MERMS Weekly Newsletter

January 20, 2015

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.

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

MERMS Council Meeting 1.15.15

On Thursday, January 15, 2015, the MERMS Council met and discussed service learning and social responsibility in the middle school. You can read the minutes from the meeting here: .

You can read the full article, "Schools of Conscience," by clicking here, which ran in the May 2009 issue of Educational Leadership.

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

Winter Sports This Week

Due to High School Midterm Week this week, the schedule for winter sports will be:

Tuesday, January 20th

White basketball:

  • Girls practice: 3:15-4:30
  • Boys practice: 4:30-6

Green basketball:

  • Girls game vs. Triton @ Essex Elementary School: 3:30
  • Boys game vs. Triton @ Essex Elementary School: 4:30

Track practice: 3-5

Swim practice: 2:30-4:15

Wednesday, January 21st

White basketball:

  • Girls practice: 3:15-4:30
  • Boys practice: 4:30-6

Green Basketball:

  • Girls practice: 3:00-4:30
  • Boys practice: 4:30-6:00

Track practice: 3-5

Thursday, January 22nd

Green basketball:

  • Girls game vs. Rockport @ Essex Elementary School: 3:30
  • Boys game vs. Rockport @ Essex Elementary School: 4:30

White basketball:

  • Girls game @ Georgetown; Bus leaves @ 2:30, game is at 3:30
  • Boys game @ Georgetown; Bus leaves @ 2:30, game is at 4:30

Track practice: 3-5

Friday, January 23rd

White basketball:

  • Girls practice: 3:15-4:30
  • Boys practice: 4:30-6

Green basketball:

  • Girls practice: 3:00-4:30
  • Boys practice: 4:30-6

JV track: Meet @ Ipswich; bus leaves at 2:30

A reminder that a note, signed by the Athletics Department, is required for a student athlete to be driven home from a game and not ride the bus back to MERMS. This process must be completed prior to the team departing for the game, and preferably before the end of the school day.

If you have any questions, please contact Athletics directly.

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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

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:

From The Art Department

6th grade:

Illustrating emotions: The classes have been pretty excited about illustrating words using color, shapes and lines with no recognizable images. Students used the following words: happy, calm and unique. Lastly, they created a “unique” work of art.

7th Grade:

Started their Intro to Ceramics this week. Students have gone over basic properties of clay, reviewed and introduced the pinch pot technique, coil and slab. Our final assignment is entitled Water Mythology.

8th grade:

Architecture Unit: The combined the facades of famous buildings and landmarks into a carefully designed piece. Students have focused on repetition of patterns, negative space and balance. They also learned the word “façade’ as a way of behaving or appearing that gives other people a false idea of your true feelings or situation.

Keep Your Immune System Healthy with Nutrition

With cold and flu season well underway, we could all benefit from a strengthened immune system. The immune system can be divided into two parts: barriers that prevent bacteria and viruses from entering our bodies (skin, mucosal membranes, stomach acid, and intestinal flora) and white blood cells inside our body that identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make it past the barriers. Many nutrients are needed to support both of these areas of the immune system including Vitamins A, C, and D and the minerals selenium, iron, and zinc.

As Benjamin Franklin’s saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” By making a few simple changes to our lifestyles, we can boost our immune systems and stay healthy and happy all winter long.

Tips for keeping your immune system strong using nutrition:

  • Eat one probiotic containing food per day (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, etc.)
  • Selenium is hard to get from foods, but eating one Brazil nut each day will fulfill 100% of your daily needs.
  • Choose dark green leafy vegetables and orange vegetables to bulk up on Vitamin A. This will help build your immune system and strengthen your mucosal membranes.
  • Incorporate foods rich in Vitamin C into your daily diet. Examples include oranges, pineapple, kiwi fruit, peppers, grapefruit, strawberries, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, mangoes, and onions.
  • Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement after asking your healthcare provider since many people in New England become deficient in this “sunshine vitamin” in the winter.

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

6th Grade Literacy/Information Skills Rotation

6th Graders rotate to a new fifth core class on Tuesday, January 20. 6th Graders who were in Literacy Lab with Mrs. Marra will now take Information Skills with Mrs. Krause; 6th Graders who were in Information Skills with Mrs. Krause will now take Literacy Lab with Mrs. Marra. This new class will last until the end of the year.

This rotation allows sixth graders the opportunity to spend one semester (half year) learning about library and information skills with Mrs. Krause, and a semester (half year) learning about literacy skills and strategies with Mrs. Marra.

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.

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:

Video: My Favorite Teacher

My Favorite Teacher - Man On The Street

Upcoming Events

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)!