MAMS UPDATE~SEPTEMBER 3, 2021

MAMS UPDATE~SEPTEMBER 3, 2021
Posted on 09/08/2021

 

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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, Principal

hayesteaguem@link75.org

September 3, 2021

Dear MAMS Families,


We have had a terrific first week of school. Thanks to everyone for your help and support in making this start a great success! You can expect the next MAMS Update to arrive in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. As we head into the fall, we want to let you know about a few things coming up in our school:

Important Dates: *Monday, September 6: No School, Labor Day Observed *Wednesday, September 8: Seventh Grade Ice-Cream Meet & Greet--5:00-6:00pm (Outdoors--Rain or Shine) *Thursday, September 9: Eighth Grade Ice-Cream Meet & Greet--5:00-6:00pm (Outdoors--Rain or Shine) *Friday, September 17: Fall Picture Day



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Seventh & Eighth Grade Ice Cream Socials.  Due to the size of our community, we cannot host our normal “Open House” event in September. Instead, we will be hosting two more outdoor Meet-and-Greets for incoming Seventh Graders on Wednesday, September 8, 5:00-6:00pm and for incoming Eighth Graders on Thursday, September 9, 5:00-6:00pm.  There is no fixed agenda for this evening. Drop in any time during the hour. There will be a teacher-family meet and greet, building tours, and *of course* ice cream! We look forward to hosting our middle schoolers and their families next week!


Rebuilding Community and Setting Clear Expectations: Staff and students spent the first four days of school engaging in activities meant to foster a sense of community and establish clear expectations among all members of our teams. The following activities are a sampling of what all students experienced this past week:
*Students engaged in team-building activities to help students get to know each other, showcase their individual strengths, and develop team identities and protocols *Teachers facilitated discussions about our Code of Cooperation. Students discussed what it meant to be Focused, Respectful and Responsible members of our community. They also heard about a fourth core value that we will emphasize and celebrate this year-- Kindness*Students and staff participated in presentations about common school-wide expectations, such as (but not limited to): cell phones, hats and hoods, bullying and sexual harassment. All school-wide expectations can be found in our Student Handbook


MAMS Late Bus. Mt. Ararat Middle School is excited to announce the return of the Late Bus. This year, the Late Bus runs Monday through Thursday beginning on Monday, September 13. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Late Bus leaves the middle school around 4:30pm and drops off at predetermined locations throughout the four MSAD 75 communities. For more information on the locations of Late Bus stops, please reach out to the Transportation Department at 729-1608.



Fall Sports Update. We completed fall sign-ups last week and will begin practices for fall sports on Tuesday, September 7. For more information about athletics, please contact our part-time Athletic Director, Rick Crawford at crawford@link75.org or visit our Athletics page.  For parents interested in the other student clubs and activities that happen in our school, I will provide more information as they become available for sign up. Please note that the Late Bus will be up and running on Monday, September 13. For the first week of practice, there will not be a Late Bus available and students must arrange their own transportation home.


School Picture Day is Coming Soon! MAMS School Picture Day is Friday, September 17. You can pre-order prints by clicking the image above and using the unique login information on the graphic. Paperwork went home with all students during the opening days of school last week. 


Infinite Campus Parent Portal. As you may be aware, MAMS changed its grading and reporting system last fall to Infinite Campus. One great feature of Infinite Campus is the Parent Portal, which allows parents to see assignments, to monitor grades, and to view attendance data. 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.

 


MAMS Parent App. Parents, there is now a mobile app available to you that will give you quick access to helpful school tools and sites, MAMS Daily News, a Faculty & Staff Directory, and school calendars.  Simply go to: http://mamsparentapp.glideapp.io to view the app online and add it to your device.

If you need instructions on how to add the app to your device, go to: http://bit.ly/howtoglideMAMSP



Laptop Deployment. Laptops will be deployed to all students beginning on Tuesday, September 7. Similar to last year, we are planning to send laptops home each day with students, so that they are available for remote learning, if needed. If you do not wish for your child to bring their laptop home, please reach out to their homeroom teacher to let us know. 


As a reminder, the MAMS leadership team made the recommendation to the district Technology Department to move the middle school to Chromebook devices for all sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. This change will provide a comparable computing experience for middle school students, while providing enhanced supervisory software for teachers and more affordable coverage and repair costs for families.


If you have not returned the paper laptop form, please fill it out online https://tinyurl.com/MAMSLaptop as soon as possible. We will only issue laptops to students after we have received the signed paper or electronic form. Please reach out to the Learning Commons if you have any questions.


Parents Entering MAMS Building This Year. When parents need to stop by school, we ask that they buzz in at the main entrance, don a face mask/covering, and proceed to the new pass-through window located to the left of the Main Office door. Instead of entering the office, parents will go to the new window to conduct day-to-day business, such as dropping off notes, dismissing students, and adding money to the lunch balance.  


Early Dismissal Procedures. If you need your child dismissed before the end of the school day for any reason, please send them with a note to the main office upon arrival that day. Main office staff will issue students an early dismissal pass so that they can be ready and waiting for you at the requested time. We thank you for your help with this process!  


Staffing Updates. Mt. Ararat Middle School is very excited to welcome the following new staff members:


Major Wheelock, 7th Grade Math--Team Androscoggin

Gary Stein, 7th Grade ELA/SS

Nathan Valentine, Art/Stem Teacher


We would like to extend our best wishes to Louis Valliere (Paraprofessional, FLS) as he pursues opportunities outside of MSAD 75.


Spanish Exploratory Class. Each year, eighth grade students have the opportunity to explore introductory instruction in the French, German, or Spanish languages. Unfortunately, we experienced a last minute staffing situation, which has left us without a dedicated Spanish teacher. We are actively working to resolve this situation and will reach out to parents of students enrolled in Spanish with an update very soon. We appreciate your patience as we work through this unfortunately-timed circumstance.  

 


Want to Join Chorus and Band? How about Modern Band? Don’t forget to sign up for band and chorus! The last day for sign ups will be Friday, September 10th. Reach out to Mrs. Day or Ms. Williams for enrollment and questions.

 

Calling all 7th and 8th Grade guitarists, ukuleles, drummers, singers, bass and keyboard players of all levels: Sign up via email to participate in MAMS first Modern Band. Reach out to Mrs. Day or Ms. Williams for enrollment and questions.

 

From Nurse Naomi Mullane. A hearty welcome to the new school year!  It is wonderful to see so many students back in person.  Thank you to all who made the effort to follow the new immunization law - the middle school records are in fantastic shape. 


The annual Flu Shot Clinic will be the drive-through model again this year due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.  I’ll let you know the date as soon as it is set up.


I am waiting to find out if the Bright Smiles Dental Clinic will be able to happen in the school this year...more to follow.


I am here 5 days per week and welcome your calls/emails regarding the health of your student (s) and to be a resource for families.



Attendance. This is just a reminder to let families know that the school must track student attendance and mark a student’s absence either excused or unexcused. 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 at 729-2950. If we do not receive a call from you, you will receive an automated call to let you know that we have marked your child absent. We do need you to call us back to inform us of the reason for your child’s absence. Without this information, we must mark your child’s absence unexcused. 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

Mt. Ararat Middle School Principal


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