MERMS Weekly Newsletter: 2.2.15

February 2, 2015

Highlights from PMEMS Meeting Last Week

Did you know? PMEMS, our PTO, meets once per month. All are welcome.

If you missed last week's meeting on Friday, 1/30,15, don't worry: you can view the minutes from the meeting here: PMEMS Minutes 1.30.15. We discussed technology, a flower fundraiser, the 8th Grade End-of-Year Celebration, upcoming dances and activities for 6th, 7th and 8th graders, and more! Please check out the PTO's minutes and get involved!

8th to 9th Grade Transition Meeting

8th Graders and 8th Grade Parents/Guardians: Did you miss the 8th to 9th Grade Transition meeting last Thursday night? If so, you can view the notes I took from the presentation, including the student panel Q&A. To view those notes, please click here.

If you have other questions, I encourage you to contact the 6-12 Department Heads to ask any questions you may have. You can find the contact information for Department Heads by viewing the 14-15 MS Staff List.

8th Grade teachers will begin considering recommendations for freshman year classes. As this process begins, please note that 8th Grade teachers' recommendations have historically been very appropriate and accurate, but you may still have questions. We will be in touch soon with more information about when freshman recommendations will be released.

8th Grade Washington Trip: Reminder to Make Payment

Attention all 8th Grade Parents/Guardians:

Payment deadlines for the Washington Trip are as follows:

  • Monday, January 26, 2015: $200
  • Monday, February 23, 2015: $400
  • Monday, March 30, 2015: Payment in full

To make a payment, please contact WorldStrides directly at (enter trip ID #108984), or call WorldStrides Customer Service at 1-800-468-5899.

For more information about our trip, please visit our Washington Trip page at:

If you are in need of financial assistance, please visit our Washington Trip page, download and complete the financial assistance application, and confidentially return to Mr. Steve Guditus, Principal at Manchester-Essex Regional Middle School.

If you are interested in helping to fundraise for our scholarship fund for this trip, please contact Mr. Jim Thomas, Washington Trip Coordinator, at

Theatre Club Begins After February Break

We are pleased to announce that MERMS and the YMCA Theatre Company will continue working together to offer a spring Theatre Club. The club will meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:30pm. The club will consist of the opportunity to hone your theatre craft through group songs, improv games, scene and monologue work. You will have the opportunity to connect with other kids who love the stage, just like you!

Start Date: Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meeting Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:30-4:30pm

Showcase Performances: Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cost: $150/$175

To view the full flyer, please go to: MERMS/YMCA Theatre Co - Spring Theatre Club

For more information or to sign up, please contact Nicole Leotsakos, Performing Arts Director:, 781-990-7065

Getting To and From School

With so much snow falling, and more predicted, getting to and from school continues to be challenging. A few reminders:

  • If you drive your child, please leave a bit earlier than you usually do. Remember, students may be dropped off as early at 7:15am and should report to the cafeteria.
  • Please do not drop your child in the parking lot. It is a safety hazard for you, your child and for the staff who are parking their cars. Please only use the designated drop off line.
  • When picking up and dropping off your child in a car, please enter and exit from Lincoln Street.
  • Please do not have your child jump out of a car in the middle of traffic to walk to school. Instead, please leave a bit earlier for school to avoid congestion in the dropoff/pickup line.
  • If your child walks to school, he/she should use the sidewalks. Snowbanks are very high. If there are sidewalks that are impassable, please call the DPW. If there are walkways at school that are impassable, please let Mr. Guditus know as soon as possible.

Thank you for your help in this matter as we ensure getting to and from school is done safely and orderly. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact the school.

Midway Through Trimester 2

Did you know? We are halfway through Trimester 2. If you haven't checked in on your child's progress, please log into Aspen with him/her. Taking a few minutes to walk through your child's grades is helpful for his/her own self-awareness, and we appreciate your help and and support on the homefront!

If you have any questions about your child's grade, please ask your child and speak directly to the teacher, who can answer any questions your have.

You can log into Aspen by going to:

2015 Summer Opportunities Fair

Sunday, February 1, 2015 – Noon to 3PM

Phillips Andover Academy, Smith Center

Programs for Middle & High School Students

Free and Open to the Public

Representatives from 100 local, national, and international programs are available to discuss academic programs, language study, community service, camps, sports, arts, research, internships, outdoor adventure, international travel, & gap year opportunities for the summer of 2015. For more information, go to:

Wednesday, February 4 is an Early Release @ 11:30am. It is a Day 6.

Thursday, February 5 is Day 5.

February: Fiber Focus Month

Just last year, the fiber recommendations for toddlers and children increased while many American youth are not eating enough fiber to meet the recommendations. Fiber is important for children because it has no calories, requires more chewing which slows the pace of eating, and fills up the stomach quickly. All of these effects of fiber add up to feeling fuller and keeping a healthy weight over time. Fiber also helps keep digestion regular, lowers high cholesterol or maintains healthy cholesterol levels, and keeps blood sugar from spiking after meals. Steady increases in blood sugar following a meal create long-lasting energy and focus.

Tips to increase your child’s fiber intake include:

  • When adding more fiber to the diet, make sure you also drink more water to prevent abdominal discomfort.
  • Make at least half of your grains whole grains. Whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole-wheat foods. All of the grains served in the school breakfast and lunch program are whole grains!
  • Encourage children to eat 2 servings of fresh fruit each day. Juice has no fiber and should be given in small amounts (0-6oz per day).
  • Serve your children raw vegetables when they are the most hungry, like just after getting home from school, or after playing outside or going to sports practice.
  • Leave the skins on fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
  • Top salads with seeds and add sliced or chopped nuts to cereal, oatmeal, and pancakes.
  • Try easy mini-pizzas by toasting a whole grain tortilla topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and vegetables.
  • Add extra vegetables and beans to soups.
  • Avoid overcooking vegetables since this breaks down fiber in foods. Juicing fruits and vegetables removes most of their fiber.
  • Choose breads with 3g+ of fiber per slice and cereals with 5g+ of fiber on the Nutrition Facts label.

Your middle schooler's fiber intake is recommended to be:

Girls, ages 9-19: 26 grams/day

Boys, ages 9-13: 31 grams/day

Boys, ages 14-19: 38 grams/day

Jane Reimer is a Simmons College Dietetic Intern with MERSD Food Services. If you have any questions on this or other nutrition topics, contact Jane at

Donations Needed for Indoor Recess is cold out there! On days when the windchill is below 20, we will remain inside for lunch and recess. We are looking for donations for students to use during indoor recess.

Do you have a set of Uno cards, chess, board game, or something else you are not longer using? Why not donate it! We welcome any and all donations (used is fine). Please drop off any donations in the middle school main office with labeled with "Middle School Recess." Thank you for your consideration!

Manchester-Essex Apparel Sale

We have teamed up with a local company, Living the Team, to put together a MERSD apparel sale. Clothing and accessories are high quality, and the sale of the products benefits our PTO, Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School (PMEMS). Items ship directly to your home. To order, you can go directly to:

Websites of Interest

If you have a few minutes to peruse, you may find the following links of interest:

Upcoming Events

MERSD School Committee FY16 Budget Hearing

Tuesday, Feb. 3rd, 7pm

12 Story Street

Essex, MA

Help Needed: Spaulding Education Fund

Are you looking for a way to be more involved in our schools but do not have much time? Are you good with numbers? Maybe have a background in Finance or Accounting?

If so, we have the perfect opportunity for you! The Spaulding Education Fund is on the search for a Volunteer Accountant to join the Steering Committee: we are looking for someone to help us keep our books in order! The commitment would be only a few hours a month which you can do on your own time. In addition, the Steering Committee meets about 6 times a year to review grants, plan events and other related matters. It's a great group of engaged parents that are committed to helping make our great schools even better!

If you have any interest or know of someone that would be a good candidate please email Tracy Davis at For more information about SEF, go to:

MERMS Early Release

Wednesday, Feb. 4th, 11:30am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

No School - PD Day

Friday, Feb. 13th, 7:30am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA