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Letter from the Principal 9-8-11

posted Sep 9, 2011, 3:38 AM by Massabesic highschool   [ updated Sep 10, 2011, 3:36 AM ]

September 8, 2011

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students:            


The 2011-2012 School - Year is now in full swing with classes, homework, activities and athletic events filling hours of each day and weekend. We have had a good beginning to our school year with thanks going to both our students and staff! It is my pleasure to share the following updates and celebrations with you:

 Important Dates:



SRTC Open House 6:30 PM



MHS Fall Activities Rally 12:30 PM



NEACAC College Fair



MHS Open House 5:45 -7:45



Progress Reports handed out in Advisory



Homecoming Week



PSATs for Sophomores



Fall Parent Teacher Conferences (2:15 – 6:00 PM)

SRTC Open House - Is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, September 14 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM. All SRTC students along with their families are encouraged to attend. At 6:30 there will be a brief presentation in the Sanford High School Cafeteria for all participants followed by opportunities to visit classrooms, meet instructors, and learn more about the programs.

 PSAT’s for sophomores – Will be on Wednesday, October 12th in the AM. The Maine Department of Education will pay the cost for all of Maine’s sophomores to take the PSAT. The department cut funding for juniors this past spring.

 MHS takes the “lead” in York County – With over 60 MHS Students accessing York County Community College courses through the Dual Enrollment Program this fall. Over 80 courses are being taken by MHS Students. This is by far the largest number of all participating high schools! Well-done MHS!

 New starting time and breakfast? – When we changed the starting time for MHS we knew we were going to dig into some students’ breakfast time, especially for those students who get off their bus closer to 7:25 AM. We want students to have breakfast at MHS! Our expectation for students who get dropped off closer to 7:25 AM has been made clear; immediately go to the cafe for their breakfast when dropped off, bring it to your Block One Class and finish it safely!

 NEACAC College Fair - The MHS Guidance Department will once again sponsor a trip to the New England Association for College and Admission Counseling (NEACAC) College Fair on Sept 23rd. We invite current Juniors and Seniors to sign up for the day at UNH. We expect the day to be as follows: Leave MHS 7:30-7:45, College Fair wandering from 9:00 – 10:00 AM, Tour UNH Campus from 10:00-11:00 AM, have lunch at one of the UNH Dining Halls 11:00-12:00 PM and load busses for return to MHS at 12:30 PM. Spaces for this trip are on a first come basis!

 Congratulations go to – MHS Graduate Ariella Marie Thornhill who graduated this past May from Reed College! Well-done Ariella!

An Invitation to Parents of

Massabesic High School Students 



5:30 – 5:55 PM Schedule pick up

6:00 - 7:45 PM Follow your child’s schedule

 We welcome and encourage parents & guardians of all MHS Students to take this opportunity to:

            *Meet your child’s teachers

            *Discover what your child will be learning

            *Learn the expectations for each class

            *See the new Media Center

*Explore Naviance (our new career and college exploration and application system)

with our Guidance Department

            *Develop communication between home and school

 Please bring your child’s schedule, get a copy of their schedule, or bring your high school child with you so that you have classroom numbers. NJROTC students will be available to direct parents to classrooms and answer questions. Parents and guardians who do not have their child’s schedule should come to the MHS Cafe to receive a printout of your child’s schedule.

We look forward to seeing you at MHS on September 29th!

Parents and Guardians play a major role - In their children’s choices about alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. In a recent national survey of parents, guardians and teens by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, one-third of teen partygoers have been to parties where teens were drinking alcohol, smoking pot, or using cocaine, Ecstasy or prescription drugs while a parent or guardian was present. By age 17, nearly half (46 percent) of teens have been at such parties where parents and guardians were present.

As we start the school year I want to again share information developed by the Drug-Free Action Alliance to provide you, our parents and guardians with accurate information about the health risks of underage drinking and the legal consequences of providing alcohol to youth. I encourage parents, guardians and our communities to send a unified message that teen alcohol consumption is not acceptable in RSU 57.

 Here are the facts:

§  There are many health-related consequences of youth consuming alcohol including negative effects on brain development, deviant behavior including stealing, skipping school and have a greater risk of becoming alcohol-dependant later in life.

§  Parents & Guardians who give alcohol to their teen’s friends under any circumstances, even in their own homes, are breaking the law.

§  Parents & Guardians who knowingly allow a person under 21 to remain in their home or on their property while consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages can be prosecuted, and everything associated with such a violation can be confiscated, including personal property.

§  Parents & Guardians can be sued if they allow anyone under 21 to consume alcohol and they, in turn, hurt someone or damage property.

Underage use of alcohol is a serious problem in our nation, the State of Maine, in York County and in our district that too often leads to harmful consequences for our youth and their families. Parents and guardians can protect themselves and their teens by following these guidelines when hosting parties for their sons and daughters:

-       Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events

-       Refuse to supply alcohol to children or allow drinking in your home or on your property

-       Be at home when your teenager has a party

-       Make sure your teenager’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home

-       Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at youth events

-       Report underage drinking

Our message needs to be clear and unified if we are going to put even a dent in this problem!

End of year/Summer recognitions to share:

All-State Musicians - Orchestra - Emma Faith (French Horn), Victoria Hurlburt (Violin) and Amanda Raymond (Violin), Band - John Secunde (alto Sax) and Chorus - Aria Tonini (Soprano), Sarah Connelly (Alto), Angela Alcock (Tenor), Kye Hanson (Tenor), Josh Tharpe (Tenor), Elijah Bragg (Bass) and Brian Gooze (Bass). Super job!

MHS Class of 2011 Graduate Brittany Hannus – Is attending Southern Maine Community College, with some support from a Home-Health Visiting Nurses Scholarship. Ten graduating seniors from York County high schools who will be pursuing careers in nursing at an accredited post-secondary institution received these scholarships. Best wishes Brittany!

 MHS Students agree to take on – More responsibilities for 2011-2012:

 Class of 2012 President Nate Elmore, VP Dakotah Thornton, Secretary McKenna Hamilton and Treasurer Savanna Arral

 Class of 2013 President Brian Wardwell, VP Sarah Connelly and Treasurer Jim Medici

 Class of 2014 President Connor Lane and VP Danielle Mailhot

 Emily Schatz - Was selected by the Maine Sunday Telegram as an All-State Softball player for 2011. Way to go Emily!

 First meeting with each class – As MHS Students know I like to get right to the point and not waste their learning time. On the 3rd day of school I welcomed each class and then reviewed with them a powerpoint on the many positive efforts that have taken place over the last two years by students and staff. I shared that our efforts have resulted in increased success for MHS Students and asked them to continue this trend. I then reviewed with them the following expectations needing their immediate attention:

 Dress and appearance of students - 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. I asked them to please follow our expectations around shorts, shirts and shoulder straps. Remember that ADMINISTRATION IS THE FINAL JUDGE ON WHETHER DRESS IS APPROPRIATE. I also shared with our students that we don’t want to make this bigger than it needs to be and so their assistance in following the above immediately is most appreciated.

 CELL PHONE and IPOD USE – I explained that there is a time and place to use them and a time and a place NOT to use them. I shared that everyone should know what we expect (before school, in between classes and at lunch) and to make sure that they follow these expectations. If you are found in violation, don’t whine, pay the consequences, which are clear (loss of item and one hour detention) and move on. Our students can make the right choice!

 AM Tardy to class – If you get here before 7:50 go to class and deal with your teacher for being late. If it is after 7:50 you deal with your assistant principal.

 Wandering and the use of “shadows”? – Do not use the support of a “shadow”/ friend when going to bathrooms, fountains and locker during class. Get to where you need to go by yourself.

 Lunch expectations? – Please pick up after yourself, just as you should expect of yourself at home, including trays. Please NO wandering in hallways during lunch!

 End of the day dismissal? – We have two dismissal waves for students. Please go with your wave, end of story! Students involved in activities or athletics do NOT leave early!

 The Academic Eligibility Policy JJIC – Was changed by our school board this past spring. I am happy to share that our fall eligibility numbers for athletics show that nearly 96% of MHS Students who went out were eligible! The following are a few important pieces from JJIC to remind all that these higher expectations must be met in order to participate in activities at MHS:

-       A full-time student at MHS is a student enrolled in a minimum of four courses and passing all four (trimester), three courses and passing all three for seniors.

-       In the trimester prior to participation a student may not receive more than one “F” or one “F” and one “D” to be eligible for probation. Students with two “Fs” or one “F” and two or more “Ds” lose eligibility for the following trimester. Seniors must pass all three courses to be eligible.

-       A student may turn no more than one failing grade into a passing grade (70 or a “P” for pass) through minimum credit recovery parameters over the three week probationary period.

-       Probation is a time period of no more than three weeks when a student may recover eligibility.

-       If a student starts a trimester on probation and at the time of the second progress report that is again in academic difficulty (one F, one F and two or more Ds), the student becomes ineligible.

-       A student on probation may remain on their roster and participate in practice only.

-       Credit Recovery may be used to regain eligibility through earning course credit to meet minimum course/credit requirements.  A student who participates in credit recovery over the summer will serve the three-week probationary period starting on the first day of that student’s fall sport or activity. These students need to meet minimum eligibility standards in order to retain eligibility. 

Thanks for listening!

Christian Elkington, Principal

Massabesic highschool,
Sep 9, 2011, 3:43 AM