A few words from Mrs. Mannion:
Teacher appreciation week is well timed this year. Please, take a moment to let teachers know
the esteem we as a community have for them and the respect we share for the important work
they do. This is a good time to encourage kids to get creative and find a fun way to connect
with their teachers!
Robert Heinlein said, "When one teaches, two learn." As a parent I share with you the challenges
learning remotely presents. It's helpful to remember, our Remote Learning Plan and schedule are
emergency responses to a crisis situation. We are adaptable, but this situation is not permanent.
We will return to "normal" at some point. However, we will bring what we've learned from this
experience to the work, and I'm convinced we will be better for it.
A few additional things to note:
School Lunch Hero Day: Governor Baker has proclaimed May 1, 2020 as School Lunch Hero Day in tribute to all school nutrition professionals in the Commonwealth. Please join me in giving a big shout out to Laurie Armstrong, Sherri Burton, Charlene Doe, Nancy Gannon, Lucy Johnson, Miscoe Manager, and Diane Mucci, MURSD Director of Nutrition Services.
Most will be at Miscoe Monday to close the kitchen for the year, so if you drive by,
HONK to show you care! More information on School Lunch Hero Day
nationally is available online.
Remote Learning Instruction Sessions Via Zoom: While not mandatory, attendance in these sessions is expected and encouraged. One trend we've started to notice at Miscoe is students logging in without video. The concern is some students appear to be logged in but are not actually attending to the instruction. Please encourage your child to Zoom with video so teachers can better monitor engagement.
Grading of individual assignments: As previously shared, all assignments are mandatory. Teachers' goal is to provide actionable feedback on all work submitted. Assignments are being assessed using the following criteria, and parents can view their child's score on each assignment in Powerschool, just as you would during the typical school year.
Report Cards: Report cards will be published on Powerschool for parent/guardian viewing on May 5. Please email your child's teacher directly with any questions, concerns or gratitude!
Survey Feedback Data: The responses we received from students, staff and parents/guardians showed innovative thinking and a positivity we appreciate! People have definitely been inspired by our experiences with this crisis to create interesting solutions and options as we seek to do what is best for students. We will use this data to assess our practices and make any necessary changes as we continue to develop our skills in remote learning over the next seven weeks. Any changes will be clearly communicated to you prior to implementation.
End of year events: Staff is thoughtfully considering how to engage students in end of the school activities in a way that provides connection, fun and closure. Our 8th grade teachers are currently working on our awards and commencement ceremonies. We are exploring a collaboration with Jostens, as they are donating Zoom sessions that can accommodate up to 1000 invitees. We will also reach out to students and parents for their ideas. As seen in this photo, there are certainly some innovative ideas on the web! In addition, 8th grade teachers are working on yearbook distribution to all 8th graders, and a Drive By Sendoff through Miscoe.
Please keep an eye on the weekly newsletters sent by Mrs. Peroba for more information.
Consider taking the TED-Ed Challenge: On Instagram, TEDEd has created a fun way for students
and their families to use their brains and common household items to creatively respond to
educational challenges issued by TED speakers throughout the world. Each weekday at 2pm,
head over to @tededucation for a brief educational talk and challenge from a new TED speaker.
Speakers of all ages will use Instagram Stories and Instagram Live to deliver brief educational talks
and issue creative, interactive, family-oriented challenges to Instagram users around the world.
Viewers can respond using their own Instagram accounts, and TED-Ed will feature the most creative
responses on our channel.
Supporting your middle schooler as they process not returning to school this year: It's always important to remember, behavior Is communication. Many middle schoolers are struggling with the lack of peer contact. The teen brain is wired to be attuned to peer influence, more so than to adult influence during this time, and it is as much a need as a want. This can heighten what we sometimes hear called teen angst. Jessica Minahan (click HERE for the link to the full article and HERE to access her website): wrote Maintaining Connections, Reducing Anxiety While School Is Closed. An expert on behavior, she reminds us that many students will communicate their feelings through changes in behavior. Not all children and teens react to stress the same way, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists common behavior changes to look out for during this crisis, when interacting with students:
Ms. Minahan suggest responding with compassion. "Their behavior is their way of telling you "I'm scared, nervous, or uneasy." It's helpful to share this information with caretakers, who may misunderstand the student's behavior as just being lazy or having an attitude. For a detailed list of common anxiety-related behaviors by age, with suggestions of how families can respond, refer to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network's factsheet.
You may find youself experiencing some of these behaviors during this crisis. Don't forget to also respond to yourself with compassion!
From the US Consumer Product Safety Commission: Quinn the Quarantine Fox.
“Good night, kind friends. Tomorrow we care for one another all over again.”
Let me know what we can do to support you!
Hello again to the Miscoe community! It seems too soon for the next monthly update as March flew by in a stream of changes. I hope you and those you love are well, and if not, that you are finding the support and strength you need.
Our students, staff and families have done a great job staying connected and practicing previous learning. In this update you will find specifics about the upcoming shift from providing practice opportunities to students to providing instruction of new content and skills.
This shift will begin on Monday, April 6. The specifics are found in the district’s Remote Learning Plan, shared with you by Dr. Maruszczak. For an overview, click HERE for Dr. M.'s screencast.
Some elements of the learning plan will look familiar in the coming weeks:
Some elements of the plan will be new beginning Monday:
Here is a link to a document with frequently asked questions to support your understanding: FAQs Thank you to Nipmuc administrators for sharing their work with this.
As Winston Churchill stated, "Perfection is the enemy of progress." Please remember that we are creating this system as we are working within it. Therefore, we appreciate your patience, support and feedback as we continue to refine it to reflect the unique needs of this time and our middle school students.
Review of the plan and the answering of questions will occur in the upcoming communication sessions:
Sharing my musings just as food for thought:
“Serenity is not freedom from the storm; but peace amid the storm.”― S.A. Jefferson-Wright
Through mindful collaboration and consistent communication, staff, students, family and community members have been able to come together to keep each other healthy, informed and connected. The intent of this update will be to share what student engagement will look like over the next few weeks. We know information and conditions change rapidly right now, so the MURSD staff has worked to create a plan to keep students engaged through practice opportunities appropriate to each developmental level. The chart below identifies the plan for Extended Learning developed through collaboration of the district administrative team and Miscoe faculty.
As you will see, on Monday mornings around 10:00, teachers will offer practice work to students, with each teacher offering one hour's worth of practice of previously learned content and/or skills to be completed by Friday of that week. Each team will also send parents and guardians an email with a summary of the practice opportunities for that week. Students will be offered "real time" support from each teacher, including special education teachers and electives, for a predetermined hour each day. Para educators will continue to offer support electronically to students with whom they work. You should expect responses to inquiries shared via email, google classroom, or another online platform with which students are familiar, by the end of the school day if shared within the school day. Inquiries shared during off hours will receive a response by the end of the next school day. Here is the extended learning plan for the next two weeks:
Faculty will log students' attempts at work completion in Powerschool and use it as a way to determine who might need a check in or support. While the practice opportunities offered on Mondays are not mandatory, we hope families will encourage students to give it their best try in an effort to keep students’ minds engaged in academics during this challenging time. The work will be designed with the expectation that students are able to complete it independently or with support from a staff member.
If you did not yet have the chance to view Dr. Maruszczak’s screencast with information about MURSD’s extended learning plan, you can find that here.
Please also be mindful that our staff is working from home with varying family needs and experiencing the same emotions as the rest of the community. Our goal is to make sure we leave each other feeling cared for and supported. Mr. Marshall and I are available by email throughout the school day. Please share any questions, concerns, or positive feedback. We won't have all the answers, but we will certainly respond in a timely manner.
Our guidance department put together some tips for time management:
The video below was created by two high school teachers for their students, and it is compassionate, timely, and informative.
From the PTO: While doing your online shopping, please consider using Amazon Smile to support the Miscoe Hill Parent Teacher Organization. It's easy to do! Simply log go to smile.amazon.com. Click on the CHARITY link and select The Miscoe HIll Parent Organization. Register yourself as an online shopper and the PTO will receive 10% of the purchases price on select items donated to their cause.
From https://teachremotely.harvard.edu/best-practices - Take care of your hands: many of us will be typing a lot more. Pay attention to your tendons (and your shoulders). Take breaks. This applies to students as well. Harvard’s Environmental Health & Safety group has a self-assessment for computer ergonomics.
Take care of you, and let us know what you need.
A FEW WORDS FROM MRS. MANNION
November is a time of giving thanks and being mindful of what we are grateful for in our lives. At Miscoe, we are feeling grateful for the We Care Miscoe committee and volunteers. On a sunny Sunday in October, I pulled into the MIscoe parking lot to find hordes of volunteers already busy at work. Between the hours of 8:00 and 10:00, this group of approximately 100 adults and students of all ages transformed the landscape in front of the building.
We are also grateful for Mr. McInnis and the members of the student led Friends of Rachel Club at Miscoe for creating an opportunity for students and adults to join together to fight breast cancer. One of the club's missions is to perform random acts of kindness for individuals or charities. This year, our wonderful eighth grade student leadership team wanted to do something to support breast cancer awareness. In addition to the fundraising done on their own this past summer, students sold pink socks during the first two months of school. They raised $1,000.00 dollars which they chose to donate to our local hospital for breast cancer research. They organized a pink out day on October 25th, and we were thrilled to see so many teachers, administrators and students dressed up in pink to show their support against this awful disease. A representative from Milford Regional Medical Center was invited to our school to receive the donation. This success of the presentation was enhanced due to the support of two MA State Police Officers, Nicole Morrell and Dustin Fitch. When they arrived in their uniforms in a the pink SUV, our students felt the connection and support of their school community. When our community members support the causes important to our students, it adds to students' credibility and pride.
A FEW OF THE ADDITIONAL HAPPENINGS AT MISCOE THIS MONTH
MHYT: The Miscoe Hill Youth Theater group had us laughing and applauding wildly during their recent performances of 67 Cinderellas. The talents of our students and program coordinators never fail to impress.
Report Cards: Report cards will be published on Powerschool on November 13. Here is a helpful article to support discussing report cards with your child: How to Talk to Your Kid About Report Cards
We also want to bring 2 important details to your attention.
1. Just like iPass, the only way parents can see Term 1 grades is if they create a PowerSchool parent account. Out of the 761 students at Miscoe, 476 students have parents with a PowerSchool account.
2. Unlike iPass, there are no PDF report cards "published" to the parents at the end of the term. To see grades, parents use the "Grades and Attendance" screen. The Grades and Attendance screen can be printed by them to serve as a report card or report cards can be generated by each school upon request.
An email will be sent to Miscoe parents and guardians addressing both of the points above. The email will be unique to each parent email address with the access code to create a PowerSchool parent account. Please contact Liz Black at eblack.mursd.org for assistance if needed.
Nipmuc DECA students are offering some of our students a unique opportunity. Three high school seniors working on their capstone project are focusing on building student self-awareness at the middle school level in the context of reaching future goals. They invited several of our eighth grade students to participate in a series of three workshops to explore their interests and skills. Here is a link if you would like more information about DECA https://www.deca.org/high-school-programs/.
A FEW WAYS TO GET INVOLVED AT MISCOE THIS MONTH
A FEW WORDS FROM MRS. MANNION
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” -Mr. Rogers
At Miscoe, we believe in the power of play for both adults and students. Today we had our first all-school assembly of the school year. It seemed that fun was had by all! The assembly was hosted by the members of our Rachel's Challenge organization, and the focus was how to create a culture of inclusion. Officer Sinko, our school resource officer, and Ms. Beauregard, one of our school counselors, kicked off the meeting by introducing Start with Hello. Students then shared some wild and wacky ways to greet others. Teachers and students engaged in team building, and our Student Council members shared how to get involved in student government. It was a great way to start the month!
We will end the month with more play. Carl Jung stated, “The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.” October offers an opportunity for play-inspired learning. At Miscoe, we are in year three of inviting students and staff to come in costume on October 31. We only ask that costumes adhere to two guidelines:
1) Costumes should be in alignment with our school dress code as identified in our handbook.
2) Costumes should be made by students from recycled and/or upcycled materials. Please, no store bought costumes! This year, our Student Council members are planning to offer prizes for innovation in different costume categories. More information to come!
A FEW of the additional happenings at miscoe this month
We Care Miscoe Update: Our next project is some light landscaping, and we need your help!
What: Community Landscape Day
When: Sunday, Oct. 6th from 8 am-12pm
Thank you to the Muffin House and Nestle for the refreshments.
Please continue to support our efforts. Grab a friend and join in! Click here to sign up.
Please click this Shutterfly link to view the transformative results from the work of those who found time to volunteer this summer. So far, less than $2,200 has been spent on direct supplies. Funds were made possible by a $1000 donation from the Upton Men’s Club, $800 from Next Step Sports Academy, $500 from local resident Jim Grant’s fundraising efforts, and direct donations from businesses and local individuals. Donations can be made using this Paypal Donation Link. Thanks to the following for supporting our efforts:
Louis Correia, Carpentry Carly’s Creations Lewis Landscape
Mark Machado, Carpentry CC Landscaping, LLC Weston Nurseries
Lowe’s Home Improvement Custom Home Realty Milford ACE Hardware
Home Depot Sherwin Williams Sawmill Construction
SAAB Plumbing DMR Painting, John Nickerson Burke Family
Jordi Labs Upton Men’s Club Michael’s
Girls On the Run RGP Home Improvement Curry Audio
Dell Gives Back Polartec North East Office Solutions
And thank you to all of our Project Leaders for their tireless efforts:
Mike and Dina Neveux, Painting Laurie Holloway, Landscaping
Lisa Loo, Fundraising Sue Allen, Flocking
Amy Bonina, Teacher’s Lounge Restaurant Fundraisers, Jen Santasoussa
Jeremy Stewart & Mark Machado, Locker Rooms
For grade 5 parents: Nature's classroom meeting
10/9 at 6:00 pm in the Miscoe auditorium.
Come learn about this opportunity and have your
The trip is planned for early December.
Annual MURSD design challenge: We will be adopting the STEM Week Challenge, sponsored by Mass STEAM Hub & Project Lead the Way. The
challenges were developed in conjunction with the TD Garden and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Projection. The challenge will take place during the week of 10/21/19. The goal of the design challenge is for students to develop and apply knowledge within the STEM domains to a real-world problem. The universal K-12 theme is Zero Waste with different areas of focus for various grade bands. You can read more about each challenge here. Please be sure to ask your child about this learning challenge!
Student council is trying out a new program this year called Homeroom Helpers. A member of StuCo will join each homeroom two to three days per week for the duration of the school year. Some of their roles and responsibilities may be the following:
Did you know...The Upton Town Library offers the following programs and services to their patrons:
Our Miscoe Hill Youth Theater group will host their first performances of the year Nov. 1 and 2.
A FEW ways to get involved AT MISCOE THIS MONTH
PTO meeting 10/9 7:00
School advisory council meeting 10/15 3:30-5:00
Join our School Advisory Council - email Mrs. Mannion if you are interested. Our first monthly meeting is October 15 from 3:30-5:00.
Support We Care Miscoe
a few words from mrs. mannion
It has been a pleasure welcoming students, staff and families to Miscoe for the new school year! Assistant Principal Mr. Marshall and I have had the opportunity to meet with students in each grade to set a positive tone and expectations for the school year.
Part of each assembly has been reviewing the work our PBIS committee has done as we address the goals of our School Improvement Plan and create a more positive climate and culture at Miscoe. Last year this committee put together the following document: Miscoe PBIS Grid . This was then shared with staff and students for feedback before implementing phase one, which was creating norms for what our hallways should look like, sound like and feel like if they reflect our core values. This month we added phase two - the cafeteria. Students identified the behaviors that reflect our school pride and our respect for ourselves and each other in this space. One student summed it up well when she shared that it all comes down to two words: Be Kind! We know when students deviate from these behaviors, it is because they have not learned to apply them consistently, yet. But, the adults in the building understand the power of yet and that learning takes instruction, coaching, feedback and practice. We are always grateful to work with the parents and guardians we have because we feel we partner well on this! If you are interested in research regarding raising kind children, you may want to check out this piece by Elizabeth Williams of Curious Mind Magazine: According To Harvard Psychologists: Parents Who Raise “Good” Kids Do These 5 Things. We know you are doing these things because you send us kind kids!
Additionally, the work our We Care Miscoe committee has done to instill a sense of pride in our school was shared with staff and students. This, too, originated from a goal of our School Improvement Plan. We Care Miscoe is a subcommittee under Miscoe Hill PTO who’s purpose is to empower staff and students to increase pride, ownership and student success through funding physical and aesthetic improvements in the environment at MIscoe. The chairs of this committee are dedicated, focused, and persistent in their pursuit of school pride. Our volunteer base continues to expand as people step forward to offer time, services or donations. Please consider joining us in some small way, for as Margaret Wheatley stated, “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”
If you are interested in becoming a member of our School Advisory Council and helping us write and achieve our School Improvement Plan goals, please email me to add your name to the ballet. Votes will be cast during Open House(s)! We meet monthly after school.
We hope to see all parents and guardians at an Open House so we can share more about the great things happening at Miscoe!
a few of the happenings at miscoe this month
School visitors - If you come to Miscoe during the school day, please bring your MA license so you can sign in and out at the office using our electronic system.
Fired Evacuation Drill - Our students did an outstanding job practicing fire evacuation in our first drill, which was announced in advance. Our next drill will be unannounced, and we know they will do just as well!
Drama try outs - if your child would like a speaking part in any of the five school plays this year, please encourage them to use the code shared at school to register on the school website. Tryouts are 9/5 after school.
Instrument rental night is 9/6 at 6:00!
Week of the 23rd - Our sixth graders visit the YMCA ropes course and engage in team building activities!
Open houses also occur during the week of the 23rd.
We Care Miscoe Fundraiser - We're having a shoe drive, so empty the closets and bring us your gently used shoes, boots, sandals and sneakers! The shoe drive will officially "kick off" on Tuesday, September 10th and run through mid-November. Collection bins will be in the lobby of each school in the district.
a few ways to get involved at miscoe this month
A FEW WORDS FROM MRS. MANNION:
This summer I have been humbled by the efforts of our We Care Miscoe Committee. This group, formerly known as the School Beautification Committee, has worked to create a sense of pride and ownership in our school. The photos above share some of the highlights of their work, which includes consistent paint colors in hallway; sprucing up bathrooms, the staffroom and cafe; and building organizational units for the locker rooms and lobby; and creating a more aesthetic landscape. We are so grateful to the efforts of all involved; they have been a small but mighty force! It's amazing what a few dedicated people can accomplish. We look forward to welcoming students, staff and families to Miscoe for the start of the 2019-2020 school year, knowing these efforts will be immediately impactful.
Teachers have started trickling in, preparing classroom spaces and reconnecting with colleagues. We look forward to welcoming students back on Wednesday, August 28. New students are invited to tour the building Wednesday, August 14, from 10-11:00 with Assistant Principal Mr. Marshall, and again on Thursday, August 22 at 4:00. A reminder that students are off August 30 through September 2 for the labor day recess.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HAPPENINGS AT MISCOE:
New Faces: We are excited to introduce the newest members of our Miscoe staff!
Ms. Heather Formon. Ms. Formon will be teaching the chorus elective to students in grades 5-8 as well as the A Cappella group and general music. A graduate of Berklee Colleage of Music with a Masters Degree from Gordon College, she comes to Miscoe with a wide range of experience, having worked with students in elementary, middle and high school.
Mr. Patrick Adcock will take on a one year position in grade 7 science while Mrs. Parent is on leave with her beautiful twins. Mr. Adcock Earned a Bachelors Degree in Science from UMass and his Masters from Northeastern. This will be his second year teaching at the secondayr level.
We are excited to announce that we hired Lauren Cartier, special education teacher, to replace Ms. Kelly Brown who has accepted a position in a neighboring district. Ms. Brown is returning to her roots; she will be working with early elementary students. We wish her the best and will miss her at Miscoe. Ms. Cartier comes to us from a neighboring district, and we're pleased to welcome her to our community.
Mr. Johnson accepted a position closer to home, and we've hired Cathy Papayannopoulos to fill his shoes. She comes with a wealth of experience and will be a great fit as the special educator on our 7th grade team.
School Picture Dates: School pictures for grades 7 and 8 will be September 3, and grades 5 and 6 will be September 4.
SchoolKidz Supply Kit: Volunteers will distribute kits to classrooms, so if you ordered one for your child, they will receive it on their first day back to school.
A FEW WAYS TO GET INVOLVED THIS MONTH:
“How did it get so late so soon?”
a few words from mrs. mannion:
It seems as though the school year always flies by as fast for educators as summer does for families. Here we are in June, a month that offers moments for reflection (between the multitude of end-of-the-year events!). Administrators review progress on the goals of the district and school strategic plans, teachers review progress on their student learning and professional practice goals, and students reflect on their growth in content, skills, and maturity. This reflection sets the stage for summer work (or leisure!) and the setting of new goals in the fall. When I was in early elementary school, I thought the new year started after Labor Day. We returned to school full of excitement and resolve for the year ahead. I still continue to wish teachers a happy new year when we return at the end of August, excited for the learning and growth that is to come. The work is hard, and worth doing, so we strive to do our best all year long. Summer feels like a great reward for those efforts. It's also a time to refuel, reconnect, and relax! We encourage relaxing with a good book. Please see below for additional information on summer reading. Thank you for your attention to this, and thank you for another great year.
Summer reading expectations for students: Please click HERE to access the link to student summer reading lists and expectations.
A few highlights of the happenings at miscoe:
School Beautification: Thank you to the Upton Men’s Club for voting favorably to fund improvements to the girls' locker room in the amount of $1,000.00! Thank you also to Diane Duncan for chairing the School Beautification Committee and building momentum around our efforts. And, thank you to Louis Correira, Mark Machado, Jeremy Stewart, and Rodrigo Peroba for voluneering their time and skills to the many projects involving carpentry. Please consider getting involved in one of the many projects planned. You can contact Mrs. Duncan at email@example.com
In addition, the 5th grade Girl Scout Troop 64528 launched an electrical energy saving campaign. Click below to view their informational slides.
Guidance Department Update: In the 2019-20 school year, the Guidance Counselors will be piloting a looping model. Each counselor will remain with two assigned grades until the grade transitions to high school. We are excited to utilize this model as looping allows counselors a longer period of time to build close relationships with students and families, and to get to know and understand students needs on a deeper level.
Building climate and culture at Miscoe: Jessica Minahan, M. Ed., and BCBA, asks, "Why do we teach language arts and math but punish behavior?” Reflection on this is one of the drivers behind goal number one of this year's school improvement plan: Promote student success and reduce behavior referrals through the development and implementation of tiered Social Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction, supports and interventions. As one of the action steps of this goal, a PBIS (Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports) committee was formed. The committee, comprised of Miscoe staff members, researched PBIS and worked hard to create a matrix of expectations that focuses on the following areas: Hallways, Classrooms, Cafeteria, Bus, Playground/Outside, Assemblies, Bathroom/Locker Room. The matrix was shared with staff and students for feedback. After revision, the decision was made to begin the roll out, starting with expectations for our hallways. Each grade attended an assembly where they responded to questions identifying what it should look like, sound like and feel like to walk in our halls. The effects were immediate, and our students are to be commended for their responsiveness. The work of this committee will allow us to continue to appropriately set expectations for our students throughout the school while also supporting them in ways that best meet their needs. We look forward to educating our families on the PBIS framework during the upcoming school year. Watch out for more information on how to learn more about these efforts.
Incoming fifth grade parent presentation: In case you missed it, the presentation slides have been posted to our website. Please click HERE to and then click the Incoming 5th Grade tab to access the link.
a few ways to get involved this month or over the summer:
In case you missed it: Our Student Safety Information Night for Parents received positive feedback from those who attended or viewed it live on Youtube. Please click below if you'd like to view the recording.
The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May. ~ Edwin Way Teale
a few words from mrs. mannion
Our second community information night regarding school safety and dynamic response to an active intruder was well attended by both the people present in the auditorium and those viewing the live stream on Youtube. Thank you to all who participated in this way. Thanks also to all who collaborated to make the event possible. Even with many hands, it was not light work!
This event was an action step in one of the four goals of our school improvement plan regarding safety and school beautification. Our school advisory council developed the plan and in our monthly meetings has supported growth in each of its four strategic initiatives:
1. Promote student success and reduce behavior referrals through the development and implementation of tiered Social Emotional Learning
(SEL) instruction, supports and interventions.
2. Create consistent, proactive communication practices to inform and engage students, parents, guardians and community
3. Develop understanding and skills of Project-Based Learning (PBL) Design
4. Engage students, families and community members in school beautification and safety efforts.
In our June meeting, the council will review progress on these initiatives and begin identifying actions steps for next year's plan. If you have any feedback that would be helpful, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be a member of this council, please read the August update this summer to learn how. Thank you to parent and community and parents members Steve Aubut, Suzanne Blalock, and Rob Cotton, and to staff members Paul Schwab, Wendy Morrison, Paul Marshall, and our amazing co-chair, Rina Manser, for their work this year.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS OF THE HAPPENINGS AT MISCOE:
May 5-11 is Teacher Appreciation Week: Please help us celebrate our awesome teachers and Miscoe staff! During the week of May 5-11, send a note, bring some food, or take to social media to let our staff know you care. PTO will sponsor an appreciation breakfast and luncheon on Thursday, May 9. #ThankATeacher
From our School Resource Officer:
I am pleased to announce that we will begin using the Raptor Visitor Management System at the Miscoe Hill Middle School. Part of keeping track of visitors entering the Miscoe Hill Middle School is knowing who is in our building at all times, and the Raptor system will allow us to do that. The Raptor system will allow us to better screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide them with printed identification.
Upon entering the Miscoe Hill Middle School, visitors will need to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a U.S. government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sexual offenders. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. Once the entry is approved, the Raptor system will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose for his/her visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our school simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.
The Raptor visitor management system will allow us to enhance our visitor entrance procedure. Thank you in advance for your understanding and your support.
From our guidance department: In May grade level teams work on student placement for the coming school year. There are many variables taken into consideration. If you have information of which we need to be aware regarding your child's placement, please contact your child's guidance counselor prior to May 15. Please do not request specific teachers or teams, as we cannot honor these requests. Instead, provide specific information about your child that will support decision making.
Comments Sought on Proposed Changes to Accountability System: The MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, or DESE, is soliciting public comment on proposed changes to the state's district and school accountability system. A summary of the accountability system and the proposed changes is posted online. People can submit comments about the proposed changes in one of the following three ways:
Reminder: May 10 is a half day for students so teachers can engage in professional development. Dismissal is 11:32.
A FEW WAYS TO GET INVOLVED AT MISCOE THIS MONTH:
May 1: PTO 7:00 in the Miscoe library
May 7: Vape Presentation - Vape pens and e-cigarettes are not harmless, yet our 2018 MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey preliminary data showed an increase in current use by middle and high school students, and a combined 56% had tried them at least once (compared to 43% in 2016).
Learn more about what these products are, why they are harmful, and how to protect our kids from this latest trend.
- Teacher appreciation luncheon sponsored by the PTO
- International night, at Nipmuc 5:30-7:30
May 13: School Committee meeting, 7:00 pm at the Nipmuc PDC
May 14,15: Math MCAS. Please make sure your child is rested and fueled to do his or her best. No homework will be assigned prior to MCAS test days.
May 14: Attend the school beautification committee meeting at 7:00 in the Miscoe library and learn how you can join a group ready to do a little painting/prep work at Miscoe. You will also learn about upcoming projects you may want to support.
May 15: Pops concert at Nipmuc 6:00 pm
May 20: School Advisory Council Meeting 3:30-5:00
May 20, 21: Science MCAS for grades 5 and 8.
May 30: 6th grade Greek day. (morning activity in the upper gym)
May 31: Come see the grade 8 Renaissance Fair, 8:30-10:30
It's a sure sign of spring when students rehang the hitting net for our softball and baseball teams! MCAS, although less nostalgia-inducing, is also a sign that spring has sprung, Our students will take the assessment for language arts on the 23rd and 24th of April. On April 9 we will have an abbreviated trial run so our IT team and students can practice with the technology in preparation for the real thing. Between the two we will enjoy April vacation week. Our school beautification committee and supporting community members have several projects planned for that week. If you find yourself with some free time and would like to get involved in ANY way, we ask that you fill out this brief survey. Thank you to all who participated in our last school beautification meeting. We'd love to see even more folks get involved! If you are doing any spring cleaning at home and find yourself looking to re-home items, consider supporting our Rachel's Challenge students in their Stuff the Truck event. More info to come!
A few words about the happenings at miscoe
Did you know...Our eighth grade students and staff have monthly grade level meetings to recognize students for all kinds of cool reasons and to have some fun as a grade level community? The last meeting saw a spirited dance competition between homerooms. In this pic Mr. Charest is bustin' a move with his homeroom!
Term three report cards: Report cards will be published via iParent on April 11. Often conversations about grades focus more on where students underperformed rather than where they showed growth, proficiency or mastery. One suggestion is to help students develop a growth mindset by asking them to share what they did to earn a satisfactory grade and how they could apply those skills to promote growth in other areas. Carol Dweck has pioneered this work in her book Mindset; The new Psychology of Success. Check out this video from Standford Alumni featuring Dweck providing an overview of how to foster a growth mindset: Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck
If Only/Hidden in Plain Sight: We would like to thank the community members who attended our March 19th event to learn about how parents and guardians can help prevent substance abuse. I would also like to thank the staff members from our guidance, nursing, and Wellness department, our school resource officer, and our esteemed panel members for coordinating and providing an informative evening.
Save the dates:
For those who were unable to attend our initial offering, we will again offer a parent information night regarding school safety for Clough and Miscoe parents and guardians on May 2. Officer Sinko will again present on ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training, providing parents information on how schools, businesses and other organizations prepare and plan to more proactively handle the threat of an aggressive intruder or active shooter event. Whether it is an attack by an individual person or by an international group of professionals intent on conveying a political message through violence, ALICE Training option based tactics have become the accepted response, versus the traditional “lockdown only” approach. Staff across the district have received initial training, and our hope is to begin to train students at Miscoe Hill in how to stay safe whether at school or in other settings. Come hear the presentation and have your questions answered as we partner in keeping children and each other safe.
May 7 at 6:30 in the Miscoe Auditorium there will be a 45 minute presentation for parents and guardians by Tina Grosowski from Get Outraged on adolescent vaping and nicotine addiction. Vaping is becoming more and more common among our middle school students. Come learn what you can do to support your child in avoiding this behavior at this early age.
We won! Thanks to Dave Quinn, MURSD Director of Technology Integration, and Lisa Young, Miscoe parent, for their efforts in securing a grant for the Miscoe Hill Middle School Clean Energy, Garden and Compost Program. Miscoe has been chosen as one of the 10 winners of a 2018 Possibility Grant from Boston Scientific. The grant will fund materials for a weather station, which will aid us in improving the watering system for our school garden while teaching students valuable STEM skills in electronics, physical computing, and programming for the Internet of Things.
For your planning purposes,
this year's MCAS dates are the the following:
April 23, 24 ELA
May 15, 16 Math
May 20, 21 Science Grades 5 and 8 only
to Miscoe art teacher Alice Gentili @MonaLisaLvsHeah
for being named
2019 National Middle Level Art Educator of the Year
National Art Education Association!
All who know her work know this is well deserved!
The @MendonUptonRSD community is
so proud of our colleague.
a few ways to get involved at miscoe this month:
“Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~ Walt Disney