MERMS Weekly Newsletter

January 12, 2015

Theatre Club Begins in February

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, please contact Nicole Leotsakos, Performing Arts Director:, 781-990-7065

Band and Chorus Concert Reminders

The Middle School Winter Concert is Thursday, 1/15/15, starting at 7:30pm. Before the show and during intermission, we will have a refreshment sale to help raise scholarship funds for the 8th Grade Trip to Washington.

Band Student Details:

  • Report to the Band Room at 7:00pm.
  • Boys' Attire: dress pants, buttoned shirt and tie, dress or boat shoes - sneakers are not acceptable.
  • Girls' Attire: dresses, skirts, or dress pants. Sneakers are not acceptable.

Chorus Student Details:

  • Report to the Dining Hall at 6:30pm.
  • Boys' Attire: Black dress pants, white shirt, tie, dark shoes (no jacket).
  • Girls' Attire: Black dress pants or skirt (appropriate length for school), white blouse or sweater (must have sleeves), dark shoes (no heels over 1.5").

The concert begins at 7:30pm.

Parenting and Technology Workshop: 1/21/15 @ 6:30-8:30pm

Sponsored by PMEMS, please join us on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from 6:30-8:30pm for a workshop entitled Parenting and Technology: Understanding the issues, establishing safe & appropriate practices. The speaker will be Doug Fodeman, current Director of Technology at Brookwood School, author of A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety, and former co-director of the organization Children Online.

For more information about the presentation, please click on this link. This event is for parents and guardians only; students will participate in an event with Mr. Fodeman during the school day.

This event is free of charge, thanks to sponsorship by our PTO, Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School (PMEMS). You can support PMEMS by going here.

H Block: One Word

6th and 7th Graders participated in an H Block activity last week, centered around focus and one word. In "The Twitterverse," this activity is tagged with #OneWord365. The intent of #OneWord365 was to encourage students to reflect on 2014, and make an effort to focus on one thing during 2015. Students were asked to select one word that will help them be their best in 2015.

If you would like to view the lesson, entitled "The Lion Tamer and One Word," click on this link.

Students did an outstanding job! We made a word cloud of 6th and 7th graders' collective one words, which you can see below. It was a great, collaborative, reflective activity. I encourage you to try it yourself and discuss what your one word is with your child!

Nominate an MERMS Teacher to be MA Teacher of the Year!

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) values the importance of the educator as the single most important school-based factor in improving student outcomes. Through the Teacher of the Year program and other educator recognition programs, ESE aims to highlight and promote a group of outstanding educators who serve as a liaison to ESE and as an ambassador to other teachers across the Commonwealth. Thank you for your nomination of an outstanding teacher for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. The deadline to nominate a teacher for 2016 Teacher of the Year is January 31, 2015. For more information on the MA Teacher of the Year program, click here.

To nominate an MERMS Teacher as Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, please click here: MA Teacher of the Year Nomination Form.

Next week (1/20-1/23), the middle school will run Days 2, 3, 4 and 5 during HS Midterm Week.

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!

From Food Services

Staying Hydrated This Winter: Try Soup!

By Jane Reimer, Simmons College Dietetic Intern with MERSD Food Services

January is National Soup Month! A healthy bowl of soup is not only packed with nutrition, but is also comforting on cold winter days. An added bonus is that soup at meals can increase your overall daily fluid intake and keep you from becoming dehydrated. Even though most people only associate dehydration with hot weather, it occurs just as frequently in cold weather. Signs of dehydration include trouble focusing, headaches, fatigue, and dry skin.

Use the following tips to help identify soups that will nourish and hydrate you:

  • Look for soups that have broth as their base. Creamy soups and bisques are higher in calories and saturated fat, but pureed cooked cauliflower or mashed potatoes added to broth soups have a creamy effect.
  • Soups that contain vegetables and beans, like minestrone, provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • When comparing canned soups, check the serving size and the sodium. Soups with less than 300mg of sodium per serving are ideal. These usually say “low sodium” or “reduced sodium” on the front of the label.
  • When making soup at home, use only 1/8 of a tsp of regular salt per cup of soup in the recipe. Try other herbs and spices for flavor.
  • Use fresh ingredients whenever possible since the sodium in individual canned ingredients (tomatoes, peas, corn, etc.) can add up.
  • When adding grains to homemade soups, choose whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta.

If you have any questions on this or other nutrition topics, contact Jane in the Foodservice Department at

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program

North Shore Medical Center is offering mindfulness-based stress reduction programs. Currently, there is High School program that has been organized, and a middle school level program is being planned (dates are listed as TBD). If you are interested, you are encouraged to call the NSMC to express your interest in a program for middle schoolers.

For more information, please contact our School Nurse, Cyndi Aldrich, RN or go to:

Free Weight Training Program Begins

Registration is now open at for the Weight Training Program which will begin Monday January 5, 2015 at 2:30PM. This free program will run Monday through Friday from 2:30PM to 4:00PM and is open to 7th and 8th graders.

Cardiovascular exercise and agility training will be the focus on Tuesdays and Thursdays; weight training will be the focus on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” program will be utilized, which enables training to be individualized based on a student’s current fitness level and goals.

In order for a student to participate they must be registered at Family ID and a valid physical (within the last 13 months) must be on file with the Athletic Department. Please contact the Athletic Department with any questions.

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:

MERMS 8th Grade Cooking Up Culture at Boston University

Websites of Interest

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

Upcoming Events

Middle School Council Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 15th, 2:45-4pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Math Meet

Thursday, Jan. 15th, 2:30-6pm

26 Jerdens Lane

Rockport, MA

Students who are interested in participating should see their math teacher. Students will return from the math meet by 6pm.

Middle School Concert

Thursday, Jan. 15th, 7pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Please join us to see our wonderful middle school band and chorus, under the direction of Mr. Sokol and Ms. O'Neill.

Please support our bake sale, which will support our 8th Grade Washington Trip Scholarship Fund.

MLK Day - No School

Monday, Jan. 19th, 12am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Parenting and Technology Workshop

Wednesday, Jan. 21st, 6:30-8:30pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Please join us!

Parenting and Technology: Understanding the issues, establishing safe & appropriate practices, with Doug Fodeman. This is free and open to the public.

For more information about the presentation, please click on this link.

Grade 8 Transition Meeting - Students and Parents/Guardians

Thursday, Jan. 29th, 6:30pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

This event is for eighth graders and their parents/guardians to discuss the transition from middle school to Manchester-Essex Regional High School.

PMEMS Meeting

Friday, Jan. 30th, 8:30-10am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

All are welcome to join our school's PTO: Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School (PMEMS)!