MERMS Weekly Newsletter: 10.13.15

October 13, 2015

Rob Buyea Book Order - 7th Grade

Thanks to the financial support of our PTO, PMEMS (Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School), we are able to bring author Rob Buyea to speak with our entire 7th grade on October 23, 2015. After an all-grade presentation, Rob will work more closely with 7th grade students throughout the day in a smaller writing workshop with individual classes.

Students are encouraged to read at least one of Mr. Buyea's books prior to the presentation (though not required). If your child would like to purchase a book to read and to be autographed by Mr. Buyea, please complete the following order form and return to the middle school main office no later than Friday, October 16, 2016.

Rob Buyea 7th Grade Book Order - Due Friday, 10/16/15

A big thanks to PMEMS for their help organizing and funding this event for our students!

PMEMS Minutes

PMEMS Minutes from our Friday, September 25, 2015 meeting can be found here:

9.25.15 PMEMS Minutes

All are welcome at our next meeting: Friday, October 30, 2015 at 8:30am in the middle school conference room.


What is SEPAC? The SEPAC board is an elected group of 7 parents and 3 teachers that focuses on education, outreach, and advocacy for children with disabilities and their parents. The board also serves as an advisor to the Director of Student Services and the School Committee.

What is the SEPAC Mission Statement? The mission of the MERSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council is to support and sustain high quality programming and services for students with disabilities, serve as an educational and networking resource, and promote a respect for diversity and inclusiveness within the schools and community.

When does SEPAC meet? The 2015-2016 SEPAC meetings are on November 9, January 11, March 14, and May 9 at 6:30 P.M. PAC board meetings for September and November will be held in the District Office Conference room located at 36 Lincoln Street, Manchester (back of middle-high school next to gymnasium entrance). Locations for January, March, and May are to be determined. These meetings are open to the public.

Nominate a MERMS Teacher as Science Teacher of the Year!

Nominate a MERMS Teacher as Science Teacher of the Year! The Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers are looking for nominees for several different Teacher of the Year Awards. We have some fantastic science educators in our school, so I encourage you to nominate a teacher for one of the awards! For information about the different awards and to nominate a teacher, go to:

MAST Teacher of the Year Nominations

Please pay PTO dues!

From PMEMS (Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School), our PTO: Please pay middle school dues, which support enrichment programming at the middle school. You can do so by dropping off a check in the main office, made out to PMEMS. You can also pay your dues online using Paypal, directly at our PTO website:

Mark Your Calendars: Spaulding Night of Stars November 15, 2015

Mark your calendars! Spaulding Education Fund's Annual NIGHT OF STARS will be on Sunday, November 15, 2015!

Audition dates are Tuesday, October 20 from 4:30-7pm and Saturday, October 24 from 9-11am. Sign up TODAY at!

We are looking for all talent of all ages! So start practicing that dancing, singing, juggling, instruments, magic acts, dramatic dialog, the spoons, jamming with your band, … whatever your talent we want to see it! Students from Manchester and Essex, who are Kindergartners through High School Seniors are invited to audition. And new this year – parents and teachers from Manchester and Essex are invited to audition too! Adults can perform with their children/students or alone.

The Spaulding Education Fund is an independent, non-profit organization committed to advancing educational excellence in the Manchester Essex regional schools. The “Night of Stars Talent Show” is organization’s largest fundraising initiative of the year, raising the vital funds needed to support their mission of providing competitive advantages to the schools through strategic investments in compelling educational initiatives which enrich learning and bring excitement and enthusiasm to the classrooms.

MakerSpace a success!

Sixth and seventh graders had the opportunity to work in the new MERMS MakerSpace this past week. Approximately 38 sixth graders and a dozen seventh graders took advantage of the opportunity to build, create and make!

The MERMS MakerSpace, run by Mr. Chris Simbliaris, our MERMS Engineering/MakerSpace teacher, occurs in Room B137 every day during 6th and 7th grade recess.

MakerSpace is a worldwide movement, which provides space and freedom for students to make, create, think critically, problem solve and participate in challenges. MakerSpaces can take many forms, and MERMS, our MakerSpace will have some structure, and students will participate in hands-on projects, directed by Mr. Simbliaris. The MakerSpace is free of charge, there is no homework, and there are no tests or quizzes. It is simply a space where students are given the opportunity to think, create and explore.

Because the sixth grade MakerSpace was so popular, we will have two week cycles for those interested. If the seventh grade MakerSpace also gets larger than 25, we will do the same. It is never too late to participate in the MakerSpace! Simply pop into B137 anytime to see Mr. Simbliaris, or head down to B137 during recess. We just ask that you commit to a week of MakerSpace, so you can see the project through. MakerSpace is very flexible; students may take a week or weeks off, and then return again, but for one week at a time.

If you have any question, you can contact Mr. Simbliaris at or Mr. Guditus

Aspen Logins

All Aspen logins have been sent home. If you do not know your family portal username and password, please contact Mrs. Hunt as soon as possible at Teachers are asked to update Aspen every two weeks, and parents/guardians are asked to also login to check student progress every few weeks as well. If you have a question about an assignment, please ask your child, and then your child's teacher with any questions.

You can access the Aspen portal login by going to our school website,, and clicking on the Aspen logo on the left-hand toolbar.

8th Grade Washington DC Trip Parent/Guardian Info Meeting

Please join Mr. Thomas and Mr. Guditus on Wednesday, October 21 from 7-8pm for information about our 8th grade class trip to Washington, DC in May, 2016.

School Pictures Home on Friday

School pictures were handed out to students on Friday, October 2. Please check your child's backpack.

Picture Retake Day will be on Thursday, October 29. If your child was absent on Picture Day in September, please plan for him/her to participate in Picture Retake Day (even if a package is not purchased). Additionally, if you were not pleased with your child's picture from September, please have your child participate in Picture Retake Day during the school day, and be sure to have him/her return the unwanted photos. If you have any questions about this, you can contact CoffeePond directly at: 508.907.6633 x0.

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

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:

Middle School Open House: Feedback Survey

Thank you to all parents, guardians and adults who attended the Middle School Open House on Wednesday, 9/16/15.

Please fill out this BRIEF survey so we can gather your feedback about our Open House:

MERMS Open House Feedback Survey

Free "Science on Saturday" events at the MIT Campus in Cambridge

Produced by MIT alumnus Todd Rider, and sponsored by the MIT Museum and the Akamai Foundation, Science on Saturday is a free, 60-minute presentation with fun demonstrations in which students can volunteer. Each Saturday morning program is open to all elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as their parents and teachers. Hands-on activity booths will be available to students after the show. The events are free, and no pre-registration required, but seating is limited - first come, first seated. A parent or adult escort is required for all children under 12.

For the full flyer with all fall events, go to:

Attendees can park in either the West Garage (very close to the event) or Albany Garage (a 10-15-minute walk from the event) provided they can pay the $6 flat fee with a credit card at either parking garage. Alternatively, attendees can take MBTA buses to the MIT Massachusetts Avenue stop (very close to the event) or the subway to either the Central or Kendall Square T stops (a 20-minute walk from the event). For more information, go to the Science and Saturdays web page:

Events are planned for the following Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-noon at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium, 48 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 20139:

October 17, 2015 Planets: Pluto and Beyond

December 5, 2015: Nuclear Science and Engineering

February 6, 2016: Rockets and Flight

March 5, 2016: Materials with Magical Properties

April 2, 2016: Circuits and Computers

New Technology Tools Launched at MERMS!

Thanks to the wonderful financial support of Spaulding Education Trust, MERMS now has 60 Chromebooks which are up and running! In the first week alone, students used the Chromebooks to collaboratively collect data in Google Sheets in science class, take an online quiz in foreign language class, write and edit one's own and classmates' writing, and more!

The 9/23 early release for students allowed staff to be trained in using Chromebooks and in further understanding and using Google Classroom as a tool that helps students collaborate with one another, with teachers, and access curriculum materials anywhere they have internet access. A key to this successful launch, new to the MERMS community, is our Digital Learning Specialist Del Vollink. Mrs. Vollink has jumped right in, helping to get our technology up and running, and spending the time individually and in groups to train teachers on the ins and out of Chromebooks and also helping us to continue to grow and reflect upon effective and appropriate technology integration.

We are also getting ready to launch 20 iPad Minis, which will be used as a tool to help students create new knowledge. Mrs. Vollink has helped us get these powerful educational learning tools up and running as well.

We cannot wait to see what the future holds for our students!

Spring 2015 MCAS Scores Home Last Week

Spring 2015 MCAS scores were mailed home via USPS this past week. Inside, please make note of your child's score, but also of his/her SGP, Student Growth Profile. Your child's score correlates to a range of Advanced, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory; the SGP is a percentile, showing your child's growth in MCAS score, compared to his/her statewide peers for the last two years.

Message from our School Nurse, Cyndi Aldrich, RN

Please read and review the following Lice Prevention Brochure, and contact me with any questions or concerns at 978-526-2022 x1148.

MERMS Lice Prevention Brochure

Clubs and Activities

Pictures from MERMS This Week

6th grade Spanish with Ms. Gale

Upcoming Events

8th Grade Washington DC Trip Parent/Guardian Info Night

Wednesday, Oct. 21st, 7-9pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

All 8th grade students and parents/guardians are invited to join Mr. Thomas and Mr. Guditus for information about our 8th Grade Class Trip to Washington, DC in May, 2016.

Rob Buyea visits 7th grade English Classes

Friday, Oct. 23rd, 7:45am-2:15pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Author Rob Buyea will visit MERMS and work with 7th grade students around writing. This event is sponsored by PMEMS!

SEPAC Meeting

Monday, Nov. 9th, 6:30pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

This meeting is open to the public and meets in the Central Office Conference Room.

Spaulding Night of Stars

Sunday, Nov. 15th, 4pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Seussical, Jr. Performances

Friday, Nov. 20th, 7pm to Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 4pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Please join us for our three performances of Seussical, Jr.!

Friday, November 20

Saturday, November 21

Sunday, November 22