November 13, 2011
Dear MHS Family,
This letter marks the successful close of the first ranking period of the year. Generally, after the “close” of something, we (all people) tend to want to move on to the next challenge. What I have come to find, and what school is all about, is that it is particularly important to reflect on the past so that we can better prepare for the challenges that lie ahead. I urge you and your family to look back on all that you have endeavored to do through the first quarter of school, and assess your own successes and failures so that you might develop a plan for improvement moving forward.
Taking our own advice, we at MHS have much to reflect upon this quarter. Reflecting on areas of improvement is always a good place to start when the focus of your inquiry is growth and learning. Using feedback, we targeted the following areas of improvement.
Summer Letter & Information – This past summer our mailing arrived in homes at or around August 16th. Although we felt that the information was good, we believe that it is important to get information out to parents and students earlier so that you have more time to prepare for the upcoming year. We have set a goal of August 1st for the 2012 summer mailing.
Freshmen Orientation & Fall Curriculum Night – If you attended one or both of these events you likely felt, as many indicated in conversation and on the survey, that they went very well. Although we were happy with the program, we felt that our communication effort regarding these events was not nearly what it could have been and resulted in lackluster attendance. In the future, we will use a multitude of communication tools, including the school messenger email and phone system, Twitter.(@MessalonskeeHS ), the Principal’s blog (https://messalonskeehs.wordpress.com/ ), and our website, to contact parents about important upcoming events.
School Website – We have endeavored to put updated information on our website since the start of the school year and have been somewhat successful in doing so. Unfortunately, the website is poorly designed and not useful to students or their families. Soon we will be introducing a new district website that will provide us with greater functionality and ultimately more useful and timely information for everyone.
It is equally important to examine and celebrate our successes so that we can be sure to emulate and expand them in the future.
Homecoming – This year’s homecoming was, by most accounts, a tremendous success. From the pep-rally, parade, and spirit week, to the games and homecoming dance, the 2011 MHS Homecoming was marked with increased attendance, participation, and school pride. For 2012 we are in hopes of continuing this trend by further including other schools, and our larger community, in this celebration of Messalonskee.
Conferences – This year’s parent-teacher conferences were as well attended as any have been in recent memory. Your resounding feedback indicated that this was clearly a result of using the school messenger system and posting information on the web and Twitter. Moving forward we will continue this communication strategy and look to accommodate more conferences as attendance increases.
Student Successes – Our young people, through effort, perseverance and determination, have garnered some amazing achievements this past quarter. I’m certain that I will leave a few out, but will do my best to recall some of the highlights of the fall of 2011: MHS Robotics hosted their first ever home robotics event – it was a resounding success, MHS Field Hockey finished second in Eastern Maine, MHS Football made the playoffs going 6-3 in the PTC, Justin Rollins made States in golf, Boys Cross-Country made States with Christopher Ladd finishing 2nd in the state, MHS Chorus success included membership in All State Jazz Choir (2), KV Honor Choir (18!), and All Eastern Honor Choir (4!), MHS Drama’s Beauty & the Beast (Nov. 17-19), MHS Robotics won the coveted Legacy Award in their 2nd place finish in New Hampshire, MHS Band success included membership in KV Band (14), and Mid Maine Youth Orchestra (9), and MHS Boys Soccer won the Eastern Maine Championship!
Phew… The above list highlighted just some of the amazing things that have gone on this fall at MHS. I can’t begin to say how proud and honored I am to be associated with so many amazing educators, coaches, and young people.
It is important to put learning first as we move through our lives; always look at both success and failure as an opportunity to learn. As you work through the second quarter of school, reflect on the last three months and consider what can be gleaned from your own successes and failures. I encourage you, moving forward, to get engaged in some of the amazing things our school has to offer. For example, on December 10th we will be painting the school! (Follow the blog for more information.) Messalonskee High School is a place where amazing things happen every day and I encourage you to be a part of it!
For monthly newsletters and information come back to https://messalonskeehs.wordpress.com/
Updates and announcements can be found on Twitter @ MessalonskeeHS
. . . .
Reminders & Upcoming Events:
November 17th-19th – Beauty & The Beast in the PAC
November 20th – Last minute Permission forms for the Flu-shot clinic accepted in the MHS Main Office
November 23rd– 25th Thanksgiving Recess
November 30th Financial Aid Information Night, 6:00 PM in the PAC
December 10th Painting Day!
December 18th MHS Band & Chorus Holiday Concert
December 20th Lunch with a Professional: Construction
December 23rd-January 2nd School Vacation