The MHS Community Update

October 12, 2020

Middletown is an educational community committed to providing academic, civic, and social tools essential for the future success of our students.

Principal's Report

Hello Everyone,


... And just like that, we're already mid-way through October?!


Thank you to all of the amazing students, faculty, staff, parents/guardians, and families for what I would consider to be a relatively smooth start to the school year. While there are definitely components of our re-entry programming that we are looking to improve, I have been inspired by the wide array of uplifting characteristics that I've seen on display over the course of the past month. From the collaborative spirit of the community, to the adaptability of our students it has truly been remarkable to be a part of such an awesome re-entry effort.


We have also heard many of the community's questions and concerns related to our re-entry programming and, rest assured, conversations between students, community stakeholders, faculty, and building/district administrators are occurring on a daily basis. The goal of these conversations is to improve our current instructional systems with the aim of delivering a rigorous, innovative, and engaging academic programming to each of our students, regardless of their in-person/distance status. Topics of discussion include distance learning instruction, engaging remote learners, technology concerns, building-wide assessment practices, and daily attendance procedures. Improvements in each of these areas will continue to be made until we are collectively satisfied with the results.


I also plan on emphasizing enrichment activities over the course of the next month. Although we must adhere to a variety of new protocols and procedures in the name of health and safety, I do not want to lose sight of all the important extracurricular activities that make MHS such a special place. For this reason, we're going to begin encouraging students to get involved with the school community in a variety of ways in the next few weeks. More information will be presented to students as the details become more clear. For now, keep your eyes and ears peeled for opportunities to infuse that Islander PRIDE back into the building!


That's all for now... As usual, Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments!


Happy Columbus Day!

Jeff Heath

Dr. Heath's Dashboard

It has now been approximately 3 months since I first arrived in district. At this point, I feel confident in sharing my "Principal's Dashboard" items with the school community. While there are hundreds of initiatives that take place over the course of any given school year, these will be the 5 initiatives that I will consider to be my focal points. In the spirit of transparency and personal accountability, I plan on sharing monthly updates to each of these initiatives so that we all can share in the various successes and shortcomings that each of these categories will surely experience throughout the school year, So without further ado, here are my 5 primary focal points for the 2020-2021 school year:


1) Monitor and creatively consider ways to increase reading, writing, and math proficiency across disciplines.

2) Enhance the MHS brand across a variety of mediums including social media, building-based documents, the school website, social media, and traditional/non-traditional programming.

3) Establish and begin wok on a 3-year, rotating CIA Curriculum cycle to improve the continuity and outcomes associated with MHS instructional; practices.

4) Assist Mr. Soares and Mr. Clancey in decreasing the number of "serious" disciplinary infractions in comparison to SY 2019-2020.

5) Increase the number and diversity of enrichment opportunities for all students.

MHS Open House is TOMORROW!

MHS Open House is just around the corner!


Our Virtual Open House is scheduled for this Tuesday, October 13 from 6-8pm. Families should have received an email yesterday outlining further details about the night's programming. In case anyone missed the email, here is the link to our MHS Virtual Open House Grid as well as our MHS Open House Tutorial video. Our expectation will be that parents/families follow their student's schedule to attend each class for 10m. While here, conversation will occur in the same fashion as it would if we were having an in person Open House. If you have any questions or concerns prior to the event, please email me directly at jheath@mpsri.net. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

REMINDER: In-School SAT Day for Seniors is this Wednesday

REMINDER! Senior SATs are scheduled for Wednesday of this week. All students Grades 9-11 will be remote learning from home on this day and should have work provided in their teachers' digital classrooms. Seniors will be asked to arrive at school promptly for the start of the school day as test administration will occur shortly thereafter. Senior should bring several number 2 pencils and a College Board approved calculator to school for the SAT. The Senior Class picture will also take place shortly after the conclusion of the tests (at approximately 12:30) on the hill outside of the school. Seniors should plan accordingly.

Social Media Reminders

To begin the year, the district is making a big push to increase our communications via social media. Please be sure to follow, retweet, like, and recommend our district social media accounts to anyone who is interested in following along with the countless successes of the Islander Community. #JointheWave

In-school Flu Clinics Scheduled for the End of the Month

Two free flu clinics have been scheduled for the end of the month (10/28, 10/29). The clinics will be open to all faculty and students and will take place in the main office conference room from 8-11:30. Attendees must preregister prior to receiving their shot. For more information, including registration details, please click the following link: https://5il.co/lyha

Islander Clubs and Upcoming Enrichment Activities

As we conclude our phased-in re-entry to school, I'd like to prioritize getting our student clubs and various other enrichment activities up and running throughout the month of October. The following items are at the top of that list:


  • Ask for students to submit ideas for new clubs to Dr. Heath and Mr. Soares. Emails were sent directly to students early last week asking for proposals. Once a list of all clubs has been complied, we will be holding a virtual club fair in school on October 20 and October 21 so that students may ask questions of and register to participate in their clubs of interest. To view a working list of our current clubs, please CLICK HERE!
  • Facilitate class elections and jump-start our Student Government/Council initiatives. These elections are set to occur this upcoming week with meetings to follow shortly after. For any questions regarding this process, please reach out to Ms. Rachelle Myllymaki at rmyllymaki@mpsri.net
  • Provide school spirit and enrichment activities for the upcoming Presidential Election set to occur on November 3. This work will be spearheaded by our amazing social studies department. Also we will be providing some school spirit types of activities including playing music during passing time and airing videos at lunch to highlight Halloween. Student may wear halloween-related clothing to school on 10/28 or 10/29 but should be reminded that all attire must continue to abide by the school's dress code as outlined in the most recent iteration of out MHS Student Handbook.

#IslanderPRIDE Highlights from September

Important Events

Week of 10/12 - 10/16 Student Elections being held

10/12 Columbus Day (No School)

10/13-10/16 First Quarter Interims

10/13 MHS (Virtual) Open House 6-8 pm

10/14 SAT Testing Day (Seniors Only in the building; Remote Learning for Gr 9-11)

10/19 Faculty Professional Development Day (All students to learn asynchronously from home)

10/20 Virtual Club Fair (Held during Advisory)

10/21 Virtual Club Fair (Held during Advisory)

10/31 Halloween

11/3 Election Day (No School)

11/11 Veterans Day (No School)

Want to learn more about our school and our guiding principles? Check out these resources...

Book: World Class Learners (Zhao, Y., 2012)

An excellent look into educating students for a work force that we are yet to grasp. Many of this book's ideas jive with our vision at MHS for creating tech-ready, social citizens that will graduate with the tools needed to thrive in their fields of choice.


Book: Democracy and Education (Dewey, J., 1916).

A foundational text on the purpose of education and the importance of providing students with worthwhile, pragmatic experiences throughout their academic careers.

Dr. Heath's Video of the Month

Building off of last month's video, I'm sticking with the creativity theme as I feel as though it's one of the most precious, yet often overlooked gifts that we as public educators must nurture. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the critically acclaimed novel, "Eat, Love, Pray," shares some interesting thoughts for further consideration in this 2009 talk.


Duration: 19m 29s
Your elusive creative genius | Elizabeth Gilbert

Food for Thought Section

What's wrong with the following pictures?