MERMS Weekly Newsletter: 3.16.15

March 16, 2015

Two New Ways to Stay Connected to MERMS!

  1. Do you want to receive our newsletter and other important announcements via text message? If so, please sign up for Remind by sending a text message to 81010 with the message @merms01944. See directions below or click here for more details. Please note: your standard text-messaging rates/policies will apply through your carrier.
  2. Did you know? MERMS is now on Facebook! In order to get our updates, please go to the MERMS Facebook page and click on the Like button!
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Wednesday, 3/18/15 is an early release @ 11:30am for middle schoolers.

Call for Presenters: Middle School Career Day 6/3/15

On Wednesday morning, June 3, 2015, MERMS will hold its first Career Day, and we are looking for folks who may be interested in presenting to middle school students. Please consider your networks - neighbors, relatives, family, friends, spouses - who might be interested in presenting.

Please forward this email to anyone you think might be interested and encourage him/her to sign up. Those interested in presenting should sign up at: MERMS Career Day SignUp 6.3.15

Report Cards will be emailed home via Aspen on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

Girls Interscholastic Tennis: Update

Due to low HS enrollment in Girls Tennis, the MERSD Athletics Department contacted the MIAA (Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association) to request a second consideration of a middle school girls tennis wavier - and it was granted!

What does this mean? It means that 7th and 8th grade girls are now eligible to participate in Girls Interscholastic Tennis. Practice scheduled to begin this week: Monday, March 16, 2015. To may register your child for Girls Interscholastic Tennis by going to the Athletics website and clicking on Family ID.

Our apologies for the late information, but we just received word from the MIAA. If you have any questions, please contact the Athletics Department directly at 978-526-2066 or

Running Club

We are pleased to announce that the YMCA will offer a Running Club to middle school students starting the week of March 23, 2015 through the week of June 1, 2015. Ms. Harrington, a special educator at the school, will be the adviser. The club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays; students may sign up for Tuesday only, Thursday only, or Tuesday and Thursday. The club is open to students in grades 6, 7 and 8.

The cost is $100 for one session per week, and $175 for two sessions per week.

To register please go to: If you have any questions, please contact Teen Director David St. Pierre at

Flower Power Fundraiser Is Now Underway!

Although it is hard to believe, spring is on its way! Our PTO, Parents of Manchester-Essex Middle School (PMEMS), has organized a spring flower fundraiser. A packet went home with each student the day before February break - please check those backpacks! Details about the fundraiser:

  • The deadline to order is April 15.
  • Plants will be delivered at the end of May, directly to your home. There is a $5 flat shipping fee.
  • PMEMS will earn 50% of all that is earned.
  • Much of the funds raised will go towards the purchase of technology carts for the middle school. Additional funds will go towards other PMEMS-sponsored events such as enrichment speakers and student social activities.
  • If you are interested in donating towards PMEMS' technology goal directly, you may make a check out to PMEMS with 'technology' in the memo, and return it in the envelope provided in the fundraising packet.

Every student who participates will be entered into a drawing for a Chromebook! In order to be entered into the drawing, students must have at least one flower order completed on his/her behalf. Once a flower order has been completed, parents/guardians must fill out the slip provided in the fundraising packet, certifying an order has been made, and return it to the middle school main office. The winner will be announced April 16.

To place an order online, go to: Thank you to PMEMS for their commitment to our middle school!

3/18 Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences

On Wednesday, 3/18/15, middle schoolers will be released at 11:30am. Middle School Teams will hold parent/guardian-teacher conferences in the afternoon by invitation. If you did not receive an invitation from your child's team to meet but would like to do so, please contact your child's team leader to arrange for a team meeting to discuss your concerns:

6th Grade: Mr. Schlegel

7th Grade: Mrs. Whittredge

8th Grade: Mrs. Vosseler and Mrs. Plante

8th Grade Course Recommendation Process

This past week, 8th graders worked with the MERHS Guidance Department to review 8th grade teacher recommendations for freshman courses. Please speak with your 8th grader about this process, and log into Aspen with him/her to review the recommendations. A few additional notes about this process:

  • If you have questions about your child's recommendation: Please reach out directly to the recommending teacher for more information about what led to his/her recommendation. Please refrain from asking a teacher to change his/her recommendation (see next point).
  • If you still disagree with a teacher's recommendation: Teachers are unable to change course recommendations. To override a teacher's recommendation to a higher level than what was recommended, please follow the course waiver form process, which is outlined in MERHS' Program of Studies.
  • Help from MERHS Guidance: If your child has questions about the process, about courses, electives, or something else, the MERHS Guidance Department will be available during 8th grade lunches over the next two weeks. These dates will be announced in school. In addition, individual appointments with MERHS Guidance Counselors can be made.

Thank You from International Week Organizers

The Foreign Language Department would like to thank all of those who presented during International Week. The Foreign Language students in the Middle and High School were able to enjoy presentations from students, teachers and parents and we were able to learn about Kenya, Cuba, Spain, the Swiss Alps, Denmark, Ecuador and many other places. We would also like to sincerely thank the food services staff for all of their hard work in preparing the meals that are native to the countries we celebrated during the week. We truly enjoyed all of the dishes and appreciate their dedication and support of our curriculum.

March MCAS Dates: Updated to April!

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has granted an extension to the window of the first round of annual MCAS testing. This extension pushes the start date of our ELA testing into April, during which 7th graders complete the Long Composition, and 6th, 7th and 8th graders all complete two sessions of Reading Comprehension. Math and Science/Technology testing occurs in May.

April, 2015 ELA testing dates for Manchester-Essex Middle School are as follows:

  • Thursday, 4/2/15 - 7th Grade Long Composition
  • Tuesday, 4/7/15 - 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Reading Comprehension Session #1
  • Wednesday, 4/8/15 - 7th Grade Long Composition Makeup
  • Thursday, 4/9/15 - 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Reading Comprehension Session #2
  • Friday, 4/10/15 and Monday, 4/13/15 - 6th, 7th and 8th Grade Reading Comprehension Makeup - Sessions #1 and #2

You can help your child prepare for MCAS by ensuring he/she gets a good night's sleep the night before, eats breakfast in the morning (which is also for sale in the café), stays hydrated, and has two #2 pencils.

School Store Open on Day 5

The MERMS School Store will be open during lunches on Day 5 (that is Wednesday this week). If your child would like to purchase something, please send him/her in with a small amount of cash to make a purchase during lunch. There will be pens and pencils, erasers and notebooks for sale.

Overdue Library Books

Our Librarian, Mrs. Krause, is asking for your help with overdue library books. Please help your child check his/her backpack, bedroom, and locker, and return any overdue library books. Thank you for your help with this! Please contact Mrs. Krause with any questions.

Nominate an MERMS Educator to be the AMLE Distinguished Educator

The AMLE (American Middle Level Education) Distinguished Educator Award recognizes outstanding practitioners in middle level education—those who have made a significant impact on the lives of young adolescents through exemplary characteristics, leadership, vision, and advocacy.

We have many outstanding educators throughout our MERMS community. Why not nominate one to be the AMLE Distinguished Educator? To nominate an MERMS educator, go to:

Spring Sports Information

Spring Sports Registration is now open. You may register and pay online by going to the Athletics website. In the spring, there are currently no middle school-specific interscholastic sports offered. The MIAA has, however, granted our waiver request to allow 7th and 8th graders to participate in the following high school-level athletic teams: boys/girls lacrosse, baseball, girls tennis, softball and sailing. Unfortunately, the waiver for boys tennis was denied by the MIAA, so no middle schooler will be able to participate on the Boys Tennis Team this spring.

Important Sports Dates:

  • Spring Sports begin: March 16, 2015
  • Spring Athletic Parent/Athlete Coaches Meeting: March 18, 2015 at 6:30PM

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact Athletics for more information.

8th Grade Washington Trip: Reminder to Make Payment

Attention all 8th Grade Parents/Guardians:

The payment deadline for the 8th grade trip in full was March 12, 2015. 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 interested in helping to fundraise for our scholarship fund for this trip, please go to this SignUpGenius Washington Trip Fundraiser Page, or contact Mr. Jim Thomas, Washington Trip Coordinator, at

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:

MERMS Pictures This Week

Upcoming Events

Spring Sports Begin

Monday, March 16th, 3pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Spring Sports Parent/Guardian-Student Athlete Meeting

Wednesday, March 18th, 6:30pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

How to Stop the Worry Cycle: Strategies to Reduce Family Anxiety - with therapist Lynn Lyons

Monday, March 23rd, 6:30-8:30pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

How to Stop the Worry Cycle: Strategies to Reduce Family Anxiety

Please join us for an evening presentation to address the worries and anxieties of students in the Manchester-Essex community. Our keynote speaker, Lynn Lyons, will describe how anxiety manifests in the body and brain while detailing common mistakes that can strengthen anxiety in children. Learn how to empower kids to handle or avoid anxiety in the future in order to stop the worry cycle. The presentation will be an incredible opportunity to connect with other parents, caregivers and teachers to enlighten for us challenges that all students face on a daily basis.

Lynn Lyons has been a psychotherapist for over 23 years and specializes in the treatment of anxious children and their parents, with a special interest in interrupting the generational patterns of anxiety in families. She is the Co-authored with Reid Wilson, PhD, of Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children and the companion book, Playing with Anxiety: Casey's Guide for Teens and Kids.

March 23rd - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Manchester Essex Middle-High School Auditorium
Sponsored by the MERSD Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)

PMEMS Meeting

Friday, March 27th, 8:30am

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

For this month's PTO meeting, we will be joined by MERSD School Committee Chair Linda Crosby and MERSD Superintendent Pam Beaudoin, who will provide us with a budget update. Please join us if you can!

MERMS Council Meeting

Thursday, April 2nd, 2:45pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

For this month's School Council meeting, we will be joined by MERSD School Committee Chair Linda Crosby and MERSD Superintendent Pam Beaudoin, who will provide us with a budget update. Please join us if you can!

MERMS Masquerade Dance

Friday, April 10th, 6:30pm

36 Lincoln Street

Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA

Save the date!