November 26, 2014
Dear Parents, Guardians and Students:
On behalf of the staff of Massabesic High School I wish you and your family a safe and
enjoyable holiday break. It is our hope that you and yours will be able to spend some time
with either family or friends over the coming days. With the approach of winter and
holidays, life at MHS and away from school can get more difficult for many of our
students and you, their parents and guardians. The difficult economic times and differing
family dynamics that many of our families and students are facing can make the holidays
a time of despair or difficulty for some. In my 20th year as a building principal, no matter
what the level or age of the students I have been fortunate to work with, we start to see at
this time a number of our students having shorter fuses, becoming more emotional and
reacting more quickly with negativity towards each other and/or to staff. Coinciding with
the coming holiday season is the end of our Fall Trimester. This also adds a layer of
anxiety, difficulty and concern for many of our students. Since success does matter to
each one of our kids in difficulty, no matter what they tell us, getting ready for and then
seeing some poor academic results can be disheartening.
Please know that we are here to assist you and your sons and daughters as best we can.
Working together, we will support your sons and daughters through the difficult times
that may lay-ahead. We will work with you through the coming days, weeks and month!
Please understand that the more information our staff has, updates and “you should
know” calls and/or emails from you, the better will aid us in supporting your sons and
daughters. As most of you know, nine times out of ten the concerns from home and away
from school make it to MHS. If you give us a heads up we will be better prepared to deal
with the concern or need and better able to support your son or daughter when they arrive
each day. Added patience and understanding are sometimes the best virtues we can
supply your son or daughter and are increased by us being in the “know.”
In my 6th year as Principal of Massabesic High School I want you to know that I have
always found our staff a caring, considerate and understanding group of professionals
who go above and beyond when needed and/or asked. Please let us know when we can be
of assistance. Please ask! Thanks!
Our end of the trimester – As shared previously will look a little different this year. Our
plan for the end of the Fall Trimester is as follows:
- Our last day for Trimester 1 is Wed. Dec 3rd. This is the last day for any new
work assigned to be completed.
- Students have been expected to immediately work with their teachers if they
wanted to redo or rewrite an assessment over the last two weeks of the Trimester.
- Dec 4th & 5th are Intervention Support Days:
o *Students who have all of their assessments completed and are
passing all of their classes do not have to come to MHS on these two
days (Dec 4th & 5th). They will receive an Absent Excused for
attendance, if they have a signed permission form.
o Students who have at least one Redo or Retake to complete from Nov
22nd on, will need to be at MHS these two days, so that they can finish
any assessments not passing.
- Dec 4th & 5th are not for making up assessments or Learning Targets from Sept &
Oct. Students needing help with previous Learning Targets such as these will
need to attend Credit Recovery School.
- EACH STUDENT will need to have a permission slip signed by each of their
teachers and their parent/guardian in order to miss Dec 4th & 5th. Teachers
will only sign for their class if your son or daughter has everything in and it
- Dec 4th & 5th are for students in academic difficulty and who may also need to
attend Credit Recovery School (CRS) in grades 10-12.
*We can only suggest and not demand that students who are proficient with all of their
learning look at ways to go out and complete community service so as to support those in
need within our community. Reminder: Students who complete community service
hours earn hours towards their Community Service Cord to be worn at graduation!
What is Credit Recovery School? CRS is a 10-Day after school intervention program
that has been set up to assist students who are not yet proficient with multiple Learning
Targets, from at least one previous course. Usually, students take CRS right after a
Trimester ends. CRS runs for from 2:05 to 4:05 daily and will start on Dec 17th and will
finish on Jan 8th. Information on CRS is available from the MHS Guidance Office.
Honors Level Courses – And some adjusted expectations as we end Trimester 1. When
we started our school year we told students that if they were in an Honors Level Course
that not only did their Learning Targets scores need to be at a 3 or greater, but so did all
three of their MHS Work Habit expectations. Upon review of our most current data we
will adjust our work habit expectations slightly to give some of our students another
opportunity to meet these higher expectations.
In regards to their MHS Work Habits scores, honors students must at least be at a 2 or
higher in their Part A Course in order to continue into Part B. The adjusted expectation is
that they will or have been working towards a three work habits, trending that way, by the
end of the course in order to continue in the next honors-sequenced course. If a student is
not demonstrating proficiency on all of the course Learning Targets, then their
performance on the MHS Work Habits scores should be at a 3 or higher in order to
continue in the next honors-sequenced course, per the teacher’s recommendation.
Please take a moment to – Also read the first edition of this year’s Gazette from our
Guidance Dept. attached to this email. Thanks!
Last week’s – Band & Chorus Concerts went extremely well! Our students once again
gave us several pieces to enjoy! Congratulations go to each and every one of our
performers along with special thanks to Mr. Goad and Ms. Guilfoyle for their leadership
of these programs! Well done!
Our band and chorus students – Followed the above fine efforts up by helping to host
the District 1 Auditions this past weekend. The judges were universally impressed with
our student volunteers with one saying it was the best runners she could remember (she
had been doing this 30 years or so)! There were also positive comments & remarks on
how well kept and clean our building is, as well as the food provided by our wonderful
parent volunteers. Well-done “Mustang Nation”!
If you attended – The Bob Marley Comedy Show last Monday, thanks go to you for
your contribution and support! We sold out the show and raised several thousand dollars
to support our Project Aware efforts at combating bullying and other teen issues. Thanks!
Three cheers – Go to our band and chorus students along with other volunteers as MHS
showed what it means to be an excellent host of the All State Band & Chorus Festival
this past weekend. Over 30 schools from across the state saw how well members of
“Mustang Nation” could volunteer their time and assistance! Super job!
Congratulations go to two MHS Seniors:
- Alyssa Wardwell who was chosen as one of WGME’s A+ Athletes! Alyssa will
be recognized as January’s A+ Athlete! This program celebrates outstanding
student athletes who also excel academically. Way to go Alyssa!
- Jack Melanson who was asked by the Town of Waterboro to be a part of the
Waterboro Business Summit this past Friday! Nice job Jack!
Massabesic’s Honored Students for October: Alexis
Thanks for reading the above!
Very truly yours,
Christian M. Elkington, Principal