MERMS Weekly Newsletter: 12.7.15

December 7, 2015

Wednesday, 12/9/15: Early Release at 11:30am

H Block, Gratitude + Christmas in The City

Just before Thanksgiving Break, middle schoolers met with their H Block groups to discuss gratitude. In anticipation of Thanksgiving, this was a timely topic to discuss. The focus of this H Block was giving thanks for what we have, and to think about helping others.

We began by reading an article from the Boston Globe that discussed a wonderful volunteer organization, Christmas in the City. Christmas in the City is a completely volunteer-run organization, and relies on donations to run. Christmas in the City's mission is to provide a holiday celebration for children in and around the Boston area who are homeless, most of whom are currently homeles and live in shelters, or who are nearly homeless with no resources. If not for Christmas in the City, these children would have no holiday.

H Block groups pledged to adopt one or two homeless children through Christmas in the City. Pledging to adopt one child means committing to raising approximately $50 for your H Block. Pledging to adopt two children means committing to raising $100 for your H Block. H Block advisors will collect raised funds, and we will purchase the homeless children's wish list items, wrap them, drive them to the Seaport Hotel for drop off, and donate any remaining funds to Christmas in the City.

There is no requirement for our MERMS students to participate - this is voluntary, but encouraged. No donation is too small. Students have been encouraged to offer to complete extra chores around the house to help raise money for Christmas in the City. If you wonder why your child is asking to do extra vacuuming around the house - this may be why!

You can learn more about Christmas in the City by going to, viewing this video from Channel 5:, or by viewing the full H Block lesson here.

Christmas In The City a blessing for families in need

7th and 8th Grade Highlighter Dance: Big Success!

The 7th and 8th grade Highlighter Dance was a big success last Friday! We had a big crowd, and students danced the night away! Fun was had by all. A big thank you to students for attending, to Mrs. Petrie and Mrs. Schaub, our student council advisors, for organizing, and to our wonderful chaperones, who volunteered their time to help supervise students and ensure it was a great experience: Dr. McGravey, Mrs. Kline, Ms. Arthur, Mrs. Schaub, Mrs. McWhorter, Mr. Migonis, and Mr. Guditus.

6th Grade OTMP from Mr. O'Maley

Over the course of the first trimester, Mr. O'Maley has been visiting 6th grade classes to discuss how to students can use their assignment notebook successfully. Each lesson offers students guidance in using their assignment notebook to improve organization, time management and planning skills (OTMP). Last week, each sixth grade student reflected on trimester 1, reviewed their planner for documented evidence of OTMP skills and graded their planner on a scale of 1 to 4. The most exciting part of the lesson was a visit from two 8th grade students, Elizabeth A. and Olivia F, who shared how they feel their OTMP skills have developed significantly since the 6th grade and that the skills were essential to finding balance between school and one's passion. In summary, the 8th grade speakers did a fine job sharing how OTMP skills may seem tedious in the short term but are essential tools for school success. We encourage you to work with your child in reviewing his/her weekly planner to help them look ahead and plan appropriately.

Thank You For Wish List Items

A big heartfelt thank you from our MERMS staff to all the parents/guardians who have donated to the PTO's wish list. Your generosity is so appreciated as we work to make our students' learning experience a great one!

It's not too late - you can still donate to the PMEMS Teacher Wish List by going to:

News from the Health Room

This is the time of year when illness starts to pop up in the school. GI illness, allergies and the common cold have been seen the last few months. More recently, pneumonia has been reported. If you notice that your child has a continued cough, fever and respiratory illness, please call your child’s physician. It is important to contact health services if your child is diagnosed with an illness requiring antibiotics or has been diagnosed with the flu.

Knowing what illness is in the school may help with early detection of others. If your child has a fever of 100 or higher they must be fever free for 24 hours before they return to school.

Thank you,

Cyndi Aldrich, RN, BSN, M.Ed. HNB-BC

Manchester Essex Middle/High School

Board Certified, Holistic Nurse



Green Card Prizes

Did you know? We have a positive behavioral intervention program in our school, tied to our core values: perseverance, exploration, responsibility, community and kindness. Students who are "caught" doing the right thing and embodying our core values earn a green card from a staff member. At the end of the month, a student in sixth, seventh and eighth grade will each have their name pulled from the green cards that were distributed for the month, and will earn a prize.

In the past, students have earned milkshakes from Richdales, ice cream from Captain Dusty's, Dunkin' Donuts giftcards, Surfari gift cards, and iTunes gift certificates. We are looking for donations in the form of prizes or gift cards in small values ($5, $10 or $15) as prizes for our monthly drawing.

If you are able to assist us with this, please simply drop off your donation with Mrs. Hunt, labeled with "Green Card Prizes." Thank you for your consideration!

ELL Open House

On the Monday before Thanksgiving, Mrs. Fitzgerald, our ELL (English Language Learner) teacher, along with current and former English Language Learners, welcomed parents, faculty, and staff to the newly renovated ELL classroom for an international feast. The district's ELL population is growing and we are thrilled to have new students from Brazil and El Salvador this year!

Week of Code is sponsoring a week of code! This week, Mr. Simbliaris will have 7th and 8th graders participate in coding during Engineering Classes.

We will hold an Hour of Code on Wednesday, 12/16 from 4-6pm in the library. Students are invited, as are parents/guardians, siblings, friends, community members, and more! It is an open house for all to attend and free of charge. Please bring your device; we will also have devices on hand for use if you do not have one. You can learn more by clicking on the video below.

Cracking the code: Push to teach computer science in classrooms

From The Art Room

Mrs. Powers, our middle school art teacher, reports that sixth and seventh graders are finishing the unit on Color Theory where they learned about warm/cool, complementary and analogous colors. They created designs with their initials as they layered watercolor paint with oil pastel, colored pencil and markers. In addition, they learned to create good design with emphasis on negative and positive shapes.

Eighth graders are finishing a unit on Picasso, creating mixed media cubist portraits.

8th Grade Field Trip: North Shore Music Theatre 12/16

On Wednesday, 12/16/15, the 8th grade will visit North Shore Music Theatre to view Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The cost is $30, which includes transportation and a ticket. Afterwards, we will stop at the rest area on 128N for lunch. Students may buy a lunch there, or bring a bag lunch on the bus in the morning. Students may arrive at the regular time, and will return before the end of the school day, in time for the regular after school buses home.

All students must fill out a permission slip (located here and also distributed in class) by Thursday, 12/10/15. Checks should be made out to MERMS. If the cost presents a hardship, please confidentially contact Mr. Guditus at or 978-526-2022 x1104 for partial or full financial assistance.

High School Application: New Process

Is your child considering attending a high school other than Manchester-Essex Regional High School? If so, we are shifting our MERMS process to support your child in the process. This year, all application materials will go directly to Mr. O'Maley, MERMS Guidance Counselor, in the middle school main office. This includes any recommendation requests, transcript requests, and other items.

The first step in this process is to fill out the following online form:

MERMS High School Application Process - this is also available on our school website.

Once you fill this out (once per school application), please supply all application materials directly to Mr. O'Maley in the main office - this includes recommendation requests, transcript requests, self-addressed stamped envelopes, releases for information, required postage, and any other application specific information.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. O'Maley at

Classroom Wish List: Fall 2015

Dear Parents/Guardians,

There is no better way to make a positive impact on our middle school classrooms than donating needed supplies. Each grade level has created a list of items that are always running low or that don't make it into the budget. Donated materials should be labeled by grade and dropped off to each grade's team leader or middle school office.

Sign up for an item here:

Please drop off items by Wednesday, November 25.

Thank you for your generous support of our teachers and students!



Please register: 8th Grade Trip to Washington, DC

The 8th Grade will visit Washington, DC as a class trip this May, 2016. Please register as soon as possible! Go directly to our Washington, DC Trip Page for more information: - this page includes information including:

  • Parent/Guardian Info Presentation from October 21
  • Individual Fundraising Ideas
  • Financial Assistance Application
  • Link to registration

If you have any questions about the trip, please contact the Trip Coordinator, Mr. Thomas, at

Clubs and Activities

Report Cards Available in Aspen

You can now access your child's Trimester 1 report cards in Aspen. You should have received an email from Aspen reminding you for this information. If you need your password reset or your information to log into Aspen, please contact Mrs. Hunt.

If you would like a paper copy of your child's report card, please contact Mrs. Hunt to let ou know, and she can mail a copy to you.

Aspen can be accessed at our school homepage,, and by clicking on the Aspen logo on the left-hand toolbar. Mrs. Hunt can be contacted at

Manchester-Essex Apparel Sale

Check out our Manchester-Essex School Spirit Store. A percentage of the cost is donated back to our PTO, Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School (PMEMS). Items ship directly to your home with a flat $8 shipping rate. To order, you can go directly to:

MERMS Day Calendar

The middle school day calendar, which lists what day of our six day cycle it is, has been published. This was revised on 9.21.15. You may access it here:

2015-2016 Middle School Day Calendar

Pictures from MERMS This Week

Kahoot in French 8!

Websites of Interest

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

Upcoming Events

8th Grade Field Trip to North Shore Music Theater

Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 8am-2pm

62 Dunham Road

Beverly, MA

Students will view Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at the North Shore Music Theatre.

Early Release

Wednesday, Dec. 9th, 11:30am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

MERMS Hour of Code - Open House for All!

Wednesday, Dec. 16th, 4-6pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Please bring your device if you have one, and devices will also be available for your use. All are welcome: students, parents/guardians, community members, siblings, grandparents, and neighbors!

Light snacks will be served.

For more information:

Winter Recess Begins

Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, 11am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Middle School Concert

Thursday, Jan. 21st 2016 at 7pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA