 (as of April 1, 2017), to pursue their artistic, academic, athletic and vocational or life's passion outside of the traditional school environment.  Visit HERE or contact committee members Jon Beede or Liz Fickett with any questions.

MAMS Kitchen News. This week is National School Breakfast Week.  A healthy breakfast at the start of the day is one way to ensure students are getting the best education they can.  Here at MAMS we offer many appealing choices from hot and cold items.  We encourage students to choose a main breakfast item, fruit, assorted juices and milk.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Please check your student’s’ account on MySchoolBucks. We have many students with balances over the limit set by the District. Balances transfer to the following year, so let's start with a clean slate.  Those in 8th grade moving to the High School need to start with a zero dollar balance.  If you need assistance please call Katy DiCara at the District Office 729-9961 ext. 238.  Spring also means more field trips, so please be aware if you mark water for your child they must have the $1.00 in their account.  It cannot be charged and will not be included if there are no funds in the account.  Please feel free to always visit our cafeteria and enjoy breakfast or lunch with your student.


Create-A-Play Summer Camp. The Orion Performing Arts Center is planning a week of theatrical fun for July 17-21 this year.  Campers imagine a character; collaborate to write a play; create all the sets, props, and costumes; and perform the play on Friday.  It's a whirlwind of creativity and activity,  Kathleen Nation will return as Theater Director, and we are seeking an Art Director.  Registration brochures are available at the school or online at.   Contact Orion Coordinator Judy Lloyd for more info.

XANADU--A MUSICAL BY MT. ARARAT HIGH SCHOOL.  We encourage all students and parents to check out the musical Xanadu this weekend at The Orion.  This Tony Award nominated, hilarious, roller skating, musical adventure about following your dreams despite the limitations others set for you, rolls along to the original hit score composed by pop-rock legends, Jeff Lynne and John Farrar.  Based on the Universal Pictures cult classic movie of the same title, which starred Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly, Xanadu is hilarity on wheels for adults, children and anyone who has ever wanted to feel inspired.  Directed by Adam Blais.  Tickets here.  As a reminder, the MAMS performance of “Seussical the Musical” is coming up on the weekend of April 28-29!!


4H Camps.  Each year Merrymeeting Audubon funds 20-30 scholarships to Maine 4H camps. These scholarships help to provide a positive summer outdoor experience for local children, and we look forward to having some of your students apply for summer 2017.  More information HERE.  Applicants should send all materials to the address on the form by April 7.

If you or any of your students have questions, please contact Steve Spear, Co-Chairperson, Merrymeeting Audubon Scholarship Committee


If any questions, comments, or suggestions arise, please feel free to call the school at 729-2950 or send me an email at: ottowj@link75.org.



Sincerely,


Josh Ottow

Principal


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