November 13, 2013
Dear Parents & Guardians:
As we move quickly towards the end of our Fall Trimester we have several important pieces of information to share with you:
- 11-19-13 Chorus Concert 7:00 PM
- 11-20-13 Public Forum on the Massabesic Athletic Complex Renovation at MHS Auditorium, Nov. 20th at 6:30 PM
- 11-21-13 Band Concert 7:00 PM
- Final Exams:
o 11-21-13 Day 1
o 11-22-13 Day 2
o 11-25-13 Day 3
o 11-26-13 Day 4
- 11-22 & 11-23 All-state Auditions
- 11-27-11-29-13 Thanksgiving Break
A new way to communicate and share information between home and school – Will be starting this coming week! We will be sending out a Weekly Email Update to students and parents/guardians instead of monthly mailings in an effort to:
- Better use the technology at our students’ disposal
- Increase the role and responsibility of each of our students in sharing important information with their parent-guardian
- Encourage communication between students & parent/guardian about school
- And to allow us to transfer some of the funds we typically use for postage to other important student and staff needs.
At first each time we send an email, I will send an Instant Alert letting you know that an update has been sent to your son or daughter’s RSU 57 Email Account. It will be our expectation, and we hope yours also, that your son or daughter will then share the email with you. We will also send the same information to each family for which we have an email address, but unfortunately, at this time these addresses are not as up-to-date as we would like. This plan will only work if the parents/ guardians, students and staff of “Mustang Nation” work together! If you are not sure that your home and/or family email address is correct please contact our main office to update it. Thanks very much!
Final Exams – Start this coming week on Thursday, November 21. Our plan for sophomores - seniors has exams in the AM and study and make-up time in the PM. Complete Final Exam expectations along with a schedule will be emailed, following the above plan, by this coming Monday. Final Exam Release Forms for sophomores through seniors are now available on the MHS Web Page under Student Forms. Freshman have a very different plan for their Freshman Courses during Exam Days and that schedule will be emailed to Freshman students by this coming Monday.
Increased expectations in ALL Honors Classes – Has a new sense of urgency for some of our students as we come to the end of the Fall Trimester. In September I reviewed with you that we were raising expectations for students in honors classes. That in conjunction with our focus on Performance-Based Education and instruction, means that each student in an honors class will need to earn at least a three on each of their Learning Targets within the class. With multiple opportunities to show proficiency and hard work it is our expectation this can be accomplished. We also stated that each student in Honors/Weighted Classes is expected to put a stronger emphasis on their work habits as defined by the MHS Work Habits. Our teachers have and are working hard with our students in weighted classes to reach this expectation.
As we move towards the end of our first Trimester, I need to make clear the following:
- To stay in an Honors Class for the next section of that course (Part B, C etc.) a student must maintain at least an unweighted 76 through their trimester work (this is our minimum expectation)
- In order to earn Honors Weight a student must earn 3's on all Learning Targets
- If at the end of the Trimester a student has not earned all 3's they have three options:
1.) Go to PM Study during Finals to receive re-teaching and redo assessments as needed
2.) If there is not enough time in PM Study students can get an incomplete and go to either CRS after school to earn 3's or work with the teacher who taught the class, after school, once the new Trimester has started*
3.) Lose the title of Honors for their course along with the weight and take the unweighted grade they have earned. Ex. Instead of calling it Honors Geometry it is Geometry on their transcript, without the weight.*
*Parent-Guardians need to be involved in deciding these last two choices.
Two rumors I need to attend to:
- Has MHS lost its accreditation? – This not true! I took several calls from people at the beginning of November about this rumor. We have Accreditation for the next 8 years and have a two-year progress report going out soon. I am happy to share we are continuing to make progress on their recommendations!
- Will our Diploma be changing? – Per state law this is true. Starting with the current 8th grade class (Class of 2018), all students in public high schools in Maine will need to be Standards-Based. This does not mean that transcripts and report cards will be completely different or have different meaning. What it does mean is that some changes will occur. Parent and guardian forums will be held to review possible examples starting this coming winter.
Lock-down Practice w/York County Sherriff and Maine State Police – Went well this fall! We coordinate our drills with them so as to get useful feedback to make our practices better.
MHS Auditorium renovation – Is almost complete! Painting, ceiling, lights and seats are now installed with carpet now on backorder. “Mustang Nation” will be proud!
A Public Forum on the Massabesic Athletic Complex Renovation Plan – Will be held in the MHS Auditorium, this coming Wednesday, November 20th, at 6:30 PM. We urge all to attend to learn more about the efforts and planning going into developing a plan for the voters of RSU 57 to decide on whether our facilities can be improved! Hope to see you there!
A Student Forms section – Has been created on the MHS Web Page. If you are looking for a form for your son or daughter please log onto our school’s web page, where you will find this section as the second item on the left hand side of the toolbar. Thanks!
Our Project Graduation Team – Made up of parents and guardians is working extremely hard to raise the funds for the Class of 2014. Their latest fundraiser, Scrapbooking Event raised $2,700.00! Well done and thanks for all your hard work!
If you missed the Senior College Kickoff night – It is not too late to still assist your son or daughter. Please follow these links to view presentations and download handouts:
http://highschool.rsu57.org/ > Guidance link > Senior College Kickoff link
Do you want to access the Tutorials that will help you get the most use out of Family Connections and review the procedure to request teacher recommendations? Then go to:
http://highschool.rsu57.org/ > Guidance link > Naviance/Family Connections
Congratulations go to:
Connor Mayhew – Who earned Eagle Scout status this past summer!
Diedra Lantagne, Alison O'Brien and Andrew Mongiat – For their presentation at the Sanford Rotary Breakfast, where they shared their experiences at the RYLA Leadership Retreat!
Alyssa Bryan – For being selected as one of two ballerinas to dance the part of Clara in the Nutcracker at the Maine State Ballet. She will dance on Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th & Dec 8th.
Eighteen of our students – Who visited with UNE regarding a new program offered at UNE called the Maine Mathematics and Science Scholars for School and University Collaboration, centered on STEM education.
Twelve of our students – Who participated in On-The-Spot Admissions through UNE, earning instant admission to UNE receiving $168,000 in academic grants if they chose to attend!
All who helped with the MHS courtyard facelift – Which included student volunteers: Blake Estabrook, Garrett LaFrance, Sophia LaFrance, Joanna LaFrance, Grace LaFrance, Sarah Howe and parent/guardian volunteers: Steve Estabrook, Ray Gaetjens, Sue Howe, Brenda & Jim LaFrance and Carol Skowronski! Thanks so much!"
Alex Staples – For being recognized by the Athletic Department as the September Honored Student Athlete! Mustang Nation is proud of Alex for her accomplishments on & off the field!
Some reminders from Dr. Davis our Superintendent:
With winter’s arrival – I want to remind families that we want to make sure all students are dressed and ready for the coldest days. Walking to and from the bus stop on cold days can be a very uncomfortable experience if students are not dressed properly for the weather. I know students want to continue to wear sandals, shorts and tee shirts, but there will be days that a poor choice of footwear or clothing will create some challenges. Please make sure your child is prepared if they need to be outside unexpectedly for a period of time. Having lived in some pretty cold places in my life, I know the value of hats, gloves and winter gear.
School cancellations – For our district are generally made in a joint decision with Sanford because of SRTC. However, our communications will continue to be reported separately. Please see our web site for TV and radio stations for how communications will be used to communicate school closure. I will do my best to make a firm decision by 6 am at the latest.
Flu Season – Is here so please know that our school district will not be providing a flu shot clinic this year. The vaccine is readily available in many locations in our area. A few years ago this was not the case and out of that shortage we did become a center. It is not too late to get a flu shot; please know that it is available at many places should this be important to you and your family.
We are pleased to recognize – The following MHS Students for earning Honored Student Recognition for September: Devin Adams, Anthony Amabile, Jay Arnold, Jessie Berard, Chase Berry, Nathan Binette, Connor Bourassa, Joshua Boutin, Alyssa Bryan, Mikaela Callahan, Carissa Cline, Grady Connolly, Kris Constantine, Katie Darling, Shayna Davis, William DeRosie, Joseph Diaz, Ivorie Dickinson, Brianna Drew, Nate Dukes, Allison Dunlap, Savannah Ford, Alana Franklin, Remington Gaetjens, Luke Gilman, Justin Goodwin, Jesse Hall, Tiffany Holt, Andrew Howe, Marissa Huntley, Sarah Jenkerson, Emily Kelley, Jackson King, Desiree Labbe, Hope Leadbetter, Andrew Lee, Emily Levesque, Ryan Long, Danielle Mailhot, Joshua Marquis, Taylor Martin, Phoebe Masse, Zachary McGrath, Andrew Mongiat, Collin Morris, Zachary Noble, Brian Normand, Ryley O'Connor, Brynn Patenaude, Jane Pettit, Austyn Pfeiffer, Carlos Philpotts, Leighton Phinney, Michelle Potvin, Aleighsha Randall, Aspen Reinauer, Alex Renaud, Josie Ring, Leah Ryan, Micheal Scott, Ethan Sperdakos, Chase Stearns, McKenzi Stevens, Brittney Thoits, Tyler Vance, Nick Vigue, Hunter Warren, Emily Wasina, Jon White and Colby Williams! Super job!
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter! I look forward to sharing more information with you in a more timely way using email in the weeks and months ahead!
Very truly yours,
Christian M. Elkington