MAMS UPDATE~FEBRUARY 8, 2021

MAMS UPDATE~FEBRUARY 8, 2021
Posted on 02/08/2021

Dear MAMS Families,


Sorry for the delay in getting this newsletter to you! I hope that you find it helpful and informative. You can expect the next newsletter to arrive on Friday, March 5--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:
*
Tuesday, February 9 and Thursday, February 11: Parent/Teacher Conferences
*
Monday, February 15 through Friday, February 19: February Vacation
*
Wednesday, February 24: LATE STARTWEDNESDAY (8:40)--COHORT B IN PERSON
*
Wednesday, March 3: LATE START WEDNESDAY (8:40)--COHORT A IN PERSON
*
Wednesday, March 10 and Thursday, March 11: Regular School Days, Cohort B
*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


Hybrid Plan Update. At the January 14 meeting of the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors, a plan was approved to return students to the middle school for late-start Wednesdays beginning February 24th with Cohort B. This plan will allow all students to receive more in-person instruction, reduce the number of remote assignments, maintain our current class sizes, continue our adherence to safety protocols, and allow teachers to continue teaching using engaging, student-centered techniques. The calendar for these days can be found HERE


Intervention, Clubs & Activities: We are currently setting up our plans for after-school extra help. Please reach out to your child’s teachers if you have questions about this opportunity. As clubs and activities move to after school, they will be announced in the MAMS Daily News. Please be on the lookout for updated schedules and times!


I will continue to update you with any changes adopted by the MSAD No. 75 Board of Directors, as those decisions are made. As always, you can provide your thoughts and feedback, questions and concerns to me.



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.


Yearbook Update. Students have been meeting weekly through zoom to discuss and take action on making this year's school yearbook memorable for our students.  Activities they have planned and engaged in are: student spirit days, posters to be hung throughout the building encouraging staff to take pictures and share them with the yearbook club, and most recently, deciding on a theme for the yearbook cover.

 

Although a challenge for sure, our students are committed to trying to make this the best yearbook yet.  With that said, we really need more pictures.  Please share pictures of your student engaging in remote learning, playing in the snow,  in a zoom meeting, etc.  Share pictures, in original size, to mamyearbook@link75.org.

 

We also would like to encourage people to visit Treering and order your child's school yearbook.  It is truly our belief that this year will be a year like no other, our school yearbook will try to capture our students as they adjust to the times of 2020-2021 and do so in a memorable, yet artistic way.  Don't wait, order today!

Regular Price: $20.85 (soft cover) *Does not include sales tax, if applicable

 

For more questions, please reach out to Yearbook Advisor, Lisa Rioux @ riouxl@link75.org or (207)729-2950 ext. 7402.




The Sheepscot Team has received their new bikes!  Thanks to a grant from the Maine Environmental Educational Association, we were able to purchase new bicycles for our students to use for physical activity, transportation to nearby outdoor learning opportunities such as the Cathance River Education Alliance, to explore the natural world around campus, and to support our growth as responsible stewards of the environment.  First step - Some Assembly Required!

 

 


Coding at MAMS. Some of you may have heard the famous quote by Steve Jobs: "I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer...because it teaches you how to think." 

 

Well, in 7th grade STEM at MAMS, our students get the opportunity to learn how to code. We use a free online platform called Scratch which was developed by MIT specifically for students ages 8 - 16 but is used by people of all ages and is really, really fun.

 

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. The ability to code computer programs is an important part of literacy in today’s society. When people learn to code in Scratch, they learn important strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. Be sure and ask your 7th grader to show you their Scratch projects, you should even try it for yourself!

 


The Show Must Go On-Line! Theatre at Mt. Ararat Middle School

 

This spring, the Mt. Ararat Stage Company will go On-Line to create, write, and perform an original piece of virtual theatre entitled “Missing Stories.” Inspired by a collection of independent drawings, titles, and short captions, “Missing Stories” celebrates the powers of imagination, exploration, and discovery.  

 

Students who are interested in participating in this year’s virtual production will be asked to commit to a 10-week rehearsal and production schedule. Students will be divided into two groups and will meet once a week. Meetings will take place via Zoom on Tuesday or Wednesday from 3:30-5:00 PM. A final product will be available for viewing in the Spring. An introductory meeting will take place on February 9th and 10th at 3:30 PM.

 

A full schedule can be found by visiting https://mtastage.weebly.com/missing-stories.html

 

Students should email Drama Director, Adam P. Blais, at blaisa@link75.org to sign up or receive more information.

 

Counseling Corner. Half way through the school year...and what a year it has been.  It’s certainly been one for the history books!  We have teachers planning, juggling, and shifting course at a moments notice to keep the ship on course.  We have students responding to new challenges and learning modalities they’ve never been asked to do before.  Everyone is on a steep learning curve.

 

We have a group of brave teachers and students that have dived right into the virtual school world- zooming, connecting, and learning via a new way.    We have teachers and students coming into school under challenging circumstances, engaging in their learning while keeping the school community safe.  Students are soaking up as much direct teacher time as they can, and then going home and continuing their classroom knowledge with independent work.  No matter the learning model - remote or in-person - this learning community has been working hard and creating successes each day.

 

Regardless of what learning plan you have chosen as a family, there is an astonishing amount of self discipline and motivation that is being asked of our middle schoolers at this time.  

 

One theme we hear from many parents is concern about how to begin instilling a sense of independence in their child.  Middle school students are developmentally on a path of self discovery.  They are beginning to lay groundwork by trying new things and learning from moments of success as well as failure.  

 

As a parent, finding that balance between being supportive to your child without solving the problems for them is really challenging.  We think this article from the Child Mind Institute does a great job outlining this balancing act.  We hope you find something useful in this excerpt.

 

Perhaps one unexpected, positive aspect of this year of learning is that our children will gain a greater balance of independence and self-advocacy, which will serve them well moving forward. In middle school we focus less on the importance of gaining “book” knowledge and more on the habits we are instilling- organization, self motivation, time management, self advocacy, etc.  These are ultimately the skills that will help shape future success in school and vocationally.  We’re hopeful that during this year we’re continuing to support the growth and development of these skills in our students.

 

https://childmind.org/article/raising-confident-independent-children/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Raising%20Confident%2C%20Independent%20Children&utm_campaign=Public-Ed-Newsletter

 

As always, please continue to reach out to your child’s counselor with any questions or concerns. We are available via phone or email.  

 

Be safe and be well~

Danielle, Maura, Mary Ellen, Colin, and Matt

 

 

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.  



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


--
Megan Hayes Teague
Interim Principal, Mt. Ararat Middle School

office: 207.729.2950

--
Megan Hayes Teague
Interim Principal, Mt. Ararat Middle School
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