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August 28, 2014 Message from the Principal

posted Aug 30, 2014, 2:21 AM by Massabesic highschool

Principal’s Memo August 28, 2014

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:
As Principal of Massabesic High School it is again my pleasure to welcome each of you
to the beginning of a new year, the 2014-2015 school year. I am beginning my sixth year
at MHS with continued enthusiasm in the efforts of our students, staff and our
communities. We will continue to build off of the many positive efforts of the last five
years as improved student and school success continues to be our focus for “Mustang
The key to making improvement is trust. I must thank our parents, guardians and students
for the trust you have shown as we have made changes at MHS. As anyone who has
helped make change at home, in society or business knows, change can be messy at
times. Over the last five years everything we have done has been to improve our school’s
culture, respect for individuals, work ethic and academic results. We have seen growth,
but have much still to do. Thanks go to our students, parents and guardians and to our
community members for your support. Without this support the improved results we are
seeing would not be happening. The successful passing of the 2014-2015 RSU 57 Budget
again demonstrated to me the commitment our communities are making to our students
and schools in the years to come!
It will sound like a broken record, but I can’t stress enough the amount of excellence
along with untapped potential that we have in the students of Massabesic High School!
Continued growth will continue to happen through our school not only raising
expectations, but also by giving our students opportunities and pathways to unlock their
potential! Working with you we will continue to help our students realize and use their
many skills and talents. Our school’s collective efforts will continue to improve the
education and opportunities for success, offered at Massabesic High School and in
“Mustang Nation!”
A few examples of the fine accomplishments of our students from the end of this
past school year”:
- The MHS OM team came in 18th at the World Finals, up against 53 world-class
- Our Girls Spring Track Team finished 2nd at the League Championship Meet!
- Our school’s top three graduates are headed to Bowdoin, Tufts and Middlebury
this fall!
- Senior Steven Duffy won the Class A State Championship in the 1600m Race
We have MUCH to be proud of in “Mustang Nation!”
Some Important Dates:
- 8-19-14 through 9-12-14 Add /Drop (courses)
- 9-2-14 First day of school at MHS
- 9-2-14 Sanford Regional Technical Center classes begin
- 9-4-14 – 9-5-14 School Pictures
- 9-9-14 School information forms returned
- 9-11-14 “Meet & Greet” (Open House) 5:15 – 6:50 PM
- 9-11-14 Senior College Kickoff Night 7:00 PM
- 9-12-14 iPads handed out school-wide
- 9-15-13 – 9-21-14 Homecoming Week
Opening Day – Is Tuesday, September 2nd. Students will start the day (7:30 AM) with
their Advisor in order to collect schedules and info. Advisor lists and maps will be
displayed throughout each building to assist students in seeing where they need to go.
Freshmen – Welcome to MHS! All Freshmen need to report to the gym in the West
Building by 7:25 AM, the first day of school. Freshmen will meet their Advisor in the
gym and then head to their Advisory Room.
Please check out – The Massabesic High School Website. We encourage everyone to use
our website for important information. https://sites.google.com/a/rsu57.org/massabesic/
What is – “Meet & Greet?” Since starting as Principal in 2009, our Open Houses have
been very poorly attended, overall. This year we are going to try another format with
specialized information meetings occurring after the “Meet & Greet” at 7:00 PM. So
please mark your calendar to be at MHS at 5:15 for Sept. 11th. More info will be emailed
to you next week.
RSU 57’s iPad Program – Is adjusting for 2014-2015. Last year, RSU 57 spent over
$40,000 on student iPad repair at the middle school and MHS, a majority of which was at
our school. The RSU 57 Tech Dept. along with MHS have taken steps over the summer
to put in place a new system that will reduce this cost. The final plan addresses this
concern in two areas, responsibility and protection as follows:
- Students and teachers will be participating in the Common Sense Digital
Citizenship program (www.commonsensemedia.org), through our Advisory
Program to begin the school year. The theme these lessons will focus on is
- RSU 57 is also implementing a new Student iPad Protection Plan this year. The
protection plan comes with a mandatory case that will be installed instead of the
case used last year. The protection plan will come with a yearly cost of $25 per
student. If you have multiple children in grades 6 - 12, the cost will be yearly fee
of $20 per student with a $60 cap for any one household/family.
After paying for the protection plan, all damage except for water damage, loss,
theft, or breaking the Apple warranty through software changes (“jailbreaking”)
will be covered without an additional cost to the family. Repair/replacement due
to water, theft, loss, or “jailbreaking” will stay as the responsibility of the family.
Additional details including repair costs and plan alternatives will be sent home in the
first two weeks of school titled, "RSU 57 Student iPad Administrative Expectations and
Family Commitment." More information will be coming to you shortly.
Overall student work ethic needs – To improve if our students are going to meet and
exceed expectations and compete in the 21st Century! An easy statement to make, but
what does it mean at MHS?
We have really good kids, young adults at MHS! When they understand what the
expectations are, where the bar is set, the respect they show at school, at events, on trips
and towards visitors is some of the best I have been fortunate to witness in 29 years in
education! Our kids rarely embarrass us! That is a great compliment when you consider
the age and the natural tendencies and pulls of today’s society!
I have shared in the past though, that our biggest concern is that many of our kids just
don’t know how good they could become. There is not one approach that we can take to
help our kids see their potential and unlock the motivation that each of them has inside.
During the 2014-2015 School Year our staff will be working on this concern as we try
and find the best ways that we can to unlock each student’s potential. Communicating
what we expect and what students need to be able to show and do, through the MHS
Work Habits Rubric will be one point of emphasis for us.
Student dress – Can become an issue if we don’t work together to follow our school’s
expectations. The following is taken directly from the MHS Student Handbook:
“Student dress and appearance should not detract from each student’s educational focus
and should not be a safety hazard. Students dressed inappropriately will be required to
cover up or change their clothing. THE ADMINISTRATION WILL BE THE FINAL
JUDGE WHETHER DRESS IS APPROPRIATE. Examples of unacceptable attire
include, but are not limited to:
1) Clothing—a) promoting alcohol, tobacco or other chemicals; b) that is obscene,
vulgar or indecent; c) which presents a safety hazard; d) that is judged to be
excessively worn/torn; e) that exposes bare skin including but not limited to the
midriff, chest and shoulders; f) that is demeaning to any person or group of persons
on the basis of race, sex, handicap, religion, age or national origin.
2) Bathing suits, spandex only, bandannas, immodest tank tops and/or spaghetti straps
(straps must be two fingers in width), halter-tops, muscle shirts, off-the-shoulder tops,
and low cut tops. Shorts and/or skirts/dresses will be no shorter than the student’s
fingertips when standing with arms relaxed and hanging to the sides. Yoga
pants/leggings can be worn with a covering top meeting the fingertip standard.
3) Failure to meet the above criteria will result in the student being asked to change. If
the student refuses they will be sent to ISAS. Subsequent infractions will result in the
student being sent to ISAS for the remainder of the day.”
Congratulations go to all MHS Students – Who earned Honor Roll Recognition during
Trimester 3 of 2013-2014! Please recognize these students by checking out the other
attachment with this email. Thanks!
Massabesic High School believes and practices through our actions and words that ALL
students at MHS can meet and exceed higher expectations in our classrooms and on our
playing fields. We look forward to working with you to make this our everyday reality!
Very truly yours,
Christian M. Elkington