News from Marshall Simonds Middle School- January 14, 2019
January 14, 2019
Project 351 Ambassador
We are pleased to report that Joe Machado, grade 8, will represent Marshall Simonds Middle School for Project 351. Project 351 is an event which began eight years ago where 351 students, one chosen from each Massachusetts city or town, met for a day of service. During this event, students will gather to share ideas and conduct service activities. Upon returning from this experience, participants share the message of service within their community and initiate a service learning project in their school and community. We are proud of Joe and we know he will demonstrate MSMS PRIDE in the upcoming event.
At Marshall Simonds Middle School, we have high expectations for all members of our community, including our students. In our experience, students are more successful in meeting and exceeding expectations that are clearly communicated and consistently upheld. This year, as we continue to transition to MSMS, Mr. Murphy and I are working with the faculty to more explicitly define our behavioral expectations for students and calibrate our responses to unexpected behaviors. During our grade level student meetings, we reviewed and clarified some of our behavioral expectations. In addition to reducing the number of disruptions to the learning environment, we believe that this will help students continue to develop important life skills beyond the classroom. Below, please find our first focus areas.
Transitions and Arriving to Class on Time
MSMS currently has 9 different schedules in our building, including different class lengths. In an effort to maximize instructional time and decrease the amount of time students are in the hallways during transitions, teachers have been asked to end class at the time that is indicated on the students’ schedule and identify times that they are expected to arrive at their next class. Teachers will be taking into account where students are traveling from and if there is a planned locker time for students. Teachers and faculty will respond in a consistent and progressive way to students who are habitually late to class.
The safety of our students is always our number one priority. It is important that when a student leaves the classroom, for any reason, that we account for their whereabouts. As a faculty, we are more consistently using hall passes to increase communication about where students are going and when they are expected back.
Cell Phones and Earbuds
We have previously communicated our expectations regarding cell phones to students and families. Students at Marshall Simonds Middle School are expected to keep their cell phones turned off and put away throughout the school day. Students should turn their cell phones off as they enter the building. We also expect that students will remove headphones and earbuds as they enter the building. Earbuds and headphones, especially noise cancelling headphones, are safety concerns. Students may use cell phones and earbuds in the classroom with teacher permission for learning purposes. Students are encouraged to lock their cell phone in their locker, to minimize distractions, and if students prefer to keep their cell phone on their person, it should be in the off position. If a child needs to contact their family during the day, they may use the phone in the office. At this point in the year, we feel that we have communicated our expectations to students. The faculty will follow a progressive response plan to remind students of the expectations and to hold them accountable when they repeatedly do not meet our expectations.
Now that the school year is in full swing, we wanted to remind everyone of our drop-off. Families who are dropping their child off, should use the drop-off loop at Peach Orchard Road. Please make sure that you are pulling all the way forward in the loop before dropping off your child. Students should not arrive to school before 7:15 am, as there is no guarantee that adequate supervision will be in place.
There are times, that the traffic volume and light cycle on Winn Street will negatively impact the drop off loop. When this happens, please be patient and continue to follow the established procedures. Allowing students to exit vehicles while in traffic, creates a potentially unsafe situation for our students. If there is still a high volume of traffic when the 7:35 am bell rings, we will delay homeroom until the loop is clear.
The Marshall Simonds Middle School music department will proudly present its Winter Concert for students in grades 6 through 8 on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. The performance will begin at 7:00 pm. Students who will be performing that evening should arrive at 6:30 pm. Students should wear “concert attire”, which includes black bottom (skirt or pants), white top (no t-shirts please), and dark shoes. Please direct any questions about the evening to your child’s teacher, Mr. Mullen, Ms. Noel, Ms. Gendron, or Ms. Schauer.
Social Media Follow-up
This past Thursday, Officers Sheppard and Costa and Mr. Murphy provided families with practical strategies to monitor their child’s online life. Mr. Murphy’s presentation can be found here and contains a number of strategies and resources to help families to set up and monitor their family accounts, devices, and apps.
High School Transition
Recently, a communication was sent to families of students in grade 8 with important information about the upcoming transition to Burlington High School. Below, please find a summary of the upcoming events for families.
8th Grade Family Night at Burlington High School: February 12, 2019, 6:00-8:00pm
Burlington High School’s administrative team will be hosting a family information evening at Burlington High School in the auditorium.
Guidance Breakfast at Marshall Simonds Middle School: February 13, 2019 at 8:30am
As a follow-up to the Family Night, MSMS & BHS Administration will be hosting a breakfast for family members. Families are welcome to attend this meeting to discuss the transition to high school and the course selection process. This is an ideal setting for you to ask questions that you may have regarding the high school transition.
Shawsheen Technical Regional High School
The deadline for applications to Shawsheen is Friday, February 1, 2019. Students who are interested in attending should complete the online application before that date.
MSMS Color Guard (Spin Club)
BHS is starting a Color Guard at MSMS starting on Tuesday, January 15th. This is great opportunity to try out a new activity while getting to know members of the BHS Color Guard from the 2018 Marching Band Season! During this time, we will be discussing what the club will entail, teach flag techniques and a short routine that we will showcase during the BHS Winter Guard Friends and Family Show at the end of the season. Please bring comfortable athletic clothing for movement. The MSMS Color Guard is open to ALL 8th grade students - join us to learn more!
WHO: 8th Grade students being taught by BHS Color Guard members.
WHEN: Tuesdays After School (3:30-4:45)
1/15, 1/22, 1/29, 2/05, 2/12, 2/26, 3/05, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2
WHERE: @ MSMS Cafeteria
Principal and Assistant Principal Coffee Hour- Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 6:30 pm-7:30 pm
Mr. Murphy and I are excited to host the next Coffee Hour on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 6:30 pm. The purpose of the Coffee Hour is to provide a forum for two way communication between families and the administration. These regular informal meetings will provide us invaluable feedback about what makes Marshall Simonds great and will assist us in identifying opportunities for growth. The Coffee Hour will take place in the Learning Commons.