Summer News from AMS

August 2019

Principal's Perspective

Summer greetings from Auburn Middle School! I truly hope that this summer has been a joyful one for all of our AMS families. A special welcome to our new, incoming 6th grade families.

This time of year, I frequently view the coming school year as a beautiful blank canvas – it’s perfect still. Every child, every teacher, every family can still view the coming year as the one that will be the best yet. Why not? We’ve seen time and again that almost anything is possible…if, that is, we can be strong when things don’t go exactly our way. Even if the year is to be our best, it will not stay perfect for long. Adversity will occur. We will have to be able to work our way through it.

Because difficulties happen to all of us, and I so strongly believe that being resilient is an incredibly important skill for our students to learn, I often share stories like the following on morning announcements:

1. Did you know that Benito Juarez was poor and homeless by the age of 6, having witnessed the deaths of his parents and grandparents…working in fields for food to live; that he didn’t start school until the age of 12 when he was adopted by a family for whom he worked as a servant…but that he would go on to serve 5 terms as President of Mexico and have his birthday celebrated as a national holiday to this day?

2. Did you know that Terry Fox ran 3,400 miles across Canada to raise money for cancer research, stopping short of his 5,000 mile goal only when his own cancer got to be too debilitating…and that he did it all on one leg? Or that the Marathon of Hope, which he started, is still the largest one day cancer fundraiser in the entire world.

3. Did you know that Thomas Edison secured 1,100 patents for his inventions, including patents for electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures…but, by his own count, he had over 10,000 failed ideas?

4. Did you know that Louis Pasteur lost three children to typhoid fever at a very young ages…and then went on to conduct some of science’s most groundbreaking work in disease prevention, including finding methods of reducing fevers and discovering vaccines against rabies, anthrax and some of the other prominent diseases of his day?

5. Did you know that wrestler Anthony Robles compiled a 36-0 record his senior season and won the NCAA 125-pound championship for Arizona State University…or that he can run a mile in 8 minutes…or that he has been able to ride a bicycle since he was 5 years old…all of this despite having been born without a right leg?

If these things are possible, then so is school success for every single one of our students. Toward that lofty goal, Mr. Carlson and I continue to work this summer, planning to take our school from excellent to elite. We know our work is challenging. There will be struggles. Students will make mistakes; they will miss assignments; they will fail tests and they will violate rules. While we do not accept those things as status quo, we understand that they will happen, and that how we teach our kids to respond to their failures will, in part, determine how successful they are this year and beyond.

I am always aware that future teachers, doctors, lawyers, coaches, pastors, artists, musicians, town and state leaders, community members, parents, etc. are in our classrooms. We are truly looking forward to getting to work with them this coming year…and we think have made some adjustments that will make AMS an even better place for middle school kids.

Notable Changes for 2019-2020 at AMS

Changes to Daily Schedule - This year, we will have a 7-day rotating schedule cycle. This will enable us to have every class rotate so that kids can experience classes at all different times of the day. Additionally, we have added an intervention period at the end of the day so that students can return to homeroom, organize their thoughts and materials and perhaps receive last minute instruction from their teachers before dismissal. And one of the 7 days of the cycle will ultimately be a small group advisory period where students will meet with an AMS staff member to discuss important, age appropriate issues.

Changes to Student Handbook - I am truly grateful to Dr. Brunelle and the members of the Auburn School Committee for supporting our student handbook changes this year. I am hopeful that you will take a few minutes to review the handbook before the school year begins (link below). Perhaps the most notable change can be found on page 9 under the heading "Retention and Summer School." As we continue to try to make this school the very best, we are "raising the bar" for our students. They must now pass all of their classes in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Previously, students could fail up to three courses and still be promoted. I want to be clear that it is not my intention to have kids stay back. Rather, it is my intention that they will be further motivated to do the work that puts them in position to be ready for the next grade level.

First Two Days of School - The first few days of school will have a slightly different look this year. Rather than have the students jump right in, we are going to have them rotate through stations - each station teaching them a different aspect of what it will take to be successful at AMS. To name but a few, there will stations on academics, extracurricular activities, behavioral expectations, etc. We expect that reviewing all of our expectations thoroughly early on will enable our students to have the safest, most productive and enjoyable year possible.

Student Handbook

Important Upcoming Dates to Remember

Schedule Pick Up Day - Wed. August 21 / 9:00-1:00

Orientation for Students New to the Auburn Schools - Wed. August 21 / 9:00-1:00 - AMS students will be available to provide tours and answer questions for students who are new to the Auburn Public Schools. Mr. Desto, Mr. Carlson and Guidance Staff will also be available.

First Day of School - Wed. August 28

Picture Day - Thurs. August 29

Grade 6 Curriculum Night - Tues. October 1 / 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Grade 7 and 8 Curriculum Night - Tues. October 8 / 6:00-7:30 p.m.

2019-2020 School Year Calendar

iPad Information

All students will be issued an iPad and charger free of cost within the first few days of school. However, iPad insurance, which is strongly recommended as it covers damage to your child's device, is a separate $50 fee. At Schedule Pick Up Day on August 21, insurance forms will be available and payments will be accepted. Payments can also be made on-line. More information on the on-line option will be forthcoming.
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Contact Information


Principal Gregg Desto -

Assistant Principal Matt Carlson -


Adjustment Counselor - Karin Graves -

Guidance Counselor Kim Sicurella -

Guidance Counselor Sherri Watson -

*Please note that your child's assigned counselor will be referenced on his/her schedule

Teachers' contact information will go home the first week of school.

Supply Lists

The following link contains suggested school supplies. Please let us know if your child ever needs help in acquiring supplies. We will work with you to ensure that he/she is always as prepared as possible. It is not expected that every child will have every single item on this list by the first day of school. The list is meant to show items that may be needed throughout the year.

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Welcome to New AMS Staff Members

We are very proud to introduce the latest additions to our outstanding staff. These educators have proven track records of success and we are fortunate to be able to add them to the AMS team.

Danielle LeBoeuf - Grade 7 Science

Emily Wildgrube - Grade 6 Science

Joseph Green - Grade 8 Math

Kelly Ann Walsh - School Nurse

Laurie Lebeau - Special Education Applied Behavior Analyst

Shawna McManus - Special Education Instructional Assistant

Back to School Frequently Asked Questions

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Enjoy the Rest of Your Summer!