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Letter from the Principal 8-30-15

posted Sep 1, 2015, 6:22 AM by Massabesic highschool
Memo from Principal 8-30-15

Principal’s Memo
August 30, 2015
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:
As Principal of Massabesic High School it is once again my pleasure to welcome you,
this time to the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year. It is with even more enthusiasm
that I begin my seventh year as your principal. Why so much enthusiasm, because I
continue to be impressed with the efforts and respect demonstrated overall by our
students, staff and our communities. I continue to see each of these groups wanting to
improve what we do for learning in RSU 57 and so I feel fortunate to continue being part
of this work. MHS will continue to build off of the positive efforts of the last six years as
improved student and school success continues to be the focus for “Mustang Nation!”
Thanks go to our students, parents/ guardians and to our community members for your
support. In my mind the keys to making improvement are trust, knowledge and respect.
Without your overall support the improved results we are all working towards will not
happen without these three ingredients. The successful passing of the 2015-2016 RSU 57
Budget along with the support of the fields’ renovation project again demonstrates the
commitment our communities are making to our students, staff and schools!
I must continue to stress the amount of excellence and untapped potential that we have in
the students of Massabesic High School. My biggest concern continues to be that we
don’t understand how good we can become as a Learning Organization and school.
Continued growth will continue through our school not only raising expectations, but also
by giving our students opportunities and pathways that help unlock their potential! Our
students need to realize and use their many skills and talents so as to be prepared for the
21st Century. The collective efforts of all will continue to improve the educational
opportunities for success, offered at MHS and in “Mustang Nation!” Please don’t forget
we are a TEAM!
A few examples of the fine accomplishments of our students from the end of this
past school year:
- 231 Seniors graduated with the Class of 2015!
- The MHS OM Team (a WORLD CLASS Team) came in 22nd at the World
Finals, up against 54 other world-class teams!
- Our AP scores came in this summer showing excellent gains in several areas!
- Senior Mike Risti was named an All-American Wrestler!
- Junior Molly O’Brien was awarded the 2015 Youth Spirit Award for Service from
the York County United Way!
- As part of their ‘work-study’ curriculum, MHS SUCCESS Team students
continued their work restoring critical habitat for the Rachel Carson National
Wildlife Refuge!
We have MUCH to be proud of in “Mustang Nation!”
Some Important Dates:
- 8-20-15 through 9-14-15 Add /Drop (courses)
- 9-2-15 First day of school at MHS
- 9-2-15 Sanford Regional Technical Center classes begin
- *9-8-15 iPads handed out to Freshmen
- 9-9-15 Project Grad Mum orders due
- 9-9-15 – 9-10-15 School Pictures
- 9-10-15 School information forms returned
- 9-15-15 “Meet & Greet” (Open House) 5:15 – 6:50 PM
- 9-15-15 Naviance Family Connections review 6:40 – 7:10
- 9-15-15 Senior College Kickoff Night 7:10 PM
- 9-26-15 – 10-3-15 Homecoming Week
*The iPad schedule for sophomores – seniors will be after the 8th, still to be determined
as cases are placed on machines.
Opening Day – Is Wednesday, 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.
What is – “Meet & Greet?” Since starting as Principal in 2009, our open houses had been
poorly attended, overall. Last year we tried another format, both earlier in the year and
with specialized information meetings occurring after the “Meet & Greet”. We saw
attendance increase dramatically, thanks very much! Please mark your calendar to be at
MHS at 5:15 on Sept. 15th. More info will be emailed to you next week. Thanks!
RSU 57’s iPad Program – Is again adjusting, this time for 2015-2016. Last year, RSU
57 spent several thousand dollars on new protection covers. Unfortunately, these did not
work as planned. RSU 57 is in the process of looking at new covers, but for the present
time we are transferring back to older covers to try to reduce the damage seen last year.
This transfer takes time and that is why we will be handing out iPads later than we would
like. Two other points regarding information technology at MHS:
- Students and teachers will again be participating in the Common Sense Digital
Citizenship Program (www.commonsensemedia.org), through our Advisory
Program as we begin the school year. The theme these lessons will focus on is
responsibility. I am happy to say K-12 is all following this curriculum.
- RSU 57 is working with the insurance company, Safeware, to offer an option of
either full device coverage for under $25 per year, or accidental damage coverage
for approximately $15 per year. Coverage is free for families that qualify for Free
or Reduced Lunch. More information will be available shortly.
We are now taking orders – For Project Grad’s Fall Mums fundraiser. The cost is
$7.00. They come in four colors - red, pinkish purple, yellow and bronze. It's an 8-inch
pot, ordered from Farmfield Greenhouses. This is the same place we ordered from for our
fall & spring sale, which everyone seemed to be pleased with. Please spread the word to
your family and friends and have your son/daughter help with this fundraiser. Thanks!
The order form is attached. Orders can be brought to the main office or you can contact
the coordinator at lakelife67@ gmail.com Orders will be taken thru September 9th.
Delivery will be September 11th. Pickup times will be Sept 11th from 6:30-7:30 in the
evening and Sept 12 from 8-10 am in the MHS cafe.
Overall, student work ethic needs – To keep improving if our students are going to
meet and exceed our academic and social expectations and compete successfully in the
21st Century! An easy statement for me to keep making, but what does it mean at MHS?
The bottom line is that we have really good kids, young adults at MHS! When the
expectations are clear, the bar is set, the respect they show at school, at events, on trips
and towards visitors continued to be some of the best I have been fortunate to witness.
Our kids rarely embarrass themselves! When you consider the age and the natural
tendencies and pulls of today’s society this is a tremendous compliment of our kids!
Communicating what we expect and what students need to be able to show and do,
through the new, state mandated Guiding Principles (taking the place of the MHS Work
Habits Rubrics), will be one point of emphasis for us in setting the new bar. You, like our
students will be receiving more information on the “new” MHS Guiding Principles in the
coming weeks.
Teacher-Based Web Pages – Are now the norm at MHS. These will be up and running
for each teacher by the middle of September as we continue to partner with you in our
efforts to be helpful and transparent.
The MHS Student Handbook – Is now available at our school’s web page. We no
longer hand out a paper copy. Please find some time to go online to review our school’s
expectations. Thanks!
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.”
Please check out – The Massabesic High School Website. We encourage everyone to use
our website to find important information. Although not perfect we work hard to keep
updated information available here. https://sites.google.com/a/rsu57.org/massabesic/
Congratulations go to all MHS Students – Who earned Honor Roll Recognition during
Trimester 3 of 2014-2015! Please recognize these students by checking out one of the
other attachments 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 continue to make this our
everyday reality!
Thanks for listening and reading this letter!
Very truly yours,
Christian M. Elkington