MAMS Update November 13, 2017

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Mt. Ararat Middle School

66 Republic Avenue, Topsham, ME 04086

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


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November 13, 2017

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are now into the second quarter of the school year.  I have a few items for you:

Quarter One Report Cards will be going home in backpacks on Monday or Tuesday of next week.  Our goal with report cards, and with our grading program overall, is to clearly communicate to you how your child is doing with their learning.  This report card, however, is designed to be a mere snapshot of where students are at that point in time with scores for learning goals and work habits.  We encourage all parents to reach out to their child’s teacher(s) for more information about how their child is doing beyond these scores.  Parents may also go online and view grades within the Empower Program.  Our Quarter 1 Honor Roll will be published on our website and in local newspapers by the following week.  As a reminder, to qualify for the “Honor Roll” at the end of each quarter, students must have 95% of their Work Habits scores as 3’s & 4’s, with no 1’s, and to qualify for the “High Honor Roll” at the end of each quarter, students must have 95% of their Work Habits scores as 4’s, with no 2’s   HERE is a more detailed description of our school’s student recognition protocol.

Parent Coffee. We are planning on holding our first Parent/Principal Coffee of the year on Thursday, December 14 at 4:00 pm in room 2642, the room across from MAMS Learning Commons.  The goal of the parent coffees are for parents to be able to learn more and share their feedback on educational happenings at the school.  Looking forward to it!  

Sports and Club Participation.  MAMS has so many clubs, activities, and sports for our students to participate in.  There is something for everyone!  We are holding a school-wide assembly this week to promote student involvement in extracurricular activities.  Please speak with your child about participation in clubs and activities and reach out to their Advisor for assistance in helping them join any of these activities:

field hockey


cross country





track and field

cheering club (see below)

nordic ski club (see below)  

Interact club- food drive

Dungeons and Dragons

Card Club (Pokemon, etc)

Rubik’s cube club

Science Club

Student Council

Art Club  


Eagle ambassadors

iTeam (computer club)

Musical- Peter Pan Jr.

Civil Rights Team

School Store

cross country


Girls on the Run

Leadership conference


Math Team

Nordic Ski Club and Cheering Club -- Need Parent volunteers.  Many of our clubs rely on parent volunteers to run.  In the past we have had an active Nordic Ski Club and Cheering Club.  The children of these parent volunteers have moved on to the high school.  Therefore, we may not be able to have these clubs unless another parent steps up to lead these clubs.  Please contact me if you are are interested and able to lead these clubs.

Spring Musical Auditions.  The Mt. Ararat Stage Company is pleased to announce auditions for our MAMS spring musical, Peter Pan Jr. An audition workshop will be held on Tuesday, December 5th after school in the Orion for students who would like to work on the audition materials prior to the auditions. The auditions will take place on Wednesday, December 6th and Thursday, December 7th, after school in the Orion. For more information about the auditions, show, available roles, and tentative schedule of rehearsals, please visit and look under the Middle School page.

Maine Youth Leader Day.  The following Middle School students were selected to attend Maine Youth Leadership Day on October 27th, 2017 at The Hyde School in Bath.  The theme of the conference was overcoming obstacles and embracing challenges.  Former Maine commissioner of Health and Human Services, Mary Mayhew, was the keynote address followed by workshop rotations facilitated by Maine business owners, coaches, teachers, entrepreneurs, and other schools.  Students explored the importance and challenges of sound moral character and the practice of leadership, and developing their own sense of personal leadership.

8th Graders

Olivia Cox

Ellie Cochrane

Tristan Parker

Chrissy Freeman

Elsa Daulerio

Angel Ortiz

Amanda Pickens

Hudson Holden

Maren Carter

Megan Reed

Erika Lyden

7th Graders

Bryn Nickles

Sam Young

Branson White

Vlyata Dubois

Lia Haram

Jonah Ricker

Colby Card

Brady Merrill

Mikelle Lafrance

Spirit Week! MAMS Student Council is sponsoring Spirit Week ALL THIS WEEK.  Check out how we will celebrate each day and encourage your son/daughter to participate!  

Monday, November 13

Pajama Day: Wear your comfortable sleepwear!!!

Tuesday, November 14
Rainbow and Tye Dye Day Wear your colorful clothes!!!

Wednesday, November 15
Favorite Activity Day

Thursday, November 16
Twin Day: Be twinsies with your friends for a day!

Friday, November 17
MAMS Spirit Day: Show your support for your school by wearing red, white, and blue!   


Notes from School Nurse, Naomi Mullane.  MAMS will host another flu shot clinic on Tues, 11/28 from 4-6 pm. All community members are welcome (ages 6m and older).  No charge.  Vision Screening for all grade 7 students will be done in November. A big thank you to the MAMS community: students, families and staff for the warm welcome I have experienced.  It is truly an honor to be the nurse amid such spirited students and dedicated staff.


ESEA Report Card.  We recognize the importance of accountability in the work that we do with our students. As part of that responsibility we are required to share with you specific information about the district and each school as part of our obligations under the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In mid-October the Maine Department of Education released the 2016-2017 “ESEA Report Cards” for the district and each of the district’s schools. This link includes state assessment results for the district and school, including the percentage of students who met standards. In addition, information on the professional qualifications of teachers in the district is part of the report.  If you have questions about any of this information please contact our Assistant Superintendent Dan Chuhta or me.  


Sad News Regarding Substitute Teacher.  We received very sad news that our substitute teacher Lance Libby passed away unexpectedly last Wednesday night from a heart attack.  He was 68.  Lance had worked for MSAD 75 for over 45 years, most of this time as a teacher at Bowdoinham Community School. For the past several years, Lance and his wife, Linda, were regular substitutes at MAMS and other schools in our district.  Lance served in long-term substitute teacher roles on several occasions at our school, most recently on Team Penobscot last Spring.  Both Lance and Linda were due to sub at our school last Thursday.  Because Lance was a regular sub, there were many students who built positive relationships with him over the years.  During Advisor Group last Thursday morning, we crafted a message to share this news with all students.  Advisors checked in individually with each student.  Any student impacted sought support in the counseling office throughout the day.  Many staff have taken this news hard, and support was given to them, as well.


November/December Events at the Orion Performing Arts Center—your theater in the middle school.  Contact Coordinator Judy Lloyd with questions and comments. or 729-2950 x7.

  • Freedom Tour Information Session for Parents – Mon. Nov. 20, 6 pm.  Joel Merry presents information about the annual 8th-grade “Freedom Tour” of New York City, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and Washington, DC.  (Student meeting is Wed, Nov. 8, at 8:45 am.)  Parents and students can find out more about the trip and ask questions.

  • Planetarium for 6th-grade students, Tue. Nov. 21, during school day. North Star puts an inflatable planetarium on stage and students learn about the universe.

  • MAMS drama Audition workshop – Tue. Dec. 5, 2:20 pm.  Middle-school students interested in participating in the spring play, “Peter Pan, Jr.” can learn about the audition process.

  • MAMS drama Auditions for “Peter Pan, Jr.” – Wed and Thr. Dec. 6 and 7, 2:20 pm.  Middle-school students try out for the spring play.

  • MTA HS  and MAMS Winter Band concert– Tues, Dec. 12, 7 pm   (snow date: Thurs, Dec. 14).  Mr. Graffam and Ms. Williams conduct the High School and Middle School bands in a festive winter concert.  Public welcome.

  • Ampersand Dance Academy Holiday Dance Concert—Fri, Dec. 15, 6:30 pm;  Sat, Dec. 16, 4:00 pm.  Local dance school presents a concert with varied dance styles.

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


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