Overlook Monthly News
November News & Highlights!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope this message finds you and your families in good health and high spirits as we embark on the month of November. As we approach the holiday season and the midway point of the school year, I wanted to take a moment to share some important updates and information with you through our November newsletter.
Gratitude and Reflection: November is a time to reflect on the things in which we are thankful. We want to express our gratitude to all of you for your ongoing support and partnership with our school. Our dedicated teachers and staff members are thankful for the opportunity to educate and nurture your children, and we appreciate your involvement in their educational journey.
Upcoming Events: Please keep an eye on our school calendar as we have several events coming up this month. These include the Scholastic Book Fair, Camo Day to support our veterans, and the AWFAE's Night of Excellence. We encourage your and/or your child's active participation in these events to stay connected with our school community.
Academic Updates: Middle school is a crucial time in your child's academic development. Our teachers are working diligently to provide a supportive learning environment, and we are here to help all students succeed. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's progress, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teachers.
Safety Reminders: The safety and well-being of our students is our top priority. As the weather gets colder, please ensure your child is dressed appropriately for the season. Moreover, please be aware of where your child is after school. There is no supervision at sporting events and students should not be staying after school unless they are with a teacher/advisor. We appreciate your cooperation in keeping our school community safe.
Community Engagement: Our school is more than just a place for academics; it's a vibrant community. We encourage parents to get involved with our Parent-Teacher Organization (PT0) or other school-related committees. Your involvement can make a significant difference in the life of our school.
Parent Help Wanted: We are currently looking for a parent who is a Registered Nurse to attend the Washington DC trip this spring. We currently do not have a District nurse able to go on the trip. If you are a nurse and interested in helping us make the trip a success for our students please reach out to either Ally Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kristina Bogosh at email@example.com for more information.
Thanksgiving Break: As we approach Thanksgiving, I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and safe holiday. Our school will be closed for the Thanksgiving break, so please check the school calendar for specific dates.
In closing, I want to emphasize that your partnership with us is invaluable. Together, we can help our students thrive academically and personally. Please continue to stay informed by reading our monthly newsletters and reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to support you and your child throughout the school year.
Wishing you a wonderful November filled with growth and gratitude.
October 12, 2023
OMS Student Council promoted all students and staff to wear pink for breast cancer awareness and research. All the money raised from the event went to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Check out all the pics below of many of the students who participate! Way to go OMS!
Dates to Remember
November 1 Mentor Meeting/Library/2:20-3:20 pm
November 2 End of Qtr 1/Last day of Enrichment 2
November 2 Monty Tech VIP program/meet in cafeteria at dismissal
November 3 First day of Qtr2/First day of Enrichment 3 and new F block classes
November 3 New to OMS Staff Meeting/Library/7:00am
November 3 8th grade fundraiser meeting/Team Room/8:00-8:15am
November 4 Middle School State Cross Country Championships at Devens
November 6-27 8th Grade DC MCM Cookie Dough/ Cake Roll Fundraiser
November 6 Wingspan Meeting- 2pm in Room 121
November 7 No School/Professional Development
November 8 Student Council meeting 2-3pm in room 214
November 9 Camo Day to support our local Veterans
November 9 Monty Tech VIP program/meet in cafeteria at dismissal
November 10 No School/Veterans Day
November 13-17 Scholastic Book Fair/Library
November 14 Faculty Meeting/Team Room/2:05pm
November 15 SOS Presentation for Grade 7 (see parent letter)
November 16 SOS Presentation for Grade 7 (see parent letter)
November 16 Soar Papa Gino’s Fundraiser/Gardner/4:00-9:00pm
November 17 A Night For Excellence/Colonial Hotel/6:30-10:00pm
November 20 Wingspan Meeting- 2pm in Room 121
November 21 Yearbook Club Meeting/Rm 207/2:00pm
November 22 Half Day/Thanksgiving break/Dismissal 10:59am
November 23&24 No School/Thanksgiving
November 27-29 Boys and Girls Basketball Try-outs
After-School Clubs- Info
Attention Grade 8 Parents and Students😃
Please see information below for a fundraising opportunity that will help to defray the costs of your own trip!
Important Notices & Reminders
Coming prepared to school doesn't just mean bring a pencil and notebook - it also means making sure chromebook is charged. Please ensure your child's nightly routine includes charging their chromebook for the next day of learning.
Parent Drop-Off / Pickup
Students cannot enter the building before 7:10am as there is no supervision.
Breakfast begins at 7:20 (students can exit the bus at this time if eating breakfast only).
Classes begin at 7:35am.
Dismissal is at 1:50pm.
Please be sure to not park in the general parking areas to let students off or pick them up. Use the line that goes behind the school. This is a safety concern with students running through parking lots and parents disrupting traffic patterns.
Also, please pay attention to staff members directing traffic. Do not drive-by when they ask you to stop.
Passing busses with flashing lights is a $250 traffic citation.
Students should not be wearing pajamas or slippers to school. This is part of our dress code. We do on occasion have a spirit day where students are allowed to wear pajamas as a "treat" but appropriate, everyday school attire does not include pajamas or slippers. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately for school. Thank you!
- If students come to school in slippers or pajamas we may ask that parents come and bring the appropriate attire to school for students to change.
SMART watches are considered a personal device. Teachers have found that they can serve as a considerable distraction to students during class. They are also banned by the state during MCAS testing. We ask that all SMART watches be left at home or in the lockers during the school day. Please and thank you.
Student Drinks & Candy
Students are only allowed water for drinks in class. There have been some young business entrepreneurs at OMS that have been selling the popular "Prime" drinks (as well as other things such as candy). Students are not authorized nor allowed to sell anything at school. Moreover, these drinks are not allowed. Please ensure that your student is not bringing these drinks to school or buying or selling these drinks at school or on the bus.
OMS Behavior Matrix
Be Respectful; Be Responsible; Be Ready to Learn
Please continually REVIEW expectations with you child.
We see the school and home as a partnership. We ask to review these expectations with your child in an effort to create unified expectations from both the school and home fronts. Please see the matrix attachment below to review with your child.
Notice From Nurse Taylor's Office
- If your student requires an epipen or inhaler at school or during after school activities, they must have written parent permission and doctor's orders on file with the health office whether the medication is in the health office or they are carrying it. If you are not sure about the status of your student's paperwork or have any questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- According to the Massachusetts school immunization requirements, it is recommended that students receive the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and tetanus) vaccine at age 11-12. One dose is required in Grade 7-12. It is typically given at the physical before entering Grade 7.
- The meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) is also required with the first dose typically given in Grade 7 and the second dose given in Grade 11.
- Please submit documentation of these vaccines when your child receives them. This may be faxed by your physician's office to 978-827-4986, emailed to me or brought to school by your child (not recommended as frequently it is forgotten in the backpack).
- **In order to play sports, you must have an up-to-date physical in the last 13 months and must go to the Athletic website page and complete the online registration. Any questions please contact Athletic Director email@example.com.
- Lastly, we want parents to know that if students call a parent/guardian to pick them up because they are not feeling well and a nurse has not officially dismissed them for medical reasons, this is an UNEXCUSED absence. We ask parents to discourage their child from trying to call home to be dismissed.
Free Throw Contest
November 11, 2023
See attachment below for info on the Free Throw Contest in Gardner sponsored by Elks Hoop Shoot
Support Westminster Troop 33
Please see flyer below for Papa Gino's Fundraiser on Nov. 21st.
Did you sign up for ParentSquare yet?
Parent Education & Resources Corner
Resources on the impact of cell phone and social media on the teen brain
- NIH Articles: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6449671/
- VIDEO: https://youtu.be/kGZvNbfrNag
- WEBSITE: https://www.humanetech.com/youth
- NYT Article: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PdtQZAuVsflH0SuM9E6BMNyDkq9NPcjq/view
- NYT Article: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zvHPmlIQios-a2llfLFyj6DbdMWB5h8S/view
- Guardian Article: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/05/smartphone-addiction-silicon-valley-dystopia
- PEW Research: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/social-media/
- VIDEO: https://youtu.be/rv0g8TsnA6c
- TIME Article: https://time.com/5555737/smartphone-mental-health-teens/
- INFOGRAPHIC: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/technology-addiction-concern-controversy-and-finding-balance-infographic
Resources on talking to children about race and bias
- Smithsonian & NMAAHC WEBSITE (Race): https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race
- Anti-Defamation League WEBSITE: https://www.adl.org/resources/tools-and-strategies/talking-young-children-about-bias-and-prejudice
- Oakland Library Resources DOCUMENT: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1s0lCA3FlulVhK6DFE2d3uYCipc6ApY8Gn2rMwm6fYqw/edit
- PJ Library WEBSITE (Antisemitism): https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/february-2022/how-to-talk-to-children-about-anti-semitism
- Nick Helps WEBSITE (Bullying Prevention): https://www.nick.com/nick-helps/bullying-prevention/
2023 OMS Monster Dash
October 27, 2023
It may have been the warmest Monster Dash on record! It was a balmy 75 and sunny! Check out the collage of pics below with our spirited students, parent volunteers, and staff!
Updates & News
1. We invite YOU to become a MEMBER of the Overlook Middle School PTO.
We appreciate the support you’ve given over the years at your elementary school and hope you will consider becoming a member at Overlook to continue your Support of the teachers, staff, students and community at Overlook.
This past year was our first year of the new PTO at the middle school and we are proud of all we accomplished: Teacher appreciation week activities, Holiday Hot Cocoa, Concessions at Drama Club performances, and more. We have big plans for MORE this next school year and need your support to make it happen.
To become a 2023-2024 PTO member:
● Fill out the membership Google Doc: https://sites.google.com/awrsd.org/overlookmspto/home
● Pay the $5 dues with cash or check to “OMS PTO” and bring it to the office. Or Venmo @overlookmspto and comment “2023 membership for (your name).”
Take a look at our website https://sites.google.com/awrsd.org/overlookmspto/home or our social media pages on Facebook and Instagram OverlookMSPTO for all the latest information.
Please check the Portal regularly. Google Classroom is not an accurate indicator of grades. Please reach out to the teacher directly if you have any questions.
SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council)
Get involved in SEPAC
General membership to the Ashburnham-Westminster Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is open to all AWRSD parents/guardians of children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Section 504 Plans and other interested parties. We are in need of volunteers to help plan workshops, staff tables at local school and community events, become future leaders, assist other parents, and plan new activities and projects. We welcome you to learn more about SEPAC and our work on our website, https://sites.google.com/view/ashburnham-westminster-sepac. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ashwestsepac. Please contact Justine Muir if interested in SEPAC firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ashburnham-Westminster Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)
The Ashburnham-Westminster Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) is a volunteer group of parents andcaregivers of students with disabilities that: Supports you and your child(ren) when you have questions and concerns Helps you navigate evaluations, services, and accommodations Communicates with the school district on concerns, questions, and programs Provides information on relevant special education topics to parents/caregivers and educators Exists as an advisory group according to state law [Chapter 71B] and regulation [603 CMR 28:07 (4)] https://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr28.html?section=07 What are the benefits of becoming an active SEPAC member?