MERMS Weekly Newsletter: 9.28.15

September 28, 2015

Beach Cleanup 2015

Last Wednesday under a beautiful blue and cloudless sky, the Manchester Essex 7th-graders walked to Singing Beach to pick up garbage. Armed with 50-gallon trash bags, rubber gloves and a snack, they swept the beach clean of of cigarette filters, candy wrappers, pieces of styrofoam from coffee cups, a few glass bottles, aluminum cans and the occasional beach toy that either floated to shore or was left behind by some forgetful toddler.

Most of the garbage they find is wedged between rocks either on the seawall or at the far ends of the beach. In past years, the wooded area adjacent to the drop off circle has yielded more than its share of unwanted debris ranging from diapers to clothing and some other unmentionable things.

However, as in past years, the beach is always incredibly clean when we arrive, thanks to the departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The students' efforts, which this year filled 8 garbage bags, made the beach just a little bit cleaner and helped them to better understand the meaning of the term, environmental stewardship.

A big thank you to Mr. Pennoyer for organizing this event, and to the entire 7th grade team for helping our students learn from service-based learning such as this.

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:

Who you gonna call?

Below is listed a chart to help clarify our chain of communication in the middle school. This chart comes directly from our student/parent-guardian handbook. To contact the educators listed in the roles below, you can go to our middle school staff list, posted on our middle school website or directly at Middle School Staff Page.
Big image

H Block 9/23: I AM

On Wednesday, 9/23, we had an early release and also an H Block activity: "I AM." The 8th grade utilized this time to participate in a grade-wide activity of "The Lottery," a short-story by Shirley Jackson. 6th and 7th graders participated in an identity map activity, which you can view here:

9.23.15 H Block Activity

This activity was focused on our core value of community.

Picture Retake Day

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 Handbook

The 2015-2016 MERMS Handbook can be accessed directly at our school website, (be sure to scroll down), or by clicking here.

All students and parents/guardians are required to sign off that they have reviewed our middle school handbook. Please complete and return the sheet that your child brought home the first day of school.

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

From Mrs. Whittredge, Grade 7 English Teacher

Students worked at Genre Centers in English class last week on reading day, week looking for books that spark their interests. Students were encouraged to use their personal technology to take pictures of covers and look up reviews.

From Mrs. McWhorter, English/Social Studies Teacher

Mrs. McWhorter has some exciting news to share from her classes:

  • In 6th grade Social Studies we created 5 Themes flip books, which parents can ask their kids to see and discuss!
  • In 6th grade ELA students are becoming experts at plot diagraming. They can even diagram a Pixar short!
  • In 7th grade ELA we are learning all about the point of view of narrators and if a narrator is reliable or unreliable. Perhaps parents can ask their child about what they’re reading and can discuss these areas?
  • In 7th grade social studies, we continue to learn about the earliest humans and recently took a virtual tour of the Lascaux caves in France. Parents should ask their kids to show them!

From Mrs. Desmond, World Geography

Students have been very busy learning about the 5 Themes in Geography. They had fun making really cool 5 theme flip books to have as study guides.

From Mrs. Krause, Library Teacher

Grade 6 Library Information Literacy Skills class is working on book talk presentations of the Massachusetts Children's Book Award books, and spending time exploring the online database Destiny.

Green Team Updates

Now that the school year is off and running it is time to start up the Middle School Green Team! Thanks to the commitment and dedication of the Green Team, Manchester-Essex is one of the greenest school districts in the state, and the Middle School Green Team Club is an AWESOME opportunity for 6th, 7th and 8th graders to take part in leading the school! This year the club is taking on a slightly different shape, and is also introducing new leadership. Ms. Arthur will be taking the reins for Middle School Green Team and is hoping to create a huge interest in the Green Team this year. Middle School Green Team is a great way for kids to learn about environmental issues locally, nationally and globally; it is also a great opportunity for students to take initiative and be leaders in change in our school and communities.

Middle school students will have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of green maintenance tasks that keep our green school up and running. This can include management of our plants and gardens, compost and recycling, or the cafeteria waste system. In addition to these weekly tasks, kids will have an opportunity to envision, research and implement their own student-led projects to make the school greener. Students can adopt existing projects in the school such as aquaponics, wind power or managing the Green Team’s social media outlets. They can also get creative and come up with their own ideas!! One of the most exciting opportunities available to Middle School Green Team students is the chance to collaborate with high school students studying similar topics. Middle School Green Team is a great opportunity for students. Why wait until high school to start making a difference?!

In the past, Middle School Green Team has met after school. An exciting addition this year is that some meetings are going to be held during lunch in order to avoid interfering with after school activities such as sports. This way anybody who is interested can have the opportunity to be involved! This week, Ms. Arthur will be visiting tables at lunches to see who is interested and to gather contact information. If your child has an interest in gardening, hiking, sailing, going to the beach, or just appreciating the wonders of the outdoors, Green Team can give them the opportunity to explore their relationship with the natural world and develop sustainable life choices. If this sounds like something you or your child would be interested in, encourage them to reach out to Ms. Arthur to get involved. Ms. Arthur can be reached at

Middle School Journalism Club Begins: Every Friday

Middle School Journalism Club, advised by Mr. Stefanek and Mrs. Plante, will meet every Friday in Room A309. All students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade are invited to attend. If you are interested in writing, editing, storytelling, interviewing, creating, collaborating and having fun, please stop in! Journalism Club is open to all, and meets every Friday from 2:25-3:15pm in Room A309. Any questions, please contact Mr. Stefanek and Mrs. Plante.

Manchester-Essex Mountain Biking Club

Manchester Essex Middle High School is very pleased to announce the creation of a Mountain Bike Club for all students, grades 6 - 12. The club will be led by Middle School health teacher Janda Ricci-Munn and High School science teacher Kristin Umile; both teachers are avid cyclists and possess years of mountain biking experience. Mr. Ricci-Munn and Ms. Umile are very excited about the formation of the club and look forward to sharing their passion for cycling with all club members.

The club was formed with the following objectives in mind:

  • Create a positive, team oriented club that allows students to share their passion for the life-time activity of mountain biking.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to increase their off-road bike handling skills and athletic confidence.
  • Enhance student understanding of basic bike maintenance, safety, and training principles.
  • Encourage camaraderie and positive social interaction among middle and high school students.
  • And most importantly… to have fun!

The club will meet on Mondays on a weekly basis. Club rides will last approximately 1 hour (2:30 – 3:30 p.m.) and will take place in and around any of the various trails systems found throughout the towns of Manchester & Essex. Club leaders will provide participants with a list of required equipment and supplies that each student will need in order to participate in the club. If you’d like to learn more about the club, please contact Mr. Ricci-Munn and/or Mrs. Umile.

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

Pictures from MERMS This Week

8th grade band with Mr. Janack

Upcoming Events

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!

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