March 13, 2019
Dear MSMS Community,
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the school year passes. We are approaching the midway point in March and the busy spring season will be upon us in no time. We are in the process of scheduling the end of year activities that have traditionally taken place at MSMS. It has been rumored that some of the end of the year activities would be cancelled and I apologize for not communicating the plan for the end of the year sooner. We understand that many of the end of the year activities are a significant part of the culture of MSMS and would not arbitrarily cancel events like The Final Fling or the 8th Grade Promotion Ceremony. I want to take a moment and share a list of upcoming events. At this point, these dates are tentative and more specific details will be communicated as the events are finalized.
Celebration of Learning (formerly known as Spring Open House)
Thursday, May 23, 2019
MSMS Spring Concert
Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Talent Show (new event, details to follow)
Week of June, 10, 2019 (TBD, day and evening)
Final Fling, 8th Grade Dance
Friday, June 14, 2019
8th Grade Trip to Canobie Lake Park
Week of June 17, 2019 (TBD)
6th and 7th Grade Field Day
Week of June 17, 2019 (TBD)
8th Grade Promotion Ceremony
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 (tentatively scheduled)
I want to take a moment and recognize that Vaudeville, a long standing part of the MSMS tradition is being replaced with a talent show. While I never had the opportunity to experience Vaudeville personally, it is my understanding that it was Mrs. Abati’s passion and enthusiasm that brought the event to life. Mr. Murphy and I could never replicate the performance and it would be disrespectful to try. We are still in the process of working out the details of the talent show and will be communicating with students and families once the format for the event is finalized.
As we progress through our first year, Mr. Murphy and I continue to learn what makes MSMS such a special place. We will continue to work with members of our community to identify areas of strength and opportunities for growth, to better meet the complex needs of our students. One area that we have focused on this year is our master schedule. We are in the process of finalizing a draft of potential schedule and once we are done tweaking it, we will provide an overview for families to view and provide feedback about the schedule.
Thank you for your continued support.
Midterm Progress Reports
This week marks the midway point of the third quarter. Progress reports were sent home with students on Tuesday, March 12, 2019. You are also encouraged to log-on Aspen to check your child’s progress for the second term. If you have any questions regarding your child’s academic progress, please contact their teacher or guidance counselor.
MSMS PTO Fundraiser- Envelopes due back Friday, March 15, 2019
There are a few days left in the The MSMS PTO Discount Card Fundraiser! Students should return their completed order form with cash or checks (made payable to MSMS PTO) to their homeroom teacher no later than Friday, March 15, 2019. Families can choose to purchase the sample discount card by sending $20 in their child’s envelope by Friday. Students who did not sell a discount card should return the sample card with their envelope to their homeroom teacher.
Student Council Dances- Save the Dates
The members and officers of the MSMS Student Council are excited to announce two, upcoming events. More information, including permission slips and the cost of the tickets will be shared soon. Please save the following dates:
Grade 6 Dance/Social- Friday, March 28, 2019 directly after school until 4:00 pm. Students will need to arrange for transportation after the dance.
Grade 7 & 8 Dance- Friday, April 5, 2019 from 6:30 pm- 9:30 pm. No tickets will be sold at the door. Students will need to be picked up after the dance. No students will be allowed to walk under any circumstances.
National Latin Exam
On Thursday, March 14, 2019, students in Mr. Walsh’s 7th and 8th grade Latin classes will participate in the National Latin Exam.
National History Day
This year, we were excited to offer students an opportunity to participate in the National History Day competition. Students were able to identify a topic within the theme of “Triumph Over Tragedy” and convey their knowledge through a variety of different formats. Congratulations to all the students who participated and good luck to the 11 students who are moving onto the state competition.
8th grade: Layla Ahmed-Apartheid, historical paper
6th grade: Julia Shvartsman-Rosie the Riveter, individual performance
7th grade: Julia Griffin, Julianne Piscatelli, Natalie Samulka & Nora Crossman-Eliza Hamilton, group exhibit
8th grade: Aydin Khalifa-The Battle of Lexington and Concord, historical paper
8th grade: Dakota Ellis-The Battle of Verdun, historical paper
7th grade: Emerson Waisnor, Matt Shannon & Nolan Martin-The Woburn Cancer Cluster, group documentary
8th grade:Sam Parkin & Theo VIsco: Shackleton, His Endurance: group documentary
Other students who created projects include:
6th grade: Arav Thikkekar, Jack Rabazzi, Josh Parkin, Aaron Miner, Lucas Meyers, Hemish Kansara, Christian Fillios
7th grade: Desmond Marino, Connor Lyons
8th grade: Thomas Gallagher & Matt Cerrato
National Geographic Geography Bee
Congratulations to Matthew Shannon, 7th grade student, who will be competing in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee Massachusetts State Competition! The contest will be held at Elms College on Friday, March 29, 2019. This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 31st year. School GeoBees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took an online qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State GeoBees.
MCAS, Spring 2019
Each year, all students in grades 6 through 8 participate in the state mandated MCAS testing. All students are assessed in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics. Students in grade 8 also participate in the Science, Technology, and Engineering assessment. Again, this year, all students in grades 6 through 8 will be taking the computer-based MCAS. We will be working with teachers to make sure that students are familiar with the technology used to navigate the computer-based assessment and are confident that the use of technology will not get in the way of students being able to demonstrate the skills the MCAS is meant to assess.
The assessment window is determined by the state and individual schools have the ability to schedule within each window of time. There are a number of factors that go into determining the testing dates and we do our best to provide a testing schedule that best meets the needs of students. Below, please find the 2019 MCAS testing schedule for Marshall Simonds Middle School. Please keep these dates in mind as student absences during this time are particularly disruptive.
English Language Arts, grades 6-8
Tuesday, April 9th and Wednesday, April 10th
Mathematics, grades 6-8
Tuesday, May 14th and Wednesday, May 15th
Science, Technology, and Engineering, grade 8
Monday, May 20th and Tuesday, May 21st